For decades, the follow up to The Beach Boys brilliant Pet Sounds was one of rock and roll’s best urban legends. Sure they eventually threw up their hands and released the so-so album Smiley Smile in 1967, but there was always talk of what was almost released. A sonically-layered masterpiece, bootlegs dripped out in the years that followed and in 1993, Brian Wilson finally released, a newly recorded version of the Smile as it was originally intended (but it still wasn’t the original record was the classic Beach Boys line up).
Now Capitol Records is finally offering fans the Holly Grail: the original Smile Sessions. Recorded between 1966 and ’67, this version of is culled from the original master tapes (not re-recordings like the ’93 version). Spread over two CDs, it includes a collection of core session tracks (40 in all) and plenty of demos and alternate takes. There is also a massive box set available that includes five CDs, two LPs and two 7″ singles. The between takes banter offers curious insight into the making of a classic album.
It took More than 40 years, but the long fabled record is finally here and it was worth the wait.
The Beach Boys –Smile Sessions (CD) /2 CDs / 40 Tracks / 2011 Capitol