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Smiley Smile is the 12th studio album by American rock band the Beach Boys, released on September 18, 1967. Conceived as a simpler and more relaxed version of their unfinished Smile album, Smiley Smile is distinguished for its homespun arrangements, "stoned" aesthetic, and lo-fi production. Critics and fans generally received the album and its lead single, "Heroes and Villains", with confusion and disappointment. The album reached number 9 on UK record charts, but sold poorly in the US, peaking at number 41—the band's lowest chart placement to that point.
|Studio album by|
|Released||September 18, 1967 (1967-09-18)|
|Recorded||February 17, 1966 (1966-02-17) – July 14, 1967 (1967-07-14)|
|Producer||The Beach Boys|
|The Beach Boys chronology|
|Singles from Smiley Smile|
Following principal songwriter Brian Wilson's declaration that most of the original Smile tapes would be abandoned, the majority of the recording sessions lasted for six weeks at his makeshift home studio using radio broadcasting equipment, a detuned piano, electronic bass, melodica, found objects for percussion, and a Baldwin theater organ. The unconventional recording process juxtaposed an experimental party-like atmosphere with short pieces of music edited together in a disjointed manner, combining the engineering methods of "Good Vibrations" (1966) with the loose feeling of Beach Boys' Party! (1965).
From late 1966 to mid-1967, Smile had been repeatedly delayed while the Beach Boys were subject to a considerable level of media hype that proclaimed Wilson as a "genius". After settling payment disputes with Capitol Records, Smiley Smile was distributed in collaboration with Brother Records, the band's new self-owned record company. The album's production was unusually credited to "the Beach Boys", marking the point where Wilson began ceding his leadership of the group. Smile was left unfinished as the band immediately moved onto the recording of the albums Lei'd in Hawaii (unreleased) and Wild Honey (December 1967).
Smiley Smile has since become a critical and cult favorite, garnering repute as a chill-out album, and influencing the development of lo-fi, ambient music, and bedroom pop. It is often cited for having positive effects on listeners experiencing an LSD comedown, and it was used by at least one drug clinic to help relieve users from bad trips. In 1974, it was ranked number 64 in NME's list of the greatest albums of all time. Some session highlights from the album are featured on the compilations The Smile Sessions (2011) and 1967 – Sunshine Tomorrow (2017).
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