Smiley Smile (1967) Mar 20, 2019 22:54:40 GMT
Post by Kapitan on Mar 20, 2019 22:54:40 GMT
Looking over the track list for the first time in a while, you'd think this would make my top half-dozen or so Beach Boys albums. Alas, what a difference the versions of the songs makes: for me, while they were the first versions I heard*, these are not "Wind Chimes" or "Wonderful." (Neither is it my favorite "Heroes and Villains," but that one is closer to the mark, anyway.)
I know the whole druggy-but-bare-bones psychedelia is admired in some corners, but I think it's a pretty boring album, to be honest. It sounds to me like a great band underachieving. It can't be too bad, not with "Heroes" and "Good Vibrations." I love "Vegetables," too, dumb as it is: it's fun. (Then again, I'm the guy who keeps going to bat for "Take a Load Off Your Feet.") "With Me Tonight" is beautiful. But most of the rest is either inconsequential, bad, or both.
That said, I cherished my first copy, a French import CD that had some Smile outtakes on it, both finished songs and sessions. Early in my fandom and seriously on the lookout for that material, it was fabulous. I used to play it for everyone to prove this new discovery of mine: the Beach Boys aren't exclusively lame! Kind of funny that some of that same material is now what I find most lame of theirs. Still, far from their worst.
*I might be imagining this, but it seems I could have heard a snippet of the Smile "Wonderful" from the '90s GV box as part of a Wilson documentary I saw in the late '90s. But I don't know.