50 Essential Albums of 1967

From the Doors' debut to Aretha Franklin's first smash

The Beach Boys, 'Smiley Smile'
The Beach Boys, 'Smiley Smile'1/50

The Beach Boys, 'Smiley Smile'

In the year of Pepper-mania, the Beach Boys' Smile was expected to gallop out of the West and reclaim the honor of rock for its nation of origin. But Smile didn't materialize until 2004, stitched together from old bits and pieces and revived as repertory by a solo Brian Wilson and his enablers. Instead, Wilson retreated into his lonely room and oversaw this hastily recorded half measure – "a bunt instead of a grand slam," groused brother Carl. Towering it's not; some kind of hit it is. Without this product-on-demand, we'd lack such impossible trifles as the wiggy "She's Goin' Bald," the potted "Little Pad" and "Fall Breaks and Back to Winter," a transitional bagatelle featuring squeezebox and imitation woodpecker.