I love the music of the Beach Boys, but I’ve always felt the influence of Brian Wilson across the years has done more harm than good. By that I mean his music seems to hold in thrall the recordings made by avowed fans to a degree that no other pop legend commands. It puts me off investigating, for example, Panda Bear’s critically acclaimed Person pitch, for fear of harmony déjà vu. As for covering the Beach Boys – best leave that to Brian. But this version of ‘God only knows’, built entirely from the vocalising of Petra Haden, softens even the flinty heart of a old malcontent like me. I think it betters anything on Petra’s highly entertaining a cappella recasting of The Who sell out.
The same page also gives you her extraordinary version of ‘Thriller’.
And elsewhere her take on Bach’s Prelude no. 2 in C minor may tickle your ivories.