CONTEST HAS ENDED! – WIN: Beach Boys “SMiLE” Double CD + T-Shirt Combo

CONTEST HAS ENDED!

[CLICK HERE to jump directly to giveaway]

 

THE BACKSTORY

*a rundown of the history of the Beach Boys & SMiLE*

The recording sessions for the Beach Boys SMiLE album are among some of the most infamous in rock music history.  After launching their careers on clean cut images, vocal harmonies, and all-American subject matter like girls, cars, and surfing (although only the drummer/brother Dennis Wilson, actually surfed) in 1961, the brilliant producer/mastermind of the group, Brian Wilson, really began to take some left turns around 1965.  After their first 2 albums, Brian began handling full production duties with 1963‘s Surfer Girl and, including the live album Beach Boys Concert, the band would effectively release a total of 7 full-lengths between the years of 1963 and 1964.  With 4 albums released in ’64 alone, it’s no wonder that the year ended with Brian experiencing anxiety issues and withdrawing himself as a touring member of the band.  It was also around this point that Wilson began smoking on chronic herbs to deal with his stress and the subsequent year brought the LP TODAY!, which had a B-side that ventured into darker areas and away from the typical, more accessible and upbeat subject matter still presented on the first half.  TODAY! did well commercially,  but the label (Capitol) and Beach Boys vocalist, Mike Love (Brian’s cousin) came at him, questioning his new musical direction, and trying to push him back towards the poppier boy band-style cheese that had made them stars.  Wilson folded back into the more accessible Summer Day (And Summer Nights!!) -finding less overt creative outlets hidden in some of the backing arrangements/orchestrations- and finished the year off with a cover album, but, whether anyone saw it coming or not, his next album, Pet Sounds, would become his undisputed masterwork.  Incorporating elaborate arrangements with unorthodox instruments – and anything else that would make a sound- Wilson worked diligently with studio musicians and inexperienced lyricist, Tony Asher to create an effort so revolutionary that it has consistently been hailed as one of the greatest albums of all time (often placing #1 on such lists for various publications).  Now experimenting with weed and LSD, The Beatles had recently taken their own career altering detour with Rubber Soul and, after being blown away by the Fab Four‘s release, Brian was so instantly and fully inspired that he set out to create an album just as great.  In turn, the Beatles (especially, Paul McCartney) were so enthralled with Pet Sounds that it has been credited as a major inspiration behind Sgt. Pepper.  Even now, Pet Sounds has more than stood the test of time, but there was some huge opposition to the work, both by the label and the rest of the band.  As legend has it, the title actually came from Mike Love questioning Brian by asking, “Who’s gonna hear this shit?  The ears of a dog?”  Regardless of what anyone thought, Wilson‘s vision saw the light of day and showcased his pure genius filtered through the culmination of knowledge/skill gained through his musical career and experiences up until that point.  One of the greatest rock albums ever made had just been released and tales of the next great followup began to spill out over through the next year or two, but it never came.  Brian was at the height of his creativity as a producer/arranger/musician and various sessions for the new album had taken place, before the project screeched to a halt and was, subsequently, shelved.  That album was SMiLE.

As a true artist, Brian Wilson was obsessed with pushing boundaries through creation, but he was lacking something that the Beatles had… support.  The fact that he was experiencing some turbulence with his mental state didn’t help the cause either.  Neither did his brother and group member Carl Wilson receiving a military draft notice.  The ridiculously successful #1 hit and Grammy Hall of Fame inducted track, “Good Vibrations” is a song that floated in between the release of Pet Sounds and the SMiLE project and wound up being released as a single.  It’s also a song that widely-resented Beach Boy, Mike Love famously dismissed as “avant-garde shit“.  Wilson wanted to create something inspiring that had never existed before and has referred to the SMiLE album as a “teenage symphony to god“.  This viewpoint, as well as his collaborating with singer/musician/ composer/ lyricist Van Dyke Parks, was a threat to anyone that couldn’t fully comprehend Wilson‘s grand visions and wanted to take the risk-free route of singing pop tunes to the masses.  Vand Dyke Parks eventually left the project after experiencing consistent opposition from the other members (specifically, Mike Love).  Brian was using some production techniques which invovled him recording tracks in fragments, with the intention of soldering them together later.  He has stated that Mike Love “hated” SMiLE and, when it was eventually abandoned and shelved, there were pieces that only Brian himself could ever put back together.  With his rising mental instability, Wilson was left broken in various ways and retreated from his role as the groups producer/leader.  Greatly simplified versions of some of the tracks wound up on their contractually obligated release called Smiley Smile, with others being sprinkled on various other future releases.  The Seventies showed the group greatly regressing from the forward thinking promise shown on Pet Sounds.  Using randomly leaked session audio, various fans began compiling their own makeshift bootleg versions of what SMiLE might have been, which have circulated for decades, while the myth of the album that never was continued to grow.  After reuniting with Van Dyke Parks, Brian Wilson finally released his own “solo” version of SMiLE with his new backing band in 2004.  But a “legitimate” Beach Boys version was never put out with the cooperation of the remaining members until now, 35 years after the sessions originally began.

THE NEW RELEASE(s)

Not only is the album itself a fascinating and worthwhile album in it’s own right, but the true bonus to the release is the bonus material (aptly titled).  The actual sessions disc, in particular, provides unedited audio clips where you can actually hear Brian and the others discuss  and/or debate the direction of the album.  Also heard are behind the scenes comments and inquiries to each other about if they have any “hash joints” left or if anyone else is feeling “the acid“.  Beyond the impressive audio, the approach to packaging is a work of art in it’s own right.

Now that SMiLE is finally seeing the light of day, it’s being released in various different formats and packaging options, which include everything from digital, CD, & LP  formats to an autographed, light up box set ($699) limited to 100 units and another super rare version (only 10 units) that includes a specially created Beach Boys SMiLE surfboard ($5999.99). 

Scroll down to win a Beach Boys SMiLE 2 Cd + SMiLE T-Shirt prize pack, now!

Via press release:

SMiLE Sessions physical and digital configurations include an assembled collection of core session tracks, while the box set delves much deeper into the sessions, adding early song drafts, alternate takes, instrumental and vocals-only mixes, and studio chatter. SMiLE Sessions invites the listener into the studio to experience the album’s creation, with producer, singer and bassist Brian Wilson’s vision leading the way as he guides his fellow Beach Boys, singer Mike Love, drummer Dennis Wilson, lead guitarist Carl Wilson, rhythm guitarist Al Jardine, and newest member Bruce Johnston (who’d replaced Brian Wilson in the touring group during 1965), through the legendary sessions.

Artwork for all of the SMiLE Sessions physical and digital configurations has been created with and inspired by Beat-Pop artist Frank Holmes’ original 1967 LP sleeve art and booklet designs intended for the SMiLE album. With its three-dimensional shadowbox lid, The SMiLE Sessions box set offers a whimsical peek inside the storied “SMiLE Shop.”

[Find more at BeachBoys.com]

PRIZE DETAILS:

The Beach Boys SMiLE 2 CD Set+ SMiLE T-Shirt Package  (Ltd ed./300)

SMiLE 2CD Set

2CD Set Tracklisting

CD 1SMiLE

1. Our Prayer
2. Gee
3. Heroes And Villains
4. Do You Like Worms (Roll Plymouth Rock)
5. I’m In Great Shape
6. Barnyard
7. My Only Sunshine (The Old Master Painter / You Are My Sunshine)
8. Cabin Essence
9. Wonderful
10. Look (Song For Children)
11. Child Is Father Of The Man
12. Surf’s Up
13. I Wanna Be Around / Workshop
14. Vega-Tables
15. Holidays
16. Wind Chimes
17. The Elements: Fire (Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow)
18. Love To Say Dada
19. Good Vibrations

Bonus Tracks CD 1:
20. You’re Welcome
21. Heroes And Villains (Stereo Mix)
22. Heroes And Villains Sections (Stereo Mix)
23. Vega-Tables Demo
24. He Gives Speeches
25. Smile Backing Vocals Montage
26. Surf’s Up 1967 (Solo version)
27. Psycodelic Sounds: Brian Falls Into A Piano

CD2SMiLE Sessions
1. Our Prayer “Dialog” (9/19/66) 3:02
2. Heroes and Villains (Part 1) 3:08
3. Heroes and Villains (Part 2) 4:18
4. Heroes and Villains: Children Were Raised (1/27/67) 2:07
5. Heroes and Villains: Prelude to Fade (2/15/67) 3:42
6. My Only Sunshine (11/14/66) 6:52
7. Cabin Essence (10/3/66) 5:19
8. Surf’s Up: 1st Movement (11/4/66) 4:55
9. Surf’s Up Piano Demo (12/15/66) 3:53
10. Vegetables Fade (4/12/67) 5:25
11. The Elements: Fire session (11/28/66) 8:27
12. Cool Cool Water version 2 (10/26-10/29/67) 3:32
13. Good Vibrations Session Highlights 8:20

Smile T-shirt

100% Cotton Fine Jersey Navy Blue T-Shirt. Carries the Beach Boys and Smile logos. Available in Men’s Medium, Large and Extra Large. *Not Final Art – Changes may be made in the final steps of production.

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THE CONTEST / GIVEAWAY:

*One winner will receive the Beach Boys SMiLE 2CD Set + T- Shirt package
(full product details above)

HOW TO ENTER:

This contest is based on the legendary conflict regarding Mike Love and Van Dyke Parks, which resulted in Parks finally just walking out of the SMiLE sessions.

#1)

There were a number of factors preventing SMiLE’s original release, but one of the main reasons that Van Dyke Parks walked out was because of Mike Love.  The most infamous story involves Love accusing Parks’ lyrics of being meaningless hallucinogenic-fueled nonsense and demanding that the lyricist explain the following line from the song “Cabinessence”:

Over and over, the crow cries, uncover the cornfield. Over and over, the thresher and hover, the wheatfield

To enter, just come up with your own original interpretation of what the line could mean.  Be creative.
(Bonus points if you actually make us SMiLE.)

#2)

Post your answer in the comment section below.

#3)

There is no part 3.  That’s all there is to the contest.  It’s pretty easy… but you should probably read the fine print.

The Fine Print:

All entries must be received by Monday November 14th at 11:59 pm to be eligible.

You can enter as many times as you want but, use a valid email so that we can contact you.
Winner’s will be chosen arbitrarily, based on our personal “favorite”, so try to be clever and/or interesting.
If we are unable to contact the winner in a reasonable amount of time, a new winner will be chosen.

[If you have any intentions to post comments asking us to pick you, or asking when the winner will be announced… how about, just don’t do it?  It’s pretty fucking obnoxious and it won’t help your chances.]

Dead C

Located in Seattle, Dead C is the founder/editor, as well as the principal writer and photographer, of Monster Fresh. Creating the site in 2007, he did so with a specific dream in mind. Unfortunately, being a muscle relaxer-fueled fever dream, it’s hard to recall all of the details.

I remember that my mom was there, but it wasn’t actually her in the dream, it was actually 70s heart throb, Jan Michael Vincent. And everything took place here, in this room… but it wasn’t actually here… it was different. The colors were washed out and, for some reason, there was a raccoon kicking it with us and it was wearing a holographic monocle.

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  • Chris

    I remember a friend and I discussing these lines and thinking, “Brilliant!! Wilson and Van Dyke Parks creating the imagery of morning over a field and the caws of the crow echoing across the fields. What an amazing way to give the listener a visual (and audible!) impression of light: The emerging sun starting to open up the morning darkness of the fields while the sound of a crow also competes with the light as his caw spreads across the land (and in the listener’s mind). Hmm, we also liked to think the thresher and plower were chasing Mike Love!!! ;)

  • Kevin Norton

    Okay.what it means?,specifically? I believe Smile tells the history of America and Cabinescense the history via train car or cabin car.Most likely leading us into Chicago a major grain exporter historically.Crows are a great symbol of passing as in time changes and shifting of life into death.My guess he’s (van dyke parks) is referring to the many grain fields en route to Chicago but again if my memory serves me correctly, either Van Dyke Parks or Wilson answered Mike Love by saying…”it’s just poetry” .This amazing album, a teenage love song for God, is a fine piece of Americana via land seam and air and this little piece of a monstrous whole just painting us a picture of America in passing.Thanks for the contest! One of my all time favorites.Ive gifted Smile and Pet Sounds over and over to many a friend.Its a must have!Thanks-kevin

  • Terrence Fenderson

    Van Dyke’s lyrics are an expression of the cyclic nature of agrarian serfdom. Harvest after harvest, nothing ever changes. The crows feast on the crops, the livelihood and lifeblood of generation after generation. They have their pick before the farmers do. The workers are not harvesting, but gleaning, picking what the crows left over. As Christ said, “The poor you will always have with you.”

  • Adrian Anderson

    “Over and over, the crow cries, uncover the cornfield. Over and over, the thresher and hover, the wheatfield“

    I think it’s a reflection on life’s repetition, and the day by day monotony of the factors of life. Get up, go out, go back, sleep. It’s always the same. Over and Over. Since SMiLE is typically described as a piece on American Life, I think this shows the monotony of it all through this line.

  • Tim Blok

    Okay, so Over and Over are twin brothers. Wait, or clones? Same name, so they are definitely clones. So the two clones named Over (they’re both “clone” clones, by the way -the original Over died in a tragic rodeo accident, RIP) are ordered by “the crow”, which is actually a symbol for their crippling moonshine addiction, to “uncover” the cornfield, which basically means that a.) they go in at night right before harvest and steal a bunch of corn from a neighboring farmer’s field and take it back to their secret still, and b.) they keep an eye out for illegally-grown marijuana, which they steal and sell to teenagers the next town over to help pay for general still maintenance and finance the impressive model train set-up they have built in their living room (Over and Over are roommates, neither having married or even considered marriage. Over thinks Over is channelling his frustrations and loneliness into the train set, as he has recently begun insisting on staging horrific traffic accidents, which included the destruction of Over’s favorite model pickup truck, but Over thinks Over is being ridiculous and that he, Over, just wants to try something new, to feel “excited” again).

    So anyway, the next lines reference the time when Over was “saved” by alien abduction. Both Overs were cutting wheat at night in a nearby field (having decided to venture into the realm of grain alcohol) when a combine crested the hill and Over found himself mere feet away from the whirling blades (The clones [brothers? Perhaps we should refer to them as brothers] are both completely, and it would seem, quite conveniently, deaf, so they didn’t hear the combine approaching. The shaking of the ground from the thresher’s huge wheels was thought to be a slight earthquake, and they were discussing how odd the situation was when Over suddenly found himself practically in the maw of the great machine. Thankfully, Over supposes now, a sudden green beam of light shot down and jerked Over up into the “safety” of a whirling mothership that had appeared as if from thin air. Over didn’t even have a chance to say goodbye, so quickly did it all happen. One brief moment, waiting for the ship to open and admit him into its dark depths, Over turned and looked down at his clone/brother, hovering there in the night sky, and then he was gone, swallowed by the alien craft. As the ship was leaving, it quickly made an enormous crop circle which smashed and ruined half the field. The bewildered farmer, unable to tell anyone the truth about the aliens for fear of alienation himself, blamed the whole thing on Over, who was run out of town without ceremony the following afternoon. Neither Over was ever heard from again. Lord knows how Van Dyke heard about it, but it is somehow heartwarming and reassuring to know that these poor, forgotten clones have been forever memorialized in what is truly one of the greatest musical works of the 20th century.

  • Jamie

    “Over and over, the crow cries, uncover the cornfield. Over and over, the thresher and hover, the wheatfield“

    As it stands, the above makes absolutely no sense to the sober mind. One must take vast amounts of illegal psychotropic substances in order to begin to comprehend. Furthermore, you must work yourself up to a pace at which you can single-handedly hold your own with Parks and Wilson (good luck!) – Mike Love obviously was not. Plus he was known for being a dick anyways – he didn’t like Pet Sounds (what does that tell you?!?) and he helped ruin SMiLE.

    But what do I think it means? Nothing! It’s a batch of words that sound great when read, great when sang, but not good when analyzed. The proof is in the pudding: Go find an esteemed old-fashioned uptight college literature professor and try and present that to them to interpret – and you know the types I speak of: cherry-wood pipe in mouth, the Mr. Rodgers-ish cardigan sweater, pennyloafers that have seen better days, high-water khakis, marble-encrusted fountain pens in their front pocket, a faux leather briefcase from Woolworth’s, a tie stained from their organic bohemian lunches in their office that smells of dust, corner-store cologne, and librarian coitus, and so on and so forth – whereupon they attempt to analyze — errr, OVERanalyze — the lyrics, and in return you get some baffled bullshit, something that sounds like it means something – something important – but alas, they just pulled it out of their pretentious, Ph.D-toting ass! And they’ll expect you to take their word as the gospel, because, dammit, they’re a professor emeritus of taking-words-dead-people-wrote-and-saying-they-mean-something-else-entirely-different-than-the-author’s-original-intent, gosh darn it! Yes, Professor Baboon-Ass, I’m so sure that Jane Austen meant to use alliteration there – I’m so sure that when she was sitting down to write, she said to herself, “well, you know what, Jane? You haven’t used alliteration yet in this chapter. Now would be a good time to stick it in this upcoming sentence. And oh, shit! I’ve yet to put any similes or metaphors yet. Oh, the “Times” and the bards at Oxford are going to rip this novel a new asshole if I don’t start putting in literary devices to elevate my story; because, as any prized author knows, if you just have a damn good story with damn good characters and a damn good plot, well then, your book is probably gonna suck. And suck big. Hmmmm…I wonder if I can pull off onomatopoeia? But first, let me dig into a batch of tasty crumpets…” Yeah, about that…ummmm, how about no!?! How about people just write good stuff because that’s what it is?! That’s what Van Dyke Parks did. Some of his lyrics make perfect sense. Others are open to interpretation. Others are an entirely different language that would require our going to a lengthy stint in some shitty backwoods rehab because we took so much goddamn LSD to attempt to begin to understand.

    But why be like that? Why take the fun out of it all? Art is art. It will always be interpreted. Sometimes the right way. And sometimes wrongly. Sometimes it really cannot be interpreted however. And this is one of those times. It is what it is. Take it at face value and enjoy it.

    Even Mr. Parks himself hasn’t the faintest clue what it means. Here, paraphrased, is the famous conversation between Mike “No” Love and Parks:

    M. Love – “…but I want to know what ‘Over and over the crow flies, uncover the corn field?’ means”, he said.

    Van Dyke Parks thought for a brief moment. He tried not to appear as insulted as he felt inside. “I think it’s great poetry is what it is.” he started.

    “Fine”, said Mike, “It’s great poetry, but what the hell does it mean? ..if you ask me, it’s gibberish”

    “Mike, if you are demanding a literal interpretation”, Van Dyke said calmly, “I have no idea what it means”.

    We all have our interpretation, but perhaps the one who originally wrote it says it best. And I, for one, agree. It just sounds good, especially with Brian Wilson’s orgasmic melodies backing it up. The Beach Boys made music to be enjoyed. Music to make the listener SMiLE. Music about enjoying life, surfing, the beach, catching tasty waves, chasing girls in woodys, chasing girls at the beach, girls that surfed, girls that would do – well, you get the idea. It was all about having a damn good time. We can’t exactly do that if we cut open the heart and soul of the music and over-analyze it, now can we?

    I think not. =)

  • Lee

    Like much of the album Smile itself, the song Cabinessence tells a story of American history. In this case it is about expanding to the west, particularly by means of the transcontinental railroad in the mid nineteenth century. The word cabin would be referring to the cabin cars of a freight train, traveling west during this time of change for the country.

    Grain (wheat and corn) is mentioned throughout the song. And when the words “I want to watch you windblown facing,” you might think of the windy city. During the mid nineteenth century, Chicago became one of the largest grain ports in the world.

    When Mike Love sings the words “Have you seen the grand coolie workin’ on the railroad,” the play on words are apparent. The Grand Coulee is a riverbed in Washington State. The dam was particularly significant during the production of Cabinessence, because beginning in 1966, it was expanded, making it one of the largest hydroelectric facilities in the world. While a coulee is a gorge, coolie was a derogatory term used for Asian immigrants in America during the mid nineteenth century, who worked on the railroads.

  • Sue

    I have no idea. I am just a dumb blonde! :-) SMILE everyone!!

  • #6 Beach Boys Fan

    It means that if I were a muffin, I’d be a studmuffin!

    Tell me THAT didn’t make ya SMiLE! :-P

  • ;))))))))

  • Bubba Bignuts

    so who won???

  • Anonymous

    Tim Blok won.