Welcome to my blog - Read and enjoy

Thank you for visiting my Scooby1970 blogspot. I update whenever I can and when I have something interesting to share. You will also find published work of mine at Gaming Illustrated. Gaming Illustrated is where most of my work now takes place, but I will transfer some of my more popular articles from there over to this blog, in extended format.

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Enjoy the blogs, and relive my ups and downs in life, view some interesting reviews and just enjoy the site. If you are interested in learning something about some of my favourite music then click here it's the official Jan & Dean Site that has taken me and my friend from across the sea, June many years to keep updated.

:) Mark

Thursday, 21 January 2010

SMiLE - The Lost Beach Boys Album

Once in a while there comes along so intense, so brilliant, so melodic and so life changing that it can make you appreciate music more than you have ever appreciated it before.

The first album to change my outlook on music was The Beach Boys "Pet Sounds" album, it took me months to listen to it and fully understand it, but once I grasped the concept I fell deeply in love with it's classical undertones and sweet sweet lyrics and melodies.

So then to "SMiLE". Brian Wilson released this unreleased masterpiece a couple of years ago, and everyone gasped at how beautiful it was, however, myself , just like many other Beach Boys fans knew that the real magic of SMiLE was in the unreleased sessions and fragments that can be found around the internet.

During my search for tracks from SMiLE, I compiled my very own 4CD box set. Disc 1 contained all the officially released SMiLE era tracks that were available from various Beach Boys releases. Disc 2 contained the Vigotone bootleg version of the album, a stunning concept that still blows me away. Disc 3 contained alternate versions of SMiLE tracks from various other bootleg albums, while disc 4 contained a mono version of the original track-list as found on the back of the original album cover, plus some bonus tracks of yet more alternate versions. I cased all these bootlegs into two double CD cases, re-created the SMiLE album cover (as seen above) and was more than happy for many years.

A couple of years ago I then came across a brilliant SMiLE bootleg known as the DJ Mic Love mix. It contained the most thought provoking mix of the album so far, and the mixing was of a very high quality. More recently I discovered the on-a-par, but different version from MoK (click on the post-title to view tracks and download). So, all in all these different versions and snippets have added to me wanting to hear a real, official Beach Boys SMiLE box-set from Capitol. They never will, so we will all have to enjoy Brian Wilson's released version plus the numerous official tracks and bootlegs.

So, what makes the album so great? Putting aside Brian Wilson's version (a great version, but lacking in emotion and creativeness when compared to the original unreleased/released versions from the original 1967 album), each track on SMiLE is just sublime. Starting with "Our Prayer", a prayer to God in pure harmony, you feel instantly that you are taken to some other World where music has taken a new dimension. "Heroes & Villains" and "Good Vibrations" are also on the album in slightly different forms, and as anybody with an ounce of musical knowledge will tell you, these are mind-blowing track in their own right. The other big track that some people would know is "Surf's Up". A stunning piece that just blows away almost every other song ever written by anybody in the World. It is that good.

Talking about the album can not do it justice. Either run out and by Brian's version or download one of the many bootlegs available on the Internet. You may not get it first listen, but you will be taken in by the shear brilliance and eventually realise your music life was empty without it.