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Beach Boys Faves

The winner:

God Only Knows

“God Only Knows” is a song written by Brian Wilson and Tony Asher for American rock band The Beach Boys, released in 1966 as the eighth track on the group’s album Pet Sounds. It was also released as the B-side of “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” in the United States. In other countries, “God Only Knows” was the single’s A-side. According to historian John Robert Greene, “God Only Knows” would later go on to reinvent the ideal of the popular love song.

The song names God in its title and lyrics, unusual for a pop single of its time, as Asher recalled: “Unless you were Kate Smith and you were singing ‘God Bless America’, no one thought you could say ‘God’ in a song [in 1966].” The sentiments expressed in its lyric were not specific to any God, and could be addressed to any higher force, being a song about moving forward after loss. Wilson later explained that his and Asher’s intention was to create the feeling of “being blind but in being blind, you can see more.”

Sung by Carl Wilson, the Beach Boys’ recording was produced and arranged by Brian using many unorthodox instruments, including French horn, accordions, and a quartet of violas and cellos heard throughout the piece in counterpoint. The musical structure has been variously cited for its harmonic complexity, evoking tension through its disuse of authentic cadences and a definite key signature. Its closing section features perpetual rounds, a device which wasn’t normally heard in popular music in the 1960s.

The song was voted 25 in Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, the second of seven Beach Boys’ songs to feature (the first being “Good Vibrations” at 6) and was ranked by Pitchfork Media as the greatest song of the 1960s. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame included it as one of “500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll”. (Read More on Wikipedia)

The Beach Boys, May 29, 2012” by Louise Palanker – Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons.

Comments are the icing on our cake. We love to hear from you! Are you satisifed with these results, would you have liked to have seen other songs amongst the top three? Let us know in the comments box at the foot on this page!

2 thoughts on “Beach Boys Faves

  1. You picked great ones, no doubt. You did not mention any songs in the oft-neglected 1968-1976 era.

    Time To Get Alone
    I’ll Bet He’s Nice
    Country Air
    This Whole World
    Surf’s Up
    Feel Flows

    so many more… That era of the Beach Boys gets overlooked so often

  2. Thanks for your feedback Rob. The actual voting for the best songs was done via Facebook where the voter had the option of adding his favorite song to the list. So actually this is a pretty good reflection of their favorites, although not representative amongst Beach boys fans worldwide of course..

    Of the songs you listed only Surf’s Up was voted for (getting 2 votes)

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