“God Only Knows” redux

July 8, 2021 • 3:00 pm

It’s said that the Brian Wilson/Tony Asher song “God Only Knows” is Paul McCartney’s favorite song, and even if it’s just one of his favorites, it’s a fantastic song. The more I hear of the Beach Boys, the better I like them, and to me this song is their best (the original 1966 recording from Pet Sounds is here).  I believe I’ve posted several versions over the years, but here’s one that’s new to me. It’s a surrealistic version of the song by “The Impossible Orchestra”, comprising a passel of famous instrumentalists and singers.

It was, of course, suggested by YouTube, and was apparently created to celebrate the creation of the BBC Music Channel. Your job, of course, is to listen to it and name as many of the famous singers and musicians you can. I got about 30% of them, for many became famous in recent years and are unknown to me.  But I spotted Chrissie Hynde!

To see a list of all the musicians in order, go here.

17 thoughts on ““God Only Knows” redux

  1. There were quite a few that I knew by sight but couldn’t put a name to (Though I got Lorde, weirdly enough). So I gave up and went to the BBC site. I won’t spoil any of them, though.

    The guy with the harmonica was VAGUELY familiar…

    1. “Don’t Worry Baby” — the B-side to “I Get Around.” Just as “God Only Knows” was the B-side to “Wouldn’t It Be Nice.”

      In my mind’s eye, I still see those orange & yellow Capitol Records’ 45 rpm labels spinning around on my turntable.

  2. I recognize the one who counts – Brian Wilson. A lot of the Beach Boys stuff holds up very well. We are a long way from Hawthorne.

  3. Brian May in front of a huge stack of guitar amps was very obvious. As were Elton John, Jules Holland (an ex-girlfriend confirmed that he is insufferable), and Dave Grohl.

    One Direction went gone off in five separate ones a few years ago, although I think I spotted them together in the video – yes, shoot me NOW!

    1. Jools Holland, damn autocorrect! (Regardless of the spelling, he still apparently suffers from short annoying person syndrome – like Napoleon – though, according to my ex…!)

  4. Paloma Faith, Florence (from the Machine) Sam Smith, the violinist I think was Vanessa May and apart from the obvious there were only a few I didn’t know on one pass.

    1. The first violinist was Nichola Benedetti, the second was BBCRadio 3 presenter Katie Derham. The soprano with the balloons was Danielle deNeise and the trumpeter was Alison Balsam.

  5. Yes, I should have spotted Sam Smith – they (as I believe the correct pronoun to be) come from a village very near here. And Lauren Laverne comes from the (now) city where my ex encountered Jools Holland (I was in the audience and oblivious to his dramatic backstage demands).

  6. In 1997, I had the opportunity to hear them live when they came to play a concert at the Embassy in New Delhi. Me and a few others were hanging around outside the venue when The Beach Boys came walking by. Their luggage had been lost and so they were late to play. They chatted with us for a moment, signed an arm or two and went on to play. It was awesome.

  7. Wonderful special effects .. I kept expecting Terry Gillam’s ‘The Foot Of Cupid’ to make an entrance.

Leave a Reply