Friday, September 24, 2004

Brian Wilson's latterday re-recording of Smile has been getting pretty good reviews all round. I've yet to hear it but I'm told its in the mail. I'm still not sure. Those who know me, know I'm somewhat fanatical about all things Brian Wilson (and that includes his brothers, but not the odious Mike Love who has shown repeatedly over the years that he's a talent free zone lucky enough to have been in the right place) but I have to wonder why, almost 40 years after the event Brian felt the need to record the legendary unfinished work. I'm not arguing with his right to do so but he stands the risk of de-mythologising part of the BW legend, and its a fairly brave move. Who knows how the Wilson mind works, his story is one of genius, tragedy and sheer insanity (that he outlasted his brothers is miraculous in itself), and the logic you or I might apply is an irrelevance here. I guess Brian doesn't care either way, his legend is secure and it must frustrate the hell out of him to have something that obviously meant so much to him, unfinished. At the very least, finishing it might help to exorcise some of those demons he's been burdened with for many many year. God (Only)knows his last solo album was reason enough to be wary of a resurrected Smile...it was (and I'm being kind) not very good and rather sad. But its Brian Wilson, and all power to him: he created (even if you exclude Pet Sounds) some of the most gloriously evocative and timeless musical landscapes of all time, music that took you to place that you'd never been before, a place that existed in the back of Brian's mind, a place he alternated between wanting the world to see, or was terrified the world would see; until it tore him apart, sometime in the late sixties. I guess if the new Smile is 50% of what it could have been in 1967 then its worth the wait....

1 comment:

Andrew said...

And your verdict??