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Brian Wilson Audio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 48.95
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Product Details

1. Our Prayer/Gee
2. Heroes and Villians
3. Roll Plymouth Rock
4. Barnyard
5. Old Master Painter/You are My Sunshine
6. Cabin Essence
7. Wonderful
8. Song For Children
9. Child is Father of the Man
10. Surf's Up
11. I'm in Great Shape/I Wanna Be Around/Workshop
12. Vega-Tables
13. On a Holiday
14. Wind Chimes
15. Mrs. O'Leary's Cow
16. In Blue Hawaii
17. Good Vibrations

Product Description


The Greatest Album That Never Was finally is. The Beach Boys' uncompleted 1967 album Smile has remained the elusive touchstone of Brian Wilson's brilliant, star-crossed career for decades. Artistic Holy Grail and troubling professional Waterloo for Wilson, a tantalizing prism of unfulfilled promise to his loyal cadre of fans, its story has become pop music's Rashomon. Finally completed via spring 2004 recordings with his stellar, longtime touring band (none of the original '60s sessions were used, though they've been recreated here with often stunning authenticity), it's arguably as alien to contemporary pop as it might have seemed in its intended '67 context--even to ears freshly primed by the glories of Pet Sounds.

Collaborator Van Dyke Parks's impressionistic, often mischievous lyrics conjure a collage of arcane 19th century Americana that's equal parts artful ellipse and aloof nostalgia. But wed to Wilson's innovative composition and recording techniques (echoing beat author William Burroughs's fabled cut 'n' paste methodology and exemplified by the modular "Good Vibrations"), the resulting semisuite confections challenge the boundaries of both song and album form, but with an insouciant charm that's as different from Pet Sounds as that landmark was from "I Get Around." Turns out those hypothetical comparisons to Sgt. Pepper's weren't so far off the mark. --Jerry McCulley

Smiling with Brian
Amazon.com Music Editor Peter Hilgendorf called Brian Wilson to congratulate him on the release of Smile, and to talk about the recording and some of the history behind this highly anticipated release. Listen now.

Catch Up with Brian Wilson and the Legend of Smile:
Here are a few lists to help unravel the stories and sounds of Smile.

Product Description

Bass Guitar, Other [Beret] - Bob Lizik Drums, Percussion [Mallets], Saw, Effects [Sound Fx] - Jim Hines Strings, Horns - Stockholm Strings 'n' Horns Vocals, Guitar, Brass, Theremin [Tannerin], Whistle - Probyn Gregory Vocals, Guitar, Other [Eye-patch, Carrots] - Nick Walusko Vocals, Guitar, Other [Hammer] - Jeffrey Foskett Vocals, Keyboards, Percussion [Mallets], Guitar - Scott Bennett Vocals, Keyboards, Percussion [Mallets], Other [Drill, Secretary] - Darian Sahanaja Vocals, Other [Power Drill, Leg-slap] - Taylor Mills Vocals, Percussion, Whistle, Other [Celery] - Nelson Bragg Woodwind, Saxophone, Harmonica, Conductor [Semi-conductor] - Paul Mertens

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SMiLE develops a new life Oct. 5 2004
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Ever since the SMiLE project was shelved in the first days of Brian's self-admitted "defeat" against the Beatles and their successful "Sgt. Pepper" experiment, people have spent hours trying to figure out the foreseen final product. And up until late 2003, most everyone was convinced the final product would never be heard. In an amazing coup de grace that can nearly be credited as one of the signs of the Apocalypse (as such is its improbability), bandleader Darius Sahajana ultimately convinced Brian to complete the SMiLE project... simply by asking him why it was never completed.
To have predicted the structure of the first official SMiLE release would have been to forget that it was ever intended for single-LP release. For starters, the album is divided into not two, but _three_ suites: the "Americana" and "Elements" sections have now been trimmed to bookend a third, 10-minute, "Cycle of Life" section incorporating Wonderful, Song for Children (aka "Look"), Child is Father of the Man, and Surf's Up. (All three sections sound complete, in case you're wondering.) Second, new lyrics (and, at times, new song titles) fit in perfectly with the ones we've been hearing (and reading, in the case of certain pieces whose vocal tracks were never recorded), which is no mean feat when you consider some of them were completed thirty years after the fact. And one cannot be sure which is more surprising: the inclusion of "Good Vibrations" (aka the million-selling hit that was not conceived for SMiLE), or its inclusion as the programme finale (with alternate lyrics, to boot).
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the wait Sept. 30 2004
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
You know when something is hyped and hyped and hyped and mysterious and then it suddenly happens, and it sucks? (ie The Phantom Menace - sorry, George). Well, Smile is the complete opposite of that. Smile makes Pet Sounds, supposedly one of the greatest albums of all time, look like a warm up.

The three main songs on it, people have known for decades - Heroes and Villains, Surf's Up, and of course, Good Vibrations. What's been created now are three fifteen minute "mini symphonies" built around each song - the album can be looked at as 17 songs, or 3 big songs. It's incredible. Sounds are flying in from everywhere, constantly, I can't imagine how long it took to mix this thing. And I was skeptical - they rerecorded everything, with Brian on main lead - and I've heard Brian lately, his voice is shot. But on this album, he makes it work - he sounds just like he did in the 60's. This was incredible. I want to tell the world everyone must own a copy, before you listen to anything. It sound be handed out in Grade 1.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Album of the Year Sept. 29 2004
By F.W.M.
Format:Audio CD
Not just album of the year, but one of the 20 best of all time. It ranks up there with Pet Sounds. What an amazing and wonderous journey, absolutely outstanding. I am not going into Smile's long and convoluted history, but it would have been mindblowing in 1966/67 and still is today.I have been fortunate enough to have had most of the available Smile session outtakes for years and have always been totally enthralled and enchanted with this music. Brian has done his legacy justice and now the whole world knows what was missed in 1966/67. It is wonderfull to have the completed lyrics and for the most part, the conventially accepted sequencing of the songs. Brian has changed a couple of the song titles, but the music is all there. He has remained fairly faithful to the original musical arrangements. My only minor quibble is that he should have tagged on You're Welcome to the end of Good Vibrations.This CD is a must buy for anyone even slightly interested in classic 60's pop.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rivals Pet Sounds Oct. 4 2004
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The wait has been worth it. Finally, Brian Wilson has completed the project with his new band and the wait was worth it. I hope this album will propel Brian back to the top of the charts.
The new band does a great job, much better than if Brian and the band were slowed down by the remaining Beach Boy (Mike Love), who would have wanted to change it. It was Love and the other Beachboys who ridiculed this project so much, that Brian turned away from it.
Good Vibrations, Heroes and Villans, Surf's Up, and Wind Chimes are my favourites. Brian's voice hasn't sounded this good in years and the band backing him up is beyond belief.
A worthwile album to own by one of the true genius of the music world.
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By Mike London TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Rock's most famous unfinished album, SMiLe, Brian Wilson's followup to the critically acclaimed album PET SOUNDS, has long haunted fans and critics alike" Often considered the ultimate answer to the OTHER record of 1967, The Beatles' SGT PEPPER, SMiLe never quite made it to the store shelves. Wilson had a nervous breakdown, he was on too many drugs, the Beach Boys (in particular Mike Love) didn't want to do the record, and he was growing progressively paranoid. The collapse of the SMiLe sessions is well documented. The record has entered into the rock canon as one of the most illusive albums ever.

Brian Wilson had developed some astonishing production techniques, and constructed the landmark single "Good Vibrations" out of a production style he called modular recording. He planned to follow up "Good Vibrations" with an entire album of suite songs in similar, using American culture and history as its foundation. His plan was to construct a `teenage symphony to God." With all that baggage, it's not hard to see why the project never made it out of the gates.

Reading stories of Wilson during the 1960s shows his grip on reality wasn't exactly strong (that can be said of several artistic giants). During the Elemental Suite, he made the musicians wear fire hats, and was convinced the cause of several fires around the studio originated because his song, "Mrs. O'Leary's Cow" was sending out bad vibrations. Do to the increasingly prevalent drug intake, pressure from Capitol, his own quickly deteriorating mental condition, and the antagonism the Beach Boys directed to the project, by the summer of 1967 Brian Wilson abandoned SMiLe, seemingly permanently. Whenever asked about it in ensuing years, Wilson would have nothing to do with it, saying SMiLe was inappropriate music.
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars SMILE? Frown .... is more like it.
Die hard fans will not appreciate my opinion but I found this CD tedious from beginning to end.

This product does not hold up to the test of time as well as any release... Read more
Published on Nov. 21 2009 by Frederic White
5.0 out of 5 stars smile - pitchforkmedia
Finally: After 35 years, Brian Wilson solves the Smile puzzle, piecing together the fragments that fans have spent the last 3' decades meticulously researching, speculating over,... Read more
Published on Jan. 18 2008 by T. Bigney
5.0 out of 5 stars This album/cd is a MUST own for any MUSIC Lover
In 1967 when Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys failed to release SMiLE ... the face of music was deprived of a REAL guiding light. Read more
Published on Sept. 15 2007 by Lee Marshall
5.0 out of 5 stars chef d'oeuvre pop
Si vous avez aimé PET SOUNDS et avez aprécié ses arrangements instrumentaux et vocals sophistiqués vous adorerez cet album. Read more
Published on Dec 13 2004 by andre michaud
3.0 out of 5 stars Lacks the soul of greatness.
The big problem is this album has been released now and not then. As of now this album is no big deal and by no means nowhere near enough meat to justify the reviews. Read more
Published on Nov. 23 2004 by Andrew Pen
5.0 out of 5 stars Beatiful Work
Brian Wilson is a genius. This is a beautifuly crafted piece of music. From the beginning to the end, it fills you with a sense of happiness and optimism. Read more
Published on Nov. 4 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! Just... Wow!
I had to listen to SMiLE just twice to make sure that I had actually heard this exquisite, breathtaking work of art. Read more
Published on Oct. 20 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliance
The album took 37 years to be released, so you know it is good. :)
As far as the guy from Calgary saying he'll never buy another album again .. Read more
Published on Oct. 15 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars Smile
This is the worst music I have ever listened to. It is no wonder that record companies are losing sales, I will never buy another CD again after being ripped off yet again.
Published on Oct. 13 2004 by Shaun Mesher
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you so much Brian!
This album is truly a masterpiece. I had tears in my eyes while I listened to it the first time. I keep playing it over and over, and will be enjoying this one for years to... Read more
Published on Oct. 7 2004 by Some Lloyd in Canada
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