Big Sky (song)
|album track by The Kinks from the album The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society|
|Released||22 November 1968|
|Recorded||Autumn 1968 at Pye Studios, London|
|Genre||Rock, folk rock|
Sanctuary (2004 Reissue)
|The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society track listing|
"Big Sky" is a song by the British rock band The Kinks. Appearing on their critically acclaimed album The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society, the song was written by Ray Davies.
The lyrics of "Big Sky" tell about how "big sky looked down on all the people looking up at the big sky," and how "big sky looked down on all the people who think they got problems ... but big sky is too big to sympathize." Ray Davies originally came up with the song at a hotel in Cannes. Davies said, "I spent an evening with all these people doing deals. The next morning at the Carlton Hotel I watched the sun come up and I looked at them all down there, all going out to do their deals. That's where I got the "Big sky looking down on all the people" line. It started from there." At one point, Davies was asked whether the "Big sky" was God, he refused to give a clear answer.
"Big Sky" was one of two track recorded in Autumn 1968 (the other being "Last of the Steam-Powered Trains"), after Ray Davies had convinced Pye to withdraw the original 12-track version of The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society. Since it was written far prior to its recording, author Andy Miller speculates that the song, like "Picture Book", was intended to be on a canceled Ray Davies solo album, but upon the project's collapse, it was used for The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society.
"Big Sky" was one of two tracks from The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society that was performed live ("Last of the Steam-Powered Trains" is the other) by The Kinks. The song was performed in a more heavy rock style, which Andy Miller described as "horrible." The song was dropped from the band's live set after 1972, and hasn't been performed by either Ray Davies or Dave Davies since.
Release and reception
"Big Sky" first saw release on The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society, where it was the sixth track. Despite not being released as a single, the song also appeared on the compilation album Picture Book and the bootleg album Good Luck Charm.
Critic Robert Christgau noted the track for being "an acrimonious anti-religious song which exemplifies fictional song technique." Rolling Stone praised "the almost mystical resignation of 'Big Sky,' which transplants 'Waterloo Sunset' to an equally unforgiving country locale." Author Andy Miller greatly commended the track, saying "the Kinks' version of 'Big Sky' contains some of the most beautiful, thunderous music they ever recorded, aligned to a vulnerability and warmth no other group - and I mean no other group - could ever hope to equal. It is a perfectly balanced production."
Ray Davies himself has claimed that "Big Sky" was one of his favorite Kinks songs, despite being unhappy with the Kinks' performance of the track. He said, "Maybe I wasn't the right person to sing it. Knowing I got that image across and the fact that a lot of people like the song is enough. But my performance is really bad.... It just wasn't recorded properly..."
- Miller, Andy. Kinks' The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society.
- Jovanovic, Rob. God Save The Kinks: A Biography.
- Christgau, Robert (10 April 1969). "Kinks Kountry". The Village Voice (New York). ISSN 0042-6180. Retrieved 9 November 2011.
- "The Kinks: Album Guide". RollingStone.com. Retrieved 9 November 2011.