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  • Release Date

    5 September 1967

  • Length

    11 tracks

Smiley Smile is the 12th studio album by the Beach Boys, released on September 18, 1967.

Conceived as a simplified version of their then-forthcoming Smile (a much more elaborately constructed LP), Smiley Smile contrasts significantly with its stripped-down approach and lo-fi production. Following principal songwriter Brian Wilson's declaration that most of the original Smile tapes were off-limits, the majority of recording sessions lasted for only six weeks at his makeshift home studio using what was predominantly radio broadcasting equipment, a detuned piano, electronic bass, melodica, found objects for percussion, and a Baldwin theater organ. The unconventional recording process juxtaposed an experimental party-like atmosphere with short pieces of music edited together in a disjointed manner, combining the engineering methods of "Good Vibrations" with the loose feeling of their 1965 album Beach Boys' Party!.

From 1966 to 1967, Smile was repeatedly delayed as the Beach Boys were subject to a considerable level of media hype that proclaimed Wilson as a "genius". After settling payment disputes with Capitol Records, Smiley Smile was distributed in collaboration with Brother Records, a new record label and holding company founded by the band. The album's production was unusually credited to "the Beach Boys" rather than Wilson alone, marking the point where he began relinquishing his hold as the group's creative leader. Smile was ultimately left unfinished as the group embarked on a brief tour of Hawaii, and then, the recording of their next album, Wild Honey, released only three months later.

Some session highlights from the album are featured on the compilations The Smile Sessions (2011) and 1967 - Sunshine Tomorrow (2017).

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