Certain Songs #876: The Kinks – “Do It Again”

Album: Word of Mouth
Year: 1984

So while I was glad that The Kinks had their biggest single in nearly two decades — number 6 in the U.S. — with “Come Dancing,” outside of the killer bridge, I didn’t feel any particularly affinity for it as a song.

And I really didn’t like the album it featured on, 1983’s anonymously-rocking State of Confusion, which I probably should have revisited for this, but I didn’t. Much better was the follow-up, 1984’s “Word of Mouth,” which had a pair of stellar tracks: Dave Davies’ lament “Living on a Thin Line” and Ray Davies’ umpteenth song about life on the road, “Do It Again.”

But with an opening chord reminiscent of “A Hard Day’s Night” and a synth wash not so far from “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” that turned into some rock solid power chords that coulda been used two decades prior, “Do It Again” somehow balanced past glories and their more recent big sound extremely well.

And, of course, Ray hadn’t yet lost his knack for building a memorable chorus:

Then it’s back where you started (started)
Here we go round again
(Here we go round again)
Back where you started
Come on do it again
Do it again

With Dave Davie contributing a couple of memorable guitar solos, searing leads and backing vocals, “Do It Again” may not quite have hit the giddy peaks of the past, but very few bands were capable of putting out a song this memorable 20 years down the line.

I have vivid memories of watching The Kinks debut “Do It Again” on Saturday Night Live the weekend before the album came out, and — especially considering how much I disliked State of Confusion — getting really really excited, as I loved it from the start in a way I hadn’t loved any of their singles from this period.

Word of Mouth marked the end of the the second popularity phase of The Kinks. Despite the SNL appearance, it was their worst-charting record since 1975. While they would release records — at a reduced frequency — for yet another decade, it was only the die-hards (like your humble correspondent) who cared. Of course, I’d buy a new Kinks album if it came out tomorrow.

“Do It Again”

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