|Single by The Kinks|
|Released||12 June 1970|
|Recorded||1966 - 1968|
|Label||Pye 7N 17961
|The Kinks singles chronology|
"Berkeley Mews", sometimes mislabeled as "Berkeley Men" or "Berkeley News", is a song written by Ray Davies and released by The Kinks as the B-side to their 1970 track, "Lola". Berkeley Mews is a small street in London.
"Berkeley Mews" was recorded during the sessions for The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society, despite not appearing on any lineups of said album. However, Reprise planned to release an album called Four More Respected Gentlemen in America at the same time that The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society was to release in the U.K. Later, once Reprise decided that the 15-track version of The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society was suitable for American release, the Four More Respected Gentlemen album was shelved, leaving "Berkeley Mews" unreleased.
An acetate from March 1968 was later discovered, with a pairing of "Rosemary Rose" (another shelved track from The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society) and "Berkeley Mews" on it. This could have possibly been an early proposed single.
In 1969, the song was released for the first time on a U.S. compilation album, Then, Now, and Inbetween. A year later, the track saw release in the U.K. as the B-side of their immensely popular single, "Lola" although a Dave Davies-penned track, "Mindless Child of Motherhood", was the American B-side. The "Lola" single hit #2 in Britain.
Upon purchasing the "Lola" single, Pete Quaife (who had quit the band by the single's release date) was shocked to hear "Berkeley Mews" on the flipside. "I thought, is that me? Wait a minute - it is me!" Quaife said.
Music and lyrics
The song, like most Kinks songs, is sung by Ray Davies. The piano, played by session man Nicky Hopkins, is played in a honky-tonk fashion. The track also features brass at the end, most unusual for a The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society era track.
The lyrics talk about a man who believed he had found an "intellect" in Berkeley Mews, only to discover that she "drowned [his] conversation with champagne" and "left [him] reeling." He then says to her, "You know that you left me broken hearted in Berkeley Mews."
"Berkeley Mews" made an appearance on the 1972 album The Kink Kronikles, as well as the album Picture Book. It also was added as a bonus track to some CD reissues of The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society.