From their initial success, to the artistic heights of Village Green Preservation Society, we all have a favourite Kinks song or two. This week, Sunny Afternoon is here to celebrate them.
The musical tells the story of how The Kinks rose to stardom and crafted some of the most influential songs in the history of British music – so we thought we’d try and rank a few of our favourites. Any excuse to put the Kink Kontroversy album on repeat…
The Kinks had a real knack for album titles, and our first pick is from 1970’s Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One.
Lead single Lola was banned by the BBC due to its use of the brand-name ‘Coca-Cola’, which broke rules on product placement. Chief songwriter and vocalist Ray Davies had to interrupt the band’s US tour to fly home and re-record the words ‘cherry cola’ to ensure that the song would get played.
All together now:
- You Really Got Me
Want to know why Ray Davies is so respected as a songwriter? Just have a listen to You Really Got Me, a perfect song from those opening power chords onwards.
Davies claims that You Really Got Me was among of the first five or so that he wrote, and you can’t not be impressed by that.
- Stop Your Sobbing
Drawing on influences including blues, rock and the English music hall tradition, The Kinks had a massive impact on the bands that followed them.
Stop Your Sobbing, in which the singer pleads with his girlfriend, is a perfect example of this. In 1980, it was covered as a demo by a newly-formed young band named The Pretenders. They would release it as their first single, cracking the Top 40 and setting off a career that’s still going strong today.
That’s a great version, but it doesn’t beat the original:
- Waterloo Sunset
Ray Davies performed this one at the closing ceremony of the London Olympics back in 2012, and there’s a good reason for that.
It’s one of those sad, funny, and hugely evocative tunes that Davies so excelled at writing. His world-weary singing style was perfect for this wistful tune, in which the narrator sits and watches a couple on a bridge near Waterloo Station
Waterloo Sunset’s fine…
- Sunny Afternoon
The sun is out, and what better way to celebrate than by lazing back on a sunny afternoon?
Alright, so that’s not quite what this song is about – it’s told from the point of view of a dissolute young aristocrat, sat in his “stately home” after “the tax man’s taken all my dough” and his girlfriends “run off with my car.”
But still, it’s a wonderfully woozy tune.
Packed with these hits and more, Sunny Afternoon is here from 11-15 April, and tickets are available now.