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- Posted on Jun 26th 2007 2:00PM by Lindsey Buckingham
'God Only Knows,' Beach Boys
From 1966's 'Pet Sounds'
'God Only Knows' is one of the most superbly crafted songs that I've ever heard. But more specifically, it represented the beginning of Brian Wilson breaking out of his own limitations. This was something I related to a great deal in a post-'Rumours' environment. It was a struggle for me to get [Fleetwood Mac] to do 'Tusk,' and get into the more experimental processes in making that album.
Brian was a role model for me in making those choices, and he was a person whose courage and insights I admired a great deal. He was someone whose changes were made against the wishes of his band -- exactly what I was going through. He's a comrade in arms on that level and certainly 'God Only Knows' -- it got more experimental later -- but that sort of represents the beginning of his change. It's not just the song but it's the way it's done and the reason for it being it done.
I heard it when it first came out and loved it then. But it was later, when I revisited it and was able to pick apart the structure more, that it really started to blow my mind. I appreciated it for just being a pretty tune when I was in college. Much later, I appreciate it for how brilliantly it was structured. It was a deep thing for me.
Lindsey Buckingham is a guitarist/singer for Fleetwood Mac. He is currently on tour in support of his latest solo album, 'Under the Skin.'
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