A few interesting alternate realities to ponder, which popped into my head when reading this thread.
- What if Smiley Smile was released (at the exact same date, September 18, 1967 that it was actually released), but it was called "SMiLE" instead of "Smiley Smile", and had the original "SMiLE" LP artwork? Does this scenario in any way, shape or form effect the album's reception/sales, since an album called "SMiLE" had for months been promoted in print? Maybe it makes it more of a bummer, reception-wise. I dunno...
- Same question as above, but what if Smiley Smile (in its current form) was released with the original "SMiLE" LP artwork as "SMiLE" in late '66/ early '67, at the time that "SMiLE" was anticipated to be released?
- Did Smiley Smile only receive its eventual title due to the fact that "SMiLE" had for months been promoted in print? If that had not been a publicly known pre-release title, would it have gotten that title at all?
In 1967, "ignorance could have been bliss." I'd never have known the difference unless I was told. It could have been released in segments. Smiley is 27 minutes and Brian's Smile live (perhaps as envisioned) is 51. So double album at least.
Brian..."of Surf's Up...it was supposed to come out on the Smile album and that and a couple of other songs were junked...[because I] didn't want to put them on the album. ( what people were waiting for, since the Bernstein performance) I didn't think that the songs were right for the public at the time. I just didn't have a commercial feeling about some of these songs, and what we've never released. Maybe some people like to hang on to certain songs that they've written almost for themselves. You know, what they've written is nice for them...but a lot of people don't like it."
Brian..."We had done about six months work on another thing, but we jumped and ended up doing an entirely different mood and approach than what we originally started out with."
Carl..."it was also a thing of, 'What if it didn't turn out to be great, what if it totally flopped.' That would have completely destroyed him [ Brian]. We would have lost him forever in terms of having any communication with him. In the middle of all this, Brian just said, 'I can't do this. (Smile) We're going to make a homespun version of it instead. We're going to take it easy. Ill get in the pool and sing. Or we'll go to in the gym and do our parts.'"
The "pool" was empty due to a leak. (Homespun Echo chamber) And the "lo-fi" was the "homespun" aspect. So I guess fear was pervasive among the band.
Smile (and Smiley) is sort of like a Venn diagram, with some things in common, or a subset, some different but a common core. From what I've read, it was a real BB production. It seems a real fear (and maybe very reasonable) of the unknown by the band. But, it (Smiley) is a really beautiful work of vocal BB art.