Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Beach Boys - SMiLE (1967)

The Beach Boys - SMiLE
(soniclovenoize 1967 Mix)

(Our Prayer)
Heroes and Villains
Do You like Worms?
Child is Father of the Man
The Old Master Painter
Cabin Essence

Good Vibrations
I’m In Great Shape
Wind Chimes
The Elements
Surf’s Up

You might say: What is this exactly? I already have SMiLE, don’t I? Well, this is a reconstruction of The Beach Boys' album SMiLE as if it had been released in 1967. SMiLE aficionados know that the album Brian Wilson released in 2004 was not what SMiLE would have sounded like. They also know the recently released 2011 SMiLE Sessions box set is not what it would have sounded like either.

But what WOULD it have sounded like?

Based on the evidence at hand, it sounded much like this torrent: It would be in mono, not stereo; it would be a two-sided LP and no longer than 40 or so minutes, not a 3-part suite; it would have been 12 pop songs with a lead single starting each side, as the norm was in 1967.

After over a decade of research, I have assembled what I believe SMiLE would have sounded like if it had been completed in 1967. I have used the best possible sources to achieve the best possible soundquality, using almost exclusively material found on the SMiLE Sessions box set (unless noted below). All mixes were modeled after vintage Brian Wilson mixes from 1966 and 1967, unless he had never made them (in that case, influence from the Mark Linett mixes were drawn).

This mix is the final upgrade to what was previously distributed as the soniclovenoize Authentic Mix. There were some historical inaccuracies that are rectified here. Also as previously stated, upgraded sound-sources are used here. No fly-ins from modern releases were used to complete a song, only 1967 source material (with the exception of Surf’s Up, Cabin Essence and Our Prayer, of course).

This authentic mix is all in mono (as it would have been released) but an alternative stereo mix is presented for you audiophiles. Artwork and md5 files is also included, as well as txt files explaining it's construction. 


Track notes: 


00.    Our Prayer
One thing we can be certain about is that “Our Prayer” was meant to open the album.  It is thus listed as track 00, an introduction.

01.    Heroes and Villains
Evidence shows that the 3 minute February 1967 mix of “Heroes and Villains” Brian completed was meant to be THE mix for SMiLE, commonly known as ‘The Cantina Version’.  Excluded are the ‘Bicycle Rider’ choruses stolen from “Do You like Worms”, as well as the many barbershop refrains used to create the theoretical b-side, “Heroes and Villains part 2”.  All we have is a 3-minute musical comedy, meant to be the lead single of the album.  The aforementioned “Heroes and Villains part 2” is left off of this SMiLE because if it had existed, it would have been a b-side only release and not a part of the actual SMiLE album.

02.    Vege-Tebles
Many fragments were recorded, but the track was never properly assembled by Brian, as “Vege-Tables” and the previous track were the last remaining hope of the project when his attentions were focused upon them for to create a hit single.  Since no finished vintage edit exists, the construction of my version is based on Mark Linett’s blueprint, although missing the inappropriate reprise of the 2nd verse, which disrupts the winding-down flow of the song.

03.    Do You like Worms?
My own edit, assembled together here for a finished song, including the ‘Bicycle Rider’ chorus, played twice.  

04.    Child is Father of the Man

This is the mono mix taken from The SMiLE Sessions CD1, as Linett based his mix upon vintage Wilson test mixes.  

05.    The Old Master Painter
Is it a coincidence that the last notes of “Child is Father of The Man” match up perfectly to the beginning notes of “The Old Master Painter”?  I think not.  The remake of the “Heroes and Villains Fade” was used here to end the song since the original fade was already used in trackm 1.  I’d say the bird calls here are much more appropriate, don’t you?

06.    Cabin Essence
When constructing the two sides of the album, you need to ask yourself: how would one end each side of an album?  With the epic song that could not logically be followed.  The answer is of course “Cabin Essence” for Side A.


07.    Good Vibrations
Although never officially a part of the SMiLE project, Capitol wanted “Good Vibrations” placement on the album to ensure commercial success, and the Music Industry standard at the time would to have placed that ‘Cash Cow Single’ at the front of Side B.  Presented here is the 45 mix, as would have on a 1967 SMiLE album.  

08.    Wonderful
This mix is taken from The SMiLE Sessions CD1, replicating one of the few he completed in 1967.  

09.    I’m In Great Shape
Presented here is the proposed four-part ‘Barnyard Suite’ that Brian Wilson allegedly intended to create.  Although it is highly debated that this might not have existed, it is in my opinion fairly easy to postulate what it would have consisted of (if indeed it had existed).  Beginning, we have the obvious “Barnyard”, crossfading into the title fragment “I’m In Great Shape”.  From there an edit into “I Wanna Be Around” and “Workshop Song”, both labeled as pieces of “I’m In Great Shape” on their tape boxes.  If the ‘Barnyard Suite’ ever existed, it would have sounded like this.  

10.    Wind Chimes
This is the mono mix from The SMiLE Sessions, but re-edited without the ending reprises to match Brian’s original test mixes from 1967.

11.    The Elements
One of the most highly debated subjects of the SMiLE lore, no one is quite sure what it exactly would have consisted of, except for the Fire fragment (“Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow”).  My mix postulates the previous tracks “I’m In Great Shape” and “Wind Chimes” represent the Earth and Wind elements respectively, and that the reaming two elements of Fire and Water are featured in the actual track entitled “The Elements”.  Here we begin with the “Intro to Heroes and Villains” used to introduce the Fire segment.  While not an authentic Brian Wilson intention (it’s placement into “The Elements” was by Mark Linett), it is used here because the fragment was not used in the “Heroes and Villains” track, and is thus fair-game.  After a crossfade into “Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow”, we go into “I Love To Say Da-Da”, a song that eventually evolved into “Cool Cool Water” (how obvious).  Missing is the “Water Chant” in-between the Fire and Water sections because it was not actually recorded during or meant for SMiLE.  Unique to my mix, I also synched the “Underwater Chant” and the flute and percussion flourishes from an alternate take of “I Love To Say Da-Da” from the SMiLE Sessions box set to finish the song, effectively replacing Mike’s rather uninventive and infantile “Wah-wah oo wow”.  

12.    Surf’s Up
Not only do sources claim this was always intended to finish the album, but where else would one of the greatest pop songs go, other than as the finale to one of the greatest pop albums?  


  1. Big Beach Boys fan. I have collected Smile in all of its many unofficially released forms over the years. I have to say that yours assessments are spot on. Thanks.

  2. I can't wait to hear this! I had to "settle" for the stereo version since Mediafire deleted the mono version (any chance of a re-up?).

    Thanks so much for making these lost albums! Fantastic idea!

  3. Links fixed. Interesting they killed the mono but not the stereo. I think they know the stereo mixes are all completely fan-made and OK to share, but much of the mono is sourced from the box set...

    Let me know if there's any other links down and I'll re-upload.

  4. Great takes on the Beach Boys sets. A welcome addition to my collection

  5. Not a big Beach Boys fan (not that I don't like them), I must say I was kind of overwhelmed with the 5CD box set of The Smile Sessions, and the "3 movements" in the "main" CD. One of the aspects I most enjoy about Pet Sounds is that it lasts just about half an hour, fact that I enjoy as I'm fond of short albums. So, checking this mix and reading that you mention it SHOULD be short made me download it despite not being that of a Beach Boys fan.
    I should mention I was also curious to listen the greatest album in the history of pop music that never actually was.
    So, all that said, thank you. I'm enjoying your mix and SMiLE. I find Child Is Father Of The Man particularly, you know, awesome.

  6. Many thanks for the Smile releases. They´re beautiful and well crafted.

  7. Hi! Thanks for this great work!
    I was wondering about the stereo version of this album, how did you make it? Like Wind Chimes.
    When I listen to the album there is only one thing that bothers me and that’s the quality of the sound in Heroes and villains. The verses. Why is that? I really like the version of the song and feel that it fits.
    How did you decide on the time lapse between “child is the father of the man” and “the old master painter”? Did you feel that this is the best sounding way or do you have any indications?
    After listening to this version of SMiLE more than any other, I felt that I really missed the song “Look (song for children)” so I added it from your SMiLE 2004 BWPS Stereo mix. I changed the volume and I renamed it “I Ran”. Then I felt that because of that I needed to rearrange the song list a little.
    01 Our Prayer
    02 Heroes and Villains
    03 Vege-Tables
    04 Wonderful
    05 I Ran
    06 Child is Father of The Man
    07 The Old Master Painter
    08 Cabin Essence
    09 Good Vibrations
    10 Do You Like Worms
    11 I'm In Great Shape
    12 Wind Chimes
    13 The Elements
    14 Surf's Up
    What is your opinion on that? Is it terrible wrong or is it plausible?
    Thanks again for your great work!
    Oh, and which version of SMiLE do you prefer to listen to? Which one is the best in your opinion?

    1. Yeah that sounds great! My only thought would that you need to use the BWPS edit of "Child Is Father of the Man" that begins with the major-key verse section instead of that minor-key verse section. It doesn't seem to follow "Look" well without it. Although, your side A will be longer than your side B, if that's a problem.

      That "Wind Chimes" was taken directly from TSS vinyl, and it also appears on MiC. But note that on my upgrade of this, which I am about to upload in 1 hour, I re-edited it, so it's a moot point now.

      The quality of the verses of H&V is as good as it can be. The verses of the Cantina Mix seems to only exist as a mono master. All the other isolated vocal overdubs that exist are completely different takes, and I feel that the vocal performance on the Cantina version verses were superior to all the rest. So we are unfortunately stuck with a mono verse here. I don't think it's so bad

      The time lapse of "OMP" and "Child" is exactly the to tracks crossfaded. The cellos are playing the same notes. It always seemed like the perfect thing to me, and imho is not a coincidence.

      Also, I only listen to this 67 SMiLE. Mostly because it is my kids' favorite SMiLE, and they get annoyed if it's different and insist on this sequence only.

  8. Hi - I've noticed that for a couple of your entries, including this one, you state, "a lead single starting each side, as the norm was in 1967." I decided to see if that was really true. I looked at the seven (non greatest hits) albums that were #1 in 1967. And only one, "The Monkees," follows this "rule." None of the others did. I mention this because it occurred to me that this line of thinking may be skewing your recreation of these albums when in reality it was not as common a practice as you think. Just an FYI.

    1. I would say I misspoke when I said it was the norm specifically in 1967. It was the norm in the 60s in general. For instance, both Pet Sounds and Smiley Smile...

  9. My FAVORITE version of SMiLE. The only change I would make to make it perfect would be the addition of "Youre Welcome" just before Surf's Up :) Great job!

  10. I have to say it's superior to Mok, Purple Chick AND the 2011 official reconstruction. I like it that much. Thank u for creating it.

  11. This here is for you Beach Boys fans, but mostly to you SLN: http://www.demonoid.pw/files/details/3403776/28713084/