Heart of Gold (The Kinks song)

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"Heart of Gold"
Song by The Kinks
from the album State of Confusion
Released10 June 1983
RecordedJanuary 1983 at Konk Studios, London
Songwriter(s)Ray Davies
Producer(s)Ray Davies

"Heart of Gold" is a song by the British rock band The Kinks. Written by Ray Davies, the song appeared on the band's 1983 album State of Confusion.


"Heart of Gold" is an acoustic ballad in half-time.[1][2] Music critic John Mendelsohn describes it as being country music-ish.[2] Musician magazine finds the guitar work reminiscent of the Kinks earlier album Muswell Hillbillies.[3] It was, according to Ray Davies, written about the birth of his and Pretenders front woman Chrissie Hynde's daughter, Natalie, in 1983.[1][4][5] According to Davies, it was also inspired by a comment by Anne, Princess Royal in which she told intrusive photographers to "naff off."[1][3][5] Davies has stated that "I wrote about it imagining I was a photographer, but really it was about Chrissie having her first baby. Both she and Princess Anne seem to be quite anonymous people at times."[1] However, Mendelsohn does not find the claim that the song was inspired by Princess Anne to be very credible.[2] Musician describes the song's protagonist as being "tough but tender."[3] Mendelsohn describes her as having "an abrasive exterior and a new baby daughter."[2] The song was recorded in early 1983, at the same time as "Young Conservatives" (which precedes the song in State of Confusion's running order).[4]

Release and reception[edit]

"Heart of Gold" was first released as the ninth track on State of Confusion (eighth on non-cassette versions of the album.) It has since appeared on compilation albums such as Come Dancing with The Kinks[6] and Picture Book,[7] as well as the box set The Arista Years.

The song was cited as a highlight from State of Confusion by AllMusic critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine, who also described it as "charming."[8][6] Musician also found it to be one of the "best moments" from the album.[3] Music critic John Mendelsohn claimed that "in a better world, 'Heart of Gold'...would have been an even bigger hit than 'Come Dancing.'"[2] Mendelsohn particularly praised the "bright acoustic guitars and grin-inducing Davies brothers harmonies on the choruses."[2]


  1. ^ a b c d Rogan, Johnny (1998). The Complete Guide to the Music of the Kinks. Omnibus Press. p. 139. ISBN 0711963142.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Mendelsohn, John (1985). The Kings Kronikles. University of California. p. 196. ISBN 9780688029838.
  3. ^ a b c d Musician, Issues 57-67. Amordian Press. 1983. pp. 63–6489.
  4. ^ a b Hinman, Doug. All Day and All of the Night. p. 262.
  5. ^ a b Schragis, Steven (August 1987). "Love Was a Many Splendored Thing". Spy. p. 20. Retrieved 2015-03-24.
  6. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Come Dancing with the Kinks: The Best of the Kinks 1977-1986 [1986 CD Version]". Allmusic. Retrieved 2015-03-24.
  7. ^ Jovanovic, R. (2013). God Save The Kinks: A Biography. Aurum Press. ISBN 9781781311370.
  8. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "The Kinks: State of Confusion > Review" at AllMusic. Retrieved 24 November 2011.

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