Today’s Head to Head, songo y songo, could be described as a battle for the heart and soul of Rock and Roll.
Of course, that would be a dirty lie and require punishment be served on the speaker of such dirty, dirty lies. I found balancing the two juggernauts, equal and opposite, has upset my personal apple cart of what Rock and Roll is really about.
So let’s look at the tale of the tape.
Young studs Bad Company and their true to life Rock And Roll Fantasy’ (as it likely occurred regularly in backstage accesses across the terrain of the 70’s) of what’s so epic about being a Rock Star. Known for their brawny riffs and mating call style groans and moans of one Paul Rodgers, Bad Company was the proto Cock Rock band. It’s fun to have sex to Bad Company. If that is trite, the truth is trite.
And in this corner, the band with the smartest fans in the world, the mighty Kinks. Originators. Always slightly left of center. Credited with creating the very distorted sound that Cock Rock was born by. Part of the original British Invasion. Led by the cantankerous Davies kids. Rowdy and smart. Their ‘Rock And Roll Fantasy’ is a nuanced bloodletting of what it is like to believe in a band, even if the band is starting to lose faith.
It started out as easy for me. Kinks! ‘Rock And Roll Fantasy’ is not only a great song, but it means a lot to me personally. And even more honestly, it’s a question I ask myself.
The Kinks are pure JpK Bait. Great lyrics, internal struggles as an actual band dynamic, being too smart for the market and not giving a flip. They are the DNA of what I listen to now and always have. And I have spent more than a minute bitching about my lack of love for Bad Company.
But life….is…complex. Cause we are discussing Rock and Roll. Which is amorphous. What I believe Rock And Roll is may not be what you believe Rock and Roll is.
And one of the weight bearing columns of Rock And Roll is that, in it’s best form, it’s kinda dumb. I loved that about Rock And Roll. So do you.
So…is this a contest of whose the smarter band? Nope. Can’t be.
The Kinks lay out a multi character play in the pose of a song. It has the Davies brothers themselves discussing whether this is a real life being a legitimate Rock Star. You have the fan P.O.V. coming in for the bridges. And the hook ‘I don’t want to live my life living in a Rock and Roll Fantasy’ which is subtle, which confounds. Who is speaking the line? Is the band breaking up?
Bad Company has never been considered ‘subtle’. They are the perfect Post Zeppelin band, all sex and no sword. They owned classic rock radio in a way The Kinks did not.
And their ‘Rock And Roll Fantasy’ contains about 8 words, repeated. Including ‘Momma’. It legitimately feels like a fantasy. Dancing in the aisles and Jesters and ‘ a sound so loud it’s churning up the ground’. You can almost taste the just behind the veil gaggle of groupies ready to provide some Heavy Love.
And….I am at loggerheads. Help. Check them both and weigh in. Your country needs you.
Bad Company ‘Rock And Roll Fantasy’: https://youtu.be/YL4OWXiV8LY
The Kinks ‘Rock And Roll Fantasy’: https://youtu.be/GGSwbi59NS4