The rumblings over a potential unearthing of The Beach Boys’ SMiLE was a big deal. How big? So big that when this author shared the news with friends that don’t follow music catalogue affairs as closely, even those friends were excited. This legendary lost record is something that a lot of Beach Boys fans would be willing to check out, not just the bootleg hunters and classic rock enthusiasts who are likely reading this right now.
So it’s a bitter pill to swallow upon reading new comments by band member Al Jardine, whose interview got the whole speculation train rolling in the first place.
“I don’t know if we even have enough parts to put it together or not,” Jardine most recently said. “May have to record some more.”
Adding fuel to the flames, mastering engineer Steve Hoffman weighed in between two posts on his message board in a thread dedicated to the possibility of a SMiLE release:
As I said in this thread a million posts ago, this is not happening. You guys just like speculating, I understand that. But others really believed this was imminent and bombarded Capitol/EMI with calls, etc. The result? They clamped down on all rumors and made ol’ All give another statement.
I’m sure Capitol/EMI would love to actually release this. The “problem” doesn’t come from there, so they are not the bad dudes in this and don’t be calling them up & bitching.
Look, I know the scoop but I can’t tell ya, sorry. Let me say this:
For a project like this to actually be worked on, it doesn’t take much. For a project like this to actually be released, it takes a lot. You know from past history with things like this how funky it can be. The “project” is always being diddled with in the studio. It’s the signatures that count (to paraphrase “The Wild Bunch”).
This is rather sad news for Beach Boys fans – but let’s try to be optimistic for the time being (not a small feat for a reissue fan, this one included!) and hope that things might turn around before too long.