Song Cycle - 1968
From Brian Wilson's Smile co-conspirator comes an album that was, and still is (if you calculate for inflation) the most expensive album ever made. It's no surprise then, that this record bears a striking similarity to Smile in its wild instrumentation and cut n' paste song construction. Intended as a musical journey across the American landscape, Song Cycle mixes Hollywood grandeur and a barrage of sound effects that, when paired with Parks' extremely visual songwriting/storytelling and loaded with reverb and dense sound manipulation, results in the pinnacle of 60s album-length experimentation. In response to the poor sales of the record after its release, and faced with piles of it sitting in their warehouses, Warner Brothers ran full page advertisements suggesting listeners send in their worn copies of Song Cycle to Warner Brothers in return for a brand new one, and a second; "one to educate a friend with". Find yourself a set of headphones and enjoy.