Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Father Christmas - Christmas Rock & Roll, part two (Bonus Video Tuesday)

What can I say about The Kinks that hasn't already been said better somewhere else?  That they're my third-favorite English rock & roll band behind The Who and The Rolling Stones, but ahead of The Beatles?  (see blog entry, The Best Of Everything, January 2012)  That Ray Davies is a genius rock & roll songwriter?  That "You Really Got Me," "Waterloo Sunset," and "Celluloid Heroes" are three of the greatest rock & roll songs of all time?  That "Too Much On My Mind" from the 1966 Face To Face album might be one of the five best rock & roll songs that you've never heard?  (One day in 1969, when I was 17 years old, I was sitting in the newsroom of our high school newspaper listening to "Too Much On My Mind" and the 14-year-old kid sister of my then-girlfriend said wistfully, "This is exactly how my brain  feels."  How world-weary could we have been at 17 and 14?)

notable video moments: Ray Davies wearing what appears to be a League Bowlers shirt in the video; The Kinks giving up any notion of actual lip-synching at the 1:50 mark (wait, I just realized, that's the footage from the bridge flown in from the 2:24 mark later in the song - why would Top Of The Pops edit like that?); drummer Mick Avory's Santa get-up;

inspirational verse; "The last time that I played Father Christmas / I stood outside a department store / A gang of kids came over and mugged me / And knocked my reindeer to the floor"


"Have yourself a Merry Merry Christmas / Have yourself a good time / But remember the kids who got nothing / While you're drinking down your wine" - Ray Davies, 1977

neatly encapsulating that dichotomy of simultaneously funny and heartbreaking that has characterized Ray Davies' writing though the years from 1965 until the most recent song he wrote.

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