The Kinks, “Strangers”

When casual fans consider the division of labor in The Kinks, they likely think of Ray Davies as the songwriter and frontman and brother Dave as the flamethrower on lead guitar. But close followers of the band can easily find several times throughout the band’s storied career when Dave Davies took over lead duties, as both songwriter and vocalist, and triumphed. “Death Of A Clown,” listed originally as a solo tune by Dave but included on the band’s wonderful Something Else album, and “Living On A Thin Line,” a moody 80’s anthem, are just two standout examples of many.

Perhaps Dave Davies’ most poignant moment out in front of the band came with his sweetly sorrowful ballad “Strangers,” which can be found on 1970’s Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One. While “Lola” got most of the attention as the hit single and an example of Ray’s clever subversion of societal mores, “Strangers” has endured as one of The Kinks’ most heartfelt ballads.

As Dave explained in a 2010 interview with Stay Thirsty magazine, a thwarted friendship was the impetus for the lyrics. “We were dear friends," Davies said, talking about his pre-Kinks buddy George Harris. "Actually, George and I were going to start a band, but he got too heavily into drugs and it kind of pulled us apart. The drug thing was like a three-way affair. He died of a methamphetamine overdose. They found him departed ... he was young. I always felt it was going to be me and him. I didn't think at that age that it was going to be me and Ray. So I really kind of wrote it to him; 'Strangers on this road we are on, we are not two we are one.' It was like, what might of... Sign In to Keep Reading

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