How many albums do you know where the outtakes in the "bonus material" are worth listening to more than once? Right now, I can think of only one, and it's this. The ten minutes culled from the recording sessions for Good Vibrations, which continued sporadically between February and September 1966, serve to highlight little features in the famous version that I missed, either because they were too subtle for my ear, or because they were faded back in the mix and edit, or both.
Aside from Good Vibrations, I had no idea what I was getting when I bought this CD in 2001, a few months before I got Sunflower/Surf's Up. It feels only loosely related to either Pet Sounds or All Summer Long. I think I like it more than the former, but less than the latter. There's an irreverent experimentalism about Smiley Smile, in particular, that seems more "freaky" than contemporaries like, say, Zappa's Uncle Meat.
Fun. The Boy likes them, anyway — Beach Boys now having a recognition-and-request rating to match those previously achieved by Blondie and James (the latter, sadly, more or less forgotten by the fickle fella). Mind you, after a few minutes of Good Vibrations outtakes, he was clear: "turn off!"
The fact that so many Beach Boys' albums now appear in pairs shows how they were somehow at the furthest extreme from modern release practices and 21st century ideas of what counts as an album. Where three years now seems an unremarkable gap between albums, these two came out exactly three months apart. On average they're 26 minutes long. So I guess they might be EPs rather than LPs in today's market.
MusicBrainz entry for this album
Wikipedia entry for Smiley Smile, for Wild Honey
Rate Your Music entry for this album
Some metadata about this album at Last.fm
Listen to this album in full at We7
Listen to this album in full at Spotify