Thursday, November 5, 2009

As long as I gaze on Waterloo sunset I am in paradise

Something Else is a great album, no doubt about it. As Who Am Us Anyway mentioned in yesterday's comments , Death Of A Clown is Dave Davies' one-of-a-kind masterpiece. As much as I love it and David Watts, and frankly nearly every song here, the album itself is overshadowed by its finale. Waterloo Sunset is such a pinnacle, I cannot even attempt to describe it.

There are a number of fine live Ray Davies video performances from over the years. Even in later years his voice is still tender. But I decided to embed Terry Reid's shattering club performance, with Waddy Wachtel's churning guitar. Mr. Reid channels Laurence Olivier's Archie Rice from The Entertainer. A song as great as this deserves a bravura performance.


Alex said...

There are a lot of people who think "Waterloo Sunset" may just be the best song every written.

I'm not sure I'd go that far, but it's definitely up there!

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

Shattering is the perfect word, and I had never heard Terry Reid before. Thank you, Mr. P. I’d actually heard Waterloo Sunset first at a H.S. party in the early 70s, and liked it as a nice pastoral song for years, until at yet another party, this time in college, I picked up the Kinks Kronicles double LP & read the liner notes pointing out something to the effect of, Waterloo Underground is to London as Grand Central Station is to New York (I had had no idea) -- and the hair went up on the back of my neck and I really heard the song for the first time.

Mister Pleasant said...

Who Am - isn't it amazing how the context changes the power of Waterloo Sunset? I saw Waterloo Station during a visit to London in 2000, and it was certainly not the quaint little spot I had always envisioned.

As for Terry Reid, I owe it Steve Simels for alerting me via a post of his at Power Pop. Follow the link for his must-read appraisal of this performance and the backstory on Mr. Reid's career.

Holly A Hughes said...

Wow, that video is something else!

Now confess, did you make a point of standing on Waterloo Bridge at sunset when you were in London? it feels like such a corny thing to do, and yet every Kinks fan eventually has to do it. ;)

Mister Pleasant said...

Unfortunately I came down with the flu - a really bad strain - during my London visit, so the trip to Waterloo Station was very brief, with the temperature below freezing and a terrible wind. Next time I will definitely arrange for a longer visit at sunset.