Friday, October 11, 2019

Ray Davies - Sane - Various Songs (2002-2012)

If you've been following this blog, you may have noticed that the Kinks are one of my favorites bands and I've been posting a lot of stuff from them. Not surprisingly, my interest extends to the solo career of Ray Davies, the band's main singer and songwriter. I'm going to make an effort to post more from his post-Kinks solo career too.

Unfortunately, he hasn't released as much material as one would expect. For instance, he went from 1998 to 2006 without releasing an album, apparently because he couldn't get a record deal on terms that he was happy with. This is a collection of stray tracks, but there aren't that many tracks, relatively speaking. He almost never plays unreleased songs in concert, and bootlegs of solo studio recordings haven't leaked. I had to stretch out over an entire decade to find enough songs to make up an album.

But, happily, what's lacking in quantity is made up for with quality. All these songs are solid. In fact, I'd say this is just as good a listen as his albums from around the same time. For instance, I'd consider "Thanksgiving Day" to be one of his very best solo songs, but it only was released as a bonus track for one of his albums.

I've kind of cheated a bit in that two of the songs here - "Vietnam Cowboys" and "The Voodoo Walk" - appear on one of those albums. But these are demo versions that were released as bonus tracks. I figure they're different enough to merit inclusion.

The last four songs are officially unreleased. One, "Sane," is a studio recording that somehow got released on the Internet, but never actually appeared on record. The other three are rare examples of unreleased songs that got played in concert. In his introduction to "Depressed I Am Not," he mentioned that song was one of many songs he wrote for Frank Sinatra (!) that remain unreleased. I suspect he has a large number of unreleased songs in the vaults. I hope he'll share more with us someday.

01. Yours Sincerely, Confused N10 (Ray Davies with Jools Holland)
02. Thanksgiving Day (Ray Davies)
03. Angola [Wrong Side of the Law] (Ray Davies)
04. I, The Victim (Ray Davies)
05. Vietnam Cowboys [Demo] (Ray Davies)
06. The Voodoo Walk [Demo] (Ray Davies)
07. Postcard from London (Ray Davies & Chrissie Hynde)
08. Depressed I Am Not (Ray Davies & the Leisure Society)
09. Be Happy (Ray Davies & The Leisure Society)
10. Sane (Ray Davies)
11. A Better Thing (Ray Davies)

The covert art photo is of Davies in 2006.


  1. Very much looking forward to this one! THANKS for the collection!

  2. I got really into the Kinks in the late 90's and was also baffled that it took Ray so long to put out that first solo album. I had downloaded a live show of his in the early 2000's and he played great stuff like 'The Deal' and 'Vietnam Cowboys' and was disappointed that he didn't include them on the Other People's Lives album.

    1. I hear you, man. He did some shows with Yo La Tengo in 2000 where he did a bunch of new, unreleased songs. I think it's the only time he's done that. It showed he had enough songs for a new album then - but he waited six more years!

      I remember reading at some point that he was having trouble getting record company interest. I recall him lamenting that if he was a new artist he would have been snapped up, but he was seen as an old has-been.

      A very similar thing happened to Paul Weller, by the way. After the Style Council broke up, he pounded on every record company door and nobody was interested. They figured he was washed up. He had to resort to recording a new album with his own money and resources. Of course he got the last laugh, because he went on to sell many millions.

  3. What about 80 days bootleg? This is a great album by ray needs to be released with better sound - Im still waiting to hear ALL AMERICAN HERO......was supposed to be on Americana 2 but never happen.

    1. Re: 80 Days, I've posted that here:

      I agree it's great and it needs to be officially released.

      I've never heard of All American Hero. But I'm sure he has a ton of songs he's sitting on. I hear he and Dave Davies are dusting off some older unreleased songs to make a new Kinks album, which would be awesome.

  4. I have been hoping for A Better Thing, which I think is a an absolutely beautiful song, to turn up on Vinyl or CD somehow, someway. Was really disappointed that the musical Come Dancing wasn't released on CD as was the case with Sunny Afternoon in more recent times.

    1. Ive heard bits and pieces of A BETTER THING, its a great tune - Im waiting for it also.

  5. "Sane" es perfecta y Ray Davies, de los compositores más brillantes que ha dado el Reino Unido.
    Como muchos, espero ansiosa una reunión de The Kinks. Al menos, se sabe que están trabajando en un nuevo álbum.

  6. Translation:

    "Sane" is perfect and Ray Davies, one of the brightest composers the UK has ever given.
    Like many, I look forward to a reunion of The Kinks. At least, it is known that they are working on a new album.