Berkeley Mews

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"Berkeley Mews"
Single by the Kinks
A-side"Lola"
Released12 June 1970 (1970-06-12) (UK)
Format7-inch single
Recorded1966–1968
Genre
Length4:03
LabelPye 7N 17961 (UK)
Songwriter(s)Ray Davies
Producer(s)Ray Davies
The Kinks UK singles chronology
"Victoria"
(1969)
"Berkeley Mews"
(1970)
"Apeman"
(1970)

"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.

Background[edit]

"Berkeley Mews" was recorded during the sessions for The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society, despite not appearing on any lineups of the album. However, Reprise planned to release an album called Four More Respected Gentlemen in America at the same time that Village Green Preservation Society was to release in the UK. Later, once Reprise decided that the 15-track version of 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.[1] This could have possibly been an early proposed single.[1]

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.[2]

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.[3]

Music and lyrics[edit]

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 features brass at the end, quite unusual for a The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society-era track.[3]

The lyrics talk about a man who believed he had found an "intellect" in Berkeley Mews, only to discover that this person "drowned [his] conversation with champagne" and "left [him] reeling." He ends by saying, "You know that you left me broken hearted in Berkeley Mews."

Other appearances[edit]

"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.

Reception[edit]

"Berkeley Mews" was cited as a highlight from The Kink Kronikles by Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Hinman, Doug. The Kinks: All Day and All of the Night.
  2. ^ "Official Charts Company : Lola". Officialcharts.com. Archived from the original on 2014-04-27. Retrieved 2014-06-14.
  3. ^ a b Miller, Andy. Kinks' The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society.
  4. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "AllMusic 'The Kinks Kronikles'".