First, you might want to listen to the Beach Boys song Sloop John B
, just to refresh your memory. Then a look and listen to the video Behind The Sounds: Sloop John B
will give you some nice insight into the recording and arranging process and open a window onto the keen production expertise of a young Brian Wilson, directing a roomful of seasoned session pros (none other than the Wrecking Crew
). It's how they used to make records, kids!
After 44 years, The Beach Boys' SMiLE
, the most famous unreleased album of all time
, has finally been released.
Even at its most remorselessly upbeat, the Beach Boys' music was marked by an ineffable sadness – you can hear it in the cascading tune played by the woodwind during Good Vibrations's verses – but on Smile, the sadness turned into something far weirder. All the talk of Wilson writing teenage symphonies to God – and indeed the sheer sumptuousness of the end results – tends to obscure what a thoroughly eerie album Smile is. Until LSD's psychological wreckage began washing up in rock via Skip Spence's Oar and Syd Barrett's The Madcap Laughs, artists tactfully ignored the dark side of the psychedelic experience. But it's there on Smile...
of a ten-part web series on the making of the album and the new reissue has been posted on youtube, featuring new interviews and rare archival footage. The full-length 2-CD version is streaming
Behind the Sounds
is a sampling of images and recordings from the studio sessions of Pet Sounds
, the 1966 Beach Boys album masterminded by Brian Wilson
. [more inside]
Inside Pop - The Rock Revolution is a CBS News special, broadcast in April 1967. The show was hosted by Leonard Bernstein and is probably one of the first examples of pop music being examined as a 'serious' art form. The film features many scenes shot in Los Angeles in late 1966, including interviews with Frank Zappa and Graham Nash, as well as the now legendary Brian Wilson solo performance of "Surf's Up." (MLYT) [more inside]
Today in 1966, Brian Wilson
starting laying down instrumental tracks for "#1 Untitled." Eight months, 90 hours of tape, and $50,000 later, he released his "pocket symphony
." [more inside]
the surviving Beach Boys, including Mike Love and Brian Wilson, appeared together in public today, for the first time in ten years, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the release of Pet Sounds.
Mike Love recently sued
Brian Wilson for royalties and co-writing credits, again, after Brian released SMiLE, a mere 38 years
after originally starting on it. The strife between the two has been ongoing for decades. As Brian grew more musically ambitious in the Pet Sounds and SMiLE era, Mike legendarily admonished
Brian not to "fuck with the formula." [m.i.]
performed “Smile” last Friday
, in its entirety. One of the most anticipated “lost” albums of all time (a great deal of the material was released on other Beach Boys Albums, as well as the “Good Vibrations” Box set). Smile was Brian Wilson’s answer to the Beatles “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
.” The now legendary tale speaks of Brian’s slow decent into madness and drug abuse during the recording of “Smile,” (for example, when he was recording “Mrs. O'Leary's Cow,” otherwise known as the “Fire” element to Smile, he and the orchestra all had to wear plastic firefighters helmets. When he got home from recording, there were news reports of a huge fire in the area he was recording in, causing him to believe the “vibes” from the music started the fire. Needless to say, he freaked out a bit.) The album was shelved at the last minute, and for decades, Brian either told people that the Smile sessions had been destroyed, or flat out refused to speak of it at all.
Now, after 37 years of wondering
, Smile is finally going to be released!!!
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
The son of a rock god interviews a rock genius...
(Scroll down to "Audio") Sean Lennon's 48-minute interview with Brian Wilson covers all aspects of music, from the genesis of a great song, to the competition between artists in the late 1960's. (The interview is in four parts, in RealAudio format.)