God Only Knows is a song written by Brian Wilson and Tony Asher, of Beach Boys fame, in 1966. It is a significant piece of music because it pushed rock music into the realm of art music by proving that sophisticated elements such as counterpoint reminiscent of the Baroque era cantatas and unconventional harmonies can be incorporated into mainstream music with commercial success. Besides the technicalities in the construction and recording of this piece of music, it is another example of Wilson's innate talent for creating heartfelt and timeless melodies that connect with us as listeners. Enjoy the next two and a half minutes of your life and listen to this classic track below.
Since God Only Knows first release in May 1966, many covers of the song have been recorded by an array of notable artists. Most recently, BBC Music rounded up many of the music world's heavy weights such as Pharrell Williams, Elton John, Lorde, Brian May, Dave Grohl and the BBC Concert Orchestra to cover the song for it's launch promo. The track was released as a charity single for Children In Need, for which it raised £2 million. Have a look 'n listen to the constellation of stars in this clip.
It is apt to include a clip showing an encounter between Wilson and, the (recently) late, George Martin a.k.a. the 'Fifth Beatle'. Martin interviews Wilson on his creative process and how this particular song came about. Martin then has a go at mixing the original master tape to the delight of Wilson. Martin's skill in understanding music as an artful arrangement of sound is a talent few possess. He worked with the greatest of the great and he made his mark on the recording industry. Take a moment to gain insight on the processes of two great creative minds..