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Are You Still Listening to Smile Sessions 5-CD boxset version?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Dandelion1967, Oct 2, 2020.

  1. Dandelion1967

    Dandelion1967 My Favourite Parks Are Car Parks Thread Starter

    For me, this is technical overkill, but I am fairly sure all of that is worth listening to at least once — if only to understand how much time, work, energy, and spirit had been invested in these creations.

    I believe, that this is one of the few albums that does merit a whole boxset of such length all to itself.

    "Smile" was such a fascinating project that even the demos and interrupted studio takes are exciting on their own, as you watch these songs unfurl before your eyes.
  2. tages

    tages Forum Resident

    I keep meaning to set aside a night to play the whole thing in the dark.

    I love the bits that I’ve heard. I’ve basically just played the vinyl a few times.

    My only issue is the missing vocal on “Do You Like Worms” - I know they never recorded one back in ‘66 but that melody line is so essential. Blew my mind when I saw Brian at the Royal Festival Hall and heard it for the first time.

    Also I would’ve loved a recreation of what the December 1966 version might’ve been. A 12 track version with actual gaps between the songs would be interesting.
    Mr.Sean, mpayan, tug_of_war and 4 others like this.
  3. Celebrated Summer

    Celebrated Summer Forum Resident

    No. Even as a Beach Boys fanatic, I don't find this period that interesting. What I enjoyed about the Beach Boys were the pop songs with great harmony, not experimental instrumental fragments. I think Brian should have gone solo with this stuff.

    What I do listen to all the time are the session tapes people put on YouTube that show the band working out songs like "When I Grow Up (To Be A Man)" and "Please Let Me Wonder" from start to finish.

    I also like the unofficial "Behind The Sounds" series, which shows how the songs from Pet Sounds came together. If someone did one of these videos for every song in the catalog 1961-1985, I'd probably listen to them all, but the SMiLE stuff gets me bored after a while.
    PB62 and ironbutterfly like this.
  4. willy

    willy hooga hagga hooga

    I have put the entire thing into an iTunes playlist and often have it on in the background as I’m working. A never ending “box of tricks”.

    Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks. The Beach Boys. SMiLE.
    trumpet sounds and Dandelion1967 like this.
  5. nicotinecaffeine

    nicotinecaffeine Forum Resident

    Walton, KY
    Every now and again. There's a few on there I could do without, but much of it I like.
    tug_of_war and Zappateer like this.
  6. Nosferatuz

    Nosferatuz Forum Resident

    I only own the single-disc version, but I enjoy it enough.
  7. Chemically altered

    Chemically altered Forum Resident

    In your mind
    Still? Always!
    Zappateer likes this.
  8. jconsolmagno

    jconsolmagno Forum Resident

    pittsburgh, pa
    No. I didn't find it all that much interesting unfortunately. Have the 5 cd mp3 and 2 lp vinyl.
  9. sixtiesstereo

    sixtiesstereo Senior Member

    To be honest, as a lifelong Beach Boys collector, I much prefer the "Pet Sounds Box" over
    this. Plus, on the Pet Sounds box, it was the first time we got a true stereo disc of the album.
    SMILE, to me, never had the big an impact on me. But, again, it's a personal preference.
  10. nosticker

    nosticker Forum Guy

    Ringwood, NJ
    I still put on my favorite bits from time to time. This period of BBs and Smiley Smile creeps out my gf, so I don't play it often. The only thing I avoid is the "recreation" of Smile, which was surprisingly disappointing, riddled with amateurish errors and poor judgment calls.

    lou likes this.
  11. Mr-Beagle

    Mr-Beagle Forum Resident

    Plague Island
    Played it once and put it away
    Rfreeman, sixtiesstereo and SteveM like this.
  12. Chemguy

    Chemguy Forum Resident

    More often than most albums or box sets in my collection.
    tug_of_war likes this.
  13. ceddy10165

    ceddy10165 My life was saved by rock n roll

    Avon, CT
    Yes! It’s a go-to for certain.
  14. Floatupstream

    Floatupstream Forum Resident

    Would love to have an official stereo release. Can’t fathom why this hasn’t happened yet.
    tug_of_war, Relikk and mark renard like this.
  15. nowyouknow

    nowyouknow Music addict

    Nice - France
    Along with Pet Sounds, one of the very best pop albums of the 60's. Sgt Peppers level and all. So yes. (I'm talking about the single CD version, i never cared for the bonus material).
  16. maui jim

    maui jim Forum Resident

    Select songs like Wind Chimes pop up on shuffle but as a whole,no not any longer.
    Two Sheds likes this.
  17. Two Sheds

    Two Sheds Care of Cell 44

    No, got bored with it quick. I also have the two-disc set, of which I only play disc 1 anymore. Having said that, I love disc 1 and play it at least once a year.
    Dandelion1967 likes this.
  18. Aftermath

    Aftermath Senior Member

    After I made my own version of the album from it, not really, but I do enjoy looking at the book that came with it
    Floatupstream and Jim Duckworth like this.
  19. Please elaborate on this.
  20. nosticker

    nosticker Forum Guy

    Ringwood, NJ
    Sure! She lumps all of that in together. That lots of it is sparsely produced, relentless Baldwin organ, even just Wind Chimes. The defense rests.

  21. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus

    I listen to the sessions about every two years, though iLIhave ordered the tracks chronologically, which tells a story in my opinion: of a brilliant album that got destroyed by Brian’s quest to make “Heroes and Villains” top “Good Vibrations.”

    various SMiLE versions, including my own, i listen to a few times per year. I love it.
    yesteryear, factory44, PB62 and 2 others like this.
  22. Zapruder

    Zapruder Just zis guy, you know?

    Des Moines, IA
    Really? Brian lost his marbles working on the mono mix initially and you can't imagine why they haven't attempted a stereo mix?
  23. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus

    Most of it has been released in stereo already. The music does not cause people to lose their marbles, that happened because Brian was mentally ill.
  24. Dandelion1967

    Dandelion1967 My Favourite Parks Are Car Parks Thread Starter

    So — always the tempting question — could the album, as it is now presented, be the supposed equivalent of Sgt. Pepper?

    Clearly, it would have been less accessible. There is simply too much going on here: with most of the songs consisting of several parts, plus additional instrumental links tying them together, the kaleidoscopic ambitiousness would have been too much for most people — at times, it seems as if Brian were competing not so much with Lennon/McCartney as he was with Frank Zappa.

    Sgt. Pepper cleverly knew where to stop; SMiLe knows no limits.
  25. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus

    Definitely less accessible.

    I think that the following songs: "Our Prayer", "Heroes and Villains," "Wonderful", "Wind Chimes", "Good Vibrations","The Elements: Fire", "Surf's Up", and "Cabin Essence" on a rarefied level of all-time classics that "A Day In the Life" from Sgt. Pepper is. Simply some of the greatest songs of the twentieth century.

    And "A Day in the LIfe" is by far the best song on Pepper.

    A song like "Vega-Tables" is about par with most of the songs on Sgt. Pepper's.

    Some of the songs like "Do You Like Worms" are unfinished, but they would probably fall into the first "masterpiece" category or the second tier, like "Vega-Tables".

    The in-between songs,though, the little snippets and half-baked ideas are, well, little snippets and half baked ideas; perhaps they might have worked a little as segues had the album been finished, but they are clearly fairly inconsequential, though some are more or less enjoyable.

    But for me, the 8 songs above are already better than 12/13ths of Sgt Pepper's, so I definitely like even unfinished SMiLE better -- but I agree it would never have been the blockbuster that Sgt Pepper turned out to be -- Sgt Pepper's is just a much, much, much more poppy, more commercial album which appeals to just about everyone and anyone.

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