Customer Reviews: Today (Mono & Stereo Remasters)
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on October 13, 2012
The Beach Boys Today! is absolutely among Brian Wilson's strongest productions and clearly, production-wise, points the way to the masterpiece Pet Sounds. The album is full of great tunes, with a lead vocal from every Beach Boy except Carl Wilson. In terms of Beach Boys canon - or rock canon in general - The Beach Boys Today! is a MUST.

Now, for the 2012 mono/stereo review...first off, it appears that Capitol is doing with The Beach Boys what Apple/EMI did with The Beatles -- small digi-paks with the white band on the spine. There are no liner notes other than track listings and notations of which tracks are new stereo mixes. If you own the 1990 or 2001 "twofer" CD with Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!), this and the 2012 reissue of Summer Days... won't REPLACE the twofer, as you don't have the David Leaf liner notes or the bonus tracks. And for some reason, Capitol found it necessary to list each song twice on the back of the cover - once each for mono and stereo, instead of just listing them once and saying "Tracks 1-12 and 24 are mono, 13-23 are stereo" like it's written on the CD itself. ("Bull Session..." is in mono in both instances.)

It's nice to finally hear this landmark album in stereo, but...well, the stereo mixes aren't the end-all be-all. As with Summer Days..., the stereo mix on this album seems to introduce a lot of distracting reverb that's not so audible on the mono version. Some of them are good, but some aren't...particularly "Please Let Me Wonder," which has terrible equalization. Due to situations with original session tapes (i.e. missing vocal tracks), Dennis Wilson's lead vocal on the stereo mix of "In The Back Of My Mind" is only single-tracked, which in my opinion really takes away from the feel of the double-tracked mono. On the other hand, hearing just one Dennis vocal really shows what a great singer he could be when he put his heart and soul into it, and is an interesting hint as to the Dennis we'd hear on the Sunflower album five years later. The same session tape situation exists for "She Knows Me Too Well," which previously was released once with a stereo mix and a single-tracked Brian vocal; however, the vocal on this version is double-tracked, but I have a feeling it was just the single-tracked vocal artificially doubled -- but it still sounds pretty good, to be honest.

As with Summer Days..., the real star on this CD is...the mono mix of the album. Generally I'm a guy who prefers stereo over mono, but the new mastering on the mono mix is incredible! I've never heard this album so lively before! The equalization is really good. The only thing that some people might not like is that you can hear some tape hiss during quieter moments, but I'd rather hear that than the NoNoise destruction used on the 1990 reissue.

But YOU NEED TO BUY THIS. The only reason this isn't a five-star review is that some of the stereo mixes leave much to be desired. Also, there's a problem with the mono version of "Please Let Me Wonder," as the mix is off-balance and is heavy on the left. But the rest of the mono mixes are simply fantastic. Aaaand...The Beach Boys Today! is one of Brian Wilson's best productions.
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on October 10, 2012
I first bought this album when it was released in 1964, while I was a sophomore in high school. Being a big fan of the Beach Boys, I had all of their albums up to this point. The California sound was appreciated here in Florida, too. And this album marked a turning point in their career. No songs about surfing, and no songs about cars, either. It was more teen angst. And no one did it better.

The songs on this album are nothing short of great. The album starts off with a great cover of Bobby Freeman's "Do You Wanna Dance". The Beach Boys made this one their own, and is the only track on the album not penned by Brian Wilson. The biggest standout on this disc is the original version of "Help Me, Ronda" (spelling as it's on the disc). This version has an intro, doesn't have Mike Love's "Bow bow bow's" in the chorus, and is longer. It's also the version of this song I prefer. (The single version appears on the "Summer Days and Summer Nights" LP.) Also heard here are two of their other singles, "When I Grow Up (To Be A Man)" and "Dance, Dance, Dance". The former laments growing older and what the future may bring, while the latter just makes you want to cut a rug along with Brian and the boys. The rest of the tracks deal with teenage life and love as we remember it. All in all, an enjoyable listen.

Until now, this album was only available in mono and in Capitol's fake stereo "Duophonic" process. This Duophonic method introduced a delay on one channel to create a pseudo-stereo effect. Brian Wilson didn't want a stereo mix of this album since he felt he had better control of what the listener heard in mono. Capitol released the fake stereo version to appease those listeners who owned stereo players and insisted on something to make use of it. It was also believed the multi-track masters were lost...but wait!

The new issue of "Today" features the mono version of the album, followed by a brand new true stereo mix. No, it's not Duophonic. It's the real deal. And what a difference it makes! This was first tried a few years back when "Pet Sounds" got the stereo treatment to rave reviews, followed by a 4.1 surround version that was a revelation. While I don't expect the same treatment here, I'd welcome it if it happened. The remastered sound on this CD, in both mono and stereo, is amazing. But it's the stereo mix that reveals textures in the music that mono just can't reveal. It has to be heard to be appreciated. Run...don't walk to your computer to order this. One little note... I paid $13.20 for this album from Amazon, but found it also available, along with the other reissues, for $9.99 at Best Buy. Shop around to get the best price, but you do have to have this CD if you're a true fan of the Beach Boys.
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on January 3, 2000
I looked for TODAY! in almost every record store I went into, and wound up buying a used cassette copy. There is no reason why TODAY should be out of print in Capitol's domestic catalog. The company spends way to much time re-hashing the early surf material on waste-basket compliations, than allowing listeners the enjoyment of hearing the innovative creations Brian Wilson made. TODAY! is almost as good as PET SOUNDS. Its a consistent and enjoyable album, and its essential for any Beach Boys fan or a collector of great music. Not a single track on this album is anything less than excellent. Gems like "Please Let Me Wonder", "When I Grow Up", "Kiss Me Baby", "Help Me Rhonda", and "Do You Wanna Dance" are some of the album's best and most notable tracks. "Kiss Me Baby" comes complete with the classic harmonies, and is one of my favorite Beach Boys songs. The song was on the original BEST OF album, but Capitol has ignored it on the two GREATEST HITS: 20 (MORE) GOOD VIBRATIONS albums. "Please Let Me Wonder" is every bit as advanced as the songs from PET SOUNDS. "When I Grow Up" is a classic, with the perfection only Brian Wilson could manage. The version of "Do You Wanna Dance" is better than the original. "Dance Dance Dance" is a great uptempo tune. "Good To My Baby", "I'm So Young", "Don't Hurt My Little Sister", and "She Knows Me Too Well" all display Brian Wilson's musical genius, with the exceptional harmonies and outstanding melodies. TODAY also is the beginning of The Beach Boys evolution out of surfing and teen music to the best of pop and rock music. TODAY! is a milestone in the pop-rock world, a classic with ten magnificent songs, all majestically performed. The CD definately must be re-issued in domestic print for music buyers! THIS ALBUM SHOULD BE FOUND IN THE DOMESTIC CATALOG, AND NOT BE AN IMPORT. INSTEAD OF RE-ISSUING "Surfin' USA" ANOTHER 20 MILLION TIMES, BRING ALBUMS LIKE TODAY!, SMILEY SMILE, SUMMER DAYS-SUMMER NIGHTS, ETC. BACK IN PRINT!
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on November 10, 2012
THE BEACH BOYS TODAY!, the group's first Capitol album of 1965, is probably their best album (along with the follow-up, SUMMER DAYS (AND SUMMER NIGHTS!!!). Both titles were originally issued as a "two-fer" in 1990, split into individual CDs in 1994, reappeared as a Canadian import "two-fer" in 1997, and were remastered and reissued as a "two-fer" in the USA in 2001.

Until now, THE BEACH BOYS TODAY! has only been issued in mono (although Capitol did issue a fake-stereo Duophonic mix in 1965). This was done at Brian Wilson's insistence; because he preferred mono, only mono tapes were sent to Capitol. The next Beach Boys album to be issued in stereo was 1968's Friends. Some of the TODAY! tracks have been issued in stereo on various compilations over the years, but the new 2012 version contains the entire album in stereo for the first time (except for the spoken-word track, "Bull Session With The Big Daddy"). Both the mono and stereo mixes are excellent, and there is not a bad track in the lot, from "Do You Wanna Dance?" to "Good To My Baby" to "Please Let Me Wonder" to "When I Grow Up (To Be A Man)." I always preferred the album version of "Help Me, Ronda" to the single version ("Rhonda"), which probably puts me in the minority of Beach Boys fans.

If you have the "two-fer," keep it for the bonus material, but this new version is a "must-have" for the terrific new stereo mix.
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on August 10, 2013
The goods:
- Beautifully remastered cover. Really beats the original in umph.
- Record sounds better than original mono. It loses the muddiness from the 60s.
- The label and record itself looks amazing and is pressed with quality and care.

The confusion:
- The record was placed in a "66 on Capitol" inner sleeve trying to replicate to old inner sleeves Capitol records came in. The problem here is that this album came out in 1965 and would have had Capitol's 1965 red inner sleeve. When I bought the "From the Capitol Vaults Pet Sounds" it had the original copy of the inner sleeve separate from the record which was housed in a plastic/paper audiophile inner sleeve which keeps the record safer. "Today!" just had the record in the original copy of the old inner sleeve which was kind of a bummer, yet I had my own inner sleeves to correct the issue.
- If you care a less about accuracy in time period and what sleeve your record is stored in it is an AMAZING piece to buy. Even for audiophiles. Sounds VERY good. Just don't throw away your originals...they are still cool too.
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on June 24, 2015
I can't tell you how many times I've heard this album. When I was younger I grew up on the 1990 double release with Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!). I was excited to hear that this album was finally getting the stereo treatment.

The mono mix sounds very good. They seem to bring out the higher frequencies in the tracks more than the past remasters have, however, there is a certain presence in the sound on the 2001 remasters that weren't brought out as much on this release. It's difficult to choose between the 2001 remasters and this new one however both of them far out rank the sonic solutions noise reduction techniques used on the 1990 releases.

The stereo mix is extremely interesting however it is a little disappointing noting on serveral songs, vocal and guitar tracks that are very prominent on the mono mixes are not present on the stereo. Particularly on "Do You Wanna Dance?" and "In The Back Of My Mind" unfortunately there's not much that can be done about that. However I enjoyed the new stereo mixes very much. Considering that these tapes were recorded to be mixed in mono they did a very good job but in my opinion the original mono mix is superior.

As was done with the 2001 release the 20-bit HDCD encoding is fabulous and truly brings out a lot of details that otherwise would have gone unnoticed

All in all it's definitely worth buying. You'll hear this album like you never have before
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on September 23, 2014
The Beach Boys are frequently regarded as the artists who brought us Pet Sounds, Smile, and a whole bunch of surfing singles. I'd wager that very few, even among passionate music lovers, would be able to name another album in their discography. It's true that much of the rest of their album-length output is either frequently-brilliant-but-inconsistent (Summer Days, All Summer Long, Sunflower, Surf's Up), very-good-but-somewhat-minor (Friends, Wild Honey, Love You, Holland), or just plain lousy (Keeping the Summer Alive, do I really need to list the rest?). Today is unknown by the masses, but is close to that "other" perfect Beach Boys album. Yes, side 2 ends with an interview, but put that to the side, and you've got a fantastic collection of upbeat rockers and lovely ballads, both camps nicely segregated on each side of vinyl. "Great songs written by Brian Wilson" boasts the cover and, indeed, Mike Love's name is almost completely absent from the writing credits on the label. (This would, of course, be rectified on later CD reissues). I personally have listened to the likes of Please Let Me Wonder and Kiss Me Baby so many times that I have to stop and remind myself that these beautiful tunes remain unheard by the masses some 50 years later.
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on May 2, 2016
If your like me who grew up on stereo or your of the generation that's growing up on surround sound your not experiencing the way past generations listened to the music of past. These releases finally allow you to do that. It may sound odd but that was the sound from that era listen to it the way that era listened to it.
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on December 22, 2009
This is one of several recent Beach Boys vinyl reissues from Capitol. Some of the albums (Sunflower, Surf's Up) have the "newly remastered for vinyl" sticker, while others (Today!, Summer Days, Pet Sounds) boast a sticker that simply says "faithfully restored." The sound on this one is clean and clear, all the original artwork has been preserved (including a 1960's Capitol catalog inner sleeve), and the 180 gram vinyl has a nice, substantial feel.

I've always loved the classy front cover design on this album. This is the original mono release, catalog number T 2269. The bottom of the back cover has the classic disclaimer, "This monophonic microgroove recording is playable on monophonic and stereo phonographs. It cannot become obsolete. It will continue to be a source of outstanding sound reproduction, providing the finest monophonic performance from any phonograph."

These Capitol reissues are a must-have - perfect for vinyl enthusiasts, collectors, and anyone who wants the album artwork in something larger than the tiny CD liner note size. The sound is beautiful - every bit as good as on the Beach Boys double-album CDs, if not better. Plus the packaging and original artwork. I own them all. There's nothing like opening a brand new LP and enjoying the sound of virgin vinyl. You can't go wrong with the albums in this series.
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on April 8, 2013
This is the 1965 album when the band ( yes the band, not only Brian) hit its stride as artists. Brian composed and commanded, but over the course of several years of intensive concentration on their music, these guys had become greater than the sum of the parts. If you are intrigued by the Beach Boys' enduring influence, and don't have this album, get it.
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