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Old 07-12-2017, 09:24 PM   #1
fuzzyroes
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Default Brian Wilson's SMiLE

I've been listening to the version he remade in 2004. Pretty damn good! I can't get enough of Roll Plymouth Rock

The only downside is his voice hasn't aged all that gracefully. It's lower and it's more slurry than it used to be. Still crazy he finally got around to making the album though.

Apparently theres a box set full of the original work and takes. Has anyone checked that out? I'm gonna download it now.

 
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:29 PM   #2
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Soniclovenoize did a great homemade version on his albums that never were blog. This is the sort of thing that's easy to go down a rabbit hole.

 
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:36 PM   #3
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Gnarly man.

I just realized the Beach Boys version was reconstructed to match the Brian Wilson version. Didn't even know that existed. Just finished downloading now. Stoked to listen!

 
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:45 PM   #4
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Don't get SMILE confused with SMILEY SMILE

 
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:53 PM   #5
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haha no no. I'm pretty sure what I downloaded was the repacked version that they put out in 2012.

But fuck man, this shits way better than the version Wilson put out in 2004. There's some true musical bliss going on. The original Surfs Up way better. I can't wait to dive into all of this.

 
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:57 PM   #6
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Cool.

Yea that 2004 thing is pretty weak. Like if Billy tried to re-do Machina like he said he wanted to

 
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:59 PM   #7
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Maybe soniclovenoize will see this soon and give you some more insight. He's the expert here. I got into this stuff through him.

 
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Old 07-12-2017, 10:32 PM   #8
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That'd be great. I'm a rather new fan, just sinking my teeth into all of this.

Slunk, have you read Mike Love and Brian Wilsons latest memoirs yet? I highly recommend em. Super entertaining.

Back to SMiLE though, this songs pure sonic bliss


 
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Old 07-12-2017, 10:51 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by slunken View Post
Cool.

Yea that 2004 thing is pretty weak. Like if Billy tried to re-do Machina like he said he wanted to
I dunno, the productions pretty lush. It's pretty well done for what it is . It's the version that I was listening to weeks before realizing there was a cohesive Beach Boys version released lol, so my opinion is a little skewed.

Man, can't stop listening to this


 
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Old 07-12-2017, 11:03 PM   #10
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I read the Wilson book but not the new mike love one.

 
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Old 07-13-2017, 08:14 AM   #11
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Hi.

The 2004 stuff and the first disc of the SMiLE Sessions is pretty great, but it's sort of a bastardization, in my opinion. It's not how the album was initially convinced in 1967, and the design of this modern configuration had a heavy hand by Darian Sahanaja, rather than Brian Wilson. If you like it, that's great. Lots of people do. I don't really.

Not trying to self promote, but let me offer you this:
http://albumsthatneverwere.blogspot....mile-1967.html

I have spent a long time researching this, and this is my attempt to reconstruct what SMiLE would have been like in 1967. It's a long read, but there's a lot of information there that should put the record more into perspective, that you might find interesting.

The key to remember is that the whole album was recorded in fragments, to be pieced together later (a la "Good Vibrations"). But unlike "Good Vibrations", Brian constantly changed his mind and saw different configurations of how the song should go, falling down the rabbit hole. "Heroes and Villains" has many different constructions itself, and you could literally make a 15 minute version of the song using everything he recorded for it (I've done it before, it ain't pretty!). Some songs were finished or pretty close to, but most weren't. In 2004 when they were picking up the pieces to finish it, the design was much different, and very much created to be an interesting live performance rather than seeing an album to completion as it would have been in 1967. I think it's great how timeless these recordings are, since we're still talking about them to this day. But I also believe in putting things in their historical perspective, and I think that's key to really appreciating SMiLE, remembering what was going on in music at the time it was created and when it was supposed to come out.

Anyways, yeah. Love this shit. I'll try not to hijack your thread.

Last edited by soniclovenoize : 07-13-2017 at 08:31 AM.

 
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Old 07-13-2017, 08:33 AM   #12
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Oh also, here's a super-secret upgrade to my SMiLE mix I made in 2015. No plans on uploading it ever to my blog, but I'll give it to you (and slunken). There's some key revisions I made, but not key enough to upgrade it officially on my blog for a third time.

 
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Old 07-13-2017, 08:46 PM   #13
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Fucking eh man. I'm just heading out, so I haven't had a chance to sink my teeth into this yet, But I look forward to reading the page and your mix just finished downloading and I threw it on my MP3 player. Gonna listen to it on my way out! I just wanted to pop in to say thanks!

You bring up an excellent point about the 2004 release though. It does seem like a simplified version and it makes sense that they'd release it before taking it on the road. While it is a great listen you can tell it's not exactly the masterpiece that it was intended to be.

Cheers

 
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Old 07-14-2017, 08:58 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzyroes View Post
Fucking eh man. I'm just heading out, so I haven't had a chance to sink my teeth into this yet, But I look forward to reading the page and your mix just finished downloading and I threw it on my MP3 player. Gonna listen to it on my way out! I just wanted to pop in to say thanks!

You bring up an excellent point about the 2004 release though. It does seem like a simplified version and it makes sense that they'd release it before taking it on the road. While it is a great listen you can tell it's not exactly the masterpiece that it was intended to be.

Cheers
Well, the opposite of this actually, the tour begat the album. As in, Brian was wrapping up his Pet Sounds tour, and they thought "How can we top that?" The answer was a SMiLE Tour, so they compiled a 45 minute set comprising of three suites of music, all from the aborted SMiLE album and surrounding mythos. That tour was such a success, they went in and made a studio version of it, and that is the album Brian Wilson Presents SMiLE.

 
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Old 07-14-2017, 09:04 AM   #15
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FUCKING EH MAN
lololo

 
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Old 07-14-2017, 10:52 AM   #16
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hot take: if smile came out today from some mid-list indie artist, no one would give a shit

 
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Old 07-14-2017, 11:19 AM   #17
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speaking of which, anyone heard of Make a Rising?

It's a band that sounds very inspired by SMiLE. really quite cool but no one seems to have heard of it

 
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Old 07-14-2017, 11:35 AM   #18
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Quote:
hot take: if smile came out today from some mid-list indie artist, no one would give a shit
that's also true about most of the beatles' records though. the times they are a-changin'

 
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Old 07-14-2017, 08:00 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by soniclovenoize View Post
Well, the opposite of this actually, the tour begat the album. As in, Brian was wrapping up his Pet Sounds tour, and they thought "How can we top that?" The answer was a SMiLE Tour, so they compiled a 45 minute set comprising of three suites of music, all from the aborted SMiLE album and surrounding mythos. That tour was such a success, they went in and made a studio version of it, and that is the album Brian Wilson Presents SMiLE.
Right right, that makes sense. But in his book he talked about how he always longed about making the album and how he was so happy to finally go back and finish it and how the 2004 version is the definitive version. So I'm not sure if it was completely driven by the tour... But the timing would at least suggest that it played a major role.

I love your mix though. I like it a lot more than the box-set release. I'm surprised how different it was. Gonna go now to check out the page on your blog to read all the details.

 
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Old 07-14-2017, 10:27 PM   #20
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Holy smokes man. I must've spent 45 minutes going over that blog entry and just letting all of the information sink in. I initially was just rocking your stereo mix, but I'm gonna give the mono a listen and throw it on my MP3 player too.

Hell of a good job!

 
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Old 07-14-2017, 10:29 PM   #21
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What I love about this album is that it's completely void of any pretension. I've read alot that they consciously decided to stay away from any of the British sounding stuff that was all the rage and they really did a fantastic job of it.

 
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Old 07-15-2017, 07:02 PM   #22
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Really, no one else here has any opinion on the album or SLN's mix? yet a thread about Arcade Fire is rolling with posts?

Come on guys

 
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Old 07-16-2017, 04:58 AM   #23
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is it 2006 again

 
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Old 07-16-2017, 01:42 PM   #24
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Right right, that makes sense. But in his book he talked about how he always longed about making the album and how he was so happy to finally go back and finish it and how the 2004 version is the definitive version. So I'm not sure if it was completely driven by the tour... But the timing would at least suggest that it played a major role.

I love your mix though. I like it a lot more than the box-set release. I'm surprised how different it was. Gonna go now to check out the page on your blog to read all the details.
Well, here's the problem:
1) there was absolutely no evidence that the original recordings were a) written as three thematic suites and b) were structured that way, and
2) He couldn't have fit three 15-minute suites on a single LP in 1967, nor were there any references to SMiLE as a 2LP

So the idea of SMiLE as a triple concept about Americana/Live Cycle/Elemental is a modern concept. I believe it was first brought up by author Domenic Priore who analyzed the songs in his 1988 book Look! Listen! Vibrate! Smile!, who made his own SMiLE tracklist based on that (all the Americana tracks on side A, all the Elemental tracks on side B). Since then, lots of people have just used Priore's idea as inspiration and did it too.

So when Darian Sahanaja helped Brian complete SMiLE for the purposes of the tour, it seemed to draw heavily on the ideas Priore put forth and organized the songs together by their theme. It's as if the SMiLE mythos that built up over 35 years actually informed how it ended up. Imagine if Corgan simply came here and read the Machina fan theories, and used them to make the double album Machina reissue. Would be kinda dumb, right? Remember that Brian went from refusing to even discuss any of these songs for twenty years, to Sahanaja forcing Brian to confront these demons. Brian has always been vague and rather short in interviews for the last 20 years, I find it rather unlikely that a 21st Century Brian Wilson is describing what he really had in mind for a project 40 years prior, in which was scrapped because he couldn't make up is mind initially.

So I don't believe the was a unifying concept--and especially three suites-- for SMiLE. I think Van Dyke Parks and Brian conscientiously wrote songs about the American West and American Imperialism (Heroes and Villains, Cabin Essence, Do You Like Worms), but also wrote songs not about that at all (Wonderful about female adolescence; Surf's Up autobiographical about Brian; Good Vibrations about telepathy; Vege-Tables literally about vegetables). It was just a collection of songs, some of which had a shared theme. We also have a source, in which VDP verified this, that SMiLE was to be 12 banded songs, without crossfades at all.

The observed "Elemental" theme was just a convenient "catch all" classification for the rest of the songs not about Americana. The original plan was The Elements was it's own song, and consisted of a four-part suite, each representing one of the fourth of the classical elements of earth, wind, water and fire. Sahanaja simply stretched this idea out to cover the remainder of the Smile set. Makes sense for that purpose, but the reality is no one knows what four pieces were to be The Elements, which is a whole 'nother story I could bore you with!

Last edited by soniclovenoize : 07-16-2017 at 01:56 PM.

 
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Old 07-16-2017, 02:00 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by fuzzyroes View Post
What I love about this album is that it's completely void of any pretension. I've read alot that they consciously decided to stay away from any of the British sounding stuff that was all the rage and they really did a fantastic job of it.
Brian, yes, undoubtedly unpretentious. He was trying to making cutting edge pop music but with a child-like innocence. Van Dyke Parks though wrote completely pretentious lyrics! But I think the juxtaposition of the innocence and pretension is what makes SMiLE magical.

 
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Old 07-16-2017, 09:44 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by soniclovenoize View Post
Well, here's the problem:
1) there was absolutely no evidence that the original recordings were a) written as three thematic suites and b) were structured that way, and
2) He couldn't have fit three 15-minute suites on a single LP in 1967, nor were there any references to SMiLE as a 2LP

So the idea of SMiLE as a triple concept about Americana/Live Cycle/Elemental is a modern concept. I believe it was first brought up by author Domenic Priore who analyzed the songs in his 1988 book Look! Listen! Vibrate! Smile!, who made his own SMiLE tracklist based on that (all the Americana tracks on side A, all the Elemental tracks on side B). Since then, lots of people have just used Priore's idea as inspiration and did it too.

So when Darian Sahanaja helped Brian complete SMiLE for the purposes of the tour, it seemed to draw heavily on the ideas Priore put forth and organized the songs together by their theme. It's as if the SMiLE mythos that built up over 35 years actually informed how it ended up. Imagine if Corgan simply came here and read the Machina fan theories, and used them to make the double album Machina reissue. Would be kinda dumb, right? Remember that Brian went from refusing to even discuss any of these songs for twenty years, to Sahanaja forcing Brian to confront these demons. Brian has always been vague and rather short in interviews for the last 20 years, I find it rather unlikely that a 21st Century Brian Wilson is describing what he really had in mind for a project 40 years prior, in which was scrapped because he couldn't make up is mind initially.

So I don't believe the was a unifying concept--and especially three suites-- for SMiLE. I think Van Dyke Parks and Brian conscientiously wrote songs about the American West and American Imperialism (Heroes and Villains, Cabin Essence, Do You Like Worms), but also wrote songs not about that at all (Wonderful about female adolescence; Surf's Up autobiographical about Brian; Good Vibrations about telepathy; Vege-Tables literally about vegetables). It was just a collection of songs, some of which had a shared theme. We also have a source, in which VDP verified this, that SMiLE was to be 12 banded songs, without crossfades at all.

The observed "Elemental" theme was just a convenient "catch all" classification for the rest of the songs not about Americana. The original plan was The Elements was it's own song, and consisted of a four-part suite, each representing one of the fourth of the classical elements of earth, wind, water and fire. Sahanaja simply stretched this idea out to cover the remainder of the Smile set. Makes sense for that purpose, but the reality is no one knows what four pieces were to be The Elements, which is a whole 'nother story I could bore you with!
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)

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?

Last edited by fuzzyroes : 07-16-2017 at 09:54 PM.

 
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Old 07-16-2017, 09:45 PM   #27
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hmm who knows more someone who invested 100s of hours into this or fuzzy who just first listened to it on tuesday

 
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Old 07-16-2017, 09:49 PM   #28
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Brian, yes, undoubtedly unpretentious. He was trying to making cutting edge pop music but with a child-like innocence. Van Dyke Parks though wrote completely pretentious lyrics! But I think the juxtaposition of the innocence and pretension is what makes SMiLE magical.
Lol that's definitely true. Lyrically there's some pretty out there stuff, but musically it wasn't trying to ride on the coattails of the British invasion or anything

 
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Old 07-16-2017, 09:52 PM   #29
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hmm who knows more someone who invested 100s of hours into this or fuzzy who just first listened to it on tuesday
Unnecessary Reprise. It's simply a thought that I don't recall addressed on his write-up. After all, that's part of the lore surrounding SMiLE, even with the 2 released versions there's still a lot of mystery surrounding the work.

 
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Old 07-16-2017, 10:22 PM   #30
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I heard Brian Wilson's SMiLE evolved dog teeth

 
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