Smiley Smile Sessions - 1967
Officially titled "Unsurpassed Masters Vol.18 (1967):The Alternate "Smiley Smile" Album", this collection anything but an "alternate album". Even the cover to this poorly titled bootleg (a shot of the band taking a playful romp in the surf) doesn't even fit, so I've decided to ditch both of them. In reality, what we have here is a fascinating look into the Beach Boys' recording process as they tried to rise from the ashes of their aborted Smile LP. Rather than the usual bootleg mix of alternate takes in muddied fidelity, you hear the songs literally being built before your ears, track by track, instrument by instrument, voice by voice. If you're not familiar with the Smiley Smile LP, fear not, this collection is akin to an instruction manual that breaks down the working methods of one of the greatest bands of all time. Those who already have every sloppy, silly psychedelic inch of Smiley Smile imprinted on their brains, will find a whole new way of loving it. Either way, get yourself a nice set of headphones and enjoy!