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The Many Moods of Mike Love: THE First Beach Boys Solo Album!

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(Front Cover)
(Back Cover)

It was nearly Christmas of 1966 and the Beach Boys were in turmoil. For many reasons, too many to go into, the Smile album wasn't coming out. Mike Love, unhappy with the lyrical content of the Smile songs, saw a possible solution. He would take the instrumental tracks of the Smile songs and add sound effects! Mike reasoned, "what better way to give a teenage symphony to god than to have teenage sounds! Brian wants avant garde? Hell, I'll show him what teenagers can really relate to!" For a week, Mike and Michael Vosse hung out at the local teenage hangouts with a portable tape recorder. They recorded everything from the squealing tires of drag races to the chats at the corner burger stands! Lastly, the pair hung out at the beach, completing their 'sound effects' collection.

Since Mike wanted to surprise Brian (and to show Brian that he wasn't the only genius!), Mike quietly worked in whatever studios Brian wasn't in. Since Brian worked at many recording studios to get 'that sound', it wasn't hard to pull off his 'project'. In a few days, THE ALBUM was done!

But what to call it? Since PET SOUNDS was a Brian Wilson solo album in everything but name, Mike had a brainstorm! "It will be a MIKE LOVE solo album! I'll show them all that Good Vibrations was just a fluke. The kids wanna hear about surfing, car races and dating. NOT this acid alliteration!" Mike finally came up with a title: "The Many Moods of Mike Love". Mike secretly went to Murray Wilson to get funding for the album. Murray replied, "Sure, just sign this little paper about Sea of Tunes and I can get your solo album out on Capitol within the week! What is it? Just a little publishing legal mumbo jumbo, nothing to worry about..."

Before you could say, "maharishi", Capitol had assigned a number to the album (ST 2818), pressed a test cover and pressed the master to a lathe. The cover boasted the phrase, "The talented cousin of the famous Wilson brothers presents a teenage symphony of surf, drag racing and dating!"

Songs listed on the back of the album included:

1. Do You Like Surfing
2. Wind Chimes On My Woody
3. Surfers and Dragsters
4. Surf's Up
5. Good Vibrations
6. Drag Car-Essence
7. Wonderful Woody
8. I'm In Great Shape For Tomorrow's Surf
9. Freshman is the Father of the Senior
10. The Elements of a Cool Date
11. Cheese-burgers
12. Old Master Drag Racing Winner

But the day before production would start on the final album, Brian caught wind of Mike's "betrayal" and an argument erupted...

"You are fucking with my formula man", replied Brian.

"I'm just going to show you that you aren't the ONLY one who can do far out music! But mine will be a REAL 'teenage symphony'! Who wants to hear about damn 'crows in the cornfield'? I'm the one whose progressing here and you can't stand it!" Mike retorted.

Alas, it wasn't meant to be... Just like SMiLE itself, "The Many Moods of Mike Love" suffered the same obscure fate, relegated to the "long lost album" status. Only a few test pressings exist, Mike's solo outing becoming even rarer than the album it was supposed to supplant, SMiLE. Murray pounced on what he saw as a good title, releasing "The Many Moods of Murray Wilson", with the record actually seeing a Capitol release! It would be another decade before Mike Love would attempt a solo album.

Now you know…the rest of the story…

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