Career Resurrection: Twice, once in the 70's with Endless Summer, and again in the 80s with "Kokomo".
Creator Backlash: Carl and Dennis both hated M.I.U. Album with a passion. Dennis was so repulsed by the concept behind it (it was essentially Mike's paean to Transcendental Meditation) that he refused to participate in the recording sessions. He said of the album, "It should self destruct.. I hope that the karma will fuck up Mike Love's meditation forever."
Creator Breakdown: Brian Wilson is probably one of the most tragic examples in recent memory.
Defictionalization: "Kokomo" was not written about any real life tropical getaway spot. However, after the song became a hit, at least two resorts sprang up sporting the name.
Executive Meddling: At least half of the hardships Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys faced could've been avoided if Capitol Records would've been better team players.
For decades after its original release, legal mumbo-jumbo prevented Dennis Wilson's masterpiece Pacific Ocean Blue from being re-released. 2008 finally saw that happen, even including sessions and recordings from Dennis's unfinished follow-up album, Bambu.
The 1992 album Summer In Paradise was only given one print run, and with sales being extremely poor (and the distributing label being on the verge of bankruptcy), the record company didn't feel the need to make another batch. As a result, the album has been out of print essentially since the time it was released, and consequently is extremely rare to find. New copies currently sell for $100 and up on Amazon.com, and even used ones fetch upwards of $30. Too bad the actual music doesn't justify that hefty price tag.
Still Cruisin' is out of print as well; however, that one can still be found relatively cheaply used, and at any rate, the album's only hit, "Kokomo", is readily available on just about any compilation.
Smile was one of the first "holy grails" of music to surface on bootlegs.
Missing Episode: For over forty years, Dennis' "(Wouldn't It Be Nice To) Live Again" remained inexplicably unreleased and unheard, despite the remaining "vault" songs being gradually released over time. Gradually, it amassed mythical status amongst the die-hard fandom on par with Smile. It was ultimately released in 2013 as part of the Made in California box set, and is viewed as very much worthy of its legend.
Name's the Same: The Beach Boys' Brian Wilson does not close games for the San Francisco Giants (or at the end of the 2013 season, the Los Angeles Dodgers), though he did at one point sport a rather scary-looking beard.
There's a Canadian music critic named Carl Wilson.
Stillborn Franchise: Stars and Stripes, Vol. 1, a 1996 album featuring them singing re-recordings of their hits as duets with Country Music stars, was supposed to be the first of a series (hence the title). After the album was ripped apart by critics, any future installments were scrapped.
"Here Today" has some background studio chatter that Brian Wilson apparently failed to notice. "Wendy" does, as well.
Brian Wilson frequently incorporated suggestions from his backing musicians into his songs. A notable example is the staccato instrument break in "God Only Knows", which is one of the song's most memorable hooks. It came from pianist Don Randi.
Smile, of course, is arguably the greatest What Could Have Been in rock history.note ThisAlternate Universe Fic gives us an idea of what could've happened if Smile had been released and the band stayed in vogue: a "Battle of the Bands" campaign set up by Capitol Records between The Beach Boys and The Beatles, with joint record store displays, combative television appearances, and the two bands vying for dominance of the charts. Yes. Sadly, Brian still has his Creator Breakdown in The Seventies but makes a comeback only to get assassinated by Mark David Chapman instead of John Lennon.
Roger Waters was planning to have The Beach Boys sing backup vocals on several songs for The Wall, but the band declined after learning what the lyrics were about. He did get Bruce Johnston, though. (The other story is that the Boys were okay with it, but Waters cancelled the session for some reason and settled for just Johnston.