The Beach Boys – “Smile” (Unreleased – 1967)

September 9, 2008 at 10:58 pm (Reviews & Articles, The Beach Boys)

Written Sept. 9, 2008…

Okay, let me start out by saying that I stand by everything I said in my review for the Brian Wilson 2004 release of Smile. It is the finished version and the one that the world was meant to hear as a complete album. But today I found this “bootleg” available as a download online. Someone named Ryan Marks put this together and did a brilliant job. He put all the finished and mostly finished versions of these songs that the Beach Boys recorded back in 1966-67 in such a way as to sound as close to the 2004 version as possible. It’s the best, most complete version I have heard in all these years. He made it sound like an almost-finished work. Like an actual “album.” Right down to all the little segues in between each song. Everything flows perfectly. It’s amazing.
All the bootlegs I have heard over the years have just had numerous takes of each song all thrown on, with no rhyme or reason. Then again, there was no way to know before how it should be arranged. Now, with the 2004 version, we can use that as a guide. Then again, who knows if the way Brian put the album together in 2004 is the way he would have sequenced it back in 1967. That is something we can never know. And I imagine even he didn’t know. He probably never got that far at the time.
If this album had come out in early 1967 as planned, who knows what kind of impact it would have had on the musical world. We can only speculate. It is a shame that it never had a chance to do what it could have done. Like I have said though, it obviously wasn’t meant to come out that year. I believe everything happens for a reason. Because of that, 2004 was Smile‘s year.    
Anyhow, as for the music itself – naturally it is brilliant. Brian’s modular approach to production was innovative. And this was groundbreaking, experimental, yet still accessible music. It pushed the boundaries of what is considered pop music. There’s not much I can say though that hasn’t been said a thousand times before about this album. It has been analyzed in excessive detail in many books, websites, articles, reviews and interviews for forty years now. This music still sounds mysterious though and continues to fascinate us. It probably always will. I never get tired of hearing it – in any form. 
Note that o
bviously there are a couple of songs with no lyrics (because none were written at the time) but most of what is on here is basically complete.
Is it better than what Brian accomplished with his great backing band in 2004? I wouldn’t say one is necessarily better than the other. They are both brilliant. You can never top the harmonies that the Beach Boys added to this album, although Brian’s new band came as close as humanly possible. All of this just reinforces what I had already known all these years. That Smile was and is one of the greatest works of art in the history of recorded music. Now you have two versions to have your mind blown with.

Jay Mucci


P.S. If you want to find the download I am referring to, click on this link 

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Van Dyke Parks – “Wonderful” (1966)

September 9, 2008 at 10:00 pm (Poetry & Literature, The Beach Boys, Van Dyke Parks)

She belongs there, left with her liberty
Never known as a non-believer
She laughs and stays in the

She knew how to gather the forest when
God reached softly and moved her body
One golden locket quite young
And loving her mother and father

Farther down the path was a mystery
Through the recess the chalk and numbers
A boy bumped into her

She’ll return in love with her liberty
Never known as a non-believer
She’ll smile and thank God
For one wonderful.

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Johnny Cash – “Orange Blossom Special” and “Daddy Sang Bass” (Live – 1969)

September 9, 2008 at 9:59 pm (Johnny Cash, Music)

More from San Quentin…

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Van Dyke Parks – “The Attic” (1968)

September 9, 2008 at 9:41 pm (Poetry & Literature, Van Dyke Parks)

I was there upon
a four poster there
Mind touseled
I came to bear
some thoughts from the past
amid a dash of influenza

And then I came to see in baggage
the memories of truncated souvenirs
The war years

High moon I said
high moon lighted
high moon eye
to my moon

Far beyond the blue mist
enveloped lawn
the blanketed night comes on
The champagne is dead and gone
The forest around sensitive sound forest primeval
Through the panes cloud buttermilk
war remains and twisted cross
war refrains lunatic so

high moon I said
high moon lighted
high moon eye
to my moon

Your age will most probably
carry away the letters enveloped in carrion
Vague unpleasantries of the war
May your son’s progenitorship
of the state haphazardly help him to carry on
God send your son safe home to you

High Moon
You’re eye
to my moon.

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Michael McClure – “Peyote Poem – Part 1”

September 9, 2008 at 9:35 pm (Poetry & Literature, The Beats)

Clear — the senses bright — sitting in the black chair — Rocker —
               the white walls reflecting the color of clouds
                    moving over the sun. Intimacies! The rooms
     not important — but like divisions of all space
               of all hideousness and beauty. I hear
                     the music of myself and write it down
           for no one to read. I pass fantasies as they
                sing to me with Circe-Voices. I visit
      among the peoples of myself and know all
                                I need to know 

           there is a golden bed radiating all light
     the air is full of silver hangings and sheathes
                               I smile to myself. I know
             all there is to know. I see all there
                is to feel. I am friendly with the ache
                          in my belly. The answer
                to love is my voice. There is no time!
     No answers. The answer to feeling is my feeling

                The answer to joy is joy without feeling

                The room is a multicolored cherub
     of air and bright colors. The pain in my stomach
           is warm and tender. I am smiling. The pain
                is many pointed, without anguish 
           Light changes the room from yellows to violet!
     The dark brown space behind the door is precious
           intimate, silent and still. The birthplace
                of Brahms. I know
           all that I need to know. There is no hurry 
     I read the meanings of scratched walls and cracked ceilings 
           I am separate. I close my eyes in divinity and pain 
           I blink in solemnity and unsolemn joy 
                I smile at myself in my movements. Walking
                     I step higher in carefulness. I fill
           space with myself. I see the secret and distinct
                patterns of smoke from my mouth
           I am without care part of all. Distinct 
     I am separate from gloom and beauty. I see all.



     And grim intensity — close within myself. No longer
                                    a cloud
           but flesh real as rock. Like Herakles
                          of primordial substance and vitality 
           And not even afraid of the thing shorn of glamour
                          but accepting 
     The beautiful things are not of ourselves
                but I watch them. Among them.


                          And the Indian thing. It is true!
           Here in my apartment I think tribal thoughts.)


     There is no time. I am visited by a man
                who is the god of foxes
           there is dirt under the nails of his paw
                          fresh from his den 
           We smile at one another in recognition

           I am free from time. I accept it without triumph

                          — a fact

           Closing my eyes there are flashes of light

     My eyes won’t focus but leap. I see that I have three feet 
                I see seven places at once!
           The floor slants — the room slopes
                          things melt
             into each other. Flashes
                of light
           and meldings. I wait
     seeing the physical thing pass 
                I am on a mesa of time and space 
                          ! STOM-ACHE!
                Writing the music of life
                     in words 
                Hearing the round sounds of the guitar
                     as colors 
                Feeling the touch of flesh 
                Seeing the loose chaos of words
                on the page 
                     (ultimate grace)
           (Sweet Yeats and his ball of hashish.)


           My belly and I are two individuals
                joined together
                     in life.


                we smile with it.


           At the window I look into the blue-gray
                gloom of dreariness 
     I am warm. Into the dragon of space 
           I stare into clouds seeing
                their misty convolutions

                The whirls of vapor
     I will small clouds out of existence 
     They become fish devouring each other 
     And change like Dante’s holy spirits
     becoming an osprey frozen skyhigh
                to challenge me.

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The Incredible Bongo Band – “Bongo Rock” (1973)

September 9, 2008 at 9:08 pm (Funk)

More from the IBB…from the album of the same name…another much-sampled funk track…

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Johnny Cash & June Carter – “Jackson” (TV – 1969)

September 9, 2008 at 9:02 pm (Johnny Cash, Music)

From “The Johnny Cash Show” Sept. 27, 1969…

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Johnny Cash – “He Turned the Water Into Wine” (Live – 1969)

September 9, 2008 at 9:00 pm (Johnny Cash, Music)

Live from San Quentin…

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Bruce Johnston – “Deirdre” (1977)

September 9, 2008 at 9:00 pm (Music, The Beach Boys)

Beach Boys member Bruce Johnston doing one of his own Boys songs – only in a slightly disco-styled version from his 1977 solo album Going Public. This is definitely not as good as the original. Interesting though. Co-written with Brian Wilson. It originally appeared on Sunflower in 1970.

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Johnny Cash – “Ring of Fire” (Live – 1968)

September 9, 2008 at 8:43 pm (Johnny Cash, Music)

Live at the Grand Ole Opry – 1968…

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