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Old 07-17-2017, 07:50 AM   #31
soniclovenoize
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Originally Posted by fuzzyroes View Post
I guess there's really no conclusive way to know what the order would be. What we do know is that (thanks to the list that was submitted to the record company that has since surfaced) the tracks that we have today are essentially what would have ended up on the album albeit for the most part unfinished versions. (so it's not like there's some trove of different songs that didn't pop up on the new versions)
Conclusive? No. But I believe you can calculate the probability of what was to be included, based on the session chronology and interviews at the time.

I think there are some things (not a trove though) that showed up on the new version that most likely would not have ended up on the final album, all of which Van Dykes wrote new lyrics in 2003 for them:
- "Song for Children"/"Look" - was one of the very first things recorded for the Smile project, and was quickly dropped and not worked on again. It even included a melodic passage that ended up on "Good Vibrations" (since it was started before "Good Vibrations" was finished) so this song really bit the dust.
- "On A Holiday" - like "Look", one of the early Smile songs that was worked on and then set aside and never revisited. This is important because all the other key tracks were revisited continuously.
- "Blue Hawaii"/"I Love To Say Dada" - this was one of the final things ever recorded for Smile, and some think it was after Brian had given up hope for the album. It's not exactly clear what these recordings were for, but it eventually evolved into Beach Boys "Cool Cool Water" off of Sunflower. But it may or may not have been on Smile, most people 1nclud3 it on their Smile mixes as the Water element. It certainly did not exist as "In Blue Hawaii" in 1967

And then it starts to get more complex... One of the interesting things about Smile is that some songs begat other songs. The fragments of "I'm In Great Shape", "Old Master Painter/You Are My Sunshine", "Barnyard", "All Day" (which turned into "My blue Hawaii"), the chorus of "Vege-Tables", the chorus to "Do You like Worms" and even the intro to "Fire" were all originally different segments of "Heroes and Villains". Brian would record them, then decide the segments were better off as their own songs and further develop them. So you can't be certain if things like "Barnyard" would have actually been on the album or it was just a scrap that got cut from "Heroes and Villains". Specifically, "I'm in Great Shape" was listed as it's own track, but we are uncertain exactly what would have been included in that, since it was not fleshed out really.

The order itself, I think my point in my essay was that it wouldn't have been conceptual and thus the order of the 12 tracks arbitrary (or at least a non-narrative)

Quote:
You theorized that the list submitted to Capitol Records wasn't meant to be a tracklist but merely a random list of the songs that would be included, but I'm not so sure about that. Vege-tables is listed near the bottom of that list and wasn't that one of the songs that was mostly finished and going to be angled as a single? If that's the case wouldn't it be one of the first songs wrangled off?
That's because the tracklist was submitted to Capitol in January 1967, but the final Vege-Tables tracking was done in April. When he wrote it, it wasn't finished, except for an earlier version which was most like a part of The Elements.

Last edited by soniclovenoize : 07-17-2017 at 08:03 AM.

 
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Old 07-17-2017, 10:45 AM   #32
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Love reading stuff like this.

 
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Old 07-19-2017, 08:59 PM   #33
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I gotta say after thinking about it, your track-list is probably pretty spot on as to what would have been released in 67. You're bang on about Good Vibrations. Putting it last had to have been a byproduct of the touring plans.

 
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Old 07-20-2017, 08:14 AM   #34
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Thanks. I think the order is less important to 1) what was on it and 2) how they were put together. I think you could re-order those songs in the BWPS order, and it'd still mostly work.

 
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Old 07-21-2017, 10:54 AM   #35
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Trying really hard to not write a ten page essay on SMiLE right now.

 
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Old 07-21-2017, 02:14 PM   #36
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that should be ok

 
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Old 07-21-2017, 09:27 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by soniclovenoize View Post
Trying really hard to not write a ten page essay on SMiLE right now.
Go for it man. I enjoyed reading the write-up immensely. I don't think there was a stone you left unturned

 
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Old 07-21-2017, 09:34 PM   #38
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Thanks. I think the order is less important to 1) what was on it and 2) how they were put together. I think you could re-order those songs in the BWPS order, and it'd still mostly work.
Yeah man. It's a helluva good listen and a great progression from Pet Sounds. It's a shame everything to derailed. At the same time, I think people let their imagination run wild about what Brian Wilson was planning. I think you're spot on in the belief that it would have been an album in the same template as Pet Sounds.

 
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Old 07-22-2017, 10:06 AM   #39
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Oh OK well fuck it. Here's a song by song breakdown

"Our Prayer"
One of the few SMiLE songs that we're fairly sure where on the album it would have been placed; because Brian literally states during the session takes that "this is a little intro to the album". Recorded on October 4th 1966 a capella in four separate pieces that each featured about two vocal phrases and edited together in the end, Brian prepared a rough mix in December 1966 that was curiously missing the second-to-final vocal phrase. Despite being completely recorded and that rough mix assembled, the entire track was scrapped--most likely because the album itself was scrapped along with it's own introduction.

Hurting for Brian Wilson-penned material for The Beach Boys' 20/20 album (as well as pressure from Capitol Records to use some of the then-mythical SMiLE recordings), Carl & Dennis went back and assembled the track, adding additional vocal overdubs in November 1968. The finished track was included on the album.

It is of note that some SMiLE historians feel the song could have closed the SMiLE album instead of opening it, contrary to Brian's claim on the session tapes. This stems from a 1969 interview with Brian's SMiLE-era "crew" member Michal Vosse (who had witnessed much of the writing and recording of SMiLE firsthand) who had claimed:
"As to Smile itself—well, you know about "Surf’s Up." It was going to kind of close the album, and then after it was over they were going to a sort of choral, a-men sort of thing."
Does "Our Prayer" sound like an amen? Maybe...

 
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Old 07-22-2017, 10:38 AM   #40
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I find Smile a hard listen because of Wilson's mushy old man mouth. the old sessions are better.
not sure while he still included some shitty cheesy sound effects as well (the "wheee" whistle in heroes and villains)

 
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Old 07-22-2017, 10:40 AM   #41
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soniclovenoise this youtube comment mentions your help:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2evRSlTXja0

 
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Old 07-22-2017, 11:37 AM   #42
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"Heroes and Villains"
The flagship song for the SMiLE Project. Influenced by the success of "Good Vibrations" and it's modular approach (recorded in sections, which were modulations of the same musical theme, and edited together at the end), Brian tried to recreate a similar single for this new album project, this time with lyricist Van Dyke Parks invoking images of the Old West. Although compositionally a simple song, the lyrics became quite complex, intertextual and full of double entendre. To match this, Brian devised several sections, invoking a mini vaudeville play with several acts. The problem was, Brian consistently changed his mind of what musical 'acts' should be included in "Heroes and Villains", which resulted in a number of pieces on the cutting room floor, pieces that even sprang to life as their own separate songs (and likewise, several sections were gutted from other songs into "Heroes and Villains"!). The unfortunate reality is that this song, as a whole, was completely in flux since it's first rehearsal in October 2nd 1966 till it was finally finished for the reincarnated Smiley Smile album in June 1967. If you examined Brian's concept for "Heroes and Villains" at any one time during those 9 months, it would probably have been different as compared to another time!

Early Construction
Initial recording sessions in October 1966 spawned a 'Verse' section that was literally later 'sampled', with different overdubs featured on the same recording to create different verses. On that date, the backing track for the fragment "Barnyard" was also recorded; a week later, the instrumental fragment "I'm in Great Shape" was also recorded. At it's earliest inception, both "Barnyard" and "I'm In Great Shape" were simply different pieces of "Heroes and Villains" (following the first verse), as performed for the DJ Humble Harve as a demo in November 1966. Also, keyboardist Al Kooper claims that Brian had played him a version of "Heroes and Villains" which contained "My Only Sunshine". No recorded evidence of this has emerged, but it's plausible due to the in-flux nature of the song and the SMiLE project in general. After setting the basic groundwork for "Heroes and Villains" in October with the 'Verse', 'I'm In Great Shape' and 'Barnyard' sections, Brian moved on to other SMiLE songs, leaving H&V in this unassembled state.

January Construction
After recording the bulk of the SMiLE album, Brian decided to focus his energy solely on finishing "Heroes and Villains" as a lead single that December. After adding vocals to the verse, he returned to the track, this time with a new vision of it's structure (possibly because by January 1967 "I'm in Great Shape" was extracted as it's own song. More on that later). On January 3rd, Brian & The Beach Boys recorded a number of separate sections: 'Mission Pak', 'Bridge to Indians' and 'Pickup to 3rd verse', a capella linking movements meant to connect other pieces together; 'Part 1 Tag' a piano instrumental meant to conclude the first section of the song presumably; and 'Bag of Tricks' a bizarre instrumental interlude that consists of party favor and percussion effects. Also recorded was a segment called 'Do A Lot', which was extracted and became the chorus to "Vege-Tables". Brian also decided "Heroes and Villains" needed a chorus, so he literally stole one from a different song "Do You Like Worms?". On January 5th, 'Bicycle Rider' was recorded, meant to be the chorus of "Heroes and Villains" (logged as 'Part 2' [which is debatable; more on the "Part 2" debate later]). It's unclear how useful these recordings were, as these early January H&V sessions were ultimately not used...

February Constructions
After a few week's break and a rethink, The Beach Boys returned to the song on January 27th and cut a number of new segments: 'In The Cantina', a segment that effectively replaced both 'I'm in Great Shape' and 'Bicycle Rider'; an a capella "Children Were Raised' which was actually a second verse; 'Whistling Bridge' which is self-explanatory; 'All Day' a series of solo piano pieces that were extracted and evolved into its own track ("I Love to Say Dada", which itself evolved into "Cool Cool Water"). At the end of the session, Brian constructed a series of test mixes, the longest of which featured the structure of:
Verse 1 / Whistling Bridge / My Children Were Raised / Verse 2
On February 10th, the whole group assembled into Columbia Studios and added group vocals to the segments, and Brian made what I believe was his only finished version of "Heroes and Villains" from the SMilE Sessions. After stealing the 'Fade' from the separate track "The Old Master Painter/"You Were My Sunshine", the structure now featured:
Verse 1 / a capella verse / In The Cantina / My Children Were Raised / Verse 2 / Whistling Bridge / Fade
This alternate version only survives as a mono master and has been on several releases, notably on the Good Vibrations boxset from 1993 and as a bonus track in the 90s reissues of Smiley Smile. While Brian probably turned this master into Capitol as his final H&V single, he unfortunately changed his mind several days later...

On February 15th an elaborate new segment to "Heroes and Villains" was recorded called 'Prelude to Fade'. Then on Feb 20th, the Beach Boys recorded four separate sections of a new arrangement of "Heroes and Villains", some a capella with minimal percussion and piano backing, chanting the lyrics "heroes and villains" as a very psychedelic barbershop sextet. The first section included a preamble of Davis/Levy's "Gee", and the third section devolved into drug-induced laughter and harmonized sighing (and someone stating "Swedish Frog"). It's unclear how these sections could have fit in with the previous sections of H&V--especially the final master prepared ten days earlier--since they are in a different key and conclude with a diminished chord. Some believe these recordings (as well as the previous 'Prelude to Fade') were meant as the b-side to the "Heroes and Villains" single (aka "Part 2" but more on that later). Others think this was Brian's attempt at creating a chorus for the song with no chorus. Either way, after assembling a rough mix of the four sections, all of this was scrapped.

March Construction
Brian Wilson now entered panic mode. The sessions tapes seem to suggest that on the 27th, 28th and then March 1st, Brian attempted to completely re-record "Heroes and Villains" from scratch, with completely new 'Intro', 'Verse', 'Chorus' (a version of the 'Bicycle Rider theme in a key that fits H&V) and 'Fade' sections recorded under new master numbers. Although this 'Intro' has recently been reappropriated for "Mrs O'Leary's Cow", nothing was done with these recordings and unfortunately the SMiLE sessions were reaching it's conclusion.

Smiley Smile Construction
With SMiLE dead and Brian having a new vision for an album recorded mostly at his home in June 1967, several of the previous H&V sections were resurrected, with Brian not giving up on the song. A new slower a capella 'Children Were Raised' section was recorded, as well as new vocals for everything (including the previous session's 'Chorus') and an underlying organ part to connect the sections. This new construction of "Heroes and Villains" was finally released on Smiley Smile:
Verse / Chorus / Verse 2 / a capella verse / barbershop My Children Were Raise / Chorus

Without a doubt, "Heroes and Villains", as it resulted on Smiley Smile, lacked the magic and vaudevillian wonder as initially conceived 9 months earlier, with so much of the fun left on the cutting room floor, known only to bootleggers who created their own versions. The release of the final February 10th master in the 90s showed how SMiLE could have been. When Darian Sahanaja and Brian were arranging their SMiLE tour in 2003, the pair decided to create a new "Heroes and Villains" that included elements of both the Smiley Smile version and the fan-favorite Feb 10 "Cantina" mix. This compromise, although certainly not concise, was a happy medium and seemed to regain some of the magic of the SMiLE sessions. This is how the song finally appeared on The SMiLE Sessions.

Last edited by soniclovenoize : 07-22-2017 at 12:16 PM.

 
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Old 07-22-2017, 11:49 AM   #43
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soniclovenoise this youtube comment mentions your help:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2evRSlTXja0
Oh yeah that guy. He gave me a heads up on it when he did it.

The thing about SMiLE is, is that Brian Wilson accidentally created the words first user-interactive album. Since it was never finished and all these pieces are (well, were) just sitting there on bootlegs and box sets and bonus tracks and such, the SMiLE aficionados just simply rolled their own SMiLE. That is how it's been for decades, and that is the next step for fuzzy. Go beyond what I've done and roll his own SMiLE, probably using some of my edits, some other fan-made edits, official edits and bootlegged stuff as sources. That's what it's really about. There really is no SMiLE, and it's only what you want it to be.

 
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Old 07-22-2017, 12:47 PM   #44
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The Mythical "Heroes and Villains (Part II)"
One of the great Smile mysteries is "Heroes and Villains (Part II)." The theory goes that this track was the b-side to the unfinished "Heroes and Villains" single, despite there being absolutely no hard evidence for this. This myth has been perpetuated to such a degree that the compilers of the SMiLE Sessions box set decided to tip their hat to it, calling a track by it's name, while also admitting they found no evidence for it's existence. There are several competing theories for H&Vp2, and I'll try to give a non-bias breakdown of them...

The Swedish Frog Theory
This theory goes that Brian completed what he thought was his final master of "Heroes and Villains" on February 10th. Five days later he was back in the studio, making more recordings that didn't seem to fit with what he recorded (Prelude To Fade on 2/15/67 and the Gee/Part 2 iterations/Swedish Frog on 2/20). Why? Because anything worked on after the 20th (but before he scrapped it all in March and rerecorded everything) was not actually meant for "Heroes and Villains" proper, but it's single b-side.

Evidence for this theory is circumstantial. Michael Vosse claims:
"The best version I heard, which was never completed, but at least I could see the form of it, was an A side B side version lasting about six minutes. It was a beautifully structured work; and Van Dyke was still very involved."
If you compile the Feb 10 master with Brian's rough edit of the Feb 20th reiterations (and end it with "Prelude To Fade'), you have about 6 minutes. Also, the Feb 20th iterations were logged as "Part 2" although that could notate the second part of the internal song, rather than a second part of the single. Despite no hard evidence, the Feb 20th iterations as well as other H&V session outtakes were slung together and included on The Smile Sessions box, probably out of convenience than accuracy. Evidence against this, is Vosse seems to be mentioning what he saw as a finished product, rather than what Brian saw as a finished product.

The Master 57045 Theory
This theory states that while most of the "Heroes and Villains" recordings were all recorded under the same master number 57020, some of the recordings were recorded under a different master number 57045, and that was supposed to be "Heroes and Villains (Part II)". The segments 1ncluding the 'Bicycle Rider' chorus from 1/5/67 and all of the remake sections from 2/27/67-3/1/67 (Intro, Verse, Chorus, Fade).

Evidence for this is that the "Bicycle Rider' section is logged as "Heroes and Villains Part 2", and the Chorus is
logged as "Heroes and Villains: Part Two". But like the previous theory, both of these sections were second 'parts' (aka choruses) of the same internal song, and doesn't necessarily mean it's a second part to the single. Evidence against this is that Brian's Master numbers were sometimes erratic and they often changed, and the separate master numbers for H&V might be a red herring. Also, if you edit together what Master 57045 could actually sound like in a logical song structure as per the segment designations, you end up with something sounding like a simple remake of "Heroes and Villains" proper, rather than a b-side continuation as suggested by Vosse.

The SMiLE Sampler Theory
Another theory functions as an alternate explanation for the above Master 57045 Theory and resolves it with The Swedish Frog Theory: that the b-side to the "Heroes and Villains" single was going to be a sort of SMiLE Sampler, a preview for the album. That is why everything recorded after 2/10/67 were remakes, intended to highlight various parts of the album, as one exclusive b-side on the single. That is also why there is a new master number assigned to the recordings...

Unfortunately there is no real evidence for this beyond analysis of what was recorded. Surely, Vosse or someone else would have mentioned this as Brian's intent? Without any actual evidence, this theory is conjecture, although admittedly interesting conjecture at least!

The 'There Was No Part II' Theory
The simplest explanation: there just never was a "Heroes and Villains (Part II)" to begin with. Despite changing master numbers, outtakes upon outtakes and 50 years of hearsay, there is simply no actual evidence that this stand-alone song existed, and any reference to "part 2" is simply the designation of a second part of the song that follows the verses. Evidence for this is that all of these sections--Bicycle Rider from 1/5/67, In The Cantina from 1/27/67, Gee and it's iterations from 2/20/67 and the Chorus from 2/27/67 all were designated as Part 2 or Part Two (with some of the Gee iterations designated as Part 3 and 4). Thus it's reasonable to believe that part 1 was the verse and all of these sections were meant to follow it, at different points in time of the song's recording process.

 
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Old 07-22-2017, 01:50 PM   #45
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"Do You Like Worms?"
A great SMiLE track that was unfortunately never finished. Written about Western Expansionism and the plight of the Native Americans, the 'Bicycle Rider' seems to represent the white man spreading across the land. This is heard as a great piano/harpsichord figure, the chorus of the song. This is contrasted with the bombast of the fuzz bass, timpani and parade drums.

Like many of the other SMiLE tracks, "Do You Like Worms?" was recorded in sections, mostly on October 18th, 1966: Part 1 (the verse section), Part 2 (the 'Bicycle Rider' chorus played solo on a harpsichord), Part 3 (a middle eight part similar to the verse but featuring an erratic slide guitar eventually mixed out) and Part 4 (a reprise of the chorus played on a tack piano).

Two months later Brain returned to the song with The Beach Boys, whom added vocals on December 21st: backing vocals to the verses ("Rock, rock, roll, Plymouth Rock roll over"), backing vocals to the chorus, and lead & backing vocals to the middle eight (the faux Hawaiian chants). Unfortunately, that's as far as the vocal overdubs went, as lead verse vocals were never recorded (although one can hear Brian sing them to a band member off-mic when explaining the arrangement!). Luckily, he assembled two different (but similar) test mixes on this date, creating a blueprint of how the song should go.

Once Brian doubled-down to finish "Heroes and Villains" as a single in January 1967 he looked to other partially-finished SMiLE songs for material. First, he stole the harpsichord 'Bicycle Rider' chorus from "Do You like Worms" and overdubbed percussion, a fuzz bass part and group lead and backing vocals (oddly enough, the same lyrics as meant for "Do You Like Worms"; Brian wouldn't rewrite them to apply to "Heroes and Villains" until June). This piece was ultimately not used, but it is convenient (for us) that as a result, there is a "finished" chorus to "Do You Like Worms?".

The song remained a great mystery for SMiLE enthusiasts until 1988, when Mark Linett was tasked to plow through the vaults and compile a SMiLE release. Using Brian's 12/21/67 rough mixes as a template, Linett reconstructed the song for the project, and then again (in better fidelity) in 1993 for the Good Vibrations boxset. Brian & Darian Sahanaja used the same template as well for Brian Wilson Presents SMiLE in 2003, but took it a step further: they literally called up Van Dyke Parks and asked him what the unrecorded verse lyrics were from 1966! Astute listeners will observe that this modern vocal from Brian Wilson Presents SMiLE has a different melody and rhythm as compared to what was heard off-mic on 10/18/67, an example of revisionist history... or simply misremembering.

Last edited by soniclovenoize : 07-22-2017 at 01:56 PM.

 
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Old 07-22-2017, 02:16 PM   #46
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"The Old Master Painter/You Were My Sunshine"
A very curious track indeed, the medley of the old Gillespie/Davis standard and the Charles Mitchel standard, the later transposed in a minor key and sung in past tense. As aforementioned, Al Kooper claimed this was originally a part of "Heroes and Villains" (and was probably recorded on May 11th, 1966 but was scrapped and taped over), but by November 14th it was extracted from H&V and was it's own track. By then it also featured a fade-out, called Part 2, recorded on that day with Part 1 with lead vocals from Dennis recorded on the 30th. Master tapes of that vocal track have been lost, so all known copies are sourced from (not great-sounding) mono acetates. It is of note that the original version of "The Old Master Painter" featured lyrics, and Brian even sings them to a cello player off-mic during the tracking sessions; it is unknown if Brian & The Beach Boys simply never got around to recording the vocals, or if it was always intended as an instrumental.

In looking for material to finish "Heroes and Villains" on February 10th, Brian stole the Fade for "Old Master Painter" and reappropriated it onto H&V and recording new backing vocals for it (as heard on the 2/10 Cantina mix). That unfortunately left "The Old Master Painter" with no ending, which could explain why the title is listed last and noted with parenthesis, later crossed out, on the memo to Capitol Records from The Wilsons listing the tracks for SMiLE.

 
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Old 07-22-2017, 02:56 PM   #47
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Keep going

 
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Old 07-22-2017, 06:58 PM   #48
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"Cabin Essence"
One of the absolute great accomplishments of the SMiLE sessions was "Cabin Essence", which spins a tale of a home on the grange, with a chorus of migrant workers constructing the railroads. To match Van Dykes Parks' exceptional lyrics, Brian creates a similar audio picture with contrasting instruments: banjos, bouzouki, dobro, harmonicas, cello, fuzz bass and a percussion that sounds eerily like railroad nails. Left unfinished once SMiLE was abandoned, it was luckily one of the few to have seen though to completion by Dennis & Carl Wilson, presumably according to how Brian envisioned it in 1966.

Interestingly enough, Vosse claims that "Cabin Essence" began as three separate entities and were later combined into one song; he even claims that the 'Bicycle Rider' chorus was, at one time, tested out as a segment of "Cabin Essence"! There is no audio evidence to back this up though, so if it is true, Brain had to have resolved on the three sections of "Cabin Essence" by October when the backing track was recorded.

Recording of the backing track was done in one marathon session on October 3rd, 1966, and like the other SMiLE tracks, was recorded in pieces: the verse (dubbed 'Home On The Range'), chorus (dubbed 'Who Ran The Iron Horse') and the tag ('Have You Seen The Grand Coolie'). Brian made a rough mix of it's instrumental construction at this time, solidifying the structure and heard by Vosse. A couple sessions saw The Beach Boys attempt vocals on 12/21 and 12/27, accomplishing backing vocals for the verses, lead & backing vocals for the chorus and lead & backing vocals for the tag. Lead verse vocals were not recorded as it was this song--specifically the lyric "Over and over the crow flies, uncover the cornfield" which Mike Love objected as too abstract, alienating Van Dykes Parks from the project. This was apparently the turning point of SMiLE that begun Brian's downward spiral that doomed the album. Before the sessions ended, Brian again made several short test edits of the segments with various vocal overdubs, possibly in order to see how the transitions flowed from section to section.

Just like "Our Prayer", Dennis & Carl dusted off the multitracks to "Cabin Essence" in 1968 for their 20/20 album, under pressure from the label to revive some of the abandoned SMiLE material that had so heavily been hyped the year before. Using Brian's test mixes and Van Dykes' lyric sheets as a template, the song was reconstructed and Carl recorded his lead vocal for the verses (with Mike adding a counterpoint lyric to the second chorus). Released as the final track on 20/20, it remains a highlight of The Beach Boys late-60s discography.

 
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Old 07-22-2017, 07:38 PM   #49
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"Wonderful"
Another amazingly beautiful composition that tells of a girls' adolescence, "Wonderful" is an example of Brian nailing down the perfect SMiLE arrangement, only to second guess himself and fall down the rabbit hole of rerecording, trying to fix what was never broken in the first place, only to resolve in a complete opposite arrangement for the eventual Smiley Smile album.

The first version of "Wonderful" recorded August 25th, 1966 was sparse and driven by a harpsichord and upright bass with a triumphant trumpet interjection. It's simplicity matched the elegance of the melody and lyric, and Brian tracked his own lead vocal on October 6th after slowing the tape down one whole step. The group's backing vocals were overdubbed on December 15th, master mixes were prepared and marked "FINAL" on the tape box. Another song easily completed for SMiLE... Or so Brian thought.

A few weeks later, Brain seemed unsatisfied with "Wonderful" and decided to restart from scratch. On January 9th, 1967, The Beach Boys cut a new, decidedly more uptempo version, again based around the harpsichord but with an overdubbed drums, bass and mandolin. This second version features idiosyncratic backing vocals that state "Om pretty baby won't you rock with me Henry"--leading this version to be dubbed the 'Rock With Me Henry' version. An unusual a capella tag was also taped on this day, with a chanted "mama mama mama" underscore. With only half a lead vocal, it was hardly completed nor a highlight of the SMiLE session and this version too was abandoned.

Near the very end of the SMiLE sessions, Brian attempted a third version of "Wonderful" on April 10th--possibly meant as the b-side to the "Vege-Tables" single he was working on at that time--but only got as far as a solo piano track with some tinkering group backing vocals. This third "Wonderful", like the other two, was abandoned; this time in an even more skeletal state.

After the demise of SMiLE and it's rebirth as Smiley Smile, Brian cut a brand new fourth version of "Wonderful" at his home studio in June. After abandoning a piano-based version, Brian resolved on a delicate but slightly disturbing organ-based arrangement with a series of haunting vocal overdubs. Oddly enough, this new version featured a middle section stolen form the February 20th "Heroes and Villains: Part 2" iterations! This frankly bizarre arrangement of "Wonderful" exemplifies Brian's attempt to completely deconstruct and invert SMiLE's intended majesty with unsettling ambiguity and a lo-fi aesthetic, as well as his tendency to bastardize and appropriate melodic ideas from SMiLE into other post-SMiLE songs. Luckily, the serene initial incarnation of "Wonderful" was featured in the 1993 Good Vibrations box set and it's arrangement used in 2003's Brian Wilson Presents SMiLE, with the author implying admittance that the first version of "Wonderful" was the definitive take of the song.

 
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