Monday, March 14, 2011

A "lost masterpiece"

In late 1965, The Beatles released Rubber Soul, the greatness of which pushed Beach Boys frontman Brian Wilson to new artistic heights as he crafted Pet Sounds, which had a major influence on The Beatles and George Martin in their devising of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which was recorded in roughly the same time period as Smile, the Beach Boys' "lost masterpiece" that was never released in its original form due to Brian Wilson's shoddy mental health and other issues.

Now, it will be released.

"All parties are supporting it," said EMI's Bill Gagnon. "In the past, I don't think we had support from all the band, and now we do." Wilson said he was "thrilled" by the plans. "I'm looking forward to this collection of the original recordings and having fans hear the beautiful angelic voices of the boys in a proper studio release."

The Smile Sessions will be issued in three versions: on iTunes; as a two-CD set; and in a box set with four CDs, two vinyl LPs, two vinyl singles and a 60-page book. These recordings will include an approximation of the original Smile album, plus outtakes and studio banter. "We have gaps where we are missing some vocal parts," said co-producer Mark Linett. But the release will offer "the whole piece as close to as it was envisioned, or as is envisioned, as possible," he promised, "obviously with input from Brian and from everybody else." While the musical extras will probably be released in stereo, Smile will be issued in mono, as Wilson originally intended.

The Beach Boys have yet to announce a release date.

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