Welcome To AlbumLinerNotes.com
"The #1 Archive of Liner Notes in the World!"

Your Subtitle text
GV Box Set, Disc Two

Capitol Compact Disc C2 0777 7 8 1296 2 2

1. California Girls

(Brian Wilson)

Entered the Billboard singles chart 7/24/65. Peaked at #3.

2. Help Me, Rhonda

(Brian Wilson)

Entered the Billboard singles chart 4/17/65.

Peaked at #1 and stayed at the top spot for two weeks.

3. Then I Kissed Her


4. And Your Dreams Come True

(B. Wilson/M. Love)

Tracks #1-4 are from Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!!) album which entered the Billboard LP chart 7/24/65 and peaked at #2.

5. The Little Girl I Once Knew (45 Version)

(Brian Wilson)

Entered the Billboard singles chart 11/27/65. Peaked at #20.

6. Barbara Ann (45 version)

(Fred Fassert)

Entered the Billboard singles chart 1/1/66. It peaked at #2.

The long version of “Barbara Ann” was included on the Beach Boys Party!, album which entered the Billboard LP chart 11/27/65. It peaked at #6 and spent 24 weeks on the chart.

7. Ruby Baby


Outtake from Beach Boys Party!

Previously Unreleased.

8. KOMA (Radio Promo Spot)

Recorded March, 1966

Previously unreleased

9. Sloop John B

(Arr. Brian Wilson)

Entered the Billboard singles chart 4/2/66. It peaked at #3.

10. Wouldn’t It Be Nice

(B. Wilson/T. Asher)

Entered the Billboard singles chart 7/30/66. It peaked at #8.

11. You Still Believe In Me

(B. Wilson/T. Asher)

12. God Only Knows

(B. Wilson/T. Asher)

Released as the “B” side of “Wouldn’t It Be Nice.”

It entered the Billboard singles chart 8/13/66. It peaked at #39.

13. Hang On To Your Ego (Alternate Version)

(Brian Wilson)

Previously unreleased

14. I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times

(B. Wilson/T. Asher)

15. Pet Sounds

(Brian Wilson)

16. Caroline, No

(B. Wilson/T. Asher)

Released as a Brian Wilson solo 45 RPM.

Entered the Billboard singles chart 3/26/86. It peaked at #32.

17. Good Vibrations (45 Version)

(B. Wilson/M. Love)

Entered the Billboard singles chart 10/22/66.

It peaked at #1.

18. Our Prayer

(Brian Wilson)

Recorded 9/19/66.

Previously unreleased

19. Heroes And Villains (Alternate version)

(B. Wilson/V.D. Park)

Mixed 1/67

20. Heroes And Villains (Sections)

(B. Wilson/V.D. Parks)

Recorded 1/3/67, 1/5/67, 1/27/67, 2/15/67, 2/20/67, 2/28/67

Previously unreleased

21. Wonderful

(B. Wilson/V.D. Parks)

Recorded 9/16/66

Previously unreleased

22. Cabinessence

(B. Wilson/V.D. Parks)

Recorded 10/3/66

23. Wind Chimes

(Brian Wilson)

Recorded 8/3/66

Previously unreleased

24. Heroes And Villains (Intro)

(B. Wilson/V.D. Parks)

Recorded 3/1/67.

Previously unreleased

25. Do You Like Worms

(B. Wilson/V.D. Parks)

Recorded 10/18/66

Previously unreleased

26. Vegetables

(B. Wilson/V.D. Parks)

Recorded 4/12/67

Previously unreleased

27. I Love To Say Da Da

(Brian Wilson)

Recorded 5/16/67

Previously unreleased

28. Surf’s Up

(B. Wilson/V.D. Parks)

Recorded 12/15/66

Previously unreleased

Tracks #18-#28 are from the Smile sessions.

All are previously unreleased except #22, which was on 1969’s 20/20 album.

29. With Me Tonight

Produced by The Beach Boys

CD#2/Tracks #17 and #29 and CD#3/Track #1 are from Smiley Smile, which entered the Billboard LP chart 9/30/67. It peaked at #40 and spent 21 weeks on the chart.

All tracks on CD #2 produced by Brian Wilson except With Me Tonight

(Reissue Note: In 1966, Best Of The Beach Boys, the group’s first greatest hits compilation, entered the Billboard LP chart 7/23/66. It peaked at #8 and spent 78 weeks on the chart.)

CD#2 begins with one of the Beach Boys all-time classics. Introducing “California Girls” (Billboard #3) at a rare solo performance in 1986, Brian said, “It represents the Beach Boys really greatest record production…I wrote ‘California Girls’ and then I said, ‘This needs some kind of an introduction that would be a total departure of how the song sounds, yet would somehow lead into the melody.’” Brian accomplished that with the incredible symphonic intro which he often says is the favorite piece of music he’s ever written.

Following “California Girls” are two more Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!) hits (both of which feature Al Jardine – lead vocals), the Beach Boys second #1 “Help Me Rhonda” and “Then I Kissed Her” a number four smash in England and one of several times the Beach Boys successfully covered a Phil Spector record. Brian: “I was unable to really think as a producer until the time where I really got familiar with Phil Spector’s work…I basically knew all that was to be know about that [famous ‘wall of sound’ Spector technique] simply by listening, using my ears.”

(Note: The compilation producers and almost all the Beach Boys fans we spoke with wanted Capitol to include Summer Days “Let Him Run Wild” on this box; however, at Brian’s request, it was left off the set. This is also a good place to mention that given the space limitation of a box set, not every important Beach Boys record made it onto this package; it would probably take at least ten CD’s to do that.)

Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!), 1965’s second LP, was the last “fun in the sun” Beach Boys album (“And Your Dreams Come True” the beautiful, otherworldly a capella piece that ends that disc sounds like a lullaby to summer.) After its release, in the fall of 1965, the Beach Boys career began to change at warp speed. They would travel from the personal passion of Pet Sounds to the dramatic chart-topping, million-selling heights of “Good Vibrations” and then on to an uncharted creative place. At time exhilarating, at other moments, incredibly frustrating, ultimately it became the most heartbreaking chapter in the groups recording history. But before the fall…

In a circa ‘66 interview, Brian explained what he was up to. “I wanted to move ahead in sounds and moods…I wanted to write a song containing more than one level.”

To buy Brian the time he needed for what he knew would be an ambitious endeavor the group quickly concocted Beach Boys Party! In August and September of 1965, the group spent several summer days in Western Studios #2 and #3, singing some of their favorite songs of the 50’s and 60’s.

Released in November 1965, Party!, which was made almost as a throwaway, ironically became a giant hit, the last “gold” (excepting greatest hits packages) Beach Boys LP of the decade. Included from those sessions are the 45-RPM version of “Barbara Ann” (Billboard #2) and a never-before-released outtake, the Beach Boys work out on Dion’s 1963 hit, “Ruby Baby,” which to this day is a Brian Wilson favorite.

Party! Made everyone at Capitol happy, and now, for the first time in his career, Brian had a little breathing room, some creative space. Brian was determined not to quickly churn out an album just to satisfy Capitol and/or the fans. For this next one, the only person he wanted to please was himself.

(Note: A promotional spot recorded in March of 66 has been programmed as a sonic bridge between Party! And Pet Sounds.

With the interruption past and the commercial obligations satisfied, Brian resumed his studios experiments. The first public result was “The Little Girl I Once Knew,” a late 1965 single release so full of stops and starts that it confounded radio and “only” went top 20. In retrospect, that single was to Pet Sounds what “Penny Lane” / “Strawberry Fields Forever” would be to Sgt. Pepper.

In December of 1965, after hearing the Beatles’ Rubber Soul, Brian became determined to make his “statement,” as he described Rubber Soul, “A whole album with good stuff.” To Brian, “beating” the Beatles (particularly Paul McCartney, Brian’s bass-playing musical “twin” who was born only two days and one ocean apart), was always a major challenge. ///So, working with music the way an impressionistic painter works with color, Brian began to put together his favorite sounds…his “Pet” sounds…creating and recording music that would evoke specific emotions.

When the Beach Boys went on tour in Japan in the winter of 66, Brian began to work in earnest. First, he instinctively enlisted a casual acquaintance, Tony Asher, as a collaborator. Together, they began a daily routine: working at the piano… playing what Brian calls feels…musical fragments emerging. The fragments turned into changes; the changes grew into songs.

After writing these pieces of music, Brian would go into the studio and record the instrumental tracks. Then, he and Tony Asher would come up with lyrics that fit the feeling of the music. In a lofty, filmic sense, Pet Sounds was really the work of a rock ‘n’ roll “auteur,” Brian’s personal message, customized to be delivered by his hand-picked messengers the Beach Boys. The group’s considerable vocal contributions notwithstanding, Pet Sounds…focusing on Brian’s emotional conflicts, a growing artist facing the pressure and responsibility of adulthood…could almost be considered a solo album.

You would need a book to tell the entire story of the ups and downs involved in the making and marketing of Pet Sounds, but as with all of Brian’s best work, the music (and the words) reveal Brian’s soul. Included from Pet Sounds are seven of the thirteen tracks: the hits – “Sloop John B” (Billboard #3), “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” (Billboard #7) b/w “God Only Knows” (Billboard #39), “Caroline No” (released as a Brian Wilson solo single, it reached #32) – and three other representative cuts (including the title instrumental). Also you’ll hear a previously unreleased alternate version of “Hang On To Your Ego”; the lyric and title reportedly caused enough turmoil within the group that it was ultimately changed to “I Know There’s An Answer.”

As you listen to these songs, it’s important to remember that these are not abstract thought; these ideas…of love, of God, of alienation, of not being “made for these times”…were events out of his life…right from Brian’s own heart.

Fred Vail (a friend and associate of the group’s for 30 years) was working in management and concert promotion for the Beach Boys in the 60’s, and he recalled a special moment from his Beach Boys years. “In the spring of 66, the Beach Boys were on the road, and I was in Southern California. Brian was on his way to master the new album, and he wanted me to hear it. I don’t even think it had a name at that point. Anyway, Brian called me to meet him at Capitol. He had the quarter-inch [tape], and he was going ‘to lathe.’ I’d heard bits and pieces, but this was the first time I’d heard it the whole way through. So we go into the mastering studio, and it was just me, Brian and the tech. Brian had the tech turn all the lights out, and we sat on the floor. All the illumination was from the V/U meters and the little red lights on the board. I couldn’t’ believe what I was hearing. I wasn’t ready for it. I was so moved. When it was over, he said, ‘What do you think?’ I told him it was fabulous, great, incredible. He said to me, ‘Do you think the guys [meaning the Beach Boys] will like it?’’

How was it received? Well, to be honest, this new direction caused problems, both internationally and in the group’s relationship with Capitol. In 1966, pop music was not yet viewed as “art”; it was considered to be disposable entertainment for teenagers. Mike Love, as the MC of the live show and the band member most in touch with the audience, expressed his concern as to how the songs would go over in concert. As for Capitol, they weren’t thrilled either; like Mike, they wanted more music akin to the “old stuff.” So instead of heavily promoting Pet Sounds, giving the masterpiece it’s due regardless of what it’s chart fate might be, Capitol released the first of an endless stream of hits repackages, The Best Of The Beach Boys.

For whatever reason, Pet Sounds wasn’t an overwhelming commercial success (it peaked at a very respectable #10 but it didn’t “go gold”). However, it is not possible to overstate how influential a record Pet Sounds was in its day, and, remarkably, continues to be. It was an album that was far ahead of its time. Emotionally, creatively, musically, lyrically, technologically…Pet Sounds was a quantum leap advancement of state-of-the-art record making and the art of pop music. In every creative way…Pet Sounds was the triumph Brian had planned.

Listen to Paul McCartney, perhaps the records biggest fan. Interviewed in 1990 when it was released on CD, Paul was typically effusive: “It was Pet Sounds that blew me out of the water. I loved the album so much. I’ve just bought my kids each a copy of it for their education in life…I figure no one is educated musically ‘til they’ve heard that album…I love the orchestra, the arrangements…it may be going overboard to say it’s the classic of this century…but to me, it certainly is a total, classic record that is unbeatable in many ways…I’ve often played Pet Sounds and cried.”

There are wonderful stories of the first time Paul heard Pet Sounds in 1966, listening to it literally over and over for hours (and days) on end, and it became an omnipresent influence on the next Beatles LP, Sgt. Pepper. Paul: “I played it to John so much that it would be difficult for him to escape the influence…it was the record of the time.”

Paul goes on to explain that the “thing that really made me sit up and take notice was the bass lines…throughout, Brian would be using notes that weren’t the obvious notes to use…and also, putting melodies in the bass line. That I think was probably the big influence that set me thinking when we recorded Pepper, it set me off on a period I had then for a couple of years of nearly always writing quite melodic bass lines.”

Paul has often said that “God Only Knows” is perhaps the most beautiful song ever written. Paul: “It’s a big favorite of mine…very emotional, always a bit of a choker for me, that one.” Another cut high on his list is “You Still Believe In Me.” Paul: “I love that melody – that kills me…that’s my favorite, I think…it’s so beautiful right at the end…comes surging back in these multi-colored harmonies…sends shivers up my spine.”

Pet Sounds was a new peak for Bran Wilson. How did he do it? Brian: “During the production of Pet Sounds, I dreamt I had a halo over my head. This might have meant the angels were watching over Pet Sounds.”

Having made that heavenly album, Brian next set out to make a mind-blowing single. The first basic track for “Good Vibrations” (included on CD#5) was recorded 2/18/66, during the Pet Sounds sessions. However, it wasn’t until that LP was finished that Brian turned his total attention to a song that was inspired by his mother’s childhood lesson that people give off “vibrations.”

“Good Vibrations” was what Brian called “a pocket symphony.” Listen to the way that Brian brazenly spliced together the different sections. Brian: “There was a lot of ‘oh, you can’t do this, that’s too modern,’ or ‘that’s going to be too long a record.’ I said, ‘no, it’s not going to be too long; it’s going to be just right.’”

“Good Vibrations,” Brian explains, had “a lot of riff changes. It had a lot of movements…changes, changes, changes. Building harmonies here, drop this voice out, this comes in, bring the echo chamber in, do this, put the Theremin there, bring the cello up a little louder…a series of intricate harmonies and mood changes…I mean, it was a real production. The biggest production of our life.”

Brian recalls the night, after months of sessions (some of which are excerpted on CD#5) that “Good Vibrations” was finally done. Brian: “It was at Columbia [Studios]. I remember I had right in the sack. I could just feel it when I dubbed it down, made the final mix down to mono. It was a feeling of power; it was a rush. A feeling of exaltation. Artistic beauty. It was everything…I remember saying, ‘Oh my God, sit back and listen to this!’”

The whole world listened and the fall of 1966 became a truly remarkable time for the Beach Boys. “Good Vibrations” (their first million-selling #1) was a worldwide sensation and their concert tours (particularly in England) were becoming pop coronations. When the Beach Boys arrived in London in November, ’66, the reaction was positively Beatlemaniacal. As one English newspaper headline trumpeted: “The Beatles’ only rivals come to Britain and take London airport by surprise.”

Back in Los Angeles, Brian’s home had become a modern day rock salon. The most inventive minds in the record business (such as David Anderle, who would help the Beach Boys set up their own custom label, Brother Records) associated themselves with Brian, inspired by the opportunity…the possibility…that Brian could make anything happen just by sheer force of creativity. In 1966, nothing was unthinkable in Brian’s world. And now, it was time to follow-up “Good Vibrations.”

The next album was designed to combine the divine and the dumb, an expression of Brian’s heaven-sent music, outrageous sense of humor and belief in the healing power of laughter. Momentarily titled Dumb Angel, it was finally called Smile.

Conceived on the heels of “Good Vibrations,” Smile was to be the next step in the evolution of record production. In October, 1966, the week before “Good Vibrations” was released, Brian declared, “Our next album will be better than Pet Sounds…as much an improvement over Sounds as that was over Summer Days.” Brian explained that he was “doing the spiritual sound…religious music. That’s where I’m going.” He said he was writing Smile as “a teenage symphony to God.” This wasn’t just smoke. Smile was becoming tangible. Already recorded by the end of October ’66 were “Wind Chimes,” “Wonderful,” “Our Prayer,” “Cabin Essence,” “Do You Like Worms” and many others. Van Dyke Parks, Brian’s lyricist and collaborator on Smile, describes Brian’s studio genius thusly: “He would saturate the tape with music,” Brian knew the sounds he wanted; Parks had the formal musical training as an arrange/composer to help translate Brian’s visions into reality. Parks: “I supported the integrity of his lyricism in melody; I was there to support his ‘dream-escape.’ He wanted to make the American saga a legitimate currency in this new global music market that had just defined itself since 1964. It was his game. I was a glorified musical scribe.”

The fledgling rock press (notably Crawdaddy founder Paul Williams and the Saturday Evening Post’s Jules Siegel) flocked to L.A. to hear the miracles that were being wrought on a daily basis. The legend began to grow. CBS-TV sent a documentary crew; in December, they filmed Brian singing “Surf’s Up.” Capitol, getting itchy for a new “product,” printed front and back covers, and a booklet was created to visually interpret Van Dyke’s brilliant and complex lyrics. A promotions spot promised retailers that Smile would be in the stores in January.

But while Wilson and Parks worked feverishly on what turned out to be more than an album’s worth of music, Brian’s growing obsession with an unquantifiable “perfection” made it impossible for them to make what was really an arbitrary release date set by Capitol. In 1966, LPs, even by major groups, were recorded in no more than a few months. Smile was already an epic by then-contemporary standards.

Throughout fall and into winter, Brian and Van Dyke wrote and recorded more music; at the same time, he continued to constantly rearrange the pieces of the Smile puzzle. The album’s musical centerpiece, the “Heroes and Villains” theme, was recorded in innumerably sections (CD#2/Track #20). Still, work remained to be done.

As 1966 ended and the Beach Boys triumphantly returned from England (where they had edged out the Beatles in a year-end popularity poll), Smile began to turn into a frown. It might have been at this point – when he tried to “explain” Smile to the Beach Boys – that Brian slowly started to lose his confidence and creative momentum. Maybe he had already missed “the moment.” Nevertheless, in January of 1967, even as pressure mounted for Brian to finally finish the record, recording proceeded at a hectic pace.

However, the work began to become, well, work. The effort to satisfy everyone around him, the Beach Boys ambitious business plans to start their own record label, the “out-on-a-limb” aspect of the music (e.g. the legendary “fire” tapes, which can be heard on “The Beach Boys: An American Band” video)…it all began to take it’s toll on Brian.

As an artist, Brian has always been full of surprises, but by February of ’67, he was becoming evermore unpredictable. Perhaps the burden of being a benefactor for so many people was becoming too much for him to bear. Perhaps Brian was taking too many drugs. Perhaps he began to doubt his own ability…whether he was really capable of finishing this great experiment. On top of all that, the Beach Boys sued Capitol Records in early ’67, and the relationship with the label became extremely strained, raising a new question: if Smile were to be completed, would Capitol even release it?

There had been pressures in the past, but Brian had managed to keep the music separate. Now, the imposing combination of all these non-supportive factors was negatively affecting his muse. Smile, like Brian, was on shaky ground. At a point in rock history when maybe what was most important was to be “first” with the new sound, work on Smile basically ground to a halt. Critical weeks slipped by without any progress being made.

Then, in May, just a few weeks before the release of Sgt. Pepper, Brian cancelled Smile. Instinctively, Brian must have known that time had run out, that he’d lost his self-defined “production race” with the Beatles. Derek Taylor, a former Beatles associate, who was now handling the Beach Boys’ publicity, wrote in his column of May 6, that “every beautifully-designed, finely-wrought, inspirationally-welded piece of music made these last months by Brian…has been scrapped.”

Brian’s decision effectively ended the most important stage of the Beach Boys’ career, and to this day, the Smile sessions have remained unreleased. However, with the permission of Brian, Van Dyke Parks and the Beach Boys, 30 minutes from the Smile sessions have been included on this set (CD#2 / Tracks #18-28 and on CD#5 the tracks for “Heroes and Villains,” “Cabin Essence” and “Surf’s Up.”)

You’ve heard the hype; how, after over a quarter-century of myth and legend, you can hear a few of the choicer pieces of the puzzle and judge for yourself. Remember, what you’re listening to are unfinished productions, fragments, demos and tracks. Basically, the pieces (especially the “Heroes and Villains” vocal sections) have been assembled in what seems like a listenable sequence; with a programmable CD player, you can make your own order. As so many sessions from that era are incomplete, unpolished or lost, it is impossible to construct a finished album. Still, with all those caveats, I’ll be surprised if anybody can listen to this music and now feel that something very special and unique has finally been given to us, albeit quite a few years later than expected.

Does it live up to the legend? That’s for you to decide. (And if you want to know more about why this music was heretofore unreleased, then seek out Domenic Priore’s classic book Look! Listen! Vibrate! Smile!, a collection of writings about the making and unmaking of Smile.)

Back in May of 1967, after Smile had been locked in the vault, the Beach Boys cancelled their scheduled headlining appearance at June’s Monterey Pop Festival, an event that turned out to be the changing of the guard for rock ‘n’ roll. Then, after months of delays, after months of fans anticipating the follow-up to “Good Vibrations,” “Heroes and Villains” (CD#3 / Track #1) was finally pieced together and released in July of 1967. It was a hit (Billboard #12), but, despite it’s brilliance, not a huge one; as a production it was and is incredible. But coming out after all the media mythology surrounding Smile and the immediate enshrinement of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper as THE album of “the Summer of Love,” “Heroes and Villains” wasn’t enough for the non-believers…it was a case of too little, too late. With no Smile to silence the “hipper than thou” critics and Smiley Smile being such a disappointment, the idea of Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys as important rock artists began to evaporate. It happened almost overnight, and it wouldn’t be an easy stigma for them to overcome. For the next five years, they would be, in the words of Bruce Johnston, “Surfing Doris Days.” As for Brian, he survived. By killing Smile, he saved himself.

Website Builder