366 Songs 175: That’s The Way God Planned It

I’m not the most religious person – Is it agnostic, to believe in something, but not necessarily have any love for the organized religions as such? If so, then, yeah; that’s me – but this has long been one of my favorite songs, and it’s all because of the performance. Billy Preston was, for awhile, not just a spectacular keyboard player (Seriously, just listen to him here) but an amazing vocalist and one working in a style that put him somewhere in the middle of an imaginary spectrum between the Beatles and Sly and The Family Stone… which is to say, pretty much my ideal kind of music. The That’s The Way God Planned It and Encouraging Words albums that he released through Apple, both produced by (and featuring guitar from) George Harrison, are two of my favorite albums of all time, and “That’s The Way God Planned It” shows why. There’s something so effortless about the way this song sounds, but so insistent and irresistible, with Preston sounding so… happy, I guess?

There’s joy in Preston’s music; the joy of performance, the joy of life, the joy of God, maybe…? But it’s contagious. There may be bands and performers who are closer to my heart than Billy Preston, but I’m not sure that there are any who make me happier.