Why Brian Wilson should have left Smile alone.

Why Brian Wilson should have left Smile alone.

Why Brian Wilson should have left Smile alone.

Previously published Slate articles made new.
Oct. 7 2004 7:33 AM

Holy Pop Relic

Why Brian Wilson should have left Smile alone.

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Brian Wilson's Smile, the Beach Boys' famously unfinished album, debuted last week to a chorus of rave reviews. In February, Jeff Turrentine anticipated its release and argued that it should stay where it belongs: in the fan's imagination. "To return to this now-mythic collection of songs is to gild the rarest, wildest lily in pop music," Turrentine wrote. "Smile is dead; long live Smile."