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“i Know There's An Answer”

When Capitol demanded that Brian come up with a single for the summer of 1967, he put together a three-minute and thirty-six second version of “Heroes and Villains” from the Smile sessions. Originally conceived as a seven-minute epic about the Old West, it was the first Beach Boys record to be released since October 1966. It reached number twelve on the Billboard charts in early September 1967, but it disappeared only two weeks later. The band was further humiliated when they hand-delivered the new single to Hollywood radio station KHJ late one night, only to be told by the DJ on duty that it wasn't on the approved playlist. He finally played the song with the approval of the station manager, but by then the Beach Boys' pride had been hurt.

Pet Sounds Remastered

The Beach Boys' acclaimed album Pet Sounds was recorded in mono instead of stereo because Brian Wilson is deaf in his right ear. Since stereophonic recordings use two or more audio channels, they duplicate the way music sounds to someone with hearing in both ears. To someone with hearing in only one ear, even stereo sounds like mono, or single-channel audio. By 1966, most popular recordings took advantage of the newly available stereophonic process, but Brian couldn't tell the difference. Pet Sounds was remastered in stereo and rereleased in 1997, but some of the album's most dedicated fans balked. They considered it disrespectful to Brian's original vision.

To try and minimize the damage to the group's reputation, Capitol released another compilation that summer called Best of the Beach BoysVolume 2. It stayed on the charts for over twenty weeks, but only reached the number fifty spot. The record company also wanted an album assembled from the wreckage of Smile, to be distributed on the Beach Boys' recently founded Brother Records label.

Brian was no longer interested in coming into the studio by then. He and Marilyn had sold the house on Laurel Way and moved into a mansion on Be1lagio Road in the upscale Los Angeles neighborhood of Bel Air. To finish the project, a makeshift studio was built in a music room below the Wilsons' bedroom, and work began on what was to be called Smiley Smile. Every member of the group participated in the creation of the new album, and it was the first to credit the Beach Boys as producers instead of just Brian Wilson. “Smiley Smile was a very simple album to make,” Carl later said. “It took a couple of weeks at Brian's house.” It was mixed in a single overnight session and released on September 18, 1967. Although the album stayed on the charts for twenty-one weeks, it never broke into the top forty—another first for the Beach Boys. As Carl put it, “It was a bunt instead of a grand slam.”

Additional topics

Musician BiographiesThe Beach BoysTHE NEAREST FARAWAY PLACE - “add Some Music To Your Day”, “here Comes The Night”, “i Know There's An Answer”