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Author Topic: A seemingly simple question I just cannot find an answer to regarding Smile  (Read 2583 times)
ZenobiaUnchained
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« on: February 01, 2016, 01:36:20 PM »

Exactly when did Brian Wilson change the name from Dumb Angel to Smile? Can anyone give an exact date, or at the very least a range or something? Were there any contemporaneous statements in the press by he or Capitol referring to "Dumb Angel" specifically, and if not, does anyone know when and how this factoid came to be known? Thanks
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Lee Marshall
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« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2016, 01:57:03 PM »

I do remember at THAT time...fall '66 when Good Vibrations was still on the charts that the lp was going to be called Dumb Angel.  'They' talked about it on the radio in Toronto and I saw it in print somewhere...but as the year began to fade...Smile became its working title.  Exactly what date and the circumstances?  I dunno. Huh

The Beatles had done that kind of thing  earlier.  The motion picture 8 Arms to Hold You became Help.  The difference was...I bought... I think it was the Ticket to Ride single at that juncture and it said right on the label [approximately] from the Beatles movie Eight Arms to Hold You.  Good Vibrations didn't mention either title...and nothing was released until the following summer with Heroes and Villains.  An extremely  *L O N G*  eternity between releases for anyone let alone the Beach Boys.  [I tlink Lennon lived and Jehovah was pretty close to dying while that snooze fest was happening.  Although ... It might have just been Jesus.]
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« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2016, 02:25:18 PM »

 “Dumb Angel was just a passing title. Smile was more cheery, so we used the more cheery title. The whole album is going to be a far-out trip through the old west, real Americana, but with lots of interesting humour. I think it’s going to be a big humour trip. There’s even going to be talking and laughing between the cuts.” –Brian Wilson, fall-ish 1966
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« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2016, 03:42:53 PM »

I do remember at THAT time...fall '66 when Good Vibrations was still on the charts that the lp was going to be called Dumb Angel.  'They' talked about it on the radio in Toronto and I saw it in print somewhere...but as the year began to fade...Smile became its working title.  Exactly what date and the circumstances?  I dunno. Huh

The Beatles had done that kind of thing  earlier.  The motion picture 8 Arms to Hold You became Help.  The difference was...I bought... I think it was the Ticket to Ride single at that juncture and it said right on the label [approximately] from the Beatles movie Eight Arms to Hold You.  Good Vibrations didn't mention either title...and nothing was released until the following summer with Heroes and Villains.  An extremely  *L O N G*  eternity between releases for anyone let alone the Beach Boys.  [I tlink Lennon lived and Jehovah was pretty close to dying while that snooze fest was happening.  Although ... It might have just been Jesus.]
Wow Add Some, do you still have that 45? Is it a high-value collector's item?
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sockittome
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« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2016, 04:03:23 PM »

I do remember at THAT time...fall '66 when Good Vibrations was still on the charts that the lp was going to be called Dumb Angel.  'They' talked about it on the radio in Toronto and I saw it in print somewhere...but as the year began to fade...Smile became its working title.  Exactly what date and the circumstances?  I dunno. Huh

The Beatles had done that kind of thing  earlier.  The motion picture 8 Arms to Hold You became Help.  The difference was...I bought... I think it was the Ticket to Ride single at that juncture and it said right on the label [approximately] from the Beatles movie Eight Arms to Hold You.  Good Vibrations didn't mention either title...and nothing was released until the following summer with Heroes and Villains.  An extremely  *L O N G*  eternity between releases for anyone let alone the Beach Boys.  [I tlink Lennon lived and Jehovah was pretty close to dying while that snooze fest was happening.  Although ... It might have just been Jesus.]
Wow Add Some, do you still have that 45? Is it a high-value collector's item?

I have one and I believe they're fairly common. 
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« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2016, 05:01:09 PM »

Exactly when did Brian Wilson change the name from Dumb Angel to Smile? Can anyone give an exact date, or at the very least a range or something? Were there any contemporaneous statements in the press by he or Capitol referring to "Dumb Angel" specifically, and if not, does anyone know when and how this factoid came to be known? Thanks


"...and now he's cutting another album, 'Dumb Angel'..."
Tom Nolan  August 12 1966

“The Beach Boys are leading the American musician’s revolt against ordinary, trite album titles. Brian’s decided on “Dumb Angel” for the groups next LP. The decision this time came early - usually it’s strictly last minute.”
NME, August 19, 1966 p.8

“With only a couple of weeks before the Beach Boys European tour, leader Brian Wilson has called them nightly into his “home” - the recording studio - to try to finish up the next album “Dumb Angel”.
NME, October 21 1966 p.17

“They talked of their new LP ‘Smile’ which is being released later this year…”
Mike Love to Andrew Oldham and Tony Calder  November 6 1966

That's the best I've got, maybe someone can tune it finer.
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Mitchell
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« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2016, 06:55:08 PM »

Someone really needs to update/expand LLVS as a digital (searchable) archive, sortable by either publication date or date of interview.
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« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2016, 07:32:28 PM »

I remembered something, it may have been the title for a much briefer period.

"I started working on the drawings before my birthday of October 5. I was living in Pasadena till September and had been working on some of the drawings and ideas then. When I started my final year at Otis Art Institute, I moved back to Los Angeles and I began the finished work when the semester started. So you might say that part was done in Pasadena and the rest in Los Angeles."

"To answer your questions, I 'm sure I started the project right away, perhaps it was the last week of August. That would have given me three weeks before the semester started.
Brian did tell me at that time that the album was originally to be called "Dumb Angel," but now was changed to "Smile." That was the concept I would follow."

Frank Holmes  December 4 & 6, 2001

The semester started at Otis Art Institute on September 19, 1966.
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Andrew G. Doe
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« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2016, 10:31:37 PM »

There are times when I love this forum as no other. This is one of them.  Grin
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Jay
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« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2016, 10:42:11 PM »

Someone really needs to update/expand LLVS as a digital (searchable) archive, sortable by either publication date or date of interview.
Somebody needs to put together a big scrap book style coffee table book(possibly multi volume?) of nothing but 1966-67 era Smile related articles, from the earliest known "Dumb Angel" reference, and ending somewhere around the Smiley Smile period.
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ZenobiaUnchained
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« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2016, 12:33:20 AM »

Someone really needs to update/expand LLVS as a digital (searchable) archive, sortable by either publication date or date of interview.
Somebody needs to put together a big scrap book style coffee table book(possibly multi volume?) of nothing but 1966-67 era Smile related articles, from the earliest known "Dumb Angel" reference, and ending somewhere around the Smiley Smile period.

Thats essentially what LLVS is tho. I completely agree that an online edition, possibly with new stuff from the 2003 live CD and boxset releases too, like the book that comes in the latter, ought to be compiled. It should be organized chronologically and with note to who authored each, and yeah a search feature would be nice so we could easily check facts and judge worth and reliability of each individual source. As is, trying to find specific facts like this is a mess and way harder than it ought to be.

Thanks for all the replied, everyone.
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Andrew G. Doe
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« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2016, 02:25:16 AM »

2003 live CD ? I missed that one...
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ZenobiaUnchained
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« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2016, 03:21:21 AM »

2003 live CD ? I missed that one...

Total brainfart. Meant to say live act and CD
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« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2016, 12:23:18 PM »

The Beatles had done that kind of thing  earlier.  The motion picture 8 Arms to Hold You became Help.  The difference was...I bought... I think it was the Ticket to Ride single at that juncture and it said right on the label [approximately] from the Beatles movie Eight Arms to Hold You.
Wow Add Some, do you still have that 45? Is it a high-value collector's item?

I have one and I believe they're fairly common. 

Yeah, they're pretty common. IIRC, they NEVER removed the Eight Arms To Hold You thing, even with later pressings in the '80s. (BTW, I think the only feature-length Beatles movie that was released with its original title was Yellow Submarine; I believe they were toying with Beatlemania as the first movie until Ringo came up with the malapropism that became the film's name; and Let It Be was going to be called Get Back.)

Very common industrywide, I think...even with the Beach Boys. Sunflower, Surf's Up, 15 Big Ones, The Beach Boys Love You, MIU Album, Keepin' The Summer Alive, and even That's Why God Made The Radio (among others, I'm sure) had other titles before they were released.
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Wrightfan
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« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2016, 01:01:20 PM »

Someone really needs to update/expand LLVS as a digital (searchable) archive, sortable by either publication date or date of interview.
Somebody needs to put together a big scrap book style coffee table book(possibly multi volume?) of nothing but 1966-67 era Smile related articles, from the earliest known "Dumb Angel" reference, and ending somewhere around the Smiley Smile period.

I'd go even further and extend that to when the Surf's Up LP came out.
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