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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ray, Dave & Their Kinky Crew

I think it's safe to say the British Invasion of the 60s revitalized rock n' roll and kick-started it into becoming a world-wide musical force.

One band near the forefront of that invasion demanded to be heard from the first note of its first hit single. They out-louded the Rolling Stones and out-rocked just about everybody.

"They," of course, were the Kinks, fronted by the Davies brothers - songwriter extraordinaire and lead singer Ray, along with Dave, he of the slashing lead guitar.

Here's how the boys introduced themselves to the music scene in 1964.

There are easily a dozen songs I'd love to include and it's excruciating trimming them down to the usual three. But I certainly can't leave out the next one. It is arguably the most socially and culturally important song of its generation and inarguably the most audacious -- probably ever.

Ray turned his lyrical genius to the heretofore forbidden topic of man love. (And/or transvestite love. And/or transgendered love.) And he did so with typical puckish humour, exhibiting the Brit love of naughty double entendres.

But wait! That's not all!

He also managed to make it one helluva kick-ass rock n' roll tune. One that's remained ensconced in my all-time top 10 for over 40 years.

Ladies and gentlemen, from a 1979 concert in Rhode Island, the brilliant Lola.

As I mentioned a while back in my Stevie Winwood post, I love it when an artist I admired way back in the long-ago and far-away is still making music. Last year, at the wonderful, annual Glastonbury Festival, Ray Davies appeared with a few friends and performed Victoria, one of my fave (and underrated) Kinks songs. I hope you enjoy.

Thanks to lovehides13, RenaiSpirits and SkipALightFandango for posting the clips.