Van Dyke Parks

A Smile for Carol Kaye
November 18, 2011

The unironically monumental project of monumentalizing the music of the Baby Boomers has reached yet another landmark this month, with the release by Capitol Records of multiple editions of material the Beach Boys recorded in 1966 and 1967 for their aborted Smile album. Long mythologized as the lost masterpiece of rock, the album was reconstructed and revised several years ago by its principle creators Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks for a concert tour and recording.

God Only Knows
October 25, 2004

Brian Wilson Presents Smile (Nonesuch) No masterpiece is so great as a lost one—a symphony unfinished, a painting painted over, a novel shredded or suppressed. Largely or wholly unheard, unseen, or unread, such a work derives its life, as most objects of legend do, from scraps of generative evidence and the accretion of romantic speculation about them, and it takes its lasting if ethereal form in the creative imagination of the public. The lost masterpiece is the only artwork that is perfect, the fulfillment of all our artistic dreams, because it exists primarily or solely within them. Incom