Chart Position: 39

  • #25 on Rolling Stone magazines list of 500 greatest songs
  • Pitchfork’s #1 song of the 1960s
  • This is the ‘b’ side of ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’ (1966)
  • Written by Brian Wilson and Tony Asher
  • Lead vocals: Carl Wilson
  • Backing vocals: Brian Wilson, Bruce Johnston
  • Guitar: Carol Kaye, Carl Wilson
  • Keyboards: Don Randi
  • Flute: Jim Horn, Bill Green
  • Harpsichord: Larry Knechtel
  • Produced by Brian Wilson
  • Recorded in Los Angeles CA
  • The Beatles’ Paul McCartney was heavily influenced by this song; he wrote ‘Here There and Everywhere’ (1966) the same day he first heard God Only Knows
  • Brian Wilson has likewise recollected that he wrote God Only Knows after hearing The Beatles 1965 LP Rubber Soul, wanting to match their musicality
  • Many radio programmers were nervous about playing this song due to the word God in the title and lyrics
  •  Brian Wilson credits Loving Spoonful’s ‘You Didn’t Have to be So Nice’ (1965) as an inspiration for the melody
  • This song concludes with a musical device called perpetual rounds, which was not normally found in popular music
  • Later recorded by Castaways (1966), Brenda and Tabulations (1967),  Andy Williams (1967), Jay Five (1967), P.P. Arnold (1968), Four King Cousins (1968), Taste of Honey (1969), Vogues (1970), Joey Heatherton (1972), Claudine Longet (1972), Olivia Newton-John (1974), Captain and Tennille (1975), Betty Everett (1975), Glen Campbell (1977), Neil Diamond (1978), Jack Jones (1977), Lisa Lawalin (1978), King’s Singers (1978), Surfbreakers (1981), David Bowie (1984), Papa Doo Run Run (1985), Justin Hayward w/Mike Batt & London Symphony Orchestra (1989), Diesel Park West (1992), Terry Hall (1994), Manhattan Transfer (1995), Nylons (1996), Isabelle Antena (1997), Darren Day (1998), Jars of Clay (1999), Elton John (2001), Kingsmen (2001), Kate Miner (2002), Brian Wilson (2002), Holly Cole (2003), Dale Turner (2004), John Pizzarelli (2005), Elvis Costello and Brodsky Quartet (2006), Phil Keaggy and Friends (2007), Athlete (2007), Brown Derbies (2007), Only Men Aloud (2008), MAXX Factor (2010), Erin Orchestra (2010), Swingle Singers (2009), Scatter Tones (2010), Natalie Maines (2011), Ida Sand (2011), Derek Webb (2011), Amanda Faith (2011), Wilson Phillips (2012), Flaming Lips (2012), POP ETC (2014), Bryan Adams (2014), Matt McAndrew (2014), Sarah Maclaine (2015), Michael Buble (2016), Binghamton Crosbys (2016), Brandi Carlisle (2016), Thom Cooper (2016), Avenged Sevenfold (2017), Marc Martel (2018), Daniel Evans (2018) and many others

beach-boys-wouldnt-it-be-nice

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