Tag Archives: Playing God

CORKY LAING & THE PERFECT CHILD ‘PLAYING GOD’ (Original music from ‘Test: The Rock Opera’)

On ‘Record Store Day’ a couple of years back I visited ‘Media Mania’ in Berwick upon Tweed and came away with a number of items; included was a copy of the double vinyl of The Who’s ‘Tommy’. Although this had been preceded by some ‘concept albums’ I seem to remember it being promoted as the first ‘Rock Opera’; I certainly remember how excited we were around the time of its release. With the appearance of ‘Playing God’ it seems that the concept of ‘Rock Opera’ is still alive. Legendary drummer from Mountain, Corky Laing, has thrown his hat in the ‘RO’ ring, and with his pedigree I was expecting something special. Initial listening helped to remind me how important it is to avoid trying to review anything on only one hearing. I found it hard to muster any enthusiasm at all, around twenty minutes in I was tempted to eject the disc and move on to something else but I persevered and soon found myself beginning to appreciate the instrumentation. I remained less impressed by the vocals, and wondered about the wisdom of seeking to link everything with the narrative.

“The good people of Happyville, set back in a 1970s version of tomorrow, have enjoyed the advantage of genetic engineering for decades without any thought, but the day of judgement is near. When Luke comes to town, and gods develop an interest in Mr. C’s science peddling, the secrets of the townspeople are about to be revealed, and their lives may never be the same again.”

Having returned to listen again I find that my appreciation is growing, the instrumentation is extremely professional, as I expected from Mr. Laing and his colleagues. I still remain to be convinced of the absolute necessity of the ‘opera’ storyline but will continue to return to give a fair hearing. Returning to ‘Tommy’, I have to record that the closing number ‘We’re Not Going To Take It’ used to energise me so much, but on returning to it over forty years later I found myself rather underwhelmed – the song that had once seemed so cutting edge and radical, now felt rather twee and non-challenging. I wonder how ‘Playing God’ will ‘play’ in forty years time.

1/ God’s March

2/ Luke’s Blues

3/ Terrace Of The Gods

4/ Perfect Boy

5/ Tony’s Return

6/ College Girls

7/ Silent Dream

8/ My Brother’s Gonna Die

9/ Open Up Your Imagination

10/ Here Is Our Blood

11/ Jupiter

12/ Tim’s Requiem

13/ Not Good Enough

14/ Father’s Lament

15/ Crying Shame

16/ Journey

17/ Sisterhood

18/ Vital Stream

19/ Revelations I

20/ meltdown

21/ Revelations II

22/ Eyes In The Mirror

23/ Revelations III

24/ Mr. C’s Demise

25/ In This World

Corky Laing – drums, vocals, percussion, guitar

Bonnie Parker – bass, vocals

Denny Colt – guitar, vocals

Lasse Väyrynen – guitars, guitalele, bass, keyboards, backing vocals

Matti Häyry – guitars, guitalele, keyboards, vocals

Tuija Takala – guitar, vocals

Maya Paakari – vocals

Harry Väyrynen – guitar, bass, vocals

Mikaela Mansikkala – vocals

Hanna Paatero – backing vocals

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