Drivin' (The Kinks song)

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Single by The Kinks
from the album Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire)
B-side "Mindless Child of Motherhood"
Released 20 June 1969 (UK)
Format 7" vinyl
Recorded May–June 1969 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
Genre Pop rock
Label Pye 7N 17776 (UK)
Writer(s) Ray Davies
Producer(s) Ray Davies
The Kinks singles chronology
"Plastic Man"
Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire) track listing

"Drivin'" is a track penned by The Kinks's Ray Davies. The song appeared on the 1969 concept album, Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire).


"Drivin'," on May 1, 1969, was one of the first two tracks to be worked on by The Kinks (the other being its B-side, "Mindless Child of Motherhood"). In Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire), Drivin' shows the protagonist, Arthur Morgan, convincing his wife, Rose, to forget all of her problems (and the upheaval going on in the world) and take a drive. However, within the context of the concept album, the song offers only a brief respite from the prevailing anxieties.[1]

According to critic Johnny Rogan and author Thomas Kitts, "Drivin'" is based on real experiences from Ray Davies' childhood when his family drove from London to the country.[2][1]

Release and reception[edit]

"Drivin'" was the first single pulled from Arthur. Released in the U.K. and continental Europe (but not the U.S.), it did not chart at all, making it the first song by The Kinks (aside from their pre-"You Really Got Me" singles) to do so. Dave Davies said of the track, "[It] was a com promise record, it wasn't that bold."[3] The follow-up single, "Shangri-La", also didn't make a dent in the charts.[1]

The track appeared on the compilation album, Picture Book.

The song was praised by AllMusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine for its "lazy grace".[4] Rogan praises its "convincing lyrics," "sumptuous melody" and the "amusing percussive touches" added by Kinks' drummer Mick Avory towards the end of the song.[2] Kitts comments that the song's rhythm, as well as some of the guitar playing by Ray's brother Dave Davies, effectively simulates a "leisurely car ride up and down hills and around curves."[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Kitts, T.M. (2008). Ray Davies: Not Like Everybody Else. Routledge. pp. 135–137. ISBN 041597769X. 
  2. ^ a b Rogan, J. (1998). The Complete Guide to the Music of the Kinks. Omnibus Press. pp. 70–71. ISBN 0711963142. 
  3. ^ "Dave Davies talks about landmarks in Kinks history ...". NME. February 1971. 
  4. ^ Erlewine, S.T.. "Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire)". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-05-01. 

External links[edit]