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The song that Paul McCartney said is the best of all time


The song that Paul McCartney said is the best of all time

The Beatles are the most successful and influential band of all time, with an estimated amount of more than 600 million records sold worldwide. Paul McCartney was a crucial part of their success since he was the main songwriter alongside John Lennon. With the help of George Harrison and Ringo Starr they recorded huge hits that changed the course of music in the 60s.


Although for millions of people worldwide The Beatles were the ones who wrote the best songs of all time, McCartney once listed a song from an American band as the greatest one.

The song that Paul McCartney said is the best of all time

One of the bands who influenced The Beatles back in the 60s were The Beach Boys, which had Brian Wilson as their main songwriter. McCartney is a huge fan of the music they made during that decade and he said in an interview with David Leaf in 1990 that “God Only Knows” was the best song of all time. After the interviewer noted that the Beatle was quoted  as saying that the track was the greatest song ever written, he said: “It’s a really, really great song, it’s a big favorite of mine. I was asked recently to give my top ten favorite songs for a Japanese radio station.”

“I didn’t think long and hard on it. But I popped that (“God Only Knows”) on the top of my list. (Thinks for a moment) It’s very deep. (Quotes the lyrics to ‘God Only Knows’). Very emotional, always a bit of a choker for me, that one. There are certain songs that just hit home with me, and they’re the strangest collection of songs. But that is high on the list, I must say,” Paul McCartney said.

“God Only Knows” was written by Brian Wilson and the songwriter Tony Asher. It was first featured on the band’s groundbreaking album “Pet Sounds” released in 1966.

McCartney told B&N CEO James Daunt in 2022, that he wished he had written that track. But he also said “I’ve written enough, I’ve got enough to go on with”.

He had the chance to perform the song live with Brian Wilson

McCartney had the chance to perform that track live Brian Wilson back in 2002. He recalled that amazing experience in an interview with guitarist Ronnie Wood in 2013 (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage). “I got to sing it with Brian once, when we did a benefit (show) together.”

“I was okay at the actual performance, I held it together. But at the rehearsal, at the soundcheck I lost it, because it’s very emotional, this song, I find it. (I was thinking) ‘Oh my god, i’m singing with Brian’, just got me, I couldn’t. And all it is, it’s little vibrations reaching your music, it’s only little vibrations, little words and little things. There is this powerful effect, you know,” McCartney said.

Two years earlier the Beatle had been the one who inducted Wilson into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. During his speech, the British musician said that Brian wrote particularly in the 60s, music that always made him cry and he really doesn’t know the reason why.

“Wasn’t necessarily the words of the music, it’s just something so deep in it. But there’s only certain pieces of music that can do this to me. Just reach it right down in me. I think it’s a sign of a great genius, to be able to do that with a bunch of words and a bunch of notes,” Paul McCartney said.

The curious thing is that The Beatles 1965 album “Rubber Soul” was a huge inspiration for Brian Wilson. Then The Beach Boys released “Pet Sounds” (1966), which was a huge influence for the British band, inspiring them to write “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” (1967). It was a healthy rivalry that gave the music fans some of the best albums of all time.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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