Memo to Mark Scott and ABC: you can’t expect Justine Clarke and the Wiggles to sing Aunty out of its budget troubles. What you need is a BBC-style supergroup, like the one they’ve put together to record the 48-year-old Beach Boys classic ‘God Only Knows’.
It’s the second major English outing for the song after Richard Curtis gave it a flogging 11 years ago in his Christmas rom-com Love Actually.
This latest version was produced to mark the launch of BBC Music and is a fundraiser for the BBC Children in Need charity, but of course has a certain national broadcaster appeal with its line “God only knows what I’d be without you”.
Rock royalty, including the song’s writer, Brian Wilson, sing a line or two each. There’s the old guard: Sir Elton John, Queen’s Brian May, Stevie Wonder, Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders, Foo Fighter Dave Grohl, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, our very own Kylie Minogue and Australian-born opera singer Danielle de Niese along with younger superstars like Pharrell Williams, Lorde, Florence Welch and even One Direction.
This latest effort reprises the Beeb’s 1996 cover of Lou Reed’s Perfect Day, which featured Reed, his partner, Laurie Anderson, Elton, Bowie, Bono, Tom ‘AFL’ Jones and many more.
All up, the BBC jammed 27 musicians across a range of styles into the “Impossible Orchestra” and the 2.50 minute song, alongside the 80-piece BBC Concert Orchestra and the Tees Valley Youth Choir.
Sit back, turn up the speakers and enjoy:
Here’s the full list of who’s in the ‘Impossible Orchestra’.
1 Dave Grohl; 2 Alison Balsom; 3 Lorde; 4 Pharrell Williams; 5 Zane Lowe; 6 Sam Smith; 7 Paloma Faith; 8 Eliza Carthy; 9 Nicola Benedetti; 10 Chris Martin; 11 Jaz Dhami; 12 Martin James Bartlett; 13 Danielle de Niese; 14 Stevie Wonder; 15 Florence Welch; 16 Lauren Laverne; 17 Brian Wilson; 18 Jake Bugg; 19 Katie Derham; 20 Gareth Malone; 21 Kylie Minogue; 22 Chrissie Hyde; 23 One Direction; 24 Emeli Sande; 25 Elton John; 26 Baaba Maal; 27 Ethan Johns; 28 Jools Holland; 29 Jamie Cullum; 30 Brian May; 31 Tees Valley Youth Choir; 32 BBC Concert Orchestra
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