While ”Sunny Afternoon” appeared a breezy tune on the surface, it belied a scathing indictment of a brutal tax system that in itself would become a favorite preoccupation of English musicians, such as George Harrison’s ”Taxman” of the same period and would help drive The Rolling Stones into tax exile a few years later. To a sarcastically fluffy acoustic guitar and a lazily descending riff Davies defiantly kicks back to enjoy the fine summer weather while his fortune crumbles around him...It's an elementary mistake to confuse the speaker of a song or poem for the author. "Sunny Afternoon" is a breezy tune on the surface that contains a scathing indictment... of wealthy people like George Harrison who would complain that their taxes were oppressive.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
One of those minor questions that bugs you for years until finally you look it up: Was the Kinks' "Sunny Afternoon" a response to the Beatles' "Taxman"? No, apparently not. The Kinks' track was released as a single on Jun 3rd, 1966. "Taxman" wasn't released as a single, so it didn't come out until a month later, with the Aug 5 release of Revolver. Awful close, but it seems more likely that there was something in the air. In my search, however, I've discovered that one reviewer is an idiot: