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Dead End Street (song)


Dead End Street (song)

"Dead End Street"
B-side "Big Black Smoke"
Released 18 November 1966 (UK)
Format 7" single (45 RPM)
Recorded 1966 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
Genre Rock
Label Pye 7N 17222 (UK)
Reprise 0540 (US)
Writer(s) Ray Davies
Producer Shel Talmy
The Kinks singles chronology

"Sunny Afternoon"
(Non-UK, 1966)
"Dead End Street"
"Waterloo Sunset"
"Mister Pleasant"
(Non-UK, 1967)

"Dead End Street" is a song by the British band The Kinks from 1966, written by main songwriter Ray Davies. Like many other songs written by Davies, it is slightly influenced by British Music Hall. It was originally released as a non-album single, but has since been included as one of several bonus tracks from the Face to Face CD. The song, like many others by the group, deals with the poverty and misery found in the lower classes of English society. The song was a big success in the UK, reaching #5 on the singles charts, but only reached #73 in the United States.[1] In 1976 it ranked #72 on New Musical Express's list of the Top 100 Singles of All Time.[2] Some labels list the song as "Deadend Street".

Music video

A music video was produced for the song in 1966, filmed on Little Green Street, a diminutive eighteenth century lane in North London, located off Highgate Road in Kentish Town.

The video was filmed in black and white, and featured each member of the band dressed as undertakers, as well as playing various other characters throughout. With a length of roughly 3:15 in total, it represents one of the first true "music videos". Dave Davies says that the BBC disliked the film, claiming it was in bad taste.[3]

The song was recorded at a time when Pete Quaife had left the band after a car accident. While bassist John Dalton performs on the track, Quaife had returned to the group by the time the video was shot.

Covers and alternative versions

The song has been covered by the Mod revival band The Jam.

The song and its music video influenced Oasis's #1 hit "The Importance of Being Idle" from 2005.[4]

An unreleased alternative recording of the song from October 1966 was issued in December 2008 on the Kinks 6-CD box set Picture Book.

In 2010, Davies also recorded this as a duet with Amy Macdonald on the album See My Friends.


  • It is unknown who played trombone on the song.


External links

  • Music video for Dead End Street

Kinks links

  • The Official Ray Davies Web Site
  • The Official Ray Davies Forum - "The Old Grey Board"
  • The Official Ray Davies Forum on YouTube

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