Jump to content
Hondo's Bar

Brian Wilson Presents Smile

Reverend Jax

Recommended Posts

This came out Spring of last year, and I've only heard good things, but for those you you that don't know why this is significant at all, leeme take you on a trip down Rock N' Roll History....


The Backstory


Back in the mid-sixties, the Beach Boys and the Beatles saw each other as each other's major creative artistic rivals. After the Beatles released Rubber Soul in 1965, the Beach Boys decided it was time to try their hand at experimentation. The result was 1966's Pet Sounds that was released against the Beatles' Revolver. While the question of which won the commercial battle was settled long ago, many still consider Pet Sounds to be the superior album. Indeed, maybe believe it to be the greatest album of all-time. In 1966, every musicina in the world bowed down to the Beach Boys. Even the likes of Alice Cooper calls it his favorite album. Determined to top the Beach Boys, Paul McCarthney went into the studio to record the ambigious Penny Lane, and eventually, Sgt Pepper's. At the same time, The Beach Boys decided they were going to outdo themselves with a project called Smile.


Why You've Probably Never Heard Of It


It was never completed or released. This part of the story I'm not to clear on, but between ingroup drama, the studio, yada, all the song got written and recorded, but the master tapes were never touched, and the album called for heavy, heavy production. Like Sgt Pepper, this was meant to be a sound that could only be made in teh studio, not meant to be reproductable live. Instead of releasing the album, they took one song and released it as a single only. That song was the sublime pop prefect opus, Good Vibrations, just to give you an idea of what kind of album this is. The album became a chapter in Rock Legend, the Greatest Album that Never Was!


The Album




So, this isn't a Beach Boys album. After almost 40 years, Brian Wilson decided to use his touring band to rerecord (those original masters were not used) and produce Smile as he originally envisioned it. The result is FUCKING INCREDIBLE! This is ambigious, smoothing, extremely artistic, in that strange place between the 1962 Beach Boys of Cars, Surfing and Girls and the 1969 Brian Wilson of sitting in your room, alone, comtemplating suicide. The album is, especially at the beginning, all over the place. It seems like it's a bunch of 30 seconds songs, strung together. But even the first time heard it, it works, and it works more with every listen. This is the Sgt Pepper's of the Beach Boys (even though it's not the BBs, it a Brian Wilson album). It's hard to recommend a specific track. I'll probably come back later more llistens to recommend a representative track, but I'll say this:


If you like Pet Sounds, get this album.

If you like Good Vibrations, and think a whole album with that kind of musicality would work, get this album.


Try downloading Heroes And Villians to get a feel for it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...