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4.8 out of 5 stars22
4.8 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 30 July 2002
After 'Pet Sounds' I would say that these two albums are the best of the Beach Boys output. Much on both hints at what was to come on 'Pet Sounds' with, in my opinion, some of the most beautiful of all Beach Boys tunes on show.
Aside from the seven top 40 hits here, there are the wonderful 'Please Let Me Wonder', 'Let Him Run Wild' and 'In the Back of My Mind'. The instrumental 'Summer Means New Love' is just perfect whilst the a cappella 'And Your Dreams Come True' is an absolute jaw-dropper - honestly, you will just die when you hear it! Bonus track 'The Little Girl I Once Knew' is one of the greatest Beach Boys songs ever and 'Graduation Day' is High School nostalgia bound to make any American child of the fifties smile inside at the thought of proms and cheerleaders and all those American High School things we Brits learn about from American teen movies.
Should be purchased with, or immediately after 'Pet Sounds', preferably alongside 'Friends/20-20' and 'Sunflower/Surf's Up'.
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on 10 July 2011
Apart from two or three awful and cheesy party type fillers on here, "I'm Bugged" & "Amusement Park USA" etc (which were probably demanded by Mike Love so as to dilute what he saw as the drug fueled creativity of Brian emerging as the sole talent) this is a seminal release of Brian maturing genius. If you want to find the developing baroque eccentricity of Brian's compositional style then having a copy of these two albums are a must. Highlights include "Let Him Run Wild", California Girls" and "Your So God To Me" including countless others.

What I simply cannot understand from other reviewers is why they failed to mention "Let Him Run Wild" which, for me anyway, is an absolutely astonishing '60s psychedelic masterpiece very foretelling of "Pet Sounds"

Anyway, this is my favourite album coupled with "Pet Sounds" with which to drive through the Devon lanes on the way to the beach. Buy it!
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on 6 March 2001
The Beach Boys may seem to continue to be an irrelevance to the lives of the majority of the music loving population, but these two albums are diamond. I feel sorry for the people who don't buy this. Two albums that immediately preceeded 'Pet Sounds', and many highlights are here. The glorious ballads on 'Beach Boys Today' such as 'Kiss Me Baby' and 'Please Let Me Wonder'. The Dennis sung 'In The Back Of My Mind' with sweet orchestration. 'Summer Days And Nights...' is the lesser of the two albums, but only slightly. It contains the evergreen 'California Girls' but the real highlight is the underrated rocker 'Salt Lake City' which really does give meaning to 'wall of sound'. In short, superb.
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on 15 August 2014
The decision by Capitol records to re-package many of the Beach Boys classic albums in this 'double header' format is inspired. 'Today' (the earlier of these 2 releases) is, for me, the more interesting of the pair - quite simply, the overall standard is higher and Brian Wilson was able to expand his musical horizons beyond the usual surf and sun themes which dominate the first half dozen BB albums. Having said that, there are enough familiar tracks listed amongst the 24 titles on the 2 original albums to more than hold the attention here and the 5 Bonus tracks definitely add some spice to the mix. If you haven't got the likes of 'When I Grow Up (To Be A Man)', 'California Girls', 'You're So Good To Me' and the fabulous 'stop/start' single 'The Little Girl I Once Knew' ~ fear not, they're all here! This is a superb release and I heartily recommend it to Beach Boys fans.
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This twofer covers the period leading up to Pet sounds. Some of the tracks were cut in 1964 but most date from 1965. Do you wanna dance was the first big hit of the period. It a rock’n’roll classic that Brits first heard when Cliff Richard had a hit with it, but it was originally an American hit for Bobby Freeman. Another cover hit was Then I kissed her, an adaptation of the Crystals’ Then he kissed me.
Original songs yielded four American A-side hits, these being When I grow up, Help me Rhonda (a number one), California girls (one of their most famous songs) and The little girl I once knew.
I could have done without Bull session with the Big Daddy – it is just the Beach boys and a journalist chatting to each other. This sort of thing is fine for liner notes, but I don’t want it on a CD. Still, its only one track and can easily be skipped.
Alternate recordings are included of some songs. Perhaps the most interesting is the original Help me Ronda (note the spelling of Ronda) which appeared on the Today album. It was substantially changed musically before being released as the single Help me Rhonda (with the spelling change also) – that version was included on the Summer days album.
All the other tracks are typical Beach boys music of the period - two classic albums from one of the most important sixties groups.
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on 23 March 2001
This twin album highlights how difficult it is to keep the standards up when you're having to record one album at least every six months. Just as the Beatles followed up the superb Hard Day's Night with the ordinary Beatles for Sale, so the Beach Boys followed up the excellent Today with the mediocre Summer Days and Summer Nights. Today is, in my opinion, the single best Beach Boys album - even better than Pet Sounds. People talk about the second half of Today as being like a prototype for Pet Sounds, but in my opinion several of the tracks are much better than those on Pet Sounds, with possibly She Knows me Too Well the standout track. However, the brilliance of that album only serves to emphasise how disappointing Summer Days... is, with the exception of California Girls and You're So Good to Me, which are both on the essential 20 Golden Greats compilation anyway. Having said that, it's certainly worth forking out the money for Today on its own. So five stars for Today and three stars for Summer Days - 4 stars overall.
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on 4 January 2008
By far the best cd in the capitol double-play beach boys series. This cd combines two of the greatest albums of the sixties, beautifully combining classic rock and roll song such as 'good to my baby' and 'the girl from new york city' with breathtaking ballads such as 'kiss me baby' and 'she knows me so well'. It also contains two of the beach boys biggest hits in 'california girls' and 'help me rhonda'. The bonus tracks include what is in my opinion the most underated beach boy song ever in 'the little girl i once new' along side various alternate takes from hits on the albums.
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on 6 November 2012
I have just finished listening to this (not for the first time) I need my dose of the Beach Boys and hardly a day
goes by when I dont have my fix. What a bargain this c/d is, two of my favourite albums on one c/d for this price!!
I would pay 10 times this knowng what is contained, 29 tracks and not a bad one amongst them. Buy, Listen and marvel
at one of the god given talents of music.
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on 30 December 2012
I just love hearing Beach Boys with their wonderful distinctive surfing sound. The album is just brilliant. Just lay back, listen and feel the warmth of summer and forget the dark nights of winter and all the bad weather we having at the moment.
Just go out and buy it and do you own surfing!
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on 5 June 2015
Probably the best 2 albums after Pet Sounds, from the excellent Beach Boys. Contains the hits Help Me Rhonda and California Girls, but also some other gems, including When I Grow Up To Be A Man, You're So Good To Me, and an excellent version of Do You Wanna Dance. Recommended!
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