Thursday, April 28, 2016

And Speaking of Gorgeous....

From 1967, please enjoy the original incarnation of The Kinks and the stereo backing track of their classic "Waterloo Sunset."

Or as I like to call it, perhaps the most beautiful song written in English in the second half of the Twentieth Century. And, as you've just heard, spine-tinglingly gorgeous even without vocals.

Also, how did those guys ever get the reputation for being sloppy? I mean, that track is all but perfect.

And yes, that was me a few years ago enjoying an actual Waterloo sunset. One of the most transplendent moments of my life.

[h/t Gummo]


buzzbabyjesus said...

It is all that. Some of their recordings were more slap-dash than The Beatles, but they were never sloppy.
The only time I saw them live was in 1974, doing the whole "Preservation" thing. No slop anywhere.

steve simels said...

When they did the concept records live they were tight as a drum.

Interestingly, when they did opening sets of their greatest hits before the main events, they were usually alcoholically sloppy.

It was kind of amazing to watch them switch gears that way.

Gummo said...

Only saw them once, sad to say, on the Schoolboys in Disgrace tour. First half was hits, second half they came out in those stupid schoolboy outfits (shorts, cap and all) and did the album. The embarrassment on stage was palpable.

BTW, steve, that Waterloo Sunset backing track comes from an amazing 5-CD collection (only released in Europe, as far as I know) called The Kinks Anthology that covers the years 1964-1971 only. 5 CDs for 8 years means it has EVERYTHING worth having (IMHO).

Anonymous said...

Isn't that the MI-6 building in the far left of the picture? I'm sure that's Miss Moneypenny waving to use from the top floor window.

It is very interesting to hear the track without the vocals and the final mix down.

Captain Al

John Fowler said...

Thanks Steve, that's wonderful!

Alzo said...

I've always been a Muswell Hillbilly boy, but as the years go by I've come to agree with Janet Maslin. 'Something Else' is the Kinks' 'Revolver,' a stunning collection of songs that culminates in this topper. Thanks for the post!

MJConroy said...

I saw Ray Davies a few years ago and he did Waterloo Sunset. There were a couple of young women standing right behind me who supplied the backing vocals in gorgeous harmony. I have never been so thankful to hear people singing at a concert (it usually bothers me as I came to hear the artist, not the off-key idiot by me.) That night was different.