by Lou Shenk
Primer is meant to serve as a compendium of current information
and theories on the Smile recording sessions and the unreleased
album. I?ve included facts and speculation culled from numerous sources,
most notably Jon Hunt & John Lane, Brad Elliott, Alan Boyd, Cam Mott,
and many others who contribute to the Smileshop and other Beach Boys discussion
sites on the web.
met Van Dyke Parks through Terry Melcher and Loren Schwarz in February
1966. Impressed with Van?s articulate manner of speaking, Brian asked
him to collaborate on the next Beach Boys album, tentatively titled "Dumb
Angel." Most of the songs were written between July and September
while Brian was in the midst of recording Good Vibrations. The
project had been renamed "Smile" by September and cover art
by Frank Holmes, a friend of Van?s, and a 12 page booklet of photographs
by Guy Webster and illustrations by Holmes was prepared. Brian described
the album to Jules Siegel in October as "a teenage symphony to God
. . . religious music . . . a white spiritual sound."
Wonderful and Wind Chimes were recorded in August, work
on the new album did not begin in earnest until after the release of Good
Vibrations in September. Smile was set for release by
Christmas. In early December Brian submitted a handwritten list of the
12 tracks planned for Smile to Capitol for use on the back
cover slick. The back cover included the proviso "see label for correct
playing order." 466,000 copies of the cover and 419,000 Smile booklets
were printed by early January, promotional materials sent to record distributors
and dealers and ads placed in music (12/66 Billboard) and teen magazines
(Teen Set). Brian informed Capitol that Smile would not
be ready in December "but in all probability will deliver some time
prior to January 15." Jan 13 was slotted to be the release date of
the new single, Heroes and Villains.
turned to February and no Smile was forthcoming. In January
Brian halted work on all Smile tracks except for Heroes
and Villains. Whether this was due to pressure from the record company
to get a single out in advance of the album, due to Brian having difficulty
completing the vocals for the other tracks, or due to disagreements within
the group over the Smile material is unknown. From December
through March Brian held over 20 sessions for Heroes and Villains,
but he could not complete the single to his satisfaction. In early March
Van Dyke left the project after a dispute with the Beach Boys over his
lyrics, and work on Heroes and Villains ceased. In April Brian
announced Vegetables would be the next single. After two weeks
of intensive sessions on the song, he left it unfinished. An article by
Derek Taylor, the Beach Boys press agent, in the May 6 Disc and Music
Echo reported "Every beautifully designed, finely wrought inspirationally-welded
piece of music made these last months by Brian and his Beach Boy craftsmen
has been SCRAPPED." The Smile project was abandoned.
returned to Heroes and Villains in June and moved recording to
a makeshift studio in his Bel Air home at 10452 Bellagio Road, where he
rerecorded Wonderful, Wind Chimes, and Vegetables
for Smiley Smile. Brian resisted revisiting the original
Smile tapes for the next thirty six years. Subsequent releases
of Smile material (Cabinessence, Our Prayer
and Surf?s Up) were overdubbed and completed by Carl and Dennis
without Brian?s cooperation, although he did make an appearance during
the recording of the "Child is Father to the Man" tag of Surf?s
Up. He had to be convinced by friends and associates to include Smile
material on the Good Vibrations box set released in 1996. In interviews
he avoided the topic of Smile, often shutting down the conversation
by claiming to have destroyed the tapes. Whether this was because of painful
memories associated with Smile and its' collapse and/or
because he did not want the project compromised by releasing it in fragmentary
form is unknown.
2003 Brian reviewed the tapes with Darian Sahanaja and Van Dyke Parks
in preparation for a Smile 2004 tour. Lost lyrics were retrieved,
some new lyrics and melodies written, and a completed 46 minute Smile
suite was performed with orchestral accompaniment in February in England.
Although Brian has stated that the 2004 version is not a reconstruction
of what Smile would have been in 1967 but how he feels about
the Smile music now, it nevertheless reveals many of his
original intentions for the project, which will be detailed below.
the Smile project evolved and changed over the course of
12 months, and then again after thirty six years, it is convenient to
look at Smile as having four different phases:
Smile (Dumb Angel): May ? Sept 66
this stage the track list for the album was not fixed and Brian recorded
songs that were later dropped. During this period Van Dyke and Brian wrote
most of the material, although the songs were revised and in some cases
Time Smile: Oct 66 ? Jan 67
is when the bulk of Smile was recorded. Brian had a clear
vision for the album and all of the individual songs had been written
and lyrics completed. Brian committed to the 12 song titles submitted
to Capitol in December, and the covers and booklets were printed.
Smile: Feb ? May 67
some point in January or February Brian?s concept of Smile
changed. Work on the original 12 tracks halted, with the exception of
the proposed singles Heroes and Villains and Vegetables
(and the B side, Wonderful). New songs like With Me Tonight,
I Love to Say Dada, and an untitled instrumental were recorded,
as well as a cover of Little Red Book. Carl and Dennis recorded
and produced tracks on their own. After resistance to some of the Smile material by the Beach Boys, particularly Mike Love?s criticism of Van
Dyke?s lyrics as "indecipherable," Van Dyke left the project
in March. Difficult and unproductive vocal sessions such as the Dec 15 Surf?s Up date may also have led Brian to revise the album?s lineup.
Contentious tracks like Cabinessence and Surf?s Up might
have been replaced by new tracks. To make the album less of a Brian solo
act and more of a group effort, Carl and Dennis?s tracks may have been
added. Alternatively, Brian may have been having second thoughts about
the Smile material as a whole, and was simply recording
new tracks for a post Smile album.
Late Smile 2004: Remarkably, Brian and Van Dyke reunited
in 2003 to complete a Smile suite. The music was divided
into three movements: an Americana movement, a Cycle of Life (childhood/pregnancy/birth/rebirth)
movement, and an Elements movement. Within each movement the songs segue
smoothly one into the other without pauses, usually with short string
or horn transitions. It is reported that Brian had all along intended
Smile to be in three movements, in homage to one of his
favorite pieces of music, Rhapsody in Blue.
Note on Song Order:
only track placement for which there was solid evidence was Prayer,
as noted below, until Smile 2004. Brian customarily had
singles open and close the sides of an album (and sometimes a B-side),
so we have the singles Heroes and Villains, Good Vibrations,
Vegetables and Wonderful (see track notes) as contenders.
Although Surf?s Up was not considered as a single release at the
time, it was regarded by Brian as a major work and was featured in Leonard
Bernstein?s Inside Pop television special aired Tuesday, April
25 on CBS, and so would likely have been featured in a prominent spot
on the album. Smile 2004 had the following track order:
Americana: Prayer/Heroes and Villains/Do You Like Worms/Barnyard/Old
Master Painter/ Cabinessence, Cycle of Life: Wonderful/Song for
Children (Look, see below)/Child is Father of the Man/Surf's Up, The
Elements: I'm In Great Shape/I Wanna Be Around/Friday Night/ Vegetables/Holiday/Wind
Chimes/Heroes and Villains Intro/Mrs. O'Leary's Cow/Water Chant/I Love
to Say Dada/Good Vibrations.
an earlier provisional set list had Holidays in the Americana section,
and Worms preceding Heroes and Villains. Good Vibrations
was not in the set, and Surf's Up was the closer.
vocal sessions at Columbia unless otherwise noted)
Vibrations (B.Wilson ? M. Love)
Feb 18, 1966 ? Sept 1, 1966 (Goldstar, Western, Columbia and Sunset Sound
began the recording of this track during the Pet Sounds
sessions, and completed the basic track for the verses at the second session
for the song. But he was not satisfied with it, and put it aside until
recommencing work on the track in May. Tony Asher?s original lyrics were
reworked by Brian and Mike Love, and once Van Dyke got involved in the
Dumb Angel project Brian asked him to redo the lyrics. Van
refused, not wanting to get involved midway through the recording of the
song and not wanting to alienate Brian?s then current lyrical collaborator
and group member. Van did suggest the cello overdub for the chorus. Carl
and Dennis are among the tracking musicians. The recording of this track
set the precedent for Brian?s new "modular" method of recording:
record a song in sections, then rerecord some sections, add a bridge or
a new section, rerecord the bridge, make trial mixes of the song, go back
and rerecord new sections, and finally piece it all together in a final
mix. While Brian managed to edit all the pieces of Good Vibrations
together adroitly and create one of the most brilliant pop singles of
the 60?s, this method would prove problematic in crafting the next single
Heroes and Villains. The difficulties of this sectional recording
technique may have led Brian to abandon traditional studios and studio
musicians to work with the Beach Boys in a home studio for Smiley
Smile and later projects. For Smile 2004 Brian used
a combination of Asher's lyrics and Mike Love's to end the Smile
Chimes (B. Wilson)
track recorded Aug 3 with 13 musicians and Oct 5, 1966 with 4 musicians
at Western. Vocals recorded Oct 10, 1966, with 6 Beach Boys.
original instrumental track was longer (2:55), repeating the chorus and
multiple pianos part and adding a bridge. Brian rerecorded the verse section
in a sparser, lighter production style on Oct 5, and redid the multiple
pianos ending, recorded his lead vocal and the chorus group vocals and
edited it together. The rough Brian multitrack edit was used by Mark Linett
to create the GV box set version. Musicians on the track include Carl
on Aug 3 and Carl, Brian and Van Dyke on Oct 5. For Smile 2004
Brian had the multiple pianos section go back into the chorus and bridge
like the earlier tracking.
(B.Wilson ? V.D.Parks)
track recorded Aug 25, 1966 with 6 musicians at Western. Vocals recorded
Oct 6 with Brian only and Dec 15, 1966 with the Beach Boys.
Wonderful was one of the first tracks recorded for Smile,
Brian had difficulty realizing his vision for the song because in the
space of 12 months Brian recorded Wonderful four times, although
only one (the Smiley Smile version) was completed. The Aug
25 recording is the most complete Smile version we have.
It appears on the "Nu songs as of 9/3" tape that also included
"He Gives Speeches." The GV box set sourced it from a copy of
the Dec 66 comp tape after the original mono mixdown tape disappeared
from the tape library in 1989. It is not a final mix, however, as after
Brian made this mix on Oct 6 he recorded additional backing vocals in
December (the "yo de lay ee ooh" yodeling vocals), which never
made it into the song. A rough mix of the instrumental track with the
backing vocals from Dec was on the Linett tape (see below, Smile
source material). Musicians included Brian and Dennis.
(B. Wilson ? V.D.Parks)
track recorded Oct 3 (as Home on the Range) with 14 musicians and
Oct 11, 1966 with 7 musicians at Western. Vocals recorded Oct 11(as HOR)
with 6 Beach Boys, Dec 6 (as Cabinessence) with "Brian plus
5," and Dec 27, 1966 (as Who Ran the Iron Horse) with Brian
lyrics were written for the song, apparently for a section that has been
lost: "Reconnected telephone direct dialing/Different color cords
to your extension/Don?t forget to mention this is a recording/Even though
the echoes through my mind/Have filtered through the pines/I came and
found my peace/And this is not a recording/Doobie doo/Doobie doo/or not
doobie!" Carl and Van Dyke were among the musicians on the Oct 3
session, and Brian and Carl played on the Oct 11 date. The tracking for
all three known sections of the song was likely recorded at the Oct 3
session, as the Oct 11 musician list does not match up with any of the
sections as released on 20/20. Take 12 of Home on the
Range and take 23 of Who Ran the Iron Horse were edited with
take 5 of the tag for the master. The Oct 11 date could have been for
the "lost" section, a new part, or for a rerecord of one of
the previous sections.
Oct 4, 1966 with 6 Beach Boys.
session tape reveals that Brian meant for Prayer to open the Smile
album, "a little, you know, intro to the album." When someone
suggests it could be a "track," Brian says no ? implying it
would be an unlisted track, and indeed Brian did not include it on his
December list. There is a Brian edit on the Dec 18, 1966 comp tape excising
the next to last vocal section that was not replicated on the GV box set
release of the track.
is Father of the Man (B.Wilson ? V.D.Parks)
track recorded Oct 7, 1966 with 7 musicians at Western. Vocals recorded
Oct 12 with 6 Beach boys, Dec 2, and Dec 6, 1966 with the Beach Boys.
session tapes released by SOT reveal a different verse and chorus tracking
than on the Linett tape, and no bridge section. Only one tracking session
is documented, so a second session must have been held for the remake,
likely on Oct 12 (no trumpet player was listed for the Oct 7 session,
which rules out a remake done later that day). Recently a mono Brian Wilson
mix of the instrumental track was found in the vaults running 3:01 with
the sections arranged chorus/verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge/chorus.
Two partial mixes of the song on the Dec comp tape with slightly different
vocal overdubs were edited together on the Linett tape. Van Dyke has confirmed
that verse lyrics for the song were written. In a November British press
account a journalist wrote "I got a sneak preview of one of the tracks
the previous night when Dennis played me a piano version of one track, Child of the Man, a cowboy song." Verse lyrics may have been
recorded, as the chorus vocals were unlikely to have taken three vocal
sessions to complete, but they are missing from the Beach Boys tape library.
Tracking musicians included Brian and Carl. There were verse lyrics in
the Smile 2004 Child which may have been written
in 2003 or may have been original lyrics.
in Great Shape (Barnyard Suite) (B.Wilson)
instrumental track recorded Oct 27, 1966 with 4 musicians at Western
(at a Heroes and Villains session). Vocals recorded Oct 17, 1966
with 6 Beach Boys.
instrumental track likely recorded Oct 20, 1966 at Western (see Heroes
and Villains below).
of the greatest mysteries of Smile was at least partially
solved with the release of the Endless Harmony Heroes
and Villains demo, where a section included the lyrics "eggs
and grits and lickety split, I?m in the great shape of the open (upper?)
country" before leading into Barnyard. Brian confirmed in
an interview that this was Great Shape. One vocal session is documented
but the tape is missing. If Shape was part of Heroes and Villains in November, why was it recorded under a different title in October? And
then in December became its? own track? One explanation may be that it
was recorded under a "subtitle" or section title, and all along
was planned as part of Heroes, much as "Home on the Range" and "Who Ran the Iron Horse" (vocal session) were
recorded as sections of Cabinessence. The instrumental track was
discovered on a Heroes and Villains session tape from Oct 27. "Great
Shape" is noted on the tapebox, and Brian and Van Dyke participate.
The tape has several takes with piano, bass and saxophone, then harp,
bass and saxophone with the sax playing the melody of "eggs and grits." Unfortunately the final master take had been cut from the reel. This supports
the theory that Shape was always part of Heroes until December,
when Brian decided to split it off as its own song (perhaps already planning
to replace the Oct./Nov. Heroes with the cantina version).
explanation for the Oct 17 Great Shape session is that Brian originally
wrote it as a separate song, then included it in Heroes, only to
break it out again in December (the "out-in-out" theory). This
is also consistent with the sequence of the sessions. Great Shape may be part of the track referred to in contemporary press accounts as
a "Barnyard Suite." Besides "eggs and grits" and Barnyard,
the song may have included Do A Lot. A Beach Boys insider with
access to the tape library in 1988-89 examined a tape box labeled Great
Shape that contained two versions of "Do a Lot" on
it, the first fast, the second slow with organ and sound effects of running
water and scrubbing and clanging noises. And a purely vocal or vocal with
Brian keyboard track of Do a Lot would explain the vocal session
preceding the instrumental tracking for Shape. I Wanna Be Around/Friday
Night may have also been part of the song (see below). The Barnyard
track was recorded Oct 20, 1966 at Western; the vocal session date is
not known, but may have been recorded by Brian and friends on Oct 20 or
possibly by the Beach Boys on Dec 13, 1966.
2004 combines I'm In Great Shape with I Wanna Be Around/Friday
Night in the Elements movement. But an earlier set list did not have
Shape in it at all, and "Workshop"was placed after Dada
in the Elements!
You Like Worms (B.Wilson ? V.D.Parks)
track recorded Oct 18, 1966 with 6 musicians at Western. Vocals recorded
Oct 18 with Brian only, Oct 21, 1966 with the Beach Boys and Jan 5, 1967
(Bicycle Rider chorus lead vocal) with the Beach Boys.
Worms exemplifies the "Americana" theme of Smile that
Van Dyke described as a deliberate attempt to counter the British mania
ruling the music world at the time. The song describes the spread of American
imperialism westward from Plymouth Rock to Hawaii. Lyrics were written
for the verses but apparently not recorded: "Once upon the sandwhich
isles, the social structure steamed upon Hawaii" and "Having
returned to the West or East Indies ? we always got them confused."
Originally the chorus went: "Ribbon of concrete, see what you done
done," but was rewritten by October when the song was recorded. The Bicycle Rider lyrics were not actually put to tape until January
during the Heroes and Villains sessions, when they were under consideration
as a new section for the song. Van Dyke was among the musicians on the
Worms track. A fuzz bass was added to the music of the Bicycle
Rider section on Jan 5. In Smile 2004 a newly discovered
1966 lyric was used for the first verse, the Bicycle Rider and "ribbon
of concrete" chorus lyrics were used, and the "West or East Indies" verse
and Villains (B.Wilson ? V.D.Parks)
track recorded Oct 20, 1966 ? March 2, 1967 (Goldstar, Western, Columbia),
vocals recorded Dec 13, 1966 ? Feb 26, 1967 (Columbia).
influenced by Marty Robbins? hit El Paso, Heroes and Villains was the first song Brian and Van Dyke wrote together. Brian reportedly
played the long descending melody line on the piano to Van, who on hearing
it came up with the matching lyrics "I?ve been in this town so long
?" on the spot. More than any other Smile song, the
dozens of musical themes and sections that were recorded for Heroes
and Villains give us a glimpse of Brian?s boundless creativity at
its? peak, and reveals him reaching artistically for something totally
new and epic in pop music in his attempt to surpass the achievement of
Good Vibrations. Heroes and Villains underwent the most
complex evolution of any song in Beach Boys history. Following the new
working method established by Good Vibrations, Brian rerecorded
section after section, recorded new pieces while rejecting old, and assembled
at least four or five different mixes of the song prior to the final issuance
of the single in July 1967. Unlike Good Vibrations, however, the
song?s structure did not remain intact from one incarnation to the next,
as Brian experimented with the order and composition of sections of his
first attempt at tracking the song on May 11, 1966 (2:45 in length) was
unsatisfactory and taped over; it apparently included "My Only Sunshine" as a section of the song according to one of the session musicians. It
was next tracked on October 20, likely the source for the single?s verse
tracking and the recording date of the Barnyard ending. This session
has not surfaced but presumably follows the three part structure of the
Endless Harmony demo of Nov 4: the familiar "I?ve been
in this town" and "Once a night" verses, followed by a
rustic "freshnin? (clean? Zen?) air around my head/eggs and grits" section, ending with "Barnyard." We know the "eggs
and grits" section was tracked on Oct 27 - this may have been a rerecording
of the Oct 20 section or perhaps the Oct 20 session did not include this
part of the song. This three-part version is the one Tracy Thomas reported
in November to be "a three minute musical comedy." Sometime
in December after vocals were added to the song Brian became dissatisfied
with it and began adding sections, cannibalizing other Smile
tracks for new pieces to add to Heroes. The Old Master Painter fade ("false Barnyard") replaced the previous Barnyard
tag, and the Bicycle Rider chorus from Worms was added and
then rejected. The "cantina" section (recorded Jan 27) replaced
"eggs and grits." Brian completed the "cantina mix" Feb 10 1967. The original is missing from the tape library; the released
version on the Smiley Smile/Wild Honey 2-fer and the GV
box set is a safety copy of the original mixdown tape. It is the only
completed Smile era Brian Wilson mix of the song we have.
rejected this mix shortly after it was finished and continued work on
the song, recording numerous "Part Two" sections (some of the
"Part Two" sessions were held earlier in December/January),
many of which are included in the GV box set?s "Heroes and Villains
(sections)," and rerecording the "false Barnyard"
tag on Feb 28. These were to be incorporated into a new mix with parts
or perhaps all of the cantina mix. Press accounts in March indicate at
least one approximately five minute mix was completed ("Beach Boys?
new single ?Heroes and Villains? will probably last 5 minutes"),
although it has yet to come to light. As late as June Mike Love played
a tape of the song for a Disc magazine interviewer who noted "the
tape ran for about 6 minutes."
Priore has maintained that Heroes and Villains was to be a 2 sided
single consisting of Parts One and Two; there is little evidence for this,
as the "Part Two" designation for sessions was not uncommon
for Brian to use on songs recorded with the "sectional" method
of this time, and which he continued to use on songs for Smiley
Smile. The recent discovery that the tapebox with the instrumental
and vocal tracking for the Heroes and Villains chorus eventually
used for Smiley Smile was marked "Side Two" may
be the first indication that Brian considered a Heroes and Villains 2 sided single. On the other hand, the "side two" marking may
have been a simple transcription error for "part two." While
the chorus instrumental tracking was likely recorded in February 1967,
it is unknown when the vocals were done.
Smile 2004 version of Heroes was the single version
with "cantina" included and ending with the "Prelude to Fade."
a complete catalog of Heroes and Villains sessions is beyond the
scope of this compendium, a list of some of the instrumental sessions
and vocal sessions matched with specific musical sections follows:
20: 8 musicians at Western, verse tracking plus Barnyard.
27: 4 musicians at Western (Great Shape)
H & V Intro (chimes version) ? on comp tape that dates to this time
period (see comp tapes below)
19: tracking (possibly including a rerecord of verse section)
3: a comp tape of work done on this date includes Do a Lot (piano/drums
version found on H & V sessions boot)/Tag to Part One, three takes/Bridge
to Indians (vocal ascending "aahh aahh . . . hmmm")/Pickup to
3rd verse (same as Bridge but without the hmmm ending)/Bag
of Tricks instrumental, 2 takes (has same bassline as Smiley?s
Fall Breaks, whistles similar to H & V Intro on GV box set)/All
Day (see Dada)
5: tracking for "Part 2"
20: tracking for "experimental session ? not to be used"
27: cantina tracking
15: 19 musicians, "Prelude to Fade" ? the "Country Western" theme with strings, clip clop percussion, and French horn ending. Also
tracked was the tack piano version of the Heroes and Villains theme
(Bicycle Rider from Worms in a different key).
27: tracking for "Part 2" ? possibly Heroes and Villains
theme chorus instrumental tracking (used in Smiley version)
28: Fade to Heroes and Villains ? a rerecord in twenty-five takes, with
Carl providing live "doo doo" backing vocals.
1: 8 musicians for "Part 2 (Intro)"
2: 4 musicians for "Part 2 (insert)"
13: group vocals (possibly for Barnyard)
22: group vocals for "insert for H & V ? overdub" - "Swedish
frog" or "swine" vocal session ? although Paul Williams
recounts this as being recorded Dec. 24.
27: Brian only for "H &V (overdub)"
28: Brian only for "(insert) H & V (overdub)"
3: group vocals for "(insert) H & V (overdub)" (see comp
tape note above)
20: group vocals (6 Beach Boys)
27: probably Mike lead on cantina tracking, mixes of Brian/Mike shared
lead on verses
7: group ? cantina vocal tracking, "dum dum dum" section
10: Brian only
21: group (Brian plus 4)
24: Brian only
26: group (Brian plus 5)
titles and possible dates of recording:
Made Beautiful (aahh . . . doot doo doo doo doo dooo ? doo ? doo ? on
GV box set (sections) immediately preceding Bridge to Indians section),
On (dit dit dit . . . Heroes and Villains . . . with clip clop percussion)
2 revised version (How I Love My Girl), likely Dec/Jan
Up (B.Wilson ? V.D.Parks)
track recorded Nov 4, 1966 ? 1st Movement with 6 musicians
at Western, brass overdubs Nov 7 with 5 musicians at Western, vocal session
with the Beach Boys and piano/vocal track Dec 15, 1966 at Columbia, additional
session Jan 23, 1967 with 8 musicians at Western.
wrote the song in one night ? stayed up until six in the morning,"
Brian recounted in 1966. "Van Dyke and I really kind of thought we?d
done something special when we finished that one." The January session
(Carl was among the musicians) was presumably for the 2nd Movement
of the song but may have been a rerecord of the 1st movement
- the tape is missing from the vaults. The "talking horns" piece
known as George Fell Into His French Horn was also recorded on
Nov 7, apparently before the overdub session: "Five minutes after
producer meets players, the men are creating laughing effects and having
conversations with their horns." For Smile 2004 Brian
and Van Dyke added strings to the second movement and kept the Child
Master Painter (H.Gillespie - B.Smith/J.Davis - C.Mitchell/B.Wilson)
track recorded Nov 14, 1966 with 15 musicians at Goldstar (as My Only
Sunshine). Vocal recorded Nov 30, 1966 with 5 Beach Boys (as My
as My Only Sunshine this track originally was in three sections:
a short instrumental rendition of the standard Old Master Painter
(recorded by Frank Sinatra, Richard Hayes and others), the You are
my Sunshine chorus, and a Brian Wilson fade (slated as "Part
Two") with "when skies are gray" and "how much I love" background vocals by Mike. When Brian recast Heroes and Villains
in January he replaced the Barnyard ending with the Old Master
Painter tag, wiping the "skies are gray" vocals. The Byron
Preiss tape included Old Master Painter/My Only Sunshine followed
by the original fade (but without the "skies are gray" backing
vocal) which was mistakenly labeled "Barnyard," the Boys
confusing it with the earlier true Barnyard Heroes and Villains
fade. Linett propagated the mistake by labeling this piece Barnyard
on his 1988 comp tape, and it has been labeled as such on countless bootlegs
since, until an acetate of the true Barnyard surfaced, complete
with animal sounds. The Sunshine fade appropriated for Heroes
and Villains is now often referred to as "false Barnyard" because of its? history, and the version with the skies are gray backing
When "false Barnyard" was moved into the cantina mix as the
fade, it left this song incomplete.
instrumental track recorded Nov 28, 1966 with 16 musicians at Goldstar,
Water chant (unknown).
engineer slates the Nov 28 session as "The Elements, Part One, Fire" so we know that Brian originally conceived Fire as the first element
in this four part suite which was also to have sections representing air,
earth and water. What Brian intended for the other three sections is unknown.
The day after recording Fire Brian was back in the same studio
with the same musicians recording I Wanna Be Around/Friday Night
(see below), complete with sound effects of hammering, drilling, and woodcutting.
Carol Kaye was present at both sessions and she recalls the Nov 29 session
as a continuation of the Elements session of the day before, and
reports Brian saying that the music represented "rebuilding after
the fire" (perhaps signifying the earth element, or part two of Fire?).
At one time Vegetables was part of The Elements and likely
represented Earth, as the Smile booklet includes an illustration
by Frank Holmes with the title: "My Vega-Tables" The Elements.
So the Vegetables "cornucopia" version (see Vegetables
below) may represent what the Vegetables earth section would have
sounded like. By December Brian had broken off Vegetables as its
own song, and probably even earlier than that, so the Nov 29 session could
be a new earth section for the suite. Alternatively, it may have been
part of I?m in Great Shape. In Smile 2004 IWBA/FN
follows Great Shape. The Water Chant first saw release with
the Sea of Tunes material and was dated to the Smile era
by Carl and Al who in interviews mentioned they used a Smile chant
in Sunflower?s Cool Cool Water as a bridge between
the two sections of the song (with Moog and vocal overdubs). It is the
clear candidate for the Water section. Brian described Air to Byron Preiss
as "a piano piece, an instrumental, no vocals ? we never finished
that" but nothing matching that description has yet been found in
the Beach Boys tape library. Dada was identified as Water by Preiss
but the piece described was actually the Water chant. A revised
Dada Part Two (the second section on the GV box set version with
the "hoo wa hoo wa" vocals) has come to light with flutes and
piccolos making distinctly bird like sounds, and has led to speculation Dada was perhaps Air, not Water. A solo piano tryout of Dada entitled "All Day" appears on a Jan 3 Heroes and Villains
comp reel, but at that time it was likely planned as a section of Heroes
(see Dada below). Smile 2004's Elements suite was
comprised of IIGS/IWBA/FN, Vegetables, Holiday, Wind
Chimes, Intro to H & V, Fire (with Fall Breaks
vocals over it), Water Chant (with spoken lyrics), and I Love
to Say Dada with new lyrics about Blue Hawaii, waterfalls, and getting
a drink. That would seem to put to rest any doubts that Dada was
meant to represent water in The Elements.
(B.Wilson ? V.D.Parks)
track recorded April 5-7, 1967 and April 10-12, 1967 (Western). Vocals
recorded with the Beach Boys March 3 at Columbia and April 4, 5, and 6
at Sound Recorders (April 6 listed as Vegetables (insert)), April 7 at
Columbia, April 10 and 11 at Sound Recorders, and with Brian alone on
April 13 and 14 at Sound Recorders. "Fade to Vegetables" tracking
recorded April 12 with 11 musicians at Goldstar.
20 Heroes and Villains vocal and instrumental sessions in January,
February and March, Brian abruptly halted work on the song, and announced
that the next single was going to be Vegetables. A press account
dated April 29, 1967: "Heroes and Villains has been held up
due to technical difficulties. There is a new single in the wind, tentatively
titled Vegetables." Derek Taylor wrote in the Record Mirror: "Heroes and Villains is not going to be a single . . . title
of the new single Vegetables, a light and lyrical day to day green
grocery song on which Al Jardine sings a most vigorous lead. The other
side is Wonderful which I only heard improvised at the piano with
the boys humming the theme for Paul (McCartney)." Whether Brian was
unable to complete Heroes to his satisfaction, or whether he was
using the single (the completed "March mix") as a ploy in the
Beach Boys? lawsuit with Capitol for past royalties that was filed that
same month (holding the single "hostage") is unknown.
Vegetables exemplifies the "humor with a message" approach Brian wanted
for Smile: "I want to turn people on to vegetables, good natural
food, organic food. Health is an important element in spiritual enlightenment.
But I do not want to be pompous about it, so we will engage in a satirical
may have started recording Vegetables as early as November with
the "cornucopia" version. This version with Brian on piano has
different, distinctly Van Dykian lyrics ("tripped on a cornucopia/stripped
the stalk green and I hope ya/like me the most of all/my favorite vegetable"),
and although not dated is on a comp reel that appears to be from November
/December. Also recorded in November were some Vegetables "arguments"
with Hal Blaine (on Nov 16) and the Vegetables "chants" (on
Nov 11) used on the track Vegetables promo on Hawthorne.
Recording continued in March immediately after work on Heroes stopped
? the a capella Vegetables tag eventually used on the Smiley
Smile version was recorded March 3, and a March comp reel includes
the "cornucopia" track, a piano and group vocal Child is
Father of the Man section, and the March 3 "I know that you?ll
feel better" ending. Then Brian held 9 days worth of sessions in
April to work on the Vegetables single, the most of any track after
Heroes and Villains. Paul McCartney attended the session on April
10. The GV box set Linett mix represents mostly one day?s work on the
song, April 12. So what was recorded during the other sessions? While
some of the Vegetables tapes have not been located or not been
catalogued, the recordings likely include a remake of Wonderful,
the Fade to Vegetables, several versions of Do a Lot, and
a short With Me Tonight section with identical bass and backing
vocals to a section of Vegetables. What is clear is that Vegetables evolved from its fairly simple "cornucopia? form in November/December
into another complex Smile multi part suite with numerous
sections and fragments interweaved together. Vegetables was to
be as innovative and groundbreaking a production as its single predecessor
Brian planned to put all the pieces together in 1967 is unknown. The "Fade
to Vegetables" may have replaced the "Do a Lot" fade which
immediately precedes it on the Linett mix, as it seems improbable Brian
would have put back to back fades in the song. Also, Brian Wilson mono
mixes of various sections of the song that appeared on SOT included added
echo and an overdubbed electric piano not on the GV box set version. Brian
is on keyboards throughout. For Smile 2004 Brian used one
Do a Lot chorus and ended the song on the a capella"I know that
you'll feel better," dropping the "Fade" altogether.
Ran (B. Wilson).
track recorded Aug 12, 1966 with 11 musicians at Western. Vocals recorded
Oct 13, 1966 with 6 Beach Boys.
vocal session tape is lost, so all we have is the instrumental track in
an edited mix of take 20. Three edits were made to the master: in the
chorus, 10 bars from pickup take 2, then 10 bars from pickup take 1, then
the rest of the song from pickup take 2. The session sheet was logged
as "Untitled Song #1," the tape box as "Look" but the song was renamed "I Ran (formerly Untitled Song
#1)" for the vocal session. One of the many revelations of Smile
2004 is that this song is named Song for Children and has
lyrics recalling Wonderful and Child is Father of the Man.
Gives Speeches (B.Wilson ? V.D.Parks)
date unknown, likely Sept 1, 1966.
Parksian lyrics date it to the early Smile period. The tape
box of the sessions was unmarked, but the song also appears on a comp
reel titled "Nu(sic) songs as of 9/3" with Wonderful
(version 1) which makes Sept 1 the most likely date for the recording,
presumably after the Good Vibrations session that day. The title
of the comp reel suggests this was part of a new song that was abandoned
early in the Dumb Angel phase of the project. The song was
recast in July 1967 as the first section of Smiley Smile?s
She?s Goin? Bald.
Sept 8, 1966 with 11 musicians at Western.
instrumental track that seemed to be abandoned as Brian?s concept for
the Smile album solidified, we now know that lyrics were written
for the song. Tracking musicians included Brian, Carl, Dennis and Van
Dyke! Take 7 was the master. The ending of the song has a melody line
on vibes that later became the "whispering winds" choral ending
of the Smiley Smile Wind Chimes. One of the greatest
surprizes of Smile 2004 is that this song (now titled Holiday in the singular) has complete lyrics from Van Dyke about a pirate on a
holiday in Hawaii. The chorus echoes the "Rock Rock Roll" of Worms.
Brian put the "whispering winds" vocals over the vibes ending to transition
this song into Wind Chimes in the Elements movement.
the Midnight Hour (W. Pickett/S. Cropper)
title is found on an 8 track tape labeled "Holidays/In the Midnight
Hour" in the Beach Boys vault.
Fell Into His French Horn (B. Wilson)
Nov 7, 1966 with 5 musicians at Western.
account of Surf?s Up overdub session above.
Nov 29, 1966 with 6 musicians at Goldstar.
title is on the tapebox for the I Wanna Be Around/Friday Night
session, preceding the actual session, and therefore may have been a warmup
improvisation by the musicians or may have been something Brian specifically
wanted recorded for purposes unknown. The track is 6 minutes long.
Wanna Be Around/Friday Night (trad./B.Wilson)
Nov 29, 1966 with 6 musicians at Goldstar.
The Elements entry above. Brian edited together take 1 of IWBA
with take 11 of FN at the session and overdubbed the sound effects.
While Carol Kaye considered this part of The Elements, the
AFM session contract sheet lists the song as Friday Night (I?m in Great
Shape), which raises the possibility that Brian had already taken
Great Shape out of Heroes and Villains and recorded this
piece as a fade or section of Great Shape to make it a complete
song. That's how it appeared in Smile 2004 in the
Elements movement, preceding Fire so it would not be about "rebuilding
after the fire."
Dec 13, 1966 with "Brian plus 5" (at a Heroes and Villains vocal
chant was not originally intended as a B side, although it ultimately
was released as the flip of the Smiley Heroes and Villains
single. When Brian was working on Heroes in February he told a
music reporter "I?m doing the final mix on the A side tonight, but
I can?t decide what to do on the other side."
Jan 9, 1967 with 4 musicians (as Wonderful (insert)).
version features a "jazzy" arrangement, an unfinished Carl lead
vocal and presumably humorous "Rock with Me Henry" backing vocals.
The "insert" is actually an overdub on to Brian?s piano track.
Brian probably attempted the rerecord for a flip side for the Heroes
and Villains single.
Don?t Know (D. Wilson)
recorded Jan 12, 1967 with 7 musicians at Western.
instrumental has not yet come to light but is interesting in that Bruce
Johnston joins Carl and Dennis amongst the musicians.
One (B. Wilson)
recorded Jan 23, 1967 with 16 musicians at Western.
following a Surf?s Up session, this may have been a rerecord of
Nov. 14?s Surf?s Up ? First Movement, or may have been for another
multipart song like Heroes and Villains. The tape is missing from
Red Book (Bacharach-David)
recorded Feb 14, 1967 with 2 musicians.
informal run through with Brian on piano and vocals and an unknown musician
on bass is more faithful to the Manfred Mann original than the Love version
that was a local L.A. hit at the time. Brian may have been considering
the song as a B side to Heroes, as he mentioned to Tracy Thomas
(reported in her Feb 18 column): "I may end up just recording me
and a piano ? I tried it last night in the studio."
X (C. Wilson)
recorded March 3, 1967 with 10 musicians at Sound Recorders. Additional
sessions held March 15 with 3 musicians at Western, March 31 (as Tune
X) with 8 musicians at Sound Recorders, and April 11 (as Tones
Part 3) with 5 musicians at Western. Vocals recorded March
13 (5 vocalists) at Sound Recorders.
and Dennis each produced a track with studio musicians during the Smile sessions. Whether this was a conscious effort to make the "late"
Smile more of a group effort than a solo Brian project or
if it was simply for them to test their own production mettle is unknown.
The project number for the track sent to Capitol was 31-5526 ? Smile?s
project number. The mysterious Tune X (Tones) session has been
confirmed to be Carl?s Tones.
Me Tonight 1 (B.Wilson)
are no documented sessions for With Me Tonight during the Smile
period, yet three different versions of the song have surfaced.
This piano and group vocal interpretation appears to be the first, probably
recorded in February or March of 1967. The final take 12 is too long at
three minutes to be a section of another song - it may have been under
consideration for the B side of the Heroes and Villains single,
and likely was recorded during those sessions.
Me Tonight 2
version has a fuller production style with piano, bass, and tambourine.
Probably also recorded Feb-March 1967, it?s shorter length (about 1:35)
may mean it was planned to be a section of another song, perhaps Heroes
or Vegetables ? the only multipart songs Brian was working on at
Me Tonight 3
date unknown, likely April 1967.
brief version (take 13) has bass and backing vocals that are identical
to a section of Vegetables, which would appear to date the piece
to April 1967, although it appears on a Heroes and Villains comp
reel from June. Again, it may have been intended to be a section in Vegetables
or in Heroes and Villains. It was released on Hawthorne.
date unknown, April 1967 likely
returned again to this song during the Vegetables session for a
B side to the new single. It was again left unfinished. On the Smiley
Smile SOT Vol. 18 disc the piano instrumental track for the new
version is laid down by Brian, take four being the final take. The break
in the middle with Brian counting down again is presumably where an "insert" was to be placed. A tantalizingly brief look at some backing vocal overdubs
can be heard on the SOT release as well.
of the strangest pieces to escape from the Smile vaults,
this exotic instrumental sounds more like a Smiley home studio production
but apparently is from the Smile era proper. It sounds Greek
inspired and features organ, guitar and a Middle Eastern sounding stringed
instrument, perhaps a bouzaki.
Love to Say Dada (B.Wilson)
May 16, 1967 with 6 musicians, May 17 with 10 musicians, and May 18 with
9 musicians at Goldstar.
GV box set version assembled by Mark Linett represents the results of
the first day of the May recording sessions for this song. There is no
tape evidence the song had anything to do with The Elements track,
but the piano motif later appeared in Wild Honey?s Cool
Cool Water. An early attempt at Cool Cool Water recorded two
weeks after Dada on June 3 suggested that rather than
being a rewrite the two could be separate but musically similar songs.
The first appearance of Dada (the second part of the song) was
played by Brian on tack piano and entitled "All Day" on a Heroes
and Villains comp tape from Jan 3, so apparently the song had its
initial conception during the prime time Smile period. "All
Day" was likely planned as another section of Heroes, as the
final two takes are only about 20 seconds long. Its brevity makes it less
likely to be a section of The Elements (Air ? a "piano instrumental,"
or Water), or a new song that Brian wanted to put to tape and get back
to later. The second day of May sessions produced a different "part
two" section of the song with flutes making bird-like sounds, and
included a brief snippet of a third part with organ that unfortunately
breaks down immediately. With Smile 2004's Dada following
the Water Chant and containing water related lyrics, it seems this
controversy may finally be settled: Dada was indeed part of the
Water section of The Elements. And Cool Cool Water was likely
a rewrite after Dada was left unfinished.
Note on Smile Source Material:
the surviving session tapes of vocal and instrumental tracking of the
songs, source material for Smile includes multiple compilation
tapes of recordings assembled by Brian, as well as informal "party" reels with conversations in the studio with various Smile era friends
and employees. While Brian did not complete final mixes on any of the Smile songs, the rough mixes and edits on these comp tapes
are the best indication we have of what Brian had in mind for the songs.
The only surviving tape sources of many recordings are these comp tapes.
The Dec 18, 1966 comp tape later appeared on vinyl bootlegs and on the
Vigotone 2 CD Smile boot. A Heroes and Villains comp
tape was first booted on Heroes and Villains Sessions Parts 1 and
2. The contents of some of these tapes are noted below:
Dec 18, 1966 comp tape: (dates noted are when the tracks were mixed)
is Father of the Man (10/12/66) ? 2 tracks
You Like Worms (10/18/66)
An unlabelled 8 track comp tape found during research for Hawthorne
probably dates to Dec 1966 and includes:
Vibrations (partial mix)
? several sections
? sections 1,2,4,5,6,7
? GV box set version instrumental tracking with backing vocals only (booted
on Vigotone?s 2CD set and the Japanese CD T-2580)
is the Father, several sections
Vega-Tables "cornucopia" version
and Villains ? two verses, one with vocals, one without, H & V intro
(chimes version), H & V "barbershop Part 1"
? two versions, one with animal sounds, one without
Jan 3, 1967 Heroes and Villains comp tape:
to Part One - three takes
to 3rd Verse
of Tricks - instrumental, 2 takes
Day ? multiple takes (piano only version of Dada, Part 2)
A June 1967 Heroes and Villains comp tape from the Beach Boys tape
library was leaked in the mid 90?s and has appeared on the bootlegs Heroes
and Vibrations (Vigotone), Heroes and Villains Parts 1 and
2 Sessions (Surf), and Archaeology. It includes
Do a Lot, Tag to Part One, Bridge to Indians and Pickup to 3rd
verse from the Jan 3rd tape, but also includes How I Love My
Girl and many of the "sections" that appeared on the GV box
set, including the tack piano Bicycle Rider theme, the Smiley instrumental
chorus, the "Swedish Frog" vocal section, the various "dit
dit dit heroes and villains" sections, and the sunny down snuff,
my children were raised, and vocal chorus sections from the Smiley
Another source of mixes for the Smile material is the tape
labeled "Fire Music" given to researchers working on the Byron
Preiss book on the Beach Boys by a Beach Boys associate in 1978. This
material appeared on early vinyl and CD Smile bootlegs.
You Like Worms
(no sound effects)
Wait Too Long (3 pieces)
Master Painter (instrumental)
(actually "false Barnyard," see explanation above)
first major release of Smile bootleg material came from
the 1988 cassette assembled by Mark Linett for Capitol during the 1987-88
sessions for Brian Wilson?s first solo album. Capitol had announced the
imminent release of Smile and Mark Linett compiled a tape
of material for record company (and presumably Brian?s) review. Most of
the tape?s tracks were edited and mixed by Linett. The Smile
material that later appeared on the Good Vibrations box set released
by Capitol in 1995 came mostly from this tape. The Linett tape first appeared
on the Japanese Smile T-2580 bootleg in 1991, and the
2 CD Smile release in 1993 contained the best sounding version
of the tape. Presumed Brian Wilson rough mono mixes and multitrack edits
(with sections sometimes further edited together by Linett) are noted
with an asterisk.
and Villains (alt. version)*
and Villains (sections)
You Dig Worms
(actually "false" Barnyard)*
Intro (actually Heroes and Villains intro)
Fell . . .
Too Say Da Da (sic)
(backing vocals only)
You Welcome (sic)*
Goin? Bald (actually He Gives Speeches)
Wanna Be Around*
Way Too Long
The Sea of Tunes (SOT) bootleg label released four CD?s of Smile
sessions in 1998 copied directly from masters in the Beach Boys tape vault.
This release included Brian rough mixes of sections of Vegetables
and Heroes and Villains and a mono mix of Fire, along with
stereo mixes made by the vault vandals from the multi track tapes.
8. "Party" Reels ? David Anderle said in 1966 that "Brian
was obsessed with humor and the importance of humor. He was fascinated
with the idea of getting humor into a disc." There were reports of
Brian considering a separate "humor" album, along with a health
food album and a sound effects record, but these never materialized (although
some think the humor concept album became Smiley Smile).
If these tapes are any indication, we can be thankful that Brian dropped
the all humor album idea. There are three known tapes:
Era Party ? released on the Vigotone 2 CD set, this 24 minute tape features
Jules Siegel, Van Dyke, David Anderle, Michael Vosse, Diane Rovell, Brian
and "Dawn" at Columbia studios, possibly on October 18 as part
of the Worms backing track is played during the festivities. It
starts with Jules trying to get the others to play the "lifeboat
game" and soon you?ll be asking along with one of the participants,
"Brian, what are we doing in here?" Nothing particularly amusing
is committed to tape: "Michael, it?s getting boring."
Sounds ? recorded Nov 4, 1966, with Brian, Van Dyke, Danny Hutton, Michael
Vosse, and "Bob," this party reel is minimally more amusing
than the Smile Era Party. Brian does an extended comedy bit about his
"falling into the piano" and has the other participants try
to get him out by hitting certain keys on the piano. Then he falls into
the microphone. The group does some chanting, a "rhythmic vegetable
thing" with bongos, and the "where?s my beets and carrots"
and "I?ve got a big bag of vegetables" used on the Vegetables
promo on Hawthorne. They proceed on to an underwater "bottom of the ocean" chant and end with a groaning section
not unlike the "Swedish frog" section recorded later for Heroes
and Villains. The underwater chant is likely the genesis of the "Water
chant" later performed by the Beach Boys.
arguments ? recorded Nov 16, released on SOT. These arguments with Michael
Vosse, Hal Blaine, and Brian may have been another attempt at recording
for a humor project, or may have been intended to be part of the Vegetables
track itself ? the arguments are similar to what Brian later used as the
intro to the T.M. Song on 15 Big Ones. The most entertaining
of the party reels, almost entirely due to Hal Blaine?s contributions.
Internet release: collectors have posted various Smile bits and pieces
on the internet, either at websites, in myplay lockers, or via Napster
or the post-Napster clones. These pieces have included the following,
the first six of which were later included on the 5 CD Archaeology bootleg "Lost Recordings 1963-1968":
demo ("cornucopia" version)
Me Tonight 1 and 2
complete EH demo of H & V
is Father to the Man ? Brian?s instrumental mono mix
a Lot (Mama Says) ? alternate version
Surf?s Up piano demo with slate