Friday, October 15, 2010

The Kinks - Waterloo Sunset & Strangers

These days The Kinks just dont get love like they should.  Now I apologize to all you cats who have been round the block and all the old folks that read this, cause you already know.  But to the youths.  Youre missin it.  Youre hearin them but your not listenin.  Brushing them off because they only play 2 Kinks songs on the radio, and no doubt, Ill be the first to admit that if I hear You Really Got Me again I may try to take my own life.  But The Kinks are a classic Rock and Roll band, and their list of jams is deep...real deep.  Strangers, A Well Respected Man, I Gotta Move, Long Tall Shorty, the list goes and goes.

But while the songs can stand alone, their reputation needs context in the minds of the kids.  The Kinks were one of the most progressive bands in Rock, and really just music.  The band came up out of North London in the 60s, formed by brothers Ray and Dave Davies, and these dudes listened to a lot of music.  Rhythm and blues, folk, country, and Im sure many others.  Today we can all recognize these as the origins of Rock and Roll music, but back then white people didnt catch on real fast.  The Kinks first album came out in '64 and actually sounded like Rock music, relatively speaking of course.  Covers of songs by Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley, and heavy, raw, guitar sections, and flavor, lots of flavor.  This is the same year The Beatles were making songs like this.  Feel me?  But while The Kinks were some of the first gringos to get it rockin their sound evolved as well, moving to harder rock (thickly reflected in the punk movement), then to a more lyrically oriented style melding folk with classical English music hall (influencing everyone from the Door and Jefferson Airplane to The Who), then on to a few weird but revolutionary theatrical albums, and a whole lot of other twists too.

Their style holds some kind of bridge, between what Rock was before the 60s and what we have come to recognize it as now.  Its not something that I can put into words but you can hear it in their sound.  Ive only got a few choice jams here just to show you some range.  The super jam that youve prolly heard but I couldnt not put up is Waterloo Sunset.  It captures a scene of paradise as the sun goes down over the river Thames in London.  To musically convey the sentimental beauty and peace of the setting sun is all you have to do to make an incredible song.  It kind of reminds me of Crimson and Clover by Tommy James and the Shondells which came out the following year in 1968.  Strangers is one of my favorite songs they do, its kind of my anthem for when Im strugglin on my own.  Check the lyrics for sure as you listen.  Yo and finally I put in a video of some old school Kinks.  Long Tall Shorty is that original harder sound and check out how much people used to love it.  You should too.  Enjoy and do yourself a favor and look into the other million songs the Kinks made.



  1. You gotta check out this cover of Strangers by Norah Jones. She plays it a lot live and every time I hear her sing it I feel funny in pants.

  2. Oh and one time I put on the Kinks and your bro was all "I don't really dig on the Kinks dude." I almost open-hand slapped him.

  3. Ains class find man, and I thought i could sing that one right. And I thank you for the infinite times you had to musically check Spliff Dogg

  4. Quick hacking brought me to this

    Man what a voice...helluva cover


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