SMiLE!

This is the place where you can vent whatever's on your mind. Feel free to go off on extended rants or brief blurbs about whatever's rocking your world.

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booker
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Postby booker » Thu Oct 07, 2004 1:01 pm

vitas wrote:there's something about it that's causing me to shun it. should i?

why not just put out an official release of the original material?


Because the original stuff is inferior to these new recordings. It's half-assed and completely unrealized. This "new" "SMiLE" is the real thing. It's the way Brian Wilson wanted us to hear the album. And after 37 years, I'm assuming he has a good idea what the album should sound like.

Give in and buy it. Give the album a chance. I would be surprised if you'd be disappointed.

Jake
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Postby Jake » Thu Oct 07, 2004 1:19 pm

The original stuff (and there's a lot of it -- several multi-disc bootleg compilations) was never properly finished. A lot of fans have spent a lot of time compiling their own versions from the original material that's been made available. The bonus disc on the Good Vibrations box contained a lot of it, and a lot of that stuff is great.

booker wrote:It's the way Brian Wilson wanted us to hear the album. And after 37 years, I'm assuming he has a good idea what the album should sound like.

Whatever. I'd prefer to hear the album back when Wilson had a great voice. And I'd definitely prefer to hear the Wrecking Crew over the Wondermints as a backing band. And I'd prefer to hear the original, 1966 Beach Boys singing backing vocals too.

Your argument is the same one George Lucas uses to justify the fucked up new versions of the original Star Wars trilogy. And it's just wrong.

Nevertheless, since the original version of Smile doesn't exist in a truly realized form (songs weren't finished, lyrics weren't completed, etc.), the new version is as close as we're going to get.

I'm guessing that the re-recording had as much to do with Wilson not wanting to pay royalties/credit to the other Beach Boys and Capital Records as much as anything. Because if you listen to the bootlegs, the bulk of the material had been finished. They could have easily put it together with some additional overdubs and a few new transitional pieces of music. But this way, it's a "Brian Wilson" release, not a Beach Boys release.

vitas
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Postby vitas » Thu Oct 07, 2004 1:34 pm

that's exactly why i hesitated and didn't pick it up. i hadn't been following the whole smile thing too closely, until i saw the album in the store this weekend.... i went to grab it and noticed the sticker calling out the fact that it was recreated. automatically i recoiled. i really wanted the old tracks finished, cleaned up and remastered and finally officially released. now, that's the smile i would like to listen to. ever since i got smiley smile years ago i've wondered what a proper smile would sound like... guess i'll just keep guessing.

on a side note, it's also why i won't pick up the star wars dvd set. don't want a revisionist version of history.

Jake
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Postby Jake » Thu Oct 07, 2004 1:55 pm

vitas wrote:i really wanted the old tracks finished, cleaned up and remastered and finally officially released. now, that's the smile i would like to listen to. ever since i got smiley smile years ago i've wondered what a proper smile would sound like... guess i'll just keep guessing.

Between the bonus tracks on the reissue of Smiley Smile and the bonus disc on the Good Vibrations box, you already have most of the "releasable" stuff from the original recordings. Listen to the new version once or twice and then go back and listen to those original recordings and you can pretty much imagine what it would've sounded like.

I've gotta say though, from what I've heard of it, those Wondermints do a pretty damn good job of recreating the sound of the era. I wonder what kind of gear they used...

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Postby Barabajagal » Thu Oct 07, 2004 2:46 pm

Jake wrote:I've gotta say though, from what I've heard of it, those Wondermints do a pretty damn good job of recreating the sound of the era. I wonder what kind of gear they used...


I don't know but I'd have to suspect it was very close if not faithful to the original setup. It has a very pleasing "raggedy" edge to it that sounds very refreshing compared to today's ultra-perfect zero-blemish Protooled stuff. (Either that, or someone who's very good with the "vintage gear" software plug-ins!) I was kind of taken aback by the sonic environment of the record (in a good way). Funnily, it sometimes reminded me of Olivia Tremor Control/Circulatory System--two of my favorite bands who must have obviously heard some Smile bootlegs in their day.
Last edited by Barabajagal on Thu Oct 07, 2004 2:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

booker
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Postby booker » Thu Oct 07, 2004 2:47 pm

Jake wrote:The original stuff (and there's a lot of it -- several multi-disc bootleg compilations) was never properly finished. A lot of fans have spent a lot of time compiling their own versions from the original material that's been made available. The bonus disc on the Good Vibrations box contained a lot of it, and a lot of that stuff is great.


Whatever. I'd prefer to hear the album back when Wilson had a great voice. And I'd definitely prefer to hear the Wrecking Crew over the Wondermints as a backing band. And I'd prefer to hear the original, 1966 Beach Boys singing backing vocals too.

Your argument is the same one George Lucas uses to justify the fucked up new versions of the original Star Wars trilogy. And it's just wrong.


Jake, brutha, you run this wonderful website and therefore I don't like arguing with you, even when it's friendly (like now). But I must.

At the risk of sounding coy, there's a big difference between the new "Star Wars" and the new "SMiLE." And here it is: the new "Star Wars" is utter shit, a complete abomination of the original with no regard for taste or decency. The new "SMiLE," however, is completely awesome. Yes, that's subjective. But, as Christgau says, Brian Wilson sings this stuff with total commitment to material, treating it with the utmost reverence. You can hear it. The guy really means what he sings; it's not some good ol' nostagia show for him. And his voice is fine, even if he struggles with a few of the ridiculously high notes.

The Wrecking Crew may have been the greatest, but now the Wondermints are (as you kind of allude out in a future posting). Plus, it's not like the individual parts of the music are hard for any competent musician to pull off with the same style and grace.

But there's one reason, above all others, as to why this album is the "real" version of "SMiLE" that people should listen to: Brian Wilson released it. Unlike the original "Star Wars," the original "SMiLE" never came out.

In the spirit of friendly discourse,

booker

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Postby trainwreck2 » Thu Oct 07, 2004 2:55 pm

i love it when music/movie fans feel as if theyre owed something... people are taking offence at an official release of Smile because its not the original recordings...its not like John Stamos hooked up the children of the Beach Boys to redo this its still Brian WIlson people...
And as far as the Star Wars thing goes, its a MOVIE Lucas wasnt happy with the effects in the original so he re did it...if you dont like it pick up the laser-disc bootlegs out there...

vitas
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Postby vitas » Thu Oct 07, 2004 3:00 pm

the allure of smile to me has always been to somehow have a chance to listen to a great musician in the process of creating high art while at the same time losing his mind. i'm sure the newly recorded tracks are amazing and the musicians are incredible, but i want to witness that fine line between genius and lunacy.

booker
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Postby booker » Thu Oct 07, 2004 3:17 pm

trainwreck2 wrote:And as far as the Star Wars thing goes, its a MOVIE Lucas wasnt happy with the effects in the original so he re did it...if you dont like it pick up the laser-disc bootlegs out there...


God, after hearing about what he added in, I might have to look for a laser-disc player on eBay.

Jake
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Postby Jake » Thu Oct 07, 2004 3:48 pm

booker wrote:But there's one reason, above all others, as to why this album is the "real" version of "SMiLE" that people should listen to: Brian Wilson released it. Unlike the original "Star Wars," the original "SMiLE" never came out.

That's a good point. The song "Good Vibrations" was released, though, and compare the two versions of that song and tell me the 2004 version is anything other than a decent cover version of a perfect, classic song. It's like when all those classic country people who switch to a different record label and then re-record all their hits. The original versions are always better.


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