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Brian Wilson Finally Cracks A Smile After 37 Years

By Rachelle Bowden in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 28, 2004 3:37PM

Smile - Photo: AmazonIf you’re unable to find your local music geek today, try checking their bedroom.  They’ll likely be there with a monster set of headphones and listening to an album that is spoken of in the most reverential tones this side of your local monastery: Brian Wilson’s Smile.  The former Beach Boy’s “lost masterwork” goes on sale today for the first time since it was conceived of more than 37 years ago. 

Smile was intended to be the follow up to the Beach Boys Pet Sounds, an album that inspired the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper.  But disagreements amongst the other members of the band as well as with their record label caused Wilson to slide into drug abuse, depression and paranoia.  He shelved the project and withdrew from public life until recently.  Talk about a bad day at the office.  Local music fanboys Greg Kot and Jim Derogatis recounted the full story over the weekend and reviewed the album as well.  Both agree it’s not a masterpiece but agree it’s well worth having.  Wilson plays the Auditorium Theatre this Saturday at 7:30 PM where he will perform the album in its entirety (portions of which are on his website) along with other Beach Boys and solo material. 

Incidentally, this is one of those days when Chicagoist thinks it would save time by just direct depositing its paycheck at Tower Records because there’s a buttload of other albums being released today: Queen Latifah’s jazz album (no lie!), the debut by Alter Bridge (the new project from the Scott Stapp-less members of Creed), and new records from Talib Kweli, Joss Stone, Interpol, Wu-Tang Clan, and um…Hilary Duff which we guess would be worth buying if you’re into anti-Lindsey Lohan diatribes. (Thanks, Scott!)