Smiley Smile / Wild Honey Extra tracks, Import, Original recording remastered
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Audio, Cassette, July 16, 1991
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Wild Honey has taken its place as a cult fave among fans, and rightly so. Its surprising R&B influences (epitomized by the buoyant title track, "Darlin'," and "Here Comes the Night") were not only a brave turn for a band just then at a low ebb, but a prescient pointer to the black music explosion of the early '70s. This great twofer edition includes some of the series' best tracks: a near seven-minute "in progress" suite of "Good Vibrations" outtakes as well as a complete early version; the odd, Smile-era B-side "You're Welcome"; a beautiful live rehearsal rendition of the a cappella showcase "Their Hearts Were Full of Spring"; and another suite of edited session takes for the unreleased standout "Can't Wait Too Long." -Jerry McCulley
Top Customer Reviews
The enormous ambition that was so much the core of Brian Wilson's progress had turned into personal flights of fancy. The remnants of this, Smile, was rerecorded and turned into Smiley Smile. Parts spooky and haunting, parts comical and silly, the music is complex yet at times astonishingly simple- it was an exorcism and slow return to being the Beach Boys. One major change that started occurring during the recording of this album is that the Beach Boys started recording the music themselves without the assistance of the Wrecking Crew (a famous group of LA session musicians).
Although I have preferred the "Smile" versions of Wonderful, Vegetables, Wind Chimes they are not without plenty of charm. She's Going Bald and Little Pad are fun ditties that have some experimental elements. Although this is a personal estimation I think some of the songs could be very disregarded by the most serious fans such as Fall Breaks Back Into Winter and Getting' Hungry.
Within the same year they had switched tracks to a much more earthy less psychedelic sound. The result is the highly enjoyable Wild Honey. This is a truly great album by the Beach Boys- this was their back to basics album with a new found interest in R&B. It was a group effort on many levels- the song writing was very good and the performances had a passion and honesty that I have found on Pet Sounds without the self indulgence. Songs like Darlin', Wild Honey, Here Comes The Night and Aren't You Glad are on my list of top Beach Boys songs. The Stevie Wonder cover I Was Made To Love Her is actually a surprisingly good cover; Carl sounds quite soulful.
Finally I have to mention Let The Wind Blow- a touching reminder of the power of love- the deepest and most important thing in the world. The sentiment came during a time when many were writing protest songs about everything that was wrong with the world. The simplicity of the desire to give and feel love to one special person in his life resonates so strongly in contrast to the protests and criticisms of inhumanity. The song itself is so simple that it's easy to past right by it but with the feeling of the song hits you it is a sincere plea for more love.
The bonus tracks a cool- there is an amazing live recording from another aborted album; Their Hearts Were Full Of Spring is a cover of a Four Freshmen song that harkens back to Brian's youth. There's also a good version of Can't Wait Too Long once again from the Smile sessions.
I highly recommend these albums. They come as a twofer but both albums are remarkably short; many albums back then clocked in at 40 minutes long because of the time constraints of records-- Wild Honey is only 23 minutes long!)
Also check out Sunflower, Friends, Holland, and Dennis Wilson's Pacific Ocean Blues (if you can find it) all top notch albums.