SIR PAUL'S FAVORITE SONG, ever – Song # 25 on the Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Songs of All Time: "God Only Knows" – The Beach Boys – speed=117.4 bpm, emotional concept=Foreboding


The 25 top songs, according to the RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, in order of The Rolling Stone.
The 25 top songs, according to the RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, arranged in ascending order of speed.

Song # 25 on
The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time is called God Only Knows, written and performed by The Beach Boys

From the Stones own digitized article, found at “It’s very deep. Very emotional, always a bit of a choker with me,” Paul McCartney said of this Pet Sounds ballad.

Everything we’ve ever heard or read–and this includes our own former famous Nebraska DJ James “The Senator” Manning, indicates that God Only Knows was Paul McCartney’s favorite song when it was released in 1966, and so remains.

Meanspeed Music measured the Beach Boys song by breaking it down into contiguous groups of ten beats. This was repeated seven more times. Next, each of the 33 ten beat groups were averaged and the speeds in beats per minute were calculated. A line of advance was create–with Microsoft for Mac–which displays immediately, to literally anyone who can read a road map–how fast the song is playing at any point.

meanspeed=117.4 beats per minute
meanspace=0.511 seconds per beat

We hope these charts allow you to feel the speed of the song. Knowledge of speed is power. If you have a favorite song, we invite suggestions.

speed graphs copyright © 2007, Use by permission only.

From Wikipedia:
“In musical terminology, tempo (Italian for “time”, from Latin Tempus) is the speed or pace of a given piece. It is an extremely crucial element of sound, as it can affect the mood and difficulty of a piece.”

Ian Andrew Schneider
September 4, 2008