Thursday, October 14, 2004


Looking forward to Smile after reading these reviews:

Grapez ...It is an Aaron Copland work of pop music. Brian deconstructs the pop song and then rebuilds it. Van Dyke Parks, the lyricist, works wonders with his words. Themes appear and disappear and reappear like the seashore on a wavy day

Twists and Turns ...a melodic meditation on American history, childhood and the four elements, as meditated upon by a psychedelic barbershop quartet, using multi-layered, four-part harmonies and surreal lyrics

Junk For Code ...The more appropriate way of responding to the Smile album is in terms of the model provided by classical music: there is an unfinished musical score written in 1967 and this is one particular performance of that composition. It is more an interactive album than a simulation of the original; a soundscape full of interwoven musical collages.

Comments: smiles

You can listen to some of the tracks of Smile here. They give you some idea of the uniqueness of this music.

It is very quirky music.It is very very different to The Beatles' Revolver or St Pepper, with which it is often compared.

It is also much more idiosyncratic than Pet Sounds which it evolved.

I often think it is similar in concept(a musical collage) to the Grateful Dead's 1968 Anthem of the Sun, even though that primal dead album was acid rock rather than pop.
Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at October 14, 2004 07:21 PM

Dam the links did not work.
They are

for the smile tracks


for a review of Anthem of the Sun
Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at October 14, 2004 07:30 PM

Aaron Copland? Never heard of him ...

Until then.
Posted by Tony.T at October 14, 2004 11:02 PM

Gary, thanks, great link.
I love what I've heard so far.
I've been listening to 'A Jazz portrait of Brian Wilson" more than the Beach Boys lately, so maybe that's a smooth intro to the collage of SMiLE.

More on smile here - and a link trail.

Posted by boynton at October 15, 2004 04:06 PM

That's a good AC site, T - will have to explore more. I paused at this photograph:,phot0096u.tif&title=Aaron%20Copland%20with%20landlady%20and%20dog,%20Königstein,%20Germany,%201927%3cbr%3e&displayProfile=0&dir=ammem&itemLink=S?ammem/coplandbib:@field(NUMBER+@od1(copland+phot0096))
Posted by boynton at October 15, 2004 04:10 PM

Should that site get the official WWW Longest Link Award for Excellence in the Field of Length?
Posted by Tony.T at October 15, 2004 10:39 PM

Posted by boynton at October 16, 2004 09:58 AM

Many thanks for the link re smile. The review on Pop Culture Gadabout by Bill Shearman is a good one.

You need to scroll down the page to read it as it is blogspot.
Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at October 16, 2004 10:08 AM

Oooh! I'm gonna be hasslin' Gaslight Records, first thing tomorrow morning.

I am so looking foward to this, I've got wood.

From my own experience, "Pet Sounds", along with Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" and the Necks' "Sex", is a surefire soundtrack when moving from a deep amd meaningful in the living room to a braille discussion in the bedroom.

(Umm, not sure if you needed to know that.But it's too late now, I've already posted it.)

Posted by Nabakov at October 17, 2004 03:32 PM

Must be all that talk of grits and mainsails. How does The Sloop John B work in Braille?
Posted by boynton at October 17, 2004 04:41 PM

"How does The Sloop John B work in Braille?"

God Only Knows. But Wouldn't It be Nice if I Know There's An Answer, Here Today. But hey That's Not Me 'cos I Wasn't Made For These Times.
Posted by Nabakov at October 17, 2004 05:43 PM

Alas, I wasn't made for these times either.

I was possibly made for 1854.

(wouldn't it be) Nice to do the Block...
To me it excels aught else beside
Posted by boynton at October 18, 2004 12:01 PM

Another review of Smile from PopMatters that I just came across
Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at October 18, 2004 12:59 PM

That's a great review, Gary.
The parallel universe of the speculative and bootlegged is fascinating, and if it manages to reconcile and even transcend it, then SMiLE is indeed "closure on a cosmic scale".
Can't wait to buy it.
Posted by boynton at October 18, 2004 04:31 PM

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