Friday, May 12, 2017

Waterloo Sunset: The Kinks

From Wikipedia:  The lyrics describe a solitary narrator watching (or imagining) two lovers passing over a bridge, with the melancholic observer reflecting on the couple, the Thames, and Waterloo station. The song was rumoured to have been inspired by the romance between two British celebrities of the time, actors Terence Stamp and Julie Christie, stars of 1967's Far from the Madding Crowd. Ray Davies denied this in his autobiography and claimed in a 2008 interview, "It was a fantasy about my sister going off with her boyfriend to a new world and they were going to emigrate and go to another country." In a 2010 interview with Kinks biographer Nick Hasted, he said Terry was his nephew Terry Davies, "who he was perhaps closer to than his real brother in early adolescence." Despite its complex arrangement, the sessions for "Waterloo Sunset" lasted a mere ten hours; Dave Davies later commented on the recording: "We spent a lot of time trying to get a different guitar sound, to get a more unique feel for the record. In the end we used a tape-delay echo, but it sounded new because nobody had done it since the 1950s. I remember Steve Marriott of the Small Faces came up and asked me how we'd got that sound. We were almost trendy for a while." The single was one of the group's biggest UK successes, reaching number two on Melody Maker's chart, and went on to become one of their best-known.

"Waterloo Sunset" is one of the band's best known and most acclaimed songs in most territories, later being ranked number 42 on "Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". It is also their first single that is available in true stereo.


chickelit said...

I'm still thinking Claude Monet.

Methadras said...

The Kinks are still a seminal band for me, but the problem with a band like the Kinks is they are identified with the few hits they made. Everything else gets pushed aside and forgotten. There are bands that are famous for whole albums. Pink Floyd comes to mind, not just a song or two, but entire albums because utterly famous.

chickelit said...

Meth, the unique thing about The Kinks is that were banned from touring the States at their very creative peak. I read Ray Davies' autobiography, searching for the reason why. Even he doesn't know why and he chalked it up to bad behavior, bad management, bad timing, and bad luck. That or he's not telling. So, they turned inward and took hard looks at British society like no other band did.

Lem said...

I hear a little bit of Paul McCartney in that song. Maybe Sir Paul was inspired to sound like them.

Sixty Grit said...

Cut and pasted from WikiNoShitPedia, with corrections for sic Britishisms:

"Following a mid-year tour of the United States, the American Federation of Musicians refused permits for the group to appear in concerts there for the next four years, effectively cutting off the Kinks from the main market for rock music at the height of the British Invasion. Although neither the Kinks nor the union gave a specific reason for the ban, at the time it was widely attributed to their rowdy on-stage behavior. It has been reported that an incident when the band were taping Dick Clark's TV show Where The Action Is in 1965 led to the ban. Ray Davies recalls in his autobiography, "Some guy who said he worked for the TV company walked up and accused us of being late. Then he started making anti-British comments. Things like 'Just because the Beatles did it, every mop-topped, spotty-faced limey juvenile thinks he can come over here and make a career for himself." following which a punch was thrown and the AFM banned them."

Sounds about right to me. Hope the dude mocked the Queen, too, just for good measure.