“Waterloo Sunset” - The Kinks



Waterloo Sunset" is a song released as a single by The Kinks in 1967, and featured on their album Something Else by the Kinks. It was composed and produced by The Kinks lead singer and songwriter Ray Davies and is one of the band's best known and most acclaimed songs.

The lyrics are from the point of view of a solitary man on the south bank of the Thames watching (or imagining) the romantic encounters of a couple at Waterloo Underground, then crossing Waterloo Bridge. Davies, in his 1996 autobiography X-Ray, says the inspiration for the song came from an incident when he was hospitalized as a boy. On the BBC radio show The Davies Diaries, Davies stated that "I can't tell you who they are because they're good friends of mine". In a 2008 interview with Spinner Magazine, Davies stated "it was a fantasy about my sister going off with her boyfriend to a new world and they were going to emigrate and go to another country."

The couple - "Terry" and "Julie" - mentioned in the lyrics are widely reported and presumed[1][2] as being British film stars of the time Terence Stamp and Julie Christie but Davies, in a 2004 interview, denied this, saying: "No, Terry and Julie were real people. I couldn't write for stars."[3]

The recording features Davies' first wife Rasa on background vocals. “When the record was finished and it was coming out", Ray Davies remembered, “I got my wife Rasa to drive me down to Waterloo Bridge to see if the atmosphere was right… I’ve never worked with a song that has been a total pleasure from beginning to end like that one”.

The record reached number 2 on the British charts in mid 1967 (it failed to dislodge the Beatles' "All You Need Is Love" from the number 1 position). Davies considered the song a professional milestone, where he managed to blend the commercial demands of a hit single with his own highly personal style of narrative songwriting. The elaborate production was the first Kinks recording produced solely by Davies, without longtime producer Shel Talmy. In subsequent arguments with Kinks management over the direction of the band, Davies would say "I've done 'Waterloo Sunset', now I want to do something else".

A London FM radio poll in 2004 named this the "Greatest Song About London", while Time Out named it the "Anthem of London".

It holds spot #42 on List of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Paul Weller and Damon Albarn cite the song as their favourite of all-time.

Ray Davies included the song in his live set at Camden's The Roundhouse for the BBC Electric Proms in October 2007, featuring the Crouch End Festival Chorus.

Influential pop music journalist Robert Christgau has called the song "the most beautiful song in the English language." [4] Pete Townshend of The Who has called it "divine" and "a masterpiece".[5] Allmusic senior editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine concurred, citing it as "possibly the most beautiful song of the rock and roll era." Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.