Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums of All Time - Rated 381/500!
Featured in Michael Fremer's Heavy Rotation in the March 2012 Issue of Stereophile!
Legendary Unreleased 1966-'67 Album!
Cut by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering from Original Masters!
Gatefold Packaging & Artwork Designed by Frank Holmes!
With the full participation of original Beach Boys Al Jardine, Mike Love, and
Brian Wilson, Capitol/EMI has, for the first time, collected and compiled the
band’s legendary 1966-’67 sessions for the never-completed SMiLE album.
In numerous sessions between the spring of 1966 and the summer of 1967, The
Beach Boys recorded a bounty of songs and drafts for an album, SMiLE, that was
intended to follow the band's 1966 masterpiece, Pet Sounds. The master tapes
were ultimately shelved, and The Beach Boys' SMiLE has never been released.
Drawn from the original masters, The SMiLE Sessions presents an in-depth
overview of The Beach Boys' recording sessions for the enigmatic album, which
has achieved legendary, mythical status for music fans around the world.
The SMiLE Sessions’ 180g vinyl double LP features an approximation of what was
intended to be the completed SMiLE album, compiled from The Beach Boys’ original
session masters. Additional session highlights and bonus tracks are also
included, including demos and stereo mixes.
Produced by Brian Wilson, Mark Linett, Alan Boyd and Dennis Wolfe in Los Angeles
The SMiLE Sessions’ 2LP Set includes an assembled collection of core session
tracks. The SMiLE Sessions invites the listener into the studio to experience
the album's creation, with producer, singer and bassist Brian Wilson's vision
leading the way as he guides his fellow Beach Boys, singer Mike Love, drummer
Dennis Wilson, lead guitarist Carl Wilson, rhythm guitarist Al Jardine, and
newest member Bruce Johnston (who'd replaced Brian Wilson in the touring group
during 1965), through the legendary sessions.
Artwork for The SMiLE Sessions’ has been created with and inspired by Beat-Pop
artist Frank Holmes’ original 1967 LP sleeve art and booklet designs intended
for the SMiLE album.
When Capitol/EMI and The Beach Boys first announced plans for The SMiLE
Sessions’ 2011 release, the news spread rapidly. Pitchfork reported, "The Beach
Boys’ SMiLE is quite possibly the most storied album in rock history," Billboard
proclaimed the upcoming release "an event that pop music fans have been waiting
for since the Summer of Love," and The Washington Post called SMiLE "the most
legendary unreleased album of all time."
The best efforts have been taken by The Beach Boys, the producers, and
Capitol/EMI to present the SMiLE album sessions’ most vital and fascinating
elements. However, there will no doubt be some debate amongst Beach Boys fans
around the world who, during the past four decades, have become familiar with a
variety of widely-traded bootlegged bits and pieces from the sessions. As
recently explained by the Detroit Metro Times, “No album, released or not, has
generated a more personal relationship with its audience, since no two people
can ever agree on its content and purpose.”
Beginning with “Good Vibrations,” The Beach Boys’ best-selling record in a long
string of hits, Brian Wilson had begun to construct songs in a modular form,
crafting individual sections that would later be edited together to form a
coherent whole. In several intense bursts of creative energy, Wilson, drawing on
the talents of the finest studio musicians in Los Angeles and utilizing the best
studio facilities available on any given day, laid down dozens of musical
fragments, all designed to fit together in any number of possible combinations.
No one had done this before in pop music, and his next endeavor would be an
album-length version of this unique and luxurious songwriting parlance: SMiLE.
In 1965, Brian Wilson met an up-and-coming session keyboard player and
songwriter, Van Dyke Parks. Noticing Parks' conversational eloquence, Wilson
felt that he could help to volley The Beach Boys’ songwriting into the wave of
broader-messaged and socially-conscious rock 'n' roll that would come to define
the '60s. They were soon collaborating on keynote songs for SMiLE, including
“Heroes And Villains,” the band’s follow-up single to “Good Vibrations.” Wilson
and Parks would also co-write “Surf's Up,” “Vega-Tables,” “Cabin Essence,” “Do
You Like Worms,” “Wonderful,” “Wind Chimes,” and other pieces of the SMiLE
tapestry. Parks also introduced Frank Holmes to create album sleeve art and a
booklet interpreting the album’s James Joyce-mode lyrics.
The reason SMiLE did not see a release in 1967 had more to do with back room
business that obscured the creative side of the program than anything else. In
late 1966, The Beach Boys formed Brother Records, initially to produce outside
artists. Soon, however, The Beach Boys would become embroiled in a court action
with Capitol Records with the goal to become the top-selling artists on their
self-owned, independent label. The group withheld “Heroes And Villains” and
announced they would instead release “Vega-Tables” – recorded with the band’s
own money in April of '67 – on Brother Records. By July of 1967, Capitol Records
and The Beach Boys had come to terms, with Capitol agreeing to distribute the
band’s Brother Records, and it was agreed that SMiLE was no longer to be the
band’s next album.
"The most famous unfinished album in rock & roll history..." - Rolling
• 180g Vinyl
• Double LP
• Gatefold packaging
• Drawn from Original Masters
• Inner sleeve art
• 12" x 12" booklet created for the original release
• Original Mono Mix
LP1 - Side 1:
1. Our Prayer
3. Heroes and Villains
4. Do You Like Worms (Roll Plymouth Rock)
5. I'm In Great Shape
7. My Only Sunshine (The Old Master Painter/You Are My Sunshine)
8. Cabin Essence
LP1 - Side 2:
2. Look (Song for Children)
3. Child Is Father Of the Man
4. Surf's Up
LP2 - Side 3:
1. I Wanna Be Around / Workshop
4. Wind Chimes
5. The Elements: Fire (Mrs. O'Leary's Cow)
6. Love to Say Dada
7. Good Vibrations
LP2 - Side 4:
1. You're Welcome (stereo mix)
2. Vega-Tables (stereo mix)
3. Wind Chimes (stereo mix)
4. Cabin Essence (Session highlights and stereo backing track)
5. Surf's Up (Session Excerpt and Stereo mix)