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November 4, 2011

A Reason to SMiLE

The greatest rock and roll album never completed was The Beach Boys SMiLE.  Recorded shortly after the groundbreaking Pet Sounds album in 1966, it found lead Beach Boy and legendary composer Brian Wilson (at only 24) at the peak of his creative prowess merging his Southern California branded popular music into new and abstract sonic territories.  

With mounted pressure to repeat the success of Pet Sounds, Wilson ventured into new directions in composition, process and technique.  According to Wilson, the music “was ahead of its time” and sadly it was his nervous breakdown during the sessions that led to the work never being fully realized…with the exception of a few choice hits like “Good Vibrations” and “Surf’s Up.”

On November 1st and 44 years later, the long awaited SMiLE sessions have officially been released with Wilson’s blessing for all to finally appreciate.  Capitol Records has issued several collector sets of the material but we recommend the basic 2-CD set entitled The SMiLE Sessions (Deluxe Edition) which offers two discs of the main songs and musical themes Wilson and company originally recorded – warts and all.  Wilson was indeed pushing the boundaries of pop music of the day and that’s exactly what you’ll hear on this set – a musical genius testing the limits and sculpting his music into new and unusual shapes. Listen to Brian Wilson perform “Surf’s Up” taken from The SMiLE Sessions. – JV

Click here to listen to Jazz Online’s favorite moments
from The Beach Boys’ SMiLE Sessions via Spotify.

The SMiLE Sessions (Deluxe Edition)
Brian Wilson

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