It's been quite a week for important CD releases. Yesterday saw the appearance of half-a-dozen albums produced by Phil Spector that had never appeared on CD before, and today the post brought the legendary 'lost' album SMiLE, conceived by Brian Wilson as the follow-up to Pet Sounds in 1967, but abandoned as the immense pressures took their toll on his mental state.
Phil Spector was a major influence on Brian Wilson, who recorded several songs that he had produced or co-written. Both were troubled geniuses. Brian Wilson wrote Don't Worry Baby for Ronnie Spector, who he greatly admired. It is rumoured that the Ronettes did record this, but that Phil Spector was too possessive and jealously guarding of his wife to put it out. One can just imagine her voice singing it, indeed she did record it years later - I'd love to hear the Ronettes version.
Five-hundred hours of fragmentary pieces of music were recorded piecemeal for the project by Brian Wilson, the only person who could know how to fit the jigsaw-puzzle together, including masterpieces such as Good Vibrations, Heroes And Villains and Surf's Up that were salvaged as singles between 1967 and 1971.
The final sequencing of the songs that were to make up the album was not decided until 2004 when a solo version by Brian Wilson was recorded and released. The success and popularity of this led to the painstaking process of going back to the original tapes and assembling them into finished pieces, using the 2004 tracklist as a template for the form these original recordings would eventually take.
This version contains the finished work, augmented by bonus tracks and a second CD of early versions, recording session extracts and alternative mixes, finally officially available after 45 years!
Consecutive Blip #002
Saturday 29 October 2011: Zoo Trip #17: Bristol Zoo (backblip)
Monday 31 October 2011: Phil Spector Presents... (backblip)
1 year ago: Leaf