The greatest rock and roll album never completed was The Beach Boys SMiLE. Recorded shortly after the groundbreaking Pet Sounds album in 1966, it found lead Beach Boy and legendary composer Brian Wilson (at only 24) at the peak of his creative prowess merging his Southern California branded popular music into new and abstract sonic territories.
With mounted pressure to repeat the success of Pet Sounds, Wilson ventured into new directions in composition, process and technique. According to Wilson, the music “was ahead of its time” and sadly it was his nervous breakdown during the sessions that led to the work never being fully realized…with the exception of a few choice hits like “Good Vibrations” and “Surf’s Up.”
On November 1st and 44 years later, the long awaited SMiLE sessions have officially been released with Wilson’s blessing for all to finally appreciate. Capitol Records has issued several collector sets of the material but we recommend the basic 2-CD set entitled The SMiLE Sessions (Deluxe Edition) which offers two discs of the main songs and musical themes Wilson and company originally recorded – warts and all. Wilson was indeed pushing the boundaries of pop music of the day and that’s exactly what you’ll hear on this set – a musical genius testing the limits and sculpting his music into new and unusual shapes. Listen to Brian Wilson perform “Surf’s Up” taken from The SMiLE Sessions.
The SMiLE Sessions (Deluxe Edition)
5 thoughts on “A Reason To SMiLE”
that’s not Brian singing, it’s Carl.. FYI
For most people the 2-disc set would be fine. But for anyone who is into recording/engineering/producing the full 5-disc set is a required listen.
Michael – That is Brian singing and playing piano on the “Surf’s Up” excerpt. Carl sang on the 1971 version of the tune.
I am glad Micheal was corrected. 🙂 Brian sang a few leads that he/they could have released but he gave them to Carl. ie God Only Knows. The thing is with the Beach Boys they could ALL sing. And they all had leads that became hits. That is what makes the BBYS so unique from other bands. 🙂
They could all play instruments to 🙂 Brian was deaf in one ear so could only here in mono. He had the engineers transfer it to stereo. Brian is a genius period 🙂
This box set is fantastic! All the music together as it should be, at long last, plus extras on disc two that prove Brian Wilson was the master of his domain, the world of pop music. Brian’s Smile album in 2004 was also wonderful music, but I believe this tops it, just because the musicians and the voices of the Beach Boys were the best ever, better than anyone else in history.
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