The Beach Boys’ SMiLE: a complete chronological sessionography


In 2012, I published an article (Heiser, 2012) in the peer-reviewed online Journal on the Art of Record Production regarding Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys’ SMiLE project. It consisted of one half of a chapter featured in my new book Popular Music, Power and Play (Heiser, 2021: published by Bloomsbury Academic) – an in-depth case study analysis of the 1966-67 aborted SMiLE sessions. At the time of writing, I was frustrated by the fact there was no reliable and complete chronological sessionography, so I set about making one myself and placed it in the appendices of my thesis document.

I was surprised to find that as a result of doing so I gained some very valuable insights into the hows and whys of the project that wouldn’t have been evident without such a list. Hopefully, now you might do the same. Also of interest is the fact that I’ve included which tracks in the The Beach Boys: The SMiLE Sessions box set (2011) relate to which dates, so you make up your own chronological playlist in iTunes* as opposed to the song-by-song order featured in the box set.

Click here to download this pdf document exactly as it appears in my thesis with page numbers detailed (pp.181-191). If you want to refer to this document in your own work please reference (APA6) as:

Heiser, M. (2015). The playful frame of mind: An exploration of its influence upon creative flow in a post-war popular music-making context (Doctoral thesis). Brisbane: Griffith University.

Click here to buy The Beach Boys: The SMiLE Sessions (2011) box set – including 5 audio CDs, Double Vinyl LP (12″ album, 33 rpm), 2 singles (7″, 45rpm), book, poster and original artwork etc from

Click here to buy The Beach Boys: The SMiLE Sessions (2011) box set – 5 “disc” mp3 album from (*This version is a great low cost alternative if you want to build your own chronological iTunes playlist. The tracks are set out in the same order as the 5 CDs in the full box set, but with added advantage of allowing you to buy only the tracks you need individually).




The Beach Boys (2011). The Beach Boys: The Smile sessions. [CD, vinyl singles & album]. New York, NY: Capitol Records.