Vintage Rock Presents The Beach Boys is a new bookazine taking a look at every aspect of The Beach Boys’ extraordinary career, from Surfin’ Safari right up to That’s Why God Made The Radio, and all of the unexpected twists and turns along the way – both on vinyl and off. There’s a huge feature by me in it about the legendary unreleased 1967 album SMiLE, looking at the lead-up to and making of Brian Wilson’s ‘American Gothic Trip’, the real reasons why the sessions collapsed into disarray, how much of SMiLE actually found official release at the time (it’s more than you think), whether the emergency re-recording Smiley Smile is actually any good or not, and the album’s complicated legacy both for The Beach Boys themselves and for pop music in general. Taking in possessed studio tapes that wouldn’t burn, psychedelic ice cream vans, people being spied on by characters in films, John Lennon guarding a public convenience and someone getting angry about a crow, it’s safe to say that enjoyed the opportunity to make sense of this most nonsensical of stories.
I’ve also contributed features on Surfin’ USA, Surfer Girl, Shut Down Volume 2, The Beach Boys’ Christmas Album, The Beach Boys Love You and – uh oh – 1985’s The Beach Boys, along with a feature on their many unreleased and abandoned albums, from early seventies eco-protest project Landlocked to the shelved version of their big comeback in 2012, with a guide to some of my favourite ‘lost’ Beach Boys tracks. And if all that isn’t enough, there are also belting features by two names who will be familiar to Looks Unfamiliar listeners – Martin Ruddock and Steve O’Brien.
You can get Vintage Rock Presents The Beach Boys in all leading newsagents, directly from the Vintage Rock store here, or as a digital edition here. And if you want to read me saying that I would never be able to write a definitive feature on SMiLE because it would be as difficult as SMiLE itself to fit together, then you can find that here…
© Tim Worthington.
Please don’t copy this only with more italics and exclamation marks.