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bugs

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Mary is off having fun again this week, so she asked if I could select the Song of the Week today.  Apparently, I’m her 2nd favorite person on the board, right behind kds [wink].  And though the odds of me surpassing last week’s four-page (!) SOW discussion are slim to none, I’m going to give it a go here today.

Hmmm, “Here Today” – good idea.  This will be my SOW.  I’d call it a deep cut from “Pet Sounds,” but there’s no such thing now, is there? 

Some here know that I’m a big fan of Philip Lambert’s book “Inside the Music of Brian Wilson.”  In it, he speaks of the music in “Here Today” being “an off-shoot of some of the ‘Good Vibrations’ material from a month or so [prior]; a general resemblance between the two songs is apparent, especially in the opening bars…[yet] the substance of ‘Here Today’ is distinctive and stands apart from its source inspiration.”  Carpe Diem! “Make the most of it now, proclaims the bombastic chorus, because Love is here / today and it’s gone…”  I love that!

So while the 1966 studio cut is great (and one of ML’s better leads), I’m including this video link (hope it works for all) to the magical “Pet Sounds Live in London” version from January 2002.  I really like Brian’s lead-in to the instrumental break (“OK, here we go!”).  Special guest – Andy Paley on percussion:
(If the link doesn't take you there, "Here Today" starts at 6 min 40 sec)



Writing Credit - Brian Wilson/Tony Asher
Production Credit - Brian Wilson


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Lee Marshall

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Reply with quote  #2 
I'll start by saying that I do like this song.  That said...it is likely my 10th or 11th favourite song...just ahead of the 2 instrumentals...on a nearly perfect album.

It doesn't quite measure up to the rest in terms of that 'classy' sound which dominates.  And I wonder who decided to add the word "now" on the tail end of the first 2 lines?   Now...it seems like kind of a bad idea now.

Still...it's a decent enough song.  BUT for different reasons...sort of like Sloop John B...it seems to be just a tiny touch out of its element with this specific album.
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bugs

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Reply with quote  #3 
I think I like it more than you, Lee, but it's also not in my top 5 or so on that LP (of course, that means I love it still).  Funny that your thoughts are similar to Brian's - (according to Lambert) - "I like it, but yet I didn't."  He seems to be describing the lyrics, as Tony said "[It] was sort of a struggle before we got a lyric that Brian was happy with, that Brian and I were both happy with."

But what Brian did like (and I really like) is the music.  And I think this track is actually much more in touch with the LP's theme than SJB.  Lambert makes a case for the recurring unifying musical thread that exists throughout (most of) "Pet Sounds" also exists in "Here Today" - the descending bass line, the trombone's lower register throughout the chorus.  I really fall for creative bass lines, so that's likely why it floats my boat.

Thanks for chiming in, Lee - Your long-time presence on this board gives it a respectable anchor, with added color! [thumb]

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curt lambert

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Reply with quote  #4 
Great choice, Bugs. As would be any Pet Sounds cut. I've always liked this song from my first listen as a teenager. I especially dug then, and still do now, yea these many years later, the instrumental bridge section. The descending lines and the studio chatter left in - the instrumentation and the energy always pops out of my speakers. As a kid, I wanted to be in that studio watching and listening to all of that melodic power. Don't you feel the excitement?
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GGH

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Reply with quote  #5 
Good choice Doug. Anything off the Pet Sounds album is great, but, like Lee, I don't particularly favor Here Today. I'd probably put in in the same boat with the instrumentals. I enjoy this song, but Mike's lead vocal does not enhance the quality of the song, in my opinion. Despite my dislike for Mike and the "now" interjections, I do like the song quite a bit.
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Lee Marshall

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Reply with quote  #6 
To be clear...I DO like the song...and yes it does fit better than the traditional old sailin' song.  It's just that lyrically...it's...it's...it's a song for Mike to sing.  Not quite up to the calibre of the others Tony penned with Brian's input.
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bugs

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by curt lambert
Great choice, Bugs. As would be any Pet Sounds cut. I've always liked this song from my first listen as a teenager. I especially dug then, and still do now, yea these many years later, the instrumental bridge section. The descending lines and the studio chatter left in - the instrumentation and the energy always pops out of my speakers. As a kid, I wanted to be in that studio watching and listening to all of that melodic power. Don't you feel the excitement?
"The instrumentation and the energy always pops out of my speakers." - That's it, Curt!  That happens to me/for me with these parts in "Pet Sounds" and other BW creations around this time.  

Just curious - is anyone else able to open that YT video above...and if so, does it start at the 6 min 40 sec mark for you? It doesn't for me (like I asked it!) - just starts at the beginning of part 2 of 3.

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Cretanwelsh

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Reply with quote  #8 
My No. 13 on Pet Sounds but I still love this sulky, raspberry-blowing, foot-stamping tantrum of a song - because that's part of growing up too.

Also agree with bugs, that bass is incredible -so crisp, it sounds angry!

This was a real highlight of the Pet Sounds set in sunny Cardiff last year. Never to be forgotten.

PS must defend the instrumentals a little bit -Lets Go Away for Awhile is maybe my Pet Sounds no. 2.

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Lee Marshall

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Reply with quote  #9 
Yes CW...I agree it IS a terrific part of the album.  The other...not quite to the same extent.  It did, after all, have a different reason for existing.
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kds

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Reply with quote  #10 
It took me awhile to really appreciate Here Today.  For the longest time, I thought it was just a song between I Know There's an Answer and IJWMFTT.  But the backing track, the tempo changes, the brilliant instrumental break, coupled with one of my all time favorite Mike lead vocals make it a nice track.  

Nice pick bugs.  
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MaryNYS

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Reply with quote  #11 
Hi all,

Bugs, thank you for posting this week.  Here Today is a very good song.  It has a nice beat and Mike sings well.  Everything on Pet Sounds is great.  I am glad that Brian is enjoying this tour.  
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kds

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Reply with quote  #12 
For anyone who hasn't seen it yet, Al has recently taken over the lead vox on Here Today at Brian's shows.  Good job too.

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