The Beach Boys - The Beach Boys Today!


The Beach Boys - The Beach Boys Today!

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The Beach Boys Today!
BeachBoysTodayCover.jpg
Studio album by The Beach Boys
Released March 8, 1965
Recorded
  • June 22, 1964–January 19, 1965
Studio United Western Recorders, Gold Star Studios, and RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood
Genre
  • Orchestrated rock
Length 28:54
Label Capitol
Producer Brian Wilson
The Beach Boys chronology
The Beach Boys' Christmas Album
(1964)
The Beach Boys Today!
(1965)
Summer days (and Summer Nights!!)
(1965)
 
The Beach Boys UK chronology
Beach Boys' Party!
(1966)
The Beach Boys Today!
(1966)
Pet Sounds
(1966)
 
Singles from Today!
  1. "When I Grow Up (To Be a Man)" / "She Knows Me Too Well"
    Released: August 24, 1964
  2. "Dance, Dance, Dance"
    Released: October 26, 1964
  3. "Do You Wanna Dance?" / "Please Let Me Wonder"
    Released: February 15, 1965

 

  "The Beach Boys Today!" is the eighth studio album by the American rock band the Beach Boys, released on March 8, 1965. The album signaled a departure from their previous records with its orchestral approach, intimate subject matter, and abandonment of themes related to surfing, cars, or superficial love. It peaked at number four on US record charts during a 50-week chart stay and was preceded by the top 10 singles "When I Grow Up (To Be a Man)" and "Dance, Dance, Dance", along with "Do You Wanna Dance?" which reached number 12. When issued in the UK one year later, "Today!" peaked at number six.

The album was produced, arranged, and largely written by Brian Wilson with additional lyrics by Mike Love. Shortly before recording began, the group completed their album "All Summer Long" (1964), intended to be their final statement on beach-themed music. In December 1964, Brian Wilson had a nervous breakdown while on a flight, and resigned from touring with the group to focus solely on writing and producing.

"Today!" established the Beach Boys as album artists rather than just a singles band. Side one features an uptempo sound that contrasts side two, which consists mostly of ballads. Author Scott Schinder referred to its "suite-like-structure" as an early example of the rock album format being used to make a cohesive artistic statement. In 2012, the album was voted 271 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time". In 2005, it was included in the musical reference book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

 

Contents

Background

 
Performing on The Ed Sullivan Show in September 1964, three months before Brian's resignation from touring

 

By the end of a particularly stressful 1964, the Beach Boys had released four albums in 12 months, dismissed the Wilsons' father Murry from his managerial position and recorded the advance hit singles "When I Grow Up (To Be a Man)" and "Dance, Dance, Dance". Mid-1964 also saw the divorce of Mike Love from his first wife Frances St. Martin whom he had married in 1961. During the album's recording sessions, Love told Melody maker that he and the band wanted to look beyond surf rock, wanting to avoid living in the past or resting on the band's laurels. Brian Wilson had written his last surf song in April 1964, intending "All Summer Long" (released July 1964) to be the group's final statement on beach-themed music.

Wilson became physically and emotionally exhausted to a point that he suffered an anxiety attack on December 23, 1964. During the recording sessions of "Today!" in January 1965, he informed the band that he intended to retire from touring and focus his attention solely on creating and producing music, to which the band reluctantly agreed. Wilson expressed regret over not having done this sooner so that he could do "justice" to the band's recordings, saying "I was run down mentally and emotionally because I was running around, jumping on jets from one city to another on one-night stands, also producing, writing, arranging, singing, planning, teaching – to the point where I had no peace of mind and no chance to actually sit down and think or even rest." According to Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, in early 1965, Wilson phoned the couple to congratulate them on their new song "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling", as Weil quotes Wilson: "Your song is the greatest record ever. I was ready to quit the music business, but this has inspired me to write again. I want to write with you guys."

 

 

Release and legacy

Professional ratings
Retrospective reviews
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 5/5 stars
Blender 4/5 stars
Encycolpedia of Popular music 4/5 stars
Music Hound 4/5
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4/5 stars

Despite being a departure from the Beach Boys sound that pervaded prior efforts, the album was a commercial success; "Today!" climbed to number four in the U.S. chart during a chart stay of 50 weeks and also reached number six in the British chart during the summer of 1966. Singles "Do You Wanna Dance?", "When I Grow Up (To Be a Man)" and "Dance, Dance, Dance" had all charted.

The album is described as a foreshadowing of the later Beach Boys' album "Pet Sounds". Alice Bolin of PopMatters writes: "Pet Sounds was released only a little over a year after Today!, and it can be hard to separate Today! from the masterpiece it led to—so much so that Today! can feel like a rehearsal for Pet Sounds, with its themes and ideas repeated and perfected in the later album." Scott Interrante adds "Pet Sounds is about growing up and moving on, and as such, it’s melancholic and reflective. But Today! is about the optimism, not the sadness, of leaving adolescence. Even on the more sentimental b-side songs, there’s a sense of excitement and longing for what the future has in store."

In 2005, Today! was included in Robert Dimery's 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. In 2007, The Guardian named it one of "1000 Albums to Hear Before You Die". In 2012, a variety of musicians and writers voted the album at 271 for Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Albums of All Time" list, with it stating: "The Beach Boys were still into cars, girls and surfboards,  but Brian Wilson was already a genius. He writes sweet California tunes here, and the haunting 'She Knows Me Too Well' hits Pet Sounds-deep."

 

Track listing

Track list details per Craig Slowinski. Following a 1990s court case, Mike Love was awarded songwriting credits for "Good to My Baby", "Don't Hurt My Little Sister", "When I Grow Up (To Be a Man)", "Help Me, Rhonda", "Dance, Dance, Dance", "She Knows Me Too Well", and "In the Back of My Mind".

All tracks written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love, except where noted.

Side one
No. Title Lead vocals Length
1. "Do You Wanna Dance?" (Bobby Freeman) Dennis Wilson 2:19
2. "Good to My Baby" B. Wilson with Love 2:16
3. "Don't Hurt My Little Sister" Love with B. Wilson 2:07
4. "When I Grow Up (To Be a Man)" Love with B. Wilson 2:01
5. "Help Me, Rhonda" Al Jardine 3:08
6. "Dance, Dance, Dance" (B. Wilson/Carl Wilson/Love) Love with B. Wilson 1:59
Side two
No. Title Lead vocals Length
1. "Please Let Me Wonder" B. Wilson with Love 2:45
2. "I'm So Young" (William H. "Prez" Tyus, Jr.) B. Wilson 2:30
3. "Kiss Me, Baby" B. Wilson with Love 2:35
4. "She Knows Me Too Well" B. Wilson 2:27
5. "In the Back of My Mind" D. Wilson 2:07
6. "Bull Session with the 'Big Daddy'" (spoken word)   2:10

 

 

Personnel

 
The Beach Boys in 1964 (from left: Al Jardine, Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson, Mike Love, and Dennis Wilson)

 

 

The Beach Boys

  • Al Jardine – lead, harmony and backing vocals; electric rhythm guitar; bass guitar; handclaps
  • Mike Love – lead, harmony and backing vocals; handclaps
  • Brian Wilson – lead, harmony and backing vocals; four and six-string bass guitar; grand, upright and tack piano; Baldwin Harpsichord; Hammond organ; handclaps
  • Carl Wilson – harmony and backing vocals; lead, rhythm and twelve-string guitar; six-string bass guitar; handclaps
  • Dennis Wilson – lead, harmony and backing vocals; drums, tambourine, handclaps

 

Charts

Albums

Year Chart Position
1965 German Albums Chart 14
1965 US Billboard 200 Albums Chart 4
1965 UK Top 40 Album Chart 6

Singles

Year Single Chart Position
1964 "Dance, Dance, Dance" US Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart 8
1964 "When I Grow Up (To Be a Man)" US Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart 9
1965 "Do You Wanna Dance?" US Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart 12
1965 "Please Let Me Wonder" US Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart 52

 

 

 

The Beach Boys - The Beach Boys Today!

UK Capitol T 2269 mono (1965).

Album produced by Brian Wilson.

Martix   T1 2269-1G    T2 2269-1G

The vinyl record attains a strong excellent grading, suggesting few plays.

Audio quality is very clear and strong throughout.

Both record centre labels are clean, unmarked, and free from tears, stains or stickers.

The album's laminated, flipback cover, is in excellent condition, displaying only minor signs of wear.

The album cover has a strong, undamaged spine, displaying very clear, printed script.

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