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Brian Wilson: Smile - Live [DVD] [2005] [NTSC]

David Anderle , Hal Blaine , David Leaf    Exempt   DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
Price: 24.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: David Anderle, Hal Blaine, Jeff Bridges, Elvis Costello, Roger Daltrey
  • Directors: David Leaf
  • Producers: David Leaf, Amy Rodrigue, John Scheinfeld, Richard Waltzer, Steve Ligerman
  • Format: Box set, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: German, English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, French
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Warner Music Vision
  • DVD Release Date: 13 Jun 2005
  • Run Time: 278 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007YKL2G
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 71,785 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Smile? In 1966, the legendary abandoned Beach Boys' album and "teenage symphony to God" left its visionary, Brian Wilson, with the devil to pay. Disc One of this double DVD set offers David Leaf's glorious documentary "Beautiful Dreamer", interviewing all those involved with the project's development (save, bizarrely, any of the surviving Beach Boys, least of all Smile's most trenchant naysayer Mike Love) and charting Brian Wilson's ascendancy to the cusp of creative immortality and subsequent crash-and-burn to a bedridden, burnt-out recluse. In the South Pole-style "production race" with The Beatles for popular music's brave new frontier (a contest more self-justificatingly important to Wilson than to Lennon/McCartney) it was to be The Beatles who planted the flag and Wilson who perished in the snow; Smile was to be Brian Wilson's nemesis. The albums' eventual completion and re-recording (hats off to Brian Wilson's musical sidekicks The Wondermints) in 2003 was the happiest and unlikeliest conclusion to pop music's most fascinating and infuriating chapter. The entire live performance of Smile in Los Angeles - beautifully filmed on Disc 2 - is a fitting happy ending. The work - especially the waxing and waning chorales of the "Child Is Father Of The Man" section - is a marvel; beautiful, bold, coherent and deft enough to leave the myth - the great "what if?" of 20th Century music history - intact. --Kevin Maidment

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Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary 4 Aug 2005
By A Customer
The documentary Beautiful Dreamer was the reason I bought SMiLE in the first place on CD and introduced me to the genius of Brian Wilson. All I will say is buy the DVD. The recordings featurette is compelling and the concert is actually better than the CD! Very polished set and a must buy. It makes all 'current' music seem very basic and dull..complicated stuff.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best! 29 Nov 2005
By A Customer
The documentary "Beautiful Dreamer" paints the background for Smile, the work behind it, why it almost died and finally came to life after more than 30 years. It's a fascinating story.
The other main feature is a concert recording of Smile, in front of a live audience. The music is beautiful, complex, challenging - the kind that will give you goosebumps of sheer delight. Ad the band that plays this music is outstanding!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing! 25 Feb 2006
The 'beautiful dreamer' documentary is great, but one thing does come to mind. The thing is that the people being interviewed talk about such famous incidents as Brian having a sand pit built in his house, and turning up to the studio in a fire hat and demanding everyone wear the same, and laughing them off as a big joke. Whilst they're quite funny, when you think about it, these are not the actions of a well man. they claim it had nothing to do with drugs, but i don't buy that. Still this is just a minor thing, on the whole this DVD is great, the ending when they get ready to do the show, and seeing the crowd so moved, it's amazing. Other parts of the DVD also show just what a genius Brian Wilson is musically, the arrangements and music is pheonominal. The DVD is packed full of features and well worth buying.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Rock's most famous unfinished album, SMiLe, Brian Wilson's followup to the critically acclaimed album PET SOUNDS, has long haunted fans and critics alike" Often considered the ultimate answer to the OTHER record of 1967, The Beatles' SGT PEPPER, SMiLe never quite made it to the store shelves. Wilson had a nervous breakdown, he was on too many drugs, the Beach Boys (in particular Mike Love) didn't want to do the record, and he was growing progressively paranoid. The collapse of the SMiLe sessions is well documented. The record has entered into the rock canon as one of the most illusive albums ever.

Brian Wilson had developed some astonishing production techniques, and constructed the landmark single "Good Vibrations" out of a production style he called modular recording. He planned to follow up "Good Vibrations" with an entire album of suite songs in similar, using American culture and history as its foundation. His plan was to construct a `teenage symphony to God." With all that baggage, it's not hard to see why the project never made it out of the gates.

Reading stories of Wilson during the 1960s shows his grip on reality wasn't exactly strong (that can be said of several artistic giants). During the Elemental Suite, he made the musicians wear fire hats, and was convinced the cause of several fires around the studio originated because his song, "Mrs. O'Leary's Cow" was sending out bad vibrations. Do to the increasingly prevalent drug intake, pressure from Capitol, his own quickly deteriorating mental condition, and the antagonism the Beach Boys directed to the project, by the summer of 1967 Brian Wilson abandoned SMiLe, seemingly permanently. Whenever asked about it in ensuing years, Wilson would have nothing to do with it, saying SMiLe was inappropriate music.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 years later ... 15 Jun 2008
Saw this live, Saw SMiLE again at Colston Hall Bristol and finally, at the Eden Project - in my opinion the best rendition of all. The SMiLE bootleg versions suffer from poor/incomplete recordings but at least they have the boys singing. Don't get me wrong, the band are terrific but I am tainted by having had to wait 37 years to hear it and I miss Carls voice. This album in England (not sure about the US) would have been, with Sgt Peppers the making of 1967. It didn't.

To anyone who remembers or is just inspired by sheer brilliance in harmony and tone, listen and be inspired. It was the best of times then and hearing this now is too good. My SMiLe is played every week and Brians SMiLE is heard often too.

I should have written sooner - its never too late though to write about brilliance. Brian & Van Dyke - brilliant!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brian Wilson's legendry classic live 4 Jan 2008
Up to now, the most famous album in pop history that was not made. Orginally shelved 37 years ago, Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parkes finally completed their great missing work. Is is totally appropriate that Brian Wilson used his own magnificent band rather than the Beach Boys to complete this work, as the band where totally against the whole project at the time.

The concert part of the feature is better than the CD recording. Very polished in point of fact, and worth the money alone. The concert contains music that is very difficult to perform live and yet Brian and his band get it almost perfect. Check out 'Heroes and Villains', this is a track that the Beach Boys just could not get right when performing live. Good Vibrations is brilliant as well. There is plenty else for fans to enjoy. There is a documentry that explains the history of a project that took 37 years, and still nearly did not happen. There are reactions from the band members and the audience. There are interviews with the man himself and plenty more besides.
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