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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Was this the greatest hot streak in the history of pop?

Been thinking about what Ray Davies said when I interviewed him last night at the Stratford Upon Avon Literary Festival, about how he wrote all those great Kinks songs in the sixties to order.

They needed a new hit single every three months and he was the one who supplied them: You Really Got Me, All Day And All Of The Night, Tired Of Waiting For You, Everybody's Gonna Be Happy, Set Me Free, See My Friends, Till The End Of The Day, Dedicated Follower Of Fashion, Sunny Afternoon, Dandy, Dead End Street, Waterloo Sunset, Autumn Almanac and Days.

That's fourteen smash hits in four years. Mark Ellen's fond of describing it as the greatest hot streak in the history of pop. Even more amazing when you consider they were all written and sung by one person. That's what you call pressure. Pressure appears to be every bit as effective as inspiration.

There's one further single which sometimes gets forgotten in that sequence and it was raised by somebody in the audience last night. Wonderboy came out at the beginning of 1968 and stalled at number thirty-six, which was disappointing by Kinks' standards.

Davies draws comfort from the fact that somebody told him that John Lennon loved it, demanding it was played three times in a row by a DJ in a club because he liked the middle eight so much. That may be an apocryphal tale but if it was my song I too would do my best to keep it alive.