David Watts (song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

"David Watts"
Single by the Kinks
from the album Something Else by the Kinks
A-side "Autumn Almanac" (US & Europe)
Released 15 September 1967 (1967-09-15)
Format 7-inch 45 rpm single
Recorded February–March 1967
Studio Pye (No. 2), London
Length 2:27
Label Reprise 0647 (US)
Songwriter(s) Ray Davies
Producer(s) Ray Davies
The Kinks US singles chronology
"Waterloo Sunset"
"David Watts"

"David Watts" is a song written by Ray Davies that originally appeared on the Kinks's 1967 album Something Else by the Kinks.[1] It was also the American and Continental Europe B-side to "Autumn Almanac". It has been included on several compilation albums, including The Kink Kronikles (1972).


It is about the singer's great admiration of fellow schoolboy David Watts, who appears to have a "charmed life." There is an undercurrent of either deep envy or, as AllMusic put it, "a schoolboy crush." It is also, as Jon Savage has written, one of Ray Davies' "sharpest homoerotic songs". As Ray Davies has confirmed in The Kinks: The Official Biography by Savage, "David Watts is a real person. He was a concert promoter in Rutland". Ray goes on to relate how the real Watts was gay and demonstrated an obvious romantic interest in brother Dave. In this light, lines like "he is so gay and fancy free"; and "all the girls in the neighbourhood try to go out with David Watts....but can't succeed.." provide a second level of interpretation based on this ironic in-joke.[2]

The Jam version[edit]

"David Watts"
Single by The Jam
from the album All Mod Cons
B-side " "A" Bomb in Wardour Street"
Released 18 August 1978 (1978-08-18)
Genre Mod revival
Label Polydor
Songwriter(s) Ray Davies
Producer(s) Vic Smith, Chris Parry
The Jam singles chronology
"News of the World"
"David Watts"
"Down in the Tube Station at Midnight"

The song was later covered by The Jam, who released it on 18 August 1978 as the first single from their third studio album, All Mod Cons. The Jam version, which reached No. 25 in the UK Singles Chart, featured bassist Bruce Foxton on vocals rather than Paul Weller, as it was not in the right key for the Jam frontman.[3] It was backed by "'A' Bomb in Wardour Street", also from All Mod Cons.


  1. ^ "Kinks Song List". Kindakinks.net. Retrieved 2014-06-13.
  2. ^ Savage, Jon The Kinks : The Official Biography London: Faber and Faber, 1984 pp.94–96
  3. ^ "David Watts by The Jam Songfacts". Songfacts.com. Retrieved 2014-06-13.

External links[edit]