God Only Knows

The theme I chose for this year is 

Greatest Hits as suggested by AI

It’s important to note that AI was only used for the song suggestion, not in the actual putting together of the post. 

Today our suggested Greatest Hit is:  God Only Knows

Wikipedia tells us this about the song:


"God Only Knows" is among the several songs that Brian Wilson and Tony Asher wrote for the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds album. Asher felt that it was the pair's most effortless collaboration, remembering that Wilson "spent more time tweaking the instrumental part than we did writing the words!" Recalling "God Only Knows", Wilson acknowledged that he himself had "not written that kind of song" before and explained, "I think Tony had a musical influence on me somehow. After about ten years, I started thinking about it deeper [...] And I remember him talking about [the 1944 standard] 'Stella by Starlight' and he had a certain love for classic songs." Asher concurred that he felt he had inspired Wilson to write the song.

Wilson's 1991 memoir states that the melody for "God Only Knows" derived from "a John Sebastian song I had been listening to". When presented with this information, Asher and Sebastian said they were unaware of such a connection. Biographer Mark Dillon suggested that, if the claim was true, then Wilson's inspiration would likely have been the vocal layering on "You Didn't Have to Be So Nice", a recent hit by Sebastian's band the Lovin' Spoonful. In later interviews, Wilson said that he wrote "God Only Knows" as an attempt to match the standard of the Beatles' album Rubber Soul (released in December 1965). In his recollection, he was under the influence of marijuana and was "so blown away" with the album that he sat at his piano and began writing the song.

Asked about Pet Sounds in various interviews, Wilson frequently emphasized the album's spiritual qualities, saying that he had held prayer sessions with his brother Carl and "kind of made [the album] a religious ceremony." At the time of the song's writing, he was married to singer Marilyn Rovell. Writing in his book about the album, Jim Fusilli noted a closing phrase Wilson had once written to his wife in 1964: "Yours 'til God wants us apart." In a 1976 radio interview, Wilson said that the song was not written for anyone in particular. Marilyn, who felt that much of the lyrical content on Pet Sounds was aimed at herself, commented of the song, "I'm the only one here, so it must be about me. Then I would think, 'No it wasn't.'"



  1. Drug fueled spirituality...hasn't that spawned some amazing music over the years? Those Beach Boys' melodies and harmonies and so smooth and easy to listen to.

  2. I love this song and learned how it came to be. Thanks for all the info you give

  3. I am generally not a fan of the Beach Boys. I just don't connect with their music. But Pet Sounds is an objectively great album.
    Tim Brannan, The Other Side blog
    2024 A to Z of Dungeons & Dragons, Celebrating 50 Years of D&D

  4. I'm not a Beach Boys fan, but this is a good song.


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