BBC’s “God Only Knows” Cover is Star-Studded, Surreal

Marc Hogan

By Marc Hogan

Lead News Writer
on 10.08.14 in News

In 1997, the BBC released a new music video for Lou Reed‘s “Perfect Day,” performed by Reed, David Bowie, Bono and many, many others. Though the short’s advertising pitch about British TV license fees was unmistakable — “You make it what it is,” reads the tagline — and the recording itself would be a bizarre substitute for 1972′s Transformer original, the video was so popular that a charity single followed, topping the U.K. charts. Now the state-owned broadcaster is launching its new BBC Music campaign with a sequel of sorts, based around a version of the Beach BoysPet Sounds classic “God Only Knows.”

The cast includes Brian Wilson, Stevie Wonder, Lorde, Pharrell, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl, Sam Smith, Kylie Minogue, Florence + the Machine’s Florence Welch, Queen’s Brian May, the Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde, Elton John, One Direction and Emeli Sandé. Wilson said of the single, in a statement, “All of the artists did such a beautiful job [and] I can’t thank them enough.” The song will once again be available as a single benefiting the nonprofit Children in Need. The video itself is hallucinatory and disorienting, at least to this viewer, but it would be pointless to quibble with Wilson or a charitable cause.