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Today/ Summer Days (and Summer Nights) Extra tracks, Import, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered

4.7 out of 5 stars 79 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Extra tracks, Import, March 13, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Two 1965 classics, garnished with alternate takes of Dance, Dance, Dance; I'm So Young, and Let Him Run Wild ; a studio version of Graduation Day, and the single version of the Little Girl I Once Knew.

Put simply, this is the Beach Boys at their mid-'60s prime. Ironically, the band's greatest evolutionary leap was spurred by its leader, Brian Wilson, who decided to drop out of the band's live performances after a December 1964 nervous breakdown to concentrate on honing the Beach Boys' studio sound. With Wilson's productions gaining a significant new depth and confidence (note the innovative modulations on "Dance, Dance, Dance"), the first half of Today seems a logical, upbeat step forward from its predecessors. But it's the album's second act that steals the show, setting the stage for the triumph of Pet Sounds. Indeed, it's easy to imagine gorgeous, introspective tracks such as "Please Let Me Wonder," "She Knows Me Too Well," and "In the Back of My Mind" intertwined with the best of Sounds. Set against that standard, the follow-up, Summer Days, feels like a step backward, despite the presence of another Wilson world-beater production, "California Girls," and the band's second No. 1 single, "Help Me, Rhonda." Ever pressured by commercial concerns, Wilson and the band created what was in essence the true follow-up to the All Summer Long album. Still, there's a level of musical sophistication to tracks such as "The Girl from New York City," the Phil Spector tribute "Then I Kissed Her," and especially "Girl Don't Tell Me" and "Let Him Run Wild." Reissued (with 24-bit digital remastering) in a long out-of-print twofer edition to mark the band's 40th anniversary and Lifetime Achievement Grammy, this set features several bonus tracks as well as the insightful notes of David Leaf (The Beach Boys and the California Myth). Bonus cuts include the spectacular "The Little Girl I Once Knew" and revealing outtakes of "Dance, Dance, Dance," "I'm So Young," and "Let Him Run Wild," along with a studio version of a song previously only available on the Beach Boys Concert collection, "Graduation Day." --Jerry McCulley

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  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, Rhonda - (LP version)
  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"
  13. The Girl From New York City
  14. Amusement Parks U.S.A
  15. Then I Kissed Her
  16. Salt Lake City
  17. Girl Don't Tell Me
  18. Help Me, Rhonda - (single version)
  19. California Girls
  20. Let Him Run Wild
  21. You're So Good To Me
  22. Summer Means New Love
  23. I'm Bugged At My Ol' Man
  24. And Your Dreams Come True
  25. Little Girl I Once Knew, The - (stereo track, single version)
  26. Dance, Dance, Dance - (stereo, bonus alternate take)
  27. I'm So Young - (bonus track, alternate take)
  28. Let Him Run Wild - (stereo, bonus track, alternate take)
  29. Graduation Day - (bonus track, studio version)

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 13, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks, Import, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Imports
  • ASIN: B00005A1N2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,855 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Tony L. Spera on July 15, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I grew up in a strict, no nonsense Italian household in rural Connecticut. You just can't get any farther from the warm California sunshine, surfing, and the quest for the California dream than that. Our family summertime treks to the beach consisted of my brother and me loaded into back seat of the family Chevy wagon on a bumpy trip to " Long Island Sound " filled with mirky, seaweed laden water and rocky( read: ouch ) beaches. But then one summer, out of the blue, a song issued from my small transistor AM radio. The song was
" 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.
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Format: Audio CD
Like many Beach Boys fans who's full-on "discovery" of the band began when "Pet Sounds" was re-issued on CD in the early 90's(?), I found that album to be hard to beat - as far as Beach Boys ALBUMS are concerned. Being a Beatles fan, first and foremost, the whole "influence on Sgt. Peppers" thing took hold, and - like the afore-mentioned Bealtes LP - took on legendary status for me.

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.
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Format: Audio CD
I'm ecstatic that TODAY is finally getting some of the attention it deserves. It's not merely one of the Beach Boys' best albums -- it's one of the best albums of the 60s. No filler here. Just straight-up, well-produced rock n' roll, chock-full of those trademark Wilson pop hooks that make you smile -- not to mention the ghostly angelic harmonies courtesy of Carl, Mike, Brian and Al.
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.
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