ARTIST: The Beach Boys
TITLE: The Beach Boys Today!
YEAR RELEASED: 1965
CHART ACTION: #4 US, #6 UK
SINGLES: When I Grow Up (To Be a Man) (#9 US, #27 UK), Dance Dance Dance (#8 US, #24 UK), Do You Wanna Dance (#12 US).
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Please Let Me Wonder, Help Me Ronda (original)
LINEUP: Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Dennis Wilson PLUS The Wrecking Crew
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The first album where Brian entrusts his songs to the famous Wrecking Crew of studio musicians.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Brian Wilson’s songs were evolving, changing, become more complex, and the sound he wanted certainly wasn’t going to be replicated by the band itself. Brian had stopped touring after a mental breakdown, and the result was a leap forward in musical structure and complexity.
Starting with Dennis’(!) vocal for “Do You Wanna Dance”, the first side of up-tempo numbers have deep cut classics like “Good to My Baby” and “Don’t Hurt My Little Sister” along with the first two singles. Brian’s falsetto, my goodness…
The second side has three of Brian’s best ballads to date, especially “Please Let Me Wonder”. A couple of ok tracks, and the usual unbearable talky album filler (though it’s positioned at the end for easy exiling) are there.
It’s the first Beach Boys album that sounds like a conceptual whole without a lot of filler or half-assed instrumentals. Just one of THOSE cuts.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: This album was only issued in mono on first release. Also, “Help Me, Ronda” was later remade as “Help Me, Rhonda”, shorter and punchier – and that’s the version everyone knows.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, the formerly unreleased stereo mixes along with some singles.and B-sides.
GRADE: A-: A set up for Pet Sounds, though there’d be some detours on the way.