Thursday 21 February 2019

Artists take part in massive new charity single

Dave Grohl, Lorde, Alison Balsom, Pharrell, Zane Lowe, Paloma Faith, Sam Smith, Eliza Carthy, Nicola Benedetti, Chris Martin, Martin James Bartlett, Danielle de Niese, Jaz Dhami, Stevie Wonder, Florence Welch, Kylie Minogue, Lauren Laverne, Brian Wilson, Jake Bugg, Katie Derham, Chrissie Hynde, Gareth Malone, Emeli Sande, Ethan Johns, Baaba Maal, One Direction, Elton John, Jools Holland, Jamie Cullum, Brian May Photo: Steve Brown/BBC/PA Wire
Dave Grohl, Lorde, Alison Balsom, Pharrell, Zane Lowe, Paloma Faith, Sam Smith, Eliza Carthy, Nicola Benedetti, Chris Martin, Martin James Bartlett, Danielle de Niese, Jaz Dhami, Stevie Wonder, Florence Welch, Kylie Minogue, Lauren Laverne, Brian Wilson, Jake Bugg, Katie Derham, Chrissie Hynde, Gareth Malone, Emeli Sande, Ethan Johns, Baaba Maal, One Direction, Elton John, Jools Holland, Jamie Cullum, Brian May Photo: Steve Brown/BBC/PA Wire
Paloma Faith Photo: Steve Brown/BBC/PA Wire
Elton John Photo: Steve Brown/BBC/PA Wire
Pharrell Photo: Steve Brown/BBC/PA Wire
One Direction Photo: Steve Brown/BBC/PA Wire

One Direction, Kylie Minogue, Pharrell Williams and Gareth Malone are among the stars who have collaborated on a charity version of Beach Boys hit God Only Knows which was premiered tonight.

The BBC played the track across many of its networks simultaneously to launch the new version of the classic which appeared on the group's 1966 Pet Sounds album.

Others who have taken part in the new recording - with a promo filmed at London's Alexandra Palace - include Coldplay's Chris Martin, chart-topper Sam Smith, Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters, with BBC Proms presenter Katie Derham on violin.

The track brought together networks such as BBC1, Radio 1, Radio 4 and the World Service, which all played the track to mark the official launch of BBC Music, a new brand for the corporation which unites the many music services and initiatives.

Beach Boy Brian Wilson, who wrote the song, delivers the final line and he is also joined in the new version by Queen guitarist Brian May, violinist Nicola Benedetti, Sir Elton John, Jake Bugg, and Emeli Sande.

Wilson said: "All of the artists did such a beautiful job I can't thank them enough. I'm just honoured that God Only Knows was chosen. God Only Knows is a very special song. An extremely spiritual song and one of the best I've ever written."

One Direction Photo: Steve Brown/BBC/PA Wire
One Direction Photo: Steve Brown/BBC/PA Wire

The song, for which the artists are performing under the name The Impossible Orchestra, features many of the acts taking a line each, just as on a celebrated recording of Lou Reed's Perfect Day in 1997.

The song is being made available to download from midnight, in aid of BBC Children In Need.

Bob Shennan, the director of BBC Music, said: "With the 80-piece BBC Concert Orchestra at its heart and comprising an array of iconic music stars, from a wide range of musical genres, this 'impossible' orchestra is a celebration of all the talent, diversity and musical passion found every single day throughout the BBC."

The BBC said its new brand launch amounted to its strongest commitment to music in 30 years.

Paloma Faith Photo: Steve Brown/BBC/PA Wire
Paloma Faith Photo: Steve Brown/BBC/PA Wire

Alexandra Palace was chosen as it was the home of the first BBC broadcast more than 90 years ago.

The track's producer, Ethan Johns, said: "To make so much diversity work within one piece of music was quite a challenge.

"I feel like I've taken a 1,000-piece puzzle and just thrown it in the air. I'm standing there trying to grab them as they come down and put them into place."

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