Smile (The Beach Boys album)
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Planned LP cover, with Frank Holmes artwork and "Duophonic stereo" banner on top.
|Aborted album by The Beach Boys|
|Recorded||February 17, 1966 – May 19, 1967|
|Genre||Americana, psychedelic rock, baroque pop, avant-garde|
|The Beach Boys recording chronology|
Smile (occasionally typeset with partial capitalization as SMiLE) is a partially recorded concept album by the Beach Boys originally intended to be the follow-up album to Pet Sounds. Due to circumstance, Beach Boys leader Brian Wilson abandoned large portions of the session output he recorded from May 1966 to May 1967 and recorded the wildly different Smiley Smile album in its place. During the years Smile remained unavailable, it had come to be regarded as the most famous unreleased album of all time.
The project was re-imagined and released by Wilson in 2004 as Brian Wilson Presents Smile though Wilson himself has stated that the Smile of 2004 differed substantially from what the Smile of the mid-1960s would have been. During the 37 years from its cancellation to the release of Wilson's version, Smile had acquired considerable mystique, and bootlegged tracks from the album circulated widely among Beach Boys collectors. Many of the tracks which were originally recorded for Smile eventually found their way onto subsequent Beach Boys albums.
On October 31, 2011, The Smile Sessions was released featuring an approximation of what the completed album may have sounded like, the first disc being reconstructed to largely follow the template of the 2004 Brian Wilson album. Along with this approximation, a sequence of completed surviving recordings, along with many unreleased session highlights and outtakes were made available through a box-set. It received unanimous critical acclaim. In 2012, it was ranked number 381 in Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list. In 2013, it won the Best Historical Album award at the 55th Grammy Awards.
The genesis of Smile was laid during the recording of Pet Sounds. On February 17, 1966, during the sessions for Pet Sounds, Brian Wilson started work on a new single, "Good Vibrations". Seventeen recording sessions took place over four studios at a figure reputed to have cost more than $50,000, making "Good Vibrations" the most expensive and complex pop recording of its time. "Good Vibrations" was created by an unprecedented recording technique: nearly 30 minutes of seemingly unrelated musical sections were recorded, then spliced together and reduced into a three-minute pop song. The song quickly became the band's biggest international hit yet, rising to number one in over half a dozen countries, including both Britain and the United States. Smile was intended to be an entire album produced in a similar fashion.
Crucial to the inception and creation of Smile was Wilson's meeting with musician Van Dyke Parks in February 1966. They had been introduced to each other by mutual friend Terry Melcher and became acquainted. Parks would often visit Wilson's home while he was working on Pet Sounds. When Wilson realized that Parks had an unusually elastic manner of speaking, he asked him if he could write lyrics for "Good Vibrations". Parks declined for the reason that he thought there was nothing he could offer the track.
In an October 1966 interview, Brian Wilson quipped that the Beach Boys' next project was to be "a teenage symphony to God". His plan was to take his work on Pet Sounds to a new level, with an album-length suite of specially-written songs which were both thematically and musically linked, and would be recorded using the unusual sounds and innovative production techniques which had contributed to the successes of the "Good Vibrations" single.
Wilson invited Parks to write lyrics for the new album in the spring of 1966, when the project was provisionally being called Dumb Angel. This time, Parks agreed to write the lyrics, and the two quickly formed a close and fruitful working relationship. In preparation for the writing and recording of the album, Wilson purchased several thousand dollars worth of marijuana and hashish and famously installed a sandbox and hotboxing tent in his home.
Original themes and ideas 
Several key features of Smile are generally acknowledged: both musically and lyrically, Wilson and Parks intended Smile to be explicitly American in style and subject, a direct reaction to the overwhelming British dominance of popular music at the time. It was supposedly conceived as a musical journey across America from east to west, beginning at Plymouth Rock and ending in Hawaii, as well as traversing some of the great themes of modern American history and culture, including the impact of white settlement on native Americans, the influence of the Spanish, the Wild West, and the opening up of the country by railroad and highway.
It was around this period that Brian Wilson read Arthur Koestler's book, The Act of Creation. The book had a profound effect on him that carried onto the Smile project, specifically the human logistics of laughter. As a consequence, the Smile songs are replete with word play, puns and double entendres. One example is "Vega-Tables", which includes the lines "I'm gonna do well, my vegetables, cart off and sell my vegetables"; the phrase "...cart off and..." is a bilingual pun on the word Kartoffeln, which is German for potatoes. At one stage, Wilson apparently toyed with the idea of expanding Smile to include an additional "humor" record, and a number of the scrapped recordings were made in this vein. The idea would later be expounded on the Smiley Smile track "She's Goin' Bald", a reworking of an earlier Smile track known as "He Gives Speeches".
Smile also drew heavily on American popular music of the past; Wilson's original compositions were interwoven with snippets of significant songs of yesteryear, including "The Old Master Painter" (made famous by Peggy Lee), the perennial "You Are My Sunshine", Johnny Mercer's jazz standard "I Wanna Be Around" (recorded by Tony Bennett), the song "Gee" by noted 1950s doo-wop group The Crows, as well as quotations from other pop-culture reference points, such as the Woody Woodpecker theme and "Twelfth Street Rag".
Wilson's experiments with LSD were undoubtedly a significant influence on the texture and structure of the work, and one of the strongest intellectual influences on his thinking at this time was his friend Loren Schwartz, who is said to have introduced Brian to both marijuana and LSD. Writer Bill Tobelman suggests that Smile is filled with coded references to Brian's life and his recent LSD experiences (a presumed Lake Arrowhead, California "trip" being the most important). He also argues it was heavily influenced by Wilson's interest in Zen philosophy — notably the Zen technique of using absurd humor and paradoxical riddles (the koan) to liberate the mind from preconceptions — and that Smile as a whole can be interpreted as an extended Zen koan.
Recording process 
Sample of "Child Is Father of the Man" from The Smile Sessions (2011). In it, Brian Wilson chose a pulsating muted trumpet to evoke the sound of baby's cry, a method that would have been associated with impressionist music. The guitarist in this excerpt was also instructed to strum in a rockabilly fashion, giving the piece a very dynamic contrast. During Smile vocal sessions, The Beach Boys also experimented with ricocheting vocal jazz harmony parts atypical for anything in popular music at the time.
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Between April and September 1966 Wilson and Parks co-wrote a number of songs in the sandbox. Of these, they were "Surf's Up", "Heroes and Villains", "Wonderful", "Cabin Essence" and "Wind Chimes". Wilson removed the sandbox installation once he realized his pets were using it as a litter box.
Recording for the new LP—now officially named Smile—began in August 1966 and continued in earnest until mid-December. Conflicts arose around this time, temporarily halting work on the album, although sessions resumed in January and continued through the first few months of 1967.
Studio techniques 
Brian Wilson developed his innovative production methods over several years. In this period, it was still common for mainstream pop recordings to be recorded live in the studio in a single take, but Wilson quickly developed a more modular approach that relied on recent advances in recording technology, using both 4-track and the newer 8-track audio recorders. As well as using multitrack tape to build up layers of elaborate overdubs, from 1964 Wilson also began to use tape editing to craft his master recordings. Initially this was done in order to splice short, hard-to-sing vocal sections into the beginnings or endings of previously recorded songs, but by the time of the Summer Days album in 1965 he was becoming more adventurous in his use of splicing - an example is the short a cappella album track "And Your Dreams Come True", which was in fact recorded in several sections, each a few bars long, which were then carefully edited together to create the final composite master.
Wilson perfected his "classic" production technique with the recording of Pet Sounds during 1965 and 1966. He produced the tracks for Pet Sounds in two major blocks — while the rest of the group were away on tour, he recorded the elaborate instrumental backing tracks using an informal "band" of first-call Los Angeles session players referred to as "The Wrecking Crew"; the basic tracks were typically recorded live in a single take onto a 4-track recorder, and these tapes were used to create a full set of finished backing tracks from the various 4-track work parts, which were assembled onto an 8-track tape and then mixed down in mono onto one track of a second 8-track tape. When the rest of the group returned from touring, Wilson then recorded the group vocals, using the then-novel technique of assigning each backing voice onto its own track on a second 8-track tape, with the remaining eighth track left 'open' for additional "sweetening" vocal or instrumental overdubs. Wilson's approach was in some respects a refined interpretation of the famous "Wall of Sound" technique created by his former mentor and self-professed rival Phil Spector.
With "Good Vibrations", Wilson took this modular approach to recording further, experimenting with compiling the finished track by editing together the numerous sections from multiple versions recorded at the lengthy tracking sessions. Instead of taping each backing track as a more-or-less complete performance (as had been the model for previous Beach Boys recordings) he split the arrangement into sections, recording multiple takes of each section and developing and changing the arrangements and the production as the sessions proceeded. He sometimes recorded the same section at several different studios, to exploit the unique sonic characteristics or special effects available in each. Then, he selected the best performances of each section and edited these together to create a composite which combined the best features of production and performance. The resulting final mix broke new ground in popular recording, since each section of the song was presented in its own distinct sonic 'envelope', rather than the homogeneous production sound of a conventional "one take" studio recording.
Wilson continued these patterns with the songs on Smile. Working mainly at United Western Recorders in the same small recording studio (No.3) where the backing tracks for Pet Sounds were mainly recorded (so he could work with his favorite engineer, Chuck Britz) and sometimes Gold Star Studios in Los Angeles, he began a long and complex series of sessions (approximately 50 overall, not including the 17 sessions needed for Good Vibrations) in late 1966 that continued until early 1967. He also used Sunset Sound Studios and Columbia Studios on Sunset Boulevard. Columbia Studios had the only 8-track audio recorder available amongst the major recording studios at the time, so as was the case for Pet Sounds, the vocal sessions for Smile were usually done at Columbia.
Sample of "Heroes and Villains: Part I" from The Smile Sessions (2011). Brian Wilson attempted countless mixes and arrangements of "Heroes and Villains" using inventive modular recording methods that were highly reminiscent of musique concrète. In this thirty-second excerpt, tape splices are executed every six seconds on average.
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Many of the shorter tracks, along with many other brief instrumental and vocal pieces, were evidently intended to serve as bridging sections that would have been edited in to provide links between the major songs. The cut-up structure and heavily edited production style of Smile was unique for its time in mainstream popular music, and it suggests that Brian was aware of the techniques of musique concrète and the usage of chance operations in making art — an approach which, according to musicologist Ian MacDonald, was also exerting a strong influence on the Beatles at this point.
Although stereo recording was increasingly popular, Wilson always made his final mixes in mono, as did rival producer Phil Spector. Wilson did so for several reasons—he personally felt that mono mixing provided more sonic control over what the listener heard, minimizing the vagaries of speaker placement and sound system quality. It was also motivated by the knowledge that pop radio broadcast in mono, and most domestic and car radios and record players were monophonic. Another more personal reason for Wilson's preference was deafness in his right ear.
Tracks and sequencing 
The most ambiguous and least realized parts of the 1966 Smile concept was its ambitious narrative, length, track listing, and track order. The material recorded was set to be divided into a then-undecided number of musical suites or movements. Brian Wilson has stated that the exact running order was not decided in 1967 and that the original Smile would have been "less uplifting" than his finished 2004 version.
Given the technical limitations of record production in 1967 and the sheer bulk of material that was being recorded, Wilson recorded far more music than could possibly have fit on one LP. At the time, the album was only ever envisaged as being a single LP.
The 2011 release of the The Smile Sessions compilation proved conclusively that virtually all the musical "components" used to create Wilson's 2004 version of Smile are present in one form or another among the original 1967 recordings. The intended track order and arrangement of the various songs, segments, and link pieces remains either inconclusive or forgotten among the people involved.
Main Smile suite 
The primary track of this suite was to be "Heroes and Villains", and the considerable time and effort that Wilson devoted to it is indicative of its importance, both as a single and as part of Smile. Sessions for the various versions and sections extended from May 1966 to July 1967; there are dozens of takes of each section of the song and multiple versions of both the variant sections and the various attempted final mixes.
Most tracks on Smile, including "Do You Like Worms?", "I'm In Great Shape", "Vega-Tables", "Love to Say Dada", "He Gives Speeches", "Cabin Essence", and "My Only Sunshine", were composed either as potential sections for "Heroes and Villains" or its accompanying suite.
"Heroes and Villains" was the ultimate keystone for the musical structure of the album, and like "Good Vibrations", it was edited together from many discrete sections. The complexity of Wilson's production at this time can be gauged by the sheer bulk of session material that has survived. More than 60 tracks in the 5-CD The Smile Sessions boxed set are session recordings for "Heroes and Villains".
The other centerpiece was to be "Surf's Up," which had been for many years perceived as the intended ending climax of Smile. It is notable that the flourishes played on muted trumpet in the verses of "Surf's Up" are almost identical to the familiar laughing refrain of the Woody Woodpecker theme song. This musical reference recurs in the instrumental piece "Fall Breaks And Back To Winter" on the album Smiley Smile (which was in fact subtitled "W. Woodpecker Symphony").
"I'm in Great Shape", "My Only Sunshine / The Old Master Painter", and the original "Vega-Tables" only existed as small fragments of tracks, and their complete structure was never finalized until 2004. The main Smile narrative was split in three complete movements for Brian Wilson Presents Smile and The Smile Sessions. The first suite was realized as a representation of early Americana, from Plymouth Rock to the Old West, farmlands, and the industrial revolution. The second explored familial-themed concepts such as the human life cycle and familial generations.
"The Elements" suite 
"The Elements" was a reputed movement which encompassed the four classical elements: Air, Fire, Earth, and Water.
"Fire" is the only surviving recording that is certain to have been part of any specific movement on the Smile album apart from the main narrative. The idea of songs based on elements would later be revisited on "Cool, Cool Water", initially conceived as "Love to Say Dada".
For Brian Wilson presents Smile in 2004, the other missing components of "The Elements" suite were filled in by "Vega-Tables" (Earth) and "Wind Chimes" (Air). "Love to Say Dada" lost its childhood themed origin to be repurposed as "In Blue Hawaii" (Water).
Leftover fragments 
"Good Vibrations" was completed by Brian Wilson before the original recording sessions and released in October just as the sessions were getting underway. All of the other tracks were either not recorded or only exist in part-completed form, and many Smile-era recordings lack their full vocal arrangements, lyrics and melodies.
Various surreal comedy skits were recorded during the sessions as part of a "Psycodelic [sic] Sounds" series. Among these include "Brian Falls Into A Piano", "Brian Falls into a Microphone", "Moaning Laughing", and "Underwater Chant". An unused skit was also recorded by Brian Wilson with session drummer Hal Blaine to promote a then-proposed "Vega-Tables" single release.
"Holidays" was recorded as an instrumental in mid-1966, and re-recorded with vocals for Brian Wilson Presents Smile as "On A Holiday".
"You're Welcome" is a short chant sung by The Beach Boys over a thumpy background track featuring a glockenspiel and a timpani. The only lyrics are "Well / you're well / you're welcome to come". It was released as the B-side to the 1967 "Heroes and Villains" single.
The other Wilson brothers experimented with their own compositions in between sessions for the Smile album. Of these, instrumental tracks labelled "I Don't Know" (by Dennis Wilson) and "Tune X" (by Carl Wilson) have survived.
Various altered versions of "Heroes and Villains", "Cabin Essence", "Wonderful", "He Gives Speeches", "Vega-Tables", "Mrs. O'Leary's Cow", and "Surf's Up" were to be released by The Beach Boys in later years.
Promotional campaign 
Capitol began production on a lavish gatefold cover with a 12-page booklet in December. Cover artwork was commissioned from Frank Holmes, a friend of Van Dyke Parks, and color photographs of the group were taken by Guy Webster. 466,000 covers and 419,000 booklets were printed by early January 1967; with the following tracks listed on the back of the cover as per a handwritten note delivered to them a few weeks prior to Christmas.
This list was long considered crucial evidence of Wilson's intentions for the piece, but in 2006 it was discovered Brian had never seen it before. A comparison of the handwriting indicates that it may have been written by Carl Wilson, or possibly Brian's sister-in-law, Diane Rovell.
Some time in December, Brian informed Capitol that Smile would not be ready that month, but he advised that he would deliver it "prior to January 15". Capitol continued sending promotional materials to record distributors and dealers, and ads were placed in Billboard and teenage magazines including Teen Set. Within these ads, the album had been compared as an artistic achievement to the films Citizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons. Capitol also readied a radio ad, using "Good Vibrations" as the backdrop against a voice-over reciting the album's promotional tagline, "with a happy album cover, the really happy sounds inside, and a happy in-store display piece, you can't miss! We're sure to sell a million units... in January!" Wilson's conception of the work evidently changed around this time.
Project collapse 
Brian Wilson began to encounter serious problems with Smile around late November 1966; some of this can be ascribed to his increasingly fragile mental state (by then, he was beginning to exhibit signs of depression and paranoia) and resistance to the project from within the band.
Following the recording session for the "Fire" section of the "Elements Suite" at Gold Star Studios on November 28, Brian became irrationally concerned that the music had been responsible for starting several fires in the neighborhood of the studio. Wilson falsely claimed for many years that he had burned these session tapes, but that was not the case, although he did abandon the "Fire" piece for good. It has also been noted that Parks deliberately stayed away from the session—during which Wilson encouraged the musicians to wear toy firemen hats—and that he later described Brian's behavior as "regressive"
It was sometime in this period that Wilson went to see the film Seconds, which had a brief profound impact on him. Wilson had entered the theater late, and immediately upon arriving heard Rock Hudson's character "Mr. Wilson" greeted on screen, mistaking that the film was talking directly to him. He would expound on the experience saying that it had "completely blown" his mind, and that, "The whole thing was there. I mean my whole life. Birth and death and rebirth. The whole thing. Even the beach was in it, a whole thing about the beach. It was my whole life right there on the screen. [...] I mean, look at Spector, he could be involved in it, couldn't he? He’s going into films. How hard would it be for him to set up something like that?" Wilson had already developed an obsession with the music of Phil Spector upon hearing the song "Be My Baby" by The Ronettes a few years earlier. During the Smile era, he would say, "Spector started the whole thing. He was the first one to use the studio. But I've gone beyond him now. I’m doing the spiritual sound. [...] I heard that song three and a half years ago and I knew that it was between him and me. I knew exactly where he was at and now I've gone beyond him. You can understand how that movie might get someone upset under those circumstances."
By the beginning of 1967, Brian's behavior became increasingly erratic, and his use of drugs escalated. While his actions were a concern for some of his friends and stories of his sometimes bizarre "off-duty" behavior became the stuff of legend, the session musicians who worked with him during this period have stated that he was totally professional in the studio.
In addition to Brian's mental health problems, and his many personal, family and creative pressures, there were other significant business and legal pressures surrounding the Beach Boys during the recording of Smile. These included Carl Wilson's call-up notice for the draft (which he was to fight as a conscientious objector), plus the commencement of the group's contractual dispute with Capitol over royalty payments. In addition, there was the band's attempt to terminate their then-present contract, which was a legacy of Murry's management, and establish their own label, Brother Records. Bruce Johnston has also indicated in a web forum discussion that there was also opposition to the project from Capitol Records and from Murry Wilson.
Conflict within the group was also a potential factor in the demise of Smile. The December 6, 1966 session for "Cabin Essence" was famously the scene of a argument between Van Dyke Parks and Mike Love where the latter questioned Parks about the meaning of the song's lyrics, displaying uncertainty over whether they'd be appreciated and understood by the fanbase the band had built their commercial standing upon.
Love was also critical of the drug culture the period brought to the group, observing the detrimental affects it played on his cousin. He has hypothesised that his vocal opposition to those who supplied Brian with hard drugs caused those participants to spin a web that pinned Love himself as the reason Smile was shelved, saying it was largely perpetuated by writers who weren't there. Van Dyke Parks disagreed with this somewhat, believing Love's indifference to Smile as one of the factors in Brian's decision to abandon the project.
Despite his reservations to the lyrics, Love dutifully followed the creative vision of Wilson, contributing vocals to the material and following Wilson's quirky requests to engage in odd behaviour such as acting as an animal on the floor while recording backing vocals, later stating that his misgivings laid only within the lyrics and not the music.
On the December 15 vocal sessions for "Surf's Up" and "Wonderful". The group was filmed by CBS during this session which was reported to have went "very badly". Although there were more Smile sessions (on December 23, January 9, and January 23), work on the major tracks effectively stopped after December 15.
Reportedly, Brian's first exposure to the Beatles' single "Strawberry Fields Forever" affected him. He heard the song while driving his car and pulled over to listen; later commenting with a laugh to his passenger, Michael Vosse, that the Beatles had "got there first". This event reportedly made him question whether the Smile aesthetic had already become dated.
After the episode, Wilson vehemently continued work mostly on "Heroes and Villains". Throughout the first half of 1967, the album's release date was repeatedly postponed as Wilson tinkered with the recordings, experimenting with different takes and mixes, unable or unwilling to supply a completed version of the album. In early March 1967, after gradually distancing himself from Wilson and the group, Van Dyke Parks left the project in the wake of signing a record deal with Warner Bros. Records so he could work on his debut album Song Cycle. Later elaborating on his decision to leave, Parks noted, “Brian’s passion for drugs was overwhelming to me, and that’s why I left the project when I did. It was a little too much to be of real practical value and would lead to destruction. Of course, it had a great deal to do with his psychological collapse."
Capitol evidently still hoped to the last that Smile might eventually appear, but on May 6, only a few weeks before the release of the Beatles' perennial Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album, The Beach Boys' press officer Derek Taylor announced to the British press that the Smile project had been shelved, and that the album would not be released.
Jack Rieley wrote during a 1996 online Q&A that the commercial failure of "Heroes and Villains" was the final cataclysmic blow to the Smile project and Wilson's self-confidence as a musician.
Brian blirted [sic] it out one evening at Bellagio, and later spoke about it several times in agonizing detail. He had expected that 'Heroes' would be greeted by Capitol as the work which put the Beach Boys on a creative par with the Beatles. All the adoration and promotional backup Capitol was giving the Beatles would also flow to his music because of Heroes, he thought. And the public? It would greet 'Heroes' with the same level of overwhelming enthusiasm that the Beatles got with record after record. As it was, Capitol execs were divided about 'Heroes'. Some loved it but others castigated the track, longing instead for still more surfing/cars songs. The public bought the record in respectable but surely not wowy zowy numbers. For Brian, this was the ultimate failure. His surfing/car songs were the ones they loved the most. His musical growth, unlike that of Messrs. Lennon and McCartney, did not translate into commercial ascendancy or public glory.
— Jack Rieley, 
Smiley Smile 
The Beach Boys still needed to complete an album to fulfil their obligations to Capitol Records, so a replacement was hastily recorded. Following the stillbirth of Smile, Wilson retreated to his Beverly Hills house, and this became the venue for the recording of much of the Beach Boys' next album, Smiley Smile (which Carl Wilson described as "a bunt instead of a grand-slam").
Released that September, the new album included new recordings of several key Smile tracks, including an alternate edit of "Heroes and Villains", and new versions of "Wonderful", "Vega-Tables" and "Wind Chimes", along with a differently orchestrated re-imagining of "The Elements: Fire" - retitled as "Fall Breaks and Back to Winter (W. Woodpecker Symphony)". It also contained several tracks which were somewhat linked to Smile; the first segment of "She's Goin' Bald" was a rearrangement of "He Gives Speeches" with altered lyrics. Smiley Smile was received with confusion by critics and was the group's lowest-selling LP to date in the US, making only number 41 on the Billboard 200, although it fared considerably better in Britain, where it reached number nine on the album chart.
Brian Wilson gradually retreated from the public eye and over the ensuing years became increasingly disabled by his mental health problems. As his legend grew, the Smile period came to be seen as the pivotal episode in his decline and he became tagged as one of the most notorious celebrity drug casualties of the rock era.
After Wilson abandoned the Smile project, his brother and bandmate Carl would frequently revisit the session tapes, taking into mind the possibility of salvaging them for future releases. In early 1972, The Beach Boys announced that they would be finishing the Smile album to follow up on the success of their Surf's Up album. By the end of the year, the idea was either abandoned or forgotten, with Brian refusing to participate in any further Smile-related material. When asked about Smile in a 1976 interview, Brian said that he still felt an obligation to put out Smile, and that the album would be released "probably in a couple years."
By the beginning of the 1990s, Smile had earned its place as the most famous unreleased pop album, and was a focal point for bootleg recording makers and collectors. A 1988 proposed sequencing of the album by engineer Mark Linett eventually leaked to the public. In 1993, fans were treated to a goldmine of official archival Smile material that was included in the 5CD boxed set Good Vibrations: Thirty Years of The Beach Boys. The second disc of the set included almost thirty minutes of original recordings, including versions of "Our Prayer", "Wonderful", "Cabin Essence", "Wind Chimes", "Do You Like Worms", "Vega-Tables", "I Love to Say Da-Da", an alternate version of "Heroes and Villains" and numerous linking segments featuring the "Heroes and Villains" theme, plus Brian's fabled demo recording of "Surf's Up", which Elvis Costello compared to discovering an original recording of Mozart in performance.
These recordings, sequenced by David Leaf, made it clear that Smile had been much closer to completion than had previously been thought, and this prompted much excitement by fans over what additional songs might exist, and debate about how the songs fit into the Smile running order. There was hope that the box set would be followed by an official Smile release, but failed to materialize.
With the emerging popularity of the Internet in the mid 1990s, the bootlegged Smile recordings became more widely available through a series of websites and "tape trees". A few websites actually offered full downloads of the tracks, and fan edits and arrangements started to appear. Beginning in 1997, the bootleg label Sea of Tunes (named after The Beach Boys original publishing company) began releasing a series of CDs featuring high quality outtakes, session tracks and alternate recordings that ranged across the group's entire career; these reportedly drew on official session recordings that had been copied onto digital videotape fourteen years earlier, during the making of The Beach Boys: An American Band documentary in 1984. Among these was a 3-CD set featuring over three hours of sessions for "Good Vibrations", and several multi-CD sets containing a significant number of the tracking, overdubbing and mixing sessions for Smile.
Brian Wilson Presents Smile 
Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks revisited Smile with Brian's touring musicians in 2004, 37 years after its conception. First, in a series of concerts (debuting at London's Royal Festival Hall on February 20, 2004), then as the solo album Brian Wilson Presents Smile, released in September 2004. The album debuted at number 13 on the Billboard 200 chart, and later earned three Grammy nominations, winning Brian Wilson his first solo Grammy award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance ("Mrs. O'Leary's Cow"). In 2005, the album won graphic artist Mark London and Nonesuch/Elektra Records the 2005 ALEX award for Best Vinyl Package.
Bootlegs and reconstructions 
While bootlegs and fan reconstructions were not news to the band, the release of Brian Wilson's Smile brought new life to the scene, as fans now had a "blueprint" to work with, in addition to the already vast amount of sessions released both officially and unofficially, making it a lot easier to sequence bootlegs as a conventional album. It should however be noted that the original track listing and running order never was decided upon until 2004.
The Smile Sessions 
On October 31, 2011 a compilation of the Smile recordings was released under the title The Smile Sessions. The recording features a disc which presents a listening experience mimicking the template of Brian Wilson Presents Smile. The Smile Sessions is available in various levels of comprehensiveness including a standard 2-CD package, as well as a limited edition deluxe box set comprising 5 CDs, 2 LPs, 2 45 rpm singles, and a 60-page booklet. This compilation was released to mass acclaim and won the Best Historical Album award at the 55th Grammy Awards.
See also 
- "The Smile Sessions - The Beach Boys". Retrieved 11 November 2011.
- "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. November 18, 2003. Retrieved June 10, 2012.
- http://www.rocksbackpages.com/Library/Article/audio-van-dyke-parks-part-3-1993 Barney Hoskyns, Rock's Backpages Audio, 16 June 1993
- Richardson, Derk (June 28, 2011). "Wilson's Smile / Brian Wilson finally finishes his 'teenage symphony to God'". The San Francisco Chronicle.
- http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2006/jan/12/smile/ ‘Smile’, JANUARY 12, 2006 IN RESPONSE TO: A Lost Pop Symphony from the September 22, 2005 issue
- http://nymag.com/nymetro/arts/music/pop/12377/ Influences: Brian Wilson - The lost Beach Boy's favorite things—Phil Spector, Arthur Koestler, and Celine Dion's legs. - By Ethan Brown August 13 2005
- [ Bill Tobelman - The Zen Interpretation of Brian Wilson & Van Dyke Parks' Smile]
- Beautiful Dreamer: Brian Wilson and the Story of Smile, 2004
- [ Matt Bell, "The Resurrection of Brian Wilson's Smile, Sound on Sound, October 2004]
- "Ear Candy Mag interview with Brian Wilson (10-16-04)".
- The Smile Sessions, 2011 liner notes and session tracks.
- http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/the-beach-boys-a-california-saga-19711028 Rolling Stone no. 94, The Beach Boys: A California Saga by Tom Nolan, October, 28, 1971
- Jules Siegal, Goodbye Surfing, Hello God!
- Jack Rieley's comments & Surf's Up
- The man behind the music http://www.pasadenaweekly.com/cms/story/detail/?id=11900
- Carlin, Peter Ames. [ Catch A Wave: The Rise, Fall & Redemption of the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson], p. 120.]
- "Smiley Smile review".Archived June 5, 2011 at the Wayback Machine
- VH1's Most Shocking Music Moments
- http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,11964.msg238790.html#msg238790 Stephen W. Desper "Carl worked with what he had. One thing to which he had access were all the smile tapes. One day he showed up at the house studio with boxes of them. Carl and I listened to everything many times. Carl decided that the Dada session of baby sounds set to music was something that could be worked into what was forming into a song that used Brian’s original tune, and some previous segments we recorded from time to time."
- http://www.gadflyonline.com/05-06-02/ftr-smile.html An interview with "Smile" historian Domenic Priore "But in 1972, Carl Wilson and Desper were like, "Let's get this stuff together." They got going on it, and Brian put a stop to it. "
- http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/the-healing-of-brother-bri-interview-with-the-beach-boys-20110620?page=9 Rolling Stone 1976 article "The Healing of Brother Bri: Interview with The Beach Boys"
- "The Smile Sessions review".
- BeachBoys.com (unofficial website) - Rarities: Sea of Tunes III
- "Beach Boys' 'Smile Sessions' Bumped to August 9 Street Date". Retrieved 10 August 2011.
- Alyssa Toomey and Rosemary Brennan (February 10, 2013). "2013 Grammy Awards Winners: The Complete List". E!. Retrieved April 12, 2013.
- Siegel, Jules. "Goodbye Surfing, Hello God!", Cheetah Magazine #1 (October 1967)
- Priore, Domenic. Look, Listen, Vibrate, Smile: The Book about the Mysterious Beach Boys Album. (Surfin' Colours Hollywood, 1987)
- Priore, Domenic. Smile: The Story of Brian Wilson's Lost Masterpiece. (Bobcat Books, 2007) [ISBN 1860746276]
- Rockument-Beach Boy's Smile Sessions with commentary and links to music
- "Heroes and Villains" video archive at the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.
- Stylus Magazine article
- Smiley Smile - fan site with message board
- An interview with "Smile" historian Domenic Priore
- Background information and essays on the making of