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Brian Wilson to Bare "Smile"

Newly recorded lost album due in September

May 19, 2004 12:00 AM ET
While what's left of the Beach Boys continue to sing songs about surfing and girls all across America, Brian Wilson is holed up in a Los Angeles studio recording Smile. Yes, in the Beach Boys' world, it's 1966 all over again.

Wilson, along with lyricist/arranger Van Dyke Parks, are rerecording their lost masterpiece, rock & roll's most famed work-in-progress, for a September 28th release on Nonesuch Records. The new recording will feature Wilson's ten-piece backing band as well as the Stockholm Strings and Horns.

The twenty-four-year-old Wilson began creating the follow-up to Pet Sounds thirty-eight years ago with lyricist/arranger Van Dyke Parks. Wilson described the elaborate orchestral album as a "teenage symphony to God," and the songs -- including "Heroes and Villains" "Cabinessence" and "Surf's Up," which would be re-recorded for later records -- were jarring departures from the Beach Boys fun-and-sun road show. Not surprisingly, the Boys -- most notably co-lead vocalist Mike Love -- were less than enamored with the eclectic Smile, and Wilson eventually abandoned the project.

"It was perhaps too adventuresome, lunatic or misadvised, and maybe it dared to go too far ahead of the audience's curve," Parks told Rolling Stone last year. "I remember when the tempo slowed down on 'Good Vibrations' we all thought that the sky would fall. Mike Love certainly did, because they had been a dance-dominant group. But the audience did go along with them, and I do think there is an audience for Smile."

Wilson proved Parks' right in February, when he performed Smile to capacity crowds during a four-night stand at London's Royal Festival Hall.

A brand new Brian Wilson album, Gettin' in Over My Head, hits stores June 22nd. Paul McCartney, Elton John and Eric Clapton make guest appearances. Wilson plans to play material from both albums on a summer European tour and fall U.S. tour.

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