05 February 2021

5 February 2021 - The Beach Boys - God Only Knows

My mother would have been 74 years old today.   She passed away last year, in March, after a long battle with a disorder known as posterior cortical atrophy, so this is my family's first birthday of hers without her.  As something of a tribute, I felt it right to pay tribute to a band she enjoyed.

As a kid, and really, into adulthood, my mother's favorite band was The Beach Boys - she was a teen in the 1960's, after all.  Now, as a kid, I heard songs like "Surfin' USA" and "California Girls" and thought they were kind of cheesy.  As I grew older, though, I realized how difficult such harmonies could be, and I, too, gained an appreciation for them.  

And then I discovered Pet Sounds.  That is an amazing album, and if you haven't listened to the audio experimentation that's going on there, you need to go listen to it now.  It's an incredible albums - Brian Wilson's masterpiece.   That album helped me appreciate the earlier AND later works of the band as well.  

This song, co-written by Brian Wilson and Tony Asher, opened Side 2 of Pet Sounds and is regarded by many as the greatest song ever written.  This version, which was a top 40 hit, featured rare vocalist Carl Wilson on lead, which was a stroke of additional genius in an already great song.  

Of course, the song became a live staple.  Here is the band performing the song in 1980, the last time the original members of the band (Brian, Carl, and Dennis Wilson, along with Al Jardine) would appear on a UK stage together.

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