“A broken man too tough to cry”

DSC04476Picked up the Smile reissue today. I think I’ll be spending a lot of time with it. After having the Smiley Smile version, then Wilson’s own version from 2004 it’s good to finally hear the record how it was intended from back in 1967.

To say I underestimated Brian Wilson all these years is an understatement. I always thought of him as a lightweight, at least in comparison to The Beatles, The Kinks, and the like. But once I heard Pet Sounds Sessions back in 1997, then finding a copy of Smiley Smile in 1998 I knew I’d been so wrong. Brian Wilson is a f*&%$#g musical genius. Well, he was until LSD and magic mushrooms ate up his sanity like kids eat candy. But with a dad like Murray Wilson how could you not pickle your brain in a brine made of various acids and natural hallucinogenics? Regardless, Smile is one of the most beautiful, significant, and f*&$@d up pop classics in the history of 20th century music. Van Dykes Park adds just the right amount of literary heft to the whimsical and joyous music Wilson wrote. If I wasn’t on my third Porter I’d go into greater detail. Another day. For now, I’m just going to say I will be soaking my brain in “Surfs Up” for the time being.



9 thoughts on ““A broken man too tough to cry”

  1. Brings me back to my childhood. I was obsessed with The Beach Boys, and I still am. Despite it not being my generation, it’s amazing how their music is feel good and relaxing. Wilson was a musical genius, and there would be no Beach Boys without him.

    I don’t know why I think of that shit a lot. What if a band member wasn’t part of a particular band? The bands would essentially exist, but they would have a missing piece. It’s a scary, depressing thought.

    Cheers, man!


    1. It is sorta depressing, but interesting nonetheless. The Beach Boys without Brian Wilson would’ve just been like a hundred other bands in the early 60s playing party music. There’s always that one component in a band that makes them unique. Special. Wilson was the soul of The Beach Boys.


    1. It’s night and day.

      Smiley Smile was essentially a Cliff Notes version of Wilson’s vision. It was the band(minus Brian) and Capital Records salvaging this project after Wilson mentally checked out. Smile is how the album was intended to be heard. Its a glorious thing. Do yourself a favor and pick Smile up. You won’t be disappointed.


  2. I have always wondered what the musical scene would have been like if Smile had actually been released. Music as we know it could be completely different. I remember anticipating the Smile Sessions release so much back in 2011. I kept thinking “I must be the only teenager in America who is this excited for the rerelease of an album that’s over forty years!” Of course, that may not be true.


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