The Beach Boys’ ‘Smile’ named as the greatest ever bootleg by Uncut

NME's sister paper also include Nirvana, Blur and The White Stripes in their top 50

The Beach Boys‘ ‘Smile’ album has been voted the Greatest Bootleg recording of all time.

The record, which is set to be finally officially released after 44 years on October 31, has come top of a poll conducted by NME‘s sister magazine Uncut.

Brian Wilson released his own version of the 1966/67 album in 2004, but the official version of the album later this month sees the songwriter collaborating with surviving members Al Jardine and Mike Love to “polish” the original session masters, which were abandoned first time around.


The original version of ‘Smile’ was closely followed by Bob Dylan And The Band’s 1967 recording ‘A Tree With Roots’ and Neil Young‘s ‘Chrome Dreams’ [Rust Edition] in a collection of the 50 Greatest Bootlegs in the November edition of Uncut.

Other entries include Steve Albini‘s original version of Nirvana‘s ‘In Utero’, Blur‘s ‘Parklife’ deluxe bootleg, The Smiths‘ unreleased demos and instrumentals and an Italian bootleg of The White Stripes‘.

You can read more about the 50 Greatest Bootlegs at

‘Smile’ meanwhile, will be available in double CD, double vinyl and a number of different boxsets. Four albums’ worth of bonus material, including demos, alternate takes, mixes and studio banter will accompany the long-awaited release.

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