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Author Topic: Does Smile tell a story?  (Read 5971 times)
Jason
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« Reply #25 on: February 19, 2006, 05:23:23 PM »

Sneer. Just kidding.

I don't think I read THAT much into it.
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Ron
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« Reply #26 on: February 19, 2006, 05:27:43 PM »

Well of course you don't, you said it doesn't tell a story.  I say it tells *the* story!
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Jason
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« Reply #27 on: February 19, 2006, 05:29:02 PM »

I think it might tell a story, some of the posts here have made me relisten. I don't think Smile is autobiographical. Hell, I don't even think Pet Sounds was.
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I. Spaceman
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« Reply #28 on: February 19, 2006, 06:19:07 PM »

Quote
Hell, I don't even think Pet Sounds was.

Of course it is. Any art that reaches that deep is autobiographical. Dylan has even admitted that.
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I. Spaceman
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« Reply #29 on: February 19, 2006, 06:29:51 PM »

Quote
but I do think that sometimes people do things for reasons they don't totally understand.

Exactly, Ron. If things are correct in the creation of art, the artists lets go of will and interprets what the cosmos/muse is sending him. A great artist is nothing but an interpreter of universal truths into a personalised package.
Dylan talks about that, and he's a smart, smart man. He does not know how or why his songs were writen, and is sometimes just as clueless as we as to their literal "meaning". He's a conduit, a greatly skilled conduit, it takes a lot of work to open yourself up like that, but a conduit nonetheless.
All knowledge and beauty does not come from us, but we can reflect it. Wiping off the ego-power smudge off of our glasses so we can properly see is where human craft comes into the picture.
The most open and vulnerable of artists, that can tap into the universal well without self intruding too heavily are those that are called geniuses.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2006, 06:32:27 PM by Ian, Cpt. Howdy » Logged

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Evenreven
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« Reply #30 on: February 22, 2006, 07:50:51 AM »

I don't have his exact quote, but Peter has posted about this here on several occasions.
Indeed. I remember it too. Very puzzling. This also lead to a SMiLE theory that might just be true:

1. Dumb Angel - a three movement thingy, loosely structured in Brian's mind.
2. SMiLE late '66 - at most two movements; maybe just songs. A compromise.
3. SMiLE 2004 - Brian's, Van's and Darian's approximation of the original three-movement Dumb Angel concept

I believe something to this effect was postulated on the old Shop board, maybe by Chalk & Numbers, spurred on by Peter's statement.
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Bubba Ho-Tep
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« Reply #31 on: February 22, 2006, 08:40:26 AM »

But Brian said many times that the difference between Smile and Smile 2004 was that they “added a third movement. Now it’s a rock opera.”.

Why can’t he ever give a straight answer?

There is no recorded evidence that any of the original tracks would have run into one another as “movements”. Just about ever cut is designed for a fade out. He may have brainstormed a “three movement” piece, but from what he recorded it appears that the plan was an album of stand alone tracks. Perhaps linked lyrically but not physically.

I am not sure that a story can be traced throughout the album. In hindsight, one can be fathomed from the songs as they are now, but really we just have a bunch of songs about several different fields of interest, although perhaps with an “all American” feel.

H&V and Worms are the only 2 songs that seemed linked, both lyrically and structurally (assuming that the “bicycle rider” theme was meant to reoccur, that it wasn’t just an act of desperation leaving Worms incomplete). But one is a tale of the old west and one is a tale of pilgrims and Indians. Both songs take place in the past but I would say that they are probably a couple of years apart.

Wonderful, CIFOTM, Look share a similar piano riff, but since we have no vintage lyrics for 2 of the songs, we can’t say that there was a connective story.  Wonderful is not tied down to a specific date or era.

SU also is a snapshot of the past although Brian, in his description of it in the Hello God article said that the second movement was of “Europe, a long time ago”, which is the only time the album seems to leave America.

I don’t see any sort of narrative to these songs. Like Pet Sounds, they are just a group of songs bound by a similar state of mind.

Of course, in 2004, they knew what to look for and easilier manipulated the material to work in a more comprehensive way.
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donald
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« Reply #32 on: February 22, 2006, 09:19:37 AM »

Once upon a time.................


...............................No one knows if the mysterious Pied Piper of Night
Was the one who came back to visit the princes and princesses again
But if you have a transistor radio and the lights are all out some night
Don't be very surprised if it turns to light green
And the whirling magic sound of the Pied Piper comes to visit you


now THERE is a story!   Wink
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Roger Ryan
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« Reply #33 on: February 22, 2006, 12:08:40 PM »

The instruments on Smile were all supposed to older kinds that would have been available in the old west, like Surf's Up with the pearls or whatever that jingle in the guys hand. Electric guitars and organs like on Smiley would not have been used in the original version.

An interesting Eno-esque idea, but it doesn't allow for the fuzz bass included on many of the tracks.
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buddhahat
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« Reply #34 on: February 22, 2006, 02:24:46 PM »


H&V and Worms are the only 2 songs that seemed linked, both lyrically and structurally (assuming that the “bicycle rider” theme was meant to reoccur, that it wasn’t just an act of desperation leaving Worms incomplete). But one is a tale of the old west and one is a tale of pilgrims and Indians. Both songs take place in the past but I would say that they are probably a couple of years apart.

Wonderful, CIFOTM, Look share a similar piano riff, but since we have no vintage lyrics for 2 of the songs, we can’t say that there was a connective story.  Wonderful is not tied down to a specific date or era.


According to Badman, Brian abandoned worms as part of his developing vision of the Smile album. Look apparenty suffered the same fate. Do people on this board agree with this or is this an example of one of the inaccuracies in the Badman book that I've heard of?
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Evenreven
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« Reply #35 on: February 22, 2006, 03:44:20 PM »

I think it is.

Badman seems to be doing some guesswork here. Worms may have been scrapped when Brian re-recorded the Bicycle Rider theme for Heroes and Villains. Then again, we just don't know if Brian wanted to use the theme twice (or more). I haven't seen any mention of scrapping Worms specifically except in Badman's book.

With Look, he's probably going from the fact that it's not on the December handwritten tracklist. I'd be wary of taking the tracklist as gospel, especially considering Brian probably didn't write it. Look may still have been in the picture. We don't really know. And I don't think Badman knows anything we don't know either.
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« Reply #36 on: February 22, 2006, 03:50:17 PM »

"Worms" is one of the strongest tracks amidst all of the others. To get rid of it would be a great loss. Luckily they re-thought.
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Evenreven
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« Reply #37 on: February 22, 2006, 03:55:12 PM »

Do You Like Worms is the best song ever cut by the Beach Boys, bar none.
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Bubba Ho-Tep
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« Reply #38 on: February 23, 2006, 06:17:42 AM »

But maybe he didn't just get rid of Worms...maybe he got rid of everything by that point and was only working toward a single. In his mind, since the album was not what he wanted to do anymore, he felt that the riff was available for something else. From that point on he was recycling Smile riffs left and right with no concern that the original compositions would be released. He only looked forward, he never looked back.

The fact that he gave the CIFOTM riff to Denny for Little Bird shows that that song was dead, and actually, it shows that it meant very little to him at all. It was just another unused riff. He clearly didn't give a merda and was not planning on ever returning to the project.

The Smile songs that appeared on Smiley Smile were the ones that existed as finished tracks from the Smile-era. I don't think that is a coincidence anymore. The ones that appeared later (Cabinessence & SU) needed the least amount of work. The others were of no consequence to Brian. I sometimes think that maybe he didn't finish them because he didn't think they were good anymore, either on his own or because of what others were saying around him. And maybe he was right. Is Barnyard anything special? OMP? Woodshop? Great Shape? These are not proper songs. This is not what Brian Wilson does. So he stuck with the songs that had the most conventional forms. And he started recycling the junk right away. And Smiley Smile turned out to be what he really wanted to say.

You want to know the Smile tracklist? Look at the back of the Smiley Smile cover.

I have a different point of view next week, of course.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2006, 06:23:24 AM by Bubba Ho-Tep » Logged
matt 1234
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« Reply #39 on: February 23, 2006, 09:17:03 AM »

I think it was a bad move to call it, "do you like work worms?" do you dig worms is where the cool wordplay ahh wheatever
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