Friday, March 23, 2007

Number 641 - Beach Boys


Number 641

Beach Boys

"Help Me Rhonda"

(1965)
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Genre:Surf Rock
Ugh! I was born in this year (Surely theres a mistake officer?) Anyhoo, The Beach Boys were one of the biggest musical influences of my life. Nothing sounded like them and as i say on Number 714 "Wouldn't It Be Nice" no-one (that i had heard of) could harmonise the way they did. Totally singable with a hair brush and a mirror and it didn't matter if you slipped a note because the other 5 Beach Boys were backing you up anyway. My surfing mates were horrid to know i was into Beach Boys, and i, armed with cassette tapes listening on the way to Piha in a Holden station wagon (The Holden didnt have a front window, fraggin chilly drive) when they were abhorrently into their Black Sabbath & . But nothing beat the sound of harmony and not even Sid Vicious could stand in the way of true music!
Brian Wilson's retirement from performing to concentrate on studio recording and production reaped immediate dividends with Today!, the first Beach Boys album that is strong almost from start to finish. "Dance, Dance, Dance" and "Do You Wanna Dance" were upbeat hits with Spector-influenced arrangements, but began to deal with more sophisticated themes on another smash 45, "When I Grow Up," on which these eternal teenagers looked forward to the advancing years with fear and uncertainty. Surf/hot rod/beach themes were permanently retired in favor of late-adolescent, early-adult romance on this album, which included such decent outings in this vein as "She Knows Me Too Well," "Kiss Me Baby," and "In the Back of My Mind."


The true gem is "Please Let Me Wonder," one of the group's most delicate mid-'60s works, with heartbreaking melodies and harmonies. Be aware that the version of "Help Me, Rhonda" found here is an inferior, earlier, and slower rendition; the familiar hit single take was included on their next album, Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!). [Today!/Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!), a Capitol two-fer CD, combines this and Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!) onto one disc, adding alternate takes of "Dance, Dance, Dance," "I'm So Young," and "Let Him Run Wild," as well as a previously unreleased studio version of "Graduation Day." Most significantly, it also adds the non-LP single from late 1965, "The Little Girl I Once Knew," which looked forward to Pet Sounds in its studio experimentation and lyrical themes.] ~ Richie Unterberger
Again, What does rolling Stone think about Beach Boys?
The Beach Boys were still into cars, girls and surfboards, but Brian Wilson was already a genius. He writes sweet California tunes here, from "When I Grow Up (to Be a Man)" to "Don't Hurt My Little Sister." And the haunting "She Knows Me Too Well" hits as deep as anything on Pet Sounds.
Total album sales: 500,000
Peak chart position: 4
For Black Sabbath see Number 826 & Number 979
For Sex Pistols see Number 500
For more Beach Boys see Number 517, #560 & #714
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (We just couldn't get off on this song) and the Album ranked at Number 270
This song has a crowbarred rating of 70.7 out of 108

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