Dead End Street (song)

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"Dead End Street"
Dead End Street cover.jpg
Single by the Kinks
B-side"Big Black Smoke"
Released18 November 1966 (1966-11-18) (UK)
Format7-inch 45 rpm single
Recorded21 October 1966
StudioPye (No. 2), London
Songwriter(s)Ray Davies
Producer(s)Shel Talmy
The Kinks UK & US singles chronology
"Sunny Afternoon"
"Dead End Street"
"Waterloo Sunset"

"Dead End Street" is a song by the British band the Kinks from 1966, written by main songwriter Ray Davies. Like many other songs written by Davies, it is to some degree influenced by British Music Hall. It was originally released as a non-album single, but has since been included as one of several bonus tracks from the Face to Face CD. The song, like many others by the group, deals with the poverty and misery found in the lower classes of English society. The song was a big success in the UK, reaching #5 on the singles charts, but only reached #73 in the United States.[1] In 1976 it ranked #72 on New Musical Express's list of the Top 100 Singles of All Time.[2] Some labels list the song as "Deadend Street".

Promotional film[edit]

A mimed promotional film (precursor to the modern music video) was produced for the song in late 1966. It was filmed on Little Green Street, a diminutive eighteenth century lane in North London, located off Highgate Road in Kentish Town.

Little Green Street, location of the "Dead End Street" Music Video.

The film was shot in black and white, and featured each member of the band dressed as an undertaker, as well as playing various other characters throughout. With a length of roughly 3:15 in total. Dave Davies says that the BBC disliked the film, with the group dressed as Victorian pallbearers and one of their roadies in a nightshirt suddenly leaping out of the coffin as they put it down on the pavement, claiming it was in bad taste.[3]

The song was recorded at a time when bassist Pete Quaife had left the band after a scooter accident, and was replaced by John Dalton. Quaife had returned to the group by the time the promotional film was shot.

Covers and alternative versions[edit]

"Dead End Street" has been covered by the Jam. The song and its music video influenced Oasis's #1 hit "The Importance of Being Idle" from 2005.[4] An unreleased alternative recording of the song from October 1966 was issued in December 2008 on the Kinks 6-CD box set Picture Book. In 2010, Davies also recorded this as a duet with Amy Macdonald on the album See My Friends.



  1. ^ "U.S. Chart Positions". Archived from the original on 6 February 2009. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  2. ^ " NME Greatest Singles Lists". Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  3. ^ "Dave Davies Returns to Little Green Street and talks about Dead End Street". Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  4. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine (31 May 2005). "Don't Believe the Truth – Oasis | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 13 June 2014.

External links[edit]