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The Beach Boys Today!

The Beach Boys

1965

The Beach Boys Today!
Album Summary

The Beach Boys Today! is the eighth studio album by the American rock band the Beach Boys, released March 8, 1965 on Capitol Records. It signaled a departure from their previous records with its orchestral sound, intimate subject matter, and abandonment of car or surf songs. Side one features an uptempo sound, while side two consists mostly of introspective ballads. Supported by this thematic approach, the record became an early example of a rock concept album and established the group as album artists rather than just a singles band. It has since become regarded as one of band's best works and one of the greatest albums of all time. The album was produced, arranged, and largely written by Brian Wilson with additional lyrics by Mike Love. Most of it was recorded in January 1965 with the aid of over 25 studio musicians shortly after Wilson had suffered a nervous breakdown and stopped touring with his bandmates. Building on the advancements of All Summer Long (1964), Today! showcased more refined performances, denser and richer arrangements, slower tempos, longer structures, and influences drawn from Phil Spector and Burt Bacharach. Unlike their prior albums, none of the songs employ just traditional rock instrumentation as accompaniment. Instead, a more eclectic selection of instruments, including timpani, harpsichord, vibraphone, and French horn, feature throughout the album. Lyrically, Wilson developed a more personalized, semi-autobiographical approach, with his songs written from the perspective of vulnerable, neurotic, and insecure narrators. The LP includes "She Knows Me Too Well", about a man who acknowledges his cruel treatment of his girlfriend, "Don't Hurt My Little Sister", about a sibling who appears to conflate fraternal and romantic feelings for his younger sister, and "In the Back of My Mind", a ballad that ends with a breakdown of instruments playing out of sync from each other. Today! reached number four in the US during a 50-week chart stay and yielded three top 20 singles: "When I Grow Up (To Be a Man)" (number 9), "Dance, Dance, Dance" (number 8), and "Do You Wanna Dance?" (number 12). A rerecorded version of "Help Me, Rhonda", issued in April, became the band's second number-one hit in the US. In the UK, the album was released in April 1966 and peaked at number 6. Today! continues to attract critical acclaim, with commentators usually focusing on the second side of the record, often describing it as a precursor to Pet Sounds (1966).

Wikipedia

Rating

3.23

Votes

11565

Genres

  • Pop
  • Rock
  • Psychedelic Rock

Reviews

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Thu Apr 08 2021
3

You could put this in a museum and say "listen kids, this is what preppy white boys did to get laid 100 years ago"

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Wed Apr 14 2021
5

horro as i come to terms with the utter caucasity of my music taste

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Tue Feb 21 2023
2

There's no denying that you only need to be listening to The Beach Boys for the time it takes you to say "oh fuck, it's The Beach Boys" to know it's them. The iconic harmonies, the voices that sound like they've trapped their bollocks in a car door, it's all very familiar. And for that - a solid 2 stars. Where I draw the line is that every song sounds the same, and every song has the same lyrics but in a different order. "There's a pretty girl, I wonder if she's into me" "If I look good, will that pretty girl notice me" "I wonder if we could get together and gang rape that woman" SING SOMETHING DIFFERENT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD Anyway, I'm sure the album was a popular classic at the time. It just aged like the crusty bed sheets of a brothel.

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Tue Jul 12 2022
1

Pretty terrible. "Oh but the harmonies" - yes, what about the songs? Creepy vaguely misognyist crap sung as nursery rhymes by castrati. And, hey, harpsichords! Shite

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Mon May 31 2021
4

The Beach Boys have always had gorgeous, sweeping harmonies, and I feel like they truly shine here. Weirdly, I really enjoy the studio noise at the very end of the record. A lot of beautiful sounds on this record. Favorite tracks: "Help Me Rhonda", "In The Back of My Mind"

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Wed May 19 2021
3

Time is an interesting thing. When I was 8 years old, the Beach Boys sounded like yesterday's music to me, but they had been cutting edge only three years before. While the vocal sound of the Beach Boys has been appropriated by everyone from Van Halen to Animal Collective, this album is bound to a very specific cultural moment. So given all that, is it still worth listening to outside of its massive influence? Well, first of all, the vocals are still as gorgeous as ever, just in terms of the sheer beauty of the timbres. The brothers Wilson and Mike Love harmonize beautifully. We could use vocalists like them today. The disadvantage of the bell-like clarity of the vocalists is that the lyrics are all too discernable. They are simplistic bordering on moronic. At first glance, the music is just as simple. Certainly, the building blocks are, basic early 60s surf-rock melodies and chord progressions. But composer Brian Wilson throws in surprising harmonic shifts here and there, which provides some interest. The production has the bombast and echo so beloved by Phil Spector, which I loathe on general principle, but it's kind of appropriate for this kind of sunny California sound. So, how do you rate this sort of thing? I found the style boring 50 years ago, and I feel about the same now. That said, it's beautifully executed, and much more sophisticated than most music of its ilk. I'll hold my nose and give it 3 stars out of 5. 3/5

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Thu Jun 17 2021
2

I don't get the Beach Boys...

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View Author
Thu Apr 08 2021
5

The Beach Boys Today! is the eighth studio album by the American rock band the Beach Boys, released March 8, 1965 on Capitol Records. It signaled a departure from their previous records with its orchestral sound, intimate subject matter, and abandonment of car or surf songs. Side one features an uptempo sound, while side two consists mostly of introspective ballads. Supported by this thematic approach, the record became an early example of a rock concept album and established the group as album artists rather than just a singles band. It has since become regarded as one of the greatest albums of all time.

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View Author
Tue Jun 22 2021
4

So many songs to enjoy on this album. I love that their music captures a very specific era and vibe and - mostly - one single adolescent obsession - girls, girls, girls. And it makes the music truthful and sincere. The songwriting will evolve on later albums but this is a sign pointing towards even greater music to come.

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Fri Sep 03 2021
3

J'ai adoré la chanson Bull Session with "Big Daddy" dont le concept est de parler angais et de s'enregistrer.

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Wed Nov 24 2021
3

I was going to brush this off as an "Oh gee, we probably need a few more Beach Boys albums on the list" pick, but Brian Wilson's melodicism never deserts him, the boys don't try to make more out of material that's slight-by-design, and Help Me Rhonda buys a lot of good will. A great example of building an album around one terrific single, but probably not one of the 1001 best albums ever made.

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Tue Jun 29 2021
1

It's a Beach Boys album, so you know what it's gonna sound like. Why this album though? There isn't even a stand out track. It feels like a collection of b-sides.

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Sat May 22 2021
1

There wasn't much to like about this one. Every song sounded the same and the singing wasn't even that good. It got very boring fast.

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Mon Nov 29 2021
1

This was horrible, the only thing that ran though my mind was the question "is Brian Wilson a pevert" creepy lyrics and a clunky sound. Used to love the beach boys but now they feel more like the peeping Tom's!

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Tue Nov 09 2021
5

I was unfamiliar with 8 of the 12 tracks on the original disk. It's 29-minutes of Beach Boy joy. Fun, lyrical, melodious. I would have been a fan if I wasn't only 9-months old when this album was released. Added.

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Tue Dec 28 2021
5

Love The Beach Boys. This might not be their most mature or developed offering but it sure puts me in a good mood.

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Tue Aug 03 2021
4

A stepping stone album that sounds equal parts early surf-pop Beach Boys and the later sonic experimentation Beach Boys, but just not quite as good as either.

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Mon May 03 2021
2

The worst of the Beach Boys, if we're being honest. Best track: She Knows Me Too Well

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Tue Sep 14 2021
2

Honestly, this is really not their best album. It's full of the oooeeeooo, falsetto, saccharine-sweet fluff tracks that they became popular for but has none of the brilliant deep cuts that made them legends.

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Fri Jul 22 2022
1

I weep for the people who had to listen to this album because it was popular

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Mon Sep 19 2022
1

old hits, yah. not my thing tho.

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Tue Oct 18 2022
1

The songs were short, so you don't need to listen to them for very long...

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Sat Dec 10 2022
1

yllättyin kuinka paska albumi, ei voi sanoa että odotin mitään rohkelikko tyyppistä musiikkia tietenkin turvallista radio soopailua... harmoniaa huhhuh joo mutta ei sama paska joka biisinnypäkässä pelasta albumia.. ja sitten joku kolmen minuuten burgeri bloopperi kohtaus,, ette ole vittu relatable saatanan miljönöörit tiedän että keikkojen jälkeen painelette alaikäisiä tyttöjä vittu en halua tietää että syötte ruokaa,+lyrisismi taas sellasta... arvaappa mitä olin antamassa kahta tähteä koska populääri mielipiteet positiiviset mutta sydän sanoo mitä sydän sanoo jos on paska niin paska arvosana do you wanna dance

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Sun Dec 18 2022
1

I don't really get why this is on the list. I'm not a huge Beach Boys fan, and never got into their albums in a big way. I just like their most famous songs, and none of them were on here. I didn't find any of the tracks particularly memorable or innovative whatsoever. Overall a miss for me, looking forward to listening to some of their other albums though.

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Mon Feb 27 2023
1

There’s just something very sickly about this group. They have some decent songs, none of this album, but mostly they have a similar feeling to the smell of grandmas sofa. Just old and lacking in any dynamism. Avoid.

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Fri Mar 10 2023
1

Ok, this is silly. The worthy pre Pet Sounds album is Summer Days with California Girls etc etc. This is the epitome of the K Tel type of cobbled together type of record they put out back then, not worthy of consideration as a record. I'm not impressed.

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Thu Sep 02 2021
5

Sencillo, práctico, genial.

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Sat Feb 26 2022
5

Good ol classic Beach Boys. Enjoy a treat. Hard to hate surf rock.

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Sat Jun 04 2022
5

Hell yeah, what’s not to love about the beach boys? - 9/10

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Sat Jun 11 2022
5

Gorgeous harmonizing! I just love the way the Beach Boys sound, it’s the most nostalgic sound in the world to me. This is a fucking great album. You get fun, catchy songs that have matured out of corny surfing themes, but still emanate youthful joy. Brian Wilson is a stunning delicate genius who is too pure for this world.

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Sun Jul 31 2022
5

Great album, I’ve listened to it plenty of times before. Though I think Summer Days (And Nights) would’ve been a better choice for this list, this is still great.

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Tue Aug 02 2022
5

A masterpiece! This is one of their best albums. Love this direction in subject matter away from surfing and cars and more inward-looking lyrics. I always loved the band I have big nostalgia and memories from a childhood California road trip where we had their greatest hits on repeat for three weeks!! I also love the harmonies and find their music in general incredibly impressive mainly because it's SO difficult to sing, play, recreate! Also it might be partly nostalgia but all the songs give me such a happy upbeat mood, love love love.

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Tue Aug 23 2022
5

50% solid gold 60s teenybop bangers Beach Boys, 45% Pet Sounds gold Beach Boys (plus 5% withering Beach Boys recorded for all time for some reason at the end) What's not to like? Apart from that last bit.

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Tue Sep 06 2022
5

Given that the Beach Boys are neck-and-neck with the Beatles for the title of my favorite band, I think it’s an absolute TRAVESTY that there isn’t another BB album on the list. Today is supposed to represent the BB’s early work, but in reality it’s a transitional record. I think that Surfer Girl or even Summer Days… And Summer Nights should have made the list as well. Anywho, I thought I was going to give this only 4 stars because on every pre-Pet Sounds BB record, there’s like 5 beautiful songs that make you want to cry, and 5 of the dumbest novelty songs you’ve ever heard. Yet even the songs on side one are amazing! I enjoyed “Do You Wanna Dance?” just as much as “Please Let Me Wonder”. Brian and the boys earned their five stars here.

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Wed Sep 21 2022
5

Nah I’m not in the mood. How about The Beach Boys Tomorrow

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Sun Sep 25 2022
5

Fun, fun, fun until daddy takes the t-bird away

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Thu Oct 20 2022
5

Oh man the harmony in these songs is so great. Love the all the vocals and the arranging. I never really heard most of these songs but now I feel like I’ve been really missing out on The Beach Boys. They are kind of perfect recordings (except the tambourine is super loud) I love the echoey hi hat sound in I’m so young.

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Mon Nov 07 2022
5

The Beach Boys were a group that I thought I understood in my youth. Then sometime in my 30s all those songs I started getting an inkling there was a lot more to them than I thought. So I have really loved having their albums come up on this project. The songs I am familiar with are so much more meaningful, and I’m discovering brilliant new songs that often surpass those greatest hits. I enjoyed the fun side one and the much more wistful side two. There’s a lot of everything I love about The Beach Boys here. I’m constantly surprised how the melodies will often go off in an unexpected direction - just one of the many ways this album transcends its genre. I listened to this three times in a row and just floated away on those beautiful harmonies over a glorious wall of sound. What a perfect album!

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Mon Nov 07 2022
5

I'm really loving all of the exposure I'm getting to The Beach Boys with this project. And it's fun to read about the goings-on around the recording and the release of this record. Do You Wanna Dance hits you with the Phil Spector-ish wall of sound, making it clear why Wikipedia classifies this as Orchestrated Rock. I love the complexity of the lyrics on side 2 of the album hinting at where Brian Wilson is headed. A gem!

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Mon Nov 07 2022
5

I've been a fan of The Beach Boys my entire life. I was more of a fan of the later orchestral sounds than the early surf songs, but I liked them all. How fun to be able to explore the evolution of their sound.

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Thu Nov 17 2022
5

Beautiful harmonies in timeless pop music. Great stuff from the Beach Boys as always.

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Fri Nov 25 2022
5

There's magic in The Beach Boys' music -- the way their vocal harmonies float in the air, the way bass drums and timpani add drama with a buh-dum-dum. I can't believe I've never listened to this particular album before. I'm loving it. "Do You Wanna Dance" is one of my favorite songs and The Beach Boys' version is one of the definitive takes on it that all other versions get judged against. Something that struck me after listening to the album a few times is how many songs are about male insecurity. On "Good to My Baby," a guy swears that he treats his girl right and that she loves him but it's pretty clear that's not really the case. "Don't Hurt My Little Sister" takes the opposite perspective. An older brother is worried his sister's boyfriend isn't good enough for her. On "Help Me, Rhonda," (a classic) the guy is just using Rhonda as a rebound hookup after getting dumped by his fiancee. The music makes it sound like an upbeat love song but he's really just hurt. Rhonda looks good but he doesn't seem to care about her at all. "She Knows Me Too Well" is a song from the perspective of a jealous man and on "In the Back of My Mind," a man is paranoid his happy relationship will eventually crumble. There are a lot of insecure and unhappy men in these songs. You can put this on in the background and jam out to the music (which I did a few times and loved) but a closer look gives you a deeper (and sadder) experience.

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Wed Nov 30 2022
5

5/5. There are just a few songs that prevent the 5/5 score but it is so close that I thought I’d give it anyway. 4.8/5 to be exact.

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Fri Dec 02 2022
5

It was time to put away the surfboards, for the time being anyway. Today! was Brian Wilson fleshing out ideas and soundscapes that would soon engulf his psyche and end up changing the course of music forever. Despite the songs being taut, it is packed with intent for a different kind of listening experience; songs for the interior space as opposed to the beaches that were once roamed and eternally romanticized. Today! is the blueprint for what was to come. Do not skip out.

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Thu Dec 22 2022
5

Excelentes los arreglos vocales y la música. Gran álbum

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Fri Jan 20 2023
5

If you’ve heard the Beach Boys before you know precisely what you’re getting into. Smooth vocals by Love and Wilson, great songwriting and the feeling that summer might never end and the only thing that could stop it are the gray clouds in your mind,

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Tue Feb 07 2023
5

I hadn't previously considered the lyrics much when listening to the Beach Boys. That was a mistake. Another excellent album. 4.5/5

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Wed Mar 01 2023
5

Classic! Love that Brian Wilson sound!

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Thu Mar 02 2023
5

Today! Is where we really begin to see Brian Wilson’s production and songwriting style ramp up to its experimental apex which would come on 1966-1967. Having stepped down from touring after a panic attack en route to Houston, Brian Wilson began spending more time in the studio. The result is a wall of sound style production with more introspective songwriting tinged with melancholy. The results are undeniable.

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Fri Mar 10 2023
5

I had a great mate at my last workplace (where I worked for 20 years) named Dermot. A music nut, he was always burning cd’s & leaving them on my desk to surprise me. One day I lobbed at work to find a cd with the title : The Godlike Genius That Is…..BRIAN WILSON. If the house I live in ever catches alight & I only have time to grab one cd, that’s the one I’m grasping for. For years I thought it was some rare compilation, but turns out it was a collection put together by a friend of Dermot’s. It is a joy, and it celebrates the eloquence of Wilson’s lyrics, music, production,etc. Not a bunch of hit singles. There were 5 tracks from Pet Sounds & 4 tracks from the Today album & I knew none of those 4 tracks - the glorious I’m So Young ( a cover version of a 1958 release by The Students); Please Let Me Wonder; She Knows Me Too Well; & Kiss Me Baby. These are the first 4 tracks on Side 2, & are widely regarded as a precursor to the majesty of Pet Sounds, although, for me, I don’t think The Beachboys ever sounded any better than this. As for Side 1, it opens with a cover of Bobby Freeman’s Do You Wanna Dance that’s pretty good, if unnecessary, and closes with the great Dance, Dance, Dance. In between is a version of Help Me R(h)onda that is not as good as the single version they subsequently recorded. But if you are not familiar with this album, it’s a revelation. Godlike.

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Mon Mar 20 2023
5

Superb - the Beach Boys are tops!

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Fri May 05 2023
5

If Pet Sounds often gets compared to The Beatles' Sgt Pepper, then I would say this parallels their Rubber Soul. It is an album that is mid-emergence of their previous style, and transitionary sound that blends their past and their future. And god damn is it good. The songs are all so fun and catchy, it explores unique and interesting ideas, the intentional sequencing of the songs really pushing forward the album format, and it's orchestration and instrumentation pushed the boundaries of what rock could do.

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Fri May 26 2023
5

Classic. I've been listening to these songs for basically my entire life, so this shit is part of my DNA at this point.

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Mon Jun 12 2023
5

вау!очень коротенький..

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Mon Jul 10 2023
5

Just sit back and let these delicious vocal harmonies surf over you. Maybe just don’t pay so much attention to the lyrics. I don’t think this will be everyone’s cup of tea, but man, I’m just a sucker for the 60s surf sound. This album gives off the best kind of feeling I get from listening to music; a sense of nostalgia and longing for a time I was never even a part of.

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Sat Aug 19 2023
5

Iconic and happy as hell. Always great production and perfect vocals and harmonies.

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Sun Sep 03 2023
5

So great to re listen to this seminal release.

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Fri Sep 22 2023
5

Actually very down for this today. Lessgooooo. This shit goes undeniably hard. Beach boys can be easily labeled as corny old school music but you listen and its just amazing. Every track is so beautiful. I loved this. I think I have it on vinyl, i hope so.

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Fri Oct 27 2023
5

Very good! Singing in Falsetto before it was cool.

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Fri Nov 17 2023
5

I don’t think I’d heard this particular album before. It’s interesting to hear the period between classic surf Beach Boys and Pet Sounds Beach Boys.

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Wed Feb 14 2024
5

Beautiful, listened to both mono and stereo. Brian Wilson is the 👑

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Thu Feb 22 2024
5

Sun, surf, phantastic vocal arrangements. Wilson quality work.

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Thu Feb 22 2024
5

Boy we went a little environmentalist on this one my dude

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Fri Feb 23 2024
5

such a laidback and carefree album. Beautiful harmonies, and the remastered nature adds some tasteful adjustments to leveling and mixing.

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Fri Mar 01 2024
5

I grew up on surf rock. I love it

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Fri Mar 15 2024
5

One of the best Beach Boys albums. So pure and sad and fun.

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Mon Mar 18 2024
5

Gute-Laune-Musik! Das Leben ist oft grau und öde genug. Eigener, unverwechselbarer Stil. 5/5

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Wed Apr 03 2024
5

The beginning of the beach boys musical revolution. I love it

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Fri Apr 05 2024
5

Absolutely brilliant. What's not to like about The Beach Boys. Brilliant harmonies. They are the sound of summer. Makes me want to put on a pair of Vans and grab my surfboard. Great stuff. 👍

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Fri Apr 26 2024
5

This album is the best!! It put me in such a good mood, and there are so many bangers on it. Made me feel like I was chilling on the beach mid-summer with absolutely no care in the world!

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Thu May 02 2024
5

I mean, I do remember being a teenager and I probably would have connected with these songs.

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Tue May 04 2021
4

It’s not Pet Sounds but still awesome.

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