Amazon.com essential recording
Put simply, this is the Beach Boys at their mid-'60s prime. Ironically, the band's greatest evolutionary leap was spurred by its leader, Brian Wilson, who decided to drop out of the band's live performances after a December 1964 nervous breakdown to concentrate on honing the Beach Boys' studio sound. With Wilson's productions gaining a significant new depth and confidence (note the innovative modulations on "Dance, Dance, Dance"), the first half of Today seems a logical, upbeat step forward from its predecessors. But it's the album's second act that steals the show, setting the stage for the triumph of Pet Sounds. Indeed, it's easy to imagine gorgeous, introspective tracks such as "Please Let Me Wonder," "She Knows Me Too Well," and "In the Back of My Mind" intertwined with the best of Sounds. Set against that standard, the follow-up, Summer Days, feels like a step backward, despite the presence of another Wilson world-beater production, "California Girls," and the band's second No. 1 single, "Help Me, Rhonda." Ever pressured by commercial concerns, Wilson and the band created what was in essence the true follow-up to the All Summer Long album. Still, there's a level of musical sophistication to tracks such as "The Girl from New York City," the Phil Spector tribute "Then I Kissed Her," and especially "Girl Don't Tell Me" and "Let Him Run Wild." Reissued (with 24-bit digital remastering) in a long out-of-print twofer edition to mark the band's 40th anniversary and Lifetime Achievement Grammy, this set features several bonus tracks as well as the insightful notes of David Leaf (The Beach Boys and the California Myth). Bonus cuts include the spectacular "The Little Girl I Once Knew" and revealing outtakes of "Dance, Dance, Dance," "I'm So Young," and "Let Him Run Wild," along with a studio version of a song previously only available on the Beach Boys Concert collection, "Graduation Day." --Jerry McCulley
Similarly Requested CDs
Re-release is past due
Michael A. Sugarman | So. Vermont USA | 09/15/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Now approaching the big 6-0 but still listening to the Beach Boys. I have loved a lot of music in my life, there has been a lot which infatuated me temporarily but from which I eventually moved on. Yet I have stayed with Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys since my early teens. No matter how many times I listen to them, particularly Pet Sounds, BB Today, Smile, etc. I always hear something new, and I suspect this will be the case forever. Anyway, of everything in their catalogue, it is clearly time for a new stereo remix/remaster of BB Today. Given the various stereo remixes out there of some BB Today cuts, it only seems logical that the entire album should be given this treatment. After all, this LP set up Pet Sounds and in many ways is every bit as musically rich and subtle. BB Today is every bit as deserving of such treatment as Pet Sounds or anything by the Beatles."
Get This Album 'Today!'
Alexander | Va, USA | 02/09/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"'The Beach Boys Today!' is becoming one of my favorite albums (Pet Sounds and SMiLE being my favorites). 'Today!' shows a maturing aspect to the production and song writing of Brian Wilson. 'Today!' replaces the surf and car theme with themes of love and fun while keeping the beautiful harmony style from previous albums.
I was shocked that I had never heard 'She Knows Me Too Well' before listening to this CD. I rank it up there with 'Don't Worry Baby' and 'God Only Knows'. All the songs on the album are amazing...definitely no filler. The quality, even in mono, is top-notch.
'Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!)' starts off somewhat weak in my opinion. I read that either Mike Love or Capitol Records (or both) weren't too happy with the maturity of 'Today!' and thus they wanted to go back to the more adolescent 'fun in the sun' type songs. Songs like 'Amusement Parks USA' and 'Salt Lake City' start off the album...they aren't bad songs, but compared to the maturity of 'Today!' it makes the rest of the album lag somewhat.
Apart from the first few songs, the album is a work of art - setting Brian Wilson far apart from any pop musician around at the time: listen to the chord progression on 'Girl Don't Tell Me' or the revolutionary 'You're So Good To Me'...the instrumental 'Summer Means New Love' is a great tune. A great new rendition of 'Help Me Rhonda' is added in the mix. 'And Your Dreams Come True' closes out the album - the most perfect close to any album I have heard.
This is the best Beach Boy twofer out there....definitely add it to your collection if you don't have it already!
Good-Time Summer Music
Kurt Harding | Boerne TX | 06/04/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Even though the Beach Boys came on the scene before I was a teenager and could really appreciate them as much as some of the older kids did, I have always found something to like about them. Maybe it was their joyful, carefree harmonies or maybe it was the promise of surf, sun, and bikini-clad girls their songs evoked. I don't know, but growing up in Southern California, they have always struck a chord with me.
In the past couple of years, whenever I get my fill of the best new music out there, I go into the archives and look for albums I missed. Especially if they are priced right like the Beach Boys two-fer remasters have been. The Today/Summer Days (and Summer Nights) package introduced me to a lot of Beach Boys songs I'd never heard before. Oh, I knew Help Me, Rhonda from radio airplay and California Girls just happens to be the first record I bought when I was just ten years old. But there are quite a few other great songs here whose melodies have staying power.
In addition to the aforementioned two songs, I have come to really like Do You Wanna Dance, When I Grow Up (To Be A Man), I'm So Young, Let Him Run Wild, and the instrumental Summer Means New Love as well as secondary versions of a couple favorites. You'll note a big difference in sound quality between the album version of Help Me, Rhonda and the version that was released as a single.
If you are a fan of the Beach Boys on any level, Today/Summer Days (and Summer Nights) is a CD you should add to your music library. The CD comes with an informative booklet containing an interesting story about the album and the band as well as song-by-song commentary that will tell you just about all you could want to know about each of them. The booklet also contains pictures and other pertinent album info. Get it while its cheap, you won't be sorry."