Muswell Hillbillies was released by The Kinks in 1971.
The sleeve was shot at The Archway Tavern just a little bit down the hill from Muswell Hill (a pub actually nearer Rod Stewart’s childhood home than that of Ray and Dave Davies).
Upon its release the album fared poorly in a commercial sense, but many a die-hard Kinks fan will happily tell you that it is one of Ray Davies’s finest hours as a songwriter, with his characteristic wit and wisfulness tackling favourite themes such as alienation in modern life and authentic working class culture. Here at The DC we’ll always have a place for it on our turntable – and in our hearts – for the couplet from the track Muswell Hillbilly:
“I’m a Muswell Hillbilly boy/But my heart lies in old West Virginia”
… and for the swampy stomp of their paean to that great British restorative Have A Cuppa Tea with its glorious refrain:
“Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah Rosie Lee!”
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