There was no release date in 1967 for SMiLE. Given that most of the sessions took place in the later part of 1966, and the last studio album from the Beach Boys was Pet Sounds in May 1966, in an alternate universe we may well have seen the Beach Boys releasing SMiLE exactly 5o years ago. But the legend took a different turn, and instead we saw the first “release” of SMiLE in a live concert in London exactly 13 years ago. And I was one of the very lucky people who was there.
February 20, 2004 will always be one of the greatest day of my life, when I was a live witness to musical history being made in the company of the some greatest legends of rock and pop (Paul McCartney, George Martin and Paul Weller were there as well as the co-creator of SMiLE Van Dyke Parks). SMiLE is a great album, but it will always be even more special to me, because of that connection.
Over the next few months, this blog will celebrate the 50th anniversary of SMiLE being shelved and celebrate the music itself. As we will see, SMiLE is ultimately a microcosm of life itself, as well as the triumph against adversity. The world may well have done with a SMiLE in 1967 but now , more than ever, we need it in 2017.