I ALMOST forgot to put up a concert clip tonight. This is a performance by Ray Davies, formerly integral along with his brother, Dave to the Kinks. This song, written long ago for what would have been the first “Rock Opera,” a label claimed later by the Who’s “Tommy,” is from the album “Arthur.” While it achieved moderate success upon release, “Arthur” never reached the heights of some of their earlier and later LPs. Consumers didn’t know how to react to it. Time has proven it a buried treasure.
A Kinkaholic, I loved it and a band I was in a few years later even grudgingly consented to doing a cover version of “Victoria,” one of the more uptempo tunes on “Arthur”. Crowds loved it although most no one had ever heard it before. We even occasionally got requests for it.
“Arthur” tells a story. Davies has a knack for creating convincing characters in his songs and frequently incorporates narrative elements in his lyrics. “Shangri La” is a lovely tune, albeit somewhat off the beaten path. If you like the Kinks and Davies, you’ll love this adaptation. I f you never cared for them, you might want to pass it up. I think it’s a treat.