Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Deep Cuts: The Kinks - Oklahoma U.S.A.


  When asked what was his favorite Kinks album, Ray Davies liked to reply the most recent one...and Muswell Hillbillies.

   The band's ninth album celebrates the North London neighborhood where the Davies brothers grew up.
 Stereo Review magazine called the poor-selling record "album of the year" in 1972 ( even though it was released on November 24, 1971). The best known cuts include the concert fave and single "20th Century Man", "Complicated Life" ( life is overrated/ life is complicated) and "Have a Cuppa Tea" which, like most cuts on the album, sounds like a music hall number. You can picture the lads on the cover all joining in on the chorus.

  Our deep cut is the tenth track It's a quiet number that remembers the effect of the big American films played at the local Muswell theatres.The song is about the dreams of a working girl ( if life's for livin', what's livin' for) who fantasizes about trading her dreary existence for something in brilliant Cinemascope: ( But in her dreams she is far away/ In Oklahoma USA/ With Shirley Jones and Gordon MacRea.)

   Yo La Tengo covered "Oklahoma U.S.A." on their 1991 album Fakebook.

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