The Kinks album Ray Davies said was about “repressed sex”

As the adage goes, the rock and roll lifestyle isn’t complete without sex and drugs. Although most people might get into the music just for its sounds, a certain X-factor comes with being a musician that speaks to the hedonistic side of the brain, making people want to feel amazing every second of their lives. Although The Kinks may have been coming out at the start of the British invasion, they already had a firm handle on what the sex, drugs, and rock and roll lifestyle entailed.

Then again, Ray Davies wasn’t looking to write every song about chasing carnal knowledge. Although songs like ‘You Really Got Me’ would become massive for their raw appeal in the early days, the song’s genesis began as a soft-spoken tune rather than something too extravagant.

Once Dave Davies started to feed his guitar through a busted amp, though, it assumed its classic form. When talking about the structure of the lyrics, Ray would go on to say that that period of The Kinks was informed by their libido, telling Metal Evolution, “This wasn’t about the kind of wining and dining lyric. The lyrics are basically, ‘I like you and I wanna f*ck you.’”

While Ray may have used more colourful language to describe the lyrics, Dave wanted to write songs focused on the proper sides of society. Throughout the next few years, Dave would be painting beautiful portraits of a version of England that he felt was getting lost in time, turning a song like ‘Waterloo Sunset’ into one of the most gorgeous tunes that the band would ever create.

Building up to the concept album The Village Green Preservation Society, Ray also began weaving in character portraits, creating vivid stories in just a few minutes. When talking about where the songs originated, though, Ray had to admit that the tracks did come from that same lustful urge as the band’s early days.

When talking about the characters that populate the concept album, Ray would go on to say that a lot of the pent-up energy of the lyrics comes down to sexual feelings, saying, “It’s about a lot of sex. Monica, Annabella… All these women that will bring you down, disgrace you. Make you leave your wife and family for a little leg over in the woods. It’s about repressed sex.”

Although it’s easy to cloak the songs into a work of fiction, Dave insisted that most of the songs were based around people that the band knew about town, telling Rolling Stone, “There was a lot of reflection on that album. These characters that Ray supposedly drew from his imagination actually were based on real people we knew — there’s a lot of reality connected to these characters.”

While there might be more than a fair bit of cynicism in these stories, it was never about putting lyrics in just for the sake of smut. From day one, Ray Davies was ready to write about the realities of life, and that’s always going to end up including a little bit of sexual fantasies along the way.

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