The greatest Pop song yet written and recorded.


This thread is an offshoot and was inspired by @mahgister’s wonderful thread "Interesting videos about sounds and music." I made a couple of contributions to that thread, recommending a video recorded quite a few years ago by (I believe) a music teacher, who sits at his keyboard while explaining and demonstrating the construction of the utterly majestic "God Only Knows", written by Brian Wilson (music) and Tony Asher (lyrics), recorded by The Beach Boys (vocals) and the L.A. studio musicians who comprised the legendary Wrecking Crew (instruments), the song found on the Pet Sounds album.

In my posts, I made the case for the highly sophisticated and incredibly brilliant chord progressions, modulations (key changes), and use of inversion (playing a bass note below the tonic of the chord being played on the piano) in the song’s composition. So when the video below appeared when I just jumped onto YouTube, it’s title really caught my eye. It is entitled "Exploring The Mythical Chords Of "God Only Knows"." Brian is well known for his harmony vocal arrangements, but that’s just the icing on the cake; the song itself is in it’s chords and melody. Some of the chord sequences in "God Only Knows" bring me to tears. Add to that the vocal harmonies---many sung in counterpoint---and Carl Wilson's angelic singing of the melody, and you have an absolute masterpiece of a song.

I have long considered "God Only Knows" my favorite song, and imo the "best" song ever written. I’m not alone in that; Paul McCartney has stated he feels the same. I could have added this video to @mahgister’s thread, but I believe the song and it’s appreciation warrant it’s own thread. Watch and listen to this video (and the one I posted in mahgister’s thread), give the song a new listen, and see if you don’t agree with Paul and I. 😉




"The First Time Ever I saw Your Face" Johnny Cash version. Try listening to that and not be affected somehow.

the Association  " Windy " 

the Go Go's  " Vacation "

the Temptations  " Heard it Thru the Grapevine "

the Drifters  " Under the Boardwalk "  ( also by Rickie Lee Jones ) 

the Bangles  " Walk Like an Egyptian " 

Cyrkle  " Red Rubber Ball "

any or all of these songs make me want to sing and move ( I wouldn't say dance )

I think Pop songs  have to be simple , not multiple layers of over dubbing or orchestra addons but that's just me  .


I immediately caught the subjective pronoun being used as an object of a preposition too.  You and @bdp24 might appreciate this song:

Back to the thread's topic:  Call it heresy for not citing a classic rock song, but a current favorite songwriter of mine put out a song about six years ago that I think is pop music genius; I consider it his magnum opus:


years ago i posted a thread which posited that "five o'clock world" by the vogues was the greatest pop song ever created. it's certainly the greatest to feature yodeling.

i'd also throw in neil young's "expecting to fly", which i never tire of. amazing arrangement outdoes anything phil spector ever did.

@jonwolfpell Indeed, Carol King wrote all those songs.  
Goffin was more the lyrics guy.  
That’s a fraction of the list, also.  
Those were just the ones I was particularly fond of.  
I didn’t mention “Take Good Care of my Baby” by Bobby Vee, her second #1 hit after “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” both written and released when she was a teenager.  
“Go Away Little Girl” by Steve Lawrence and “He Hit Me (And It Felt Like a Kiss” by The Crystals have great music (Carol) and…sort of…um…strange.,,lyrics by Gerry 😆.  
Anyway, yeah, the list goes further on and on with her beyond the list I posted and it is indeed staggering to comprehend.  

Randy Newman’s body of songs in the ‘60s is the same way.  
People have no idea how many absolutely brilliant songs he wrote in the ‘60s prior to becoming a recording artist.  
His songs were a bit more musically/lyrically complex and adventurous, a ton of them absolute masterpieces.