Tuesday, January 11, 2011

2/50: The Beach Boys "God Only Knows"

50 Songs in 50 Days
The Beach Boys "God Only Knows"

I think many of us know, that Pet Sounds has been ranked on many lists in music magazines as the number one greatest album OF ALL TIME! Of all time, I tell you! So why aren't we more familiar with this album? I feel like a lot of music lovers kind of brush this one off to the side until they hear "Wouldn't it be Nice" or "God Only Knows" and think to themselves, "Wow, I forget how brilliant Pet Sounds is!" Here's a reminder to you all, maybe you should listen to Pet Sounds once in a while. Unlike some other albums that are praised in this way, it's number one on all of those lists for a reason!
After listening to The Beatles' sixth studio album, Rubber Soul, bassist and lead songwriter Brian Wilson felt "challenged to do a great album," as he put it in an interview in 2007 with Robert Stevens from WSWS.org. I'm usually not too enamored by The Beach Boys however, the stars aligned for them with Pet Sounds and especially with the first track of the vinyl version's Side B, "God Only Knows."
I love it because while it's a love song, the lyrics aren't cheesy, they're very upfront and honest. Carl Wilson even starts out by saying, "I may not always love you," and in the second verse, "If you should ever leave me/though life would still go on, believe me," which basically explains the gist of the song: "Right now, I love you and if you left me it would totally suck but I guess I would have to move on. But I wouldn't want to." I think that's a common stance in a lot of relationships which gives the song a relatable aspect as well. In my opinion, THE best work The Beach Boys has ever done.

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