Beach Boys covers

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One of the most beautiful songs ever written, in my opinion (and Paul McCartney’s), was being fine-tuned in the studio at around about this time back in 1966: the Beach Boys’ ‘God Only Knows’.

Have a listen to it.

Yes, you know what’s coming: Beach Boys songs for David to cover, please.

Why not this one?

I think ‘The Warmth of the Sun’ would be a good one. ‘Tears in the Morning’? ‘Don’t Worry, Baby’? There’s an excuse for David to give the saxophone a blast on ‘I Know There’s an Answer’ (or ‘Hang On to Your Ego’, if you prefer).

Thank you very much for the birthday messages left for David last week, by the way. If you’d like to submit a belated one, please leave it here.

There are lots of other blog birthdays this month, starting today with Christine and Wrightee – Happy Birthday to you both.

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour’s official blog, The Blog (‘Features’ previously being its rather naff title), affectionately – or lazily – shortened to ‘FEd’.

58 thoughts on “Beach Boys covers”

  1. Outside of “God Only Knows” and “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” I have to say that I am not a fan. I do appreciate their work ethic and studio experimentations but all the sugary car and beach songs have never stuck with me.

    It’s probably a regional thing…

    1. Ditto although I’d add Good Vibrations to the list.

      My ignorance precludes me from knowing what the best covers would be but I think anybody with a good voice and the ability to strum could turn out decent versions of “God Only Knows” and “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”.

  2. I never got into the Beach Boys, Jan and Dean surf’s up type of music. I found much of that style of music to be quite annoying.

    So since I am not much of a fan of the Beach Boys, I’d like to just wish a Happy Birthday to both Christine and Wrightee.



  3. Thanks for the video. It’s nice to see the Beach Boys with winter dresses and furry hat. 😀

    As for the covers, it’s true, “Don’t Worry, Baby” would be a good one. Other songs could be for me “In My Room”, “Good Vibrations” or “Sloop John B”.

    I’m sure that a cover of the Beach Boys’ cover of “California Dreamin’ ” would be great, too. I love that. 🙂

  4. David harmonizes well, as do The Beach Boys. I think David could do anything that Wilson & co. do.

  5. First time ever “blogging.” A pretty song. Very “English” as it were, you can here an English horn in there (in your head is what I mean). I always find those older videos amusing, the lip-synching and all.

    I can certainly see David or Paul singing this one…

  6. ‘God Only Knows’ is a stunner of a song.

    I’m afraid I’m still traumatised by a couple of the Beach Boys songs, notably: ‘All Summer Long’ and ‘Little Deuce Coupe’. We used to be made to skip along to them for PE at school. Thirty odd years later, I still can’t sit still and listen to them.

    I’d probably add ‘Break Away’ to those already mentioned for David to cover.

  7. This was my sister-in-law’s favourite Beach Boys song. Unfortunately breast cancer took her away from us way too early.

    It’s a very lovely tune. It makes me think of her a lot. Thank you!

  8. I can’t imagine David covering a Beach Boys song, but I remember I once heard ‘I Know There’s An Answer’ and I thought that Syd Barrett could have sung it very well.

    Isn’t David a huge fan of the Beach Boys? I think I read here that he inducted Brian Wilson into the UK Music Hall Of Fame in 2006 and delivered a speech full of praise.

    I’m not a fan, but I like ‘Good Vibrations’.


  9. “lonely sea” would be great! and “til i die”.

    oh yes, and “i just wasn´t made for these times”!

  10. God Only Knows is ideal for Dave. All the songs off Pet Sounds would suit him IMO.

  11. :v Oops!! Where was I ??? Sorry David. Happy Belated Birthday! I hope you enjoyed your special day with the family and friends.

    My mother, who is visiting, leaves tomorrow 🙁 to go back to my pop in NY who will have his 66th b-day on Wednesday. So we’re having a pre-birthday bash for him and a farewell party for momma tonight.

    Anyway, on to today’s topic. I would love to hear David singing his version of God Only Knows as well as In My Room. David does harmonies very well so he could probably cover a good few songs by the Beach Boys. Good Vibrations would be fun to hear him do.

  12. I don’t have any Beach Boys albums although I do have a copy of Brian Wilson’s Smile.

    With regard to Beach Boys covers, Fed will love this I’m sure… Status Quo did a cover of Fun, Fun, Fun with the Beach Boys a few years ago. With the Beach Boys vocals and Quo’s backbeat it was pretty good.

    Don’t you agree Fed? 8|

  13. 😀 Happy Birthday to a fellow Pieces (March 4th).

    I know it’s late, but I’m so sorry for the loss of your dear friend Richard’s passing.

    My absolute favorite Beach Boys song is “The Warmth of the Sun”. I think Brian Wilson wrote it at the time of President Kennedy’s assassination. I could be wrong.

    I bought the boxed set of “Live at Gdansk” for my musician husband for Valentines Day – it’s wonderful.

    I must tell you one thing that I always tell my husband-there are some musicians that have the best guitars and sound like crap and there are some that can make crap guitars sound wonderful – although you are not in either of these groups, I have always thought that you play with all your soul and it comes through in your music.

    Thank you for all the joy and pleasure you have given through the years.

    By the way, your wife is gorgeous.

  14. Good Vibrations is a bit of an obvious choice but I can see David really getting into that the bit at the end.

  15. Did you hear that the Octomom is doing a Beach Boy cover to try and help with the astronomical expenses of raising 14 children?

    It’s called, “In My Womb”.

    Thank you, thank you, I’ll be here all week, please try the veal…

  16. How could it be that there are no blogger birthdays for September, October, November & December? Only FEd is listed for October.



  17. Not much of a Beach Boys or any other surf type music fan I’m afraid, so I’ll just stick to wishing Christine and Wrightee a very Happy Birthday.


  18. The Beach Boys opened the way to modern multi-layer recording. What we do today with overdubbing, doubling or delay they used to do it live with their rare ability and feel for harmony and counter melody.

    I think David might well have covered already a few of their songs during his early career pre-PF.

    I’d love to hear his version of Don’t Worry Baby or All Summer Long.

  19. Funny you should mention the Beach Boys, FEd, as I was listening to Rick Wright’s Summer of ’68 from the Atom Heart Mother CD, with those amazing Beach Boy-style vocal harmonies! And, if I’m not mistaken, on the God Only Knows video here, that’s Bruce Johnston on bass guitar, who provided backing vocals on The Wall album.

    Caroline No would be a good one for David to cover, I think.

    Bill C

    1. Good catch on Johnston/Wall connection Bill!

      In keeping with this line of thought Fed can we next do the best Captain and Tennille song for David to cover? 😀

    2. Matt,

      Can’t wait to hear David cover Muskrat Love or Love Will Keep Us Together.

      Actually Muskrat Love was C&T doing a cover as well. The song was originally called Muskrat Candlelight by Willis Alan Ramsey. The song was actually covered by America as well.

      And Love Will Keep Us Together was a cover song originally done by Neil Sedaka.

      The final irony in all this is that Toni Tenille also worked as a sessions singer with Bruce Johnston. So there is some trivia next time you want to play Six Degrees of Separation of David Gilmour.



    3. Oops, sorry, there is actually just one degree of separation between Toni Tenille and David. She actually sang backup on The Wall as well.

      My bad.



  20. I can just hear David singing ‘Good Vibrations’. The harmonies suit him well.

    Yes, I can definitely hear David singing this song in my mind’s eye.

  21. I like the song ‘Don’t Worry, Baby’ from the listed options above. My ultimate choice of a cover song for Mr. Gilmour is definitely ‘Good Vibrations’.

    I’m really looking forward to seeing/hearing DG play the Theremin, and this song would be a great opportunity for that.

  22. Sorry off topic (web pass topic locked off?).

    I have only just got round to loading up my DVD disc from 5 disc set to check out the downloads via web pass. I follow instructions detailed by Fed on the web pass blog from sept and it says, “your bonus content is below…” but nothing listed? I have DVD in and followed link from that and also via direct entering the URL in to both IE and Safari? (Using Windows Vista if that relevant?)

    Your help appreciated as always Fed.

    Kind Regards and belated birthday greatings to DG (was my brothers on 8th),


    1. I see what you mean and apologise for the confusion.

      Please try this link instead (not that there appears to be any content listed there either, but that’s where it should be).

      For those with the vinyl set, please use this link.

      There’s a link to contact FAQ & Support at the foot of this page, should you encounter further difficulties.

      I’ll let them know about the missing content, so please keep checking back for signs of life.

      Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    2. Just to follow up on this: it’s working now, so you should see ‘Coming Back To Life’ (live from Florence).

      Any problems, just send a quick note to FAQ & Support. They’re very helpful and will have you sorted in no time.

  23. By chance is David toying with a CD of covers, or just wishful thinking on my part?



  24. We all have the genius of Brian Wilson to thank for many of the modern ways music is recorded. He was an inspiration to many of the “British Invasion” groups. Pet Sounds was considered a dramatic breakthrough in modern recording technology.

    If I remember correctly the song “Good Vibrations” was, if not still the most expensive song ever recorded, it was done in parts at 4-6 different studios, and stands as one of the great technical achievements in modern Rock. 😕

  25. I am a big fan of surf music, Chantays, Surfaris, The Belairs, Ventures, Dick Dale and the Daletones, etc. Jan and Dean, and the Beach Boys took surf music in another direction with their harmonies, not that it was bad thing… just different… really different actually, not like the screaming guitars of the other groups.

    I have the Surfer Girl CD, and do listen to several tracks off of it, “In My Room” being a favorite.

    There is another quirky song – “Our Car Club” – that I would really get a kick out seeing David play, but I doubt that would ever happen on a serious note.

  26. The Beach Boys are Great! I love them!

    I don’t think Gilmour should try Good Vibrations or God Only Knows or the obvious big hits. They are perfect! Too perfect! A re-recording would never be as good.

    There’s an instrumental Gilmour could wail on, called, “Let’s Go Away for a While” and another version called “The Nearest Faraway Place” by the Beach Boys that I can listen to as much as “Marooned.”

    A novelty piece that would be fun for him and us is one called, “I’d Love Just Once to See You…”

    He’d be really good with, “Wonderful” and “Surf’s Up” – which oddly enough isn’t really about surfing. It would be nice if he would “upgrade” “Surf’s Up” in the same way that Hendrix upgraded Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower.”

    And then there’s one he’d be fantastic on – I can’t remember the name of it, but I think it starts, “I’m a leaf on the ocean…” or something like that. “…how deep is the ocean…?”- I know what it is, it’s called, “Until I Die.”

    He’d also be really great on the Beach Boys forgotten underrated rocker, “Marcella…” That one is just hip-grinding fine!

  27. It would be great if David could do a version of God Only Knows or In My Room.

    I saw the Beach Boys for the first time in the Sixties, and the opening act was Alice Cooper (in drag), and it had to be one of the greatest shows besides seeing Pink Floyd later in 68.

    Take Care,
    Thomas O’Connell

  28. The issue for me is the harmonies… a lot of their music suffers horribly when you strip the vocal harmonies away. Keep in mind I’m a huge fan of the Beach Boys and I even met Dennis once, but a lot of the songs suffer from being stripped down.

    I’d like “Sail On Sailor” though. I just love that track.

  29. A lot of years ago the Beach Boys’ sound was very new and Brian Wilson was considered quite a genius. Today some tracks seem and sound as memories but I think that “In My Room” or “The Warmth of the Sun” are ideal tracks for David (…but it’s a joke ’cause DG creates the tune of heaven…)

    A hug

  30. Thanks so much for the birthday greetings. 🙂

    I joined the 40s club yesterday – happy to be a member actually.

    I celebrated by playing hooky from work and skiing in Tahoe, we finally have some excellent snow!

    I like the Beach Boys too, particularly ‘California Girls’ since I am one and ‘Good Vibrations’ – good topic for the winter Fed, makes me think of summer for sure.

  31. Hi FEd,

    I have to agree that “In My Room” would suit David perfectly, but as he has been known to rock out now and again, how about “Shutdown” from the early days?


  32. Interesting choice of a potential group as cover material, and many nice suggestions on this blog.

    There is one Beach Boys song on this topic I have not seen posted, which I believe would be perfect for David Gilmour to cover. The Beach Boy tune is “Feel Flows” and it was recorded in 1971 for the “Surfs Up” album on Reprise, after the band said goodbye to Capitol Records. The song was used in Cameron Crowe’s “Almost Perfect” film. It has a Pink Floyd feel to it, and has truly stood the test of time.

    You should check the song out.

  33. Can’t think of the Beach Boys without remembering a connection with Charles Manson. I believe that Dennis Wilson had allowed him to stay in his home a short time which was not too far from Tate’s residence. Manson had aspirations to be a song writer. Heard this, but can’t verify. Gave me the creeps though.

    Otherwise, Beach Boys music is fun listening. Loved Kokomo which I understood was written by Doris Day’s son, Terry Melcher.

    In My Room has my vote too for David.

  34. Cheers Fed thanks for feedback on web-pass site. Thought I wasn’t doing too Koch wrong,


    P.S. Good result for Scousers last night, and erm sorry my Boro scuppered title chances!!!!

  35. I was just listening to the Beach Boys playing Do it again and I bet David could really make the song really jam.

    Take Care, Thomas

  36. I definitely think “Wonderful” from Brian Wilson would be the perfect choice for David.


  37. I’d recommend almost anything from Dennis Wilson’s PACIFIC OCEAN BLUE album — “Friday Night” leaps to mind — since it is very similar texturally to Pink Floyd in many ways.

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