Skip to content

The Beach Boys Today! – The Beach Boys

The Beach Boys Today!

The Beach Boys Today!

(1965), 9/10
Brian Wilson stopped touring (he was replaced live temporarily by Glen Campbell, then by future group member Bruce Johnston), becoming a full time arranger and writer for the group’s studio recordings. 1965’s Today! is often regarded as The Beach Boys’ first masterpiece; it’s full of signs of Brian Wilson’s genius, even if it a bit rough around the edges. There’s an embryonic version of ‘Help Me Ronda’, a song that would be perfected on their next album, while the album ends in unsatisfying fashion with the studio chatter of ‘Bull Session With Big Daddy’.

But the stunning focal point of the record is the run of five ballads on the second side, some of the most full realised pop music every committed to tape at the time. In terms of expressing emotions, innovative chord progressions and unusual instrumentation, these songs were ground-breaking, bringing a new degree of artistry into a genre that had previously gotten by mostly on pure adrenaline. In particular, ‘Kiss Me Baby’ is a brilliant piece that squeezes a complex structure and raw emotion into a concise and accessible pop song. ‘I’m So Young’, a cover of a fifties doo-wop standard, is less profound, but still showcases the group’s unparalleled harmonies, while ‘Please Let Me Wonder’ and ‘She Knows Me Too Well’ are two more pristine ballads. The glorious sequence ends with ‘In The Back Of My Mind’, where Dennis contributes a slightly shaky vocal that fits perfectly into the song’s ambiguously jazzy groove.

The first side of the record is less startling, but still perfectly solid; ‘Do You Wanna Dance’ and ‘Dance, Dance, Dance’ are both good basic rockers, and the ambitious modulation in the final chorus of ‘Dance, Dance, Dance’ is an example of Wilson’s growing confidence. ‘When I Grow Up (To Be A Man)’ is the first side’s ace; it’s absolutely startling that a 22 year old could write a piece so mature and so sonically adventurous, totally without precedent in rock music.

If you already love Pet Sounds and want more of the same, Today! is a great place to experience Brian Wilson’s unique musical genius.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Video Games Nebula

Out of This World

movies and songs 365

Recommendations of films and music. Plus other random stuff

What's So Special About Music Anyways?

Witty opinions about great music

thecuriousastronomer

Life, the Universe, and everything

The Telltale Mind

Thoughts on Movies, Music, Comics and stuff.

Thirty Three And A Third

Vinyl Records stole my heart

Sounds Of The Radio

Counting Down My Top 1000 Songs

Stuff and That.

We do reviews, ya dig?

Progarchy

Pointing toward Proghalla

Discobar Bizar

Welkom op de blog van Discobar Bizar. Druk gerust wat op de andere knoppen ook, of lees het aangrijpende verhaal van Hurricane Willem nu je hier bent. Welcome to the blog of Discobar Bizar, feel free to push some of the other buttons, or to read the gripping story of Hurricane Willem whilst you are here!

%d bloggers like this: