I’m not quite sure how to feel about BBC Music’s “God Only Knows” cover

Last week, BBC Music released a cover version of the Beach Boys’ classic God Only Knows, and I’m still not quite sure how I feel about it.

According to the BBC website, the track and video were created to “celebrate our love of music”, and is also being sold as part of this year’s Children In Need campaign. You can’t knock them for that, hopefully it will make a fair bit of cash, and it’s considerably better than some charity singles in the past.

Another thing I have to mention is the impressive lineup. After visiting the official BBC page for this video I found the full list of performers, which is as follows:

Dave Grohl, Alison Balsom, Lorde, Pharrell Williams, Zane Lowe, Sam Smith, Paloma Faith, Eliza Carthy, Nicola Benedetti, Chris Martin, Jaz Dhami, Martin James Bartlett, Danielle de Niese, Stevie Wonder, Florence Welch, Lauren Laverne, Brian Wilson, Jake Bugg, Katie Derham, Gareth Malone, Kylie Minogue, Chrissie Hynde, One Direction, Emeli Sandé, Elton John, Baaba Maal, Ethan Johns, Jools Holland, Jamie Cullum, Brian May, Tees Valley Youth Choir, BBC Concert Orchestra.

As I said, quite an impressive lineup. Sadly, however, I feel as though this takes away from the song a bit. It feels more like the BBC flexing their muscles, showing how many famous faces they can call in to blow their own trumpet. I was a bit disappointed to not see more of a few people, with them trying to fit so many people in nobody got more than a few words in. Personally, I would have liked to have heard some more from people like Pharrell, Sam Smith, Jamie Cullum, Stevie Wonder and a few others, but that’s just my personal taste.

And as for the song – don’t get me wrong, I love the Beach Boys and this is a great tune. I also liked the whole extravagant orchestral setup of the performance.

The whole “God only knows what I’d be without you” has me wondering though, is this BBC saying they don’t know what they’d be without us, or we don’t know what we’d be without them? I’d take a guess at the second, although technically it should be the first, considering we’re paying for it. Something to think about, anyway.

All that being said, it is a decent cover, not the best I’ve heard, but far from the worst. And it did manage to get into the UK Top 20 after only four days on sale, so I’d imagine it’ll bring in a fair bit for Children In Need, which nobody can really complain about.

It certainly beats the standard X Factor covers we start to hear at this time of year anyway.


P.S. While we’re talking about cover versions, here’s one which I love which doesn’t get nearly enough recognition – Jim Carrey’s version of I Am The Walrus.