Tuesday, September 18, 2012

smiley smile

The Beach Boys pulled together the psychedelic sound effects and harmonized hilarity of this quirky musical quilt from the scattered pieces of an abandoned ambitious albatross.  Brian Wilson had big plans for the band's follow up to their landmark 'Pet Sounds' album.  Hoping to make a dramatic leap forward, he enlisted Van Dyke Parks as a songwriting partner for a project that he called 'Dumb Angel'.  It later became known as 'SMiLE'; and the songs that they came up with were heavily influenced by an assortment of drugs.  The rest of the band, especially Mike Love, were vehemently opposed to the new material; and, after a heated argument in the studio, Parks bowed out of the project.  In the aftermath, Brian Wilson retreated from recording and 'SMiLE' was shelved.  As the band realized that they needed to fulfill their contractual obligations to Capitol Records, they quickly re-recorded some of the material from the 'SMiLE' sessions with simplified arrangements at Brian Wilson's home studio in Bel Air.  Brian Wilson produced the sessions with Alan Jardine on vocals, bass, and guitar; Bruce Johnston on vocals, bass, and keyboards; Mike Love on vocals; Brian Wilson on bass, keyboards, and vocals; Carl Wilson on vocals, guitars, and bass; Dennis Wilson on drums, and vocals; Mike Deasy Sr. on guitar; and Lyle Ritz on upright bass.  

'Smiley Smile' was a disappointment to fans after the hype surrounding the 'SMiLE' project; but it went to number forty-one in the US and number nine in the UK.   To bolster sales, the album included the band's number one smash 'Good Vibrations' over the objections of Brian Wilson.  It marked the end of Brian Wilson's creative dominance of the group.  The opening track 'Heroes and Villains' was a minor hit for the band, going to number thirteen in Australia, twelve in the US, eight in the UK, and seven in Sweden.  The single and album were released on the Beach Boys own Brother Records label and distributed by Capitol. 


"Heroes and Villains"


'Smiley Smile'

full album:

0:00 - Heroes and Villains (Brian Wilson/Van Dyke Parks)
3:39 - Vegetables (B. Wilson/Parks)
5:49 - Fall Breaks and Back to Winter (B. Wilson)
8:07 - She's Going Bald (B. Wilson/Love/Parks)
10:23 - Little Pad (B. Wilson)
12:57 - Good Vibrations (B. Wilson/Love)
16:36 - With Me Tonight (B. Wilson)
18:56 - Wind Chimes (B. Wilson)
21:35 - Gettin' Hungry (B. Wilson/Love)
24:06 - Wonderful (B. Wilson/Parks)
26:30 - Whistle In (B. Wilson)


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