God Only Knows

Album: The Tree of Forgiveness (2018)


  • This is a track from The Tree of Forgiveness, John Prine's first new album of original material in 13 years, and what would be his last, as he died of coronavirus two years later. The song was co-written by Phil Spector and dates back to the 1970s. Prine explained to UK's The Sun newspaper:

    "We had written a song, If You Don't Want My Love, in the late '70s, which I recorded for my Bruised Orange record. When I was back out in LA, I went to see him to play him the track and before I left that night we wrote God Only Knows. I never thought it was totally finished so I took it out for this record and finished it. I really love how it turned out with Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires playing and singing on the track."
  • The song finds John Prine laughing in the face of mortality. He wrote the tune with Phil Spector when he took the Bruised Orange record over to the producer's house. The pair reconvened at the same piano where they wrote "If You Don't Want My Love." Prine told Uncut regarding Spector:

    "When he was at the piano, that was the only time he was a normal person. When we sat down and we're doing music, there was no bulls--t."


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

16 Songs With a Heartbeat

16 Songs With a HeartbeatSong Writing

We've heard of artists putting their hearts into their music, but some take it literally.

Marvin Gaye

Marvin GayeFact or Fiction

Did Marvin try out with the Detroit Lions? Did he fake crazy to get out of military service? And what about the cross-dressing?

Richie Wise (Kiss producer, Dust)

Richie Wise (Kiss producer, Dust)Songwriter Interviews

Richie talks about producing the first two Kiss albums, recording "Brother Louie," and the newfound appreciation of his rock band, Dust.

Mick Jones of Foreigner

Mick Jones of ForeignerSongwriter Interviews

Foreigner's songwriter/guitarist tells the stories behind the songs "Juke Box Hero," "I Want To Know What Love Is," and many more.

Howard Jones

Howard JonesSongwriter Interviews

Howard explains his positive songwriting method and how uplifting songs can carry a deeper message.

Rupert Hine

Rupert HineSongwriter Interviews

Producer Rupert Hine talks about crafting hits for Tina Turner, Howard Jones and The Fixx.