Heroes and Villains - Recording


Despite its early genesis, the recording of the song was a difficult and protracted process. Wilson halted work on the other Smile tracks at the end of 1966 and concentrated on producing a version of "Heroes and Villains" for single release. However, despite holding at least twenty recording sessions for the song over a period of several months and assembling several different edits of the track, he was unable to complete the work to his satisfaction until after the May 1967 announcement that Smile had been shelved.

The song went through a number of transformations and at least one segment, the so-called "Cantina scene" was removed from the released versions. Carl Wilson often sang during live shows, a variation of "Do You Like Worms?" featured in the song the lyrics, "Bicycle rider, see, see what you've done" to give homage to some of the unreleased songs off Smile.

The song underwent many changes during its production, and several important elements, including the so-called "Cantina scene" and the segment commonly known as "Bicycle Rider", were taken out of the finished single and album versions, although they were retained in other (unreleased) mixes. A single version of the song was released in mid-1967, but rumors persist of a far longer edit, and it is known that several alternate versions were put together. Both Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys frequently included "Bicycle Rider" when performing the song in concert.

Al Jardine believes that Brian underproduced the song for the Smiley Smile album. As he explains "We recorded a pale facsimile of 'Heroes And Villains', replete with discordant transitions...Brian re-invented the song for this record...He purposefully under-produced the song". However, this version was good enough to place at number 12 on the US Billboard charts, number eight in the United Kingdom, number five in Canada, number six in New Zealand, number 10 in Italy and Sweden. It also charted at number 11 in Australia, number 24 in Germany, number 30 in France, number eight in Holland, Switzerland and Malaysia, according to contemporary national charts sourced and sited by Billboard in fall 1967.

Read more about this topic:  Heroes And Villains

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Famous quotes containing the word recording:

    He shall not die, by G—, cried my uncle Toby.
    MThe ACCUSING SPIRIT which flew up to heaven’s chancery with the oath, blush’d as he gave it in;—and the RECORDING ANGEL as he wrote it down, dropp’d a tear upon the word, and blotted it out for ever.
    Laurence Sterne (1713–1768)

    Self-expression is not enough; experiment is not enough; the recording of special moments or cases is not enough. All of the arts have broken faith or lost connection with their origin and function. They have ceased to be concerned with the legitimate and permanent material of art.
    Jane Heap (c. 1880–1964)

    Write while the heat is in you.... The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with. He cannot inflame the minds of his audience.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)