Make your own free website on

Topic: Track Listings?

TRACK LISTINGS? Yay! A track listing to critique!!!

Not even. Read Brad Elliott's excellent essay on the matter (archived at John Lane's SMiLE site - I forget the URL! John? Brad?). Sessions logged as "part 2" were just recordings for "Heroes and Villains" proper; the idea that a "part 2" was slated for the B-side of a single is pretty much proven false.

2. Do You Like Worms
3. The Old Master Painter
4. Wonderful
5. Child is Father to the Man
6. Cabin Essence Okay…with you so far…

Side B
Good Vibrations
Wind Chimes
The Elements
I'm In Great Shape
Surf's Up

…yeah, baby. Good lineup. BUT…

Heroes and Villains

It seemed so concise, so simple above. And then…the link trax arrived. Oh dear. What I've done with Barnyard, interestingly, is edit together an "I'm in Great Shape" that includes it. Basically I took the little sequence Brian sang on the "H&V Demo" minus the actual "H&V" verse and spliced it together. It goes from the little orchestral major-key piece at the beginning of "Bicycle Rider" to the horn "flutter tone" to the demo of Brian singing the "Great Shape" verse (Compressed like damn) to "Barnyard" and then fade. Works okay, fits the "Great Shape" bill, and avoids the "link track" dilemma.

Not separately, that's for sure. I'm absolutely certain "Bald" was intended as part of another song. Jon Blum thinks it was meant to be the "Wonderful" insert…it's POSSIBLE, I guess…I'm more inclined to believe it was part of an earlier "Heroes" concept…

I'd leave it off.

Child is Father to Man

I'm tellin' ya, man, shed the links! You'll feel so much happier, so much lighter, so much freer…

The whole idea of including "Bicycle Rider" separately doesn't sit with me. It plays into the idea of "repeated themes" across the album and I'm not sure even THAT was Brian's intention. I think the "Bicycle Rider" theme started life as a section of Heroes and Villains, got dropped from "Heroes" and added ni to "Do You Like Worms" (*WITH*, I believe the "Bicycle Rider" lyrics meant to be included!) and later, when nobody could figure out how to piece together "Heroes" around "Smiley Smile"-era, it was added back into "Heroes" with different lyrics. I think what you have in "Bicycle Rider" is just several different versions of that piece, just as they occur on a spliced-together reel, not meant at ALL as a finished song. AND in different degrees of completion - we hear one version with just piano, one version that ends differently, one version with a bass, one version with percussion added…y'know, just so Brian could try different things.

12. Good Vibrations
13. Wind Chimes
14. Vega-Tables
The Elements
15. Look (earth)
16. Holidays (air)
17. Mrs. O'Leary's Cow (fire)
18. Love to Say DaDa (water)

AAAAH. The Elements. God love it. I'm at such loggerheads with this thing I don't even know how to comment. I'm thinking my "Elements" on my tape might include "Vegetables" - because at ONE point, at least, we know that SOME version of this song was an "Element"; "Look" - because it's such a "piano song" that was "never finished", but christ knows if it's THE "piano song"; "Fire" of course, but even THAT was ditched following the "big freak out" in early December; and "Holidays" for water. I ask ye - "Holidays", it must have been more important than we think. Why else would Brian have done so many sessions on it, INCLUDING several in early '67 during the "Heroes" and "Vegetables" sessions?

Anyway, I'm still not happy with THAT "Elements" either because "Vegetables" isn't instrumental. Dammit. I wish Brian or Van Dyke would speak out on the matter.

20. Surf's Up
21. Well, Your Welcome ?????? (are you guys comfortable with this track on the album)

I tend to put it on the end, but there's no evidence that this wasn't also meant just as a section of "Heroes and Villains"!!!!

The Vega-Tables drawing in the booklet does say the Elements so it feels good to plase it here right before the suite.

Like I said, at ONE point it was definitely an Element. But Frank Holmes says he doesn't remember any talk whatsoever about lyrics to the song, which suggests either at one point the song was an instrumental or else Frank's memory isn't so good these days!

Indeed we wouldn't, because for the most part those songs were intended simply as PARTS of other songs! A la "Home on the Range" in "Cabinessence", or "Barnyard" in "Heroes and Villains".

That's almost my exact track listing from two years ago. So I've tried it, lived with it, abandoned it. I didn't get anything close to a listing I was happy with until I started shedding some of the stuff Priore listed as "link tracks". God, at one point, I had "George Fell into his French Horn" on there!!! It was an hour and a half long!!!

I'm telling you, the Secret to Smile is this: 12 short songs. Maybe 11 short songs, one long song. But SONGS. Logical, ordered SONGS. No link tracks, no snippets, no "have you got any hash joints, Denny." Give it a try. Take that FIRST track listing you put down above. Now sequence your tape just like that. Skip all the links, all the snippets. Sounds so…finished, doesn't it?

Back to the Message Board Archive