The most anticipated album in modern pop history is finally being released. Beach Boys mastermind Brian Wilson’s SMiLE, an album he began working on more than three and a half decades ago and finally finished last year, was pressed on CD and onto 180-gram HQ vinyl. The two-LP release, housed in a gatefold jacket, features four tracks unavailable on the CD—instrumental versions of “Heroes And Villains,” “Cabin Essence,” “On A Holiday” and “Wind Chimes.”
SMiLE, which Rolling Stone dubbed a "triumph" in its five-star review, was originally slated to arrive in stores in January 1967. In fact, more than 400,000 SMiLE record jackets were printed and ads were taken out in various magazines to prepare for the concept album, which was to have been the follow-up to The Beach Boys iconic breakthrough Pet Sounds. Only now can people hear the newly completed work.
SMiLE is not a mere reconstruction of past performances, but something entirely new, the culmination of a project that has been gestating for nearly four decades by an artist who has surmounted years of personal and professional struggle. It’s also an unexpected gift to all who kept the dream of SMiLE alive.