Here Today (Beach Boys song)

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"Here Today"
Song by The Beach Boys
from the album Pet Sounds
ReleasedMay 16, 1966 (1966-05-16)
RecordedMarch 11 / 25, 1966
StudioSunset Sound Recorders and CBS Columbia Square, Hollywood
GenreChamber pop[1]
Producer(s)Brian Wilson
The Beach Boys singles chronology
"Wild Honey"
Alternative cover
Cover to 1968 "Darlin'" single release
Cover to 1968 "Darlin'" single release
Audio sample
"Here Today"

"Here Today" is a song written by Brian Wilson and Tony Asher for American rock band the Beach Boys, released on their 1966 album Pet Sounds. It is the tenth track on the album. The song's lyric is expressed from the perspective of a narrator who warns the listener of the inevitable heartbreak that will result from his newfound love. It was later included as the B-side to the 1967 single "Darlin'".

Background and lyricism[edit]

The song was composed and produced by Brian Wilson with the lyrics by Tony Asher about love being "here today and it's gone tomorrow," with the potential for heartbreak that never lies too far away "a brand new love affair is such a beautiful thing/but if you're not careful, think about the pain it can bring."[2] Tony Asher has said, "That's a song that has a number of little sections to it that are quite different. It was not one of the easier songs to write on the album. It was, as I recall, a song that I wrote quite a lot to, much of which we didn't use. It was sort of a struggle before we got a lyric that Brian was happy with."[3]

Wilson said in 1996, "'Here Today' was probably one of the mystery songs on the album. I don't really know what it's about. I liked it, but yet I didn't. I don't really identify with that song like I do with 'You Still Believe In Me', or 'Caroline, No.' It was just one of those songs in there, one little song."[4] Stephen Davis, who reviewed Pet Sounds, stated that "Here Today" "portrays a pessimism and disaffection that jars with the previous optimism. It is the end of the affair..."[5]


In 1990, Wilson said: "'Here Today' was a work of art in my opinion. It was assertive track with utilization of basses played up higher. The trombones gave it that masculine touch.."[6] Musicologist Walter Everett notes of the song: "One of the most remarkable parts in the bass literature occurs in 1:47–2:02 ... where rapidly repeated bass notes are all sevenths, 1 appearing beneath ii, in alternation with 7 placed below I."[7]

Bruce Johnston stated that the orchestral instrumental break of "Here Today" was influenced by late Baroque composers such as J. S. Bach.[8] Johnston also stated Brian was "redefining the word brilliant." He talked about the "unusual" break in the middle which he called "perfection". When discussing the Bach influence, Johnston stated "this is the break that Brian told me was influenced by Bach - and if you've heard any Bach at all, you'll know what he's talking about." Bruce also said he "wouldn't be surprised if every great musical talent of all-time is spinning around in Brian Wilson's great blender."[citation needed] Donald Guarisco of Allmusic described the song as "a highlight of Pet Sounds" and "one of Brian Wilson's most ambitious arrangements."[2]


"Here Today" was the last song started for the Pet Sounds album. When the instrumental track was recorded on March 11, it was logged as "I Don't Have a Title Yet", likely a reflection of some of the confusion surrounding its writing.[3] Some ideas for the track's arrangement and production were extracted from ideas Wilson attempted with early versions of "Good Vibrations", recorded around the same time.[9]

In the original mono release, some studio chatter between Bruce Johnston and a photographer can be heard during the instrumental break and the subject matter was revealed to be about cameras. Then, Brian says, "Top, please," which was an instruction to the engineer to rewind the tape to the beginning of the song so the group could attempt another take of the vocals. When the 1996 stereo mix of Pet Sounds was done, this was deliberately omitted from the song at Brian Wilson's request.[9][3]


Sourced from liner notes included with the 1999 mono/stereo reissue of Pet Sounds,[10] except where otherwise noted.

The Beach Boys;
Additional musicians

Cover versions[edit]


  1. ^ Lynskey, Dorian (May 16, 2016). "Brian Wilson Entrances Bristol on Eve of 'Pet Sounds' 50th Anniversary". Rolling Stone.
  2. ^ a b Guarisco, D.A. "Here Today". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-02-27.
  3. ^ a b c Elliott, Brad (August 31, 1999). "Pet Sounds Track Notes". Retrieved March 3, 2009.
  4. ^ The Pet Sounds Sessions: "The Making Of Pet Sounds" booklet (1996)
  5. ^ "Pet Sounds review". Retrieved 2010-12-16.
  6. ^ Leaf, David (1990). Party/Stack-O-Tracks (CD Liner). The Beach Boys. Capitol Records.
  7. ^ Everett, Walter (2008). The Foundations of Rock: From Blue Suede Shoes to Suite: Judy Blue Eyes. Oxford University Press. p. 285. ISBN 978-0-19-029497-7.
  8. ^ Essentials of music: Baroque composers Archived 2008-12-19 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ a b Hickey, Andrew (2011). The Beach Boys On CD: Volume 1 1961-1969. pp. 112–113. ISBN 978-1-4475-4233-9.
  10. ^ Pet Sounds (CD Liner). The Beach Boys. Capitol Records. 1999.CS1 maint: others (link)

External links[edit]