The Beach Boys Today!: Wikis


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The Beach Boys Today!
Studio album by The Beach Boys
Released 8 March 1965
Recorded Main Recording:
January 7-19, 1965
June 8 & 22,
August 5 & 8, October 9, and December 16, 1964
Genre Rock, Surf rock, Baroque Pop, Sunshine Pop
Length 28:54
Label Capitol
Producer Brian Wilson
Professional reviews
The Beach Boys chronology
The Beach Boys' Christmas Album
The Beach Boys Today!
Summer Days (and Summer Nights!!)

The Beach Boys Today! is the eighth studio album by The Beach Boys, and their first of three in 1965. Although few realized the significance of the album at the time, The Beach Boys Today! marked a major turning point inside the band's world, and in particular, leader Brian Wilson's personal life.[1]

After Pet Sounds, the album is arguably the most acclaimed album of the Beach Boys' career. The album includes the original version of the classic hit, "Help Me, Rhonda" (titled on this album as "Help Me, Ronda").

In 1965 The Beach Boys Today! (Capitol (D) T 2269) hit #4 in the US during a chart stay of 50 weeks.[2] It reached #6 in the UK in the summer of 1966.[3]



By the end of a particularly stressful 1964, The Beach Boys had released four albums in the preceding twelve months, in addition to beginning this album by recording two advance singles—"When I Grow Up (To Be a Man)" and "Dance, Dance, Dance."[1] As the man in charge, Wilson was both physically and emotionally exhausted, yet the Beatles' ever-increasing popularity and influence ensured that Brian kept slogging to keep afloat. On December 23, 1964, Brian had an anxiety attack due to the strain and realized that something was going to have to give; and that was touring.[4]

While the bulk of The Beach Boys Today! was being recorded in January 1965, he informed the rest of the band that he wanted to stay in the studio and create their music while the Boys went on the road and played it to audiences.[1] The band reluctantly agreed, and after a brief alliance with Glen Campbell in Wilson's place, Bruce Johnston, a musician (and ex-partner, with Terry Melcher in The Ripchords) and major admirer of the band, became the Beach Boys' live bassist in April 1965 as The Beach Boys Today! was rising the charts.[5] Many consider this album to mark the beginning of Brian Wilson's artistic maturation.

The album is famous for having one side of up-beat songs and a second side of melancholic ballads.[5] On the first half, "When I Grow Up (To Be a Man)," "Dance, Dance, Dance" and "Do You Wanna Dance?" were all hits, and "Help Me, Ronda" would be worked on further to deliver the Beach Boys their second #1 hit in May.[6] (amid a small spelling change in the title). The second side, in retrospect, was an indicator to where Brian Wilson was going musically. Considered darker and more meaningful than previous softer works, alongside Wilson's increasing productivity in the studio, the ballads on the second side are thought of as a precursor to Pet Sounds' technical triumphs, including strings, horns, piano and keyboards, more percussion, and volume tricks.

However, the shift in style appeared to have little detrimental effect, concerning sales; The Beach Boys Today! was a #4 gold-selling smash in the US, and the following year it would reach #6 in the UK. In 2003, the album was ranked number 270 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

The front cover lists nine of the album's selections, followed by "plus three great new songs written by Brian Wilson." However, the remaining three tracks include a cover, "I'm So Young", and the interview track "Bull Session with the "Big Daddy"". Only "In The Back Of My Mind" was a Brian Wilson composition.

It has since come to light, and has long been freely admitted to by Brian Wilson, that he had begun using marijuana during December 1964 as a stress reliever, and once he realized the profound effect it had on the way he perceived music, Wilson became a regular user.[7]

Track listing

All songs by Brian Wilson/Mike Love, except where noted.

Side one

  1. "Do You Wanna Dance?" (Bobby Freeman) – 2:19
    • Features Dennis Wilson on lead vocals
  2. "Good to My Baby" – 2:16
    • Features Brian Wilson and Mike Love on lead vocals
  3. "Don't Hurt My Little Sister" – 2:07
    • Features Mike Love and Brian Wilson on lead vocals
  4. "When I Grow Up (To Be a Man)" – 2:01
    • Features Mike Love and Brian Wilson on lead vocals
    • This song is used during the opening credits of the 2009 American comedy-drama Men of a Certain Age
  5. "Help Me, Ronda" – 3:08
    • Features Al Jardine on lead vocals; this is the original version. Brian Wilson re-recorded a different arrangement of "Ronda," changed the spelling of her name to "Rhonda," and released it as the Beach Boys' next single.
  6. "Dance, Dance, Dance" (Brian Wilson/Carl Wilson/Mike Love) – 1:59
    • Features Mike Love and Brian Wilson on lead vocals

Side two

  1. "Please Let Me Wonder" – 2:45
    • Features Brian Wilson and Mike Love on lead vocals
  2. "I'm So Young" (William H. Tyrus Jr.) – 2:30
    • Features Brian Wilson on lead vocals
  3. "Kiss Me, Baby" – 2:35
    • Features Mike Love and Brian Wilson on lead vocals
  4. "She Knows Me Too Well" – 2:27
    • Features Brian Wilson on lead vocals
  5. "In the Back of My Mind" – 2:07
    • Features Dennis Wilson on lead vocals
  6. "Bull Session with the "Big Daddy"" (Brian Wilson/Carl Wilson/Mike Love/Al Jardine) – 2:10
    • Group interview with Earl Leaf. Marilyn Wilson also appears briefly, but Alan Jardine is absent.


  • "When I Grow Up" b/w "She Knows Me Too Well" (Capitol 5245), 17 August 1964 US #9; UK #27
  • "Dance, Dance, Dance" b/w "The Warmth of the Sun" (from Shut Down Volume 2) (Capitol 5306), 26 October 1964 US #8; UK #24
  • "Do You Wanna Dance?" b/w "Please Let Me Wonder" (Capitol 5372), 8 February 1965 US #12 ("Please Let Me Wonder" US #52)
  • "Kiss Me, Baby" featured as the B-side to "Help Me, Rhonda"


  1. ^ a b c Leaf, David (1990).The Beach Boys Today!/Summer Days (and Summer Nights!!) (1990 CD liner notes)
  2. ^[1]
  3. ^ Brown, Tony (2000). "The Complete Book of the British Charts"
  4. ^ White, Timothy (1994). "The Nearest Faraway Place: Brian Wilson, The Beach Boys and the Southern California Experience"
  5. ^ a b[2]
  6. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). "Top Pop Singles 1955-2001"
  7. ^ Wilson, Brian/Gold, Todd (1991). "Wouldn't It Be Nice - My Own Story"

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