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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 ofTodayseems 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 ofPet 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 ofSounds. 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 theAll Summer Longalbum. Still, there's a level of musical sophistication to tracks such as "The Girl from New York City," thePhil Spectortribute "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 theBeach Boys Concertcollection, "Graduation Day."--Jerry McCulley
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Label:  Capitol
ArtistThe Beach Boys
Release Date:  March 13, 2001
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review by . March 22, 2002
posted in Music Matters
This re-issue of the Today and Summer Days And Nights is filled with many catchy tunes. Classics like California Girls, When I Grow Up To Be A Man, and Help Me Rhonda will always get any party in a good mood. Some lesser known songs like The Girl From New York City, I'm Bugged At My Ol' Man, and You're So Good To Me also are noteworthy due to some creative vocal arangments.Lyric wise many of these songs are quite basic. Geez, Do You Wanna Dance consists of merely the words in its title and maybe …
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Today/ Summer Days (and Summer Nights)
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