Monday, May 28, 2012


When I was eleven years old, I had little understanding of the dramatic changes that were taking place in pop music.   As a diehard Beatle fan I was of course on board with their 1966 single "Paperback Writer/Rain".   That b-side though was a sign post that things were changing.   Droning guitar, stop/start drumming, a vocal melody that moves at a glacial pace at odds with the instruments.

Looking back it seems clear that 1966 was a watershed year for a lot of bands, not just the Fab Four. And in fact one of my all time favorite Kinks albums was released that year.  With "Face to Face" Ray Davies took a big step forward with his songwriting, beginning his investigation of the minutia of modern life and those who live it.  There is of course the great three song arc (though not occurring consecutively on the LP) that traces the rise and fall of a man who once rode the wave of capitalism to its heights, only to lose everything and find himself with only a "Sunny Afternoon" to enjoy.   That album is chock full of great tunes and arrangements.   And for some reason the closing song - which tells no tawdry story but more than makes up for it with a joyful guitar lick, jaunty rhythm, and a lyrical precursor to Mr. Davies' songs which deal with memories -  has always been a personal favorite just because it makes me happy.  Really happy.  So if you wish to get happy with me, give a listen to "I'll Remember".


Who Am Us Anyway? said...

... the tears that fell now. I'll Remember is one of my all-time favorites as well -- Ray is sincere, and yet maintaining at least the illusion of being in control: a role model for how to survive H.S. without being a complete jerk. (A model I was not too successful in emulating, but still.)

Ah Mr. P, you're a circa 1955 lad, as am I! I shouldn't be surprised but I have to admit it's a happy coincidence. Indeed, the road video reminded me precisely of Rain/Paperback Writer, because I was in the back seat of my friend's mom's car looking at the 45 sleeve of that very song after we talked her into driving us out in the rain to buy it the day it came out. If you and I had gone to the same school, i'm sure you'd have been friends with Randy & me & the rest of the gang in Des Plaines, Ill. whose 11-year-old minds were being blown on a daily basis by all the amazing music being released every week on the AM radio ...

Mister Pleasant said...

I am a 1955 lad indeed. My Oklahoma H.S. was nowhere near a metro area, unlike Des Plaines, so likely you had access to real radio stations. I mean - I never even heard "The Ballad of John and Yoko" until I was in college because the local stations banned it for religious reasons!!

But in 1966 - still in elementary school - the radio was soaked with Beatles and yes indeed we likely would have been buddies who kept our transistor radios affixed to our ears, listening for the newest release.