A well-respected man: Ray Davies

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    A well-respected man: Ray Davies

    One man: HUGE topic.  

    Let me set the record straight before I go any further: Ray Davies is not a footnote.  :)   

    From 1963 to 1996, he was the lead singer of the legendary band, The Kinks.  Ray wrote and produced most of the Kinks' songs; some were written / co-produced by his brother, Dave.   Since the breakup of the Kinks, Ray has actively worked on a broad array of musical projects, in addition to carving out a solo career.   Still going strong at 68, he was included in the recent closing ceremony (not that his performance was broadcast stateside, AHEM ...) of the 2012 Summer Olympics, where he sang his landmark, signature song, "Waterloo Sunset."  

    Can Ray Davies' catalog of songs for the Kinks and beyond, rival some of the music industries' most prominent song-writers for its social commentary, satire, and overall innovative content?   With ease, wouldn't you say? 

    Ray recorded his first hit song with the Kinks, "You Really Got Me" at the age of 19.  He wrote "Sunny Afternoon" when he was all of 22; the satiric song was written in 1966, prior to the era when songs about the downside of the RnR lifestyle  were *not* common.   

    A sad development over the years that seems intractable, is the distant, non-relationship between Ray and his brother Dave.  Honestly -- I'm not sure if that was part rivalry, lack of compatability (it happens) or whatever, but the most recent meanderings re: a Kinks reunion are all but dead due to Dave's refusal to mend or reunite with Ray.  

    The Kinks and Ray's songs were said to be quintessentially British, which might explainm in part, why the Kinks' popularity died down in the US.  Not sure. I read that Ray was asked more than once to "tone down" the British accent while singing (funny) and that ultimately, the sardonic humor in his lyrics, while his trademark, became wearisome, despite the vast number of other songs he penned that were both humorous and clever.

    Ray is a national musical treasure in his native England, clearly.  

    Help me out.   The Kinks?  Ray Davies?  Any thoughts?  


     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattyScornD. Show MattyScornD's posts

    Re: A well-respected man: Ray Davies

    Ray Davies = a genius in the literate sense, e.g. a satirist who's medium just happens to be rock n' roll music.  A true wit.  The songwriting forebear of later luminaries like Elvis Costello, Paul Weller, Damon Albarn, etc.

    Few bands wore their briti-tude as appreciatively or as insightfully as The Kinks did...all while sticking pins in the peculiar pomposities of corporations and the govt in addition to vain rock stars and toadying rock fans.  The Kinks are Legend in many respects, not least of which for those who wanted and alternative to BeatleStonesWho.  Aside from the Beatles, I don't think any other group had more of an influence upon later distinctively british pop-rock artists.  Early Kinks was punk in its infancy.

    And yet, they remained a largely positive outlook despite many years and conflicts and flat-out rows.  While it's unfortunate the other Kinks members -including innovative brother Dave - aren't as universally recognized for their efforts, ultimately the band is Ray's.

    I'll stop here, but there's much to be said.  The impressive catalog speaks for itself.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: A well-respected man: Ray Davies

    Ray Davies is a music god.  Aside from his sheer genius at songcraft, some of his lyrics are so freaking funny it's ridiculous.  My wife and I still laugh like fools listening to the Low Budget album. 

    His solo album Other People's Lives is brilliant.  And totally un-Kinks like.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: A well-respected man: Ray Davies

    The aforementioned Sunny Afternoon is a good early example of Ray's outlandishly funny lyrics.  Another classic is Dedicated Follower of Fashion.   
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from ZILLAGOD. Show ZILLAGOD's posts

    Re: A well-respected man: Ray Davies

    The Kinks career is in four parts.

    1. The British invasion era Kinks ( who were somewhat overshadowed by just about everyone else).

    2. The concept album era Kinks. Starts around 1968 and ends around 1975. This time period produced some of Davies finest songs, although many were not staples of American radio (except the ever-present 'Lola'. ) 'David Watts', 'Victoria','the Village Green Preservation Society', '20th Century Man','Celluloid Heroes' are all favorites of mine.

    3. The "comeback" years. The Kinks returned to popularity with 'Sleepwalker', 'Misfits' ,'Low Budget' and the Live LP 'One For The Road.' Many of the hard rocking songs on these LPs returned the Kinks to prominence in the US. ( The songs recorded for 'One For The Road' were recorded during the Kinks U.S. tour, many from shows at UMASS Dartmouth and the venue formally known as the Providence Civic Center....yours truly was in attendance for one of those shows.)

    4. The later years.  From 1979 on, the Kinks LPs became less frequent. These years produced more of the great Ray Davies songs, yet it seemed that even though the Kinks named one album 'Give The People What They Want'...it was becoming obvious that the public wanted Motley Crue, Michael Jackson , Madonna and groups like Duran Duran. Most didn't want the Kinks anymore. Possibly they were being viewed as relics from a bygone era. This is too bad, because 'State of Confusion' is an extremely cool song and very well done. It should have been one of their biggest hits, but was lost amongst the Pop, Techno, Hair Metal and MTV standards.

    Davies and the Kinks never really got full appreciation. They survived alot of changes in Rock music. Much like the 'Prince Of The Punks' in Davies song, the went through all of the changes in the styles, and were always a great band.

     
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    Re: A well-respected man: Ray Davies

    In Response to Re: A well-respected man: Ray Davies:
    These years produced more of the great Ray Davies songs, yet it seemed that even though the Kinks named one album 'Give The People What They Want'...it was becoming obvious that the public wanted Motley Crue, Michael Jackson , Madonna and groups like Duran Duran. Most didn't want the Kinks anymore. Possibly they were being viewed as relics from a bygone era. This is too bad, because 'State of Confusion' is an extremely cool song and very well done. It should have been one of their biggest hits, but was lost amongst the Pop, Techno, Hair Metal and MTV standards. Davies and the Kinks never really got full appreciation. They survived alot of changes in Rock music. Much like the 'Prince Of The Punks' in Davies song, the went through all of the changes in the styles, and were always a great band.
    Posted by ZILLAGOD

    Thanks; I was going to say "not appreciated" in the OP, but passed; since you said it (and I agree, it's lack of appreciation, rather than under-rated, which they are not) -- it has to be duly noted.  Again, this is in the US.  

    In almost every rock music summary you can get your hands on, regarding influence, following the Beatles, Stones, and the Who -- it's the Kinks.  Yet ... the deep. enduring and continuing appreciation has stayed in the UK, despite the fact many US bands cite them as an influence.  

    The Kinks might be a household name, but Ray Davies probably is not, as a song-writer, unlike  the song-writers in the aforementioned bands, that are cited on a constant basis.   

    As I mentioned, Ray was invited to sing in London's Olympics closing ceremony, and I got wind of the broadcast slight on another board (the posters were outraged and very PO'd) -- and I ultimately downloaded his performance, and watched it a couple of nights ago.   Ray got a standing ovation from the looks of it, and the crowd was out of control cheering him on.   That spoke volumes as to the strength of his ongoing popularity as a solo performer in his homeland; can only imagine what would happen if the Kinks reunited, but that ain't happening.  
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from RogerTaylor. Show RogerTaylor's posts

    Re: A well-respected man: Ray Davies

    Saw Ray and his ballerina wife in concert at Great Woods years ago - as The Kinks


    Great show. 

    There's a documentary that was put together by a guy from Boston, not sure of the title or if it's available on DVD. It dealt with the band and the Davies brothers, I think the director's goal was to get the brothers in the same room but I don't think he did.......
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from jesseyeric. Show jesseyeric's posts

    Re: A well-respected man: Ray Davies

    First - The Kinks. Musically they were easily the equal to any band that came out of the British Invasion. However, as Matty stated, they waved the Brit attitude on their Union Jack flag. Ray Davies along with Pete Townsend are easily the Grandparents of Punk Rock. I can list a hundred bands easily that do not exist if it weren't for the Kinks.

    Ray Davies - bloody genius, end of conversation. If they had a Mt. Rushmore of song writers, Ray is there with Lennon, Townsend and Dylan.

    I have had the pleasure of seeing the Kinks in both a small intimate setting and Madison Square Garden. Although not as flamboyant as Freddie Mercury, Ray Davies sang to the cheap seats. A marvelous wit about him while performing live. He held the audience, whether 2,000 or 20,000 in the palm of his hand. Definitely one of my Rock and Roll idols.

    Epilogue - How The Kinks are not considered one of the 10 greatest bands of all-time just boggles my mind. Their catalogue of music as Zilla pointed out covers decades of innovation and influence.
     
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    Re: A well-respected man: Ray Davies

    Love the Kinks (other than that Come Dancing tune)
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: A well-respected man: Ray Davies

    The tax man's taken all my dough,
    And left me in my stately home,
    Lazing on a sunny afternoon.
    And I can't sail my yacht,
    He's taken everything Ive got,
    All I've got's this sunny afternoon.

    Save me, save me, save me from this squeeze.
    I got a big fat mama trying to break me.
    And I love to live so pleasantly,
    Live this life of luxury,
    Lazing on a sunny afternoon.
    In the summertime
    In the summertime
    In the summertime

    My girlfriend's run off with my car,
    And gone back to her ma and pa,
    Telling tales of drunkenness and cruelty
    Now I'm sitting here,
    Sipping at my ice cold beer,
    Lazing on a sunny afternoon.

    Help me, help me, help me sail away,
    Well give me two good reasons why I oughta stay.
    Cause I love to live so pleasantly,
    Live this life of luxury,
    Lazing on a sunny afternoon.
    In the summertime
    In the summertime
    In the summertime

     
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    Re: A well-respected man: Ray Davies

    In Response to Re: A well-respected man: Ray Davies:
    First - The Kinks. Musically they were easily the equal to any band that came out of the British Invasion. However, as Matty stated, they waved the Brit attitude on their Union Jack flag. Ray Davies along with Pete Townsend are easily the Grandparents of Punk Rock. I can list a hundred bands easily that do not exist if it weren't for the Kinks. Ray Davies - bloody genius, end of conversation. If they had a Mt. Rushmore of song writers, Ray is there with Lennon, Townsend and Dylan. I have had the pleasure of seeing the Kinks in both a small intimate setting and Madison Square Garden. Although not as flamboyant as Freddie Mercury, Ray Davies sang to the cheap seats. A marvelous wit about him while performing live. He held the audience, whether 2,000 or 20,000 in the palm of his hand. Definitely one of my Rock and Roll idols. Epilogue - How The Kinks are not considered one of the 10 greatest bands of all-time just boggles my mind. Their catalogue of music as Zilla pointed out covers decades of innovation and influence.
    Posted by jesseyeric


    Agree. Their later stuff -- late '80s -- to me is better than The Rolling Stones. "Think Visual" album came out in the late '80s and got a lot of radio play.

    And Ray Davies is definitely on Mount Rushmore when it comes to lyrics. Who writes lyrics like this:

    Cliche of the World

    Sunset over the high-rise, 
    By a motorway, 
    A little man looks up at the sky. 
    An uneventful end to a wasted day. 
    Close-up on the man at the window, 
    Looking at the street down below. 
    It's obvious he's got things on his mind. 
    He shakes his head, pulls down the blind. 

    He start's writing a letter, 
    To make it perfectly clear. 
    He's just a man who's reached the end of his rope, 
    Expressing his doubts and his fears. 
    In a world, feels so lonely and afraid, 
    Disillusioned by the promises they made, 
    It's a pity that it ended up this way, 
    Life is just a cliché. 

    I'm gonna do tomorrow 
    What I did yesterday. 
    It's such a dull routine, 
    Somebody cut this scene, 
    It's such a boring cliché. 

    Live life, day to day, 
    Seems so passé. 
    Everything you hear and say, 
    Just another cliché. 

    Like an actor on a movie screen, 
    Living out someone else's dream. 
    Living out a total misconception, 
    Reality, a false perception. 

    It's such a wasted life, 
    Without any conclusion. 

    Days drift into days, 
    His life just slips away. 
    People so blasé, 
    Everything's a cliché. 
    Yes it is. 
    Yes it is. 
    Just an illusion. 
    Just an illusion. 

    Moonlight over the high-rise, 
    At the end of the day. 
    The little man is asleep in his bed, 
    Tucked up, safely away. 

    In his dreams he's taken away by alien beings to another 
    galaxy, deep in space. To a planet where a man can live 
    out his fantasies, and experience unimaginable pleasures. 
    But morning comes and soon the realities of life will 
    shatter his illusions, and the clichés of the world will 
    bring him down. But still he's waiting for a change. 

    Days drift into days, 
    His life just slips away. 
    Everything is passé, 
    Everything's a cliché. 
    Yes it is. 
    Yes it is. 
    Just an illusion. 
    Just an illusion. 
    Yes it is. 
    Yes it is. 

    See the sunlight over the motorway, 
    The little man, with anger in his eyes, 
    Stands by the window, looks at the sky. 
     
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    Re: A well-respected man: Ray Davies

    In Response to Re: A well-respected man: Ray Davies:
    First - The Kinks. Musically they were easily the equal to any band that came out of the British Invasion. However, as Matty stated, they waved the Brit attitude on their Union Jack flag. Ray Davies along with Pete Townsend are easily the Grandparents of Punk Rock. I can list a hundred bands easily that do not exist if it weren't for the Kinks. Ray Davies - bloody genius, end of conversation. If they had a Mt. Rushmore of song writers, Ray is there with Lennon, Townsend and Dylan. I have had the pleasure of seeing the Kinks in both a small intimate setting and Madison Square Garden. Although not as flamboyant as Freddie Mercury, Ray Davies sang to the cheap seats. A marvelous wit about him while performing live. He held the audience, whether 2,000 or 20,000 in the palm of his hand. Definitely one of my Rock and Roll idols. Epilogue - How The Kinks are not considered one of the 10 greatest bands of all-time just boggles my mind. Their catalogue of music as Zilla pointed out covers decades of innovation and influence.
    Posted by jesseyeric

    Very nice, JE.   The only reason the closing ceremony of the Olympics was worth watching was to see what music / bands the Brits would include and how they'd be treated.  As I said previously, Ray Davies was there and after singing "Waterloo Sunset" he was treated like royalty.   They seem to adore him there and every bit as much today as ever.   (They also did that hologram of Freddie Mercury, and while it was a little creepy, the crowd also went utterly crazy).  

    So, I do think the Kinks are at the top of the heap in the UK, if not here.    And it seems that people who really know anything about music (not just casual fans) put them in the top 10 easily.

    The list included non-published songs, but I saw a list of Kinks songs by Ray Davies and it was over 600 songs -- compared to around 450 for the Stones.  Now, what average person would even know what a prolific song-writer Ray is?  
    Then there's Lola.  Ray Davies.   What a song.   I still laugh at how many times I had to listen to this song to make sure I was hearing it right.  :D

    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 Lola. Lo lo lo Lola.

    Well I left home just a week before,
    and I never ever kissed a woman before,
    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 that I'm a man,
    so is Lola.
    Lo lo lo Lola. Lo lo lo Lola.
     
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    Re: A well-respected man: Ray Davies

    Similar to the Kinks in many ways, the Jam also gets little attention. They were at the forefront of the New Wave, along with Blondie, Cars, Talking Heads, Devo and Elvis Costello. Some 35 years later, The Jam are the forgotten band of the New Wave era. You will hear songs by Talking Heads, Elvis Costello, Blondie, the Cars...but almost never hear anyting by the Jam.

    Paul Weller, a pretty good songwriter himself, also was a big star in England, but virtually unknown in the States. His other band The Style Council never made a mark in U.S. markets but I understand they were quite big in England.

    Those Brits know their music and comedy. Being partially of English descent, I am really amazed at how a small country can produce so many talented musicians and comedy performers. Long live the Beatles, The Who, the Stones, Clapton, the Kinks, the Jam, the Sex Pistols, Monty Python, Benny Hill , Led Zep, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath...etc, etc., etc.

     
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    Re: A well-respected man: Ray Davies

    Responsible for the best RnR Christmas tune.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjaPXihbORk
     
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    Re: A well-respected man: Ray Davies

    I was fortunate to see Ray Davies this past year in Philadelphia - with a choir backing him for the second half of the show.  He looks 68...but he sounded great and it was a great show in a small theater - full of quality selections from his solo career as well as the Kinks.  I am not sure that the younger crowd follows the Kinks today, but they have always been that type of band here in the States - their catalogue caters to the kind of person that seeks out quality music and once you start digging in their catalogue you are amazed at how deep it is....their music will live on always based on You Really Got Me and Lola....and for those willing to venture beyond that will be rewarded for their time and effort.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from jesseyeric. Show jesseyeric's posts

    Re: A well-respected man: Ray Davies

    In Response to Re: A well-respected man: Ray Davies:
    I was fortunate to see Ray Davies this past year in Philadelphia - with a choir backing him for the second half of the show.  He looks 68...but he sounded great and it was a great show in a small theater - full of quality selections from his solo career as well as the Kinks.  I am not sure that the younger crowd follows the Kinks today, but they have always been that type of band here in the States - their catalogue caters to the kind of person that seeks out quality music and once you start digging in their catalogue you are amazed at how deep it is....their music will live on always based on You Really Got Me and Lola....and for those willing to venture beyond that will be rewarded for their time and effort.
    Posted by spaceman101010


    SpaceAce - what happened to your original profile?
     
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