Beach Boys – The Smile Sessions
Label: Capitol Records – T 2580, Capitol Records – 509990 87578 14
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Album, 180 Gram
Two 180 gram Lp's in gatefold package.
Contains full Smile Album and Sessions.
With original booklet.
Released: 28 Oct 2011
Style: Pop Rock
The Smile Sessions
A1 Our Prayer 1:05
A2 Gee 0:51
A3 Heroes And Villains 4:52
A4 Do You Like Worms? (Roll Plymouth Rock) 3:35
A5 I'm In Great Shape 0:29
A6 Barnyard 0:48
A7 My Old Sunshine (The Old Masterpainter / You Are My Sunshine) 1:55
A8 Cabin Essence 3:30
B1 Wonderful 2:04
B2 Look (Song For Children) 2:31
B3 Child Is Father Of The Man 2:10
B4 Surf's Up 4:12
C1 I Wanna Be Around / Workshop 1:23
C2 Vega-Tables 3:49
C3 Holidays 2:33
C4 Wind Chimes 3:06
C5 The Elements: Fire (Mrs. O'Leary's Cow) 2:35
C6 Love To Say Dada 2:32
C7 Good Vibrations 4:15
D1 You're Welcome (Stereo Mix) 1:08
D2 Vega-Tables (Stereo Mix) 3:49
D3 Wind Chimes (Stereo Mix) 3:06
D4 Cabin Essence (Session Highlights And Stereo Backing Track) 5:17
D5 Surf's Up ( Session Excerpt And Stereo Mix) 4:46
Lacquer Cut at – Bernie Grundman Mastering
Mastered At – Your Place Or Mine Recording
Mixed At – Your Place Or Mine Recording
Manufactured By – Capitol Records
Pressed By – Rainbo Records
Compiled By – Alan Boyd, Mark Linett
Edited By – Alan Boyd, Mark Linett
Mastered By – Mark Linett
Mastered By [Vinyl Cut] – Chris Bellman
Mixed By – Mark Linett
The product of a drug addled genius imploding, the greatest lost album in rock music, a smorgasbord of styles and content so varied it makes your head ache but your heart leap and a tale of ambition so big no studio could hope to contain it.
The Beach Boys resident modern day Mozart has of course previously let the cat out of the bag on this music with his truly lovely 2004 "Brian Wilson presents Smile" where the compositional dreams of completely inspired 24 year old imbued with the lyrical preoccupations of the slightly less mad Van Dyke Parks, were finally reconstituted by more reflective composer in his early sixties.
Some Beach Boys fans might argue that the 2004 rework fully did the job (scoring an unprecedented 97 on Metacritic reviews) but others have never ceased to harbor deep longing for the base metal of the original sessions on official release despite the fact that this must be one of the most available bootlegs in musical history.
"Smile" was the product of Wilson being locked away in 1966-67 in the small Studio One at Sunset Sound in Hollywood. His behavior by this time was erratic at best and his emotional state increasingly volatile.
The pressure of following Pet Sounds and the sheer earth shaking impact of the Beatles "Sgt Pepper" literally spun him out of control and impacted on a man whose mental health was rapidly degenerating and which would spiral into a prolonged acid induced psychological hell.
For Beach boys obsessives this is manna from heaven and you can spend as much time as you require in the second disc bumping around the studio with Wilson as he fiddles, twiddles and constructs.
But what of the main act of this album that stretches in suites from "Our Prayer" to "Good Vibrations"? The format followed here by producers Mark Linett and Alan Boyd is essentially that of the 2004 Smile Sessions.
The remastering is pristine and even after the umpteenth listen you are reminded that on occasions Brian Wilson could musically balance on mercury.
No offence to the "later Wilson" of 2004 but its also the case that the sweetness of vocals on the original and the alchemy of the "group" harmonies make this an extra special deal.
The great "Cabin Essence" while perhaps not as powered up as the 2004 version remains the great unheralded Beach Boys song. When followed with "Wonderful" it is a killer double pairing.
Those who love "Heroes and Villains" are completely overwhelmed for choice with the original, a very nice stereo mix and at least five other works in progress or variants.
With the sublime "Surfs Up" you get the god like genius of the original plus an instrumental and a gorgeous take piano take which is an absolute standout.
Quite what new can be said of Good Vibrations other than to gasp in shock and awe. Granted "Vega -tables" and "Barnyard" will either completely charm or irritate but "Mrs O'Learys cow" remains the Beach boys "Day in the life" with its frightening swirling dark force and one can only picture the horror on Mike Love's face when this was first played back.
Listening again to "Smile" confirms that the obsessive Wilson could never perfectly transpose the noise or the demons inside his head to a finished product. It also shows that it nearly killed him trying.
In terms of the earlier Beatles comparison this reviewer is firmly the camp that much prefers the staggering pop/rock genius of "Revolver" to the ground breaking psychedelica of "Sgt Pepper". In the same way the sheer unrelenting perfection of "Pet Sounds" far outstrips the modular brilliant eerie innovation of "Smile".
It does not detract however from one of the great pieces of modern music and a compositional genius who nearly pulled off the ultimate musical masterstroke. The word essential doesn't come close.
The Beach Boys - SMiLE Sessions
Beach Boys - SMiLE Sessions Webisode #1 Starting A SMiLE
Beach Boys - Good Vibrations
The sessions were ultimately shelved, and The Beach Boys' SMiLE has never been officially released.
Finally, after years of waiting, Capitol/EMI has collected and compiled the definitive collection, 'The SMiLE Sessions,' for worldwide release this year. As part of the promotional efforts, Capitol has turned to the Tongal community to source Music Videos for the two Beach Boys classics, "Good Vibrations" and "Heroes and Villains."
The Beach Boys SMiLE Sessions - Heroes and Villains
The Beach Boys - Surf's Up -
The Beach Boys - Cabin Essence -
The Beach Boys - SMiLE Sessions Webisode #2 Freedom To Grow