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In 1971, the Kinks did the soundtrack for Percy, a TV film about the world's first penis transplant. About half of it was filler, with short instrumental links and rehashed themes--but the other half consisted of entirely respectable pop songs. "God's Children" and "Willesden Green" both found their way onto the indispensable Kinks Kronikles compilation, but for my money, Percy's real masterpiece is "The Way Love Used to Be."

LISTEN:







The Kinks - "The Way Love Used to Be"

A piano ballad of grace and simplicity, it manages to avoid the chewy, overboiled sentimentality so common in these types of songs. As Ray Davies remembers days past with a nostalgic and possibly regretful eye, chords stack themselves neatly and strings swoop overhead. Perhaps it's too maudlin for you--I admit it walks that fine line; it certainly sounds like it could be plucked from The Fantasticks, or covered by Robert Goulet--but something about this song just kills me.