Friday, March 21, 2008

Fast Eddie's Smile

Earlier I had posted a download to a version I thought was Fast Eddie's Smile. Turns out I was wrong! The real Fast Eddie emailed me and corrected me, so now I am happy to share the REAL Fast Eddie's Smile. His version is very, very good (based on the 2004 Brian Wilson Presents Smile) and high quality as well at 192 kbps mp3. Its a good add on to your Beach Boys collection.

"SMiLE 1966/1967 - the 2004 reconstruction...

by FAST EDDIE, September 2004

Now that Brian Wilson completed, performed and re-recorded his lost masterpiece, comparisons with the original 1966/1967 session recordings are made. For my own satisfaction, I compiled and edited a version of SMiLE using only 66/67 vintage recordings, but following the arrangement of the 2004 concerts and re-recording. The results are here for your listening pleasure. They are not meant to be a substitution of the 2004 re-recording in any way.

Generally, the differences with the 2004 re-recording are:
- most of the segues are missing
- some songs don't have vocals as these weren't recorded in 66/67 - or if they were, they haven't been unearthed yet
- to emphasize the unfinished nature of the "original" recordings, I used the old "working" titles for some now re-titled songs.
- some tracks may have a few differences in arrangement, because of their wildly unfinished nature in 66/67

Some technical notes regarding this "reconstruction":
- I used the best available lossless sources (most original silver CDs), except for a few short pieces where only mp3 was available; eventually, I managed to complete it using only just over 1 minute of mp3-sourced music
- for editing, re-arranging, balancing of sound, mixing to mono where applicable and a bit of eq-ing, I used AUDACITY - a cool piece of software that does exactly what's needed for the challenge at hand, without demanding too much technical/musical knowledge - see for more info and downloads
- if you're going to burn it, don't forget to use a 'no pause'-preference, as I've specifically aimed at seamless flow wherever possible
- some tracks are sped up or down a bit. Regarding the "right speed", I followed the guidelines as advocated by Ryan Guidry in the notes to his superb "old-skool" SMiLE edit (unfortunately only available in MP3)

Oh, feel free to pass it on, but it would be nice if proper credits are attached. If I ever catch anyone trying to make a buck out of this... Fast Eddie's fatwah will rest upon you!

Here are track-by-track comments:

1. Our Prayer - Gee 1:59
Sources: Friends/20-20 remastered cd and Good Vibrations boxed set
I used the 20/20-version of PRAYER because I prefer it over the "early" 1966 version. GEE of course is part of the 'Heroes And Villians [Sessions]' track on the boxed set that can also be found on Vigitone SMiLE and other bootlegs.

2. Heroes And Villains 4:34
Sources: Good Vibrations boxed set [45 version, alternate "cantina" version and 'sections']
Edited from various versions of this track on the boxed set.

3. Do You Like Worms 3:41
Sources: Good Vibrations boxed set
Added to the boxed set backing track are: the Bicycle Rider chant from the 'Heroes And Villains [sections]' and a repeat of the 'plymouth rock'-vocals towards the end.

4. Barnyard 0:53
Source: Mok's SMiLE
Though this synchronization of the 'Heroes And Villains' demo vocals with the instrumental tracks isn't exactly according to 2004 arrangement, it is by far the best sync-job I've heard, so I used it. All props to MOK! Only change is I faded it out early to better flow "on-the-one" into...

5. Old Master Painter - You Are My Sunshine 1:09
Source: Mok's SMiLE
Mok synced the stereo instrumental with the mono vocal bootleg mixes. Can't improve it, so once again all props to him!

6. Cabin Essence 3:33
Source: Friends/20-20 remastered cd
The 1968 finished version is like the 2004 version, so no need for any work.

7. Wonderful 2:00
Source: Good Vibrations boxed set
The original mono version, faded out a few seconds early to better flow into...

8. Look 2:10
Source: Mok's SMiLE
The best sound, due to Mok's cleaning!

9. Child Is The Father Of The Man 2:39
Sources: Unsurpassed Masters Vol.16 and Mok's SMiLE
I used the intro from UM-16. This isn't exactly right according to the 2004 arrangement, but since it's impossible to re-create the Song For Children > CITFOTM transition and this intro makes it flow much better, I decided to use it. The rest of the track is from Mok's SMiLE, but I re-arranged the parts to better fit the new arrangement.
By the way: check out Mic Luv's CITFOTM that is uncannily similar to the 2004 arrangement, but unfortunately only available in MP3.

10. Surf's Up 4:11
Sources: Mok's SMiLE and Sunflower/Surf's Up remastered CD
First part is Mok's perfect synchronization of demo vocals over 1966-stereo track, remainder is 1971 album version.

11. Great Shape, etc. 1:56
Sources: Endless Harmony Soundtrack CD + Psychedelic Sounds collector's disc + Unsurpassed Masters Vol.16
First up is a part of the 'Heroes And Villains' Demo, segueing into the recently unearthed Great Shape tracking (actually, my edit is a combination of 2 attempts featured on the Psychedelic Sounds disc - MP3 sourced!). Finally, we have the regular I WANNA BE AROUND - FRIDAY NIGHT from UM-16, but sped up a bit (most sources are mastered too slow) and mixed to mono.

12. Vega-Tables 2:15
Sources: Good Vibrations boxed set + Mok's SMiLE + Smiley Smile / Wild Honey remastered CD
Most of this track is the boxed set version, but the double 'SLEEP-A-LOT'-insert is from Mok's SMiLE and the vocal coda is from the Smiley version.

13. Holiday 2:30
Sources: Mok's SMiLE + Stereo Smiley Smile / Wild Honey collector's version
Most of this track is the clean and superb sounding Mok version, but it's sped down a bit (in fact most sources are mastered a bit too fast). The WHISPERING WINDS coda is from the Wind Chimes remix on the Stereo Smiley Smile / Wild Honey disc (MP3 sourced!).

14. Wind Chimes 2:47
Source: Mok's SMiLE + Unsurpassed Masters Vol.17
Again, I used Mok's version for best sound, but I re-edited it, shortening the bridge and repeating the chorus like it was performed in 2004. The final verse/chorus is from the "complete instrumental take 5" on Unsurpassed Masters Vol.17.

15. Mrs. O'Leary's Cow 2:30
Source: Mok's SMiLE
What can I say? Best sounding version, IMHO!
I didn't try to sync the Fall Breaks chanting onto this, because I didn't believe it could work (I heard 1 or 2 attempts at this and found these close to unlistenable). No use of the "real fire"-effects too, as Brian didn't in 2004!

16. I Love To Say Da Da 2:24
Source: Unsurpassed Masters Vol.16
The WATER CHANT plus the backing track to what's now known as BLUE HAWAII. The second part is also available on the Good Vibrations boxed set.

17. Good Vibrations 4:20
Sources: Smiley Smile / Wild Honey remastered cd [45 version & early take] + Hawthorne, CA CD [unused stereo sections] + Good Vibrations boxed set [tracking sessions]
My pride and joy! I expected this not to work, but I think it turned out rather good. The intro and the choruses are from the 45 version, as is the first part of the bridge ("Got to keep those loving good vibrations..."). The verses are from the early take (Tony Asher's vocals!). The second part of the bridge ("hum-de-dum") is from the Hawthorne, CA rarities collection (mixed to mono!). At the end, I used the ending of the full backing track version that closes the 'tracking sessions' on disc 5 of the boxed set; instead of quickly fading out like the 45 version, it repeats the instrumental chorus a few times before ending rather suddenly. I found that a fitting end, because of course I couldn't re-create the climaxing drum rolls of the concert version. By the way: Brian ends the 2004 studio version with a simple fade-out, which is a damn shame I think!"

Click here to view a PDF of the front cover artwork

Click Here To Download
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Argantonio said...

Another one!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

192k is "high quality"?
OK, compared to 128k, which would have been crass...

Everything's relative, I guess

Walt said...

It would be great if this was uploaded in lossless format. There has been a flac version in Trader's Den, but that torrent is dead now. Fast Eddie's and Mok's mixes in flac would be appreciated.