God Only Knows.
The release of the week is this extraordinary rendition of ‘God Only Knows’, starring Emma and Paul Hough as cover models.
This song isn’t a version of The Beach Boys classic but rather a rip-roaring rollicking track with a wonderful introduction, with its Jimmy Swaggart samples and precision-swearing, is an uncompromising blast at TV evangelists.
As written in “Folklore”, it begins with a televangelist’s foaming denunciation of rock music as a tool of Satan, is a raucous but ribald diatribe against organized religion. Musically, it’s urgent, manic, silly even; a cakewalking clatter that recalls their early singles. Lyrically, Tim Booth neatly avoids becoming as sanctimonious as his targets, something Bono would not have managed, even though the lyric has its roots in his personal betrayal by Lifewave’s all-too-human Ishvara. ‘My guru has been sleeping with adepts and with sheep/While I was fucking celibate, self-righteous in belief/Yesterday he was god, now he is a creep/We fell upon each other starving for relief.’ What makes ‘God Only Knows’ so enjoyable is the barmy good humor of it all, evident when Tim Booth chides the holier- than-thou for their creation of ‘a cruel desert god with absolutely no sense of humor’.
Press review : “God Only Knows continues the critical commentary with a savagely amusing opening spiel the world of TV evangelism – pop music has been twisted by the devil and thrust into the minds of this generation! – talk so twisted it becomes a parody of itself. The song is wild, full of brassy energy and fury. Its the perfect backbeat for a car that’s driven fast”.
The B-side cover is a melancholy tribute to George Michael’s Brazilian lover, Anselmo Feleppa 1 , whom he met in Rio de Janeiro in 1991. Feleppa died two years after their encounter with a cerebral hemorrhage related to acquired immunodeficiency (AIDS). The exact subject of the song – and the nature of their relationship – was at the time a cause of speculation, since George Michael did not reveal his homosexuality until 1998.