SMiLE: the continuing saga of an unreleased album

With the great news that mythical SMiLE album will finally be heard live played by Brian Wilson, we are dedicating part of this issue of EAR CANDY to a few of the fan mixes of SMiLE that are out there. So, until the official release of the album (or a box set), we have these won, won, wonderful audio gems to whet our appetites! In this section we talk about DJ Mic Luv's SMiLE, an mp3 collection that you can currently download for FREE! (Warning: but hurry up and download them cause 'big brother' is cracking down on mp3 stuff as you know!).

DJ Mic Luv's SMiLE
CD Review and Interview with the "DJ Mic Luv"
By Ronnie


DJ Mic Luv's Smile can be divided into three categories. First you have the 'standard' SMiLE mixes of "Prayer", "Cabinessence", "Good Vibrations" and "Old Master Painter". I couldn't really discern a difference in these from the 'standard' mixes. Secondly, you have the songs that have slight/interesting changes, but not too radical. "Do You Like Worms", "Vega-Tables" and "Wonderful" have great little twists - without making these songs into psychedelic "epics". Plus, I love the way the vocals on "Wonderful" seemed to be pulled forward, especially compared to the official release. "Sound bites" are used sporadically and always used in theme with the song (most often used is the "Vega-Tables Promo"). "Heroes & Villains" at 7:01 is a little bit grandiose for my tastes - I just prefer something under 4 minutes, but it is still enjoyable (especially when you compare it to such monstrosities as the "H&V" on the MILLENIUM SMILE CD). "Surf's Up" combines the Carl Wilson vocal of the 1971 with an 'embellished' coda. Just a personal preference, but I still prefer the Brian lead vocal on this song.

Thirdly, there is the category that allows the most experimentation in SMiLE mixes: those songs that are still a mystery. "I'm In Great Shape" is probably my fave on this collection. At 3:28, it is a well-constructed version (even though it does have "Friday Night" which I am still convinced is part of the 'Elements'-ha ha!). "Child is Father to the Man" clocks in at 2:54. Finally there is "The Elements". At 5:09, it borrows heavily from the "Vega-Tables Promo". While not as experimental as some other 'Elements' mixes I have heard, it flows well.

Overall, DJ Mic Luv gives us a unique portrayal of Smile and it is a welcome addition to any SMiLE collection!


E.C.: question... I gotta say that I was 'fooled' by your website at first! After reading your site I was almost expecting a rap version of SMiLE kind of like the "Rahzel Vs. The Elements" rap mp3 (found on the PROJECT SMILE CD-ROM). The text was hilarious. What inspired you to combine such a funny, put-on website with 'serious' fan-mixes of SMiLE? Were you dissatisfied with the 'standard' SMiLE mixes available?

DJ Mic Luv: It wasn't really my intention in putting together these mixes to eventually upload them. The motivation for these mixes was that I wanted to have something I could give friends as SMiLE. In the past I've always ranted to friends and strangers alike about how amazing SMiLE would have been. Of course that's just the opinion of someone who's heard all the mixes, the variations, and the session audio that's circulating. When I eventually get round to actually playing any SMiLE material for friends all they really hear are a few completed tracks and a bunch of fragments. Of course they're disappointed because I've hyped Brian and SMiLE to them so much beforehand. I wanted to put together a 45-minute version of SMiLE that held true to some of the facts and some of the myths. A CD I could give to friends, which held together as a whole, was entertaining, and presented what I consider most of the best parts of the SMiLE recordings. When it was finally finished I decided I'd make it available on-line. The DJ Mic Luv thing was just something I thought was funny so I combined the two things into one page. I still think the DJ Mic Luv thing is funny, which is odd considering I have the attention span of a drugged hamster.

E.C.: question... It was great to hear a 'new' fan mix that doesn't follow the 'standard' mix religiously. What feedback have you received about your mixes?

DJ Mic Luv: I would have been surprised by ANY feedback but the fact that it's all been positive has been great. I think by now most people realize that outside of Brian himself no one has the right answer to the SMiLE question. That makes SMiLE a unique album because your guess is as good as mine. Your SMiLE is as valid as anyone else's bar Brian. No one really knows what 'Great Shape' would have been as a finished track but it MAY have included pieces of 'Do A Lot', probably 'Great Shape' itself and maybe 'Friday Night'. Maybe not. It may have been none of these things if it were ever finished. Ultimately Brian's 'failure' to complete SMiLE has saved it. Right now SMiLE is whatever you want it to be but by this time next year who knows.

E.C.: question... Mike Love is notorious for his 'revisionalist' history regarding the Beach Boys and especially SMiLE (calling himself "one of rock's foremost songwriters." Was the theme of your site kind of a 'swipe' at him?

DJ Mic Luv: I wouldn't dare to 'swipe' Mike, the consequences could be horrific. Mike is entitled to his beliefs, it's not his fault they're mostly hogwash. People remain unfooled, yet amused. He's like a bald Jesus to me.

E.C.: question... I like your combination of some spoken bits, like the famous "SMiLE party" into "Do You Like Worms". You do it tastefully without being overbearing and making SMiLE into an 'epic'. How many mix variations did you do before you were satisfied?

DJ Mic Luv: The way it worked was that I'd open up a blank file in Cool Edit and start pasting, EQ'ing, FX'ing and mixing. Then when it sounded finished I'd save it down and come back to it a few days later to change stuff. There weren't really any variations of the mixes as such but the contents of each track changed constantly. All in all it took about 6-months but that was only working a few hours a week whenever the opportunity arose or I wanted to try something. It was all trial and error. If you listen to the 'SMiLE Era Party' it seems obvious to me that Brian was recording that for a reason (IIRC Van say's something like 'We're getting too much good material') so I assume that, what with Brian's other comments at the time, the talk of the comedy album, the recording of jokes and skits, etc, etc, that something like that would have been on SMiLE. It IS called SMiLE after all. Where and what would have been used is, of course, a mystery so I just used what sounded right or was relevant to the track.

E.C.: question... SMiLE fanatics are often divided among 'straight' mixes (just a collection of songs) and 'themed' mix (employing sound effects and link-tracks). What is your preference?

DJ Mic Luv: Both. I tried to make this mix of SMiLE so that it was both things. A collection of 12 stand-alone tracks but a certain amount of cross-referencing, especially on 'side two', to unify the album. I don't think SMiLE would have been as 'straight' as Pet Sounds but I also don't think it would have been as 'themed' as Song Cycle. I think somewhere between those two albums is where SMiLE would have been at.

E.C.: question... Speaking of Mike Love, he is notorious for getting sites 'shut down' that he doesn't approve of. For instance, there is a parody website called "Mike Love for President 2004" that had to change addresses a few times because it was shut down (they finally gave up). Do you expect your site to suffer the same fate eventually?

DJ Mic Luv: Well, it's not DJ Mike Love so I hope it'll be OK. I definitely don't want to piss the guy off 'cos although he's old he still looks really tall.

E.C.: question... Do you think SMiLE will ever be released, and if so, in what form? Or, is it better left as a mystery?

DJ Mic Luv: I think Brian will probably do the expected live album of SMiLE following the tour. I think this is probably the best solution. Assuming Brian hasn't got a finished master hidden away somewhere there's no way SMiLE CAN be released now. I'd love to hear more stuff from the SMiLE sessions but we have a fair amount already thanks to Sea of Tunes so short of any major revelations I can't see what could be released. Certainly not an album called SMiLE performed by the Beach Boys. A live performance CD, like The 'Pet Sounds' disc, would not only reclaim SMiLE as Brian Wilson's but also please the fans without destroying the history of the original SMiLE recordings. A live disc and a box-set sound like the best bet although part of me would like it to remain a mystery.

E.C.: question... Are you one of the fortunate SMiLE fans that will make the pilgrimage to see Brian perform SMiLE live in 2004 in England?

DJ Mic Luv: Luckily, living only 30 minutes outside of London, I shall be there. God it's going to be great. I think a lot of us are trying to reign in our expectations of this event but even if all Brian does is play the songs that have been officially released from SMiLE we're in for an emotional evening. I hope the fans coming over from the US have a great time in the UK and I hope there are a lot of meet-up's arranged. It would be nice to think that if this is the end of the SMiLE story the celebration next year at the shows will be a real moment of realization for Brian Wilson that this music was, is, and will always be appropriate.

E.C.: question... Finally, what can we expect from DJ Mic in the future? Any more Beach Boy related fan mixes?

DJ Mic Luv: Well I'd like to write more DJ Mic Luv stories (similar to the 'car park fight' one on the site) so I'll probably add a 'Remember with Luv' section at some point filled with goonish jocularity, lout-like gimpishness and profanity. Other than that I write and record under the name Eden of Flowers (with all these pseudonyms anyone would think I was hiding something hideous) but it's not really Beach Boys music. Of course, if DJ Mic Luv was offered the opening slot on the SMiLE tour he'd be happy to spin a few shifty hardcore 12"'s to get the punters chewing their own faces in euphoria. Niiice.

Also, a while back I wrote a document detailing all the SMiLE recordings currently circulating. The file is called 'SMiLE - Just the facts' and is downloadable from It might help if you're writing more about the SMiLE stuff.

Click here to visit the official DJ Mic Luv website

Wanna learn more about SMiLE? Well go to the SMiLE ALBUM PRESERVATION SOCIETY links page. It's the best, most comprehensive and only regularly updated SMiLE source on the web: