The Life and Career of Ray Davies

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June 1944 in Denmark Terrace North London. He is the lead singer, rhythm guitarist, and principal songwriter for Kinks that he led in collaboration with his younger brother, Dave who 16 years old by that time. In 1964, Davies married Rasa where they had two daughters after which she left him alone in 1973 leading to his suicidal attempt. Later, Davies got engaged to a pretender lead singer Chryssie Hynde where he got a daughter in 1983.  Davies had a complicated marriage life as evident by many marriage relationships and divorces (Kraus and Michael, 210).

            Davies wrote hits among which it included, ‘‘You Really Got Me and Lola,’’ which made the band collection famous and earning them an advertisement in the rock and roll hall (Dunn, 78).  Davies did act, directing, and producing shows for plays and television. The Kink band lasted for thirty years before dissolving due to brothers’ disputes.  After Davies dissolving kinks, he embarked on a solo career in 1996 where he was referred to as the godfather of Britpop.  At the age of thirteen, Davies obtained his a guitar from his oldest sister, Renee, and he was offered guitar lessons by his brother in law to enable him to gain the required guitar skills. At age sixteen Davies chose to perform the first show together with his young sibling, Dave (Baxter‐Moore, 149). After the performance, the succeeding year Davies decided to recruit two of his classmates where they formed their first band and named it, “The Ray Davies Quartet.” At Hornsey College of Art, Ray did not complete his studies. He decided to quit his schooling curriculum and resorted to resurrecting his band of music at home. One of his classmates by the name Rod Stewart also joined the group. After some time, they changed the name of the band to “Ramrods”, after which it was changed again to “Bollweevils”, and later the “Ravens” before entering into a contractual agreement with Pye Records in the year 1964 and settling on “The Kinks” (Davies and Ray, 22).

Davies solo career emerged after dissolving kinks band. Although, his first solo album was in the year 1985 including Return to Waterloo. Between 2009 and 1998 Davies managed to release four albums. The albums went by the names, ‘‘The Storyteller”, “Other People’s Lives,” “Working Man’s Café,” and “The Kinks Choral Collection.’’ In the whole life of Davies’ career, he is seen to have acted, written choral for music, and choral pieces. In the year 1994 Davies published his autobiography, X-Ray. Furthermore, after a year of hard work, in the year 2004 Queen Elizabeth II awarded him a CBE for his service to music (Baxter‐Moore, 150).

In 1964, Kinks released their first album that became number four on the maps with tracks such as, ‘‘You Really Got Me”, “All Day,” and “All of the Night.” In 1965 the band boarded to journey in Singapore, Australia, and Hong Kong.’’ While touring, the group stopped at India and Davies had knowledge that propelled him to inscribe the tune entitled ‘‘See My Friends,’’ which included styles of Indians. The song became extremely significant amid his music peers. However, there emerged an inherent conflict within kinks. It was portrayed that Davies and his younger brother had a strong bond of friendship from childhood and their tension influenced many of their musical hunts. The fights within Kink spread even while they were performing on stage and this rowdiness on stage led the American Federation of Musicians to deny them permits to perform in United States concerts. It was a year later that Davies suffered cessation of nervous hurling the imminent of the group. After Davies recovery due to denial of permits to perform in concerts, he released “The Kink Kontroversy,” which formed the third album for the band, he then flew to Los Angels in attempt to start negotiation of re-entering the band into America. While in Los Angeles Davies released the song Lola that made him famous and known. He changed the lyrics of the song from Coca-Cola to Cherry Cola to allow him to be accepted for promotion on BBC (Kraus and Michael, 214).

 Ray Davies shifted gears creatively two years later after setting up his band’s recording studio, Konk. It is at this time that Davies wrote theatrical-style music such as rock opera preservation and star maker belonging to Television of Granada. This music changed into an album “The Kink Present a Soap Opera” that lasted till 1976 when the band changed its labels from “RCA” to “Astra.” In 1977 Davies released ‘‘Sleepwalker,’’  song that was a breakthrough for them to earn a packed United States scheduled tour and during the year 1981, they decided to sell out “Madison Square Garden” a recording band that succeeded in 15 years induct with the fame of Rock and Roll Hall in the year 1990. In June 1996 in Norwegian Wood Festival in Oslo where Kinks’ played their last concert before dissolving (Dylan and Bob, 40).

On the other hand, Bob Dylan became the foremost associate of Rock and Roll Hall fame to win Noble prize in literature. Bob Dylan words and music were inseparable. For instance citing the following lines “It is Alright Ma (I’m only bleeding)”, ‘‘Where preachers preach of evil fates”; “Teachers teach that knowledge waits”; “Can lead to hundred-dollar plates”; “Goodness hides behind its gates”; “But even the president of the United States Sometimes must have to stand naked,’’ and in the “external visions of Johanna” in 1966, ‘‘Ain’t it just like the night to play tricks when you’re trying to be so quiet?’’ (Bowden et al., 30).

The respect delicacy of Nobel committee’s quotation was about creating a new poetic expression amid the song traditions of America and consequently provoked a buzz among career analysts of Dylan. Dylan decided to release his last two albums while in his seventy-sixth year. Dylan had knitted himself into the deviation and weft of familiar American melody without even his realization. His contribution was portrayed by his hard work of changing the images, attitudes, characters, melodies reshuffling, and assembling the mechanisms of rapidly altering contemporary (Kitts and Thomas, 35).  

Dylan wrote songs like “Tangled Up in Blue” in the year 1975, “Blind Willie McTell” in 1983 and “Cross the Green Mountain” in 2002. In his songs, he discovered means of singing games with time, speech, perception, and expanded all the possible areas of songs in areas that disenabled any form of criticism towards him making him honorable (Shelton et al., 29). Some of the quotation of Davies song like, in 1969 Victoria “Long ago life was clean / Sex was bad and obscene / and the rich were so mean” that was his heaping silence of nasty wit and was conceived as television play soundtrack. In the song of Davies, Come Dancing in 1983 the lyric, “He'd end up blowing all his wages for the week or All for a cuddle and a peck on the cheek,” was an emotional song that reminded him of his family member (Dunn, 69). The song of Lola expressed how love lacked boundaries especially when drank, the use of words in his literature was excellent for instance, “Well I'm not dumb, but I can't understand / Why she walked like a woman and talked like a man.” Following the rock history, it was the greatest achievement for Davies to like the song of Waterloo Sunset, that had beautiful lyrics, “Dirty old river, must you keep rolling / Flowing into the night / People so busy, makes me feel dizzy / Taxi light shines so bright / But I don’t need no friends / As long as I gaze on Waterloo sunset / I am in paradise” all this expression of words explained the ugliness of the urban cities (Baxter‐Moore, 150).

In conclusion, Ray Davies deserved to win the noble prize as well. It is because, in his songs, the lyrics depicted the current state of the world and that which affects the individuals living in it. Indeed he influenced a lot of people, and in his career path he inspired and assimilated most of the culture. He fitted in any place he went and demonstrated the love for the culture of the people he was leaving in. Unlike Bob Dylan, Ray Davies did not face any form of criticism from his audience despite the wrangles that existed prior to the dissolving of the Kink band, and his music was peaceful with lots of message to the audience.  

Work Cited

Baxter‐Moore, Nick. "This Is Where I Belong”—Identity, Social Class, and the Nostalgic Englishness of Ray Davies and the Kinks." Popular Music and Society 29.2 (2006): 145-165.

Bowden, Betsy, and Bob Dylan. Performed literature: words and music by Bob Dylan. University Press of Amer, 2001.

Davies, Ray. Americana: The Kinks, the Road and the Perfect Riff. Random House, 2013.

Dunn, Tim. The Bob Dylan Copyright Files 1962-2007. Author House, 2008: 67-116

Kitts, Thomas M. Ray Davies: Not like everybody else. Routledge, 2008.

Kraus, Michael J. "The greatest rock star of the 19th century: Ray Davies, romanticism, and the art of being English." Popular Music and Society 29.2 (2006): 201-212.

Shelton, Robert. Bob Dylan: No Direction Home. Omnibus Press, 2011.

October 05, 2023

Art Music

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