Beach Boys ~ Smile

Reverend Rock

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Re: The SMiLE Thread

Mike Love certainly didn't help matters, but I think there are many many factors. The Beach Boys were involved with a rather nasty lawsuit against Capitol Records at the time, and Capitol for their part were putting deadlines on the project that were, at best, unrealistic by the standards of the kind of work it was. They can't really be blamed for that, when the average artist could throw together an album of disposable pop muzak in weeks, but Brian Wilson wasn't playing that game at this point. He has said in iterviews that he would have needed another year to get SMiLE ready for release using the primitive (by today's standards) recording technology of the time.

Brian's psychological problems, it appears from almost all sources, were beginning to spin out of control during this period as well. They didn't begin with SMiLE, by the way. The initial symptoms had begun showing up a couple of years earlier and were a chief reason that he'd abandoned touring with the Beach Boys.

All of the above factors have been well documented. But in spite of it all, I think he could have delivered a blockbuster album in January of '67 had he had the group's full support of the project. But this new music scared the daylights out of the guys, because Pet Sounds, while a critical triumph, had been a commercial dissapointment for them (as alg has already noted), and they were keen on getting back to the "formula" that had given them success up to that point. At the very least, they would have preferred an album full of pop smashes like "Good Vibrations", which had been an international smash single and had given them a big boost in both America and Europe. So they simply weren't willing to give their heart and soul to a project as innovative and untested as SMiLE. They were on a different planet than Brian at this point.

Of course, what's really strange is that the guys, while unwilling to give their heart to SMiLE because of commercial considerations, would throw commerciality to the wind within months to do the even less commercial Smiley Smile...but that's a whole 'nother mess altogether...

Peace,
The Rev
 
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Martin Q. Blank

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Re: The SMiLE Thread

Reverend Rock said:
Brian's psychological problems, it appears from almost all sources, were beginning to spin out of control during this period as well. They didn't begin with SMiLE, by the way. The initial symptoms had begun showing up a couple of years earlier and were a chief reason that he'd abandoned touring with the Beach Boys.

Yeah, he'd already had several nervous breakdowns by then.

In "Beautiful Dreamer," Brian gave three reasons why "SMiLE" didn't come out. I know the first two were "Mike didn't like it," and that it was "inappropriate music."

I also know the recording of "Fire" ("Mrs. O'Leary's Cow") and the subsequent fire outside the studio weighed on Brian's mind.

When Brian cites Mike as a major factor, do you believe him?
 

algernon

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Re: The SMiLE Thread

Yes, I believe him, Marty..but Love was leading the charge for all these other reasons Rev stated above. Love always dominated (bullied)Brian and Brian always had a misguided admiration for his balding, brutish cousin. The best thing is that Love and company didn't get to participate in the final SMiLE. If they had, I believe it would have been seriously inferior. The musicians Brian assembled around him are vastly superior to the Boys and more importantly they are PASSIONATE about the music...and it shows. I guess you'd say the VIBES are good!
 

Reverend Rock

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Re: The SMiLE Thread

Martin Q. Blank said:
When Brian cites Mike as a major factor, do you believe him?

A major factor? Yes. I can agree with that. The factor of greatest consequence (as Brian sometimes seems to indicate)? With all due respect to Brian, I think this may be more his emotional focus after 40 years of almost constant conflict (lawsuits, etc.) with his cousin than a matter of what was reality at that time.
 

Reverend Rock

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It was Two Years Ago today...

On February 20, 2004, Brian Wilson premiered his completed stage version of SMiLE in London, to immediate international acclaim. People traveled from all over the world to hear the opening concert of what became known as "the SMiLE Tour". Over the course of several nights, such luminaries as George Martin, Roger Daltry, Paul McCartney and others sat in the mezmerized audiences at Royal Festival Hall to experience the unthinkable...Brian Wilson presenting SMiLE, the greatest lost album ever, as a complete work in three movements.

I celebrated today by listening to a boot of the February 24 performance (which happens to be the one that Paul McCartney attended) while mall-walking. As the band finished the "Good Vibrations" finale and the audience burst into a marathon ovation of screaming applause, I was moved almost to tears all over again. I'm just thankful I lived to see SMiLE completed and to experience it.

Peace,
The Rev
 

Drummer Chris

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Re: The SMiLE Thread

Cool, Rev...I always felt that Brian would create again, despite his problems.
It was really good to see and hear that he had released Smile finally after so many years!
 

Martin Q. Blank

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Re: It was Two Years Ago today...

Reverend Rock said:
On February 20, 2004, Brian Wilson premiered his completed stage version of SMiLE in London, to immediate international acclaim. People traveled from all over the world to hear the opening concert of what became known as "the SMiLE Tour". Over the course of several nights, such luminaries as George Martin, Roger Daltry, Paul McCartney and others sat in the mezmerized audiences at Royal Festival Hall to experience the unthinkable...Brian Wilson presenting SMiLE, the greatest lost album ever, as a complete work in three movements.

I celebrated today by listening to a boot of the February 24 performance (which happens to be the one that Paul McCartney attended) while mall-walking. As the band finished the "Good Vibrations" finale and the audience burst into a marathon ovation of screaming applause, I was moved almost to tears all over again. I'm just thankful I lived to see SMiLE completed and to experience it.

Peace,
The Rev

I believe I have the actual February 20th recording. I'll have to dig it up so I can celebrate myself.
 

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