Smiley Smile is the tenth studio album by The Beach Boys, issued in 1967. Released in the place of the much-touted SMiLE, Smiley Smile is widely considered to be under-produced, and it was received with indifference and confusion upon its unveiling. However, Smiley Smile has managed to grow in stature over the years to become a cult favorite in The Beach Boys' recorded catalogue.
After "Good Vibrations
" topped the singles charts in late 1966, the reported Smile
project was eagerly anticipated. However, in May 1967, the album was cancelled, and The Beach Boys pulled out of their headlining spot at the Monterey Pop Festival
. The original project (which took longer to record than any other Beach Boys album) was scrapped. Cut largely at Brian Wilson's new home studio in Bel Air during June and July, the album includes alternate versions of songs originally intended for Smile
("Wind Chimes", "Vegetables" and Wonderful") and quickly recorded new material. Only "Good Vibrations
" appears in its original version. "Good Vibrations" was included to help bolster sales, even though Brian was strongly against its inclusion.
When Smiley Smile was finally released in September, after months of hype, its critical reception was unenthusiastic, peaking at only #41 in the US. Its commercial reception a few months later in the UK was better; it reached #9 on British charts. Carl Wilson is reported to have called it "a bunt instead of a grand-slam" comparing Smiley Smile to the much-fabled unreleased album that it eventually replaced.
Smiley Smile is generally considered the most controversial Beach Boys album; many fans consider it a massive failure while others consider it among the most distinctive albums of the sixties. Pete Townshend of The Who is a known admirer of the record.
Smiley Smile marked the end of Brian Wilson as the leader of The Beach Boys. Although the album was mostly produced by him, the production was for the first time credited to the group. The following years saw the former band leader become less and less involved in music production.
Front cover artwork
While no credit has ever been afforded to the creator of the "Smiley Smile" front artwork, it is clearly inspired by the work of the 19th/20th century French artist Henri Rousseau and, in particular, his 1910 painting entitled "The Dream"
- "Heroes and Villains" (Brian Wilson, Van Dyke Parks) – 3:37
"Vegetables" (Wilson, Parks) – 2:07
- Features Brian Wilson [verses] and Alan Jardine [chorus] on lead vocals
"Fall Breaks and Back to Winter (Woody Woodpecker Symphony)" (Wilson) – 2:15
- Features Alan Jardine and Brian Wilson with Mike Love on lead vocals
"She's Goin' Bald" (Wilson, Mike Love, Parks) – 2:13
- instrumental with group backing vocals
"Little Pad" (Wilson) – 2:30
- Features Mike Love, Brian Wilson, Dennis Wilson and Al Jardine on lead vocals
"Good Vibrations" (Wilson and Love) – 3:36
- Features Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson and Mike Love on lead vocals
"With Me Tonight" (Wilson) – 2:17
- Features Carl Wilson, Mike Love and Brian Wilson on lead vocals
"Wind Chimes" (Wilson) – 2:36
- Features Carl Wilson on lead vocals
"Gettin' Hungry" (Wilson, Love) – 2:27
- Features Mike Love, Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson, and Dennis Wilson on lead vocals
"Wonderful" (Wilson, Parks) – 2:21
- Features Mike Love and Brian Wilson on lead vocals
"Whistle In" (Wilson) – 1:04
- Features Carl Wilson on lead vocals
- Features Carl Wilson and Mike Love on lead vocals
- "Good Vibrations" b/w "Let's Go Away for Awhile" (from Pet Sounds) (Capitol 5676), 10 October 1966 US #1; UK #1. (UK B-side was "Wendy" from All Summer Long)
- "Heroes and Villains" b/w "You're Welcome" (Brother 1001), 31 July 1967 US #12; UK #8
- "Gettin' Hungry" b/w "Devoted to You" (Brother 1002), 28 August 1967. (Credited to "Brian and Mike")
Smiley Smile is now paired on CD with Wild Honey, with bonus tracks from that period.
- In Australia, Smiley Smile was released on the Music for Pleasure label as The Beach Boys.
- Smiley Smile/Wild Honey CD booklet notes, David Leaf, c.1990.
- "Look! Listen! Vibrate! Smile!", Domenic Priore, c.1995
- "Catch a Wave", Carlin, c. 2006
- "The Nearest Faraway Place: Brian Wilson, The Beach Boys and the Southern California Experience", Timothy White, c. 1994.
- "The Beach Boys - The Definitive Diary of America's Greatest Band on Stage and in the Studio", Keith Badman, c. 2004
- "Wouldn't It Be Nice - My Own Story", Brian Wilson and Todd Gold, c. 1991.
- "Top Pop Singles 1955–2001", Joel Whitburn, c. 2002.
- "Top Pop Albums 1955–2001", Joel Whitburn, c. 2002.