Sunday, 6 November 2011

The Beach Boys - SMiLE review by Terry Kelly

Smile is the great rock album that got away.

Junked back in 1967, as too avant-garde for Beach Boys fans, Smile was composer Brian Wilson's highly ambitious sonic love letter to the American landscape.

Widely bootlegged over the last 20 years, this album at last allows fans to legally purchase some of the most experimental sounds in the rock canon.

But in all honesty, the best bits in Smile are the most musically structured, from the choirlike opener, Our Prayer, to Heroes and Villains, and from the lovely rural hymn Cabin Essence to the classic Good Vibrations and the peerless Surf's Up, the latter being one of the greatest moments in pop music.

This two-CD set, which includes working tracks for the 1966-67 sessions, has been worth the long wait.


Terry Kelly