Artist: Brian (Pop) Wilson
Record Label: Rhino Records (USA)
Genre: Rock & Pop
Distributor: Alternative Dis. Alliance
Recording Type: Studio
Recording Mode: Stereo
SPAR Code: DDD
Between 1967 and 2004, the SMILE sessions were pretty much the Dead Sea Scrolls of pop music. Well documented as head Beach Boy Brian Wilson's answer to the Beatles' masterpiece SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND (which was itself largely an answer to the Beach Boys' PET SOUNDS), the tracks laid down in '67 for the projected SMILE album were the furthest afield anyone nominally operating under the pop/rock umbrella had ever ventured. Notoriously, intraband conflict (Mike Love, in particular, found the Wilson/Van Dyke Parks-penned conceptual work too far out) kept the record from being released. With several oceans' worth of water under the bridge, Wilson finally decided to finish the aborted project three-and-a-half decades later, adhering closely to the original blueprints. The results are as timelessly breathtaking as the original version must have been to the lucky few who first heard the initial tapes.
With sterling support from his backing band the Wondermints, Wilson meticulously pieced together the conceptual, orchestral puzzle of SMILE into a rewarding, cohesive whole. Even decades down the line, it still sounds miles away from anything else in the world of popular music. A series of extended vignettes tied together with seamlessly arranged melodic latticework, SMILE is a masterpiece that incorporates the influences of gospel, ancient hymns, Charles Ives-style avant-garde experimentalism, barbershop-quartet harmony, Stephen Foster, and more, in a churning cauldron of lush Americana. Strings, harpsichord, and a wide palette of orchestral percussion are just as important as drums and guitars, though traces of the PET SOUNDS sonic stew can be heard here as well. A triumph of the will for Wilson and a victory for art and humanity, SMILE bears--among many other things--an extremely appropriate title.
Ranked #1 in Uncut's Best New Albums of 2004 - SMILE combines arcane and obtuse lyrical imagery, complex harmonising and densely compacted layers of instrumentation to quite awesome effect.
5 stars out of 5 - [M]uch of it harks back, both lyrically and musically, to the past....SMILE is likely to remain a unique and unlikely moment of retrieval, restoration and renaissance.
4 stars out of 5 - [T]here is a remarkable consistency about SMILE's complex tapestry of delights....This legendarily fragmented work now possesses a unity to rival that of PET SOUNDS.
With a new melodic idea occurring every 45 seconds on average, it's a gorgeous trip back to a time when anything seemed possible... - Grade: A
Ranked #10 in Spin's 40 Best Albums of the Year - The meaty songs you know and the link tracks you don't give simple humanity the complex orchestrations humans deserve.
Included in Rolling Stone's Top 50 Records Of 2004 - [It] ranks in symphonic beauty, goofy humor and spiritual loveliness with the Beach Boys' greatest achievements.
5 stars out of 5 - [With] brief bridge melodies, youthful harmonies more precise and uplifting now...and an enthralling profusion of instrumental colors. Trombone, timpani, theremin and tenor sax brush by and disappear; a banjo shows its head; strings vibe around...
Ranked #37 in Mojo's 100 Modern Classics -- SMILE now exists in tangible form, beautifully played, sung and produced.
This Double Lp (Vinyl) Set is Still sealed!!!!!
NOTE: you pay $5 flat rate for shipping and I will pay to ship USPS media mail and with insurance..so I will pay the difference to make sure we're both covered!!!