God Only Knows BBC Cover: Elton John, Pharrell, Stevie Wonder and other celebrities sing the Beach Boys classic (VIDEO).

God Only Knows How Many Celebrity Musicians Are in This Lavish Cover of “God Only Knows”

God Only Knows How Many Celebrity Musicians Are in This Lavish Cover of “God Only Knows”

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Slate's Culture Blog
Oct. 7 2014 8:40 PM

Pharrell, Elton John, and Every Other Celebrity Musician Sing “God Only Knows”

Elton John, with butterflies.

Still from YouTube

“God Only Knows” is the best pop song of all time. That’s a personal opinion, but one shared by plenty of more reputable authorities, including Paul McCartney. As such, the song has seen a good cover or three since its release, but none quite like the BBC’s latest, which has over 25 musicians each sing a line of the Beach Boys classic. It might not be the best rendition of the song, but it’s one of the more bizarrely entertaining, and certainly the most lavish.

Lavish may actually be an understatement. God only knows how many people are in this video, who many of them are, and why they are surrounded by butterflies and Bengal tigers. For a brief idea of the star power present, the video includes—deep breath—Pharrell, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Florence Welch, Lorde, Chris Martin, Kylie Minogue, Brian May, One Direction, Sam Smith, and Dave Grohl. Making a peripheral appearance is Brian Wilson, that guy who wrote the song. Some may remember BBC Music’s similar cover of Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day,” but Elton John is the only singer in both videos. The Guardian has a full list of the musicians involved.

Sharan Shetty is on the editorial staff of the New Yorker. You can follow him on Twitter