What did the Beatles think of the Beach Boys' Smile LP?
As George Martin reveals in the documentary included with the Brian Wilson presents SMiLE DVD, they were aware of Smile at the time (1966), but since the project was shelved, they never were able to hear the album. Another of the interviewees recalls Brian Wilson being upset upon first hearing "Strawberry Fields Forever," reportedly remarking that the Beatles had "got there first." When Wilson finally finished the album and debuted it in a performance at London's Royal Festival Hall on February 20, 2004, Paul McCartney was in attendance and can be seen both in the crowd and backstage on the aforementioned DVD.
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