THE GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s THAT NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD
623) The Kinks — “Rosy Won’t You Please Come Home”
Mia Kulpa! I featured a song yesterday about a Rosy that I thought might have been written by Ray Davies. Turns out it wasn’t. To make amends, here is a song about a Rosy that was without question written by Ray, from the Kinks’ classic ‘66 album Face to Face. A wistful gem about the departure of Ray’s beloved sister to Australia. Enjoy!
About the song, Wikipedia cites Thomas Kitts, Ray Davies: Not Like Everybody Else, to tell us:
“Rosy Won’t You Please Come Home” was inspired mainly by Rosy Davies, the sister of Ray . . . . She, along with her husband, Arthur Anning, had moved to Australia in 1964, which devastated Ray to a great extent. On the day that they moved, Ray Davies broke down on the beach after a gig. “I started screaming. A part of my family had left, possibly forever. … I collapsed in a heap on the sandy beach and wept like a pathetic child”, Davies said of the incident. Dave Davies added, “All of a sudden, the fact that they were really leaving finally hit Ray. He ran to the sea screaming and crying.” Rosy and Arthur’s departure later inspired the premise for the Kinks’ 1969 concept album, Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire).
About Face to Face, Maggie Stamets says:
Coming amidst the extraordinary outpouring of great British music in the year 1966, which included the Beatles’ Revolver, the Who’s A Quick One and the Stones’ Aftermath, Ray and the Kinks more than held court with the extraordinary Face To Face, a non-stop blast of garage-pop gems replete with the Davies’ typically acid social commentary. . . . Though less well-remembered than the work of their more celebrated contemporaries, Face To Face finds the Kinks writing and innovating at a pace equivalent to even the Lennon-McCartney juggernaut. And they were just getting started.
And Stephen Thomas Erlewine says:
Face to Face [is] one of the finest collections of pop songs released during the ’60s. Conceived as a loose concept album, Face to Face sees Ray Davies’ fascination with English class and social structures flourish, as he creates a number of vivid character portraits. [His] growth as a lyricist coincided with the Kinks’ musical growth. Face to Face is filled with wonderful moments . . . . classics like “Rosy Won’t You Please Come Home,” . . . making the record one of the most distinctive and accomplished albums of its time.
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