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Author Topic: What if Smiley Smile had a Butcher-style pasteover cover?  (Read 602 times)
Occasional grilled cheese
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« on: February 04, 2021, 10:03:08 AM »

I must have had a lot of time on my hands to think through this one through:

Since it's [widely thought but apparently not correct] that Capitol was sitting on a sizeable quantity of prematurely printed Smile jackets just a few months after The Beatles' Yesterday and Today was released, let's imagine that a similar approach was tried for Smiley Smile. Of course this is a completely nonsense what-if scenario, but it sure gave me something to think about a few months back. Obviously the back cover designs and info on the spine would be different so we can throw this idea in the trash right now, but what if Capitol decided to cheap out and paste the Smiley Smile slick over the disused Smile jackets butcher cover style, relying on the "see label for sequence" note to maintain some kind of weak justification of salvageability?

I'm not sure how many copies Smiley Smile sold in the 60's (chart peak #41) but I have this vague impression that it was less than the amount of Smile jackets that existed at the time, so the "punchline" part to this in my mind is that unlike Yesterday and Today, the regular non-pasteover copies of Smiley Smile would be the rare version in this alternate reality.

Probably coulda got alot done around the house while pondering this nonsense but it would be cool to see a butcher-style fan mockup of Smiley Smile nonetheless.

[Edited for clarity]
« Last Edit: February 05, 2021, 07:23:42 AM by Occasional grilled cheese » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2021, 03:19:35 PM »

Can't really wrap my head around all those what-ifs, but it's always been interesting and significant to me that Brian made the decision to go with a new name and a new cover.  I mean, he very well could have called the new album "Smile," and used the same front slick as the one song mentioned on the front (Good Vibrations) was also in the new album.  The Smile back slick was obviously a problem as it includes 7 titles not included in Smiley.  I forget, it's been a while since I've looked at the memos reproduced in Dom Priore's LLVS.  Were the 250,000 (or whatever) "covers" complete album jackets finished with front and back slicks?  Or were they just the front slick?
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DonnyL
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« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2021, 03:50:36 PM »

In reality, the paste over would have been Best of The Beach Boys, Vol 2 ...

Smile was officially cancelled in May Ď67, and best of Vol 2 seems to have been released in response 2 months later. Smiley Smile didnít come until September.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2021, 03:53:25 PM by DonnyL » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2021, 04:58:29 PM »

In reality, the paste over would have been Best of The Beach Boys, Vol 2 ...

Smile was officially cancelled in May Ď67, and best of Vol 2 seems to have been released in response 2 months later. Smiley Smile didnít come until September.

Good point there. Forgot Best of volume 2 was the next LP in stores from them after the Smile sessions ended.
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« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2021, 08:17:51 PM »

Thank you SO much for editing that post for clarity!!   3D
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« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2021, 07:20:15 AM »

Also, there were actually no finished Smile covers ever prepared. There were almost 500,000 slicks manufactured (and subsequently buried), but as far as I'm aware there was never a final version of the rear cover printed, although there are a few mock-ups kicking around. So there would have been nothing on  which to paste the Smiley image, sadly.
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« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2021, 08:34:46 AM »

I guess Capitol might have included the (also pulped) "Smile" booklet in the Smiley package, although as that includes lyrics/titles for Surf's Up, CabinEssence and other songs not included on Smiley, that might just have added to the confusion.
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CenturyDeprived
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« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2021, 08:41:44 AM »

Also, there were actually no finished Smile covers ever prepared. There were almost 500,000 slicks manufactured (and subsequently buried), but as far as I'm aware there was never a final version of the rear cover printed, although there are a few mock-ups kicking around. So there would have been nothing on  which to paste the Smiley image, sadly.

Just so I understand the meaning of the word "slick"... does a slick imply that it was a printed artwork paper that was affixed to a cardboard LP cover? Or is it just the outer paper without it having been affixed to a cardboard sleeve?

Secondly, what do we know about these slicks being "buried"? How much of that is conjecture and assumption versus actual fact that we know?

While it has been over 50 years, part of me wonders if there couldn't be a project much like the angry video game nerd guy who was actually able to figure out where many thousands of defunct Atari ET video games were buried!  They were actually dug up after tremendous amount of research.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/arstechnica.com/gaming/2015/08/881-e-t-cartridges-buried-in-new-mexico-desert-sell-for-107930-15/%3famp=1

 I think the odds of that happening here are extremely slim but it does make me wonder if it's even remotely possible to find out where they were buried and if any still exist in a landfill (I realize of course that paper degrades much faster than plastic cartridges, but one still wonders).
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Occasional grilled cheese
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« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2021, 08:48:43 AM »

I guess Capitol might have included the (also pulped) "Smile" booklet in the Smiley package, although as that includes lyrics/titles for Surf's Up, CabinEssence and other songs not included on Smiley, that might just have added to the confusion.

This is an interesting suggestion. I've never looked through the booklet during a Smiley Smile listen and I can't unhear regular Smile now but I wonder how a 1967 record buyer would interpret the booklet without what we know now. This especially applies to the average fan that might not have kept up on the contemporary press. I mean, do we have viewership data for Inside Pop?

I know Party! came with that card sheet (mine didn't; thanks Shoemaker) and all but special bonus items weren't that common to be included in albums besides storybook records back then right? I mean Sgt. Pepper had the cutout sheet but that seems like it would've been easier to pay for and print than this full color booklet. It seems pretty extraordinary to my 31 year old self that the booklet was a thing and I'm way glad the 2011 release reproduced it.
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« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2021, 08:57:34 AM »

Also, there were actually no finished Smile covers ever prepared. There were almost 500,000 slicks manufactured (and subsequently buried), but as far as I'm aware there was never a final version of the rear cover printed, although there are a few mock-ups kicking around. So there would have been nothing on  which to paste the Smiley image, sadly.

Just so I understand the meaning of the word "slick"... does a slick imply that it was a printed artwork paper that was affixed to a cardboard LP cover? Or is it just the outer paper without it having been affixed to a cardboard sleeve?

Secondly, what do we know about these slicks being "buried"? How much of that is conjecture and assumption versus actual fact that we know?

While it has been over 50 years, part of me wonders if there couldn't be a project much like the angry video game nerd guy who was actually able to figure out where many thousands of defunct Atari ET video games were buried!  They were actually dug up after tremendous amount of research.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/arstechnica.com/gaming/2015/08/881-e-t-cartridges-buried-in-new-mexico-desert-sell-for-107930-15/%3famp=1

 I think the odds of that happening here are extremely slim but it does make me wonder if it's even remotely possible to find out where they were buried and if any still exist in a landfill (I realize of course that paper degrades much faster than plastic cartridges, but one still wonders).

Wasn't expecting to get into Video Game Crash of '83 lore here but I'm for it. If we compare the two events Capitol looks a bit smarter than Atari cause even though they jumped the gun and wasted some cash on the Smile printing, at least they didn't produce more inventory than there were record players sold to date, expecting millions more people to buy the hardware on the strength of their product.

I had this crackpot theory about a year ago based on Don Was' supposed encouragement for Brian to release Smile as an interactive title like Todd Rundgren did with the "No World Order" album on the Phillips CDi. Was trying to see if The GV box's sales numbers supported the idea that Smile interactive would be a system seller for a failed machine. The whole thought experiment fell apart though when I found out the Rundgren CD Rom came out for Mac.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2021, 08:58:55 AM by Occasional grilled cheese » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2021, 09:17:46 AM »

I guess Capitol might have included the (also pulped) "Smile" booklet in the Smiley package, although as that includes lyrics/titles for Surf's Up, CabinEssence and other songs not included on Smiley, that might just have added to the confusion.

This is an interesting suggestion. I've never looked through the booklet during a Smiley Smile listen and I can't unhear regular Smile now but I wonder how a 1967 record buyer would interpret the booklet without what we know now. This especially applies to the average fan that might not have kept up on the contemporary press. I mean, do we have viewership data for Inside Pop?

I know Party! came with that card sheet (mine didn't; thanks Shoemaker) and all but special bonus items weren't that common to be included in albums besides storybook records back then right? I mean Sgt. Pepper had the cutout sheet but that seems like it would've been easier to pay for and print than this full color booklet. It seems pretty extraordinary to my 31 year old self that the booklet was a thing and I'm way glad the 2011 release reproduced it.

I don't have the book handy, but in Dom Priore's LLVS, there's a copy of  a memo which mentions that Capitol and Brian had agreed that the booklet should be saved for the future album that would include the songs featured. IIRC, they noted that a couple of the songs featured in the booklet were part of Smiley Smile.  I can't remember if they specified which songs they had in mind, but obviously H&V and Vegetables were both in the booklet and on Smiley.  I believe that the memo implied or assumed that those songs would not be released again on Brian's future album and thus indicated something along the lines that an explanatory note could be included in that release.  It's hard to imagine a Smile album without some version of H&V, and personally I prefer to imagine that if Brian really had followed through with un-shelving Smile, he'd have pulled a Ronda/Rhonda and taken a 2nd crack at H&V.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2021, 09:18:16 AM by juggler » Logged
harveyw
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« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2021, 02:26:46 PM »

Also, there were actually no finished Smile covers ever prepared. There were almost 500,000 slicks manufactured (and subsequently buried), but as far as I'm aware there was never a final version of the rear cover printed, although there are a few mock-ups kicking around. So there would have been nothing on  which to paste the Smiley image, sadly.

Just so I understand the meaning of the word "slick"... does a slick imply that it was a printed artwork paper that was affixed to a cardboard LP cover? Or is it just the outer paper without it having been affixed to a cardboard sleeve?

Secondly, what do we know about these slicks being "buried"? How much of that is conjecture and assumption versus actual fact that we know?

While it has been over 50 years, part of me wonders if there couldn't be a project much like the angry video game nerd guy who was actually able to figure out where many thousands of defunct Atari ET video games were buried!  They were actually dug up after tremendous amount of research.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/arstechnica.com/gaming/2015/08/881-e-t-cartridges-buried-in-new-mexico-desert-sell-for-107930-15/%3famp=1

 I think the odds of that happening here are extremely slim but it does make me wonder if it's even remotely possible to find out where they were buried and if any still exist in a landfill (I realize of course that paper degrades much faster than plastic cartridges, but one still wonders).

A "slick" is the paper artwork before it's been glued to the cardboard structure that forms the basis for the cover. One slick for the front, one for the back (which, for Capitol covers, folds over the spine & the upper/lower seams). As the rear slick was never mass-produced, there are no finished covers. It's a shame, but it's one less thing to spend a fortune on (and having spent a fortune on an original slick some time ago, that comes as some relief).

I first read (in a piece written by AGD that appeared in the UK Stomp fanzine circa 1985) that 99.99% of the slicks & booklets were sent to landfill. I assume this was taken from Capitol memos that may well be reproduced in LLVS. I will dig it out later if I get the chance. I understand they were sent to a facility in Scranton, if you want to start digging, though I don't know if they were shredded &/or pulped beforehand.

Reminds me a bit of this story too:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-55658942
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CenturyDeprived
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« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2021, 03:39:10 PM »

Also, there were actually no finished Smile covers ever prepared. There were almost 500,000 slicks manufactured (and subsequently buried), but as far as I'm aware there was never a final version of the rear cover printed, although there are a few mock-ups kicking around. So there would have been nothing on  which to paste the Smiley image, sadly.

Just so I understand the meaning of the word "slick"... does a slick imply that it was a printed artwork paper that was affixed to a cardboard LP cover? Or is it just the outer paper without it having been affixed to a cardboard sleeve?

Secondly, what do we know about these slicks being "buried"? How much of that is conjecture and assumption versus actual fact that we know?

While it has been over 50 years, part of me wonders if there couldn't be a project much like the angry video game nerd guy who was actually able to figure out where many thousands of defunct Atari ET video games were buried!  They were actually dug up after tremendous amount of research.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/arstechnica.com/gaming/2015/08/881-e-t-cartridges-buried-in-new-mexico-desert-sell-for-107930-15/%3famp=1

 I think the odds of that happening here are extremely slim but it does make me wonder if it's even remotely possible to find out where they were buried and if any still exist in a landfill (I realize of course that paper degrades much faster than plastic cartridges, but one still wonders).

A "slick" is the paper artwork before it's been glued to the cardboard structure that forms the basis for the cover. One slick for the front, one for the back (which, for Capitol covers, folds over the spine & the upper/lower seams). As the rear slick was never mass-produced, there are no finished covers. It's a shame, but it's one less thing to spend a fortune on (and having spent a fortune on an original slick some time ago, that comes as some relief).

I first read (in a piece written by AGD that appeared in the UK Stomp fanzine circa 1985) that 99.99% of the slicks & booklets were sent to landfill. I assume this was taken from Capitol memos that may well be reproduced in LLVS. I will dig it out later if I get the chance. I understand they were sent to a facility in Scranton, if you want to start digging, though I don't know if they were shredded &/or pulped beforehand.

Reminds me a bit of this story too:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-55658942


Let's all head out to Scranton and bring our shovels!

Seriously though, I think the odds are any of them still exist in a landfill are extremely low, maybe as remote as the odds are of the Leonard Bernstein Brian outtakes surfacing.

Thanks for the info about the slicks. I think that would make them even more fragile, considering they are just flimsy paper and not even connected to cardboard. The only way I could see any of them surviving is if some of them got covered up and were piled under tons of other stuff and didn't get too sunbaked/damaged, but I will freely admit that the odds of anything like that lasting for six decades must be extremely remote. And I certainly have no idea about how trash gets saved/recycled/moved around landfills, particularly in decades of the past.

Still, one wonders. Stranger things have happened. It is utterly shocking that they were able to find those ET Atari cartridges after 35 years!
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