The Beach Boys — The SMiLE Sessions
One would think that an album with as much lore and history surrounding it as this one would actually come up short when it came time to actually enjoy the music. At least, the very least you'd expect the album to be mediocre -- so much hype affects expectations in a great way. But it doesn't. The album is great. Had it been released at its expected time it would have had a profound effect on the musical landscape we know today -- maybe those changes would have been subtle and things wouldn't appear to be that different, but it would have made a mark. I'm glad it exists in as many forms as it currently does, as it allows a rabid listener to discover variations and ponder the creation process. I don't really care for 15 tracks of studio chatter or the lamer "bonus" tracks, but the actual album is what I'd hoped it would be. A shock to all I am sure.