The Beach Boys

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Today! Review

by Richie Unterberger

Brian Wilson's retirement from performing to concentrate on studio recording and production reaped immediate dividends with Today!, the first Beach Boys album that is strong almost from start to finish. "Dance, Dance, Dance" and "Do You Wanna Dance" were upbeat hits with Spector-influenced arrangements, but Wilson began to deal with more sophisticated themes on another smash 45, "When I Grow Up," on which these eternal teenagers looked forward to the advancing years with fear and uncertainty. Surf/hot rod/beach themes were permanently retired in favor of late-adolescent, early-adult romance on this album, which included such decent outings in this vein as "She Knows Me Too Well," "Kiss Me Baby," and "In the Back of My Mind." The true gem is "Please Let Me Wonder," one of the group's most delicate mid-'60s works, with heartbreaking melodies and harmonies. Be aware that the version of "Help Me, Rhonda" found here is an inferior, earlier, and slower rendition; the familiar hit single take was included on their next album, Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!). [Today!/Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!), a Capitol two-fer CD, combines this and Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!) onto one disc, adding alternate takes of "Dance, Dance, Dance," "I'm So Young," and "Let Him Run Wild," as well as a previously unreleased studio version of "Graduation Day." Most significantly, it also adds the non-LP single from late 1965, "The Little Girl I Once Knew," which looked forward to Pet Sounds in its studio experimentation and lyrical themes.]

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 The Beach Boys 02:21 Amazon
2 The Beach Boys 02:18 Amazon
3 The Beach Boys 02:09 Amazon
4 The Beach Boys 02:04 Amazon
5 The Beach Boys 03:10
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7 The Beach Boys 02:51 Amazon
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11 The Beach Boys 02:09 Amazon
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14 The Beach Boys 02:21 Amazon
15 The Beach Boys 02:10 Amazon
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