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

THE GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s THAT NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD

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” . . . .

https://www.allmusic.com/album/the-kink-kontroversy-mw0000650366

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.

https://andrewhickey.info/2012/02/12/the-kinks-music-the-kink-kontroversy/

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

“Shout out, ring the bells. Shout out, tell the world I’m in love. Ring out, I feel fine. This girl said she’s mine. So let the bells ring loud and clear. Let the whole world know I’m in love. Ring out, I feel fine. This girl said she’s mine. So let the bells ring loud and clear. Can you hear those bells are ringing? Everywhere I hear them singing. Hear them, hear them, hear them. Shout out, ring the bells. Shout out, tell the world I’m in love. Ring out, I feel fine. This girl said she’s mine. So let the bells ring loud and clear. Bells ring loud and clear.”

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

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