Tag Archives: Ray Davies

Return of the Village Green Preservation Society

As I am someone who has long enjoyed the music of the Kinks and the Doors, you might think that I would be over the proverbial moon with the recent announcements—one iffier than the other—that (1) the Kinks are reuniting and (2) there is a 50th anniversary version of Waiting for the Sun coming out this September.

As for the first, Sir Ray Davies (must give the man his propers) told the BBC that he was getting the band back together to record an album, having been inspired by The Rolling Stones’ recent spate of European concerts. The Kinks were formed in ’64, managed to get banned from touring in the U.S. for four years starting in ’65, and disbanded in ’96. The last bona-fide Kinks album, To the Bone, was released in ’94. In addition to Sir Ray, the band included his brother Dave, Mick Avory, and Pete Quaife. Quaife died in 2010. So the reunion would be of a trio, not a quartet.

As for the second, the Doors formed in 1965, and consisted of Jim Morrison, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, and Robby Krieger. Their first album, The Doors, appeared in 1967. Waiting for the Sun was the third album, appearing in 1968. L.A. Woman was their last proper album, as it was released in April 1971 and Jim Morrison died in July of that year.

So while there is certainty that the Doors album will appear, whether the Kinks record or not is something that remains to be heard.

And I hope that they don’t.

Realize that the band hasn’t existed since 1996. That’s 22 years ago. The band itself existed for 32 years, which is a long run by any measure and the body of work that it produced includes some of the best songs of the late 20th century.

Continue reading Return of the Village Green Preservation Society

“Black Hills that I ain’t never seen”

As long-time readers of this site may recall, there was once a tagline used to describe the ethos of Glorious Noise: “Rock and roll can change your life.”

And now I must report with some sadness that it can change lives in a way that I’d prefer not to imagine.

A few weeks ago I wrote about Ray Davies becoming knighted by the Queen.

And a couple weeks before that I wrote about how Roger Daltrey was working with Rolls-Royce to create a bespoke version of the Wraith motorcar.

Now the two subjects have come together.

The Who version of the Rolls Wraith has come out. It features the artwork of Mike McInnery: the album cover of Tommy is painted on the hood and the birds that are also part of the cover art flit about on the fenders and C-pillars.

But that is but one of nine “Inspired by British Music” cars that has been developed.

Continue reading “Black Hills that I ain’t never seen”

Queen Elizabeth Catches a Cold

Let’s face it: given that dragons have, so far as we know, all been slain, there isn’t a whole lot left for knights to do. And given that there aren’t a whole lot of functional tasks left for royalty, there are basically symbolic actions for them to perform, such as participating in parades and making unusual hand gestures that are interpreted as waving.

So knights: not a whole lot of call for defense of the realm.

Queens: not much more to do than being royalty.

One thing that has been occurring in Great Britain for nearly 100 years is that the person wearing the crown celebrates the new year with honors—or honours—during which time people who are otherwise known as “commoners” get elevated in rank.

Some people become knights.

Nowadays, it seems, defending the realm of Great Britain is all about financial defense. Sir Paul McCartney is probably not going to be called upon to draw his sword. Chances are, it is more about how he’s helped out the Chancellor of the Exchequer over the past many years.

Let’s face it: when it comes to popular music, the Brits have clearly been doing a better job of coming up with new acts, and sustaining old ones, than any other country on earth, at least from the standpoint of their having achieved popularity and/or visibility. That is, based on statistics alone there are probably Chinese analogues of the Beatles and the Stones, though those of us in the west don’t know about them.

Continue reading Queen Elizabeth Catches a Cold

Kinks reunion coming soon?

BBC News reports that Ray Davies is keen for a Kinks reunion as long as they “could do new songs, even if it’s four or five”:

“My pitch to the other guys in the band – because I’m really for it – was what would we have written if we hadn’t have had our first hit, You Really Got Me?” he said.

“What if we put ourselves in that situation, what would have happened? So I think new work is important for artists as they mature and get older.

“The amazing thing is that The Kinks are the only band, of that period, where the only original members are still alive,” he added.

Who knows? With the band’s history, it might be a great show, might be a disaster, might just be a bore…

Video: The Kinks – “Till the End of the Day”

Previously: Review: Ray Davies – Other People’s Lives (2006).

Ray Davies – Other People’s Lives

Ray Davies - Other People's LivesRay DaviesOther People’s Lives (V2)

So I’m listening to Ray Davies:

“Things are going to change, this is the morning after. . .

“Morality kicks in. . . .

“The morning after gets up from the floor. . .to do it all again. . . .”

And I’m remembering how many of my own mornings after, when I painfully remember the night before—not merely the pain that is physically wracking, the nauseous remembrance of drinks past, of too many cigarettes, too little food—but of the asinine things said, did, the sorts of things that the spinning bed didn’t make go away when all of the other stuff was made to disappear.

“Things Are Going To Change.” Right.

So here it is, the first solo album. But honestly: Is there a Kinks album that isn’t, in effect, a Ray Davies album?

And then there are those questions that come up, like: How come the Kinks seem to have been somewhere back in a tent or something when the British Invasion occurred? Or: Didn’t they do that novelty song, “Lola”, or was that Ray Stevens?

None of that matters. Other People’s Lives does matter, at least for those who are interested in hearing well-composed, well-written songs by someone who has undoubtedly spent more than his fair share of time in situations where morality kicks in, and he honestly is bothered by it. There is a certain authenticity here, artful, but not artificial. Sincere but not saccharine.

Davies has been on stage for a long, long time. But oddly enough, unlike the recent work of some of his erstwhile peers, there is an immediacy and freshness to this, there remains the sense of the wonder of the quotidian that makes some of his best work what it is.

“To do it all again.”