*REWRITE ALERT* This SongWithoutWhich was first blogged October 27 2004.
If you wanted to create an image in your head of what London was like at a certain point in time, say, around 1970 give or take a couple of years, you could do worse than close your eyes and listen to this. "Waterloo Sunset" is like being on the London Eye, looking around from a great height at 360 degrees of this fantastic city, yet being able to peer through the curtains, close-up, at the life of everyone that makes up the whole story. While bands like The Who told the story of disaffected youth, the ones who set themselves apart and dared to try to resist The System, The Kinks tell this story about those who conformed, who bent to the task of carving out a living in what was a fairly monochrome place back then: "Every day I look at the world from my window/Chilly chilly is the evening time/Waterloo sunset." It's like watching a film of London taken from a very great distance, and then drawing closer, closer, until you're focusing on Terry and Julie, meeting near Waterloo Bridge on a Friday after work. There's such love in this song, such solidarity and empathy for the lives of the millions of us who go largely unnoticed.