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.
posted by anazgnos
on Nov 1, 2011 -
A 1951 promotional film in which Mel Blanc takes Billy May on a tour of the Capitol Records studio on Melrose (followed by the somewhat less glamorous Scranton pressing plant) in an attempt to convince him that 85 cents is not too much to charge for a record. [SLYT] [more inside]
posted by mintcake!
on Jul 12, 2011 -
In April of 1966, there emerged onto the American pop music scene a singer like no other. Off-pitch and off-tempo, a 59 year-old grandmother would perform rock standards such as A Hard Days Night and Downtown [link to audio] in a bizarre operatic style. Often considered the worst pop star of all time, she rode the line between farce and reality, as the reputable Capitol Records promoted the so-called "new sound" without cracking a smile. Her name was Elva Connes Miller, but on stage she was known simply as Mrs.Miller. Was her recording career one of the cruelest practical jokes ever devised by the record industry?
posted by flapjax at midnite
on Dec 21, 2006 -