Sleepwalker was a resounding mid-career success for The Kinks. Rightfully so- it’s a great album! Between the title hit and other single, “Juke Box Music”, there are a slew of other fantastic songs on this really even album. Most fans will point to the opener, “Life On The Road”, the heartfelt ballad, “Brother”, maybe even “Stormy Sky”, or “Life Goes On”.
No, I’ll single out “Mr. Big Man”. Not because it’s among the few I haven’t already listed as part of popular memory, but because it is a quality song that somehow slips under the radar.
Among the great kiss-off songs in rock, “Positively 4th Street” by Bob Dylan probably deserves the number one spot. That vitrol, the unobscured understanding of hatred is classic for good reason.
Now consider “Mr. Big Man”. It tackles much of the same material, but from a different perspective. It’s haunting, really, as Ray Davies sings from the sadness of lost youth, to the nastyness of the changed character, and finally to the revelation that even though he is successfull, people know his true character.
This should be a Kinks classic, taking a deserved place on ‘greatest hits’ compilations. Of course, considering how many hits the band has anyway, it’ll never happen. Instead, now you’re in-the-know. Get Sleepwalker and blast “Mr. Big Man” as you pity him. Let’s be honest- we all know our own Mr. Big.