Smile - WCapitol 1967 (2011)
"Smile" was in 1966 Brian Wilson's most ambitious project, and he wanted to create music that was as innovative as that of the Beatles - a group which he both admired and wished to match.
Wilson dropped tour-life to concentrate on writing and recording music, while the other Beach Boys occasionally came in the studio and recorded vocals on the new songs.
The amazing single "Good Vibrations" was an indication of directions Wilson's musical ideas took. The single became a huge hit and there were naturally great expectations for the album that would follow.
Unfortunately, Wilson broke down under the stress of the high expectations and his own ambtions before the album was completed. In fact, a cover drawn with a charming beautiful colorful front and a back side with a preliminary tracklist.
Some of the songs were practically finished, while others were under development when the project was dropped. However several of the Smile songs appeared on the next Beach Boys albums where the overall musical ambitions were lowered and the other Beach Boys began to take more part in the songwriting.
The best of these are now well known classics, especially "Heroes and Villains," "Surf's Up," "Wind Chimes" and "Vegetables."
In early 2000 years Brian Wilson re-recorded the Smile songs and also went on tour with them. Although these were fine and impressive performances, they also meant that the wishes the the original versions, with different beautiful Beach Boys voices, became even stronger.
This 2 CD version contains the versions of the many Smile recordings which Brian Wilson believes are the best. CD 1 contains the finished versions of the songs, or in some cases as finished as possible. CD 2 gives a little insight into the work in the studio, and numerous recordings and overdubs behind these contemporary loose shots.
Since there never was any final decision on tracklisting, anyone can try to put an album that may match or perhaps overpass the group's previous album "Pet Sounds" which is considered as the group's masterpiece. I have put such an album together which after the contemporary standards has14 songs and which lasts about 40 minutes. In fact, I think this "album" in respects in on the level of "Pet Sounds", which after all also does contain songs of lesser significance
Side one of this imaginary vinyl version looks like this: Side one 1. You're Welcome / 2. Good Vibrations / 3. Surf's Up / 4. Wonderful / 5. Cabin Essence / 6. Child Is Father Of The Mon 7. Look (Song For Children) - Side two 1. Our Prayer / 2.Heroes And Villains / 3 Holidays / 4. Wind Chimes / 5. Vega-Tables / 6. Gee / 7. Do You Like Worms (Roll Plymouth Rock).
I've played this compilation many times and am very satisfied with it, and I believe it would have received deserved recognition in its time, even if individual numbers may seem a little incomplete.
In any rate, this bunch of beautiful songs constitute an important part in music history.