Sunday, July 02, 2006

52. Beach Boys - The Beach Boys Today! (1965)

Track Listing

1. Do You Wanna Dance
2. Good To My Baby
3. Don't Hurt My Little Sister
4. When I Grow Up (To Be A Man)
5. Help Me Ronda
6. Dance Dance Dance
7. Please Let Me Wonder
8. I'm So Young
9. Kiss Me Baby
10. She Knows Me Too Well
11. In The Back Of My Mind
12. Bull Session With Big Daddy


Ok, this album has both some of the best tracks ever reviewed here and the worse one. Fortunately the really useless track is the last one, allowing you just to stop the record, Bull Session With Big Daddy is like the first Podcast, a pointless bit of drivel by a bunch of people talking with a fucking mike in the room. What a waste of vinyl. Still, as I said it is not intrusive, because it is the end of the album.

On the good side however is the whole rest of the album. The Beach Boys and particularly Brian Wilson's production work really shine here, although nothing is really at the level of perfection later achieved in Kokomo, the track recorded for the soundtrack of Cocktail, the Tom Cruise vehicle which finally toppled Citizen Kane from the top of all best film lists in the 80's.

There are tracks here which are just breathtaking, the fucking harmonics on these nancy boys are amazing. A song which I find particularly beatiful here is She Knows Me Too Well, which just has the most ethereal harmonies to it. Oh, and up there on the list it really is Help Me Ronda and not Rhonda, this is another version of the track and unfortunately an inferior one at that. And then you have super-hits like Dance, Dance, Dance. I honestly think that if you are familiar with the Beach Boys but not a huge buff or actually don't really like them you will take more enjoyment from the more obscure tracks, like She Knows Me Too Well, which allow you to appreciate their qualities without the overplaying that they have been subjected to.

So, yeah I loved it, and it's Summer outside (the season, not the ancient middle-eastern civilisation) which adds something to it. So stream it from Napster or buy it at Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. She Knows Me Too Well
2. Dance, Dance, Dance
3. Do You Wanna Dance
4. Good To My Baby

Final Grade


(She Knows Me Too Well gets 10/10)


Get She Knows Me Too Well, for Love or Money or summink and then tell me what you think of it, maybe it's the brain cells I killed with Marijuana, but its soooo pretty.

From Wikipedia:

Today! is the ninth studio album by The Beach Boys, and their first of three in 1965. Although no one realized the significance of the album at the time, Today! marked a major turning point inside the band's world, and in particular, leader Brian Wilson's personal life.

By the end of a particularly stressful 1964, The Beach Boys had released four albums in the preceeding twelve months, in addition to beginning this album by recording two advance singles—"When I Grow Up" and "Dance, Dance, Dance." As the man in charge, Wilson was both physically and emotionally exhausted, yet the Beatles' ever-increasing popularity and influence ensured that Brian kept slogging to keep afloat. On December 23, 1964, Brian had a nervous breakdown due to the strain and realized that something was going to have to give. And that was touring.

While the bulk of Today! was being recorded in January 1965, he informed the rest of the band that he wanted to stay in the studio and create their music while the Boys played it to audiences. The band relunctantly agreed, and after a brief alliance with Glen Campbell in Wilson's place, Bruce Johnston, a musician and major admirer of the band, became the Beach Boys' live bassist in April 1965 as Today! was rising the charts. Many consider Today! to mark the beginning of Brian Wilson's artistic maturation.

The album is famous for having one side of up-beat songs and a second side of melancholic ballads.

On the first half, "When I Grow Up," "Dance, Dance, Dance" and "Do You Wanna Dance?" were all hits, and "Help Me, Ronda" would be worked on further to deliver the Beach Boys their second #1 hit in May (amid a small spelling change in the title). The second side, in retrospect, was an indicator to where Brian Wilson was going musically. Considered darker and more meaningful than previous softer works, alongside Wilson's increasing productivity in the studio, the ballads on the second side are thought of as a precursor to Pet Sounds' technical triumphs, including strings, pianos, more percussion, and volume tricks.

Many consider Today! to be more thought out and "mature" than other albums at the time by 1965 standards. However, the shift in style appeared to have little detrimental effect, concerning sales; Today! was a #4 gold-selling smash in the US, and the following year it would reach #6 in the UK. In 2003, the album was ranked number 270 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

It has since come to light—and has long been freely admitted to by Brian Wilson—that he had begun using marijuana during December 1964 as a stress reliever, and once he realized the profound effect it had on the way he perceived music, Wilson became a regular user. Although drugs opened up doors for him musically, they also would contribute to his eventual mental collapse in ensuing years.

This is some good shit!

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