God Only Knows (2:51)

Cover of Summer Dreams

From Summer Dreams and 184 other releases

“God Only Knows” is a song by American band The Beach Boys. It is the eighth track on the group’s eleventh studio album Pet Sounds (1966), and one of their most widely recognized songs. “God Only Knows” was composed and produced by Brian Wilson, with lyrics by Tony Asher, and the lead vocal was sung by Carl Wilson.

The song broke new ground in many ways. It was one of the first commercial pop songs to use the word ‘God’ in its title. The song was also far more technically sophisticated than anything the Beach Boys, or arguably any pop group, had ever attempted before - particularly the complicated melodic structure and vocal harmonies. As producer, Brian Wilson also used many unorthodox instruments for the genre, including the harpsichord and French horns that are heard in the song’s famous introduction.

Mojo magazine ranked the song as the 13th greatest song of all time. Pitchfork Media named it the best song of the 1960s. The song is 25th on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.

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