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7 Years Later, is The Beach Boys Smile Sessions Box Set Worth it?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Spammers, May 12, 2018.

  1. Spammers

    Spammers Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    SF
    I’m going to be buying this album on vinyl soon. I’m curious if I should spend the extra money on the box? I don’t really listen to CD’s (but my dad could use them). I found a copy of the box that locally used for $80.

    Should I pay $50 more for the two books and the two 7” vinyls? Or stick with the standard 2Lp album. Thanks!
     
  2. Chemguy

    Chemguy Forum Resident

    It’s a great box. I play the vinyl almost exclusively now, so I am recommending that, minimum.

    Whichever you do, you must get it. Must.
     
  3. jwoverho

    jwoverho Senior Member

    Location:
    Mobile, AL USA
    If you’re a fan of the band or interested in Brian Wilson’s life it’s absolutely essential.
    The power of the music is there even in its fragmented state.
     
  4. mBen989

    mBen989 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scranton, PA
    Yes, absolutely.
     
    oldsurferdude and tug_of_war like this.
  5. jkauff

    jkauff Putin-funded Forum Troll

    Location:
    Akron, OH
    I think it depends on how big a SMiLE fan you are. I don't listen to the entire box much at all, but I'm very glad to have it because I never thought I'd ever see an official release of this stuff.

    Start with the LPs and see if you find yourself craving more.
     
  6. Spammers

    Spammers Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    SF
    I probably should have done this but after the first few comments here I went with the box set justifying it because I'll let my dad borrow the CD's. He'll enjoy it just as much as me. Looking forward to spinning it soon!
     
  7. Shaddam IV

    Shaddam IV Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ca
    Yes, but there could have been more stereo mixes on it.
     
  8. Psychedelic Good Trip

    Psychedelic Good Trip Senior Member

    Location:
    New York

    Enjoy.
     
    saborlord123 and Folknik like this.
  9. ceddy10165

    ceddy10165 My life was saved by rock n roll

    Location:
    Avon, CT
    The box set is essential to me.
     
  10. Shaddam IV

    Shaddam IV Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ca
    Also, it can be sampled on Spotify before you purchase.
     
    saborlord123, Folknik and Crimson jon like this.
  11. pool_of_tears

    pool_of_tears Rare Earth maven

    Location:
    Eastern Iowa
  12. Psychedelic Good Trip

    Psychedelic Good Trip Senior Member

    Location:
    New York
    A musical journey into the mind of Brian Wilson's genius.


    An Essential buy I must say!!
     
  13. Daniel Plainview

    Daniel Plainview God's Lonely Man

    Best boxed set I've ever bought, even with the Frankensteined Smile Suite on disc 1.
     
  14. Shaddam IV

    Shaddam IV Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ca
    Are you serious? "SMiLE" is ancient stuff, yesterday's news. Save your pennies for something a little more innovative and current, "The Beach Boys With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra", coming June 8th.

    Kidding.
     
  15. MHP

    MHP Lover of Rock ‘n Roll

    Location:
    DK
    Fortunately, there exists 4 different versions of the 'SMiLE Sessions', which quite perfectly captures the need of material, based on how 'hooked' you are for exploring the music.

    There is a 1 cd version with the facsimile of the album, plus a great selection of bonus tracks which gives you a little insight into what was also recorded at the sessions. This disc is excactly the same as disc one on the big boxed set.

    There is a 2 cd version with the above disc, plus another disc which explores the sessions deeper. This version also have the 'Heroes And Villains' proposed single versions, which only appears on the boxed set on vinyl.

    There is a 2 lp vinyl version with the facsimile of the album on the 3 first sides and then exclusive backing tracks and stereo mixes on side 4, all of which doesn't appear anywhere else.

    And then there is the big boxed set, which includes all of the above plus tons more.

    I would say the big box is only for the extremely hardcore fan. I love my big box, but frankly, the 2 disc version more than satisfy my needs.
     
  16. RickA

    RickA Love you forever Luke, we will be together again

    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    One of the best sets in my collection. Extremely few "unreleased" recordings actually exceed expectations upon release availability and here is one for sure! :righton:
     
  17. NUNZI

    NUNZI Forum Resident

    Seven years later and I STILL can't believe it was released on my lifetime.
    Answer : Yes
     
  18. Mylene

    Mylene Senior Member

    Most important boxset ever released and why I joined this forum.
     
  19. Pretty.Odd.

    Pretty.Odd. Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York, New York
    They were saving those for "Made In California"
     
    saborlord123, MRamble and Shaddam IV like this.
  20. wiseblood

    wiseblood Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston, MA, USA
    If you're hard core about the Beach Boys, you'll get sucked into this set in a big way. It's a rabbit hole that you won't easily escape, much like the Pet Sounds box. Just get it. You won't hate yourself on any level minus the time you might miss with your family because you want to keep listening and investigating.
     
  21. Shaddam IV

    Shaddam IV Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ca
    Yup.
     
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  22. C6H12O6

    C6H12O6 Senior Member

    Location:
    My lab
    For obsessives and scholars, I'd imagine so - it's basically a definitive reference. For everyone else, I'm not sure if it was ever worth owning the whole box set, but its definitely worth having the abridged version that has the closest thing to a finished album on the first disc.
     
    SteveM likes this.
  23. RockyRaccoon

    RockyRaccoon Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ohio
    Are all available vinyl editions in mono? I ask because on discogs they list the European release as stereo.
     
  24. coniferouspine

    coniferouspine Forum Resident

    It is probably my most-played Beach Boys item, when all is said and done. Perhaps even more than Pet Sounds.

    Another approach I'd really recommend, is to use the booklet and try listening to the box set in the chronological order of the sessions, but only do a couple of tracks a day, at first. That was how I listened to it for the first time, and it was pretty mind-blowing for a few days. Each day I would come home in the afternoon and fire up about 15-20-30 minutes' worth of new tracks, going chronologically to watch and hear it evolve, in the order the songs were recorded. By the time I got to the end, I played the "finished" first disc last, and it was really, really enjoyable listening experience, because I had been through all the component parts first, I felt like I knew it inside and out.
     
  25. Pretty.Odd.

    Pretty.Odd. Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York, New York
    the "album" itself is mono only, but some of the bonus stuff on the vinyl is in stereo
     

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