Unlike the first two entries in this "Favorite Songs" series, where I had no doubt about what I would choose for either The Ramones or The Monkees, the minute I decided on the Beach Boys, two dozen songs rolled like movie credits before my eyes. And though I have no arbitrary rules here, I do want this to be definitive, so I'd like to avoid cheating, or simply making it easy by posting a Top 5. Therefore, as much as I'd like to confess the other four that made the list, I'm not going to.
"God Only Knows" has to be the one. It's one of the 10 greatest records ever made, so how could it not be my favorite Beach Boys song? Everything about it is perfect, from Brian's melody to Tony Asher's lyrics, to the beautifully heartbreaking lead vocal by Carl, right to the hall of fame Wilson Brothers harmonies on the coda. This is it.