It was the greatest album never released, until this year -- well, sort of. While it is not Brian Wilson’s intended finished product, the Beach Boys' comprehensive catalog of the 'SMiLE' sessions offers deep insight into the California group's failed opus, showing Wilson and crew at the height of their creative powers and giving listeners an intimate look at an ambitious project that was ultimately sunk by its own gigantic scope. (Plus, none of the other albums on this list feature outtakes where you can hear band members discussing hash joints and whether or not their acid kicked in yet.) -- T.S.
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