Smiley Smile/Wild Honey

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
The spring 2001 version of this two-LP-on-one-CD compilation, in 24-bit sound, is the best way ever to hear either of these albums. Smiley Smile was one of the most genial and unpretentious examples of psychedelic music to emerge in 1967, although at the time it was a difficult album for many fans to appreciate. A lot of it is comprised of what amounts to languid, almost impressionist sound paintings, some of them, such as "Wonderful" and "Wind Chimes," quite stunningly beautiful, and others, such as "Vegetables," beguiling in their innocent goofiness, while still others, like "With Me Tonight," combined those attributes. The 2001 reissue finally lifts about as many layers ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
The spring 2001 version of this two-LP-on-one-CD compilation, in 24-bit sound, is the best way ever to hear either of these albums. Smiley Smile was one of the most genial and unpretentious examples of psychedelic music to emerge in 1967, although at the time it was a difficult album for many fans to appreciate. A lot of it is comprised of what amounts to languid, almost impressionist sound paintings, some of them, such as "Wonderful" and "Wind Chimes," quite stunningly beautiful, and others, such as "Vegetables," beguiling in their innocent goofiness, while still others, like "With Me Tonight," combined those attributes. The 2001 reissue finally lifts about as many layers of hiss -- a result of the use of a makeshift studio, and overdubs on many of the cuts -- as are ever likely to disappear, to get at the music and how it must have sounded to the group when they played it back. Thus, one can hear the action of the bass on "Vegetables" and "Heroes and Villains," and the playing and singing on "Wind Chimes" all now seem several feet closer to the microphone than on previous issues; the opening on "Gettin' Hungry" now leaps out of the extended silence off the fade from "Wind Chimes." Wild Honey was, even more than its companion album, an unfairly maligned effort in its own time -- Smiley Smile had a realistically druggy ambience that was, understandably, harder to take than the highly produced psychedelic efforts of the Beatles and others; but Wild Honey was a solid, accessible, soulful rock & roll release, every song a little jewel and a few, like the title cut and "Darlin'," quite weighty that ought to have been on every stack of platters for any teenage dance party thrown over the next decade. The album always had a good sound, and the 2001 reissue only makes a great record even better, pushing the clarity to a higher level -- the drumming on the title tune, "Aren't You Glad," or "I Was Made to Love Her" is as prominent as the vocals, which are all awesome, and it's also easier to appreciate the little details, like the exquisite bass workout in the rhythm section of "I Was Made to Love Her" -- and the massed vocals on "Country Air" are so clean and radiant here that it's like hearing the song for the first time. The compilation is augmented with some fascinating early working versions of "Good Vibrations," the lost B-side "You're Welcome," an alternate take of "Heroes and Villains" from the Smile album sessions, plus a rehearsal of "Their Hearts Were Full of Spring" from a 1967 concert, and the lost and exquisite Smile album artifact "Can't Wait Too Long" -- alas, there evidently weren't any Wild Honey leftovers. Note: Capitol previously issued a version of this disc in 1990, with a duller, hissier sound; it should be replaced by the version carrying the 2001 date.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/10/2001
  • Label: Capitol
  • UPC: 724353186227
  • Catalog Number: 31862

Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Beach Boys Primary Artist
Brian Wilson Vocals
Technical Credits
The Beach Boys Producer
Brian Wilson Composer
Mike Love Composer
Bruce Botnick Engineer
Chuck Britz Engineer
Joe Gastwirt Remastering
Bill Halverson Engineer
Mark Linett Reissue Producer
Jim Lockert Engineer
David Leaf Liner Notes
Tommy Steele Art Direction
Joel Whitburn Chart Information
Arny Geller Cover Design
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Take it for what it is

    If you are a hardcore Beach Boys fan, "Smiley Smile" will be of interest to you, even though it obviously cannot measure up to the finally released "Smile." It's a weird, little stoned record that has it's moments. And it's interesting to see how the Beach Boys dealt with "Smile" after they decided not to release it. The versions of "Smile" songs are inferior, but interesting. Additionally, you get finished versions of other underrated songs the band were working on at the time, like "She's Goin' Bald" and "With Me Tonight." Sure the record is deranged, but it's a lot of fun if you don't take it seriously and try to compare it to "Smile," which it obviously isn't. It's an interesting historical curiousity. "Wild Honey" is one of the Beach Boys more underrated albums. For a band trying to find a new sound, it's use of soul is great and effective. These songs are melodic and should not be overlooked, especially "Darlin'."

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Underated

    Most people view Smiley Smile as the lost version of Smile and I find that because of this the public abandons Smiley Smile. The fact is that the album has many references to smile and has the feel of the Smile sessions. Not that the album is Smile itself but if you listen very closely you can hear hints of Smile on their. For example, Fall Breaks and Back to Winter the baseline and vocals sound like Mrs. O' Leary's cow. The album overall sets a mood and is very cool to hear due to the fact that it is so different and has never been repeated by anyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Indeed, "a bunt, instead of a grand slam" as per Carl Wilson (regarding 'Smiley Smile')

    How to follow up, and top, 'Pet Sounds', especially with the Beatles' ' Sgt. Pepper's' on the horizon? You can't, but Brian Wilson sure did try. The album that never was, 'Smile', which ended up as the 'Smiley Smile' album (see my headline for that comment Carl made about the record) is one of the best rock n roll coulda-woulda-shoulda stories. Best to search out bootlegs of various ideas of what the 'Smile' album would've been, they're out there and much better than 'Smiley Smile' -- the 'Smile' session tracks that appear on '30 Years of Good Vibrations' are proof alone. As for 'Wild Honey', it's a good back to basics album, pre-dating the Beatles' move back towards simpler less adorned production. Regrettably, by the end of 1967, the Beach Boys were already on their long march through the desert, the musical climate having becoming hostile towards anything new they would attempt.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Add some smile to your day

    Fresh, flash. Listen to all the silences that are here. If you just listen you will hear some of the music come together. ''Wonderful'', is as simple as it gets, but listen it is open and willing to tell you its simple message. ''Windchimes'', more produced than the Smile version, but gentle in its gissades and tinkles, breath and wind, nature and person. ''Vegtables'', of course right out of the bag, paper bag. In 67 when all was production these songs tell the simple and open tales of a child hidden in the world. Listen.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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