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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

"Waterloo Sunset"

The Kinks - "Waterloo Sunset" (1967)

How do you have this and not "Lola"?

You know how we know 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die is a British book? It's not just the dance acts, the Euro-Pop or the British one-hit-wonders. It's the fact that there are 5 songs by The Kinks in the 1001. That's tied with The Beatles. It's more than The Rolling Stones! Only a British book would have more songs written by Ray Davies than by Jagger and Richards. "But The Stones are British" I can hear you saying. Yes, I know, but by the middle of the 60's they were global. The Kinks on the other hand were never as big. They were huge in England, and popular elsewhere but never the globally dominant force that The Beatles or The Rolling Stones were. So it's a bit of a 'favorite son candidate' thing going on I think. Another point in that direction is that off the five, we do not get two of the biggest hits by the Kinks: "All Day and All of the Night" and "Lola". Sort of a London hipster-esque 'yeah, that stuff was good, but you should hear the stuff that didn't cross the pond'.

It's not a bad song, but it's nothing to hang your hat on. I like the high background vocals that sound like The Kinks are a girl group. I also like the fact that during the verses, the tune of the vocals is very music/dance hall sounding, much like their song from the previous year that we've already heard. If it was played on a muted trumpet it would sound vaguely like "Winchester Cathedral". It's a sweet love letter to the city of London, and for Londoners, it's a classic. But to me, it's can't compare to the taste of Coca-Cola. C-O-L-A Cola.

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