Nearly four decades after it was initially slated for release on Capitol, Brian Wilson’s “lost” Beach Boys masterpiece “SMiLE” will finally be heard by the record-buying public. A newly recorded version of the album is to be released Sept. 28 worldwide by Nonesuch Records.
The new “SMiLE” was produced by Wilson and features the pop icon’s 10-member touring band along with the Stockholm Strings and Horns ensemble. Wilson first revisited the project in November 2003 along with lyricist Van Dyke Parks and keyboardist Darian Sahanaja, reviewing the original 37-year-old tapes with the intent to prepare a version of the album for live performance.
The material was debuted Feb. 20 live at London’s Royal Festival Hall and played to audiences on a brief European tour. Following the album’s release, Wilson plans to take the performance on the road in the United States this fall.
The reworked “SMiLE” features recreations of songs and musical motifs first recorded in 1966-1967, as Wilson attempted to produce a highly ambitious follow-up to the Beach Boys’ orchestral pop classic “Pet Sounds.” The project was famously abandoned in 1967 after it already appeared on a Capitol release schedule. Instead, the group released the patchwork album “Smiley Smile” later that year.
Parks, who collaborated with Wilson on the original “SMiLE” sessions, also co-wrote new material with Wilson to complete the album for performance and release.
As previously reported, Wilson will release a new solo studio album, “Gettin’ in Over My Head,” June 22 via Rhino.