Ray Davies–One More Time

The sound quality on this is crap, but “One More Time” from Ray Davies’ new CD Working Man’s Cafe is one of my all-time favorite songs from the man, including his days with The Kinks. I’ve listened to this song so many times–it’s absolutely timeless and beautiful. I think it compares favorably with classics like “Waterloo Sunset”. Just amazing.

The whole CD is great, though. A couple of filler tracks, but most all of it is great.

This isn’t a proper review because I’m working on a long essay about Davies and The Kinks and how, throughout my life, they’ve been not only my favorite band but also one of the biggest influences on me as a person and a writer.

Maybe The Stones and The Beatles were bigger, but give me the squabbling, working-class Muswell Hillbillies Ray and Dave any day of the week. I just found their music to always be more personal to me.

Jeff

Comments

  1. says

    I don’t know if I would go so far as to put it up there with “Waterloo Sunset,” Jeff–them’s mighty strong words there. But it *is* obvious Ray’s firing on all cylinders here. Thematically, this is further development of threads he started worrying at on “Thanksgiving Day,” itself another fine addition to his songbook. Quite different songs, yes, but they’re arising from the same source. It’s almost as if Ray is re-entering his “Village Green Preservation Society” phase, only this time attacking those ideas with a world-weary maturity he didn’t have before.

    Nobody does wistful, bittersweet nostalgia like Ray.

  2. says

    Hey, good to see Ray Davies celebrated here. I got a chance to see him do a solo show at First Avenue in Minneapolis a couple of years ago. He was personable, engaging and, obviously, has a terrific catalog of songs to draw on. It was also good to see a wide range of ages at the show, I wouldn’t have guessed that there would be a bunch of twenty-something college students who all knew the words to songs like ‘Sunny Afternoon” and “Oklahoma USA”, but there were. Goes to show that good music lives on.

    With new material coming out, I’d guess he’ll be touring again. If you get a chance to see him, by all means go. The man is one of the top songwriters of his generation, and no matter where you rank them deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Lennon/McCartney and the other greats.

  3. says

    I saw him at La Zona Rosa in Austin about 10 years back. Great show. I got him to sign my copy of X-Ray.

    I’m still bitter about missing the Kinks at the Sam Houston Coliseum in Houston back in ’86, though.

  4. says

    I saw the Kinks three times–each time it was great. I’ve never seen Ray Davies solo.

    Jayme–I knew you were gonna say that about Waterloo Sunset! I dunno, man. I really love this song. I think the old stuff is always going to have an advantage because it’s part of what we listened to growing up, too. But I really do love this new CD.

    JV

  5. says

    Haven’t heard Ray’s new solo album, but I have been listening to Muswell Hillbillies a lot lately.

    I’m reminded of a quote I’ve stolen from someone.

    The correct answer when someone tries that old personality test, “Beatles or Rolling Stones?”

    The Kinks.

  6. says

    I actually got into the Kinks via their Arista stuff. “Come Dancing With The Kinks” is as good an introduction as there ever was. Then I jumped back into their early Pye stuff and didn’t actually encounter Waterloo Sunset until fairly late in the game. So I’d already had a fairly heavy inoculation of the Davies songbook. But even so, that song kicked my ass.

    My favorite recent Davies song (and recent is relative here) is To the Bone, off the album of the same name. For a Muswell Hills skiffle group that cut its teeth on Sleepy John Estes, it’s the perfect conflation of blues and Davies’ self-referential wit. But give me a week, and I’ll get back to you on “Working Man’s Cafe.”

  7. GDT says

    I’d be interested in reading that essay, because they’ve been my favorite band since I was 13. And I still can’t exactly put my finger on why that is. Maybe it’s the warmth Davies tends to display towards the people and places in his songs, or maybe the lack of pretension. Or maybe it’s because they’re the only band I know of that writes song about cricket sung by vicars.

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