Five Dandy Ray Davies Tunes on His 67th Birthday

Categories: Talking Shit
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In 1966, Ray Davies sang, "When you're old and gray, you will remember what they said: 'that two girls are too many, three's a crowd and four you're dead.'" Kind of eerie, that now on his 67th birthday, he is the survivor of three weddings. In the '60s, he was London's most beloved pop songwriter; Lennon, McCartney, and Jagger admired and envied his biting lyrics and stinging hooks. The Who's early style, volume and sexual swag(ger) can be traced to Pete Townshend's affinity for the Kinks.

They could've been the biggest band in the world. Not only did they lay the groundwork for punk rock and power pop but they drafted the first plans on "How to Self-Destruct." Every time they were at the top of their game, somehow Davies and crew would let it all crumble about them -- only to rise again, only to fall again.

On Davies' birthday, we offer five Klassic Kinks Kuts. Hopefully, someone in charge of Britannia will read this and knight the restless gent.

"You Really Got Me"



Some people call this the birth of metal and/or punk. It's primal and animalistic. If you don't love it, you're mental.

"Sunny Afternoon"



Ray Davies at his lazy, glorious best. Scope the out-of-place Flying-V.

"Waterloo Sunset"



While America was going to San Fransisco with flowers in her hair, Davies and company were laying down this melancholic beauty. Gotta love the bare-bones guitar playing and ghostly harmonies.

"Sitting in My Hotel"



Wealth, fame, and isolation. On this track, Davies sounds further from humanity than Bowie's Major Tom ever did.

"People Take Pictures of Each Other"



A critique on a self-obsessed society that is 1,000 more Facebook tags true today.


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JensenLee
JensenLee

Ray Davies is one of the underrated pioneers and best lyricists in rock. Brother Dave is an equally innovative guitarist. Rockaeology at http://bit.ly/eIMqZ7 has the story behind “You Really Got Me.” The inexpensive 6-watt Elpico amp, purchased by Dave at a radio shop for 6 pounds, was plugged into a series of other, more powerful amps. Dave sliced the speaker cone with a razor blade to achieve the distorted fuzz tone. Knitting needles were also stuck into the speakers. It was a sound unique in 1964--before Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page added the sound to their repertoires.

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