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Brian Wilson: Smile

Brian Wilson "Smile" album worldwide release is one of the biggest event in the Rock history this year (Sept. 28 on Nonesuch Records). Brian Wilson North American 23-City tour of begins September 30 and includes Carnegie Hall and Walt Disney Concert Hall Dates. In addition, documentary film "Beautiful Dreamer: Brian Wilson and the Story of SMiLE," directed by David Leaf, premieres on Showtime on October 5.

"Four decades is a long time to wait for anything, but in this case it was worth every minute." -- Newsweek

An all-new studio recording of "SMiLE" -- often called the most famous unfinished and unreleased album in pop music history -- is made available worldwide by Nonesuch Records on September 28, 2004, more than thirty-seven years after its anticipated release date. "SMiLE" is produced and arranged by Brian Wilson and features the ten-member band that has supported him on tour over the past five years, augmented by an eight-piece string and horn section.

"SMiLE," which was written by Beach Boys founder Brian Wilson in collaboration with lyricist Van Dyke Parks, was intended as the follow-up to the Bech Boys band's groundbreaking "Pet Sounds." Record jackets and booklets had been printed and ads had been taken out heralding the record's January 1967 release date. One of the album's songs, "Good Vibrations" -- which Brian Wilson called a "pocket symphony" -- became the band's first million-selling single, topping the charts in both the U.S. and the U.K. After Leonard Bernstein heard Brian Wilson perform a solo piano version of "Surf's Up" -- an impressionistic ballad also intended for "SMiLE" -- he deemed the song "an important contribution to 20th century music" and hailed Brian Wilson's gifts as a composer.

But "SMiLE" never made its initial release date; delays mounted along with the pressure and the project as Wilson had originally envisioned it was finally abandoned. Until now, "SMiLE" was, as The New York Times says, "the most famous unheard album in pop history." The circumstances surrounding its withdrawal have inspired documentary films, book-length investigations, and at least one novel. Bits and pieces of "SMiLE" have surfaced on subsequent Beach Boys albums; a global network of song-swapping fans cobbled together their own wishful-thinking versions of this seemingly lost masterpiece.

Then, in November 2003, Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks got together and listened to the thirty-seven-year-old tapes, following Wilson's announcement of his intention to complete and perform "SMiLE" in a series of concerts in London. Acting as Brian Wilson's and Van Dyke Parks's musical secretary, Darian Sahanaja (a member of Wilson's touring band), began preparing the music for performance. Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks created new material to make the concerts possible.

The public premiere of the newly finished "SMiLE" took place at the Royal Festival Hall in London on February 20, 2004 to overwhelming response. The Los Angeles Times said, "What we do know now is that Wilson and Parks created a glorious piece of music whose grand ambition is outstripped only by its inherent beauty and cumulative power." In London, The Guardian referred to "SMiLE's" "groundbreaking complexity and sophistication" and wrote that it seemed "the grandest of American symphonies." The Independent summarized the feeling in the hall: "We knew we'd witnessed a miracle of sorts."

Buoyed by this reception, Brian Wilson returned with his stage band to Sunset Sound in Hollywood -- where he had originally cut portions of "Good Vibrations" and "Heroes and Villains" -- to create a definitive studio recording of "SMiLE." The resulting album -- which Nonesuch releases on September 28 -- is the summation of a project that had been gestating for nearly four decades, by an artist who has surmounted years of personal and professional struggle.

Brian Wilson and the band will perform "SMiLE" on a 23-city North American tour, beginning September 30 in Minneapolis and including dates at New York's Carnegie Hall and Los Angeles's Walt Disney Concert Hall (details below).

Showtime will present the world premiere of "Beautiful Dreamer: Brian Wilson and the Story of SMiLE," a feature-length documentary chronicling the most famous unreleased album in history. Directed by award-winning writer David Leaf and produced by LSL Productions (David Leaf, John Scheinfeld, and Steve Ligerman) in association with Richard Waltzer's Chautauqua Entertainment, the film will air on Showtime on Tuesday, October 5 at 9pm (EST/PST). The film features dozens of candid interviews, including an unprecedented one with Wilson himself; exclusive "behind-the-scenes" footage of this past winter's tour rehearsals; and the excerpts from the first London "SMiLE" concert.

The North American tour itinerary follows (subject to change):
September 30 - Orpheum Theatre - Minneapolis, MN
October 1 - Overture Hall - Madison, WI
October 2 - Auditorium Theatre - Chicago, IL
October 4 - Michigan Theatre - Ann Arbor, MI
October 6 - Massey Hall - Toronto, ON
October 7 - Music Hall - Cleveland, OH
October 8 - Keswick Theatre - Philadelphia, PA
October 10 - Warner Theatre - Washington, DC
October 12 - Carnegie Hall - New York, NY
October 13 - Carnegie Hall - New York, NY
October 14 - The Orpheum Theatre - Boston, MA
October 16 - Chastain Amphitheatre - Atlanta, GA
October 18 - King Center for the Performing Arts - Melbourne, FL
October 20 - Mizner Amphitheatre - Boca Raton, FL
October 21 - Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center - Tampa, FL
October 23 - Verizon Wireless Theatre - Houston, TX
October 24 - The Backyard - Austin, TX
October 25 - Nokia Live - Dallas, TX
October 27 - Paramount Theatre - Denver, CO
October 29 - Pala Events Center - Pala, CA
October 30 - Spreckels Theatre - San Diego, CA
October 31 - Dodge Theatre - Phoenix, AZ
November 2 - Walt Disney Concert Hall - Los Angeles, CA
November 3 - Walt Disney Concert Hall - Los Angeles, CA
November 4 - Davies Symphony Hall - San Francisco, CA

Brian Wilson "Smile" album tracklisting:
1. Our Prayer/Gee
2. Heroes and Villians
3. Roll Plymouth Rock
4. Barnyard
5. Old Master Painter/You are My Sunshine
6. Cabin Essence
7. Wonderful
8. Song For Children
9. Child is Father of the Man
10. Surf's Up
11. I'm in Great Shape/I Wanna Be Around/Workshop
12. Vega-Tables
13. On a Holiday
14. Wind Chimes
15. Mrs. O'Leary's Cow
16. In Blue Hawaii
17. Good Vibrations

Comments

A truly awesome achievement. More of the music's texture is revealed on each listen.
Well done Brian for having confronted the past and for having confounded our wildest expectations by delivering one of the great albums of all time!

A fan from Melbourne Australia.

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