Too late by 35 years! I wonder how much greater the influence and interest would be if Brian had been able to finish this album before his problems peaked. It will probably be enjoyable, but unfortunately, it will be as if the album were transported 35 years into the future, and will undoubtedly not have the same impact that it would have had were the release not "shifted in time". I am hoping the reported "lost" extended version of "Heroes and Villains" has been found!
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Tagyerit, sorry I misread your post. I didn't realize that it had been released yet. I saw an article about it on the news, and I assumed that you were asking about the IMPENDING release. Mea Culpa. So what is it like? Did Brian use any stuff from the old masters, or is it totally new recordings using his old concept. I know that this was to supposed to be the follow-up to "Pet Sounds" and originally scheduled to be released back in 1969 or 1970...the Beach Boys' answer to "Sgt. Pepper's". I'd like to know more!
Guys, I gotta say...I was never a huge Beach Boys fan, and Mike Love's current pukefest makes me ill. I have however always respected Brian Wilson.
Well, yesterday I bought "Smile" and I've been- well- smiling with every listen. The sound quality is very good, Van Dyke Parks' lyrics paint a vivid image, and Brian Wilson's music adds a deep, complex soundscape. Tracks 6-10 are incredible. Beautiful.
If you listen closely, you'll hear many things going on all at once- ala Pet Sounds.
If Mr. Wilson's legacy wasn't secure before, I believe it is now. If I were you, I'd buy Smile.
mr parrot, Danlib1 speaks the truth. it is a beautiful and brilliant work; and quite timeless. has to rank with the great "long" American pieces(gershwin, bernstein, copeland) and certainly also places in the top 5 rock/pop albums of all time. it was hard to listen to much else yesterday; had to finally put on the "stack o vocals" tracks from the pet sounds box. That worked! Danlib1, if you've never heard these you might be moved by them also. it's the vocals only tracks from the pet sounds sessions box and is an amazing listen imho.
Fantastic album, well worth the wait. Too bad it will not have the impact that it should've had all those years ago. Good listening session of Smile, Orange Crate Art, Imagination, Pet Sounds and finally Sgts. Peppers last night. They don't make 'em like they used to, except for Brian. By the by, it's in HDCD.
It turns out to be quite a complex recording process. The basic instrument tracks were recorded thru a custom mixer (tube?) at 24/88 directly in ProTools. The converters were Apogee. With the exception of the bass tracks, no compressors were used. The vocal tracks were recorded via an API mixer (solid state) into ProTools using both solid state and tube mic preamps and tube (Fairchild) compressors. Mix down was a combination of ProTools and the API with both hardware and software effects. dCS converters were used during the mix.
Here's a link to the article containing the complete details in EQ Magazine.
To offer a dissent, I'm still not very keen on it. It's very impressive in parts, but much of it comes across as a series of vignettes, or sometimes even novelty pieces. I'm finding too much artifice and not enough flow, which makes it very different from Pet Sounds. But I'm keeping my mind open for now.
I'm feeling like Jayboard. I'm listening to it right now, and this would be about the 5th or 6th time through, and it's just not sinking in. I've nothing negative to say about it, and I do think the tracks form a cohesive whole. I remember Pete Townshend talking about "Tommy" and stressing that the 3-minute pop song had to stand on its own within this "opera" concept. I think Brian was trying with "Smile" exactly what Pete feared wouldn't work. You have to admire Brian for doing it his way, nevertheless.
Showtime has a TV special titled "Beautiful Dreamer: Brian Wilson and the Story of Smile". I watched it on DVD last night, and it's a fascinating look at Brian, some history of the Beach Boys, and the development of Smile in 1967 to it's completion in 2001.
A few of the Showtime DVDs are available on E-Bay.