Sunday, July 24, 2011


THE MARQUIS OF KENSINGTON-The Changing of the Guard/Reverse Thrust Germany CBS 2841 1967

What a weekend it's been, it's been a scorching 102 degrees here in Lower Binfield, Flatland, a right wing nutter has killed close to 100 innocent people in far off Norway and the poster girl for dysfunctional young one hit wonders, has predictably, met her maker. Crack is wack people. Meanwhile back in the 60's..............

The Marquis of Kensington was a studio only concoction by arranger/producer Mike Leander.  The vocalist is actually Robert Wace, one of The Kink's early managers.  For the single's picture sleeves and subsequent TV appearances to plug the single Wace found a model to pretend to be the "Marquis of Kensington". It was originally released in the U.K. in May 1967 as Immediate IM 052.  Today's copy comes from Germany.

"The Changing of the Guard" is a campy slice of Swingin' London where Wace laments in a posh accent about how the country is going to hell and that all the wealthy and upper crust are forced to make do.  There's no better way of describing this number without quoting it's lyrics:

The changing of the guard is part of
our tradition
But now we find it's been applied to us
We're had to sell our stately homes to pay our debts and taxes
And no - one can afford a chauffeur driven Rolls
If we ever get invited to the palace
Then we'll all go there by bus

The changing of the guard, we used to be respected
As members of the aristocracy
The Earl of Windhamere has raised the mortgage on his mansion
And now he's paying back at thirty pound a week
Which he makes from showing people round the manor
For a half a dollar fee
Can't you see the way things use to be
Life was better then
Remember when we lived like Lords and ladies and gentlemen

The changing of the guard, we made our sacrifices
We haven't got a butler or a maid
Lord Firstcombe has got a son who's working as a waiter
Picking up the tips he earns enough to pay his rent
Lady Londondary has hocked the family silver
And the money's all been spent

The changing of the guard presents a different picture
To when Britannia used to rule the waves
Lady Annabelle Barley is a famous belly dancer
And not because she comes from a naval family
If our ancestors could see the way we're living
They'd be turning in their graves
It's delivered with typical session orchestration complete with harpsichord and some jazzy guitar and has a feel of great mid 60's Kinks jolly A-sides meets early Cat Stevens.  The flip side , "Reverse Thrust" rates as one of the more heinous 60's releases as it's merely the musical backing of the A-side BACKWARDS!

The A-side has been issued on numerous Immediate CD compilations, though not on either of the more recent/in print CD singles collections "The Immediate Singles Story" volumes!

Hear "The Changing Of The Guard":


Smashingbird said...

This is the dandiest band name ever - as is the singer (yum!) ; )

diskojoe said...

It's pretty ironic that the video came from a German TV show, considering the events that happened 20 yrs. before.

Julien Temple used a bit of that video on his recent BBC documentary about Dave Davies.

Finally, nice to hear a snippet of Billy Stewart's "Summertime", one of the greatest summer songs @ the end.