The Kinks’ Ray Davies admitted that he sometimes wrote songs as a way to get back at people. He appeared on BBC 4’s, “Mastertapes,” program on Tuesday morning. The radio series takes artists back to the making of a key album from their career.
The singer, songwriter, musician went on to say, “The music biz has always been corrupt. I think it was common knowledge, but no-one really wrote about it before. It was the only ammunition I had to fight with.”
As a working-class artist growing up in North London, he realized that, “my lyrics were my only power.”
Even the comical tune, “Dedicated Follower Of Fashion,” was written in anger.
Davies said that it evolved from a quarrel he had with a fashion designer. “I thought, ‘I can get you; I’ll write a song about you.'”
He did just that.
Fans can hear the interview on the “Mastertapes” website. Davies was reminiscing about the 1970 Kinks album, “Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One.” The album explores the rip-off world of the pop music industry.
Davies had plans for a part two the of “Lola” saga, but scrapped it and wrote the band’s next album, “Muswell Hillibllies.”
Four decades later, Davies is considering resurrecting the “Lola, Part Two” project.
He explained the two-part concept, “In the first part the hero confronts the beast and wins. In the second part, the hero becomes the beast.”
The sticking point is the question of who owns the music, some of which exists on demo recordings. Usually, the record company owns the rights to anything that was recorded using their money.
Davies says, “The corporations want to own everything. But, they don’t own ideas and that’s what my fight is about.”
The Kinks dissolved in 1996 and the relationship between Ray and his brother, Dave, has always been contentious. The question remains whether the brothers can live with each other long enough to record a new album and tour. It doesn’t seem that Ray wants to cross that bridge just yet.
The band surfaced on the pop scene during the initial British Invasion of 1964. They hit big with the raw, power-chord rock singles, “You Really Got Me,” and “All Of the Day and All Of the Night.”
The band followed that success by branching out into softer, more melodic tunes such as “Well Respected Man,” “Tired Of Waiting For You” and the aforementioned “Dedicated Follower Of Fashion.” This material explored the ups and downs of common working people with emphasis on the psychological effects of the British class system. Davies’ songwriting displayed his talents as a narrator and observer combined with his wry social commentary.
His music has stayed relevant over the years and music fans are now intrigued with the possibility of another Kinks record.