Friday, August 12, 2016

102. The Beach Boys - Smiley Smile

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There is a forum hosted by Steve Hoffman called Album Covers Inspired by Famous Works of Art. I couldn't remember how I got into this site (but surely I was looking for some new material) but it should have
been in October 2015  (for my last saves associated with this site bear this date).  On my first visit,  I immediately decided that I would be sourcing my ideas from this forum. 

My first such project is the cover art design of The Beach Boys' album Smiley Smile which is said to have been inspired by the work of Henri Rousseau titled The Dream (1910).

In my work above, the original album cover art design is superimposed  at centre over a mirrored image of the  Henri Rousseau painting.  The process produced  two reclining nude women facing each other and
seeming to have been aroused from sleep by the movement of the jungle beasts that have been agitated by the smoke billowing from a chimney in the distance that carried the band's name and the album title.
"Wind Chimes", "Whistle In". . . "Good Vibrations".

The Dream features an almost surreal portrait of Yadwigha (Jadwiga), Rousseau's Polish mistress from his youth,
lying naked on a divan,  gazing over a landscape  of lush jungle  foliage and animals.  The stylised forms of the
jungle plants are based  on Rousseau's  observations  at the  Paris Museum  of Natural History  and its Jardin des
Plantes. The nude's left arm reaches towards the lions and a black snake charmer who faces the viewer playing
his flute, barely visible in the gloom of the jungle under the dim light of the full moon.

One possible interpretation of the painting,  offered by Rousseau in a letter to art critic André Dupont, is that it
depicts a woman reclining on a couch in Paris,  dreaming she is listening to a flute player in the jungle.  wikipedia

Meanwhile, back in the barn. . .
. . . the artist has preferred to remain anonymous.

No. 415, The Virgin All-Time Album Top 1000.

Art design by Anonymous. Album produced by The Beach Boys. Brother/Capitol 1967.

It's easy for the  actual music of an album  like Smiley Smile to be  overshadowed by the history  surrounding it.
Released as the follow up to Pet Sounds, one of the most influential pop albums of all time, the Beach Boys had
quite a bit to live up to, and their plans were ambitious. They were crafting an epic opus of an album, one that
would push the pop music  landscape past  where Pet Sounds  had left it one year prior.  One that would cement
the Beach Boys as one of the worlds premier pop bands. That album was called Smile, and unfortunately, due to
a number of reasons I won't get into here,  it all fell apart.  Eventually Smile  would be released in a somewhat-
final form by Brian Wilson himself,  but in the meantime all the public had was some demos and the album that
was released in Smile's place, Smiley Smile. Burning October for SputnikMusic

(A) Heroes and Villains - Vegetables - Fall Breaks and Back to Winter - She's Goin' Bald - Little Pad

(B) Good Vibrations - With Me Tonight - Wind Chimes - Gettin' Hungry - Wonderful - Whistle In

"Good Vibrations" live from PhilGoodFactor1 on YouTube.


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