Reviewing the Beach Boys albums exactly 50 years after their release gives an additional appreciation of the genius of Brian Wilson and the prolific nature of the band at the height of their commercial success and critical acclaim in 1965. It feels just like yesterday that I reviewed Today and indeed it was just four months ago. Whereas major artists take an average of four years to release their music these days, the Beach Boys released two quality albums in a space of four months.
Today is the 50th anniversary of Summer Days (and Summer Nights!), released the day after USA independence day and featuring only the Wilson brothers and Mike Love on the cover -Al apparently had the ‘flu. Summer Days can be seen as the Beach Boys classic “pop” album. While t Today was noted for its innovative use of the studio and “confessional” lyrics, Summer Days can be seen as a more up-tempo effort that is best known for the two massive hits, Help Me Rhonda and California Girls. Although much of the first part of the album is fairly lightweight and pop-oriented, this section does include the excellent Beatles pastiche Girls Don’t Tell Me..
The second part of the album does include two further milestones on the route to Pet Sounds, the lush instrumental Summer Means New Love and the ornate and lyrically deep Let Him Run Wild. And Your Dream Comes True is also a beautiful a-capella closer that captures the magic of summer and the mid-60s Beach Boys. If it is a bit of a holding operation- remember we are only two records away from Pet Sounds, it still shows Brian and the Beach Boys as masters of the pop scene .