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Today/ Summer Days (and Summer Nights) Extra tracks, Import, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
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" Surfin' Safari " and hence my dream of sunny California became closer to reality. I was no longer trapped in rural Connecticut. I was mesmerized by the song, and with maybe two quarters to my name, pedaled my way to the local department store and bought the 45 RPM record. The flip side was " 409 " and boy was I ever in heaven, having already been a full fledged greaser by age 12.
I bought everything the boys of summer put out,the Surfin' Safari Album, Little Deuce Coupe, Surfer Girl, Concert, and Surfin U.S.A.
What struck me profoundly were the harmonies and the melodies, which in my young mind made every other record put out by others seem amateurish and rudimentary in comparison. And the themes of the songs were right up my alley. Four decades later I feel the same way. By the time the Today album and Summer Days and Summer Nights album were released, I was in high school, and these songs took on new meanings to me, ( READ: Girl Crazy ). My father was a tyrant at times, he'd scream and yell at my brother and me, and would make me " go to my room " ( to study ) whenever my report card came- I always brought home poor grades.Read more ›
Yet, I KNEW there had to be more out there. Of course I had heard other Beach Boys songs on the radio, but mostly the slightly goofy "surf-themed" early stuff which I didn't really like all that much. So, when I found this 2-CD-in-1 collection of "Today/Summer Days (and Summer Nights)" several years ago, and saw a few of my non-Pet Sounds faves on it ("Help Me Rhonda" and "California Girls"), I figured it was worth a shot.
It turned out that I got more than I had anticipated. The music the Beach Boys were recording right before "Pet Sounds" is my favorite stuff of theirs. These are two beautiful albums... full of fun-loving romps like "Do You Wanna Dance", "Good To My Baby", "Girl From New York City", "Salt Lake City", and gorgeous harmony-laden tracks like, "Kiss Me Baby", "Let Him Run Wild", "Please Let Me Wander", and "She Knows Me To Well".... as well as the more well-known "Help Me Rhonda" and "California Girls"... the latter of which I think is probably 2 of the most joyous minutes of music ever recorded.
These two albums represent Brian Wilson at a point where he had grown tired of touring and began devoting all his energies to the studio. He'd not yet heard The Beatles' "Rubber Soul"... his music still had that California-surf feel going on, but it was getting more sophisticated. Incredible music that signalled the end of a certain era before a new, more uncertain, one began.
As a vocal arranger, there's really no one better on the planet than Brian Wilson. Pick out just one of the harmony parts on any of these tunes and try to sing along with it. It's very difficult, because each part swirls in and around each other, even on the familiar top 40 classics. That's just one facet of Brian Wilson's genius, and you can especially hear it in classics such as "Please Let Me Wonder", "Kiss Me Baby" and "She Knows Me Too Well".
It's impossible to predict what course the Beach Boys' career might have taken had SMILE come fully to fruition. The Beatles were able to make the leap from Boy Band to Serious Artists, and the Beach Boys, quite unfairly, could not. As a result, critical attention toward superior albums such as TODAY has been slow in coming. But TODAY, in my opinion, is every bit as strong a work as REVOLVER or RUBBER SOUL.
Unfortunately, SUMMER DAYS was a step backward for Brian and the boys. But any album that contains "California Girls", "Let Him Run Wild" and "Girl Don't Tell Me" is still pretty darn great. In these two albums, you can see Brian Wilson formulating the ideas that would later become PET SOUNDS and SMILE. Five stars here is a no-brainer. If you're a Beach Boys fan without this two-fer, correct that omission. Immediately.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The Beach Boys were still standing tall in 1965, more than could be said about most of the acts on the charts when they had released Surfin' Safari. Read morePublished 26 days ago by johnf
Lots of good songs not on the Greatest Hits albums and alternate takes.Published 3 months ago by James E. Tyler
I had 2 reasons for buying this. First, a while ago I bought some remastered Beach Boys CD's --- Sounds of Summer: The Very Best of the Beach Boys, Warmth of the Sun, and Pet... Read morePublished 5 months ago by From the Musician's Pen
Reviews should not be required. I purchased this. There is no need to leave a review at all. Thank youPublished on May 28, 2014 by Robert Cella
Today is my favorite Beach Boys album. Although Much praise has been lavished on other ones such as Pet Sounds, I feel Today captures the California/Surf/Teen/1960s experience... Read morePublished on October 25, 2013 by Geeman
Great addition to my Beach Boys collection and the fact that it is two albums combined makes it even better. Great price.Published on March 29, 2013 by dmg1350
Today by itself should be rated ten stars! Summer Days isn't a slouch either. Some of Brian's best work is on today: Dance Dance Dance (check out the guitar solo~better than... Read morePublished on May 26, 2012 by Dee Dee TeeDee greasy