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--- Smile & Motorcycle (http://www.danielamos.com/wbb2/thread.php?threadid=6894)

Posted by Lost Canine on 09-28-2004 at08:50:

  Smile & Motorcycle

As I sit and listen to Brian Wilson's "Smile," I cannot help but hear a lot of "Motorcycle." If you have heard "Smile," what do you think? "Heros & Villians" reminds me of "Traps & Snares." Any thoughts?

Posted by dorfsmith on 09-28-2004 at12:23:


Terry is a huge brian wilson fan. Unfortunately, I don't know enough wilson music to make the connection Crying

Posted by audiori on 09-28-2004 at12:54:


I can see it. Brian Wilson has sort of a complicated
orchestration to his songs that in the end sound simple.
A lot of odd noises and instruments and harmonies
layered to produce an atmosphere for the lyric.
MotorCycle has a similar style and design I think,
moreso than any other DA album. Little Big is similar
to a less degree, but still has a lot of Brian Wilson
solo album sound and structure.

I remember reading about the other Beach Boys
during some sessions getting irritated with Brian
because he would bring them in and have them record
like 30 seconds of an "Ahhhh..." and leave. And then later
he might call them in to record another "Oooo.."
And they never knew what exactly the song was going
to sound like until Brian pieced all these oddball pieces
together. He knew what it was in his head, but nobody else
did. And he probably just used those weird Ahhs or a bell
sound or something in some odd place that in the end
made sense.

Posted by Mark on 09-28-2004 at15:33:


I just bought Smile today. I haven't really had time to listen yet. I skimmed through a few songs in the car. Sounds pretty good.

Posted by Matt K on 09-28-2004 at16:33:


Yeah, I got Smile today.... I highly highly recommend it... it's incredible. I might be slightly biased since i'm a Brian Wilson fan, but I recommend everyone to get it NOW!!!!

or not. Big Grin

Posted by dennis on 09-30-2004 at13:16:

Thumb Up!


Posted by jiminy on 09-30-2004 at13:22:



never thought to compare the two..but initial idea puts them both in a
psychadelic vein....side by side would be interesting...

I love Smile - in some ways more brilliant than even Pet Sounds- its predecessor, but you can also see the "tortured artist" and sad deterioration of Brian at the same time...

in that way it reminds me of Piper at the Gates af Dawn..where Syd is beginning to lose it...

Posted by Aqua Green Toupee on 10-02-2004 at08:15:


Motorcycle has songs on it. Smile doesn't. But I love Smile too. Smile

Posted by Gabriel Syme on 10-15-2004 at11:53:


I just had a chance to listen to Smile here at work. I don't know enough of Wilson's music to really understand it; I'm just not familiar with his musical language. But there were parts of it that I really liked, & the entire thing was quite an experience.

Does anyone know how close this is to the original concept & how much subsequent history may have changed what finally emerged?

Posted by dorfsmith on 10-15-2004 at12:02:


Now you are makeing me want to get smile and pet sounds (bot of which I have never heard) Shocked

Posted by audiori on 10-15-2004 at15:12:


Pet Sounds is highly recomended.

As for Smile, I had heard some unfinished tracks from Smile
before and bits and pieces that were not yet put together
and he had released a couple songs over the years from the

1. Our Prayer / Gee
2. Heroes and Villains **
3. Roll Plymouth Rock
4. Barnyard
5. Old Master Painter / You Are My Sunshine
6. Cabin Essence **

7. Wonderful
8. Song For Children
9. Child Is Father of the Man **
10. Surf's Up **

11. I'm In Great Shape / I Wanna Be Around / Workshop
12. Vega-Tables **
13. On a Holiday
14. Wind Chimes **
15. Mrs. O'Leary's Cow
16. In Blue Hawaii
17. Good Vibrations **

I think from what I have heard, this versions sounds a lot
if not almost identicle to what I have heard before. Terry's
cover of Vega-Tables is kinda similar to this.

Posted by Mark on 10-15-2004 at15:52:


Pet Sounds is definitely one of the greatest albums ever released!

Posted by PuP on 10-15-2004 at22:16:


Yes! You must get Pet Sounds immediately, dorf. You have wasted too much time already.

NPR played about 30 seconds from the middle of a track from Smile and I got chills. I really need to hear the rest of this album!

Posted by Lost Canine on 10-16-2004 at12:40:


I think "Smile" is the best. "Pet Sounds" is great, but "Smile" is outstanding.

Posted by baxter on 10-18-2004 at10:17:

  From Phantom Tollbooth

Artist: Brian Wilson
Label: Nonesuch
Length: 17 tracks
In the Neil Young live album Rust Never Sleeps, a familiar line states, "it's better to burn out than to fade away." There certainly seems to be valid reason to support this idea: Stevie Wonder, the Who, R.E.M (via its latest release), and, ironically, the current line up of "the Beach Boys" (playing at the local casino). All these feature acts seem to go on too long. Careers that once blossomed and produced some of the best music ever recorded can't seem to outplay our town's local band. Fortunately, this rule isn't a strict law--at least no one can say it anymore. Ladies and gentlemen, I may or may not be the first to say it, but Brian Wilson's Smile is quite possibly the greatest album in the history of rock and roll, 37 years after Brian Wilson's masterpiece Pet Sounds and his nervous breakdown which relegated Smile to status of urban legend and an idealized notion that the U.S. could produce anything better than Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. Well, it finally has.

Now that I've made that bombshell claim, I'll try to back it up. The two best albums in the history of rock music are the Beatles' Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band and the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds . . . First, compare Brian Wilson's Smile to Pet Sounds_ In comparison, it becomes boring, slow, and lacking in creativity. Sgt. Pepper (which, keep in mind, would've been released post-Smile)? Smile makes that album claimed as the greatest album of all time (and rightly so!) look like it needs more emotion, lacking in a singular and cohesive focus. This recording simply supercedes the studio trickery of Pet Sounds and surpasses Sgt. Pepper in that album's ability to form a concept album of songs interwoven to make a masterpiece which flows perfectly from beginning to end. Quite frankly, Sgt. Pepper seems to have been less original than it seemed at the time after experiencing Smile.

But enough of the history lesson; let's get down to details. At the start of the album we have "Our Prayer/Gee." As the trademark Beach Boys harmonies come across the speakers, the listener begins to feel that maybe this is just Brian Wilson with non-Beach Boys making an album that sounds like the Beach Boys. Well, enjoy the simple beginning and get ready for that simplicity to go out the window. "Heroes and Villains" comes out of the speakers, and all sorts of noises, harmonies, and instruments you can't pronounce are collide from every direction, and somehow--even impossibly--it's beautiful. Tears may even come to listeners' eyes. They did for me. "Plymouth Rock" then features the line that'll be with the audience all week, "Rock rock roll, Plymouth rock roll over" is repeated with the last noted stretched upward. This line is perhaps the most ingenious yet simple line that's been written in 30 years.

My vocabulary will run out of steam trying to describe the way the remainder of this work of art unfolds. But the basics is that there are really three "movements," if you will, which make up the whole, consisting of songs which mesh together in ways which simply getting several of these songs scattered throughout Beach Boys releases and demo outtakes will not give them their due credit. "The whole is better than the sum of their parts" is the cliché we're looking for. But all of this builds up to the track that will draw the listener's eye while looking down the track list: "Good Vibrations." This contains the first questioning of what we're hearing. Because I will admit that if we listen to the original version of this song released on the album Smiley Smile and take this song by itself, the cynical voice comes out that an old Brian Wilson plus a collection of talented musicians is good, but it doesn't add up to a fresher Wilson plus a crew of classic Beach Boys vocalists. This concern is a valid one. However, it's only when hearing this "Good Vibrations" with the whole of _Smile_ is it clear that it takes away a percent of a percent of the difference of the album. The modern day studios help rather than hinder the album, and as the conclusion of the whole, it's the best nada "Good Vibrations" you've ever heard.

So in conclusion, no, it doesn't make sense. The happy, bright cover art sitting in the local record store looks as out of place now as the Wilson brothers feeding zoo animals on the Pet Sounds cover looked in 1966. And it seems to come there humbly as the music. The irony of it all is how un-serious the album takes itself amidst its genius. The lyrics are pleasantly funny, and one can see Brian Wilson laughing as his masterpiece which drove him the point of nervous breakdown 37 years ago is finally teaching a whole new generation how to smile.

Matthew Kilgore 10/11/2004

Posted by Matt K on 10-18-2004 at13:57:

  Smile: Original vs 2004

Originally posted by audiori

I think from what I have heard, this versions sounds a lot
if not almost identicle to what I have heard before. Terry's
cover of Vega-Tables is kinda similar to this.

Yeah, the instrumentation and vocal arrangements are in fact identical to the original recordings. On the Beach Boys 30th anniversery box set, there are a few tracks from the original unfinished SMiLE, some of them are only instrumentals that Van Dyke Parks added lyrics to for the recent re-record. For example, the instrumental "I Love To Say Da-Da" is now with lyrics, titled "In Blue Hawaii". An instrumental track that was only released on bootleg that I may or may not have heard called "Look" now contains lyrics and is called "Song for Children." Very very good stuff here.

Posted by ™ on 10-19-2004 at00:41:

  I absolutely gotta get it

This recording simply supercedes the studio trickery of Pet Sounds and surpasses Sgt. Pepper in that album's ability to form a concept album of songs interwoven to make a masterpiece which flows perfectly from beginning to end. Quite frankly, Sgt. Pepper seems to have been less original than it seemed at the time after experiencing Smile.

Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! McCartney has ALWAYS credited Brian Wilson/Pet Sounds with being the inspiration for Pepper, though on the Beatles Anthology Brian Wilson himself says he doesn't really see it. And I suppose if anyone had access to the Smile sessions at the time it coulda been our Pauly, dropping in on the Bri-guy. So no doubt the noticable influence is there.

But I just hates it when people go to bashin' Pepper!
Roll Eyes

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