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Reading Smile: History, Myth and American Identity in Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks' Long-Lost Album

Research output: Book/anthology/dissertation/reportBookResearchpeer-review

Reading Smile is an in-depth contextualized study of the Beach Boys album Smile, recorded when the group was at the forefront of pop culture in 1966-67 but abandoned, unfinished, and not completed and released until almost forty years later. Written by Wilson’s fellow composer Van Dyke Parks, Smile’s controversial lyrics are often cited as a major reason for the album’s abandonment. This study offers a close, contextualized analysis of those words, and shows them to offer a critical yet star-spangled vision of national decline and recovery at a time of deepening social, political, cultural and generational conflict in the United States.
Original languageEnglish
Place of publicationAbingdon
Number of pages232
ISBN (Print)9780367622862
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 15 Dec 2019
SeriesRoutledge Studies in Popular Music

    Research areas

  • Beach Boys, Smile, Van Dyke Parks, Brian Wilson, popular music, pop art

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ID: 174019825