A s a keen-eyed chronicler of British manners and mores, Ray Davies is thinking about Brexit a lot. Sometimes, says the man who single-handedly reshaped the language and psychology of pop music with the Kinks, he regrets not running away from Britain after You Really Got Me went to No 1 in Yet as Britain prepares to bow out, Davies — stubbornly out of step with prevailing trends — has released Americana , his first solo album in almost a decade, and a companion piece to his candid, witty memoir.
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Rather than marking a sonic departure, though, the collection signals a sharpening of focus for the band, an elevation in understanding of who they are and what they do best. Over the ensuing decades, the band would go on to record a series of highly influential albums and tour the world countless times over, sharing stages with everyone from Bob Dylan and Tom Petty to Lucinda Williams and Wilco along the way. Proust and Back Roads and Abandoned Motels in and , respectively.
But, as with any fleeting thoughts about a proper Kinks reunion, take that with a grain of salt. Yes, Ray sang lead most of the time and called the shots, but Dave played loud electric guitar. Clearly, they each pushed each other to greater heights. Dave, it seems, has always been game for a reunion, or at least an attempt at one. It allowed me a means to use this knowledge or information or a way toward meditation. Over the years, Ray has been mostly hesitant or cagey about reuniting.
Ray Davies can pinpoint the moment he awoke from the American dream. It was , and the Kinks were on the verge of rivaling The Rolling Stones and The Beatles, thanks to a successful international tour and a series of influential early garage- rock singles, when they were banned from performing across the pond for four years by the American Federation of Musicians. The Kinks returned to the U. We started from scratch after having many hits all around the world. So I documented that journey, which culminated in learning from that shock.