Uh oh… Between that last Bauhaus record and this Beach Boys pressing, I’m having some slight doubts about this project. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Beach Boys like crazy — they’re one of my favorite groups and covered well enough in my collection that I wouldn’t be surprised to hit another one as the next 10th record. But this duophonic pressing is really hard to sit through.
“Today” was a definite landmark in my deepening appreciation of the Beach Boys in my 20s. I’d listened to them a bunch as a wee (some of my first LPs were the 80s reissues of “Little Deuce Coupe” and “Live” as well as the “Endless Summer”/”Spirit of America”/”Good Vibrations” compilations), liked “Pet Sounds” from my teens, but hadn’t really dug very deep into my appreciation. A friend recommended “Today,” and that re-introduction led to heavy consumption of all the 90s 2-fer CD reissues and a thorough entrenchment into the history and folklore of Brian Wilson in general — they quickly went from a band I liked to one of my all-time favorites. I still have a soft spot for “Today,” as a result, and have a few copies of this record in an effort to get something that sounds somewhat decent — that’s a challenge for Beach Boys vinyl, in general.
I know the 80s Capitol green label vinyl reissues are appreciated for their overall sound, so I scoop them up when I see them in used bins. That was the case here, but I didn’t note the Duophonic marking while doing so. This album was originally released mono, as was most of the BB’s early-to-mid canon was (with some early exceptions, but hey, grab that info somewhere else), with Capitol creating fake stereo versions to satisfy the new stereo consumers. Duophonic was one of those fake stereo processes, and the result here is pretty bad. I had a hard time not taking off the LP right away, and ended up doing other things to help me suffer through it. They basically processed two different mono signals with some time delay and echo that makes it sound muffled and echo-y and weird. Boo to that, and boo to this record! I should probably dump this one, but unlike the Bauhaus record reviewed previously, this one would have little to no value.
Origin: I found this in an odd record shop in Mound, MN. They were having real estate issues and needed to either liquidate their inventory/go out of business/or get cash to buy the building they were in; they had posted some deep sales notices on Craigslist that made me journey out to see what they had. The shop was wedged in behind a vacuum repair shop:
I dug out a few records, including this cheapy. It grabbed my attention because of the odd “Today” retitling, and I was excited enough to have another 80s green label before I really realized what I’d done. Oh well! The record store ended up surviving (they raised enough $$ to finance their building), and I’d like to visit again someday…