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Brian Wilson Smile

2004 audio CD release

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Brian Wilson's symphony to life is finally released.

  • Sep 21, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+5
Smile was an album that took almost 40 years to make.  Brian Wilson wanted to record an album that would out top Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Paul McCartney listened to Pet Sounds and wanted to make a disc that would top it).  So he went into the studio and spent hours working on new music with lyricist Van Dyke Parks and he would spend a year trying to record the music with the band members.  Wilson's drug use and mental breakdown along with the band's frustration with the material (Mike Love was the most vocal about not liking the lyrics and didn't fully understand them) led to the album being abandoned (despite thousands of record jackets that were made in advance and Capitol Records waiting for the finished tapes).  The unfinished songs would later be used in the albums Smiley Smile, Wild Honey, Surf's Up. 20/20 and Sunflower.

A few decades later, Brian Wilson decided to finish the album and record it as a solo album.  The new version is a true delight to the senses.  His concept about being a symphony to God has finally come to fruition.  Like all concept albums, the music has to be listened to in one setting.  The idea behind this song cycle is more of an ode to life and it's broken up into different sections.  The first part is dedicated to history, the second to the life, third to health and the final part to the elements.  The album ends with a beautifully re-recorded version of Good Vibrations that brings the songs full circle.  While it may not be truly be how he originally envisioned it, Smile is a true symphony to life and everything around it that makes you want appreciate it.

Highly recommended.

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More Brian Wilson Smile! reviews
review by . October 30, 2009
posted in Music Matters
In the summer of 1967 The Beach Boys released "Heroes and Villains" on their brand new Brother Records label.  This  single was hailed as just the beginning of a long term collaboration between The Beach Boys and writer Van Dyke Parks.  Brian Wilson seemed determined to point The Beach Boys in new uncharted musical directions and was beginning work on an ambitious project he called "Smile" .  Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, this album became sidetracked …
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About this song

Wiki

 

Smile is arguably the longest awaited album in modern pop history. It's been more than 37 years since the title first appeared on a label release schedule, intended as the January, 1967, follow-up to The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds. But Smile never made its initial release date, and rabid fans ever since have taken to assembling their own compiled versions of what the album might have been.  

In 2003 a rejuvenated Wilson, encouraged by performing Pet Sounds live, decided to revive Smile, at least in concert form. Fans from around the world gathered at London's Royal Festival Hall on February 20, 2004, for the momentous event, fearing it might be their only opportunity to hear the completed piece. The show was a triumph.  

Buoyed by the experience, Wilson returned with his live band to Sunset Sound in Hollywood, where he'd originally cut portions of "Good Vibrations" and "Heroes And Villains," to create the definitive studio recording of Smile. This September, 2004, release is the stunning result of those efforts.  


TRACK LIST
  • OUR PRAYER/GEE
  • HEROES AND VILLAINS
  • ROLL PLYMOUTH ROCK
  • BARNYARD
  • OLD MASTER PAINTER/YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE
  • CABIN ESSENCE
  • WONDERFUL
  • SONG FOR CHILDREN
  • CHILD IS FATHER OF THE MAN
  • SURF'S UP
  • I'M IN GREAT SHAPE/I WANNA BE AROUND/WORKSHOP
  • VEGA-TABLES
  • ON A HOLIDAY
  • WIND CHIMES
  • MRS. O'LEARY'S COW
  • IN BLUE HAWAII
  • GOOD VIBRATIONS
view wiki

Details

Label: Nonesuch
Genre: Pop
Release Date: September 28, 2004

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