40 Songs, 2 Hours 20 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Smile is firmly entrenched as a great album that never was; 35 years after the fact, historians and archeologists were still trying to put the pieces together. It was intended as the follow-up to the landmark Pet Sounds and was meant to further establish Brian Wilson as the creative better to Lennon and McCartney. But Wilson lost his way; he became obsessed with the process and couldn't finalize his magnum opus. (Dissent within The Beach Boys didn’t help.) While there's no way to know what the “final” version of this album would be, this exhaustive collection—which features work spread over 80 sessions in nine months—gives us a chance to eavesdrop on the process. Wilson’s ambitions come closest to fruition on what constitutes the first “disc.” But the purpose of this release is to satisfy the hardcore Beach Boys fan, who'll thrill to the 34 pieces of “Heroes and Villains,” the five parts of “Do You Like Worms,” the eight-plus minutes of the “Smile Backing Vocals Montage,” and the 24 parts of “Good Vibrations” that not only provide fantastic music but incredible insights into Wilson’s artistic process. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

Smile is firmly entrenched as a great album that never was; 35 years after the fact, historians and archeologists were still trying to put the pieces together. It was intended as the follow-up to the landmark Pet Sounds and was meant to further establish Brian Wilson as the creative better to Lennon and McCartney. But Wilson lost his way; he became obsessed with the process and couldn't finalize his magnum opus. (Dissent within The Beach Boys didn’t help.) While there's no way to know what the “final” version of this album would be, this exhaustive collection—which features work spread over 80 sessions in nine months—gives us a chance to eavesdrop on the process. Wilson’s ambitions come closest to fruition on what constitutes the first “disc.” But the purpose of this release is to satisfy the hardcore Beach Boys fan, who'll thrill to the 34 pieces of “Heroes and Villains,” the five parts of “Do You Like Worms,” the eight-plus minutes of the “Smile Backing Vocals Montage,” and the 24 parts of “Good Vibrations” that not only provide fantastic music but incredible insights into Wilson’s artistic process. 

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