Preface Introduction Part One: California Dreams Part Two: The Pop Miseducation of Brian Wilson Part Three: To Catch a Wave Part Four: Smile, Brian Loves You
The first academic and in-depth journalistic look at this seminal "lost" album and its positioning in post-WWII American culture, class, identity and consciousness.
Luis Sanchez grew up in West Texas. He earned his PhD in Musicology at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. His writing has appeared in The House Next Door and Slant.
Reviewed -- Bob Baker Fish * CyclicDefrost.com *
As the latest edition to the (unfortunately) obscure 33 1/3 series, Smile provides the cultural and historical background to one of rock's most mythical records that almost never happened. Author Luis Sanchez begins with the unique nature of The Beach Boys: a teenage vocal group that streamlined their version of Southern California teen living directly into America's consciousness. Sanchez details the popularity of surfing and surf rock as counterculture, how the Beach Boys were anything but counterculture and how they were able to convey such sincerity through their pop music in a way that anyone who listened could capture the carefree, suburban teen's American dream. As their fame grew to an even level with counterculture rock stars like The Beatles and Bob Dylan, the Beach Boys risked exploring new territory in the realm of pop music, which eventually led to the creation of Smile. The main character behind all of this is the unassuming musical savant Brian Wilson. Sanchez explores the inspirations behind Wilson's genius- from maniacally studying the work of Phil Spector to embracing, rather than rebelling against, the suburban lifestyle. Smile is a deep glance into the formation of pop music and one of its greatest minds. -- Justin Gallegos * SLUG Magazine *