A Beach Boys Fan Just Remade “Smile” Using Artificial Intelligence

UNSPECIFIED - MAY 01: Photo of Carl WILSON and Mike LOVE and Bruce JOHNSTON and BEACH BOYS and Al JARDINE and Dennis WILSON; Posed group portrait with flowers L-R: Bruce Johnston, Al Jardine, Mike Love, Carl Wilson, Dennis Wilson (Photo by RB/Redferns)

Someone who is a fan of The Beach Boys has used AI software to complete their abandoned album, Smile. The completed album can be listened to below. The creator of the album, Mike LeRoy, created a fictitious story about how he discovered the album in a secondhand store during his trip to Japan in 2018. According to his story, he found a pink record sleeve with a Native American looking at a bicycle on the shore, and the OBI strip on the album simply read “The Beach Boys Smile.”

“In the summer of 2018 I traveled to Japan,” he wrote in the video description, claiming he found the album in a secondhand store. “I slid a pink record sleeve out of a neatly packed shelf of vinyl records. Looking down at my prize, I was presented with a Native American glancing at the bicycle parked on the shore. The OBI strip simply read: The Beach Boys Smile.”

“When the needle hit the disc, I discovered something utterly shocking: a seemingly complete, clean, stereo mix of the Beach Boys’ unreleased opus. Or not! That’s just a story! But after all, in some universe that must be true.”

The Beach Boys’ unreleased album, Smile, was intended to be a follow-up to their hit album, Pet Sounds. However, due to Brian Wilson’s perfectionism, mental instability, and drug use, the project was abandoned and replaced with the simpler Smiley Smile in 1967. Brian Wilson eventually revisited the material and re-recorded it for Brian Wilson Presents Smile in 2004, and The Smile Sessions were released in 2011. In 2023, a fan named Mike LeRoy used artificial intelligence software to complete the tracks for Smile, which he claimed to have found in a secondhand store in Japan. He explained that he created Wilson-style vocals for the tracks that didn’t have them using AI, saying,

“When I started to see [another fan’s] work with his AI Brian model, I realized the time had come to unleash it on the world.”

“I hadn’t used it for Smile much because I wasn’t sure I wanted to,” he admitted. “In hindsight, after the 100 hours I must’ve put into the whole process of getting Brian’s voice out of this machine, it was well worth it. If you turn off your mind and, perhaps, sing along, it really can feel like Brian sang on these. A special feeling I’m blessed to have been a part of making happen.”

Recently, an Oasis fan has also released an AI-generated album of “new music” by the band. The Lost Tapes, created by British group Breezer, was launched last week as they grew tired of waiting for the Gallagher brothers to reunite. Liam Gallagher commented on the project, calling it “mad as fuck” and praising the quality of his voice on the tracks, stating that “I sound mega.” This news comes as Mike LeRoy, a Beach Boys fan, releases his AI-completed version of the band’s unfinished album, Smile.