cover art


track by track


historical context


final thoughts


why the beach boys matter



Click On Each Title Below For A Full Page Review of Each Track:


Heroes and Villains




Fall Breaks


Shes' Goin' Bald


Little Pad


Good Vibrations


With Me Tonight


Wind Chimes


Gettin' Hungry




Whistle In






Interesting Events 1967


January: Packers win first Super Bowl


April: Muhammad Ali stripped of Heavyweight Champ title for refusing the draft.


May: Carl Wilson indicted by Federal Grand Jury for draft evasion, misses first Beach Boys concert in Dublin at beginning of European tour.


June: Aretha Franklin's I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You tops album chart.


July; Detroit erupts. 5 days, 43 dead, 1,189 injured, 7,200 arrested, 2,000 buildings destroyed.


August: Thurgood Marshall first African-American appointed to Supreme Court.

Doors' Light My Fire tops singles chart.


October: Anti-war march on



November: Supremes Greatest Hits replaces Sgt. Pepper at top of album chart.


December: Rolling Stone magazine knocks Beach Boys

Extras & Links


My review of Smile from the Village Voice

Sept 21, 2004: Click Here



Rolling Stone, December 14, 1967


Below, scanned and cobbled together: an actual very old, falling apart Rolling Stone page, with a lengthy put down, from founder and editor Jann Wenner, of the Beach Boys and Smiley Smile. Over the top Beatles adulation in full flower fails to heed Smiley's warning: they won't top Sgt. Pepper. Those were the days.


Rolling Stone Full Page



extract a


extract b










And A Few Months Later


wild honey 1Here's some snippets from the beginning and the end of a Rolling Stone review of Wild Honey that feels obligated to throw in some further digs at Smiley Smile and the Beach Boys for the sin, apparently, of thinking they were as good as the Beatles and the Stones. Or something like that.


Smiley was "a disaster" and "an abortive attempt to match the talents of Lennon and McCartney." Wild Honey, the review continues isn't that good, but at least qualifies as "a convelescence after the illness."


In all fairness, Rolling Stone would eventually come round to writing favorably and at length about the Beach Boys and Brian Wilson, but in the late '60s the magazine amassed a lot of wild honey 2influence and power as it solidified its place in the establishment of the counterculture. Struggling against such "official" disapproval became a dynamic in the career path of the Beach Boys as well as a part of one's (my) identity as a fan, and in the long run added to the complex pleasures of such devotions.


There were, of course, other perspectives in the newly forming world of rock criticism, some more, (and some too) benevolent towards Smiley Smile.


Thankfully, WH did not represent "the Beach Boys getting their heads straight once again." Smiley Smile was a turn, not a derailment