Ray Davies

Return to Waterloo

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The only album ever credited to Kinks singer/songwriter/guitarist Ray Davies contains "music from the motion picture": Return to Waterloo is a film written and directed by Davies depicting the daydreams (and nightmares) of a commuter taking a one-hour train trip from the London suburbs to Waterloo train station. The format allows Davies to write a series of story-songs, including "Going Solo" and "Missing Persons," both of which refer to the commuter's daughter, who has left home, "Sold Me Out" and "Not Far Away," punk rock rave-ups expressing the anger of the young people on the train, and "Expectations," a Davies reflection on one of his favorite subjects, the decline and fall of the British Empire. In other words, this is a good Kinks album. And, in fact, three of the songs had appeared on the last Kinks album, 1984's Word of Mouth. But Return to Waterloo is credited to Davies, and the musician list includes all the members of the Kinks except guitarist Dave Davies, which may be the reason for the solo billing. In any case, the billing didn't help sales much, and the film's limited distribution (which seems to have been limited to a TV showing or two and release on home video) didn't promote the soundtrack, either. The album failed to chart and went out of print the year after its release.

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