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677836 Posts in 27370 Topics by 4046 Members - Latest Member: reecemorgan December 08, 2022, 06:08:56 AM
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Author Topic: SMiLE 2004  (Read 1749 times)
ShenzhenLost
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« on: June 25, 2007, 06:30:12 AM »

hi there everyone,

don't shoot me all at once and please don't get me wrong 'cause i absolutely love Brian Wilson's music but this has been on my mind since i heard the new 2004 SMiLE. 
i find that the tracks seem to fly by very quickly and that alot of the care and attention (so obvious in the 1966 - 67 versions) is lacking somewhat.  does anyone else feel that way about the newly recorded tracks?
when i hear the new version of 'Cabin Essence' especially,  then i really miss the delicacy that the original recording seems to possess. 
anyway, these are my thoughts.  like i said, don't shoot me down on this one. 
thanks!
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pixletwin
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« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2007, 11:03:00 AM »

I agree with you to a point. For example the "Boys... and... Girls..." Lines in Heroes and Villains I thought were recorded alot sweeter in the original SMiLE than in the 2004 version. There are a few little moments like that where the sweetness of the original doesn't really come through in the 2004 version.

But on the other hand, the 2004 SMiLE sounds like it was alot more fun to record. That feeling of fun isn't as pronounced in the original version.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2007, 11:04:01 AM by pixletwin » Logged
Roger Ryan
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« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2007, 01:47:12 PM »

when i hear the new version of 'Cabin Essence' especially,  then i really miss the delicacy that the original recording seems to possess. 

You're right that the new version of "Cabin Essence" doesn't quite capture the magic of the original (which I think is the best backing track Brian ever recorded). However, I think the slight delay between the harmonica and melodica (?) after the first line of each verse is a big improvement arrangement-wise over the original track (which had the two playing in unison).

Overall, given that the backing tracks to "SMiLE 2004" were recorded in something like four days, I think they sound marvelous.
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the captain
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« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2007, 01:51:11 PM »

Overall, given that the backing tracks to "SMiLE 2004" were recorded in something like four days, I think they sound marvelous.

I agree. And in that, you can really tell the difference between a crack touring band coming in and basically nailing the parts they already had down as opposed to a composer still writing and arranging in the studio, as BW had been doing the first time around.
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thomasogg
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« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2007, 03:24:34 PM »

Yeh, i'm afraid to say i was utterly disappointed by Smile '04. It's got a really unpleasant tinny sound throughout - listen to the chorus of Cabinessence or the piano on Do you Like Worms, then listen to the '66-67 originals. Listen to the backing track to the original 'Windchimes', then listen to the bland remake. The original recordings have so much more life to them. It's kinda ironic that there's so much more advanced technology these days re recording music, and yet recordings made over 40 years ago sound so much better. I never really listen to Smile '04. the 'Elements' section in particular is very badly put together, it's just a mess. Shouldn't 'Workshop' have followed 'Fire'? I was very disappointed, they really shoulda used the original recordings wherever possible, but then i suppose that probably wasn't possible with all the politics and infighting etc.
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Mooger Fooger
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« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2007, 06:21:23 AM »

Well I am an old timer purist, but I love BWPS. I think it flows in a way that the original recordings dont. For one it is a complete uninterrupted journey from start to finish. One of the few records that does have me skipping tracks. However while playing the original 66 version of Cabinessence (well 68 version if you want to get technical) I was struck at how powerful it sounds. These are the nuances that seperates the two projects. That said, I am amazed how good 2004 CD sounds considering it is a rerecording of tracks that were recorded in post haste. In my world, the two Smile's happily co-exist. Having said that given the choic :afroe of a CD on a desert island, I'd take the finished 2004 CD.
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LostArt
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« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2007, 08:15:22 AM »

I do enjoy the 2004 version of SMiLE, and I play both the studio recording on CD and the live DVD.  Someone above said that they didn’t enjoy the sound quality, but I like the clarity of these recordings.  I think the band did a great job of recreating all of those  backing tracks.  I especially like the cycle of life movement.  I love the way those four songs flow together, Wonderful to Look to Child to Surf’s Up, man, that was brilliant sequencing.  That movement makes the whole piece for me.  And when I saw Brian and the band perform this work in concert (I had seats in the third row, just between Brian and Darian), it was a deeply moving experience.  I was not the only grown man with tears in his eyes on that night.  Absolutely one of the best concerts I have seen in my 51 years.  Maybe THE best. 

That said, I don’t believe this version is anything close to what Brian had in mind at any time in ’66-’67.  Of course there is no way to know what pieces or what sequence would’ve been on the album at any given moment in time.  But I sure would give my left nut to hear a version of Heroes and Villains incorporating Great Shape and Barnyard, or You Were My Sunshine.  I don’t think 1966 Brian ever meant for those fragments to be stand alone songs, (except for Great Shape…what was he going to add to that one to make a stand alone song?), and they do not sit well by themselves on BWPS.  I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, there is a vibe to those vintage recordings that could never be recreated in this day and age.  Until the thread started to unravel Brian was in a zone, the angels were with him, and he was creating something magical.  Musical alchemy.  I am saddened to think about what might have been.  I would love to see a SMiLE box set, as everyone here likely would, but unless they unearth acetates or tapes of various Heroes test mixes or mixes of Child with vocals, or other as yet unheard sections, even that would only be a glimpse at what truly might have been
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