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Brian Wilson Bears “Smile”

Beach Boy mastermind to unveil lost masterwork in London

Thirty-seven years after he abandoned it, Brian Wilson will revive
Smile onstage. He and his backing band the Wondermints
will perform the Beach Boys’ legendary lost album — or, rather,
Wilson’s 2004 interpretation of what the uncompleted 1967 album
eventually would have become — at London’s Royal Festival Hall,
February 20-24th.

Smile was to be the follow-up to critical darling but
commercial failure Pet Sounds. The
then-twenty-four-year-old Wilson wrote the album with lyricist and
arranger Van Dyke Parks, and described the elaborate
work-in-progress as a “teenage symphony to God.”

The rest of the Beach Boys, who were on tour singing the band’s
more standard surfing songs during much of Smile‘s
creation, were less than enamored with Wilson and Van Dyke’s
symphony. Wilson, shaken by real pressures to produce hits and less
rational factors such as believing that his song “Fire” was
actually causing fires in his Los Angeles neighborhood, abandoned
the project, though Smile tracks like “Heroes and
Villians,” “Cabinessence” and “Surf’s Up” and “Wind Chimes” would
be re-recorded for subsequent Beach Boys records.

In This Article: The Beach Boys

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