A music history lesson: Back in 1965, Brian Wilson, the writer and producer of countless Beach Boy hits, heard The Beatlesâ âRevolverâ and thought: I can do better than that. So he wrote âPet Soundsâ (with lyricist Tony Asher). That album was largely ignored in the US but was massive in the Europe. Paul McCartney is said to have played the album over and over and over to John Lennon to ensure they would both be influenced by it. Brian went into the studio and spent $50,000 and took 6 months to record âGood Vibrationsâ â surely the most original 3 minute single to have ever been recorded. John and Paul were blown away even further and started work on âSgt. Pepperâ. Bolstered by the that million + selling single, Brian wanted to out-do âGood Vibrationsâ and âPet Soundsâ and spent most of 1966 recording new songs with collaborator Van Dyke Parks. Capitol Records, having ignored âPet Soundsâ (well, it wasn't surf music! decided to get behind this new music Brian was recording, even going so far as to design the album cover (âListen! Vibrate! Smile!â) and set a release date. But the album was never finished. The Beach Boys came back from their European tour and understood none of Brianâs new and experimental music. They refused to do the vocals and Brian felt betrayed. Brian felt pressured by all the publicity (articles in Rolling Stone and elsewhere ensured the âBrian is a Geniusâ legend would grow), he got more and more into LSD and pot and, well, began to lose the plot in a serious way. It took him 30 years to come back to the real world. In the meantime, the legend of âSmileâ grew as the âgreatest record never to be releasedâ. End of history lesson. Whilst Brian was revered by other artists, he failed to be recognised by the public as one of the great song-smiths of the 20th century; Paul McCartney described âGod Only Knowsâ as the greatest song ever written and Leonard Bernstein espoused Brianâs talent. Eric Clapton, Elvis Costello, Roger Daltry and more all eulogise over him. Brian re-married in the 90âs and came back to the real world, releasing a couple of solo albums, including the stunning âImaginationâ in 1998. His brothers Carl and Dennis have died, Mike Love (lead-singer and often collaborator with Brian on the early Beach Boy songs) tours the world pretending to be The Beach Boys, Al Jardine does much the same. But Brian, now at peace with himself, has re-discovered the songs he wrote which gave him the label âgeniusâ. In 2002 Brian toured the world, performing âPet Soundsâ in its entirety to ecstatic crowds. âSo what nowâ one of his touring band said. How about âSmile?â said another. In February 2004, Brian unveiled âSmileâ to the world at the Royal Festival Hall in London in a series of concerts (âgig of the yearâ said Time Out). And now âSmileâ has been re-recorded and released. Some of the original âSmileâ recordings surfaced on Beach Boy albums (âCabinessenceâ on 20/20, âSurfâs Upâ on the album of the same name, âWind Chimesâ and âWonderfulâ on âSmiley Smileâ and âGood Vribrationsâ and âHeroes and Villainsâ as singles). Listening to the 2004 recording of âSmileâ shows just how close Brian was to finishing the original in â67 (most of the original recordings have been around as bootlegs and on the Internet for some years). Back in 1967, âSgt. Pepperâ was the album of the year and catapulted The Beatles to a higher echelon. Just think, if Brian has finished âSmileâ then, he too would surely have been recognised not only as a fantastic tunesmith but also as a visionary. Is the new recording any good? You bet your boots it is but, if youâve been brought up listening to homogenised pap then youâre brain wonât be able to handle all the twists and turns the music takes and what you will make of Van Dyke Parkâs poetic lyrics, god only knows. Oh, and the new version of âGood Vibrationsâ is even better than the original! Listen! Vibrate! SMiLE! Do yourselves a favour and go and get hold of a copy and discover what a fucking genius Brian Wilson is.