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Poll
Question: Which Do You Prefer?
Pet Sounds - 61 (67.8%)
The Smile Sessions (disc 1 'album') - 29 (32.2%)
Total Voters: 85

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Author Topic: Twofer polls #12: Pet Sounds vs. The Smile Sessions (Disc 1)  (Read 5256 times)
buddhahat
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« on: October 19, 2012, 12:57:19 PM »

The KTSA and BB85 seemed to polarise board opinion more than any yet. It's currently tied if anyone cares to redress the balance.

I have a feeling this next one won't be so even, although part of me wishes it will be. Apologies to those exasperated by another Smile vs Pet Sounds thread but I feel it really needs to be settled once and for all!

Just to be clear: As these are twofer polls I think we have to judge the released version of the Smile album, i.e. The Smile Sessions disc 1 approximation, rather than some abstract projection of what Smile might have been. I'd love to stretch the imaginary twofer out to encompass bonus tracks (Trombone Dixie for PS & You're Welcome for Smile) but probably best just to stick to the official tracklisting as per vinyl versions.

Pet Sounds is the tried and tested masterpiece of course, more soulful and emotional, the auteur's vision fully realised, near perfection, but nothing comes close to the sheer ambition and vision of Brian's (and VDP's) Smile era experiments for me. I think Mark Linnet and Alan Boyd did a pretty good job of bottling it all and delivering a wholly satisfying sequence largely in line with Brian and VDP's (and Darian's) BWPS blueprint.

So The Smile Sessions for me ...


« Last Edit: October 23, 2012, 01:10:18 AM by buddhahat » Logged

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EgoHanger1966
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« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2012, 01:05:32 PM »

Interesting poll - as usual.....

I think you could go a couple different ways with this. Because I listen to these albums so much, and because they feature some of the best music ever made, I like to try them out and listen to them in as many different situations as I can find. Some I won't go into.  Grin  The one thing that I've gleaned from this is that these are two VERY spiritual, religious albums for me, and in two very different ways. Pet Sounds is like talking to a God who's your closest friend. Pet Sounds is tangible. SMiLE (small i always!) is a very abstract thing. It's something so elusive, you want to reach out your hand to grab it....and yet, you can't quite get there and you wonder if it's real.

But...I'm always telling people one of them is the best album ever made, and making people listen to me talk about the genius sounds of some guy who created it, and, heck, the shirt I'm wearing right now says "The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds" on it, so I think I'll go with that one.
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« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2012, 01:08:41 PM »

Pet Sounds is like talking to a God who's your closest friend. Pet Sounds is tangible.

SMiLE (small i always!) is a very abstract thing. It's something so elusive, you want to reach out your hand to grab it....and yet, you can't quite get there and you wonder if it's real.

Nice way of putting it!
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« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2012, 01:23:33 PM »

Pet Sounds, without a moment of hesitation.

The thing on disc 1 of the Smile box is not something I enjoy listening to at all.
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« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2012, 01:28:53 PM »

Pet Sounds probably is the BETTER album, because, #1, it was completed. But I went through a phase where i played it so much, I don't find myself going back to it very much now. That album was MY album for a long time - felt like Brian had written my autobio. Smile is fresher to me, even though I've heard the boots and BWPS for years. So my vote goes to Smile. But in all reality, how can anyone seriously choose between these two? It's like asking a parent which of their children they love the most.
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Bubba Ho-Tep
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« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2012, 01:34:15 PM »

Quote
It's like asking a parent which of their children they love the most

To me it's like choosing between a beautiful child and a deformed miscarriage. Not that hard of a choice, really; especially considering the mutilated form you've given me to choose from.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2012, 01:35:52 PM by Bubba Ho-Tep » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2012, 01:50:47 PM »

Quote
It's like asking a parent which of their children they love the most

To me it's like choosing between a beautiful child and a deformed miscarriage. Not that hard of a choice, really; especially considering the mutilated form you've given me to choose from.

I know you feel strongly about this version, and I get where you're coming from, but this is the Beach Boys' official Smile we've ended up with in this universe.

I spent months leading up to the Smile Sessions release dreading mixes of Barnyard and Great Shape that flew in the Humble Harv vocals. When it happened I was bummed but figured I either accepted it as is, or felt cheated for the rest of my life. I've played it so much those Harv vocals sound natural now.

I'm not claiming you should do the same by any means - you have your own personal reasons why this Smile doesn't work for you and I wouldn't dream of telling anyone how to listen to anything, but for what it's worth I'm giving you my take on the sequence and why it works for me. I guess if you follow my line of reasoning you might conclude that I'd be happy if they took a dump in my mum's sunday roast but actually I think they did a great job overall, highpoints being H&V, Worms, Old Master Painter + Fade, Surf's Up, Vegetables (THE greatest success of the whole sequence), Windchimes, Fire with fly ins (!), GV + Hum Be Dums. My gripes are with Great Shape, barnyard, The Child Sequence and the Dada fly ins, but as I say these are minor for me.

I've read a lot of negative comments about Linnett's more contentious Smile mixes, but with the exception of Bruiteur's Barnyard where he erased the piano (although this does expose the shortcomings of the flown in vocal), I've yet to hear one mix that actually improves on the official versions (ok apart from maybe Brian's versions of Look, Fire etc. but that's a different debate).
« Last Edit: October 19, 2012, 01:56:15 PM by buddhahat » Logged

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FatherOfTheMan (Vito Salutation)
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« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2012, 01:57:23 PM »

Pet Sounds is the greatest album ever created.

Smile transcends albums.

The mystery, the love, the pain, it goes deeper then Pet Sounds, rather then tell you how he feels, you explore him yourself, his mind...

It's Smile for me.
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« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2012, 02:46:33 PM »

I'm going to go with pet Sounds for a couple of reasons.

1) The old debate that pet Sounds is actually complete. It's was finished the way brian envisioned it, and we have a polished product. Smile has gaps, and, as much as i love the album, playing BWPS reminds me how much more ther ecould be.

2) Album length. I don't like albums to be over 40 mins really, and Smile kills it a bit for me. Having 3 sides also kinda flops it a bit for me, - it's either a single album or a double, although do realise finished albums exist like this. But this is The Beach Boys, and I feel it should be more straightforward than that in this case. Or I'm being OCD.

3) Pet Sounds has something I can always connect to mentally at some point or another, and when it doesn't, the sheer beauty of it still reaches out.  Smile is a demonstration of what Brian could do with the studio, as well as an embracing of the psychedelia of the times - the lyrics, great as they are, are not emotionally relateable. there are point here and there (Man, I love my Vegetables), but it is the emotion of The Beach boys music that makes them my favourite band, and this is where Pet Sounds comes up trumps every time.

But I still think Cuddle Up is more powerful, but that's another debate altogether... Hmmmm.
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« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2012, 02:50:21 PM »

SMiLE.
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« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2012, 03:06:22 PM »


3) Pet Sounds has something I can always connect to mentally at some point or another, and when it doesn't, the sheer beauty of it still reaches out.  Smile is a demonstration of what Brian could do with the studio, as well as an embracing of the psychedelia of the times - the lyrics, great as they are, are not emotionally relateable.

You're right. It's amazing how emotional Pet Sounds feels, and how cerebral and intellectual Smile appears in comparison. And yet the emotion is there in Smile in spades. If you listen to certain tracks without the vocals it's very apparent. The slow part of Child is achingly emotional - really mournful, as much as anything on Pet Sounds. Similarly listen to the Smiley piano only version of Wonderful. And Surf's Up of course (particularly the way brian sings the tag on the Wild Honey era demo). Or Cantina without vocals, or that weird Gershwinesque Heroes part 2 segment, or the a cappella tag to Vegatables. There's so much sadness there amongst the 'happy sounds inside'. But once you apply VDP's lyrics to those tracks they become something else entirely - much more cerebral, intellectual 'head' music. VDP + Brian, to over simplify, is the perfect marriage of head + heart. I don't care especially for Park's work sans Brian I'm sorry to say, exactly because it is over intellectual for my tastes and lacks emotion (imo).
« Last Edit: October 19, 2012, 03:11:41 PM by buddhahat » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2012, 04:15:06 PM »

The thing on disc 1 of the Smile box is not something I enjoy listening to at all.

Agree; it was a big disappointment. I can't listen to it.

That being said, the rest of the SMiLE box is tremendous. We had a similar thread a while back comparing Pet Sounds and SMiLE. I couldn't decide then and I can't decide now. I abstain. police
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« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2012, 04:30:39 PM »

Kills me but I have to vote for "Pet Sounds".
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« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2012, 04:41:36 PM »

Half of Smile is magnificent, some of the best stuff they ever did. The rest is insignificant noodling by comparison and rather overrated. Pet Sounds is much more plotted out and overall consistant so it gets the nod..
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« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2012, 04:57:56 PM »

Some stereo fan mixes go beyond PS, but if we're speaking the mono releases of PS and TSS, then PS by a mile. Mark Linett utterly failed in putting a decent/clean demo vocal from the Barnyard demo over the backing track. All others seem to have managed to not only do that, but also mute the piano to a very large extent. CIFOTM sounds appaling because of the acetate, that should perhaps not have made the cut? There are other small things, like muting the vibraphone on the V-T fade which I cannot comprehend and using the acetate for Barnshine, which makes it sound harribly muddy compared to YAMS whoich preceeds it. Linett and Boyd did a great job don't get me wrong, but there are some warts in there which one would think they could've avoided (given that others have...). Now I'm gonna be hounded for 'not appreciating' everything they did, which is wrong since I dig all the session stuff. PS comes on top in my book. How about a poll of Pet Sounds (stereo) vs Smile A.D?  Grin
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« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2012, 09:45:47 PM »

I love the released Smile, I'll never listen to another version.
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« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2012, 11:23:55 PM »

I love the released Smile, I'll never listen to another version.

Yeah, me too.
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« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2012, 11:28:02 PM »

The thing on disc 1 of the Smile box is not something I enjoy listening to at all.

Agree; it was a big disappointment. I can't listen to it.

That being said, the rest of the SMiLE box is tremendous. We had a similar thread a while back comparing Pet Sounds and SMiLE. I couldn't decide then and I can't decide now. I abstain. police

SJS - this poll is for the disc 1 sequence, not the complete sessions, so no abstainance necessary! Pet Sounds, right?
« Last Edit: October 19, 2012, 11:30:34 PM by buddhahat » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2012, 11:49:40 PM »

I love the released Smile, I'll never listen to another version.

Yeah, me too.
Me three.
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« Reply #19 on: October 20, 2012, 01:14:50 AM »

I love the released Smile, I'll never listen to another version.

Yeah, me too.
Me three.

Me Four - almost - I play one of my other vinyl 'legs from time to time for no reason otehr than to make me appreciate TSS even more Grin
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« Reply #20 on: October 20, 2012, 02:35:21 AM »

Quote
It's like asking a parent which of their children they love the most

To me it's like choosing between a beautiful child and a deformed miscarriage. Not that hard of a choice, really; especially considering the mutilated form you've given me to choose from.

Thanks for the new sig! Grin

Couldn't have put it better myself.
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« Reply #21 on: October 20, 2012, 07:20:38 AM »

The thing on disc 1 of the Smile box is not something I enjoy listening to at all.

Agree; it was a big disappointment. I can't listen to it.

That being said, the rest of the SMiLE box is tremendous. We had a similar thread a while back comparing Pet Sounds and SMiLE. I couldn't decide then and I can't decide now. I abstain. police

SJS - this poll is for the disc 1 sequence, not the complete sessions, so no abstainance necessary! Pet Sounds, right?

My bad. Yeah, Pet Sounds gets my vote.
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« Reply #22 on: October 20, 2012, 08:00:45 AM »

I really love the 2 LP Smile Sessions, but this is a tough choice. Pet Sounds is more emotional, Smile has more variety. Through 1972 The Beach Boys and Brian really can do little wrong by me period, but this is a peak in a good number of ways. I guess I have to go with Pet Sounds, but perhaps had they finished a few more vocal tracks I would give it to Smile. Glad I have both!
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« Reply #23 on: October 20, 2012, 08:27:54 AM »

Pet Sounds.

HOWEVER: If this were BWPS vs Pet Sounds I don't think I could participate in the poll - it would be a tie.

My one gripe with TSS version is its LENGTH. It's just too long to enjoy, imo. I really enjoy BWPS because all the songs are finished and they truly take you on a journey. I can't really listen to TSS version all the way through without getting kinda bored - the missing vocals just kill the vibe in a lot of the songs.

btw, I think Mark did an amazing job with this set and I think we all owe him a lot of thanks for his hard work!
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« Reply #24 on: October 20, 2012, 11:42:47 AM »

Had to go for Pet Sounds because of the obvious - Smile Sessions disc one is an incomplete approximation of what an album titled Smile may have sound like so the comparison with Pet Sounds, a complete work, is unfair.
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