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Number 69

The Kinks - Waterloo Sunset (Pye 7N 17321 - 1967)

As a ten year-old, I was fortunate enough to spend a week in Swinging London with my school pals in the summer of 1967. These were the days long before the Sony Walkman yet I distinctly recall hearing pop songs throughout the week, possibly leaking out of the boutiques along Carnaby Street, or from transistor radios belonging to market stall holders along Pettycoat Lane or maybe it's possible that one of us had our own portable radio, I'm not quite sure. I spent the week singing some of these songs to myself as we walked along the streets of London, possibly in a feeble attempt to impress one of my female class mates; a fat lot of good that did. The song I remember most of all from this time was the Kinks' Waterloo Sunset, which illustrates the period so well. The Ray Davies song doesn't only evoke this period, it also conjures visions of the very heart of the city, with its dirty old river, its taxi lights at dusk and its chilly evening, whilst Terry and Julie keep a tight hold of one another's hands as they cross Waterloo Bridge and possibly imagine their lives ahead. There really is an entire novel in these three verses and chorus.