After More Than 37 Years, Brian Wilson's Smile Makes Its Way Onto Wax November 23

10/22/04

Two-LP Vinyl Version Features Four Songs Unavailable on CD

The most anticipated album in modern pop history is finally being released in the format for which it was originally intended: on vinyl.

Beach Boys mastermind Brian Wilson's SMiLE, an album he began working on more than three and a half decades ago and finally finished last year, is to be pressed on 180-gram HQ vinyl. The two-LP release, housed in a gatefold jacket, will feature four tracks unavailable on the CD-instrumental versions of "Heroes And Villains," "Cabin Essence," "On A Holiday" and "Wind Chimes."

The 21-track vinyl version of SMiLE (Nonesuch/Rhino) will be available November 23 at all retail outlets and at http://www.rhino.com for a suggested retail price of $24.98. The CD version of SMiLE is in stores now.

SMiLE, which Rolling Stone dubbed a "triumph" in its five-star review, was originally slated to arrive in stores in January 1967. In fact, more than 400,000 SMiLE record jackets were printed and ads were taken out in various magazines to prepare for the concept album, which was to have been the follow-up to The Beach Boys' iconic breakthrough Pet Sounds. Only now can people hear the newly completed work.

After Wilson began performing Pet Sounds live in recent years, he decided to revisit SMiLE in concert form. Fans around the world gathered at London's Royal Festival Hall on February 20, 2004 to hear the complete piece performed live for the first time ever. Helping out behind the scenes was Van Dyke Parks, the noted lyricist with whom Wilson had created SMiLE.

Critics hailed the performance, and buoyed by the reaction, the standing ovations, and the series of sold out concerts in London, Wilson returned to Sunset Sound in Hollywood, where he'd originally cut portions of SMiLE, to create the definitive studio recording.

SMiLE is not a mere reconstruction of past performances, but something entirely new, the culmination of a project that has been gestating for nearly four decades by an artist who has surmounted years of personal and professional struggle. It's also an unexpected gift to all who kept the dream of SMiLE alive. SMiLE "makes perhaps the most persuasive argument for the 'hippie dream' of the '60s that music and love really do have the power to transform the world," noted The Los Angeles Times.

Entertainment Weekly gave the album an "A," with writer Chris Willman stating, "SMiLE fulfills its 37-year promise, detailing what'd happen if you threw Stephen Foster's parlor folk, Aaron Copland's orchestral Americana, the Four Freshmen, some kiddie pop, and a sound-effects record into an acid-laced blender. With a new melodic idea occurring every 45 seconds on average, it's a gorgeous trip back to a time when anything seemed possible..."

Wilson and his band are supporting the release of SMiLE with a 25-date U.S. tour that launches on September 30th in Minneapolis.

In June, Wilson released his latest solo album, Gettin' In Over My Head, featuring guest performances by Eric Clapton, Elton John and Paul McCartney, as well as a moving duet with his late brother and fellow Beach Boy Carl Wilson.

Source: Warner Strategic Marketing