Beach Boys - Smiley Smile (1967)

Posted by Amelia Swhizzagers On 1:25 AM

After "Good Vibrations" topped the singles charts in late 1966, the reported Smile project was eagerly anticipated. However, in May 1967, the album was cancelled, and The Beach Boys pulled out of their headlining spot at the Monterey Pop Festival. The original project (which took longer to record than any other Beach Boys album) was scrapped. Cut largely at Brian Wilson's new home studio in Bel Air during June and July, the album includes alternate versions of songs originally intended for Smile ("Heroes and Villains", "Wind Chimes", "Vegetables", and "Wonderful") and quickly recorded new material. Only "Good Vibrations" appears in its original version. "Good Vibrations" was included to help bolster sales, even though Brian was strongly against its inclusion.

When Smiley Smile was finally released in September, after months of hype, its critical reception was unenthusiastic, peaking at only #41 in the US. Its commercial reception a few months later in the UK was better; it reached #9 on British charts. Carl Wilson is reported to have called it "a bunt instead of a grand slam" comparing Smiley Smile to the much-fabled unreleased album that it eventually replaced.

Smiley Smile is generally considered the most controversial Beach Boys album; many fans consider it a massive failure while others consider it among the most distinctive albums of the sixties. Pete Townshend of The Who is a known admirer of the record.

Smiley Smile marked the beginning of the end of Brian Wilson as the creative leader of The Beach Boys. Although the album was mostly produced by him, the production was for the first time credited to the group. The following years and albums had Wilson less and less involved in music production. It would not be until 1976's 15 Big Ones that Wilson was credited as producer.
1. Heroes & Villains
2. Vegetables
3. Fall Breaks and Back To Winter (W. Woodpecker Symphony)
4. She's Goin' Bald
5. Little Pad
6. Good Vibrations
7. With Me Tonight
8. Wind Chimes
9. Wonderful
10. Whistle In

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