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Smile and Van Dyke Parks

Although amongst other things VDP had been working as a copy writer, he was seeped in music and I suspect his influence on Smile is more than the words to a few songs.
If you remember, after Good Vibrations, Warners gave VDP a contract expecting hits and got Song Cycle one of the most convoluted and confusing psychedelic records, featuring not a guitar solo or wah wah (I think) but a kaleidoscope of orchestral visions of a country torn apart and in thrall to film and TV.
I also remember it was Warners' lowest selling album of all time(?).
Even today it seems to arrive from a parallel universe.
I think that Pet Sounds and perhaps Smile are at least as fresh as Sgt. Pepper, an album shot through with too much cutesy pie novelty for many. Its relative low rating as 3rd or 4th favourite amongst many Beatles fans would seem to attest to that.
Now if anyone has that legendary 17 minute version of Heroes And Villains...

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