Talk about a highly anticipated & long delayed release! Brian Wilson and Beach Boys fans are no doubt rejoicing today with the arrival in Amoeba Music of the 2 CD set The Smile Sessions. Released by Capitol/EMI the new release is culled from what was originally supposed to be released as the Smile album back in the latter half of the sixties as the follow up to the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds. Ofttimes spelled with the typeset SMiLE (based on the original artwork by Frank Holmes) the new release is culled from the long lost legendary 1966/67 Smile sessions.
As is long part of music lore, the master tapes for Smile got shelved due, as most report, to Wilson's deteriorating mental state and the album never saw the light of day. Well not exactly; it never got released as originally intended by its creator Wilson at the time. Portions of the project have surfaced as bootlegs, snapped up by diehard Wilson/Beach Boys fans, over the decades since its initial intended release date. Additionally many of the original songs found their way onto various other official Beach Boys releases. But then eight years ago the Smile project was brought back to life by Wilson himself who went about rerecording it as he had intended. That fully completed version was released in 2004.
But The Smile Sessions released today, which features a reconstructed version of the album pieced together from those original '66/'67 studio recordings, is definitely one to have for any true Beach Boys/Brian Wilson fan. Vinyl collectors will be happy to know that there is an LP version of The Smile Sessions also available from Amoeba. As well as the reconstructed album Smile the new 2 CD version of the collection (see image of contents right) includes a lot more gems from the vaults; early song drafts, alternate takes, vocal only & instrumental only mixes of songs, as well as snippets of studio banter between the band members. Also included is a 14.5" x 20" poster of the Frank Holmes cover art, and a 37 page booklet with liner notes by Wilson. There is also a collectible one inch scale Smile button included.
Meantime Wilson/Beach Boys completists will have to have the DeLuxe version of The Smile Sessions
which Includes a total of five CDs, two gatefold styled LPs, and two 7" singles ("Heroes and Villains" and "Vega-Tables") both in sleeve art. There is also a three-dimensional shadow box lid featuring the original Holmes artwork and much more. To see all the contents (lots of rare exclusive only items) check out the video below and for pricing and info on buying online from Amoeba click here.