Dave Davies, describing the song in his 1996 autobiography, said: "'Dead End Street' was the epitome, to me, of what the Kinks were all about. A song full of character, pathos, yet containing an underlying sense of hope. Reflecting a fondness for the past but at the same time expressing a determination and yearning for change. Anguished voices calling to a heartless world. A world where the plight of the ordinary person mattered little. It was interesting to note that more than ten years later, the Clash did a song called 'London Calling' that seemed to be inspired by 'Dead End Street'."