Labor Day Special: The Kinks — “Get Back in Line”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — September 6, 2021

100) The Kinks — “Get Back in Line”

From 1970’s Lola album. Shaun Richman wonderfully puts Ray Davies’s “anti-union” song in context:

[I]n 1964 . . . . The Kinks were stars, but they were denied the opportunity to tour America while all of their compatriots were making the Ed Sullivan Show their first stop in lucrative and career-enhancing tour of the states. The exact reason for the Kinks Ban is murky. It had something to do with Ray’s tendency to get into fist fights on stage with his brother Dave. Many, Ray Davies chief among them, blame the American Federation of Musicians for banning the Kinks from America. . . . In 1970, Davies wrote the song “Get Back In Line.” Although the yearning ballad is a poetic imagining of a union hiring hall, the clear subtext is that it’s Davies’ shot at the Musicians union in America. . . . It’s a beautiful, heartbreaking song . . . . championing a little guy’s survival from forces that are frequently beyond his control.”

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