Like many British rockers of his generation, Ray Davies has a big crush on America. His love of blues, country, jazz, and a number of other genres helped him find his musical muse again during a trip to New Orleans in 2004. However, the famous city also gave him something else: a bullet wound in his leg.
There's no way around it during the holidays. Sometime -- most likely, many times -- between Thanksgiving and Dec. 25 you're bound to hear classic-rock Christmas songs by some of the genre's giants. And there aren't too many as big as the Kinks' 'Father Christmas' and Bruce Springsteen's 'Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town,' which we're pitting against each other in this week's Clash of the Titans.
‘The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society’ was both ahead of and behind the times when the British rockers released the album in November 1968. A critical success, but commercial disappointment at the time, the ‘Village Green’ LP eventually became the Kinks’ bestselling studio album, prompting frontman Ray Davies to once refer to it as “the most successful flop of all time.”
The early '70s took their toll on quite a number of rock's biggest acts. The combination of artistic ambition, family life, the demands of stardom, increasing drug use and aging in a medium originally designed to celebrate youth resulted in many artists rethinking their career choice. For Ray Davies, all of these issues came to a head in July 1973, when he announced onstage that he was quitting the Kinks.