With so many Facebook posts and Tweets about the UK’s “Brexit” this last weekend, it’s hard NOT to focus on our neighbors across the pond. As I was reading up on the EU vs. UK situation, I came across someone posting an old link to a 2014 BBC music video “God Only Knows”. And yes it’s the very song written by the Beach Boys back in 1966 for their album Pet Sounds. Except with this 2014 edition, the BBC brought in up and coming (if not already accomplished) talent to help carry the tune. Many of which you’ll recognize.
“God Only Knows” (2014) was created for the launch of BBC Music, a sort of replica of the early MTV channel, that would focus on music chat shows and performances. In order to announce their new launch they picked Beach Boy Brian Wilson’s song “God Only Knows” and re-recorded it with artists such as Pharrell Williams, One Direction, and Brian Wilson himself. Aside from notable artists, it also includes a variety of up and coming British musicians ranging from a “Young Artist of the Year” piano player to an opera soprano. BBC Music called them the “Impossible Orchestra”. The proceeds from the sale of this song went to British charity Children In Need, and all of the artists gave their time for free.
It’s hard not to fall in love with this new version of the song. Some amazing voices contributed to it after all and they were already working with fantastic material. However it’s the whimsy and fantasy of the music video that really grabs me. Filmed in the Alexandra Palace theatre in London, which hosted the first BBC broadcast more than 90 years ago, it looks like something out of a Disney meets Wizard of Oz fairytale. It’s also a fun game to see how many musicians you recognize. Happy hunting!