God Only Knows

Highly Appreciated

“God Only Knows”  is a song written by Brian Wilson and Tony Asher for American rock band The Beach Boys, released in May 1966 as the eighth track on the group’s album Pet Sounds.  Two months later, it was 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” led to the reinvention of the popular love song.  “God Only Knows” was voted 25 in Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, the second of seven Beach Boys songs to be featured (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”.  (More from Wikipedia)

When the British Invasion came along and seemed to sweep away the surf music scene, Brian Wilson masterminded a response album in 1966 by the Beach Boys that matched the Brits in every way:  Pet Sounds.  The hit songs from the album – “Wouldn’t it be Nice”, “God Only Knows” and “Sloop John B” – don’t begin to convey how well Pet Sounds works as an album.  The record was hugely influential and (in a nice twist) was an even bigger hit in England than it was in the USA


(June 2013/2)


Last edited: March 22, 2021