Friday, 5 August 2011

The Kinks - Everybody's Gonna Be Happy (1965/ No. 17/ 8 weeks/ Pye)

Rule #1: Don't mess with the formula.

Having pretty much invented rock music with 'You Really Got Me' and then, rather brilliantly, made almost exactly the same record again with 'All Day & All of the Night', The Kinks decided to diversify with their next fast-tempo single.

What's different here? That's right - there's effectively no lead guitar! There's a choppy thing going on, but the music is led by the rhythm section; a fantastically brutal sounding descending bass roll, some frenetic bursts of drumming, and even some handclaps. This music seems about twice as fast as Ray Davies' vocals, a fairly uninspired - but still effective - series of tropes about everybody being happy, seeing his baby walking in the street, etc. The vocals are the glue that keeps the rhythm together, rather than the other way round.

The result? Number 17, and the sixties Kinks hit that no-one remembers. It's terrific fun, though.

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