Kinks – Working At The Factory

I first heard this song at Tower Records in 1986 while shopping for a Van Morrison album.

The song was on their twenty second studio album Think Visual released in 1986. The album peaked #81 in the Billboard Album Charts in 1986.

In America, the song “How Are You” was released and the B side was Working at the Factory. In the U.S., AOR disc jockeys flipped the single over and played Working At The Factory as though it was the second single. The song ended up peaking at #16 in the Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs chart. The song got a lot of airplay in Nashville at the time.

The Kinks never was as popular as some of their peers as The Beatles, Stones, and The Who. One of the reasons is because during the sixties the Kinks were  banned from touring the US for 4 years due to their on stage antics.  Promoters  complained to the American Federation of Musicians. The union had the power to withhold work permits for British musicians if they misbehaved on stage or refused to perform without good reason. That’s exactly what happened.

The Kinks have sold over 50 million records worldwide and have been cited as a big influence on a number of bands and a key reference point for many Britpop bands. The Kinks were awarded an Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Service to British Music, and singer Ray Davies received a CBE in 2004, and was knighted in the 2017 New Year Honours for services to the arts.

Working At The Factory

All my life, I’ve been a workin’ man
When I was at school they said that’s all you’ll ever understand
No profession, I didn’t figure in their plans
So they sent me down the factory to be a workin’ man

All I lived for, all I lived for
All I lived for was to get out of the factory
Now I’m here seemingly free, but working at the factory

Then music came along and gave new life to me
And gave me hope back in 1963
The music came and set me free
From working at the factory

All I lived for, all I lived for
Was to get out of the factory
All I lived for, all I lived for
Was to get out of the factory

Never wanted to be like everybody else
But now there are so many like me sitting on the shelf
They sold us a dream but in reality
It was just another factory
I made the music, thought that it was mine
It made me free, but that was in another time
But then the corporations and the big combines
Turned musicians into factory workers on assembly lines

All we live for, all we live for
All we live for is to get out of the factory
We made the music to set ourselves free
From working at the factory

All my life I’ve put in a working day
Now it’s sign the contract, get production on the way

Take the money, make the music pay
Working at the factory
All I lived for was to get out of the factory

Never wanted to be like everybody else
But now there are so many like me sitting on the shelf
They sold us a dream that in reality
Was just another factory

Working at the factory

Big Star – #1 Record…Desert Island Albums

This is my third round choice from Hanspostcard’s album draft…100 albums in 100 days.
2020 ALBUM DRAFT-ROUND 3 PICK 6- BADFINGER20 SELECTS- BIG STAR- #1 RECORD

“Big Star is like a letter that was mailed in 1971 but didn’t arrive until 1985.”
Musician Robyn Hitchcock 

I never travel far, without a little Big Star
The Replacements

“We’ve sort of flirted with greatness, but we’ve yet to make a record as good as Revolver or Highway 61 Revisited or Exile on Main Street or Big Star’s Third.”
Peter Buck

The band didn’t chart a record when they were active. I still hold their music up along with The Who, Beatles. and Kinks…they never had the sales but they did have a giant influence. They released this album as their debut in August of 1972.  I had to stop myself from writing an open love letter (I may have failed) about this band. Was it the mystique of them? Was it the coolness factor of liking a band that not many people knew? No and no. It’s about the music. Mystique and coolness wear off and all you are left with is the music…We are fortunate to have 3 albums by Big Star to enjoy.

In the early eighties, I heard stories from an older brother of a friend about Big Star out of Memphis…but their records were hard to come by.  I loved what little I heard and it got lost in the shuffle but it planted a seed for later. 

By the mid-80s I heard more of their songs. In 1986 The Bangles released “September Gurls” and I knew it sounded familiar…and the DJ said it was a Big Star song…then came the song, Alex Chilton, by The Replacements and  I’m ashamed to say it wasn’t until the early nineties, I finally had Big Star’s music along with the Raspberries and Badfinger. My power-pop fandom kicked into high gear and I have never left that genre.

Big Star was the best band never heard. Such a great band but a long frustrating story. They made three albums that were among the best of the decade that were not heard until much later. They signed with Ardent which was a subsidiary of Stax Records.

A power-pop band on the soul Stax label doesn’t sound like a good idea now and it wasn’t then. Stax was failing at that time and could not distribute the records to the stores. Kids loved the music on the radio only to go to a record store with no Big Star records. Rolling Stone gave them rave reviews…but that doesn’t help if the album is not out there to purchase. They were through by 1974 after recording their 3rd album.

When their albums were finally discovered by eighties bands, they influenced many artists such as REM, The Replacements, Cars, Cheap Trick, Sloan, Matthew Sweet, KISS, Wilco, Gin Blossoms, and many more. They influenced alternative rock of the 80s and 90s and continue to this day.

Listening to this album with each song you think…Oh, that could have been a single. Alex Chilton and Chris Bell wrote most of the songs and wanted to emulate Lennon/McCartney and they did a great job but with an obvious American slant to make it their own. After the commercial failure of this album, Chris Bell quit but the other three continued for one more album and then bass player Andy Hummel quit after the second album, and Chilton and drummer Jody Stephens recorded the third.

I could have gone with ANY three of their albums. I picked this one because of Chris Bell. The songs are a bit more polished on this one than the other two but it fits the songs they present. Chris Bell added a lot to Big Star and after hearing his solo song I Am The Cosmos you see how much. Radio City, their second album, with Chilton in charge many consider their best and their third album, Third/Sister Lovers is not as commercially accessible but I still love it. All three are in Rolling Stone’s top 500 albums of all time.

I’ll go over four songs.

The Ballad Of El Goodo  A song about Vietnam conscientious objector…but it is much more than that. It is one of the most perfect pop/rock songs recorded to my ears. This would make it in my own top 10 songs of all time. The tone of the guitars, harmonies and the perfectly constructed chorus keeps calling me back listen after listen. This is when pop music becomes more.

In The Street is a song that everyone will know. It was used as the theme of That Seventies Show. Cheap Trick covered it for the show. I was not a teenager in the early seventies but with this song, I am there front and center. Steal your car and bring it down, Pick me up, we’ll drive around, Wish we had, A joint so bad.

Thirteen is a song that Chilton finds that spot between the innocence of childhood and the first teenage year where they meet and intertwine with confusion. Won’t you tell your dad, “get off my back” Tell him what we said ’bout “Paint It Black”

When My Baby’s Beside Me has a great guitar riff to open it up. This is power pop at it’s best. A nice rocker that should have been blaring out of AM radios in the 70’s.

I’m not going over every song (but I could easily) because reading this won’t do it…you have to listen if you haven’t already. You will not regret it. Not just these songs but the complete album.

It’s a mixture of songs on the album…rockers, mid-tempo songs, and ballads. Even the weaker song called The India Song is very listenable. My favorites besides the ones I listed are  Watch the Sunrise, Don’t Lie To Me, Feel, and Give Me Another Chance.

I now have rounded out my albums on my island. The variety of The White Album, The rock of Who’s Next, and the ringing power-pop beauty of Big Star…swim or use a boat and come over to my island and we will listen…the Pina Coladas and High Tides (hey it’s an island) are flowing… let’s drink to BIG STAR.

On a side note. If you want to learn more there is a good documentary out about them called: Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me.

Feel
The Ballad Of El Goodo
In The Street
Thirteen
Don’t Lie To Me
The India Song
When My Baby’s Beside Me
My Life Is Right
Give Me Another Chance
Try Again
Watch The Sunrise
ST 100/6

  • Chris Bell – guitar, vocals
  • Alex Chilton – guitar, vocals
  • Andy Hummel – bass guitar, vocals
  • Jody Stephens – drums

 

 

 

Kinks – Sleepwalker

I have always liked the late seventies and mid-eighties Kinks. This was one of the first songs I remembered by them.

This is the title song off of the Sleepwalker album. It was released in 1977 and it marked a comeback in America for the Kinks. The last song they released to peak this high was Apeman in 1970.

Ray Davies had just moved from London to New York during this time and had trouble adapting to the 24 hours schedule of New York…and he wrote Sleepwalker about it.

The song peaked at #48 in the Billboard 100 and #54 in Canada.

 

Sleepwalker

Ev’rybody got problems, buddy. I got mine.
When midnight comes around, I start to lose my mind.
When the sun puts out the light,
I join the creatures of the night,
Oh yeah.

I’m a sleepwalker.
I’m a night stalker.
I’m a street walker.
I’m a night hawker.

Ev’rybody got secrets that they wanna hide.
When midnight comes along, I take a look inside.
Don’t go talkin’ in your sleep:
I might come in for a peep,
Oh yeah.’

I’m a sleepwalker.
I’m a night stalker.

When ev’rybody’s fast asleep, I start to creep.
Through the shadows of the moonlight, I walk my beat.
Better close your window tight:
I might come in for a bite,
Oh yeah.

When the night time comes, I start to creep.
I prowl around when you’re fast asleep.
I walk around on my tippy toes,
And I get into places that nobody knows.

I’m always around if you wanna meet.
You can find me on almost ev’ry street.
You’ll always get me on the telephone.
I’ll even come to your home if you’re ever alone.

I’m a sleepwalker.
I’m a night stalker.
I’m a street walker.
I’m a night hawker.
[Repeat]

Kinks – (Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman

I hope everyone had a great July 4th!

I liked every era of The Kinks but I first bought their current records in the late half of the 70s and early eighties. This song was on the album Low Budget released in 1978.

This song was written by Kinks singer/songwriter Ray Davies, he called this “a very political song about people going on strike.”

Clive Davis who ran  Arista Records wanted the Kinks to do a club-friendly song.

The Kinks didn’t love disco but it was huge at the time. They found a groove they liked and infused it with their sound. Davies sings about how an ordinary person has to be Superman to survive in these difficult times…kinda applies today also.

Ray Davies:  “It was kind of a joke, taking the piss out of Clive wanting us to do a club-friendly record.”

The song peaked at #41 in the Billboard 100 and #43 in Canada in 1978.

Dave Davies:  “I think that one [‘Superman’] was, not the biggest mistake, but it could’ve been one of the biggest mistakes we made. I remember I had quite a difficult time with Ray while we were making the record, because I didn’t like the direction it was going. It was a strange time for music in general, anyway. The fact that it’s funny, that it was a humorous song, saved it. I don’t feel bad about that song at all, but it could have been a big mistake.”

The live version is a little more guitar based than the studio version.

(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman

Woke up this morning, started to sneeze
I had a cigarette and a cup of tea
I looked in the mirror what did I see
A nine stone weakling with knobbly knees
I did my knees bend press ups touch my toes
I had another sneeze and I blew my nose
I looked in the mirror at my pigeon chest
I had to put on my clothes because it made me depressed
Surely there must be a way
For me to change the shape I’m in
Dissatisfied is what I am
I want to be a better man

Superman superman wish I could fly like superman
Superman superman I want to be like superman
I want to be like superman
Superman superman wish I could fly like superman

Woke up this morning, what did I see
A big black cloud hanging over me
I switched on the radio and nearly dropped dead
The news was so bad that I fell out of bed
There was a gas strike, oil strike, lorry strike, bread strike
Got to be a superman to survive
Gas bills, rent bills, tax bills, phone bills
I’m such a wreck but I’m staying alive

(Look in the paper, what do I see,
Robbery, violence, insanity.)

Hey girl we’ve got to get out of this place
There’s got to be something better than this
I need you, but I hate to see you this way
If I were superman then we’d fly away
I’d really like to change the world
And save it from the mess it’s in
I’m too weak, I’m so thin
I’d like to fly but I can’t even swim

Superman superman I want to fly like superman
Superman superman wish I could fly like superman
Superman superman wish I could fly like superman
Superman superman I want to be like superman
Superman superman I want to fly like superman

Kinks – Tired Of Waiting

The Kinks are a band that I saw in 1983. Along with The Who and Paul McCartney they were among the best bands, I saw live.

Kinks lead singer Ray Davies wrote this song while he was a student at Hornsey School of Art in London. Ray was running out of ideas, so he decided to record the song he had written in college. The group put down the backing track, but he couldn’t remember the words, so he went home and wrote them the next day on the train ride into the studio.

This was released as the first single from the album Kinda Kinks. “Tired of Waiting for You” was a hit, peaking at #6 in the Billboard 100, #1 in the UK, #3 in Canada in 1965.

Dave Davies: “The recording went well but there was something missing and it was my raunchy guitar sound. Ray and I were worried that putting that heavy-sounding guitar on top of a ponderous song might ruin it. Luckily it enhanced the recording, giving it a more cutting, emotional edge. In my opinion ‘Tired Of Waiting’ was the perfect pop record.”

From Songfacts

When the Kinks released their first album in 1964, they scored a huge hit with the Davies-penned “You Really Got Me,” which was followed by the sound-alike “All Day And All Of The Night.”

In this song, Ray Davies sings about a girl who has him under her spell. Problem is, she keeps stringing him along and it’s wearing him out. The vocal is suitably weary, lacking that adrenaline rush of their previous hits. This discontent would play out for real throughout 1965 as The Kinks were dispatched to one show after another, doing promotional appearances along the way. It quickly became clear that there was a great deal of animosity in the band and that they couldn’t keep up the pace for long.

Tired Of Waiting

So tired
Tired of waiting
Tired of waiting for you

So tired
Tired of waiting
Tired of waiting for you

I was a lonely soul
I had nobody till I met you
But you keep a-me waiting
All of the time
What can I do?

It’s your life
And you can do what you want
Do what you like
But please don’t keep a-me waiting
Please don’t keep a-me waiting

‘Cause I’m so tired
Tired of waiting
Tired of waiting for you

So tired
Tired of waiting
Tired of waiting for you

I was a lonely soul
I had nobody till I met you
But you keep a-me waiting
All of the time
What can I do?

It’s your life
And you can do what you want
Do what you like
But please don’t keep a-me waiting
Please don’t keep a-me waiting

‘Cause I’m so tired
Tired of waiting
Tired of waiting for you

So tired
Tired of waiting
Tired of waiting for you
For you
For you

Pretenders – Stop Your Sobbing

After watching the Pretenders on the Concert for Kampuchea I’ve been listening to Pretenders lately. The original band was something special. The original band was James Honeyman-Scott (lead guitar, backing vocals, keyboards), Pete Farndon (bass guitar, backing vocals), and Martin Chambers (drums, backing vocals, percussion)…and of course Chrissie Hynde.

Following the drug-related deaths of Honeyman-Scott and Farndon, the band experienced numerous subsequent personnel changes. Hynde has been the band’s only consistent member.

Written by Ray Davies and recorded for The Kinks’ 1964 self-titled debut album, this was later covered by The Pretenders as their first single. The Pretenders’ recording of the song led to the relationship between Davies and the band’s frontwoman Chrissie Hynde.

In order to convince guitarist James Honeyman-Scott to join The Pretenders, Chrissie Hynde hired one of his favorite recording artists, Nick Lowe, to produce this song.

This song peaked at #65 in the Billboard 100 and #34 in the UK in 1980.

 

From Songfacts

In his autobiography, Ray Davies writes of a girlfriend who may have been the subject of this song: “Her sobbing was making me feel guilty and I told her to stop… there was something so desperately lonely about her.”

The Pretenders covered another Ray Davies penned track a couple of years later, “I Go To Sleep,” for another single release.

Stop Your Sobbing

It is time for you to stop all of your sobbing
Yes it’s time for you to stop all of your sobbing oh oh oh
There’s one thing you gotta do
To make me still want you
Gotta stop sobbing now
Yeah yeah stop it stop it

It is time for you to laugh instead of crying
Yes it’s time for you to laugh so keep on trying oh oh oh
There’s one thing you gotta do
To make me still want you
Gotta stop sobbing now
Yeah yeah stop it stop it

Each little tear that falls from your eyes
Makes, makes me want
To take you in my arms and tell you
To stop all your sobbing

There’s one thing you gotta do
To make me still want you
And there’s one thing you gotta know
To make me want you so
Gotta stop sobbing now
Yeah yeah stop, stop, stop, stop
Gotta stop sobbing at all
Stop, stop, stop, stop
Gotta stop sobbing at all
Stop, stop, stop, stop
Gotta stop sobbing at all
Stop, stop, stop, stop
Stop, stop, stop sobbing
Stop, stop, stop, stop
Gotta stop sobbing
Stop, stop, stop, stop
Gotta stop sobbing at all
Stop, stop, stop, stop
Gotta stop sobbing at all

Kinks – Better Things

This song is really positive and positive is a good thing right now.

Ray Davies wrote this song in 1979 during the Low Budget sessions. It was written about Ray’s failing marriage to Yvonne Gunner…his second marriage. The band tried to record it for their album Low Budget that year, but couldn’t make it work.

It ended up on the Album “Give The People What They Want.” That was the first new Kinks album I ever bought. It’s a good album…some punk influence along with what the Kinks do best.

This song peaked at #92 in 1982 in the Billboard 100. The album peaked at #15 in the Billboard Album Charts in 1981.

From Songfacts

“Better Things,” written by Kinks’ frontman Ray Davies, was a single released in August of 1981 in the US, but not until January of 1982 in the UK. It is a cheerful, uplifting song, and so it fulfills what seemed to be a rule with The Kinks’ later albums, to end each album on a positive note: See also “Get Up” from Misfits, and “Life Goes On” from Sleepwalker.

The single’s initial copies came with a lagniappe 7-inch vinyl containing live versions of “Lola” and “David Watts,” which had been recorded on American tours in 1979 and 1980.

Artists who have covered this song include Bouncing Souls, Dar Williams, and Fountains of Wayne, the last of which was for a tribute album The Modern Genius of Ray Davies, arranged by the British music magazine Mojo.

The last track on Give The People What They Want, this song changes the tone of the album, which to this point is very unsettling and cynical (the penultimate song is “A Little Bit of Abuse”). “It’s just a change, a musical trick,” Ray Davies told Creem. “But I really like the song, ‘Better Things.’ It gives me hope. And after a song like ‘A Little Bit Of Abuse,’ you need some hope.”

Better Things

Here’s wishing you the bluest sky
And hoping something better comes tomorrow
Hoping all the verses rhyme
And the very best of choruses, too
Follow all the doubt and sadness
I know that better things are on the way

Here’s hoping all the days ahead
Won’t be as bitter as the ones behind you
Be an optimist instead
And somehow happiness will find you
Forget what happened yesterday
I know that better things are on the way

It’s really good to see you rocking out
And having fun
Living like you’ve just begun
Accept your life and what it brings
I hope tomorrow you’ll find better things
I know tomorrow you’ll find better things

Here’s wishing you the bluest sky
And hoping something better comes tomorrow
Hoping all the verses rhyme
And the very best of choruses, too
Follow all the doubt and sadness
I know that better things are on the way

I know you’ve got a lot of good things happening up ahead
The past is gone, it’s all been said
So here’s to what the future brings
I know tomorrow you’ll find better things
I know tomorrow you’ll find better things
I hope tomorrow you’ll find better things
I know tomorrow you’ll find better things
I hope tomorrow you’ll find better things

Kinks – A Well Respected Man

Ray Davies wrote this song after the group’s 1965 tour of the United States. The tour did not go well, with infighting, fatigue, and conflict with the musician’s union that kept them from performing in the country for another four years.

Davies recovered from the tour with a vacation at the English resort town of Torquay, Devon. There, a wealthy hotel guest recognized him and asked Ray to play a round of golf. Far from being flattered by the invitation, he took great offense. “I’m not gonna play f–king golf with you,” “I’m not gonna be your caddy so you can say you played with a pop singer.”

The song peaked at #13 Billboard 100 but it didn’t chart in the UK.

A Well Respected Man

‘Cause he gets up in the morning,
And he goes to work at nine,
And he comes back home at five-thirty,
Gets the same train every time.
‘Cause his world is built ’round punctuality,
It never fails.

And he’s oh, so good,
And he’s oh, so fine,
And he’s oh, so healthy,
In his body and his mind.
He’s a well respected man about town,
Doing the best things so conservatively.

And his mother goes to meetings,
While his father pulls the maid,
And she stirs the tea with councilors,
While discussing foreign trade,
And she passes looks, as well as bills,
At every suave young man.

‘Cause he’s oh, so good,
And he’s oh, so fine,
And he’s oh, so healthy,
In his body and his mind.
He’s a well respected man about town,
Doing the best things so conservatively.

And he likes his own backyard,
And he likes his fags the best,
‘Cause he’s better than the rest,
And his own sweat smells the best,
And he hopes to grab his father’s loot,
When Pater passes on.

‘Cause he’s oh, so good,
And he’s oh, so fine,
And he’s oh, so healthy,
In his body and his mind.
He’s a well respected man about town,
Doing the best things so conservatively.

And he plays at stocks and shares,
And he goes to the regatta,
And he adores the girl next door,
‘Cause he’s dying to get at her,
But his mother knows the best about
The matrimonial stakes.

‘Cause he’s oh, so good,
And he’s oh, so fine,
And he’s oh, so healthy,
In his body and his mind.
He’s a well respected man about town,
Doing the best things so conservatively.

Kinks – You Really Got Me

This very well may be the very first Punk record. The simple riff was raw and cutting and like Louie, Louie and Wild Thing…became a staple of garage bands forever. This song was the first hit for The Kinks. Before releasing it, they put out two singles that flopped: a cover of “Long Tall Sally” and a Ray Davis composition called “You Still Want Me.”

The sound of the guitar was revolutionary. Dave Davies got the dirty guitar sound by slashing the speaker cone on his amplifier with a razor blade. The vibration of the fabric produced an effect known as “fuzz,” which became common as various electronic devices were invented to distort the sound. At the time, none of these devices were available to Dave, so Davies would mistreat his amp to get the desired sound, often kicking it.

Ray Davies wrote this with the intention of making it a big crowd-pleaser for their live shows. He was trying to write something similar to “Louie Louie,” which was a big hit for The Kingsmen.

The song peaked at #7 in the Billboard 100 and #1 in the UK in 1964.

 

From Songfacts

Kinks frontman Ray Davies wrote the lyric to this rambunctious rocker after watching girls dancing in a club. It’s not the most articulate lyric, but that’s the point: The guy in the song is so infatuated, all he can do is mutter at the girl how she’s really got him.

In 2015, he told Rolling Stone: “I just remembered this one girl dancing. Sometimes you’re so overwhelmed by the presence of another person and you can’t put two words together.”

Davies expanded on the song’s inspiration during a 2016 interview with Q magazine: “I was playing a gig at a club in Piccadilly and there was a young girl in the audience who I really liked. She had beautiful lips. Thin, but not skinny. A bit similar to Françoise Hardy. Not long hair, but down to about there (points to shoulders). Long enough to put your hands through… (drifts off, wistfully)… long enough to hold. I wrote ‘You Really Got Me’ for her, even though I never met her.”

According to Dave, the amp slashing happened in his bedroom in North London when he was irate – he had gotten his girlfriend, Sue Sheehan, pregnant, and their parents wanted to keep them from getting married. Instead of doing self harm, he used the blade on the amp to channel his rage. The amp was a cheap unit called an Elpico that had been giving him problems – he decided to teach it a lesson!

In the studio, the wounded Elpico was hooked into a another amp, which Dave recalls as a Vox AC30 and producer Shel Talmy remembers as a Vox AC10. The sound they got changed the course of rock history, becoming the first big hit to use distortion.

Davies and Sheehan stayed apart, but she had the baby, a girl named Tracey who finally met her father until 1993.

If “You Really Got Me” didn’t sell, there was a good chance their record label would have dropped them, but the song gave them the hit they were looking for. Soon they were making TV appearances, gracing magazine covers, and playing on bills with The Beatles as an opening act. They didn’t have an album out when the song took off, so they rushed one out to capitalize on the demand. This first, self-titled album has just five originals, with the rest being R&B covers – standard practice at the time for British Invasion bands.

The Kinks recorded a slower version with a blues feel on their first attempt, but hated the results. Ray Davies thought it came out clean and sterile, when he wanted it to capture the energy of their live shows. Dave Davies’ girlfriend backed them up, saying it didn’t make her want to “drop her knickers.”

The Kinks’ record company had no interest in letting them re-record the song, but due to a technicality in their contract, they were able to withhold the song until they could do it again. At the second session, Dave Davies used his slashed amp and Talmy produced it to get the desired live sound. This is the version that was released. Talmy liked the original: He claimed it would also have been a hit if it was released.

Ray Davies came up with famous riff on the piano at the family home. He played it for Dave, who transposed it to guitar. Their first version was 6-minutes long, but the final single release came in at just 2:20.

The first line was originally “you, you really got me going.” Ray Davies changed it to “girl, you really got me going” at the suggestion of one of their advisers. The idea was to appeal to the teenage girls in their audience.

The final version of the song was recorded in July 1964, with Ray Davies on lead vocals, Dave Davies on guitar, and Pete Quaife on bass.

The Kinks didn’t have a drummer when they first recorded the song a month earlier, so producer Shel Talmy brought in a session musician named Bobby Graham to play. When they recorded it the second time in July, Mick Avory had joined the band as their drummer, but Talmy didn’t trust him and made him play tambourine while Graham played drums. A session musician named Arthur Greenslade played piano, and Jon Lord, years before he became a member of Deep Purple, claimed he played keyboards. Lord recalled with a laugh to The Leicester Mercury in 2000: “All I did was plink, plink, plink. It wasn’t hard.”

Released in the UK on August 4, 1964, “You Really Got Me” climbed to #1 on September 16, where it stayed for two weeks. In America, it was released in September and reached a peak of #7 in November.

Ray Davies is the only songwriter credited on this track, even though his brother Dave came up with the signature guitar sound. This was one of many friction points for the brothers, who are near the top of any list of the most combative siblings in rock. When they recorded the song, Ray was 22 and Dave was 17.

Shel Talmy, who produced this track, came to England from California and brought many American recording techniques with him. To get the loud guitar sound on “You Really Got Me,” he recorded the guitar on two channels, one with distortion, the other without. When combined in the mix, the result was a loud, gritty sound that popped when it came on the radio.

“I was using some techniques I worked out on how to get a raunchier sound with distortion,” Talmy said in a Songfacts interview. “It wasn’t that difficult because I had done it before in America.”

Talmy added: “It helped that Dave was as good as he was, and that he was quite happy to listen.”

Talmy later produced the first album for The Who, My Generation.

It was rumored that Jimmy Page, who was a session musician at the time, played guitar on this track, which the band stridently denied. According to producer Shel Talmy, Page didn’t play on this song but did play rhythm guitar on some album tracks because Ray Davies didn’t want to sing and play guitar at the same time.

Ray Davies took pains to make sure we could understand the words. “I made a conscious effort to make my voice sound pure and I sang the words as clearly as the music would allow,” he said.

A 1978 cover of this song was the first single for Van Halen, who played lots of Kinks songs in their early years doing club shows. Eddie Van Halen spent the next several years developing new guitar riffs, and like Davies, was known to manipulate his equipment to get just the right sound.

The powerful rhythm guitar riff was very influential on other British groups. The Rolling Stones recorded “Satisfaction,” which was driven by the rhythm guitar, a year later.

According to Ray Davies, there was a great deal of jealousy among their peers when The Kinks came up with this song. He said in a 1981 interview with Creem: “There were a lot of groups going around at the time – the Yardbirds, the Kinks, the Rolling Stones – and nobody had really cracked with a sort of R&B #1 record. The songs were always sort of like The Beatles. When we first wanted to do a record, we couldn’t get a recording gig. We were turned down by Decca, Parlophone, EMI and even Brian Epstein came to see us play and turned us down. So I started writing songs like ‘You Really Got Me,’ and I think there was a sheer jealousy that we did it first. Because we weren’t a great group – untidy – and we were considered maybe a bit of a joke. But for some reason, I’d just had dinner, shepherd’s pie, at my sister’s house, and I sat down at the piano and played da, da, da, da, da. The funny thing is it was influenced by Mose Allison more than anybody else. And I think there was a lot of bad feeling. I remember we went to clubs like the Marquee, and those bands wouldn’t talk to us because we did it first.”

The Kinks’ next single was “All Day And All Of The Night,” which was basically a re-write of this song, but was also a hit.

In a Rolling Stone interview, Ray said that they “evolved” the sound by putting knitting needles in the speakers when recording this song. That statement prompted a rebuttal from his brother Dave, who wrote in to explain: “I alone created the guitar sound for the song with my Elpico amp that I bought. I slashed the speaker with a razor blade, which resulted in the ‘You Really Got Me’ tone. There were no knitting needles used in making my guitar sound.”

One of the many things the Davies brothers disagree on is the Van Halen cover. Ray loves it. He told NME it is his favorite Kinks cover. “It was a big hit for them and put them on a career of excess and sent them on the road. So I enjoyed that one.”

Dave Davies is not a fan. He told Rolling Stone: “Our song was working-class people trying to fight back. Their version sounds too easy.”

The Who played this at many of their early concerts. Their first single was “I Can’t Explain,” also produced by Shel Talmy with a sound clearly borrowed from “You Really Got Me,” as Pete Townshend played a dirty guitar riff similar to what Dave Davies’ did.

You Really Got Me

Girl, you really got me goin’
You got me so I don’t know what I’m doin’ now
Yeah, you really got me now
You got me so I can’t sleep at night

Yeah, you really got me now
You got me so I don’t know what I’m doin’ now
Oh yeah, you really got me now
You got me so I can’t sleep at night

You really got me
You really got me
You really got me

See, don’t ever set me free
I always want to be by your side
Girl, you really got me now
You got me so I can’t sleep at night

Yeah, you really got me now
You got me so I don’t know what I’m doin’ now
Oh yeah, you really got me now
You got me so I can’t sleep at night

You really got me
You really got me
You really got me
Oh no

See, don’t ever set me free
I always want to be by your side
Girl, you really got me now
You got me so I can’t sleep at night

Yeah, you really got me now
You got me so I don’t know what I’m doin’ now
Oh yeah, you really got me now
You got me so I can’t sleep at night

You really got me
You really got me
You really got me

Kinks – Father Christmas

Father Christmas, give us some money
We’ll beat you up if you make us annoyed
Father Christmas, give us some money
Don’t mess around with those silly toys

I’ve always like this raw and rough Christmas song. A writer at the NME wrote “”Successful Xmas songs are more about mood than specifics, but as this is an anti-Christmas song, it’s fine.” This is the kind of song you would expect from Ray Davies. Anti-Christmas or not…it has become a popular classic Christmas song that gets airplay every year.

The single was released during the height of punk rock and certainly exudes a punk attitude. Dave Davies told ABC Radio that he “always thought The Ramones would do a great version of it. I don’t know why they didn’t do it.”… thinking about it…Dave was right…it would have fit them perfectly.

The song was released in 1977 with the B side Prince Of  The Punks. The track was included on the Arista compilation Come Dancing with The Kinks and is also available as a bonus track on the CD reissue of the Kinks’ 1978 album Misfits.

From Songfacts

“Father Christmas” is the name used in The UK and Australia for Santa Claus. This song is about a kid whose Christmas experience is a bit unusual. He never believed in Father Christmas, but finds himself performing as the character, and gets mugged by kids who tell him they want his money, not toys. He asks that if Father Christmas does exist, he bring a job for his dad and a machine gun so he can scare off the kids who mugged him. 

This song is played in the background at the end of the movie Step Brothers as the camera is slowly zooming in on the family during The Holidays. 

Ray Davies frequently stole shows by performing the song live wearing a Santa costume. “When the record came out we were on tour with a very successful band at the time supporting them,” he recalled during an interview with Southern California radio station KSWD. “I went on dressed as Santa at the end of the show to do ‘Father Christmas.’ And the other band found it hard to follow us. The following night with the same band I went to run on but there was a bunch of heavies preventing me from running on stage. And I was protesting. But the people said, ‘The Kinks didn’t do an encore but Santa Claus was there and they were stopping him from going on stage.'”

In England, Father Christmas is the personification of Christmas, in the same way as Santa Claus is in the United States. Although the characters are now synonymous, historically Father Christmas and Santa Claus have separate entities, stemming from unrelated traditions.

First written about in Tudor England and pre-dating the first recording of Santa Claus, Father Christmas was a jolly, well-nourished man who typified the spirit of good cheer at Christmas, bringing peace, joy, good food and wine and revelry. In time, the tradition merged with America’s Santa Claus with both riding in a reindeer-pulled sleigh carrying a sackful of toys that lands on the roofs of houses that contain good children. The mythical, white bearded Santa/Father Christmas then enters the properties through their chimneys clutching gifts for the well-behaved little ones inside.

Father Christmas

When I was small I believed in Santa Claus
Though I knew it was my dad
And I would hang up my stocking at Christmas
Open my presents and I’d be glad

But the last time I played Father Christmas
I stood outside a department store
A gang of kids came over and mugged me
And knocked my reindeer to the floor

They said
Father Christmas, give us some money
Don’t mess around with those silly toys
We’ll beat you up if you don’t hand it over
We want your bread so don’t make us annoyed
Give all the toys to the little rich boys

Don’t give my brother a Steve Austin outfit
Don’t give my sister a cuddly toy
We don’t want a jigsaw or monopoly money
We only want the real mccoy

Father Christmas, give us some money
We’ll beat you up if you make us annoyed
Father Christmas, give us some money
Don’t mess around with those silly toys

But give my daddy a job ’cause he needs one
He’s got lots of mouths to feed
But if you’ve got one I’ll have a machine gun
So I can scare all the kids on the street

Father Christmas, give us some money
We got no time for your silly toys
We’ll beat you up if you don’t hand it over
Give all the toys to the little rich boys

Have yourself a merry merry Christmas
Have yourself a good time
But remember the kids who got nothin’
While you’re drinkin’ down your wine

Father Christmas, give us some money
We got no time for your silly toys
Father Christmas, please hand it over
We’ll beat you up so don’t make us annoyed

Father Christmas, give us some money
We got no time for your silly toys
We’ll beat you up if you don’t hand it over
We want your bread so don’t make us annoyed
Give all the toys to the little rich boys

 

Songs That Were Banned: The Kinks – Lola

This song faced censorship on less common ground than most. I would have thought the subject line would have caused problems…but no. The original studio recording contained the word “Coca-Cola” in the lyrics, which violated BBC Radio’s policy against product placement.

The songwriter, Ray Davies, was forced to interrupt the Kinks’ American tour so he could change the lyric to “cherry cola” for the single’s release. He made a 6,000 mile round trip flight from New York to London and back just for this purpose.

The song peaked at #9 in the Billboard 100, #2 in the UK, #1 in New Zealand and #2 in the UK in 1970.

Ray Davies: “‘Lola’ was a love song, and the person they fall in love with is a transvestite. It’s not their fault – they didn’t know – but you know it’s not going to last. It was based on a story about my manager.”

“The subject matter was concealed,” It’s a crafty way of writing. I say, ‘She woke up next to me,’ and people think it’s a woman. The story unfolds better than if the song were called ‘I Dated a Drag Queen.'”

 

From Songfacts

This song is about a guy who meets a girl (Lola) in a club who takes him home and rocks his world. The twist comes when we find out that Lola is a man.

As stated in The Kinks: The Official Biography, Ray Davies wrote the lyrics after their manager got drunk at a club and started dancing with what he thought was a woman. Toward the end of the night, his stubble started showing, but their manager was too tanked to notice.

Ray Davies revealed to Q magazine in a 2016 interview: “The song came out of an experience in a club in Paris. I was dancing with this beautiful blonde, then we went out into the daylight and I saw her stubble. “

He added; “So I drew on that but colored it in, made it more interesting lyrically.”

The Kinks came up with the riff after messing around with open strings on guitars. The group’s guitarist, Dave Davies, contended that he deserved a songwriting credit on the track, leading to additional friction with his brother Ray, who got the sole composer credit.

This revived the career of The Kinks, at least in America where their popularity was fading. Their previous Top 40 in the States was “Sunny Afternoon” in 1966.

Ray Davies said: “I wrote Lola to be a great record, not a great song. Something that people could recognize in the first five seconds. Even the chorus, my two-year-old daughter sang it back to me. I thought, ‘This must catch on.'”

The line “You drink champagne and it tastes just like cherry cola” was recorded as “it tastes just like Coca-Cola.” The British Broadcasting Company (BBC) refused to play it because of the commercial reference, so Ray Davies flew from New York to London to change the lyric and get the song on the air.

There was speculation, fueled by a 2004 piece in Rolling Stone magazine, that this song was inspired by the famous transgender actress Candy Darling, who Kinks lead singer Ray Davies allegedly dated for a brief time. This is the same Candy mentioned in Lou Reed’s “Walk On The Wild Side” (“Candy came from out on the island, in the backroom she was everybody’s darling”)

The Kinks’ fans were not the type of people who would relate to a transvestite, but they loved this. It opened the door for artists like Lou Reed and David Bowie to explore homosexuality in songs that straight people liked too.

Weird Al Yankovic recorded a parody of this song entitled “Yoda” (based on the Star Wars movies) for his 1985 album Dare to Be Stupid

Ray Davies used his National Steel resonator guitar for the first time on this song. He recalled to Uncut: “On ‘Lola’ I wanted an intro similar to what we used on Dedicated Follower Of Fashion, which was two Fender acoustic guitars and Dave’s electric guitar so I went down to Shaftesbury Avenue and bought a Martin guitar, and this National guitar that I got for £80, then double-tracked the Martin, and double-tracked the National – that’s what got that sound.”

The Kinks probably weren’t familiar with it, but an American song published in 1918 also mentions Lola and Coca-Cola. In “Ev’ry Day’ll Be Sunday When The Town Goes Dry,” we hear the line, “At the table with Lola they will serve us Coca-Cola.”

Ray Davies told interviewer Daniel Rachel (The Art of Noise: Conversations with Great Songwriters) that he didn’t initially show the lyrics to the band. “We just rehearsed it with the la-la la-la Lo-la chorus which came first. I had a one-year-old daughter at the time and she was singing along to it.”

Lola is mentioned in the 1981 Kinks song “Destroyer,” which begins: “Met a girl called Lola and I took her back to my place.”

Lola

I met her in a club down in old Soho
Where you drink champagne and it tastes just like
Cherry Cola
C-O-L-A Cola
She walked up to me and she asked me to dance
I asked her her name and in a dark brown voice she said, “Lola”
L-O-L-A Lola, lo lo lo lo Lola

Well, I’m not the world’s most physical guy
But when she squeezed me tight she nearly broke my spine
Oh my Lola, lo lo lo lo Lola
Well, I’m not dumb but I can’t understand
Why she walked like a woman but talked like a man
Oh my Lola, lo lo lo lo Lola, lo lo lo lo Lola

Well, we drank champagne and danced all night
Under electric candlelight
She picked me up and sat me on her knee
She said, “Little boy, won’t you come home with me?”
Well, I’m not the world’s most passionate guy
But when I looked in her eyes
Well, I almost fell for my Lola
Lo lo lo lo Lola, lo lo lo lo Lola
Lola, lo lo lo lo Lola, lo lo lo lo Lola

I pushed her away
I walked to the door
I fell to the floor
I got down on my knees
Then I looked at her, and she at me
Well, that’s the way that I want it to stay
And I always want it to be that way for my Lola
Lo lo lo lo Lola
Girls will be boys, and boys will be girls
It’s a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world
Except for Lola
Lo lo lo lo Lola

Well, I’d left home just a week before
And I’d never ever kissed a woman before
But Lola smiled and took me by the hand
She said, “Little boy, gonna make you a man”
Well, I’m not the world’s most masculine man
But I know what I am and I’m glad I’m a man
And so is Lola
Lo lo lo lo Lola, lo lo lo lo Lola

Lola, lo lo lo lo Lola, lo lo lo lo Lola
Lola, lo lo lo lo Lola, lo lo lo lo Lola
Lola, lo lo lo lo Lola, lo lo lo lo Lola
Lola, lo lo lo lo Lola, lo lo lo lo Lola
Lola, lo lo lo lo Lola, lo lo lo lo Lola

Kinks – Victoria

I asked my son Friday night…What are you listening to? He told me Victoria by the Kinks… so Victoria it will be.

Victoria was written for Arthur (Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire), a soundtrack to a British TV play on which Ray Davies collaborated with dramatist and screenwriter Julian Mitchell. The program was canceled at the last minute when the producer was unable to secure financial backing and has never been produced. However, Davies’ music was still recorded by the Kinks and released as a concept album.

The album peaked at #105 in the Billboard 100 in 1969. The song Victoria peaked at #62 in the Billboard 100 and #33 in the UK in 1970. It was the band’s first release to reach the chart since their Top 20 hit “Sunny Afternoon” in 1966.

 

From Songfacts

“Victoria” is a typically satirical Ray Davies song, containing many of his themes from his late ’60s material such as English nostalgia and the little people. It finds him fusing the image of the historical 19th Century UK queen and the grim realities of her downtrodden subjects’ life during her reign with the British rule of its Empire, which had reached its peak in Queen Victoria’s reign.

Musically, “Victoria” finds Ray Davies balancing the nostalgic music hall and rock sides of his songwriting. While the track is centered on a thumping rock electric blues guitar riff, the triumphant “Land of hope and gloria” bridge enhances the remainder of the song.

Commercially, “Victoria” represented a relative return of form for The Kinks. In the US, the song was chosen as the lead single from Arthur. It peaked at #62 on the Billboard Hot 100.

“Victoria” was released as the album’s third single in the UK, and was the only one to chart, reaching #33.

A cover version by The Fall was the Manchester band’s second UK Top 40 hit in 1988 peaking at #35.

Victoria

Long ago life was clean
Sex was bad, called obscene
And the rich were so mean
Stately homes for the Lords
Croquet lawns, village greens
Victoria was my queen
Victoria, Victoria, Victoria, ‘toria

I was born, lucky me
In a land that I love
Though I am poor, I am free
When I grow I shall fight
For this land I shall die
Let her sun never set
Victoria, Victoria, Victoria, ‘toria
Victoria, Victoria, Victoria, ‘toria

Land of hope and gloria
Land of my Victoria
Land of hope and gloria
Land of my Victoria
Victoria, ‘toria
Victoria, Victoria, Victoria, ‘toria

Canada to India
Australia to Cornwall
Singapore to Hong Kong
From the West to the East
From to the rich to the poor
Victoria loved them all

Victoria, Victoria, Victoria, ‘toria
Victoria, Victoria, Victoria

Kinks – A Rock ‘N’ Roll Fantasy

When I was 12, I was in a Dime Store in my small town (long since gone…another WalMart casualty) walking by the Mynah Bird all of us kids talked to in 1979…looked down at the record rack and I saw this record by the Kinks. When I first saw it I thought it was the Rock ‘N’ Roll Fantasy I’d been hearing on the radio…by Bad Company.

I was pleasantly surprised when I heard the record and liked it more. I had a Kinks greatest hits album and knew some about them but this record got me into them heavily.

This song peaked at #30 in the Billboard 100 in 1978. Rock ‘N’ Roll Fantasy was on the Misfits album and it peaked at #40 on the Billboard Album charts in 1978.

Inspired by the death of Elvis Presley and the departures of bassist Andy Pyle and pianist John Gosling from The Kinks, Ray writes about whether rock and roll is something mature adults should do.

From Songfacts

Kinks leader Ray Davies wrote this song, calling it a “Method acting songwriting job.”

While he was writing the song in 1977, he learned that Elvis Presley had died, which influenced the lyric. He was staying in New York at the time, and when he looked out his window late at night, he saw a single light on in one of the buildings. Davies imagined that light being the apartment of an ardent Elvis fan, which became the character Dan the Fan in the song.

The Kinks were falling apart around this time; guitarist Dave Davies wanted to stop touring, and keyboard player John Gosling and bass player Andy Pyle had decided that Misfits would be their last album with the group. Ray Davies explained in Rolling Stone: “The song was almost a homage to them; if you listen to the lyrics, it’s about someone leaving the band because they’ve given up the cause, and the two brothers will find a way through this.”

The line, “The King is dead, rock is done,” is a reference to Elvis.
The lyrics go on to describe a man named Dan living in Davies’ block who is a huge fan of The Kinks. Whenever he feels unhappy, Dan loses himself in their music, “living in a rock ‘n’ roll fantasy.”

By 1978 The Kinks may have been selling out Madison Square Garden, but they weren’t altogether happy. “A Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy” details Ray Davies and his brother Dave considering breaking up the band. “The song is about two guys,” Ray told Q Magazine. “Shall we call it a day?”

Released as the first single from Misfits, the track was The Kinks’ most successful single in the US since their 1970 top ten hit “Lola.”

A Rock ‘N’ Roll Fantasy

Hello you, hello me
Hello people we used to be
Isn’t it strange, we never changed
We’ve been through it all, yet we’re still the same

And I know, it’s a miracle we still go
For all we know, we might still have a way to go

Hello me, hello you
You say you want out, want to start anew
Throw in your hand, break up the band
Start a new life, be a new man

But for all we know, we might still have a way to go
Before you go, there’s something you ought to know

There’s a guy in my block, he lives for rock
He plays records day and night

And when he feels down he puts some rock ‘n’ roll on 
And it makes him feel alright

And when he feels the world is closing in
He turns his stereo way up high

He just spends his life living in a rock ‘n’ roll fantasy
He just spends his life living on the edge of reality
He just spends his life in a rock ‘n’ roll fantasy

He just spends his life living in a rock ‘n’ roll fantasy
He just spends his life living on the edge of reality
He just spends his life in a rock ‘n’ roll fantasy

He just spends his life living in a rock ‘n’ roll fantasy
Look at me, look at you
You say we’ve got nothing left to prove
The King is dead, rock is done
You might be through, but I’ve just begun

I don’t know, I feel free and I won’t let go
Before you go, there’s something you ought to know

Dan is a fan and he lives for our music 
It’s the only thing that gets him by
He’s watched us grow and he’s seen all our shows
He’s seen us low and he’s seen us high

Oh, but you and me keep thinking
That the world’s just passing us by

Don’t want to spend my life living in a rock ‘n’ roll fantasy
Don’t want to spend my life living on the edge of reality
Don’t want to waste my life hiding away any more

Don’t want to spend my life living in a rock ‘n’ roll fantasy

Favorite Lines from Songs Part 2

I did Part 1 over a year ago and it was a fun post. I’ve been meaning to do this again. I remembered some of the lyrics suggested by my friends hanspostcard and allthingsthriller on the last post…I have added those to list. Thanks to both of you.

I saw her from the corner when she turned and doubled back, And started walkin toward a coffee colored Cadillac… Chuck Berry

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Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose, And nothin’ ain’t worth nothin’ but it’s free Janis Joplin/Kris Kristofferson

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And I need you more than want you, And I want you for all time Jimmy Webb

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Doesn’t have a point of view / Knows not where he’s going to / Isn’t he a bit like you and me…The Beatles

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Met myself a coming county welfare line, I was feeling strung out, Hung out on the line…Creedence Clearwater Revival

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And you’ve got to learn to live with what you can’t rise above…Bruce Springsteen

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He’d end up blowing all his wages for the week / All for a cuddle and a peck on the cheek…Kinks

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Well it’s too late, tonight, To drag the past out into the light, We’re one, but we’re not the same, We get to carry each other, Carry each other…U2

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You can blow out a candle but you can’t blow out a firePeter Gabriel

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Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see…The Beatles

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Where you drink champagne and it tastes just like cherry cola, C-O-L-A Cola…Kinks

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It was gravity which pulled us down and destiny which broke us apart…Bob Dylan
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A drunkard’s dream if I ever did see oneThe Band

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And the sign said, The words of the prophets, are written on the subway walls, and tenement halls… Simon and Garfunkel

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I lit up from Reno, I was trailed by twenty hounds, Didn’t get to sleep that night
Till the morning came around…Grateful Dead

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When I said that I was lying, I might have been lyingElvis Costello
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Though nothing will keep us together/We can be heroes/Just for one day…David Bowie
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Lose your dreams and you. Will lose your mind…Rolling Stones

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It’s a town full of losers, I’m pulling out of here to win…Bruce Springsteen

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The motor cooled down, the heat went down, and that’s when I heard that highway sound…Chuck Berry

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We were the first band to vomit at the bar, and find the distance to the stage too far…The Who

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Kinks – Village Green Preservation Society

Some songs can be written by anyone. Songs can be very popular but generic. Some can only be written by certain songwriters. This would be one of those songs. Ray Davies’s songs have their own DNA. This was on the great 1968 album The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society.

This nostalgic song is a favorite of mine. This is a big jump from You Really Got me to…”We are the Sherlock Holmes English-speaking Vernacular, God save Fu Manchu, Moriarty and Dracula.”

Ray Davies: “You have to remember that North London was my village green, my version of the countryside. The street and district I grew up in was called Fortis Green, and then there was Waterlow Park and the little lake. I sang in the choir at St James’s Primary School until I was about 10, then I trained myself to sing out of tune so I could hang around with a gang called the Crooners instead. Our Scottish singing teacher Mrs. Lewis said, ‘Never mind, Davies – I hear crooners are making a lot of money these days.'”

From Songfacts

A very reflective and nostalgic song written by lead singer Ray Davies, this is about the innocent times in small English towns, where the village green was the community center. The entire album was based on this theme.

This plays in the movie Hot Fuzz as Sgt. Angel is jogging through a village.

Some critics thought the album’s snapshots of village life were partly inspired by performances by the Kinks in rustic Devon. Instead, they were based on memories of his growing up in London. 

Ray Davies namechecks various fictional characters that bring back childhood memories, such as music hall act Old Mother Riley and Mrs. Mopp, who was a character from the wartime radio comedy, ITMA.

We are the Draught Beer Preservation Society.
God save Mrs. Mopp and good old Mother Riley.

Davies explained to Q magazine: “The people in it are all characters I liked as a kid or people my family could relate to, like Old Mother Riley and Mrs Mopp. Because I used to love listening to the BBC Light Programme on Sundays, like Round The Horne with Kenneth Williams. A time when the population was allowed to be trivial.”

Village Green Preservation Society

We are the Village Green Preservation Society.
God save Donald Duck, vaudeville and variety.
We are the Desperate Dan Appreciation Society.
God save strawberry jam and all the different varieties.

Preserving the old ways from being abused.
Protecting the new ways, for me and for you.
What more can we do?

We are the Draught Beer Preservation Society.
God save Mrs. Mopp and good old Mother Riley.
We are the Custard Pie Appreciation Consortium.
God save the George Cross, and all those who were awarded them.

Oooh…

We are the Sherlock Holmes English-speaking Vernacular.
God save Fu Manchu, Moriarty and Dracula.
We are the Office Block Persecution Affinity.
God save little shops, china cups, and virginity.
We are the Skyscraper Condemnation Affiliates.
God save Tudor houses, antique tables, and billiards.

Preserving the old ways from being abused.
Protecting the new ways, for me and for you.
What more can we do?

We are the Village Green Preservation Society.
God save Donald Duck, vaudeville and variety.
We are the Desperate Dan Appreciation Society.
God save strawberry jam and all the different varieties.

God save the village green!