The Kinks: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — July 7, 2022


508) The Kinks — “Ring the Bells”

Glorious album track from the Kinks’ third album — The Kink Kontroversy (’65). As Andrew Hickey says, it “has one of [Ray] Davies’ loveliest melodic ideas, based around a beautiful acoustic guitar riff”.

Of TKK, Richie Unterberger notes that:

The Kinks came into their own as album artists — and Ray Davies fully matured as a songwriter — with The Kink Kontroversy, which bridged their raw early British Invasion sound with more sophisticated lyrics and thoughtful production. . . . [G]reat songs on this underrated album include the . . . plaintive, almost fatalistic ballad[] “Ring the Bells” . . . .

Oh, and Andrew Hickey alleges that:

It’s such a nice melodic idea, in fact, that the Rolling Stones used it as the chorus to Ruby Tuesday a year later. . . . [T]he similarity is so strong it’s astonishing that there appears not to have been a lawsuit.

Well, I see it a little bit now that he points it out, but certainly not lawsuit worthy. Well, after “Blurred Lines,” who knows?

The lyrics are certainly a lot more upbeat than the melody. It’s usually the other way around — “Waterloo Sunset”!

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