Earlier today I read something about some old hardened 78 collector being transformed when one of his favorite old slabs was playing. "Experiencing ecstasy" is what it actually said. A bunch of songs can do that to me, or get close. While not necessarily ecstasy, they can turn me into an old softie. One that came to mind was "Surf's Up", from the Beach Boys album of the same name. It was written by Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks in 1966, originally for the Smile LP, but that album was never completed. (Not back then anyways.) The song was finished for the later album, Surf's Up, in 1971. That's the first version below. The second version below is a demo. There are a few other versions, notably one on a Brian Wilson solo album in 2004, and another patched together with tapes from the original Smile sessions. Check this video, a live version by Brian Wilson. It's just plain awesome, thickly layered and every bit as complex as the recorded versions. His reaction to the ovation at the end is heartwarming.
There's also a great documentary, Beautiful Dreamer (also linked below), about the Smile sessions. Lots of musicians and media types interviewed, lots of Brian Wilson, and a shitload of details. It should get you caught up, if you're so inclined. It's over an hour and a half long, so, yeah, go pee and get a beer now.
~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~Listen:
The Beack Boys - Surfs Up mp3 at DK Presents
The Beach Boys - Surf's Up (demo) mp3 at Thighs Wide Shut
Beautiful Dreamer - Brian Wilson and the Story of Smile atYouTube
Surf's Up (song entry) at Wikipedia
Smile (LP entry) at Wikipedia