The Beach Boys have gifted us many amazing songs throughout their musical career and truth be told, if I could really influence your music library, I would tell you to buy every single one of their albums. However, today, we’ll focus on one of the most influential songs on the rock and roll genre and most likely music as a whole, God Only Knows (1966). Believe it or not, it has been fifty years since the release of their phenomenal album Pet Sounds!
The eighth track on the album, the song God Only Knows appears on the Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and is also in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame‘s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll exhibit as well as many other notable lists and these honors are well deserved.
God Only Knows is a perfect sounding melody with its incredible orchestrations that fill the backdrop for the perfect lyrics that describe the highs of being in love, and all of the fears that accompany that rollercoaster ride. Only a musical genius like Brian Wilson could pen this type of tune and having Carl Wilson’s tender voice as the lead vocals on it was the perfect complement for it. Utilizing the sounds of harpsichords, french horns, sleigh bells, cellos, amongst others, the song builds as its lyrics do and the feeling of euphoria that an emotion like love can bring, along with the fear of losing that person someday ebbs and flows closely with these sounds. Word has it by the way, that mentioning “God” in the lyrics of a rock and roll song was not a common nor a cool thing to do…so this song also made some waves (no Beach Boys pun intended) when it hit the charts!
And so here we are. Lucky us! We’re the generation that got to witness a lot of The Beach Boys’ hits and most importantly the creation of this song. Let us hope that their legacy will live on for musical generations to come. Here’s to 50 more years of Pet Sounds!
Don’t have it in your collection? You can download it here: God Only Knows.
Thanks for listening! Enjoy the music.