Tuesday, November 10, 2009

It's Not the Size That Counts

I was thrilled when I noticed that the Kinks Chronological album listen at the Ray Davies Forum had reserved a day for Percy. You are probably asking yourself "why on earth" I would care about a soundtrack album that was never released on LP in the US and is half full of mediocre instrumentals. Well let me tell you - I consider the non-instrumentals on Percy to be every bit as wonderful as the songs from the Kinks 1966-69 glory years.

Check out Holly Hughes' assessment of The Way Love Used To Be. Or Animals In The Zoo to hear the next installment after Apeman of Ray Davies' Jamaican voice. Or the lovely Moments in which Dave turns in a short guitar solo in the style of Abbey Road period George Harrison.

But the real deal here is God's Children. Considering that it was the theme song for a forgotten film about the first penis transplant (really I kid you not), it is quite amazing that the studio actually placed the song in the movie. As it takes a diametrically opposed view to any sort of organ transplant. Regardless of one's religious beliefs, there is no denying that the melody is of the first order of loveliness. And Ray's singing is so emotive and impassioned that I have no doubt that he meant every word.

"'Cause we are all God's children
And he got no right to change us
Oh, we gotta go back the way the good lord made us all"


Vivalabeat said...

I don't know Kinks fans who managed to see the movie. It is horrible. I was forced to see it. It was 3 years ago and I prefer not to recall it. :) As Dave wrote in his book, it was a miracle they had survived it at all.

The music is stunning, though. To me Percy is a good Kinks album, there're some good songs although I don't listen to the whole album. I especially love Moments. I saw Ray last month in Scandinavia and Amsterdam and he did this song. It was magic. I've always loved it but now I love it even more. I live in a country where people hardly heard about the Kinks.

God's Children is also one of my favorite songs from this album. It's hard to imagine that music like this is a soundtrack to a horrible movie called Percy.

Thanks for the review. I enjoyed reading it.

Holly A Hughes said...

It really is a lovely song, isn't it? I don't think Ray is disagreeing with the point of the movie, though -- my impression is that it argues against transplants by showing how having another man's penis messed up this guy's life.

Personally I think Ray Davies still hasn't figured out what he thinks about God. Organized religion, yes, he's against that, but God? Listen to "Big Sky" on VGPS and you'll find interesting ambivalence. I'm sure somebody somewhere has written a thesis about this.

Mister Pleasant said...

You are right Holly, and I have always appreciated Ray Davies' take on God. It pretty much reflects my own thoughts. "Big Sky" is the perfect example.

Wonderful for you Vivalabeat - to hear "Moments" performed live last month. It warms my heart to know that Ray realizes the worthiness of that song from an album that may be the least known in the Kinks career.