The Beach Boys' Smile

The Beach Boys Smile Smile is not merely a great unfinished album but a living work of art that is all at once expansive indeterminate and resolutely pop In the early s The Beach Boys rose from the suburbs of Hawt

  • Title: The Beach Boys' Smile
  • Author: Luis A. Sanchez
  • ISBN: 9781623562588
  • Page: 433
  • Format: Paperback
  • Smile is not merely a great unfinished album, but a living work of art that is all at once expansive, indeterminate, and resolutely pop.In the early 1960s, The Beach Boys rose from the suburbs of Hawthorne, California to become emissaries of a post war American dream that fused middle class aspiration and mobility with images of youth Led by dream master Brian Wilson, theSmile is not merely a great unfinished album, but a living work of art that is all at once expansive, indeterminate, and resolutely pop.In the early 1960s, The Beach Boys rose from the suburbs of Hawthorne, California to become emissaries of a post war American dream that fused middle class aspiration and mobility with images of youth Led by dream master Brian Wilson, their music gave voice to a Southern California mythos and compelled an audience across the nation and beyond to live out their own versions of the fantasy By 1966, the encroaching counterculture added new dimensions of creative possibility to popular music Looking to revise and expand, Brian Wilson sought collaboration with a brilliant musician named Van Dyke Parks Together they began work on Smile, an ambitious album of music that refracted The Beach Boys na vet into a visionary exploration of American consciousness Smile edged so close to greatness it seemed destined to become one of the most significant musical advances of its time But the story didn t end quite like this.In this book of evocative essays, Sanchez traces the musical journey that transformed The Beach Boys from West Coast surf heroes into America s pop luminaries, and ultimately why Smile represents a tumultuous turning point in the history of popular music.

    One thought on “The Beach Boys' Smile”

    1. The grisly irony of Smile is that it descended into general frowning unhappiness in early 1967 as Brian Wilson realised he had no idea what he was doing with his modularity run rampant and everyone thought he’d gone round the bend; the tiresomeness of Smile is that it has such an anguished yet hopeful back story (and lo! it was completed by Big Brian 37 years later, proving that autumn is just as nice as spring and it’s never too late to have a fling - throw away your walking frames and shim [...]

    2. I read this book as part of my link text book group. This is the fourth book in the 33 1/3 collection that has been suggested and the second that I have read. Because I read a lot of music autobiographies and biographies often recommends 33 1/3 books to me. I was really expecting something different from this book. I was hoping that it would be about the situation around the band and the producing of the album and why it was never fully completed. The disappointment that I found in the 33 1/3 b [...]

    3. I liked the author's overall point that Smile was not a left-turn for Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys, but a synthesis of what they were ultimately about. That Brian and Van Dyke Parks' "American Gothic trip" was the way the group should have redefined themselves as the culture progressed.

    4. Let's deal with the technical aspects first. This is the sloppiest book I've ever encountered. The proofreading is atrocious. One is constantly rereading sentences that lack proper structure, as there are words missing all over the place, the little words such as 'to', 'is', 'from', etc. Extremely irritating, distracting and preventable.The book itself isn't the best in the 33 1/3 series, but enjoyable enough. Other readers have complained only the last 20 pages or so actually focus on the 'Smil [...]

    5. Waitis was supposed to be about Smile, right? Because in the 118 pages of text, I don't recall much being said about the making of the album until around page 100 and anything about even some of the songs themselves until just a few pages before the end. *flips through book* Yep. I wasn't imagining things. I was getting all excited, ready to hunker down and listen the album with a fresh sense from what I learned from this text, but I was never compelled to do so.I think I'm being generous giving [...]

    6. As far as famous unreleased albums go "Smile" has always been a bit of a frustrating case. Albums like ohdunno Prince's "Crystal Ball" at least got finished and went even as close as into mastering stage. "Smile" however is the masterpiece that never was and never will be because only two thirds of the vocals were actually recorded. So if you want to experience what "Smile" could have been all you can do is playing the recently assembled reconstruction of session tapes with long instrumental sec [...]

    7. I love the 33 1/3 series. When they're good, they're great. Unfortunately there seems to be very little quality control concerning what they actually are. Some are fantastic looks into the making of historic albums (It Takes a Nation of Millions, Live at the Apollo), others not so much.The Beach Boys' Smile is in the latter group. I'm not a Beach Boys fan per se. I have Pet Sounds and understand their place in 60s music in regards to the other major acts at the time (Beatles, Rolling Stones, etc [...]

    8. You can always trust the 33 1/3 series to approach a much talked about album from a different angle. Here Sanchez does not focus on the cliched accounts of Brian Wilson's madness. Rather he starts on how the Beach Boys evolved from recording surfing hits to creating the meta pop which has influenced many bands. Smile being the culmination of Wilson's experiences with production techniques.Obviously there are some things all Beach Boys aficionados have read before but at least this one doesn't si [...]

    9. Plagued by grammatical gaffes and densely academic prose, this not a fun read. At one point, the author refers to a well-known Beach Boys Christmas single as "Little Saint Saint." Really? I'm an avid fan, and I've yet to hear that song. I was looking for insights and new POVs on one of my favorite records of all time. Instead, I got surf music history, Phil Spector drama, the making of early Beach Boys records and other widely documented tales of the Wilson bros and gang. But little on Smile. I' [...]

    10. I thought this book was a great break down of the history of The Beach Boys. It only talks about the Smile album at the end of the book so that may anger some fans who just want to read about Smile and it's creation, but I enjoyed because I did not really know much about some of the lesser known details about Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys. I would say that if you do not know anything about The Beach Boys and want to learn, start here!

    11. This was disappointing. This is not an examination of Smile, in any of its forms, as an album, but an overview of the Beach Boys music, which has been done before. If you have not read any of those books, this is a good intro. As a chance to examine the music and lyrics of Smile, this was a missed opportunity.

    12. This book was pretty awful.t off, it's on an album that was largely unfinished, if ever, depending on the folklore that you follow. Second, it seems to call out the followers of such cult-ish folklore, yet only really wraps the whole story around that aspect. For what it's worth, it's not worth much.

    13. If you're looking for a book that spends a lot of time on the actual Smile sessions, this isn't for you. But if you want a pretty general overview of the Beach Boys and a ten page explanation at the end of why the album wasn't made and how the unfinished recordings were released later, I would recommend this.

    14. Fast look at the Beach Boys' career and the fragmented Smile LP that languished for years. What I take from this is how much music they cranked out in their first 5 or 6 years. Stunning output, especially against today's rather languid approach to creating new music.

    15. An interesting book on the Beach Boys, but the content on Smile doesn't start until at least two-thirds of the way through the book. There is much more about the Beach Boys as a cultural force, and very little about the music.

    16. Another 33 1/3 book where five pages cover the album in question and the rest is unnecessarily in-depth backstory

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