The BBC have launched their new music initiative with a star studded launch video that features over 25 stars spanning all different musical genres. 25 high profile musicians, singers and producers have all teamed together to perform a cover of The Beach Boys’ classic “God Only Knows.” Artists such as Lorde, Pharrell, Elton John, Sam Smith, and Dave Grohl have joined forces to become “The Impossible Orchestra” to launch the BBC initiative and raise money for children in need.
The BBC launch promises to be more than just an extravagant PR exercise with its commitment to bringing music to people of all ages. They have already begun the roll out of their Ten Pieces program which promises to get all schools in the UK involved in the performing, listening and re-imagining of well-known classical pieces. The broadcasting company also has committed to its first music awards ceremony in December and an extensive pop music survey in 2016 titled “the Soundtrack of the Twentieth Century.”
The simultaneous broadcast of the song and video across platforms such as BBC One, iPlayer and BBC Radio 6 music was used to raise awareness of the initiative. This broadcast highlights the renewed commitment of the BBC to support emerging talent across all their platforms. The ambitious launch mirrors the 1997 efforts of the BBC who rounded up all stars such as David Bowie, Suzanne Vega and Bono to cover “Perfect Day” by Lou Reed. Like it’s 2014 counterpart, the 1997 release was aimed at emphasizing that the annual licensing fee charged to all British households, is worth it for the extensive and important cultural coverage the BBC provides.
Brian Wilson, the writer and original performer of “God Only Knows,” has described feeling “humbled and honoured” by the BBC’s choice of his song in this landmark event for the station. Wilson was also pleased with how the artists came together to cover his song, saying they had done a ‘beautiful job’.
BBC should definitely be pleased with their ambitious launch video; artists that come from all musical genres have blended together really well to celebrate the power of music. Hopefully the attention the short film has brought to the BBC will aid their efforts in their roll out of their new initiatives, groundbreaking partnerships and new wave of programs. The song is now available to download, with proceeds going to BBC Children in Need.