Karen: Have you ever heard a song that just seemed to somehow flip a switch inside of you, as if the proverbial light bulb went on over your head and you realized that you were hearing perfection? That's how I felt the first time I heard Waterloo Sunset by the Kinks -with lyrics by Ray Davies.
Karen: Waterloo Sunset may be the most beautiful pop song ever recorded. It's sweet but not cloying, it's lush but not over-produced; it just works. The music and the lyrics combine for a real experience. You can project yourself into this song, into the lives of Terry and Julie, see that dirty old river...Davies tells a story and pulls you along.
Karen: I've come to really appreciate Davies as a songwriter. I've always liked the Kinks, but it was only in recent years that I began to pay attention to Davies and his work. He might be the best lyricist in all of rock. I know, what about Lennon and McCartney? Dylan? Well, I'd put Davies up there with them any day.
Karen: When I was going through a rough patch a couple of years ago, this song, "Better Things", was a spiritual crutch for me. I don't know how many times I listened to it.
"Here's hoping all the days ahead Won't be as bitter as the ones behind you. Be an optimist instead, And somehow happiness will find you.
Forget what happened yesterday, know that better things are on the way. "
Karen: Davies has the ability to transport the listener any place, any time, and instantly impart a mood. "Celluloid Heroes" is a sad, thoughtful tune, about the often tragic fates of those who become 'stars'.
"You can see all the stars as you walk down Hollywood Boulevard,
Some that you recognize, some that you've hardly even heard of, People who worked and suffered and struggled for fame, Some who succeeded and some who suffered in vain."
Karen: It's hard to offer up just a handful of songs when there are so many that could be discussed here. I've only heard a small portion of Davies' recent solo work, so I can't say much about it, other than I've liked what I've heard. The songs Things are Gonna Change, Other People's Lives, and Stand Up Comic from his Other People's Lives album from 2006 are all great examples of Davies gifts as a storyteller and cultural commentator. Particularlywith Stand Up Comic, Davies laments the loss of good manners that seems prevalent today. In many songs, Davies yearns for a simpler life, where people and their social connections are the focal point of life.He mourns a bit for the loss of that world; yet he can also be surprisingly optimistic.
Karen: But Davies could also write some rousing good rock songs too. Check this out (and feel free to fast-forward through Casey Kasem!):
Our collaborators, Martinex1 and Redartz, have opened a new blog called Back in the Bronze Age... If you have liked the sorts of topics seen here on Bronze Age Babies, then you are going to feel right at home at Back in the Bronze Age... Give them a visit!
Karen and Doug
Bronze Age Babies, Unite!
On Sunday, 4/23/17, Martinex1, Doug, and Redartz gathered for a day of fun at C2E2 in Chicago. It was great to finally meet in person after years of online cameraderie.
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Karen and Doug met on the Avengers Assemble! message board back in September 2006. On June 16 2009 they went live with the Bronze Age Babies blog, sharing their love for 1970s and '80s pop culture with readers who happen by each day. You'll find conversations on comics, TV, music, movies, toys, food... just about anything that evokes memories of our beloved pasts!
Doug is a high school social science teacher and department chairman living south of Chicago; he also does contract work for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He is married with two adult sons and a daughter-in-law.
Karen originally hails from California and now works in scientific research/writing in the Phoenix area. She often contributes articles to Back Issue magazine. She is married. She hangs out with Joe Biden occasionally.
Believe it or not, the Bronze Age Babies have never spoken to each other...
We don't own property rights for any of the images we show on Bronze Age Babies -- those copyrights are retained by their respective owners. Most images are from books, etc. that we have individually purchased, while others have been copied from the Internet. All images are displayed here for the purpose of education and review within the "fair use" terms of U.S. Code: Title 17, Sec. 107. If we've used something we shouldn't have, please ask and we'll take it down. Thank you -- Doug and Karen
Dig Karen's Work Here? Then You Should Check Her Out in Back Issue!
BI #44 is available for digital download and in print. I've read Karen's article on reader reaction to Gerry Conway's ASM #121-122, and it's excellent. This entire magazine was fun! -- Doug
Back Issue #45
As if Karen's work on Spidey in the Bronze Age wasn't awesome enough, she's at it again with a look at the romance of the Vision and the Scarlet Witch in Back Issue's "Odd Couples" issue -- from TwoMorrows!
Karen's talking the Mighty Thor in the Bronze Age!
Click the cover to order a print or digital copy of Back Issue! #53