The Beach Boys -
The Beach Boys Today!
Produced by Brian Wilson
Released March 1, 1965 - Capitol T-2269 (EMI)
This album marked a turning point in the career of Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys, and proved to be the opening salvo of a triumvirate of longplayers (excluding Party!)that defined their status as premier pop artists on a level with The Beatles. A few of the cuts had been completed in the summer and fall of '64, but the bulk of the album was recorded in the winter months following Brian's retirement from the road. Brian's composing skills had progressed beyond garage band "formula" writing, into the realm of what one might call "orchestrated rock". This was also the album where the scope and sheer musicality of Brian's arrangements necessitated the employment of outside musicians to a greater extent. As Carl put it in a 1981 interview for "Circus" magazine (reprinted in the September 1989 issue of "Guitar for the Practicing Musician"), "By the time of Beach Boys Today, there were a lot of prominent session men on the dates". Having said that, one should not sell short Carl's own contributions; the youngest Wilson (who just turned eighteen that December) had developed as a musician sufficiently to play alongside the horde of high-dollar session pros that big brother was now bringing into the studio. Carl's guitar playing on this album is a key ingredient, and in fact this is the most "guitar heavy" of the Boys' post-surf era albums. In a really cool stroke of programming genius, the album is divided into one side of rockers and one side of ballads (a technique probably inspired by two 1961 albums: the Everly Brothers’ Both Sides of an Evening and Elvis’ Something for Everybody, and one later utilized by The Rolling Stones on their 1981 Tattoo You album, but one which has lost much of its impact in today's CD-orientated world). As for the six songs recorded entirely after Brian's infamous December 1964 nervous breakdown, it's unknown if any of them were freshly composed or had been in development previously (two were, in fact, cover versions of other artists' songs), but certainly Brian's concentration and presence of mind was improved by his abandonment of touring, to the betterment of the music.
PRODUCTION NOTE: the standard method of operation for this album was to record the instrumental backing to two tracks of the 3-track tape (either one basic track and one overdub, or two tracks of the basic in stereo), leaving the remaining track for the first vocal overdub. These three tracks were then transferred to a second tape, while simultaneously adding another layer of vocals on top of the first layer (in other words, the resulting "second stage" 3-track tape would feature two tracks of instrumentation and one track of doubled vocals...previously, Beach Boys recordings would typically contain one track of instruments and two tracks of vocals). There were a few cases where a more elaborate production scheme was followed, and those are detailed below. This was also the first Beach Boys album since Surfin' Safari not to be issued in stereo as well as in mono.
For the info on this topic, click the link below...you will need Adobe Reader: