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Beach Boys – 8 Original “Smile” Acetates from the collection of Van Dyke Parks

A collection of eight original acetates from the Beach Boys’ unfinished album Smile; from the collection of Van Dyke Parks, Brian Wilson’s collaborator on the project.  We acquired these unique discs from Durrie Parks, Van Dyke’s ex wife (Van Dyke and Durrie lived at Brian Wilson’s house during the recording of Smile.)  Smile is the most legendary unreleased album of all time.  Intended as the follow up to the Beach Boys classic Pet Sounds, Wilson worked on Smile throughout 1966 and ’67, finally abandoning it in favor of the much less ambitious Smiley Smile.

These discs are truly fascinating pieces of the Smile puzzle.  Each contains a part or multiple parts of a song; together they illustrate how Wilson recorded each of the songs for Smile in pieces, and planned to fit the individual elements together–like puzzle pieces–after the fact.  You can hear this in finished songs like “Heroes and Villians.”

Much has been written about why Smile was abandoned–but from discs like these and the recently released Smile box set, it’s easy to see how Wilson could have lost the plot.  He recorded endless amounts of material, which could have been fit together in countless ways. At some point it probably just became overwhelming, and easier to start over.

Some but not all of the material on these discs was eventually released as part of the Smile box set.  Below is a fairly detailed explanation of what is contained on each; upon request we’ll forward a more detailed breakdown.  None have labels, most have grease pencil markings and/or a scrap of paper with a partial title taped on with clear tape.  All are in G condition, and play through with surface noise but no skips.  A digital transfer of the music is included, as is a letter of authenticity for each disc from Durrie Parks.  A truly unique and museum-quality collection.

(All titles as on Smile box set; all 10″ discs unless noted)

Disc 1/Side A/  1.  0:42-1:10 portion of “Cabin Essence” (20/20 version.)/ 2. “Heroes & Villains Verse (Master Take)” (with two more seconds of count-off  than box set .)  3.“Heroes & Villains Barnyard (Master Take)” (with four fewer seconds of count-off and a 10 second earlier fade fade than box set.)  // Side B: 1.  Same as A Side with the “one” included in the count off. 2. Same as A Side. 3. Blank. (side 2 scored but playable; edge is bent/chipped before grooves begin, not affecting play.)

 Disc 2/ 1. 0:42-1:10 portion of “Cabin Essence” (20/20 version.) 2. Two versions of “Do You Like Worms (Bicycle Rider)” with alternate vocals to box set. 3. First 45 seconds of “Heroes and Villains”. Vocal sounds  different than commercial release.

 Disc 3/1. Alternate version of “Cabin Essence Verse“ (different from box set.) 2.  0:42-1:10 portion of “Cabinessence” (20/20 version.)  3.  Alternate version of final minute of Cabin Essence (different from box set.)

 Disc 4/ 1. Alternate version of “Do You Like Worms” that jumps back and forth from the “Roll Plymouth Rock” part and “Bicycle Rider” part.  (Different sequence/medly than on box set.)

 Disc 5/ 1. Alternate version of “Heroes And Villains Verse: Master Take” (different from box set)

Disc 6/ 1.  Final 40 seconds of “Heroes & Villians: Prelude to Fade” from the boxset.  (7″)

Disc 7/ 1.  Alternate version of “Wind Chimes” (different from box set.)  (7″)

 Disc 8/ 1.  Backing track “Time To Get Alone” (unreleased instrumental version, cut by Brian Wilson in 1967 for Redwood, who became Three Dog Night.  Brian was producing them for Brother Records, but the other Beach Boys wanted the track for themselves and insisted Brian save it.  Appeared later on 20/20, but this version has no vocals and an extra 20 seconds at end.)

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