Beach Boys, The - Smile Session (Good Vibrations)

Beach Boys, The - Smile Session (Good Vibrations)

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The Beach Boys The Smile Sessions on 2LP

Never-Before-Released Original 1966-’67 Album Sessions

Compiled from The Beach Boys’ Original Session Masters

"The most famous unfinished album in rock & roll history.” – Rolling Stone

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’ double vinyl LP format 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 Smiles Sessions invite 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.

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 Beach Boys The Smile Sessions Track Listing:

1.   Our Prayer
2.   Gee
3.   Heroes And Villains
4.   Do You Like Worms (Roll Plymouth Rock)
5.   I’m In Great Shape
6.   Barnyard
7.   My Only Sunshine (The Old Master Painter / You Are My Sunshine)
8.   Cabin Essence
9.   Wonderful
10.  Look (Song for Children)
11.  Child Is Father Of The Man
12.  Surf’s Up

1.   I Wanna Be Around / Workshop
2.   Vega-Tables
3.   Holidays
4.   Wind Chimes
5.   The Elements: Fire (Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow)
6.   Love To Say Dada
7.   Good Vibrations
8.   You’re Welcome – Stereo Mix
9.   Vega-Tables – Stereo Mix
10.  Wind Chimes – Stereo Mix
11.  Cabin Essence – Session Highlights and Stereo Backing Track
12.  Surf’s Up – Session Excerpt and Stereo Mix