Read The Beach Boys' Smile by Luis A. Sanchez Online


Smile is not merely a great unfinished album, but a living work of art that is all at once expansive, indeterminate, and resolutely pop.In the early 1960s, The Beach Boys rose from the suburbs of Hawthorne, California to become emissaries of a post-war American dream that fused middle-class aspiration and mobility with images of youth. Led by dream master Brian Wilson, theSmile is not merely a great unfinished album, but a living work of art that is all at once expansive, indeterminate, and resolutely pop.In the early 1960s, The Beach Boys rose from the suburbs of Hawthorne, California to become emissaries of a post-war American dream that fused middle-class aspiration and mobility with images of youth. Led by dream master Brian Wilson, their music gave voice to a Southern California mythos and compelled an audience across the nation and beyond to live out their own versions of the fantasy. By 1966, the encroaching counterculture added new dimensions of creative possibility to popular music. Looking to revise and expand, Brian Wilson sought collaboration with a brilliant musician named Van Dyke Parks. Together they began work on Smile, an ambitious album of music that refracted The Beach Boys' naïveté into a visionary exploration of American consciousness. Smile edged so close to greatness it seemed destined to become one of the most significant musical advances of its time. But the story didn't end quite like this.In this book of evocative essays, Sanchez traces the musical journey that transformed The Beach Boys from West Coast surf heroes into America's pop luminaries, and ultimately why Smile represents a tumultuous turning point in the history of popular music....

Title : The Beach Boys' Smile
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781623562588
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 144 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Beach Boys' Smile Reviews

  • Paul Bryant
    2019-02-21 06:02

    The grisly irony of Smile is that it descended into general frowning unhappiness in early 1967 as Brian Wilson realised he had no idea what he was doing with his modularity run rampant and everyone thought he’d gone round the bend; the tiresomeness of Smile is that it has such an anguished yet hopeful back story (and lo! it was completed by Big Brian 37 years later, proving that autumn is just as nice as spring and it’s never too late to have a fling - throw away your walking frames and shimmy like your sister Kate etc etc). The irony and the tiresomeness tempt all the music critics to jaw on about all this cultural portentousness and fill up their volumes with tales of Mephistopheles Mike Love, Beelzebub Murray Wilson, Lucifer Phil Spector and the other damned detestable devils who tormented the poor adult child genius Brian Wilson and made him eat many burgers. This present teeny tome is the worst and most aggravating of the Smilefests I have come across. Its only redeeming quality is the the inconspicuous distance between the back and front covers. Mr Sanchez chooses to pay almost no attention to the music of Smile itself, which funnily enough, I hoped was going to loom large in a book about Smile. Fortunately the beauty and thrill of Smile itself can never be dimmed by the piles of smilery like this. The music is utterly wonderful and this book is extremely not required.

  • Michael
    2019-03-14 04:13

    I read this book as part of my link text book group. This is the fourth book in the 33 1/3 collection that has been suggested and the second that I have read. Because I read a lot of music autobiographies and biographies Amazon often recommends 33 1/3 books to me. I was really expecting something different from this book. I was hoping that it would be about the situation around the band and the producing of the album and why it was never fully completed. The disappointment that I found in the 33 1/3 book In UteroI found again in this book. The author Luis A. Sanchezspends over half the book sharing the history of rock and roll, The Beach Boys as a group and world events. The album title is not even mentioned until about two-thirds of the way through the book. If I am completely honest I don't feel like I ever read anything concerning the album Smile.I would recommend this book to anyone that would like a quick overview of the history of Rock and Roll, The Beach Boys, The Beatles and the world events during the 60's.

  • Ken French
    2019-03-06 01:06

    I liked the author's overall point that Smile was not a left-turn for Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys, but a synthesis of what they were ultimately about. That Brian and Van Dyke Parks' "American Gothic trip" was the way the group should have redefined themselves as the culture progressed.

  • Shelley
    2019-03-11 03:13

    Let's deal with the technical aspects first. This is the sloppiest book I've ever encountered. The proofreading is atrocious. One is constantly rereading sentences that lack proper structure, as there are words missing all over the place, the little words such as 'to', 'is', 'from', etc. Extremely irritating, distracting and preventable.The book itself isn't the best in the 33 1/3 series, but enjoyable enough. Other readers have complained only the last 20 pages or so actually focus on the 'Smile' album. Their disappointment is understandable. On the other hand, one can't address the music of 'Smile' without documenting what came before. After all, it's a major musical leap from "Surfin' Safari" to "Surf's Up". But I'll agree, the balance is off - 100 pages of background context with not enough emphasis on the album actually pictured on the cover of the book. And with up to five CDs of the "Smile" sessions released in 2011 there's room for much more analysis and discussion of the record itself.

  • Lindsay
    2019-03-16 02:04

    Wait...this was supposed to be about Smile, right? Because in the 118 pages of text, I don't recall much being said about the making of the album until around page 100 and anything about even some of the songs themselves until just a few pages before the end. *flips through book* Yep. I wasn't imagining things. I was getting all excited, ready to hunker down and listen the album with a fresh sense from what I learned from this text, but I was never compelled to do so.I think I'm being generous giving three stars--the context given in the rest of the book is solid enough and a good primer for those who know little about 60s music. But if you know anything about The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, and Phil Spector, you won't find much new material here. It seems to be the fine line the 33 1/3 books tread--how to present a single album in a unique manner and in a relatively rigid set number of pages. Maybe there wasn't that much to say about Smile itself after all? Sanchez doesn't make a strong point about why it's the penultimate album. He does do a good job at defending Brian Wilson's sincere approach to crafting music and establishing a dichotomy between Wilson v. Spector. He starts getting a little interesting in introducing the trifecta of 1966's Revolver, Blonde on Blonde, and Pet Sounds. And, for me, having never listened to the full albums of early Beach Boys, it was great to seek out "The Lonely Sea"...that's a pretty dang beautiful song. Otherwise, much of the book seems to regurgitate David Leaf's biography of the band, leading me to wonder throughout much of my reading, "Why am I reading this then?"

  • Kaoru
    2019-03-04 23:25

    As far as famous unreleased albums go "Smile" has always been a bit of a frustrating case. Albums like... ohdunno... Prince's "Crystal Ball" at least got finished and went even as close as into mastering stage. "Smile" however is the masterpiece that never was and never will be because only two thirds of the vocals were actually recorded. So if you want to experience what "Smile" could have been all you can do is playing the recently assembled reconstruction of session tapes with long instrumental sections and listen to Brian Wilson's full re-recording of the material from the early 00s (and his significantly aged voice) and sort of find the middle between the two.And... well... this little book feels oddly unfinished, too. Sanchez takes his time to paint the band's way to the album (Which is, btw, actually interesting to read.), and when he finally arrives at that point the Kindle shows that you already read more than 60% of the entire book. And then it feels as if the author realizes that he ran out of pages and just breezes through the rest of its history, without ever going as deep as he actually could. For instance he does acknowledge that the recording sessions abruptly came to an end, but he doesn't even attempt to speculate why it happened. So all this book does in the end is showing its context - but sadly little else. And since this certainly can't be the only book on this subject I'd suggest you track down one of the others. Or watch the (very interesting) feature length documentary that came with the DVD of the 2003 version.

  • Shenanitims
    2019-03-05 22:03

    I love the 33 1/3 series. When they're good, they're great. Unfortunately there seems to be very little quality control concerning what they actually are. Some are fantastic looks into the making of historic albums (It Takes a Nation of Millions..., Live at the Apollo), others not so much.The Beach Boys' Smile is in the latter group. I'm not a Beach Boys fan per se. I have Pet Sounds and understand their place in 60s music in regards to the other major acts at the time (Beatles, Rolling Stones, etc.). I know what they did for, and to, music. So an in-depth look into their most infamous album certainly captured my interest. Unfortunately, as many of the 3 star reviews here attest, that is not what you'll get with this book. I don't remember learning anything about the subject album. Or even learning anything about why it struck such a chord with that generation that an album lost from way back when could still make waves 30 years later when it was finally completed.

  • Robert
    2019-03-19 03:03

    You can always trust the 33 1/3 series to approach a much talked about album from a different angle. Here Sanchez does not focus on the cliched accounts of Brian Wilson's madness. Rather he starts on how the Beach Boys evolved from recording surfing hits to creating the meta pop which has influenced many bands. Smile being the culmination of Wilson's experiences with production techniques.Obviously there are some things all Beach Boys aficionados have read before but at least this one doesn't single out Wilson as a genius misfit, rather as a visionary producer who had trouble coping with his own ideas and media hype.

  • Marcos Moure
    2019-03-03 23:01

    Plagued by grammatical gaffes and densely academic prose, this not a fun read. At one point, the author refers to a well-known Beach Boys Christmas single as "Little Saint Saint." Really? I'm an avid fan, and I've yet to hear that song. I was looking for insights and new POVs on one of my favorite records of all time. Instead, I got surf music history, Phil Spector drama, the making of early Beach Boys records and other widely documented tales of the Wilson bros and gang. But little on Smile. I've read 7 books in this series, and sadly, this is the worst one.

  • Cameron Chandler
    2019-03-20 00:24

    I thought this book was a great break down of the history of The Beach Boys. It only talks about the Smile album at the end of the book so that may anger some fans who just want to read about Smile and it's creation, but I enjoyed because I did not really know much about some of the lesser known details about Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys. I would say that if you do not know anything about The Beach Boys and want to learn, start here!

  • Nick
    2019-03-03 04:20

    This was disappointing. This is not an examination of Smile, in any of its forms, as an album, but an overview of the Beach Boys music, which has been done before. If you have not read any of those books, this is a good intro. As a chance to examine the music and lyrics of Smile, this was a missed opportunity.

  • Nathan
    2019-02-23 06:04

    This book was pretty awful...first off, it's on an album that was largely unfinished, if ever, depending on the folklore that you follow. Second, it seems to call out the followers of such cult-ish folklore, yet only really wraps the whole story around that aspect. For what it's worth, it's not worth much.

  • Kari
    2019-03-21 22:25

    If you're looking for a book that spends a lot of time on the actual Smile sessions, this isn't for you. But if you want a pretty general overview of the Beach Boys and a ten page explanation at the end of why the album wasn't made and how the unfinished recordings were released later, I would recommend this.

  • Jay Clement
    2019-03-18 06:21

    Fast look at the Beach Boys' career and the fragmented Smile LP that languished for years. What I take from this is how much music they cranked out in their first 5 or 6 years. Stunning output, especially against today's rather languid approach to creating new music.

  • Roger
    2019-02-27 00:08

    An interesting book on the Beach Boys, but the content on Smile doesn't start until at least two-thirds of the way through the book. There is much more about the Beach Boys as a cultural force, and very little about the music.

  • Eric
    2019-03-16 23:20

    Another 33 1/3 book where five pages cover the album in question and the rest is unnecessarily in-depth backstory..

  • Melanie Sveine
    2019-03-23 05:00

    Terrible. Talked about every album BUT SMiLE. Waste of time.