Music that Strikes a Chord: “Wonderboy” by The Kinks

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/9a/Wonderboy_cover.jpg
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I’ve gotten into the habit of listening to music while playing solitaire games on the computer like I used to do when I did my daily coloring. It’s an easy and safe way to unwind. The other night I was listening to, “The Best of the Kinks: 1964-1971” and when this song started playing it pulled me out of my zombie-like concentration. Why haven’t I noticed what a swell song this is before. I know that The Kinks have so many good ones to choose from; this one must have gotten lost in their jumble. It’s just about perfect. Nay, it is perfect.

From wikipedia:
“Wonderboy” is a pop song, written by Ray Davies and recorded by the Kinks in 1968. It was released in April 68 in the UK and May 1968 in the US as a B side to “Polly.”  It stalled at number 36 in the UK charts, becoming the band’s first single not to make the UK Top Twenty since their early covers.

Despite this, it became a favorite of John Lennon of The Beatles, and, according to Ray Davies in his autobiography, X-Ray, “someone had seen John Lennon in a club and he kept on asking the disc jockey to play ‘Wonder Boy’ [sic] over and over again.

Kinks guitarist Dave Davies praised the song, saying, “‘Wonderboy’ was a big one for us although it wasn’t a hit. That was one song we really felt something for.

However, bassist Peter Quaife’s opinion towards the track was low, later stating that “[I] hated it … it was horrible.” [No accounting for taste!]

It peaked at number six in The Netherlands. “Wonderboy” was also released as a single in the US but failed to chart. It was one of several US non-LP singles tracks that made its album debut on the US-only released compilation The Kink Kronikles.

The single made its first time stereo appearance on the Golden Hour budget series “Golden Hour Of The Kinks”, with Ray’s lead vocal buried in the mix. The few subsequent reissues of the stereo mix (on the 3-CD “Village Green Preservation Society” set) continues to use this unusual mix.

The line “I see you and you see me” was borrowed by Oasis in their song “She’s Electric”, the delivery is very similar to the Kinks original.

 

I couldn’t help but post this live version as it delighted me so:

La-la-la-la…
Wonder boy, life’s just begun.
Turn your sorrow into wonder
Dream alone, don’t sigh, don’t groan
Life is only what you wonder.
Day is as light as your brightest dreams,
Night is as dark as you feel it ought to be.
Time is as fast as the slowest thing,
Life is only…

Wonder boy,
Wonder boy.
Everybody is looking for the sun.
People strain their eyes to see,
But i see you and you see me,
And ain’t that wonder?

Wonder boy, some mother’s son,
Life is full of work and plunder[?].
Easy go, life is not real,
Life is only what you conjure.

Wonder boy,
And the world is joy, every single day.
It’s the real McCoy,
Wonder boy.
Everybody is looking for the sun.
People strain their eyes to see,
But i see you and you see me,
And ain’t that wonder?

Wonder boy, some mother’s son,
Turn your sorrow into wonder
Dream alone, go have your fun.
Life is only…
Life is only…
Life is only…

Songwriters: Raymond Douglas Davies

11 Comments Add yours

  1. Hey, if it’s good enough for John Lennon… 🙂

    On a more serious note, it’s a nice tune I had not heard before.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Glad to introduce you to it, Christian 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. badfinger20 (Max) says:

    Good ear Lisa! I haven’t heard this in forever. Ray just has his own way of writing songs which I love.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Glad you like it and YES!

      Like

  3. memadtwo says:

    Great layers of sound. But the Kinks are good at that. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      🙂 Indeed. I love that live video. Makes me want to get back to going to live music events again.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. memadtwo says:

        I know. One thing I really really miss.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I have a “Kinks” habit. Great pick.
    “And aint that wonder”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Yes, I’m steadily growing my “Kinks” habit, have listened to this album over and over again while playing solitaire games.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are going back to the beginning. Ray is a great wordsmith.

        Liked by 1 person

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