Smiley Smile – Beach Boys (1967)


Smiley Smile is the 12th studio album by American rock band the Beach Boys, released on September 18, 1967. It reached number 9 on UK record charts, but sold poorly in the US, peaking at number 41—the band’s lowest chart placement to that point. Critics and fans generally received the album with confusion and disappointment. Only one single was issued from Smiley Smile: ‘Heroes and Villains‘. ‘Good Vibrations‘ and ‘Gettin’ Hungry‘ were also released, but the former was issued a year earlier, while the latter was not credited to the band. Conceived as a simplified version of their then-forthcoming Smile—a much more elaborately constructed LPSmiley Smile contrasts significantly with its stripped-down approach and lo-fi production. Following principal songwriter Brian Wilson‘s declaration that most of the original Smile tapes were off-limits, the majority of recording sessions lasted for only six weeks at his makeshift home studio using what was predominantly radio broadcasting equipment, a detuned piano, electronic bass, melodica, found objects for percussion, and a Baldwin theater organ. The unconventional recording process juxtaposed an experimental party-like atmosphere with short pieces of music edited together in a disjointed manner, combining the engineering methods of ‘Good Vibrations’ with the loose feeling of their 1965 album Beach Boys’ Party!. Carl Wilson famously compared the end result to ‘a bunt instead of a grand slam‘. From 1966 to 1967, Smile was repeatedly delayed as the Beach Boys were subject to a considerable level of media hype amid press coverage that proclaimed Brian as a ‘genius’. When the group dropped out of headlining the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967, they began to be derided by a contingent of the rock press as the archetypal “pop music cop-outs”. … Smiley Smile opened a seven-year string of under-performing Beach Boys albums, but has since grown in stature to become a cult and critical favorite in the Beach Boys’ oeuvre. Its music is often cited for having positive effects during an LSD comedown, and was used by at least one drug clinic to help relieve users from bad trips. … Some session highlights from the album are featured on the compilations The Smile Sessions (2011) and 1967 – Sunshine Tomorrow (2017). …”
W – Smiley Smile, W – Smile (The Beach Boys album), W – The Smile Sessions
W – Collapse of Smile
1 THE BEACH BOYS – SMILE, Recorded 1966, Los Angeles – now mostly released as The Smile Sessions (Video)
Smiley Smile – YouTube: Good Vibrations, Smiley Smile 12 videos
Bootleg, SMiLE – YouTube: Surf’s Up, She’s Goin’ Bald
The Smile Sessions – YouTube: The Smile Sessions 28 videos
YouTube: Learning to SMiLE – The Beach Boys and Brian Wilson Documentary, Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks talk about SMILE

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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