Courtesy of BMG
Behind The Music With Dave Davies: 8 Overlooked Gems From The Kinks' Extensive New Compilation
Journey through the Kinks' latest release with singer and guitarist Dave Davies, who details the stories behind some of his favorite deep cuts — from "I'm Not Like Everybody Else" to "Wonderboy."
"We change as human beings on a daily basis, so our opinions and our feelings change as well," Dave Davies says with a soft smile. "Music is like a painting: hanging it on the wall, it keeps relating different things to you."
Considering the many musical lives that Davies has lived, he has become intimately familiar with that evolving sense of meaning. Since co-founding the legendary English rock band the Kinks with his brother Ray in 1963, Davies has exposed every inch of his soul and personal history through song. With the recent release of The Journey, Part 1 — the first of two career-spanning Kinks compilations of hits, B-sides, and favorites — Davies has had even more opportunity to discover new facets to the memories and feelings he’s been expressing across the decades.
"I can't imagine what we would do without music or art," he says. Countless fans around the world have Davies to thank that they don’t need to worry about that sad possibility.
Davies spoke with GRAMMY.com about some of his favorite songs from The Journey, Part 1 that deserve more love, the impact of his parents' and siblings’ favorite music, and the lessons he’s taken from the Kinks’ discography.
"Stop Your Sobbing" (1964)
Ray's always been prolific, but that was a particularly prolific stage. We've always been, like, visual writers. The music is very visual. It's kind of a family thing, as well. We even had an album called Think Visual some years ago.
And even thinking back to my early days, listening to Eddie Cochran, it's very visual music, the movement and the words. It can really put you into a mental dimension of that time. Ray was a genius at that, writing about things that had been going on at that time, even though sometimes it was like recycling a menu from a diner. [Laughs] It was all fantastic.
"Dead End Street" (1966)
A song I've always liked is "Dead End Street". That's always made me feel like that's where our family comes from. That's always been really important to me.
Ray and I are obviously very attached to our family history and family members. A lot of inspiration comes from people either in our family or people connected to our family. A lot of memory flows through family and through events. We were listening to everything — country music, my mom and dad liked a lot of the music from the '30s and '40s, and my sisters liked show music and film music like "Oklahoma," dance band music — just so much. Ray and I were so lucky to grow up with so many musical influences.
"I'm Not Like Everybody Else" (1966)
That song makes a statement about where we come from as people. I never thought I was like anybody else. Ray always thought that that would be a key song for me. It says a lot about the Kinks as people. I've always found that the Kinks were always a bit different in what we did as artists and people. I would use that song as a recommendation for the whole compilation.
I always talk about "Wonderboy" as a very overlooked track. It's a lot deeper and has a lot more meaning to it than what people realize. Sometimes we try so hard to get things, to do things, and maybe the best thing is staring us straight in the face.
[Music] is even sometimes a great means of expressing what you don't know. That's what "Wonderboy" intimates: Maybe what we're looking for is in front of us… It's all happening now. You don't have to try so hard. You don't have to drive yourself crazy trying to work out what you need to do in life. Sometimes people are put in our lives for joy and wonderment and unusual thoughts. It's important to encourage each other, to help other people.
"Death of a Clown" (1967)
I was going through a time where I thought, What the hell are we doing? I was going to parties all the time and hanging out, and it made me reflect on what we were doing as a band. It made me think of being a circus actor, a clown.
I think the important thing was that we were just a regular working class family. Ray had a great ability to observe life in a slightly different way. The whole family did, really. We learned at a young age, being a big family, that music was a great means to express everyday things in a positive way.
"She's Got Everything" (1968)
That one’s a really great rocker, and it's about a rock 'n' roll romance. I love to do that one live.
The remastering is really cool. I think they did a really good job on the remaster for the compilation. Ray kind of oversaw most of the remastering, but we had all had different important stages. And BMG were of great help. It's great to work with a record company like that. It makes it a bit different.
"Days" has always been a very important track for the Kinks, through our evolution as a band. That song ticked so many boxes [and] it's always a poignant piece of music whenever we've played it. It came out at a time when we were all experiencing a lot of inner change, emotional change, business change, life change — Ray especially. And that song would always lend itself to a memory of some sort of loss but also of understanding.
Maybe we should think more about things before we've done them. We don't always take the time to understand feelings. We can't throw our emotional ideas away because we don't understand the depth of them. But over time we can find out more through a song, a painting, a person. Really good music you listen to and think about over and over again.
"Mindless Child of Motherhood" (1969)
That song is really based on a theme of childhood love — really my first love, which was at school. We were 15, and we were separated, and our parents wouldn't let us see each other. You can read all about it in my autobiography [laughs] if you fancy. "Mindless Child of Motherhood" is about how she had a baby and we couldn't become a proper family, all that heavy emotional stuff.
It's like poetry. Sometimes you don't realize fully what it's about until some years later. That makes it more interesting. Art offers a way of expressing the way you feel, even if you don't know exactly what you mean. It's very deep inside of you and sometimes you only find out later. We'd go really mad if none of us had a means of expression like that. That's what's so great about rock 'n roll in the early days, when we were kids: It was a great means to express ourselves. When you're young, you don't always know what you're expressing, but sometimes it's enough to dance, or stomp your feet. We can take so much sometimes by saying very little.
New Music Friday: Listen To New Music From Jungkook & Jack Harlow, PinkPantheress, *NSYNC And More
As September comes to a close, listen to these new songs, albums and collaborations from Ed Sheeran, Lil Wayne and more.
As we close out the month, this New Music Friday has loads of fresh beginnings and highly anticipated reunions.
Two nostalgic releases arrived as well, with Lil Wayne's new album Tha Fix Before Tha Vi continuing his "Tha Carter" series, while *NSYNC fans were treated to the boy band's first new song in 20 years with "Better Place."
Dive into these seven new releases that blend the old generation with the new.
Jungkook ft. Jack Harlow — "3D"
BTS singer Jungkook takes us through a nostalgic journey with "3D," a song reminiscent of an early 2000s boy band hit. The hypnotizing lyrics illustrate his close connection to someone he can't reach, so he'll watch them in 3D.
"So if you're ready (So if you're ready)/ And if you'll let me (And if you'll let me)/ I wanna see it in motion/ In 3D (Uh-uh)," he sings in the chorus.
Jack Harlow pops in, dropping a few verses boasting about his global attraction with women. "Mr. First Class" claims he can "fly you from Korea to Kentucky," as he closes out the song.
Rolling Stones & Lady Gaga ft. Stevie Wonder — "Sweet Sounds of Heaven"
The Rolling Stones, Lady Gaga and Stevie Wonder blended their talents, to create a harmonic symphony of a song that lives up to its heavenly title. Seven minutes of gospel- and blues-inspired rhythms, enriched by Gaga and Mick Jagger's distinct riffs, make this collaboration an immersive experience. Stevie Wonder grounds the track with his command of piano and melodic tempo.
The track is the second peek of the Rolling Stones' upcoming album, Hackney Diamonds, their first LP release in 18 years; their first release, "Angry," arrived Sept. 6. With production from GRAMMY-winning Andrew Watt, the soulful essence makes "Sweet Sounds of Heaven" an exciting taste of the long-overdue album.
*NSYNC — "Better Place"
Yes, you read correctly. After two decades and a recent reunion at the 2023 MTV Video Music awards, <em>NSYNC is back with a new single, "Better Place," appearing in the new animated Trolls* movie (due Nov. 17). With a nostalgic dance-pop beat, familiar production and breezy lyrics, this single is a remarkable comeback.
"Just let me take you to a better place/ I'm gonna make you kiss the sky tonight," they sing in the chorus.
The reunion was first teased Sept. 14, through a video of the group's emotional studio session, as Justin Timberlake shared on Instagram. "When the stars align… got my brothers back together in the studio to work on something fun and the energy was special," he wrote in the post.
PinkPantheress — "Mosquito"
Dive into this musical daydream as PinkPantheress serenades us on her new single, "Mosquito," a dreamy, lucid song reminiscent of old-school R&B. After recently hopping on the energetic remix of Troye Sivan's "Rush" and teaming up with Destroy Lonely on "Turn Your Phone Off," PinkPantheress is transporting us through a new era, full of charm and surprises.
"Cause I just had a dream I was dead/ And I only cared 'cause I was taken from you/ You're the only thing that I own/ I hear my bell ring, I'd only answer for you," she sings in the chorus.
Co-crafted by GRAMMY-winning producer Greg Kurstin, this song is a transcending, surreal experience. This single isn't about romance, instead she takes us through her entanglements with treasures and money. That's further portrayed in the lavish video, which features a European shopping spree starring "Bridgerton" stars Charithra Chandran, India Amarteifio and "Grown-ish" star Yara Shahidi.
Ed Sheeran — Autumn Variations
The era of mathematical-themed albums seems to be over, as Ed Sheeran has entered a new chapter with Autumn Variations, his second project this year. Sheeran is singing from his heart, sharing soulful tales from emotional events in his life including the death of his dearest friend Jamal Edwards and his wife's health challenges during pregnancy — an extension of the stories he told with May's Subtract.
Autumn Variations is very raw, stripped down and authentic as he takes us through his personal journey. Amidst this, Sheeran still brings in some buzzing tracks including catchy songs like "American Town," "Paper Bag" and "Amazing."
Lil Wayne — Tha Fix Before Tha Vi
Lil Wayne celebrated his 41st birthday with a special present to his fans: the release of a new album two days later. The alluring 10-track project,"Tha Fix Before Tha Vi" dives into past vibes with songs like "Tity Boi," a reference to 2 Chainz's initial stage name, which may be a reference to the upcoming joint album between the two. Each song has a different feel including "Tuxedo," which features a more punk-rock melody and "Chanel No.5 ft. Foushee," which features a sensational beat.
His first album since 2020, Tha Fix Before Tha Vi features rather unexpected collaborators, including Jon Batiste, Fousheé and euro. With different sounds and features than past projects, we could possibly be entering a new Weezy era.
Thomas Rhett & Morgan Wallen — "Mamaw's House"
Country superstars Morgan Wallen and Thomas Rhett unite for "Mamaw's House," a country-folk track relishing the memories of their grandparents' home and cozy fireplace tales.
"It's where I spent my summers and she put me to work/ Shellin' peas and shuckin' corn until my fingers hurt/ No tellin' who I'da been without Mamaw's house," Rhett sings in the second verse.
Rhett said the duo decided to write about their small-town culture — Rhett is from Valdosta, Georgia, while Wallen hails from Sneedville, Tennessee — and the significant presence of grandparents brought to their upbringings.
"This song just kind of brings up how our mamaws used to act when we were little kids," Rhett told Audacy.. "It's an ode to all the grandmas out there."
Photo: Renato Rimach
Positive Vibes Only: AMEN Music Offers Up A Spiritual Home In A Joyful Performance Of "Holy Ghost"
Dante Bowe-led worship collective AMEN Music preaches about the power of the holy spirit on their new song "Holy Ghost."
AMEN Music are ready to worship on their new song "Holy Ghost." Against a backdrop of hundreds of lit candles, the contemporary Christian act leads a crowd in singing the praises of the holy spirit in this special performance for Positive Vibes Only.
"Our teacher, my keeper, my all and all/ Thank God for the Holy Ghost/ Sticks closer than a brother and he won't let go/ Thank God for the Holy Ghost/ Completes us and fills us to overflow/ Thank God for the Holy Ghost/ He endows us with power, now the world will know/ Thank God for the Holy Ghost," founder Dante Bowe preaches as he encourages the audience to raise their hands in the air and sing along.
Led by Bowe, the worship collective recently released their debut album, In the Light, featuring 13 rapturous live performances including "Hero," "Come As You Are," "Beautiful (Spontaneous)" and "Jesus We Love You" in addition to "Holy Ghost."
Prior to founding AMEN Music, Bowe snagged six GRAMMY nominations at the 2022 ceremony, including three separate nods in the Best Gospel Song/Performance category. (His own songs "Voice of God" featuring Steffany Gretzinger and Chandler Moore and "Joyful" earned the singer his first two nods, while co-writing Elevation Worship and Maverick City Music's "Wait on You" scored him a third.)
Ultimately, he won his first GRAMMY for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album as a writer on Elevation Worship and Maverick City Music's collaborative record Old Church Basement. Earlier this year, he was nominated for a seventh time — this time for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song as a guest artist and co-writer on Crowder's "God Really Loves Us."
Press play on the video above to watch AMEN Music's jubilant performance of "Holy Ghost" and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of Positive Vibes only.
Photo: Russell Einhorn/Liaison
GRAMMY Rewind: Coolio Calls For A United "Hip-Hop Nation" After "Gangsta's Paradise" Wins In 1996
The East Coast rapper took home the GRAMMY for Best Rap Solo Performance for his No. 1 hit "Gangsta's Paradise."
Coolio was living in the "Gangsta's Paradise" of his own creation when the 1996 GRAMMY Awards rolled around. The year before, the ode to hip-hop culture had not only become a global No. 1 hit for the rapper, but also the best-selling song of 1995 in the U.S. And that February night in Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium, the track won Coolio his first GRAMMY, for Best Rap Solo Performance.
Receiving the trophy from Salt-N-Pepa and Mary J. Blige (clad in head-to-toe leopard print), the rapper emerged from backstage with his overjoyed entourage in tow, and started out his acceptance speech by claiming his GRAMMY "for the whole hip-hop nation."
"West Coast, East Coast, worldwide — united we stand, divided we fall. Recognize," he continued before going on to thank God, his then-fiancée Josefa Salinas and his kids, as well as Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, his collaborator L.V., Michelle Pfeiffer (who starred in the song's music video) and others.
Coolio then ended his remarks on a serious note, acknowledging, "We've had a lil' problem lately in high schools and I only got one ting to say to all my Black and Latino brothers out there fightin': Ain't no gangsters living in paradise."
During the telecast, Coolio also took to the stage to perform "Gangsta's Paradise," which had earned a second nomination for Record of the Year. (That major award ultimately went to Seal's "Kiss From a Rose," along with Song of the Year.)
Sadly, the gangsta rap pioneer died in September 2022 at age 59 after suffering an accidental overdose laced with fentanyl. Press play on the video above to revisit Coolio's GRAMMYs win and check GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of GRAMMY Rewind.
Photo: L. Busacca / Contributor
10 Ways Britney Spears' "...Baby One More Time" Changed Pop Music Forever
Released 25 years ago on Sept. 29, 1998, Britney Spears' iconic pop confection was a musical thunderbolt. GRAMMY.com revisits "...Baby One More Time," and 10 ways Spears' debut single changed the musical landscape forever.
The song announces itself with a now-iconic two note keyboard riff. Then, the track's introductory words, so simple yet sultry: "Oh, baby baby." An electronic drumbeat clicks in and once the groove gets going, we're well on your way to music infamy.
Released 25 years ago on Sept. 29, 1998, Britney Spears' debut single, "...Baby One More Time," was a perfect pop confection. The title track of Spears' 1999 debut album, "...Baby" made an instant superstar out of the Louisiana native and earned her a GRAMMY nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
The momentous track also helped usher in a new era of pop music culture, sound and production. Aside from making a household name out Spears and inspiring countless pop songstresses in her wake, it kicked off a historic streak of smashes for its enigmatic producer Max Martin, became one of the MTV generation's most iconic music videos and, for a time, shifted the center of pop from Los Angeles to Stockholm, Sweden.
In honor of its milestone anniversary, from its earworm sound, infamous video and commercial success, read on for 10 ways "...Baby One More Time" changed pop music and American culture forever.
It Marked Britney Spears' Big Break
Long before Spears turned into one of music's most recognizable stars, she was just another fledgling young singer searching for her way in the ruthless industry.
After stints as part of "The New Mickey Mouse Club" and a turn on "Star Search," the young singer dodged two life paths that could have changed everything. First thinking that she'd develop a sound similar to Sheryl Crow, Spears then nearly joined the R&B girl group Innocence. But once the Kentwood, Louisiana native signed with Jive Records — which had a working relationship with a group of buzzy producers in Sweden — the teen singer's future was sealed.
The Song's Success Recentered Pop Production In Sweden
Jive executives had early success with the visionary Swedish producer Denniz Pop, who had a dream that his Nordic country would become the center of popular music. First producing hits for Ace of Base such as "All That She Wants," the mastermind subsequently crafted the Backstreet Boys' iconic sound (including "As Long as You Love Me"). His Cheiron Studios in Stockholm was named after the wise centaur who played a Lyre in Greek mythology.
Just as his dream was coming true however, the producer was diagnosed with stomach cancer and died one month before the release of "...Baby One More Time" in August 1998. But while sick, he passed on his techniques and vision to a range of mentees including Max Martin, a former rocker turned pop-producer. "(The Cheiron sound is) direct, effective, (and) we don't show off," Martin said in 2001.
It Launched Max Martin's Historic Career…
The melody of "...Baby" came to Martin as he was falling asleep. Not wanting it to escape him, he recorded it. "I remember listening back to (the tape) after (the song) blew up and you can hear me sort of go: 'Hit me baby one more time,' he recalled in a 1998 interview of the song he'd later write and producer. "Then I hear myself say, 'Yeah, it's pretty good.'"
"...Baby" later became his first No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hit of his ongoing career, a feat he reached a whopping 25 times with songs ranging from Taylor Swift's "Shake it Off" and "Blank Space" and The Weeknd's "Can't Feel My Face" to name a few. In fact, Martin is second-only to Paul McCartney and John Lennon as the songwriter with the most No. 1 hits in the history of the charts.
…And Changed The Trajectory Of TLC's
TLC almost recorded the future smash. However, the R&B group were turned off by its lyrics, thinking that "Hit me" was meant to be taken literally.
Said TLC member T-Boz of the decision: "I was like: 'I like the song but do I think it's a hit? Do I think it's TLC?' … Was I going to say 'Hit me baby one more time'? Hell no!" TLC would go onto record "No Scrubs" and "Cool" and "Unpretty," both of which marked the end of their hit-making era.
It Established Spears' Signature Sound
Spears understood the melodic power of "... Baby One More Time" immediately.
"The whole song is about that stress that we all go through as teens," Spears told the Guardian in 2018. "I knew it was a great song. It was different and I loved it, (but) I don't think you can anticipate how a song is going to be received."
Martin was a big part of that. "I think Max is a genius. It all just came together and felt right. In my opinion Max is the greatest songwriter of all time." For their efforts, Rolling Stone later called "...Baby One More Time" the greatest debut single of all time.
It Ushered In A New Pop Era
The first time Spears heard her song, she just hopped off an airplane. "It was so weird because we'd just got in the car, I'd just shut the door, and it came on," she recalled to Variety. "It was so overwhelming, I just started screaming. It was really cool, though."
In the fall of 1998, it debuted at No. 17 and hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for two consecutive weeks, later spending 32 weeks on the Hot 100 and earned platinum status. Speaking to its influence, the radio programmer Clark Ingraham later told the Guardian, "We'd been through an alternative cycle in the early to mid-'90s, and something of an R&B cycle after that. Britney was among the first big artists in a pop cycle that began in the late 1990s and continued into the early 2000s."
The Music Video Is Iconic
One month before the song was released, Spears and director Nigel Dick descended on Venice High School in Los Angeles. Originally conceived as a cartoon, it was Spears who pushed for the now-infamous schoolgirl concept that exploded onto television screens.
"The beauty of the video on some level is there's nothing fancy about it," Dick told Billboard in 2018. "It's very… ho-hum isn't quite the word, but it's very ordinary on some level, which is, I think, one of the reasons (why) Britney shines is because it's all about Britney."
Nominated for four MTV Video Music Awards, the channel's "Total Request Live" called the video the Most Iconic of All Time.
The Video Turned Britney Spears Into A Sex Symbol
For better or worse, Spears's image was solidified with the video, which showed her scantily clad and landed her on magazine covers the world over.
When it comes to her schoolgirl look in the video, Dick told Billboard: "My producer and the executive producer from the label — who are both women — go, 'No, I think that's a really good idea,'" he says of dressing the young star. "Music magazines said this artist was conceived by a bunch of dirty old men in a conference room wearing raincoats. Which, in my experience, was not how it occurred at all."
It Earned Spears Her First GRAMMY Nomination
Aside from its immense commercial success, "...Baby One More Time" helped Spears earn nominations for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 42nd GRAMMY Awards. She'd later win Best Dance Recording for "Toxic," among eight career nominations.
"...Baby One More Time" Influenced Future Pop Songstresses
Britney Spears's debut and subsequent success influenced generations of young performers who were inspired by her voice, talent and image, altering an industry in her wake.
Contemporaries including Christina Aguilera, later superstars including Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry, and modern names ranging from Dua Lipa to Billie Eilish have all pointed to Spears as major influences. "I have loved Britney Spears her whole career," Lady Gaga wrote in 2021. "I looked up to her and admired her strength. She empowered so many people, and still does."
It's a stunning legacy, and it all started with a certain, unmistakable keyboard riff. "Oh, baby baby!"
Photo: Renee Dominguez/Getty Images for Live Nation
Kim Petras Kicks Off Her Feed The Beast World Tour: Watch Performance Videos, Social Media Reactions
The GRAMMY winner opened her Feed The Beast World Tour in Texas on Sept. 27 with a sensational, scandalous performance of nearly two hours. Here’s what fans had to say on social media about the icon’s show.
Underneath the Austin sky, Kim Petras put on a show that was just as hot as the night around her.
The Feed The Beast World Tour — which opened on Sept. 27 at Austin's Moody Amphitheater at Waterloo Park and will continue for the next seven months — marks Petras’ most extensive journey yet. The pop princess performed hits from her various projects, even her 2018 Halloween-themed EP Turn Off the Light, Vol. 1.
Beyond embarking on a massive global tour, 2023 has been a year full of milestones for Kim Petras. The 31-year-old German singer performed at the 65th GRAMMY Awards and took home a golden gramophone for Best Pop Group/Duo Performance for "Unholy," her collaboration with Sam Smith.
Petras has been steadily releasing music for years, but her long-awaited debut album, Feed The Beast, was finally released this June. Just weeks before her tour began, Petras dropped the previously leaked album Problématique by surprise, taking power back into her own hands.
GRAMMY.com attended the opening night of Petras' Feed The Beast tour. Read on for a peek inside the powerful, larger-than-life show, as well as a hint of the spectacle to come.
Feed The Beast Got Tons Of Play & Praise From Fans
Petras opened the show with the title track from the tour's namesake. While Petras is performing many new songs live for the first time, she's also playing hits like "King of Hearts" and "Castle in the Sky."
A Spooky Section Featured Lots Of Throwbacks
Fans were ready to be transported into another world, and Petras delivered on multiple levels. During one of the show's many acts, she ventured into the dark side by playing songs from her first EP, Turn Off the Light. Petras performed darker-themed songs including "There will be Blood," "Wrong Turn," and "Demons."
Mesmerizing visuals and dancers heightened the sinister scene, leaving some fans speechless. The stage design blended into black and red, and Petras' commanding presence created an aura of royalty that hypnotized her audience.
Fans Were Passionate About The Lengthy Setlist
While some fans were grateful for the earlier hits in Petras' set, others took to social media to voice their opinions on what was missing.
Although the performance was nearly two hours long, it's impossible to please everyone in the audience. WhilePetras couldn’t cover the entirety of her extensive catalog, she wowed with more than 30 songs. There were still a few surprising omissions, however, including the fun and fruity hit "Coconuts."
There's Much To Look Forward To & Much Love To Share
Onstage, Petras constantly praised the crowd for their energy and was met with roaring cheers. After the extravagant opening show, she continued to share her appreciation online:
Both excitement and expectations were high for the Feed The Beast tour, and Petras' first show delivered a satisfyingly electric experience.