"God Only Knows" is a song written by Brian Wilson and Tony Asher for American rock band the Beach Boys, released in May 1966 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, peaking at number 2 on the UK Singles Chart. The song names God in its title and lyrics, which was unusual for a pop single at the time. The sentiments expressed in the lyrics were not specific to any God, and could be addressed to any higher force, being a song about moving forward after loss. Wilson said that his and Asher's intention was to create the feeling of "being blind but in being blind, you can see more". Sung by Brian's younger brother Carl Wilson, the Beach Boys' recording was produced and arranged by Brian using an unorthodox selection of instruments. These included French horn, accordions, sleigh bell, harpsichord, and a quartet of violas and cellos heard throughout the piece in counterpoint. Its complex musical structure avoids the use of authentic cadences and a definite key signature. The perpetual rounds in its coda were also unusual for popular music of the era.more »
The Beach Boys are an American rock band, formed in 1961 in Hawthorne, California. The group was initially composed of brothers Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and friend Al Jardine. Managed by the Wilsons' father Murry, the Beach Boys signed to Capitol Records in 1962. The band's early music gained popularity across the United States for its close vocal harmonies and lyrics reflecting a Southern California youth culture of surfing, cars, and romance. By the mid 1960s, Brian Wilson's growing creative ambition and songwriting ability would dominate the group's musical direction. The primarily Wilson-composed Pet Sounds album and "Good Vibrations" single (both released in 1966) featured a complex, intricate and multi-layered sound that wa… more »
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