Kinks – Set Me Free

The Beatles, Who, and Stones are the most famous bands that came out of the British invasion. The Kinks should have been one of them but an American ban on touring in a big chunk of the sixties hurt their career. Instead of sounding like their American influences like the Beatles and Stones…Ray Davies didn’t hide his roots at all.

They came back strong in the seventies and eighties though. On May 17, 1983, I was able to see The Kinks in concert. Ray Davies was 39 years old and was all over the stage like a 20-year-old. That remains one of the best concerts I ever attended. It’s up there with The Who, McCartney, and Stones…in fact maybe a little better because they were still in their prime and releasing new material.

Set Me Free peaked at #23 in the Billboard 100, #2 in Canada, and #9 in the UK in 1965. Set Me Free was heard in the Ken Loach-directed Up the Junction, this marked the first appearance of a Kinks song on a film or TV soundtrack.

When you listen to their discography it’s amazing the ground they covered. There are tons of different musical styles, which the group has explored throughout their career. Starting with the pre-punk rock of You Really Got Me, acoustic anthems like Victoria, the beauty of Waterloo Sunset, the concept albums, music hall influences, hard rock, and even some new wave in the 80s.

The band seemed to be always on the brink of breaking up but they stayed together until 1996. In 2021 it was reported that the Kinks were at work in the studio once again.

Ray Davies: “the trouble is, the two remaining members — my brother Dave and Mick [Avory, the original drummer] — never got along very well. But I’ve made that work in the studio and it’s fired me up to make them play harder, and with fire.”

Dave Davies: “This has really been going on for a couple of years, we keep going backwards and listening to a lot of old stuff. Some of that is very good, and some of it needs a bit of work.”

Set Me Free

Set me free, little girl,
All you gotta do is set me free, little girl,
You know you can do it if you try,
All you gotta do is set me free, free,
Free.

Set me free, little girl,
All you gotta do is set me free, little girl,
You know you can do it if you try,
All you gotta do is set me free, free,
Free, free.

I don’t want no one,
If I can’t have you to myself,
I don’t need nobody else,
So if I can’t have you to myself,

Set me free,
Set me free.

Oh set me free, little girl,
All you gotta do is set me free, little girl,
You know you can do it if you try,
All you gotta do is set me free, free,
Free, free.

I don’t want no one,
If I can’t have you to myself,
I don’t need nobody else,
So if I can’t have you to myself,

Set me free,
Set me free.

Oh set me free, little girl,
All you gotta do is set me free, little girl,
You know you can do it if you try,
All you gotta do is set me free, free,
Free.

Set me free,
Oh, set me free

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

23 thoughts on “Kinks – Set Me Free”

  1. Great pick and a song I don’t recall having heard before. I dig The Kinks, especially their ’60s output. They are definitely among my favorites bands from that area, together of course with The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Who.

    As seems to be all too common in rock, great music oftentimes goes hand in hand with great egos and explosive characters. The Kinks are a prime example.

    Unfortunately, they took some it too far, which got them banned in America. Based on what I read, it seems to be a miracle they made it through without getting killed or seriously harmed!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They sure deserved to be heard more. That ban did hurt them bad… but I’m glad they kept going… I do like the late seventies and early eighties albums

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Perhaps I should have qualified my comment with the caveat that I’m more familiar with the Kinks’ ’60s output. I also dig post ’60s tunes like “Celluloid Heroes”, “Sleepwalker”, “Ducks On the Wall”, “Destroyer” and “Living On a Thin Line.”

        So cool you got to see the Kinks when they were still “young”. If they ever tour again and come anywhere close to New Jersey and it’s halfway affordable, I’d go to see them. Heck, I’d probably do something and go to Boston, if needed. Jim, get ready! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh yea… I knew you liked that period. It was way up there in my concerts. Them being still current at the time added to it.

        As far as pure raw rock and roll… they were rock/punk more than anyone I saw.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah – one of those bands that, although popular, didn’t get the wide acknowledgement they merited. Probably down t o timing, being around same time as, and to a degree, in he shadows of The Rolling Stones and The Beatles.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That didn’t help them at all… plus The Who got some of their spotlight….they were one band early on as raw as the Kinks.

      Like

  3. thanks for the link! They were their own worst enemy in the 60s I think. I’d like to hear new stuff from them but I’m getting dubious that it will ever see the light of day…I think I’ve been hearing it’s on its way for six years or so now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Funny thing is…Ray and Dave STILL have problems and Dave and Mick STILL have problems lol. I guess Ray and Mick Avory do get along.
      I think it will but it might be after they are passed….I’m seriously wondering also if they will finish anything soon.

      Like

    1. They were everything that was advertised… they played the Grand Ole Opry (not the Ryman) at Opryland…and it very well might have been the concert I’ve seen…The Who and them were really close.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Always been a big fan, even throwaway fluff like ‘Plastic Man’ has a beat and decent chorus. ‘Waterloo Sunset,’ well, that is close to art. And the later material has some real gems as well, ‘Full Moon,’ ‘Misery,”Don’t Forget To Dance.’

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I count them right up there with The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Bob Dylan. There is a quality to their music that is sophisticated but not pretentious and also often has a political sharp edge to it. One of the bands I’d take to a desert island with me. I was thinking the other day about how blessed Chryssie Hyndes was to have a child with Ray. I also imagined her singing, “Brass in Pocket” to him to seduce him 🙂 Yes, my mind was wandering the other day. (I had The Best of The Kinks 1964 – 1971 playing at the time.)

    Liked by 2 people

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