Muswell Hillbillies was the album that confirmed my Kinks geekitude. I won a bet with one of my teachers that I could recite all the lyrics on the LP. He let me have 5 errors, I made only 3. A weird pastime but it was mine. How could one forget an opening lyric like this:
“Well I said goodbye to Rosie Rook this morning,
I’m gonna miss her bloodshot alcoholic eyes,
She wore her Sunday hat so she’d impress me,
I’m gonna carry her memory ’til the day I die.”
Muswell Hillbilly was the final track of that great album, and is almost but not quite the title track. A good example of Ray’s perversity at work. Speaking of Ray’s mean streak, he’d often introduce the band before launching into Muswell, and he loved introducing his kid brother as Dave (Death of a Clown) Davies. He never liked the intro and Ray never stopped doing it: Hatred, a duet.
We’ll start this edition of Kinks week with the album version and then a live version featuring the dread introduction. Then one of my favorite Kinks covers by Southern Culture On The Skids; one of the best and longest band names in rock and roll history.
Cue the Kinks:
A 1978 teevee appearance with Ray in red:
Finally, SCOTS stirring version from their splendid 2007 covers album Countrypolitan Favorites. Check it out, it’s chock-full-o-great tunes: