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Topic: Another lineup idea

05/22/01 02:52:55 PM

Subject: SMiLE Suites?

OK SMiLE theory comin' at ya.

We know that Brian was interested in several different things during the SMiLE era. Fitness, Americana, The Elements, Childhood, etc.

Do you think that perhaps SMiLE could have been four or five themed suites dealing with varied subjects? We know of the Elements suite, and perhaps an Americana suite. Could all these point in this direction?

We know Brian was buying classical albums from 65 on, and was influenced by them. The teenage symphony to God aspect can be used as a clue.

The reason I've been thinking about this, is because of Linnett's SMiLE Vegetables. The Do A Lot section has been seen on this board as perchance part of I'm In Great Shape. Could Brian have tried connecting the two songs in an attempt for a suite?

I've assembled a SMiLE that works like this:

Prayer-An invocation for the album, much like prayer sessions for God Only Knows.

Americana Suite-

Heroes and Villains-The SS/WH twofer alternate version until the whistling melody with dum dum dum parts, then I've been in this town a capella (yeah, I know about it supposedly recorded for Smiley, but the acoustics and the sound of the room when they are breathing are not the same as a capella sections known to be recorded at the house). This is followed by Bridge to indians.

Do You Like Worms?-The second movement starts out with the tympani and guitar intro followed by Plymouth Rock Roll Over. Then Bicycle Rider with the lyrics on top of the second eight measures of the instrumental BR. This is followed by the Hawaiian mourning chant. Interesting side note: I looked up the words to this section in a Hawaiian dictionary and found that partially the words mean that during an epoch of so many years, 4,000 people were scattered. Spooky stuff. Anyways, the wahalalulei is followed by the bass with distant piano, and then the BR modulation and crashing chords. Instead of going back into BR instrumental fade I put in the next movement.

Cabinessence-For this version of Cabinessence I use an idea we've discussed here before. Of the 3 section song as opposed to the traditional verse, chorus, verse, chorus, coda model. So this Cabinessence is composed of Home On The Range, Who Ran The Iron Horse, and The Grand Coulee Dam. The over and over section is a great finale to the Americana Suite.

The Childhood Suite-

Wonderful-Just the box set version here.

Child Is Father Of The Man-The upright bass that ends Wonderful leads up very well into the piano, bass and trumpet intro of this song. I see CIFOTM as a counterpoint to Heroes and Villains. Whereas Heroes and Villains denotes a more adult melodramatic storyline, CIFOTM I feel was supposed to lyrically evoke the childhood game of cowboys and indians. I think it was Dennis who called it a cowboy song of sorts. While we don't have lyrics I use the version that starts with the lonely trumpet intro, chorus, verse, chorus and fade. Great spooky way to end side one.

Side Two

Zen or Fitness suite

Good Vibrations-The single version is a necessity, but it's very hard to fit in anywhere on SMiLE. I've tried to put it in here before, but it is nearly impossible to flow because of the fade at the end. So one thing I've done with this version is at the end of the hymn section and vocal aah, I drop it out, and put in the next movement. It's shockingly sudden but a very cool way to keep this suite succinct.

Wind Chimes-Movement two is a very spiritual song as was the song before it, but Wind Chimes can't go on for too long. Desper had talked about a verse, bridge, verse, bridge, piano coda version, but said it was too long. I entirely agree.

Vegetables-When most of the piano coda is faded, that's when Vegetables begins. It is the Linnett mix until the piano chord grinding everything to a halt. The little Run a Lot bit in the middle of Veggies is a musical sneak peek at things to come.

I'm In Great Shape-Veggies after the piano chord, basically. I believe that Eggs and Grits was actually an unused section of H+V and may have been part of that seven minute long October version. I think that Brian just loved that expression, I'm in great shape, and may have used it quite a bit conversation-wise during that time period.

The Elements Suite-

I think that the reason that The Elements is listed as one track on the album is because the segments are shorter than real songs (even though the track previous to this is only a minute and a half!)

Fire-Mrs. O' Leary's Cow-The track with the crashing end which leads into:
Earth-Woodshop Song-Rebuilding after the fire. I don't like to use the instrumental I Wanna Be Around section prior to the woodshop sounds because it's just too straight to seem elemental.
Air-This section starts what seems like part two of the elements. The first two elements are instrumental, and it seems didn't have that much effect on Brian's life. But Part Two with it's air and water have a lot to do with Brian. Brian needs air to sing, fresh zen air around his head, etc. And Water is obvious. I use Whispering Winds as Air, even though it seems to have been recorded for Smiley. I think that the sound of this track is much more elemental than anything in Country Air, also the reverb is unlike anything else on Smiley. Plus, this is where Brian uses lyrics as a reminder of a former track. We've already experienced pieces of music paying homage to other pieces on the album. (For more on this, read The Many Theoretical Musical Moods Of Brian Wilson on this site.)

Water-I use the Water Chant, simply because DaDa doesn't do it for me. Recorded definitively too late, DaDa also suffers from the straightness test I put on every little section. Not elemental enough.

Surf's Up-The Water Chant's final aahs are a perfect precedent for this final symphony. A three movement piece that is beyond description, a wonderful way to end the album. I don't like to use the 71 version coda with the Moog bass as this wasn't supposed to be on the original. I simply use the SOT 16 ending with Brian's solo aahs, just like the Inside Pop version. I think that there was something in Brian where he just had to take the final track of an album and do it himself, not unlike Caroline No. Little or no harmonies, just a simple confessional. That's the beauty of this track.

Well that's it for SMiLE, A teenage symphony to God. You'll notice I don't use OMP/YWMS because of the handwritten note parentheses and just doubt that it could have gone anywhere coherently.

Comments? Questions? Tired of reading about a glorified SMiLE?

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