The Beach Boys Today!, also known simply as Today!, is the eighth studio album by the American rock group the Beach Boys, and their first of three 1965 releases. Although few realized the significance of the album at the time, Today! marked a major transition point for the band; notably Brian Wilson's sophisticated, orchestral approach Wilson later disclosed that he had begun using marijuana during December 1964 as a stress reliever, but became a regular user after he realized the profound effect it had on the way he perceived music.
The tracks on the first half of Today! feature an electric guitar-rock oriented sound that contrasts the second half consisting of ballads, showing an increased mature lyrical depth that would foreshadow future efforts like Pet Sounds. The second side marks Wilson's continuing maturation as a recording artist; all the songs (sans comedy filler track "Bull Session") showcase creatively developed vocal & instrumental arrangements, complex Wall of Sound production, and lyrically introspective subject matter.
By the end of a particularly stressful 1964, the Beach Boys had released four albums in 12 months, dismissed the Wilsons' father Murry from his managerial position and recorded the advance hit singles "When I Grow Up (To Be a Man)" and "Dance, Dance, Dance. Mid-1964 also saw the divorce of Mike Love from his first wife Frances St. Martin who he had married in 1961. During the album's recording sessions, Love told Melody Maker that he and the band wanted to look beyond surf rock, wanting to avoid living in the past or resting on the band's laurels.