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...The first 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 at AOL.
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]
Entertainment NewsFilter: 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.]
"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".