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In Their Own Words:

“Well, the tapes were at my house for awhile. We are going to put it out, we’re going to assemble it and mix it down and put it out. There’s some performing to do on it too. That is great music. Brian was really stretching. Not just in any sense of the word, but he was genuinely stretching…expanding. That whole period was very productive and then it was not very productive in terms of that particular project, and so we dropped it. Brian had had enough, and he said ‘I’m not doing it anymore’-and so it was finished, and I don’t know…that was about six years ago. But ultimately it’s going to happen, we have discussed putting it out.”
-Carl Wilson (“Look, Listen, Vibrate, Smile” Domenic Priore, editor. 1988)

“…most of Smile is available now.”
- Bruce Johnston (“The Beach Boys & The Southern California Myth” by David Leaf. 1979)

“The Smile thing was not a real comfortable time.”
-Diane Rovell (“The Beach Boys” by Byron Preiss. 1979)

“I thought that Smile was much better than Pet Sounds, although it took me until just lately to listen to the two albums and discern that. After you record things, you never ‘look back,’ you don’t sit around and listen to them…So when I listened to all of Brian’s recordings quite a bit there, I noticed the genius that was emerging in the songs of Smile, and I think with just a little work, Smile could have been his biggest album. Pet Sounds is great…but certainly Smile took me offguard. The beauty and depth of Smile is unsurpassed in my opinion.”
-Carol Kaye (Open Sky magazine 1999 -Chris Allen, editor)

“The Smile album had the brilliant little…track sections that he never connected. And then he abandoned Smile.”
- Bruce Johnston (ENDLESS HARMONY- VH1 TV special 1998)

“I think it was better to squeeze it out rather than put in on one album, which we were going to do. Sometimes, I don’t think people are ready for something that heavy, but now, when you look back at what’s happening in the ten or eleven years since Smile, it’s not as heavy; it’s kind of a prototype of the idea that people can experiment more, even though it was never one album.”
-Bruce Johnston (“The Beach Boys & The Southern California Myth” by David Leaf. 1979)

"It was a real strange feeling when it [SMiLE] didn't come out, but you've got to just press on, do something else, and I did. But I was quite disappointed, as everybody else was too."
- Frank Holmes (source and date?)

“I love Smile but the bootleg tapes are only a wild guess. Brian needs to time travel in order to finish this wonderful project.”
-Bruce Johnston (Bruce Johnston talks about Smile on the Beach Boys Britain message board April 2, 2001)

“Brian never completed "Smile" and we would never want to question his magnificent artistry or his decision to scrap the project. It's very possible that Capitol has a master in their vaults, which would be better quality than my scratchy old acetate. As you know acetate discs predate cassette tapes. Just how many times can we re-release yet another recording of the same songs. To me, it's overkill.”
-Bruce Johnston (Bruce Johnston talks about Smile on the Beach Boys Britain message board April 4, 2001)

“We’re missing what I felt was going to be the revolutionary step in pop music…Instead of getting that, you’re getting pieces, you’re getting hints of what it could have been…It’s as if a classical composer [wrote] a four-movement symphony, and he has all the music written out somewhere. But instead of the composer putting it into the logical order in which he views a symphony, somebody else [in this case, the Beach Boys] is coming in and grabbing certain pieces and putting them in some kind of chaotic order. That’s why I say that we will never know what Smile was supposed to have been, because Brian had composed the music but he was still in the process of putting it together…”
- David Anderle (“The Beach Boys & The Southern California Myth” by David Leaf. 1979)

“I don’t want to say it was classical because I think that’s pretentious. And I don’t think Brian thought of it as classical at all. But is was. It was a step. And I think had Smile been concluded and put out, I think it would have been a major influence in pop music. I think it would have been as significant if not a bigger influence than Sgt. Pepper was. When Sgt. Pepper’s came out, good, bad or indifferent, everybody started making records that sounded like Sgt. Pepper’s…Everybody said, ‘Whoa, let’s do this!’ I mean, the concept of an album was created, I believe, with Sgt. Pepper’s. Put it on in the beginning and it has a movement all the way to the end. And I know everybody wanted their sounds to sound like that album. That album was just startling. And I think Smile would have been more startling.”
- David Anderle (“The Beach Boys & The Southern California Myth” by David Leaf. 1979)


“…wouldn’t be a good idea. Sometimes, you’re kind of let down. Say you discover the tapes and you say, ‘Oh yeah?’ It’s been talked about so much…It would live up to your expectations if you were Zubin Mehta analyzing a young composer’s work. It’s the kind of music you almost need a Ford Foundation grant to make. It was really a clever album, [but its release today] would [only] be important for Brian artistically. If you put that album all together, there would be an incredible artistic value…but for keeping a band alive, no.”
- Bruce Johnston (“The Beach Boys & The Southern California Myth” by David Leaf. 1979)


“probably would have hurt our careers in terms of working and supporting ourselves…I think the Smile album would have done worse than Smiley Smile. It was really good, but it was a little esoteric. There’s a little [commercial] bridge you can cross.”
- Bruce Johnston (“The Beach Boys & The Southern California Myth” by David Leaf. 1979)


“ I really have little idea of how much work there was to do. Probably a lot, with connecting the various bits and pieces....not being a commercial producer, I don't know, it's hard to read Brian's creative mind. If it was back then, I'd say not as much work as now. You're fresher after having done that work, and over 30 years later, your mind is in a different space than back then. Wish it could have been finished, it was his greatest work.”
- Carol Kaye (EAR CANDY interview March 1999)


“ I think it was better. And probably wouldn't have sold as great back then as a little later. People weren't ready for Brian's growth, but later in the 70s, yes would've sold big.”
- Carol Kaye (EAR CANDY interview March 1999)


“Much better than "Smile" but few fans "get it"..very organic album. Perfect album in my opinion..Brian Wilson's genius in top form except he probably would not agree with me.”
- Bruce Johnston (Bruce Johnston talks about Smile on the Beach Boys Britain message board April 10, 2001)


“I like the Smile material. I like everything except crawling around on the floors snorting like pigs. The swine section. I hated that. Everyone was high but me. I was the only one that didn't take drugs. I was the square, so Brian made us crawl around on the floor and snort like a bunch of pigs on a section of “Heroes”. You hear a bunch of snorting and swining... It was like being trapped in an insane asylum. I was emotionally depressed by a lot of that stuff because to watch people go through that and you have to kind of make like you're part of that but you're not, you're sober... But somehow we got through it. Nobody overdosed and everybody made it through it.”
-Al Jardine (Goldmine- “A Beach Boy Still Riding The Waves” July 28, 2000)


“Funny how people remember things differently Huh???? They hated Smile and that's why I never finished it........but someday this music will come out.”
-Brian Wilson (Postings by Brian Wilson on his official message board December 18, 2001)

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