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CD Review: The Beach Boys

The Smile Sessions (Capitol/EMI)


There are so many myths and legends surrounding Smile, the Beach Boys' 1967 never-released follow-up to Pet Sounds, that it's hard to keep tabs on what's fact and what isn't. Even after all these years, fans still can't agree on what songs would have been on the album, let alone the order they'd run. The two-disc Smile Sessions (which is also available in a hefty five-CD box) hopes to put all the speculation to rest once and for all. Brian Wilson reworked Smile with new musicians in 2004, but that somewhat overrated album has nothing on the original sessions' occasionally bizarre and often wondrous trips through his damaged psyche. The core album's 19 tracks (including "Good Vibrations," one of the few songs to be released at the time) are augmented by 21 outtakes, demos, and alternate versions that bolster the legend. — Michael Gallucci

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