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Author Topic: Rank the tracks #8: Today!  (Read 10009 times)
Letsgoawayforawhile
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« on: December 03, 2012, 06:21:09 AM »

This is my second favorite album ever. I just can't say enough good things about this.

12. Bull Session
11. Help Me, Ronda - I'm really glad Brian reworked this on SDSN, this version just doesn't do much for me.
10. Dance, Dance, Dance - Great single. I really love that bass!
9. Good To My Baby - Great Song
8. Don't Hurt My Little Sister - Great Song. I really love Brian's part at the end.
7. Do You Wanna Dance? - I've heard Brian say this is the song that reminds him of Dennis the most. Such a cool cover.
6. When I Grow Up (To Be A Man) - What an awesome song! So ahead of it's time.
5. I'm So Young - Probably my favorite cover ever. Goes perfectly with the rest of side 2.
4. In The Back Of My Mind - Such a beautiful song. I really love the new stereo version. I only wish the guys would have done some background vocals on it.
3. She Knows Me Too Well - Brian's falsetto is so pretty in this!
2. Kiss Me, Baby - This is pretty much perfect to me. The intro, harmonies, everything.
1. Please Let Me Wonder - First time I heard this, it just blew me away. I had to keep playing it over. Perfection.

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« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2012, 06:27:26 AM »

1. Kiss Me, Baby
2. She Knows Me Too Well
3. In The Back of My Mind
4. Please Let Me Wonder
5. When I Grow Up (To Be a Man)
6. Don't Hurt My Little Sister
7. Good To My Baby
8. Dance, Dance, Dance
9. Do You Wanna Dance?
10. Help Me, Ronda
11. I'm So Young
12. Bull Sessions with Big Daddy
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« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2012, 06:34:05 AM »

1. Do You Wanna Dance - childhood favorite
2. She Knows Me Too Well - a more serious 'Don't Worry Baby' type song
3. In The Back Of My Mind - I pray the instrumental track is on the boxset!!
4. Please Let Me Wonder
5. When I Grow Up To Be A Man - such a beautiful coda
6. Good To My Baby - the harmonies mixing with the insanely creative backing track make for a phenomenal track
7. Kiss Me Baby
8. I'm So Young
9. Don't Hurt My Little Sister
10. Dance Dance Dance
11. Help Me Ronda - great song, but the SDSN version blows this out of the water
12. Bull Sessions - my favorite filler on any BB album.
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« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2012, 07:13:26 AM »

1. In The Back Of My Mind - Oh man, the feelings this song conjures. The melody is so haunting and gorgeous and the fragility of Dennis' voice nails it.
2. Kiss Me Baby - The lyrics, the chorus and the trading of lines is amazing.
3. Please Let Me Wonder - So loving and sweet but the solo kind of kills it. The solo is like the album version of Wendy, awful (See the Ed Sullivan Show version)
4. When I Grow Up To Be A Man - A theme well done and with a great tag and ending coda.
5. She Knows Me Too Well - Amazing melody and great vocal performances by both Brian and Mike.
6. Good To My Baby - One of the best choruses in any song.
7. Dance Dance Dance - A fun little track with a good, catchy riff and great use of key changes.
8. Do You Wanna Dance - A great rocker, although Dennis is drowned out.
9. I'm So Young - I prefer the alternate version on the Twofer, to be honest.
10. Help Me Ronda - The Summer Days (And Summer Nights !!) version is much better. Drags on much too long and those false endings annoy the heck out of me.
11. Don't Hurt My Little Sister - Risque lyrics which don't go well with kinda poor backing.
12. Bull Sessions - Actually pretty funny, I enjoy each second but gets placed here because it isn't a song. "Everything's gonna be alright, Marilyn".
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« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2012, 07:44:12 AM »

1. Please let Me Wonder
2. *Guess I'm Dumb (woulda, coulda, shoulda been)
3. In the Back of My Mind
4. When I Grow Up
5. She Knows Me Too Well
6. Kiss Me, Baby
7. Good to My Baby
8. I'm So Young
9. Dance, Dance, Dance
10. Don't Hurt My Little Sister
11. Do You Wanna Dance
12. Help Me, Ronda
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« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2012, 07:55:27 AM »

Kiss me, Baby
Please Let me Wonder
When I Grow Up (To be a Man)
She Knows me So Well
Dance, Dance, Dance
In the Back of my Mind
Good to my Baby
I'm So Young
Help me, Ronda
Don't Hurt my Little Sister
Do You Wanna Dance?
Bull Session with "Big Daddy" (JUST WHY?)  Angry
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« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2012, 08:09:14 AM »

1. Kiss Me, Baby
2. Dance, Dance, Dance
3. Please Let Me Wonder
4. When I Grow Up
5. Do You Wanna Dance
6. I'm So Young
7. Good To My Baby
8. She Knows Me Too Well
9. In the Back of My Mind
10. Help Me,  Rhonda
11. Don't Hurt My Little Sister
12. Bull Sessions

What a great album. Seriously. This isn't even their best (IMO) and most bands would kill to have a record 1/4 as good as this.
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« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2012, 08:13:48 AM »

3. In The Back Of My Mind - I pray the instrumental track is on the boxset!!

Isn't the instrumental track on Unsurpassed Masters?
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« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2012, 08:44:07 AM »

1. "Do You Wanna Dance?"
2. "When I Grow Up (to Be a Man”
3. "She Knows Me Too Well”
4. "Please Let Me Wonder”
5. "Kiss Me, Baby"   
6. "I'm So Young"
7.  "In the Back of My Mind”
8. "Dance, Dance, Dance" 
9. "Good to My Baby"   
10. "Don't Hurt My Little Sister" 
11. "Help Me, Ronda"   
12. "Bull Session with the 'Big Daddy'"
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« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2012, 09:15:27 AM »

Similar to All Summer Long for me. Ten all-time, unrankable tracks, with two lesser ones, in this case Ronda and Bull Session. I do cherish Brian's sense of humor in the placement of the latter, tho.
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« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2012, 09:26:09 AM »

1. Please Let Me Wonder - Just marvelous
2. Do You Wanna Dance? - Finally a perfect vehicle for Dennis
3. Kiss Me, Baby - Beautiful production and vocals
4. Dance, Dance, Dance - Great hook, great track
5. When I Grow Up (To Be a Man) - Great production, arrangement, and harmonies but I'm not real keen on the lyrics
6. In The Back of My Mind - Not as great as some people say it is (to me); tho as pointed out, backing vocals would have put it over the top
7. Good To My Baby - Decent
8. Help Me, Ronda - I LOVE this song but the production on this incarnation just sounds so wrong
9. She Knows Me Too Well - This and the following show promise but just aren't up to stuff as Pet Sounds and the better stuff on this album
10. Don't Hurt My Little Sister
11. I'm So Young
12. Bull Sessions with Big Daddy - Again, try to picture the fabs including garbage like this in ANY of their albums.  (And The Beatles' Story doesn't count  Tongue )

I also agree that "Guess I'm Dumb" would have been an absolute high point on this album.  In fact, I use it in place of  Big Daddy.
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« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2012, 09:52:30 AM »

1) Please Let Me Wonder
2) Do You Wanna Dance
3) Dance, Dance, Dance
4) She Knows Me Too Well
5) When I Grow Up (To Be A Man)
6) Don't Hurt My Little Sister
7) Good To My Baby
Cool Kiss Me, Baby
9) I'm So Young
10) Help Me, Ronda
11) In The back Of My Mind
12) Bull Session
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« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2012, 10:32:34 AM »

In reverse order, like the OP has done it:

12. Bull Session
It is funny (my favourite lines: 'You stepped on my French Fries', 'Earl Tree… hi fig!' and '…of all Europe, the only thing that stuck in my mind was the *bread*'), and I enjoy listening to it once every couple of years, but… it's not a song.

11. Help Me, Ronda
I'm not *that* crazy about the later single version, but that has just enough cool stuff to make it work (I love the solo piano and guitar interacting on the bridge of that version). But this version… it's just dull, and no amount of futzing with the volume on the fade is going to make it interesting.

10. I'm So Young
I've always thought this song over-rated. The timing is really off and wooden throughout - the drumming's awful! And not just on the twofer bonus track version, either - they're both terrible to my mind. Nice singing throughout… but that doesn't rescue it.

9. Don't Hurt My Little Sister
A fun little romp, but not much more than that. Spector-lite, but from before Brian had truly learned to better his teacher.

8. When I Grow Up
I know this one has attracted praise for its treatment of the adult theme of growing older at a time when it wasn't the done thing to encapsulate such themes in a pop song… but if I concede that it's lyrically ahead of its time, I have to wish it was a better song. It's got the off-the-wall Brian Wilson harmonic touch, but for me Brian's skill is most apparent when he makes utterly bizarre chord progressions sound completely effortless and normal, simple even, to the extent that it's only when you try to work out what the music's doing that you realise how complex it is ('Wonderful' and 'This Whole World' are great examples of this talent at work). In this song, the chord progressions sound knowingly bizarre - every time I hear the harpsichord break, I feel like Brian is mugging at my mind's eye like the nude organist at the beginning of Monty Python's Flying Circus, winking and going 'Crazy, huh? Ya see what I did there?'. And the overly repetitive bluesy harmonica rejoinders to the verse lines bug the living hell out of me!!! I do really like the 'Won't Last Forever…' coda, but it's not enough to save the song for me. Painfully honest omission: I actually prefer the 'Won't Last Forever' coda in the context of another Beach Boys song altogether… 'Winds of Change'. And mad as it may sound to choose something from MIU in preference to a track from Today, that's my truth. Now tell me yours.

7. Good To My Baby
I really like this one; it might not be super-deep but it rocks along and is a great performance from everyone, instrumentally and vocally. This is also one of those Brian songs that might sound like a ten-cent rocker on first listening but has some great surprises in store when you try to figure out the changes. Up to here in my countdown, I can take or leave the tracks, or only listen to them infrequently. From here on, they're essential early Beach Boys material for me.

6. Kiss Me, Baby
Well, having said that, I'm not as crazy about this song as some. There's been so much attention focused on this song in recent years: Brian always plays it live, the Endless Harmony documentary and soundtrack made a big deal about it. I like it, it's OK, but I don't feel über-love for it, perhaps because the other originals on side 2 overshadow it so much for me? And the more I found out about it, the more 'meh' I became about it. I had never noticed the 'Kiss A Little Bit, Fight A Little Bit' backing vocal in the chorus until Brian pushed up a fader on the EH documentary. I just hadn't noticed it in the mono mix. But… I don't like that line, and now I can't ever hear the song without it in my head. Bummer.

I guess it has to be the best Brian Wilson song written in a brothel, though. Well, of those we know about, anyway…   Wink

5. Dance, Dance, Dance
Oh man, as rockers go, this one absolutely cooks. It's got 1964 Top 10 hit written all over it. Someone once said of Brian (I think it was either Mark Volman or John Cale… can anyone remember?) that in the 60s, record company people always said to struggling musicians "oh, don't worry, no-one *really* knows what's going to be a hit single and what isn't", but this person felt that that wasn't true: in 1964-5, one man *did* know how to make a guaranteed hit: Brian Wilson. And when I think of that quote, it's tracks like this I think of: beefy, jingle-bell-laden mega-productions, testosterone-fuelled hit singles that Brian cranked out at the apex of his competitive phase, firing on all Spector-influenced cylinders…

4. Do You Wanna Dance
…and then topping them with an even rockingier (not a word) production that makes the previous one sound like a hymn. MORE lead guitar! MORE testosterone! (get Dennis in on lead!!!) MORE percussion (kettledrums, this time, I think) MORE super-high falsetto!! (throughout, then even more still on the tag).

An album of stuff like these last two tracks would be wearing, but it's so beautifully balanced on Today! by the reflective stuff on Side 2. On top of all the hard work that went into the compositions and performances on this album, it's a very thoughtfully *compiled* work, too…

3. Please Let Me Wonder
Into the top 3 now, and they're all such, such strong tracks, it's hard to decide between them - if the Brian Wilson had never done anything great again after this trio, I would still remember him for these. A beautiful song expressing a beautiful sentiment, exquisitely expressed with a heartstoppingly lovely vocal performance by Brian. The solo doesn't bother me in the slightest; it fits perfectly as far as I'm concerned. The only things I slightly rate down here are Carl's 'I love you' (which probably sounded heartfelt and genuine in 1965, but sounds cheesy to truly over-ripe gorgonzola-like levels today), and the ending to the track; it sounds as though Brian couldn't think of a good way of ending it, and it just fades out in an awkward place on a vibes break. The conclusion to Brian's live performances of this song for the last few years, where the number ends on an a cappella rendition of the chorus vocals, always seems like a better way to round it off to me.

2. In the Back of My Mind
Musically inventive and innovative, full of unmistakably Wilsonesque chords, progressions, arrangements, production touches and time signature, *and* also dealing with awkward, groundbreakingly uncertain lyrical themes for a 1965 pop song (as in When I Grow Up, but wedded to a more satisfying song to my way of thinking), this is a towering achievement of a song, and only loses out to my number 1 track because of the bridge. I find the phrasing of the lyrics there rushed and awkward, and Dennis never nailed the double-tracking either, which made it worse. It sounds better with a single-tracked vocal, as on the 2012 stereo mix, but I think I'd still prefer the bridge to remain instrumental. But despite all of this, this is a world-beater of a song; one of Brian's finest ever to my way of thinking, and given the pedigree of his catalogue, that's not a compliment I bestow lightly.

1. She Knows Me Too Well
…and yet, I think this one is better still. It has all of the positive qualities of In The Back Of My Mind, but not a blemish to lessen its impact. Emotionally touching without being over-bearing, it maintains the themes of awkwardness in relationships that can be found all over Side 2 of Today, and which nobody else in pop had really yet mined to any extent in the mid-1960s. The backing track is perhaps less ornate than that of In The Back Of My Mind, but seems to be doing something even more musically inventive, the awkwardness of the narrator's tale being brilliantly reflected in the uncertain, diminished chord voicings and strange-sounding, almost sour augmented harmonies. This could so easily have sounded unpleasantly dissonant, but in the hands of 1965 Brian Wilson, it comes out sounding plaintive and deeply moving, and enhances the song instead of detracting from it. In my opinion, a masterpiece on a record that already has more than its fair share of them.
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« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2012, 10:46:31 AM »

A+
When I Grow Up (To Be a Man)
Kiss Me, Baby
Please Let Me Wonder

A
Dance, Dance, Dance
Good to My Baby
She Knows Me Too Well
I’m So Young
In the Back of My Mind
Do You Wanna Dance

A-
Help Me, Ronda

B+
Don’t Hurt My Little Sister

C-
Bull Session with “Big Daddy”
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« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2012, 11:08:57 AM »

1. Help Me, Rhonda
2. Kiss Me, Baby
3. Dance, Dance, Dance
4. She Knows Me Too Well
5. Don't Hurt My Little Sister
6. When I Grow Up (To Be A Man)
7. Please Let Me Wonder
8. Good To My Baby
9. Do You Wanna Dance
10. I'm So Young (maybe the best No. 10 song you'll find on any album)
11. In The Back Of My Mind
12. Bull Session With Big Daddy (a terrible mistake to end the album with this, just a terrible choice)

As I'm typing this, I finally decided on my second favorite BB album after Pet Sounds. This one! What an incredible selection of songs. And to think that "Guess I'm Dumb" could've also been worked into the set. The Beach Boys Today should be mentioned in all those polls that rank the top albums. It should be WAY up there.
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« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2012, 11:15:30 AM »

In the Back of my Mind - all these are stunning, the first two the most imo.
She Knows me So Well
Please Let me Wonder
Kiss me, Baby

Do You Wanna Dance?
When I Grow Up (To be a Man) - very solid songs! I wish brian had done that falsetto on the alternate version on Help Me Ronda
Good to my Baby
Help me, Ronda

Dance, Dance, Dance - rather dull
I'm So Young


Don't Hurt my Little Sister - pretty sh*t


Bull Session with "Big Daddy - utter crap
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« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2012, 11:20:20 AM »

01.  Please Let me Wonder
02.  Kiss Me Baby
03.  She Knows Me Too Well
04.  In the Back of My Mind
05.  When I Grow Up to Be a Man
06.  Dance, Dance, Dance
07.  Good to My Baby
08.  I'm So Young
09.  Help Me Rhonda - the second version's a classic; this one?  Not so much.
10.  Don't Hurt My Little Sister
11.  Do You Wanna Dance
12.  Bull Session with the Big Daddy
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« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2012, 11:36:25 AM »

Simply it is hard to find a better album. All the elements are there and everybody's singing, writing, and playing at top form. They were already a great band, but this is a whole new level.
01.  Please Let Me Wonder
02.  When I Grow Up
03.  Dance, Dance, Dance,
04.  She Knows Me Too Well
05.  In The Back Of My Mind
06.  Good To My Baby
07.  Kiss Me Baby
08.  Do You Wanna Dance
09.  Don't Hurt My Little Sister
10.  I'm So Young
11.  Help Me Ronda (good but not what it will become)
12.  Bull Session with the "Big Daddy"
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« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2012, 11:50:11 AM »

1. Do You Wanna Dance?- Yes! Not the most profound cut on the album, but completely irresistable.
2. When I Grow Up (To be a Man)- one of the most fascinating, exciting, wonderful Brian Wilson hit single productions, can't get enough.
3. In the Back of my Mind- I'm blessed with everything, indeed.
4. She Knows me So Well - it's hard to rank most of these "side 2" songs, they're like different movements in a symphony.
5=Please Let me Wonder
5=Kiss me, Baby
7. Dance, Dance, Dance - could sound a bit warmer to these ears, but still rockin'
8. Help me, Ronda - A great song anyway.
9. Good to my Baby - superior potboiler
10. Don't Hurt my Little Sister - likewise
11. I'm So Young - prefer the Ronettes version

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« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2012, 01:19:22 PM »

Please Let Me Wonder
She Knows Me So Well
Kiss Me, Baby
When I Grow Up (To Be A Man)
Dance, Dance, Dance
I'm So Young
Good To My Baby
Don't Hurt My Little Sister
Do You Wanna Dance?
In the Back of My Mind
Help Me, Ronda
Bull Session with "Big Daddy"
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« Reply #20 on: December 03, 2012, 01:26:02 PM »

If The Beach Boys had only ever released one song, "Please Let Me Wonder", they would still be deserving of the acclaim they receive. That song is monstrous.
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« Reply #21 on: December 03, 2012, 01:28:45 PM »

If The Beach Boys had only ever released one song, "Please Let Me Wonder", they would still be deserving of the acclaim they receive. That song is monstrous.

100% agree - That song is everything to me. I sometimes kick out my Today! LP and just play that song on loop!
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« Reply #22 on: December 03, 2012, 02:00:15 PM »

If The Beach Boys had only ever released one song, "Please Let Me Wonder", they would still be deserving of the acclaim they receive. That song is monstrous.

100% agree - That song is everything to me. I sometimes kick out my Today! LP and just play that song on loop!

It's so good, that I just want to open it up and live in it.
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« Reply #23 on: December 03, 2012, 02:19:35 PM »

If The Beach Boys had only ever released one song, "Please Let Me Wonder", they would still be deserving of the acclaim they receive. That song is monstrous.

100% agree - That song is everything to me. I sometimes kick out my Today! LP and just play that song on loop!

It's so good, that I just want to open it up and live in it.

Well, I did always hear 'I build all my goals around you' as 'walls around you' - maybe Brian was trying to make a PLMW house Grin
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« Reply #24 on: December 03, 2012, 02:29:39 PM »

Great stuff there from Matt Bielewicz.  I'm not normally a big fan of these rank-the-tracks / make-a-list-of-some-Beach-Boys-songs threads, but that was a superb rundown, and one with which I almost completely agree.
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