Synopsis by Mark Deming
For close to four decades, Smile by the Beach Boys was perhaps the most famous unreleased album in the history of rock & roll. Brian Wilson, the group's principal songwriter, arranger, producer, and vocalist, had already turned pop music on its ear in 1966 with Pet Sounds, an ambitious concept album that reflected a new degree of maturity and musical sophistication for both the Beach Boys and rock in general. The following year, Wilson intended to release an even more imaginative album called Smile, which Wilson's collaborators believed had the makings of a masterpiece. However, it was an album the emotionally fragile Wilson would not complete thanks to battles with his record company, conflicts with other members of the Beach Boys, and the impact of Wilson's struggles with drugs and depression. However, in 2003 a revitalized Wilson, after performing a symphonic version of Pet Sounds on a well-received concert tour, decided to return to the Smile material, and presented the fabled song cycle in its complete form for the first time in a concert in London in early 2004. Beautiful Dreamer: Brian Wilson and the Story of 'Smile' is a documentary which tells the story of Brian Wilson's life in music and the long and difficult journey of his masterpiece. In addition to extensive interviews with Brian Wilson and his collaborators, Beautiful Dreamer also features contributions from Elvis Costello, Burt Bacharach, Paul McCartney, Roger Daltrey, and many more.
album, inspiration, interview, musician, obstacle, retrospective, rock-music, saga, songwriter