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Waterloo Sunset
The Kinks
listen to song bar
Ray Davies
Is Waterloo Sunset the greatest song about London?

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I love this song because I can just imagine London in the 60's whenever I hear it. It's an era that ended before I was born, but the song paints it rose-coloured for me, and makes me wish that I had been a part of it.


I grew up listening to the kinks. I first heard You Really Got Me being blasted out of my front room. It was 1990 and I'd just come home from school. I've been a Kinks fan ever since. To hear Ray's explaination of Waterloo Sunset is brilliant and I'm not suprised that it has won awards. Ray Davies is one talented guy.

Lennart Lindström, Alingsås, Sweden
Waterloo Sunset is the best pop song ever written.

Mr Sandy Maclean,8 Queens Avenue,FLINT.CH6 5JW
Not only is 'Waterloo Sunset' the greatest song about London,but Raymond Douglas Davies(the composer)is the ultimate finest writer. ALSO:'You really got me' is The Kinks best song,and deserved to win the award!I have purchased all of The Kinks recordings,and of course Ray's beautiful album...'OTHER PEOPLES LIVES'

Kristen, Nova Scotia, Canada
I've long thought of myself as a misplaced soul; I was not meant for this generation of Hilary Duff's and Jessica Simpson's. I've always firmly believed that I was meant for the 60s and, in particular, meant for the British Isles. As such, I am absolutely obsessed with the British pop scene of the era (as well as its offshoots--long live Paul Weller and Morrissey!), and just of British culture in general. I'm an Anglophile of the highest order, and I absolutely believe that the UK's musicians are the greatest interpreters of rock and roll, and its ideals. Ray Davies is one of the very greatest, along with John Lennon, a comparison that I do not offer lightly. Simply put, thank you, Ray, for giving me the hope that creativity and artistic integrity does, in fact, exist, as well as painting an image of a world I so dearly wish to have experienced. Perfect song, perfect word-smith.

Geoff Gullon exiled in Doncaster
The sleeve notes of a "Best of the Kinks" tape describe this as "scarily perfect" and I suppose that just about sums it up. One of those songs that you know is great, but you forget just how great between listens - and then the intro brings all your neck-hairs to immediate attention (if this doesn't happen to you, have yourself checked for a pulse.) Dave's distant heavy industrial clanking guitar v. the heavenly choir harmonies, Ray's spot-on delivery; it begs the question "Why do a cover - what can you possibly bring to it?" Just put it on, let the smile spread across your face & thank whatever God you have for Ray Davies - even if this was all he'd ever written, his contribution would still have been immense.

Ernie Meier
"Waterloo Sunset" If you're ever feeling blue just put this one on. It's a beautiful tune that is beautifully recorded (the original that is). Thank you Ray Davies for a little bit of heaven on earth.

Pete Fenelon, York
Davies painting an impressionistic word-picture of a London at the height of its swing. Exquisite.

Keith, Trenton, NJ, USA
...I never knew so many people had so much to say about a great song! Why compare it? It sounds fine. On the way to work this a.m. I heard Bowie's cover. Didn't know he had one! ...but it's good...

Dave Gibbs, Carmel, IN USA
While "She Loves You" and "Please Please Me" represent the British pop influence of the Sixties, "Waterloo Sunset" is the existential song for that time, especially for youth in England. This was the period of Davies at his most literate quality.

Philip, Tonbridge
So many great songs ... what a pity the band was not as imaginative as the lead singer/writer, Ray Davies.

sherwin agbon
the next best thing to hear after a one hellish day of grappling with life's miseries...

Agnes Lang
A perfect song with a perfect dreamy lyric and unforgettable guitar riff. Ray Davies is England's finest.

Millie, Norwich
OMG i love *youve really got me* by the kinks..legend! keep playing 60s music wogan!! xx

Beth, North Yorkshire
Unfortunately, I was born roughly twenty years too late to see this first hand. However, Waterloo sunset is my favourite song.. just so uplifting with its backing vocals and jangly guitar. Its the first thing I look for on a jukebox. The Kinks are so underrated.

Sonja, Munich (UK-devotee)
I can support most of what has been written here already, it is - in my opinion - THE best song ever. A friend of mine used to play the guitar to this song while we were sitting around the fire in summer and it always gave me that special feeling. Back in Germany, it reminds me of England, the good times I had back then and helps me over sad times as I experience them now. Man, this is my song, this is my life. I am both surprised and delighted to discover this page with so many other people admiring that song.

Grady Lewis, Waycross(Hoboken), Georgia, USA
I'm 43 and still listen to Waterloo Sunset daily to cheer me up and put life's trivial worries to rest. God bless the Kinks and Mother England!

Lisa D., San Antonio, Texas
I'm a bit too young to have experienced this era first hand, but this song transports me to a place and time I can only imagine. It is so distinctly actually inspired me to cross the great pond during my college days and the first thing I did when I arrived at London was make the trek over to the Waterloo station, and sketch the sunset. A lovely time etched forever in this Texan heart. Ray Davies is my Lennon and McCartney.

Anders Bergqvist, Sweden
This spring my family stayed at the Travel Inn, County Hall, for 5 nights. Waterloo station just nearby, the beautiful sunsets reflecting in the Thames. I had a Kinks CD at home and listened to it again. I discovered that the song Waterloo Sunset was one of the best songs I´ve ever heard. It´s shear poetry and catches the London feeling right on the spot.

Draco, Runcorn
This is a homing song for me. I played it while packing away after another year of uni and it seemed to fit perfectly the theme of the day. I thought Damon Albarn did a good job covering it but the original still has the magic.

Pete/ Bristol
A great song, their best in my opinion, though they wrote a great many songs that are classics of the 60's. As for eclipsing the Beatles -I DONT THINK SO. Get a grip of yourselves and go and listen to some Beatles LP tracks. Then you'll hear real harmony and great guitar playing.

patrick, cornwall
Funnily enough, despite being a Kinks fan almost from the off - tho' I thought they went a little off the boil after about ten years - I've never particularly liked Waterloo Sunset, especially as it is the Kinks song almost always played when a Kinks song is played, whereas there is a raft of other, to my mind, better songs available.

bernard dublin
waterloo sunset has one of the most original introductions of any pop song in any decade. 1967, when it was released was perhaps the most competitive years ever for sheer creativity, to be considered as one of the best songs of a brilliant year is credit enough. Ray davies is a genius, read his book X ray for an insight into him.

Scott Hannaford, Worcester
Waterloo Sunset? Surely it's not even the best song by The Kinks. What of Victoria? Or the glorious Apeman? Better songs, in my opinion!

Simon, Oxfordshire
Waterloo Sunset is the archetypal British Pop single. Play it when you're away from home and a little lonely!

Nicola, Manchester
Right, first things first - this is the song the Beatles aspired to write but couldn't quite get the raw emotion, the wistfulness and the wonderfully detailed beauty of the local area. (Okay, Penny Lane is a great song too but the sha-la-las alone should prove that this is a song that will be remembered for years to come!) The songwriting is beautiful, the vocals are perfect for such a delicate image, the musicianship is as wonderful as ever and the harmonies are to die for. I'm just shocked Days wasn't put forward in this category, too!

bob wooler /huddersfield
The most beautiful song ever written. Ray Davies, as John Lennon said,IS THE KINKS.

John Harvey, London
An absolute classic, and there's nothing else like it. For backing vocals alone, it put The Beatles and The Beach Boys in the shade. It left Ray Davies in the stratosphere, and he's been writing great songs ever since. I'm glad the Beeb is at last recognising his titanic contribution to pop by allowing two of the man's songs into the top 25. Good luck, Ray!

Terry Hillier Hengoed (Mid-Glam)
A truely memorable song from possibly the greatest songwriter this country has produced.Ray Davies should be knighted !

Oosterbeek Holland
After 40 years still Kinks addict. God save The Kinks!!

jan inge svensson 7500 stjordal norway
best pop song ever

One of my all time favourite songs. I discovered the Kinks after reading that Paul Weller (The Jam) had been influenced by them. If your knowledege of The Kinks is "You've Really Got Me," then your missing out on some of the finest song ever penned.

Bill Blackmon, Austin Texas, USA
'Waterloo Sunset' was never heard in the U.S., which is beyond shame. I've been a Kinks fan since the beginning and this is Ray's best song. It's perfect and as good as anything any of the Kinks contemporaries ever did (yes, that includes the Beatles.....). Dave's guitar is great in the background, the harmonies are flawless and while I had no idea what 'Waterloo' was until I visited London many years later, the location could be anyplace since the mood of the music matches the sentiment perfectly. Hope to see Ray in the U.S. before the end of this century! God Save the Kinks!

rob wallser plymouth
a guy at the top of his game basically singing what he could see out of his window and finally making britsh song geography sound as cool as the Americans

Chris Coopey, Hove
Ray Davies' writing evokes a 60's monochromatic world that nevertheless is bursting with life's colour.

Damien - Newcastle
you know theres something wrong when a 21 year old cant find anything mainstream to match the beauty of track releast before his birth - i grew up with The Kinks, Bowie, and Joy Division - my tastes have become darker as of late, but this is one of those songs that always sticks out in my mind when i just want to kick back and enjoy a day doing nothing but revelling in music.

Ruby Paterson Newnham
I love Waterloo Sunset so much. I could listen it on loop forever! Me and my Dad were having a discussion on which film inspired it. Thank you for giving us the answer.

John, London
An extraordinary song by the presiding genius of English pop. But we shouldn't foget the guitar backing from Dave-a lovely tune going into a truly original thrash which sounds angry and yearning. It's been said before, but none has replicated The Kinks sound in the way that people like Oasis and Robbie Williams have managed with The Beatles oddly inferior stuff: we'll never see the like of The Kinks again.

Tom Chilton, Hungary
This song contains the very essence of the sixties

Charley Lyon/ San Diego
This song is magical. I remember first hearing it when I bought my first Kinks Lp in 1968. I was 17 at the time. It evoked for me then, and still does, a romantic city scape where orange evening skies, old brick warehouses along an urban riverbank become a place of escape & solitude for a young couple and a place of longing for an emotionally spent outside observer (the narrator). The thing, in my opinion, that makes the song so important and timeless is that we the listeners relate to and, in a sense, ultimately while listening become all three characters in the song. In so doing the song instills a universal sense of yearning for the place. I would agree with the those that place this song in the top 100 songs of the 20th century. For this one, Mr. Davies, you have my eternal respect.

Julian Smith, London
ok this is getting boring.this is my umteenth review.i was born 1971,as a result i missed the sexual revolution and i missed the bowie,t.rex era.but i know great music. Coming from the midlands,from an early age i was told that anything south of watford gap was the devil in carnate.what my parents told me still holds true. but when it comes to music they were wrong.iwas told real football and poetry comes from the midlands(shakespeare,plant)but even i have to concede london music rules the domestic roost.there is such a rich history in that poluted town bowie,bolan,jagger richards,townsend and daltry. above all of these brash youths,davies was the loudest.for the first time we had a true voice.hiding from the rent man,getting stoned n drunk no middle class tossers trying to be hip man.thats what makes this track so good, for your information this track was originally called liverpool sunset,but davies knew that writing about what you knew meant more than words, hence waterloo Sunset was born...... the rest is music history !

Nathan/Bethnal Green
I agree with Des Pond below. Barb Jungr's version of this classic song is a masterpiece of interpretation. But then almost anything she covers is.

jay Reston, Virginia
Find the live version by Terry Reid that's been floating around the Web for years. It's infinitely better than any of these covers...

London in the '60s was a kaleidoscope and when Ray Davies and the Kinks hit with this song in the summer of 1967 it got everyone staring wistfully at the Thames at sunset regardless of how close to Waterloo you were. The odd thing is that I knew two different Terry and Julie couples at the time and Waterloo Sunset became "their" song immediately. Hearing it today seems to bring back a wave of nostalgia even for people who weren't there that it shows Ray's rightful place in the pantheon of pop songwriters.

Neil Hall /Derby
Whenever I think back to my old house where I lived in the 60's, Waterloo Sunset is still playing in the lounge

For anyone who has met a loved one after work in London on a hot sticky day this song is for you.So beautiful.

Mike Abbott
The very apogee of Brit Rock creativity. Ray Davies is up there with Lennon and McCartney and this is so much better than many a Beatles track. Great melody, superb lyrics and a moody, erie, instrumental backing that evokes the winter evening fog rolling in across the Thames. Totally unique!

Lloyd from Egham

Rich, Washington D.C.
I'm a United Statesman, even though we're not currently behaving much like statesmen. I was born after the swinging sixties, but I relate to the song through it's lovely melody and storytelling. The Kinks version is untouchable. I listened to the other versions available here, but I can't understand why they would even be compared. They're awfully hokey. The next best version I've heard comes from Elliott Smith. There's a live/acoustic version of it on his site. I spent a week in London, alone, in 1999. I only wish I was familiar with Waterloo Station at the time. I would have had a visit. Cheers to The Kinks, cheers to Ray Davies for his songwriting award, and cheers to you.

a brilliant bass intro, and don't you just want the outro to go on for a few more bars

Noel Agius/Malta
A wonderful three minutes. When it suddenly came on the car radio, I had to stop the vehicle, park and then just listen.

Des Pond of Slough
You have unaccountably omitted the cover version by Barb Jungr from your list. That is a version which improves on an already great original, and there aren't many cover versions that genuinely do that

Dave, Gillingham, Kent
It is THE London song.........I was around Waterloo that very year, wonderful song of all time!

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