The Smiley Smile Message Board

Smiley Smile Stuff => General On Topic Discussions => Topic started by: muchacho_playero on August 18, 2009, 09:17:25 AM



Title: Smile in 1967
Post by: muchacho_playero on August 18, 2009, 09:17:25 AM
what had happened if smile had been released in 1967?
 :3d





Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: Compost on August 18, 2009, 09:22:36 AM
You wouldn't be asking this question in 2009.


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: The Heartical Don on August 18, 2009, 09:23:40 AM
Top topic. Once in a while someone comes up with a question so original, so mind-bogglingly gripping, that it takes one's breath away.


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: the captain on August 18, 2009, 09:47:04 AM
Top topic. Once in a while someone comes up with a question so original, so mind-bogglingly gripping, that it takes one's breath away.

Sassy!


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: grillo on August 18, 2009, 09:51:53 AM
People would be wondering "Gee, what if the Beatles had released SGT. Pepper instead of giving up all hope once they heard SMiLE?"
Hey buddy, try checking the archives for more on your wholly original question. :smokin


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: Shady on August 18, 2009, 09:53:08 AM
Sgt pepper wouldn't be as over hyped as it is today, and The Beach Boys would have the first and second spots on rolling stone's 500 greatest.
 
;D


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: muchacho_playero on August 18, 2009, 09:54:55 AM
Top topic. Once in a while someone comes up with a question so original, so mind-bogglingly gripping, that it takes one's breath away.


ohh im so sorry mr the heartical dol


i forgot that you are a so smart



free your imagination




Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: The Heartical Don on August 18, 2009, 09:58:37 AM
Top topic. Once in a while someone comes up with a question so original, so mind-bogglingly gripping, that it takes one's breath away.


ohh im so sorry mr the heartical dol


i forgot that you are a so smart



free your imagination






Oh, I did not want to ridicule you. It was just so funny... I could not resist kicking the ball in, maaan...


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: Andrew G. Doe on August 18, 2009, 10:19:16 AM
You wouldn't be asking this question in 2009.

Ba-boom !  ;D


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: TonyW on August 18, 2009, 01:08:45 PM
what had happened if smile had been released in 1972?
 :3d
 


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: muchacho_playero on August 18, 2009, 01:18:34 PM
what had happened if smile had been released in 1972?
 :3d
 


welcome to the jokerboy


someone else wants to ridicule me?




Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: Andrew G. Doe on August 18, 2009, 01:30:41 PM
what had happened if smile had been released in 1972?
 :3d
 


The band would have been $50,000 better off.  ;D


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: buddhahat on August 18, 2009, 03:05:12 PM
Muchacho Playero, do  not take offense! I have asked a thousand questions like this and had my nose put out of joint every time at what I thought were 'smart alec' answers. Basically, unless I am missing some hidden irony in your query, this is the single burning question on which the entire existance of this message board seems to hinge. To just come out and ask it so brazenly seems at once unbelievably naiive and startlingly brilliant.

For what it's worth I think it would have been not nearly as commercial a success as pepper, and thus a disappointment for BW. Time would have revealed its brilliant facets undoubtedly, but I wonder if Brian and VDP would have struggled to unify it in a way that would have made it as significant and relevant as Pepper at the time, even though musically it would have been more accomplished imo.

And as for Tony W's counter question of what would've happened had it been released in 72, that is not a dig but a relevant point as the Beach Boys publicly announced plans to release Smile in that year.


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: TonyW on August 18, 2009, 03:22:27 PM
what had happened if smile had been released in 1972?
 :3d
 


welcome to the jokerboy


someone else wants to ridicule me?


As the band were contractually obliged to Warner/Reprise to complete SMiLE by 1972 this is a valid question and one not often discussed on this board - most of the discusion revolve around SMiLE '67 and SMiLE '04. (And yes, Andrew's answer to SMiLE '72 was 100% correct)

By way of introduction feel free to give us your opinion of the potential repercussions of SMiLE '67 and following it's failure to be released the potential repercussion of SMiLE '72 as Carl would have compiled it. And don't be scared to say what you think - what you will find here is that there are many opinions and open discussions which often lead down the path to enlightenment.

Just consider your welcome to this board so far as a locker room smack on the bum with a wet towel.


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: Sheriff John Stone on August 18, 2009, 04:17:54 PM
I think if SMiLE would've come out in 1967, IMO, TODAY it would be in all of the Top 10 album polls, right up there with Pet Sounds and The Beatles' Rubber Soul/Revolver/Sgt. Pepper's. I don't think SMiLE would've sold as well as Pet Sounds because of the lack of hit singles, but I think over time it would've approached Pet Sounds in sales.


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: Surfer Joe on August 18, 2009, 04:32:22 PM
I think I can salvage this thread by asking a totally fresh question and putting a whole new spin on the subject:

Whose fault was it that it didn't come out in 1967?


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: hypehat on August 18, 2009, 04:40:19 PM
I don't think SMiLE! '72 would have made too much of an impact, simply because it didn't have the notoriety it did in 2004 - If it did, it would marginalise the rest of the groups output even more, Brian being the main focus. Would that have lead to better records, though? The only one we'd 'miss' is Holland.


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: punkinhead on August 18, 2009, 06:55:39 PM
if Carl had put together the Smile tracks, would he have used the finished product of Surf's Up from the Surf's Up album or Brian's demo?

Smile 72 should have waited to be a double EP with Mt. Vernon


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: DennisWilsonIsMyHero on August 18, 2009, 07:58:55 PM
I think I can salvage this thread by asking a totally fresh question and putting a whole new spin on the subject:

Whose fault was it that it didn't come out in 1967?

David Marks? >:D


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: mikeyj on August 18, 2009, 08:10:49 PM
I think I can salvage this thread by asking a totally fresh question and putting a whole new spin on the subject:

Whose fault was it that it didn't come out in 1967?

David Marks? >:D

Who's that? :P


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: TonyW on August 18, 2009, 08:58:32 PM
I think I can salvage this thread by asking a totally fresh question and putting a whole new spin on the subject:

Whose fault was it that it didn't come out in 1967?

David Marks? >:D

Who's that? :P

Skid Marks' brother  :hat


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: XY on August 18, 2009, 09:18:24 PM
what had happened if smile had been released in 1967?
 :3d

More greatest albums ever made would've followed.


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: The Heartical Don on August 19, 2009, 12:09:54 AM
Muchacho Playero, do  not take offense! I have asked a thousand questions like this and had my nose put out of joint every time at what I thought were 'smart alec' answers. Basically, unless I am missing some hidden irony in your query, this is the single burning question on which the entire existance of this message board seems to hinge. To just come out and ask it so brazenly seems at once unbelievably naiive and startlingly brilliant.

For what it's worth I think it would have been not nearly as commercial a success as pepper, and thus a disappointment for BW. Time would have revealed its brilliant facets undoubtedly, but I wonder if Brian and VDP would have struggled to unify it in a way that would have made it as significant and relevant as Pepper at the time, even though musically it would have been more accomplished imo.

And as for Tony W's counter question of what would've happened had it been released in 72, that is not a dig but a relevant point as the Beach Boys publicly announced plans to release Smile in that year.

Thanks for bringing us together a bit. Esp. the 'unbelievably naοve and startingly brilliant' bit hits the matter on the head. As for the rest of your comment, I think you are basically right. SMiLE '67 would have been acknowledged by the more independently writing rock scribes as a triumph, much as 'Song Cycle' was in reality. But sales would not have been that spectacular. Brian would have been disappointed. And perhaps he'd gone on to travel the same route he did, including depression and drugs (which, IMHO, had a lot more to do with his childhood abuse then the failure of SMiLE '67). Van Dyke Parks was not nearly as dependent on public applause as Brian was. So Van Dyke could in a very humble way accept the lack of commercial success of SC and go on to do his thing. Brian could not do that with his music.

Apart from that, SMiLE was to be released in 1967, 1971/2, and, if I am right, also in 1989 (when someone leaked that first 'complete' boot in Japan. A Landy-supervised SMiLE would have caused many fans the world over to cut off their ears, I am afraid.

SMiLE is in essence a traditional, classical record, well-structured. That is not in alignment with the ways rock went back in 1968/9. Rock went into its 'progressive' phase. Long winded solos, boring pretense, simulating intelligence and education where there was none. And that is why I am convinced that SMiLE 2004 and perhaps the to-be-released SMiLE '67 sessions box set will be listened to long after Woodstock will be forgotten.


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: SmileySam on August 19, 2009, 06:35:58 AM
Personally I think had it come out in '67, it would be a success, only because there was so much buzz surrounding the record and its high importance. I don't think it would top Sgt. Pepper but it would be around the same height of popularity, then again....who knows?


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: The Heartical Don on August 19, 2009, 06:53:28 AM
Personally I think had it come out in '67, it would be a success, only because there was so much buzz surrounding the record and its high importance. I don't think it would top Sgt. Pepper but it would be around the same height of popularity, then again....who knows?

God.


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: grillo on August 19, 2009, 06:55:03 AM

Smile 72 should have waited to be a double EP with Mt. Vernon
That is a great idea! Would have been even weirder, but still great.


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: The infamous Baldwin Organ on August 19, 2009, 07:01:27 AM
I do wish that SMiLE was released in '72, but I imagine it would have sounded incredibley dated at that time.

People weren't using instrumentation like that by then. It was the start of the glam rock era, Les Paul guitars and Marshall stacks. SMiLE was mixed for mono. It probably would have made them look even less cool at that point. I don't think that would've been too good for Brian either.


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: The Heartical Don on August 19, 2009, 07:24:40 AM

Smile 72 should have waited to be a double EP with Mt. Vernon
That is a great idea! Would have been even weirder, but still great.

A double EP? No, thank you... :o


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: No. Fourteen on August 19, 2009, 07:25:16 AM
I think it would've done very well commercially had it come out in 12/66 or 1/67, on the heels of the GV single.  I suppose they would've needed to be further along with the recordings, given the timeline.  But since we're speculating anyway....  


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: Pinder's Gone To Kokomo And Back Again on August 19, 2009, 06:38:03 PM
I maintain that Smile would have been steamrolled by Sgt Pepper because Sgt Pepper rocks and sounds like the work of a band and people dig that and dug it just as much then, if not more! Musical chops were what peole grooved on more than offbeat use of various orchestral insturments and production trickery. Of course Smile could have changed all this, but I don't think so. The Beatles had all the momentum.

Do I THINK Sgt. Pepper is better than smile? HELL NO!!!!! But I think The Beach Boys would have fared better in 1967 if they were presented as more of a functioning until rather than Brian and his no talent puppets. I think this just fed people's veiw of them as passe and yesterday's news. Just like Bob blew up the Brill Building.



Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: the captain on August 19, 2009, 07:22:43 PM
I tend to agree. I think Smile would have been a cult favorite with occasional periods of popularity. I think it would be looked at more akin to a Forever Changes or Odessey and Oracle than Sgt. Pepper. More visible than those, maybe, because of the tremendous popularity the band had had (although in a very different vein), but not Beatlesque.

... which is pretty much it was (despite not existing) this whole time anyway. The main difference would be that instead of outtakes, sessions and remakes all these years, Capitol would have had a proper album to reissue and make money on, as opposed to it leaking through various boots and on other poor-selling albums.



Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: Surfer Joe on August 19, 2009, 07:33:11 PM
Erik: "Sergeant Pepper would have kicked our ass."- Brian Wilson, 1988.  I think that was his total answer to the question this thread poses, in that interview.

Luther: I agree, and would only add that as opposed to Forever Changes, etc, SMiLE would also have been the respected home of "Good Vibrations".  So in that sense it might have had a place at least similar to Pet Sounds', or really a little better since it housed the band's biggest hit. Pet Sounds hung around and started to come into its own and make the lists in the early eighties when Paul McCartney started plugging it, among other things.  That was when I went out and bought it.


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: Sheriff John Stone on August 19, 2009, 07:54:54 PM
- "Good Vibrations"
- "Do You Dig Worms"
- "Heroes And Villains"
- "Cabinessence"
- "Wonderful"
- "Vegetables"
- "Wind Chimes"
- "Fire"/"Water Chant"/"I Love To Say Dada" - or whatever
- "Our Prayer"
- "Surf's Up"

Not to get into a debate if the above songs would've been included in the 1967 SMiLE, but, for the sake of argument, assume they were....I think the initial reaction woulda been "What the fu--." And, as I mentioned above, I think initial sales would've stalled due to the lack of a blockbuster single following "Heroes And Villains". But, and this is a BIG BUT....Those songs could not be ignored, I mean, just look at that list. And, instead of having them creep out a song or two at a time, on multiple albums, they would be housed on just one single album. Incredible. I believe they would've kept gaining steam - for decades - and in 2009 SMiLE would be right up there with the usual suspects.

Once the SMiLE boxed set comes out, hopefully a single CD of the most finished tracks will be assembled in some logical sequence. And, this is just me, but I'd like to see that asembled album/CD be submitted on some of those lists/polls as if it was an actual released album, just to see how it would rank against the greats.


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: Surfer Joe on August 19, 2009, 08:30:27 PM
I would, too, Sheriff, but I don't think you can really rank 85-90% of an album, which is what I think SMiLE (67) is at best.

I think it would have been about as baffling to the base audience as Pet Sounds was, but I think it would have gotten a huge prestige boost from the usual crowd in England. "Good Vibrations" would have set the table pretty well, too. By later 1967 everyone was trying to do out-there stuff- even Chad and Jeremy- and they would have seemed right on pace or just ahead of the curve.  I think the big distinction between SMiLE and Pepper (which had no single) is that "Worms" (the one everybody seems to name) and "Vegetables" and "Wonderful" were never going to be as crowd-pleasing as "Getting Better" and "She's Leaving Home" and "Mr. Kite".  But who knows? Something like the 2004 album, with 1967 voices and performances, would have been awfully hard to ignore.


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: Pinder's Gone To Kokomo And Back Again on August 19, 2009, 08:49:38 PM
I agree!

I think the Beach Boys (post 65) were born for re-discovery!

They were so of their time yet out of time completely!


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: Jeff on August 19, 2009, 09:00:32 PM
I think if Smile had been released in 1967, it would have been followed in 1968 by a much better, much more ambitious version of Wild Honey--an album full of songs like Can't Wait Too Long, Let the Wind Blow and Country Air.


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: Pinder's Gone To Kokomo And Back Again on August 19, 2009, 09:34:38 PM
Spot on!!!!

I think this is a most undeniable possibility!


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: Surfer Joe on August 19, 2009, 09:48:21 PM
Something to keep in mind: the premise of SMiLE being finished and released in 1967 would seem to rely on Brian staving off his collapse a little longer. But the release of SMiLE probably wouldn't have solved his problems any more than the release of Pet Sounds had, especially if it was greeted in the mixed way most here have agreed it would have been. He was heading into a major depression, probably inevitably, that caused him to withdraw and lose focus.  It hovered so heavily over SMiLE from about December 1966 onward that it's hard to separate it from his work. And then, by almost all accounts and evidence, he utterly stopped being the same guy.

So I think to theorize a different Wild Honey or a different Friends, and so on, you have to extend the premise that he kept it together a little longer, and then a little longer. That's more than I can see in any crystal ball.


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: TonyW on August 19, 2009, 09:58:20 PM
Had SMiLE been released by at least May 67 and been at least critically accepted if not commercially accepted, I still have real difficulty reconciling the striped shirted 65/66 Pet Sounds Beach Boys with the group that was due to headline the Saturday night of Monterey Pop Festival in June of '67.

What would the set they'd have played been like? The likes of Pap-oom-mow-mow and LDC wouldn't have cut it with the hippy set especially when you had IGA, Funx3, Cal Girls & Rhonda in your back catalogue, throw in cool stuff they had been doing live like You're So Good To Me and You've Got To Hide Your Love Away then what would the set have focused on from the Pet Sounds and SMiLE material? GOK, Sloop John B, Wouldn't It Be Nice were a walk up start from Pet Sounds, what else from Pet Sounds? Good Vibes and H&V from SMiLE, maybe Vegetables or Wonderful?   ... just fantasise about such a set list in 67 ... and yet somehow I could see Barbara Bloody Ann being a cool enough encore at Monterey.  And then the big question, could the touring Beach Boys of 67 have pulled off such a set without decaying into audio roadkill like the Lei'd In Hawaii sets?

How would they have dressed? Stripped shirts? Now that would be as fashionable at Monterey in 67 as Murry's braces!!

How would they have been received? Boo hiss oldies just trying too hard or avantegarde performers at the forefront of the new rock revolution?  

Where to after SMiLE and Monterey?

Probably more so than any other festival Monterey Pop stands as a cultural benchmark and the point in time where the new generation passed the Beach Boys by, at least for the next 4 or 5 years.

The great SMiLE "what ifs" ...


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: Amazing Larry on August 19, 2009, 10:24:54 PM
The Beach Boys Monterey Pop Setlist
Heroes and Villains
God Only Knows
Sloop John B
Vegetables
Good Vibrations
Encore:
Wonderful
Surf's Up



Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: TonyW on August 19, 2009, 11:05:15 PM
A Monterey Pop set list I could imagine the band doing given the limited time constraints - (short & sweet)

Help Me Rhonda
Wouldn't It Be Nice
You're So Good To Me
Good Vibrations
Heroes & Villains
Wonderful
God Only Knows

Encore:
California Girls
I Get Around


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: Alex on August 20, 2009, 03:17:58 PM

Probably more so than any other festival Monterey Pop stands as a cultural benchmark and the point in time where the new generation passed the Beach Boys by, at least for the next 4 or 5 years.

The great SMiLE "what ifs" ...

What's really ironic is that the BBs were the same ages as the Dead, the Who, the Beatles, younger than the Airplane (Grace Slick was 30 in 1967!!)...yet they were the "old guard"! As much as I love the general messages of the hippie generation (peace, love, etc.), they were a damn superficial bunch...rejecting the BBs just because they didn't fit in with the image. The Europeans knew better. And at least the punks, new wavers, alt. and indie rockers know the BBs were (and still are) where it's at!!


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: PaulHippensteel on August 20, 2009, 11:48:00 PM
The release of Smile in 1967 would have triggered a "butterfly effect" chain of events (including Pat Paulsen being elected President of the United States) that would have resulted in the Soviet Union launching nuclear missiles on the US. We can count our blessings that didn't happen!

Fortunately BWPS was released in 2004, long after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989!


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: Amazing Larry on August 21, 2009, 12:47:36 AM
 :lol


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: John Manning on August 21, 2009, 09:28:24 AM
Different tack...

Suppose a successful ’67 SMiLE had lead to a trend in producer-led album releases, shifting the emphasis of the rock and pop world into making stars of the producers rather than the bands? After all, it was well-known that Brian was no longer touring regularly with the band and was instead staying at home to focus on studio work. It's not much of a leap from that to his becoming the acknowledged artist, while the band take the role of his instruments (was this what The Who's Pete Townshend was implying in the piece he wrote for a music mag, in the wake of Pet Sounds?).

That would have opened the route for Brian's work with Redwood to be released, and maybe a big hit. Instead of the Beatles' Sgt Pepper, we'd've had George Martin's Sgt Pepper featuring the Beatles (which probably wouldn't have been as unusual as it might seem, considering Martin's classical background). Spector had already enjoyed stardom due to his production skills; maybe SMiLE would have opened the door for more producers to be accorded either celebrity or artist status. Plenty more producers – Gary Usher, Arthur Lee, Curt Boettcher etc – could have stepped up to the plate on the strength of such an emphasis shift.


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: muchacho_playero on August 21, 2009, 11:10:56 AM
Different tack...

Suppose a successful ’67 SMiLE had lead to a trend in producer-led album releases, shifting the emphasis of the rock and pop world into making stars of the producers rather than the bands? After all, it was well-known that Brian was no longer touring regularly with the band and was instead staying at home to focus on studio work. It's not much of a leap from that to his becoming the acknowledged artist, while the band take the role of his instruments (was this what The Who's Pete Townshend was implying in the piece he wrote for a music mag, in the wake of Pet Sounds?).

That would have opened the route for Brian's work with Redwood to be released, and maybe a big hit. Instead of the Beatles' Sgt Pepper, we'd've had George Martin's Sgt Pepper featuring the Beatles (which probably wouldn't have been as unusual as it might seem, considering Martin's classical background). Spector had already enjoyed stardom due to his production skills; maybe SMiLE would have opened the door for more producers to be accorded either celebrity or artist status. Plenty more producers – Gary Usher, Arthur Lee, Curt Boettcher etc – could have stepped up to the plate on the strength of such an emphasis shift.

ok, but do you think if smile had been released 40 years ago,  we would listen music of higher quality than today?
 :3d



Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: John Manning on August 21, 2009, 11:36:32 AM
If the producer-led album scenario had eventuated, yes. Instead we live in an era where music is a commodity, mass produced on a line, where "artists" crave celebrity status and the novelty of fame rather than artistic credibility and pride in their creative output.

I'm not blaming the non-appearance of SMiLE for that, and I'm not saying either that things would be any different in that regard; there'll always be folk like that.

But I think there'd've been an even more creative avant garde movement in rock than we've had.

SMiLE ’04 came too late to change anything, as the main creative period (in my hippy, long hair & beard view) was the late ’60s/early ’70s. There're, it seems fewer fertile minds around these days.


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: buddhahat on August 21, 2009, 12:24:49 PM
Different tack...

Suppose a successful ’67 SMiLE had lead to a trend in producer-led album releases, shifting the emphasis of the rock and pop world into making stars of the producers rather than the bands? After all, it was well-known that Brian was no longer touring regularly with the band and was instead staying at home to focus on studio work. It's not much of a leap from that to his becoming the acknowledged artist, while the band take the role of his instruments (was this what The Who's Pete Townshend was implying in the piece he wrote for a music mag, in the wake of Pet Sounds?).

That would have opened the route for Brian's work with Redwood to be released, and maybe a big hit. Instead of the Beatles' Sgt Pepper, we'd've had George Martin's Sgt Pepper featuring the Beatles (which probably wouldn't have been as unusual as it might seem, considering Martin's classical background). Spector had already enjoyed stardom due to his production skills; maybe SMiLE would have opened the door for more producers to be accorded either celebrity or artist status. Plenty more producers – Gary Usher, Arthur Lee, Curt Boettcher etc – could have stepped up to the plate on the strength of such an emphasis shift.

I think it's an interesting idea but I don't think the public as a whole want genius producers - they want rock stars, celebrities that are a mirror to their own aspirations. I think The Beatles were the ultimate aspirational idols for that time.  Their image was a crucial part of their success. Who wants to pretend to be george Martin? I think The Beach Boys image always let them down in this respect. They just weren't that cool, and however hip the music Brian created was, he always fighting against their obvious squareness.


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: Alex on August 21, 2009, 05:09:38 PM
Different tack...

Suppose a successful ’67 SMiLE had lead to a trend in producer-led album releases, shifting the emphasis of the rock and pop world into making stars of the producers rather than the bands? After all, it was well-known that Brian was no longer touring regularly with the band and was instead staying at home to focus on studio work. It's not much of a leap from that to his becoming the acknowledged artist, while the band take the role of his instruments (was this what The Who's Pete Townshend was implying in the piece he wrote for a music mag, in the wake of Pet Sounds?).

That would have opened the route for Brian's work with Redwood to be released, and maybe a big hit. Instead of the Beatles' Sgt Pepper, we'd've had George Martin's Sgt Pepper featuring the Beatles (which probably wouldn't have been as unusual as it might seem, considering Martin's classical background). Spector had already enjoyed stardom due to his production skills; maybe SMiLE would have opened the door for more producers to be accorded either celebrity or artist status. Plenty more producers – Gary Usher, Arthur Lee, Curt Boettcher etc – could have stepped up to the plate on the strength of such an emphasis shift.

I think it's an interesting idea but I don't think the public as a whole want genius producers - they want rock stars, celebrities that are a mirror to their own aspirations. I think The Beatles were the ultimate aspirational idols for that time.  Their image was a crucial part of their success. Who wants to pretend to be george Martin? I think The Beach Boys image always let them down in this respect. They just weren't that cool, and however hip the music Brian created was, he always fighting against their obvious squareness.

Well, apparently the general public was as shallow back then as it is now...


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: PaulHippensteel on August 21, 2009, 09:55:24 PM
A friend of mine who's a big Dylan/Springsteen fan, as well as a Beach Boys fan, feels that Brian establishing himself as a producer in the early '60s was an extension of the studio production of artists like Fabian and the songwriting of the Brill Building, as well as the formulaic recordings of Motown, which (some "classic rock" fans & critics believe) were killing the rebellion and spontaneity of '50s-styled rock 'n roll. He thinks that artists like Dylan (and later Springsteen) turned rock into an art form, thereby preventing rock from dying out.

I argued to this friend that Dylan/Springsteen have done just the opposite; that artists like that who emphasize lyrics over music are just pandering to pompous critics,  like the would-be English professors of Rolling Stone magazine (last fall a Rolling Stone CD review analyzed the LYRICS of a Brtiney Spears album!), replacing the fun and spontaneity of rock 'n roll with unbearable pretense and tuneless songs with "meaningful lyrics", creating a climate where every album has to be a "serious artistic statement", resulting in the "one album every five years" syndrome. Okay, so back in the '60s when artists ground out 3 or 4 albums a year, a lot of those albums were filled with cover versions. But which would you rather hear, "Lies" covered by Nancy Sinatra or the latest "artistic statement" by Coldplay or Radiohead?


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: the captain on August 22, 2009, 09:11:44 AM
Coldplay and Radiohead ought not be lumped together.

But really, there was room in music in the late 60s and early 70s for both lyric-based art and spontaneous, ebullient art, just as 50 years ago there was room for both Sun records and hard bop and today there is room for both Kanye West and the Dixie Chicks (and obviously in each of those time periods and every other period, room for a plethora else, besides). There is always room for all of it, and nothing is killing anything. Everything is just dying when it has mostly run its course. No big deal. You can't keep remaking Pet Sounds, or Born to Run, or The Chirpin' Crickets, or Kid A, or Blonde on Blonde, or anything else, without becoming a lifeless pastiche.


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: Alex on August 22, 2009, 08:06:49 PM
Coldplay and Radiohead ought not be lumped together.


Ah, why not? They sound pretty similar to each other! I know, I know...Coldplay ripped off Radiohead's sound... But while RH were noodling around being "serious artists", Coldplay were writing catchy uplifting pop tunes. A Coldplay show also seems like it would be much more fun than an RH show....

Plus, SMiLE '67, even in an unfinished state, is 10000000 times better than OK Computer will ever be!!!

Alright, immature and juvenile anti-Radiohead rant over.

On a more mature note, I pretty much agree with everything Luther just said.


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: Dancing Bear on August 23, 2009, 08:58:09 AM
Coldplay and Radiohead ought not be lumped together.

But really, there was room in music in the late 60s and early 70s for both lyric-based art and spontaneous, ebullient art, just as 50 years ago there was room for both Sun records and hard bop and today there is room for both Kanye West and the Dixie Chicks (and obviously in each of those time periods and every other period, room for a plethora else, besides). There is always room for all of it, and nothing is killing anything. Everything is just dying when it has mostly run its course. No big deal. You can't keep remaking Pet Sounds, or Born to Run, or The Chirpin' Crickets, or Kid A, or Blonde on Blonde, or anything else, without becoming a lifeless pastiche.

Great post.


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: the captain on August 23, 2009, 09:16:14 AM
Coldplay and Radiohead ought not be lumped together.


Ah, why not? They sound pretty similar to each other! I know, I know...Coldplay ripped off Radiohead's sound... But while RH were noodling around being "serious artists", Coldplay were writing catchy uplifting pop tunes. A Coldplay show also seems like it would be much more fun than an RH show....

Plus, SMiLE '67, even in an unfinished state, is 10000000 times better than OK Computer will ever be!!!

Alright, immature and juvenile anti-Radiohead rant over.

On a more mature note, I pretty much agree with everything Luther just said.

I wouldn't argue the superficial sonic similarities. But it's a bit like lumping Led Zeppelin in with Whitesnake.


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: Alex on August 23, 2009, 08:00:41 PM
Coldplay and Radiohead ought not be lumped together.


Ah, why not? They sound pretty similar to each other! I know, I know...Coldplay ripped off Radiohead's sound... But while RH were noodling around being "serious artists", Coldplay were writing catchy uplifting pop tunes. A Coldplay show also seems like it would be much more fun than an RH show....

Plus, SMiLE '67, even in an unfinished state, is 10000000 times better than OK Computer will ever be!!!

Alright, immature and juvenile anti-Radiohead rant over.

On a more mature note, I pretty much agree with everything Luther just said.

I wouldn't argue the superficial sonic similarities. But it's a bit like lumping Led Zeppelin in with Whitesnake.

Yeah, maybe... but at least the guys in Coldplay don't pretend to be depressed all the time.


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: the captain on August 23, 2009, 08:08:14 PM
Neither does Adrian Vandenberg!


Title: Re: Smile in 1967
Post by: Sam_BFC on August 24, 2009, 04:56:49 PM
I think Coldplay are way more like MOR than Radiohead

Sam