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"Smile,"
October 4, 2002 1:23 PM   Subscribe

"Smile," he said. I'd asked what record the music was from, but I knew as soon as I heard it. The tapes of the Smile sessions, long considered Brian Wilson's lost masterpiece, may never be released; peer-to-peer, however, can put us in touch with the album that some call the ultimate pop record, and that Wilson called his "teenage symphony to God".
posted by bingbangbong (11 comments total)

 
I really like the concept, but did I miss something or are many of these songs not available anywhere?
posted by zekinskia at 1:56 PM on October 4, 2002


I think the point here is that you can roll your own, if you check out the information in those last two links. A cursory search on Kazaa turned up "Holidays", for example, which is only available on bootlegs.
posted by xiffix at 2:18 PM on October 4, 2002


it is my understanding that a bootleg has been out on p2p networks for a while now.

(i better leave the church before someone in the congregation notices i don't pray to pet sounds....)
posted by the aloha at 2:20 PM on October 4, 2002


The album proper was never released, but you can scavenge alternate versions on later Beach Boys albums.

More info at Pitchforkmedia.
posted by rocketman at 2:21 PM on October 4, 2002


> (i better leave the church before someone in the
> congregation notices i don't pray to pet sounds....)

It was jaw-dropping when it came out, but a lot of that was caused by the lameness of the competition at the time (look just a little bit past mid-period Beatles and Frank Zappa and you're smack in the midst of the vast Monkees/Cher wasteland. They say pop mostly sucks today, but I invoke Sturgeon's Law -- 90% of the pop from any period sucks.)

The main trouble with Artsy Brian, as opposed to Surfer Brian, was that in the majority of cases when he was at his artsiest he just plain forgot how to rock. There's a helluva fine line between stuff like "Our Prayer" (genius, or so they say) and similar stuff by other hands ("Graduation Day," pabulum with treacle.)
posted by jfuller at 2:43 PM on October 4, 2002


There's a great version of Surf's Up on . . . Surf's Up, and much of Smiley Smile is made up of bits and pieces from Smile. The boxed set picked up a lot of pieces, but *ahem* imports are your best bet to hear what you're missing. There are lots of options on eBay.
posted by mikrophon at 2:45 PM on October 4, 2002


. . . but if you ask me, this is Brian's best work.

My favorite quote from the notes on the latter:
"I love girls. I mean, everybody loves girls!"
posted by mikrophon at 2:49 PM on October 4, 2002


Sturgeon's Law -- 90% of the pop from any period sucks

What's the 10% that doesn't suck now?
posted by mikrophon at 2:55 PM on October 4, 2002


yeah, but nobody will ever write a worse song than brian wilson's "smart girls." it's a true floor.
posted by oog at 2:58 PM on October 4, 2002


if you liked Smile, I recommend these albums: I dunno how to remove the refferer code so don't complain, ok? ok!
posted by mcsweetie at 2:59 PM on October 4, 2002


jfuller,
i suppose that is true about smile being something quite different during that time period. as a younger person, that isn't totally into indie at all, i've always struggled as to what made it so reknown other then books. i suppose if i listened to some of the stuff mcsweetie mentions, i might really have a go.

my ears think that the best album with smile in the title is john frusciante's extremely dark smile from the streets you hold.
posted by the aloha at 4:25 PM on October 4, 2002


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