Yesterday, the BBC released the video for their tribute to The Beach Boys legendary 1966 single “God Only Knows” featuring Brian Wilson and a tremendous all star cast of musicians, and it is beyond sublime. The Pet Sounds classic and “teenage symphony to God” got the deluxe treatment to raise money for the BBC’s Children In Need charity telethon, assembling a preposterous galaxy of talent to join Brian on the single: Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Dave Grohl, Brian May, Chrissie Hynde, Kylie Minogue, Chris Martin, Lorde, Florence Welch, Pharrell, Sam Smith, Emile Sande, Paloma Faith and a variety of other UK talent plus the BBC Orchestra and the Tees Valley Youth Choir.
The brilliantly surreal video also features cameos by such BBC music luminaries as Jools Holland, Zane Lowe, and Lauren Laverne, and in true Brian Wilson (and Phil Spector) fashion, it still clocks in under 3 minutes. Only the BBC and the British could have pulled this off, not surprising as they’ve always loved Brian and the Beach Boys more; in England they never went out of fashion, and have always been revered and appreciated en masse, whereas here it’s always been among baby boomers and the intelligentsia. In any case there’s a lot of love on display for Brian Wilson across oceans and generations, and it’s beautiful. Enjoy.