The best period of the best band ever with the best songwriter ever is what I think. You?
― Dr. C, Saturday, 15 December 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
― jess, Saturday, 15 December 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
Best song is still 'Waterloo Sunset' by a watery mile.
Other greats: 'Well-Respected Man', 'Dedicated Follower of
Fashion', 'See My Friend'. I'm stating the obvious. All these songs
are vital from my POV. Others too. 'Walter', 'Wonderboy',
'Dandy', perhaps even 'Animal Farm'.
Other more interesting questions for me might be - what are their
limits? What are their kinks? Did they simply decline through 70s-80s
or are there saving graces? (I like 'Come Dancing' cos it was on Max
When I think about some of the songs I mentioned above, what strikes
me is an of mixture of emotions. I associate them with childhood -
hence their allure; but hence, also, a slight scariness, a darkness
and residue of the unexplained (things I didn't dare to ask my
parents about?), which can also only come from that period of life.
The Kinks were not totally cosy, even when they wanted to be.
― the pinefox, Saturday, 15 December 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
― Nude Spock, Saturday, 15 December 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
Ray Davies's sneer at suburban values is a bit obvious and ikky at times.
That's the only problem I have with the Kinks of that period.
― N., Saturday, 15 December 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
― Nude spock, Saturday, 15 December 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
― Oliver, Saturday, 15 December 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
The darkness in them shows up in the difference between the two
albums, in songs like 'Phenomenal Cat', 'Wicked Annabella', and 'All
Of My Friends Were There', which reminds me of this radio interview
with Dave Davies: the song seems like a dress rehearsal for a
birthday party given by his brother for him: in a heartbreakingly
innocent way he recounts his shame at being shown to be old in front
of all his friends, as if the harm had been intentional. But,
really, it was too much, too easy for his reaction to appear
unreasonable, for it not to have depended on the secret knowledge
I love the raw energy in 'You Really Got Me' (on account of which I
bought their first album, but I never really warmed to the other
songs before I lost it) and the sweetness in 'Love Me Till The Sun
Shines'. Ray Davies' songs are fragile and proud.
I want to explore backwards (Face To Face) and forwards up to
Muswell Hillbillies, which my friend recommended. I got To
The Bone for an office Christmas party exchange but haven't
listened to it much. On it, I like 'Lola' and 'I'm Not Like Everyone
― youn, Saturday, 15 December 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
― mark s, Saturday, 15 December 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
I'm inclined to agree with you, Dr. C.
― Arthur, Saturday, 15 December 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
Sometimes I find it difficult to listen to some of their very famous
singles because they have been tainted by the Sixties nostalgia
industry. The Kinks were one of the most innovative bands of that
decade, but it doesn't do their reputation any good when their songs
appear on tacky compilations next to horrible tracks by the likes of
Herman's Hermits and the Troggs.
I didn't listen to the Kinks much during the Britpop years of the mid-
90s. I was busy listening to dance music and post-rock at the time.
However, over the last few months I've spent a lot of time listening
to their albums again. I've begun to appreciate the songs of Dave
Davies too. His lyrics were often clumsy and his voice wasn't great,
but tracks such as "Funny Face" are powerful rockers. Dave Davies was
one of the pioneers of a musical style now referred to as "freakbeat".
― Mark Dixon, Saturday, 15 December 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
I listened some tracks from the re-issue of the first album this
morning. Their second single, You Still Want Me from 1964, knocks me
flat each time I hear it. Partly because it's a good song, finely
balanced between girl/boy pop and something darker altogether, but
mainly because there first glimpses of RD's genius are there if you
know where to look. The opening power chords are arresting enough, if
not exactly *wild*, but the way that they step on the gas and get the
two-line verse over-and-done-with gives the massive chorus more punch
than you could dare to expect. The killer moment though, comes in the
middle-eight. The first line, ("The smile/on your lips/is for me")
gives nothing away, sounding like most middle eights *did* in 1964 -
functional bridges to get back to one last verse before nailing the
last few choruses. The second line ascends with an identikit
Merseybeat melody ("They were meant/for me to kiss") which is so
disappointingly sugary that it sounds like it was borrowed from a
Freddie and The Dreamers b-side. Then, on a sixpence and with a
slight crack in his voice, Ray stands the song on its head, nailing a
mood of barely evident but nonetheless real veiled nastiness - "And
you/were meant/to LOVE ME darlin'." It's almost as if
the 'merseybeat' melody line is just a feint before the killer punch
hits home. You Really Got Me and All Of The Day… perfected and
amplified this mood soon after, but that was just one aspect of the
Just to comment on some of the upthread comments :
The Pinefox :*a slight scariness, a darkness and residue of the
unexplained*. Yes, definitely.
Nick D : *Ray Davies's sneer at suburban values is a bit obvious and
ikky at times* Don't agree at all - it's a popular misconception
but, I think, wrong. Depends on the song, or the verse, or the line,
but RD's a mass of contradictions. Though at times he DOES sneer,
more often than not pride and affection shows through - a sense of
the importance of home and family values, even when they're
restrictive ties or old-fashioned, or long dead. Davies is one of the
few writers to tackle this with any depth - I suppose Arthur is the
best known example of this but it's there in innumerable songs -
Rosie, Situation Vacant, Autumn Almanac, Two Sisters.....
― Dr. C, Monday, 17 December 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
'Rainy Day In June' sounds like a song I should have heard by now.
Home and family - this is insightful. Possibly the other contenders
on the topic are Difford / Tilbrook?
― the pinefox, Monday, 17 December 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
― fritz, Monday, 17 December 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
And they invented T-Rex! Listen to King Kong from the 'Arthur'
reissue if you wondered where Marc Bolan got his sound from.
I am also attracted to the way in which most of the songs hide their
emotional core. For example, "Afternoon Tea" is about the break-up of
a relationship, but this is glossed over in two verses. The song is
dominated by a number of jaunty choruses. It is poignant because it
only hints at the sadness behind the singer's happy mask. Our
imaginations fill in the gaps. If Davies had spelt it all out the
song might have been self-pitying.
It is ironic that many of Davies's most personal songs are about
other people. For example, "Two Sisters" is a veiled account of
tensions between him and his brother. Even the heartfelt "Waterloo
Sunset" spends more time describing scenery and characters than it
does in telling us what is going on in the author's head.
This emotional blankness and passivity is also prevalent in the post-
Cale Velvet Underground songs of Lou Reed. Davies and Reed both have
flat, understated voices and both songwriters hide behind irony. The
songs on "Loaded" and the "1969" live album often sound light and
happy, but the lyrics convey deep sadness beneath the sometimes camp
surfaces. As with Davies's "Two Sisters", Reed uses observational
songs ("Lisa Says", "New Age") to convey troubled aspects of his own
― Mark Dixon, Monday, 17 December 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
What does "hiding behind irony" mean?
I can't really think of very much in the way of irony in VU lyrics
(actually as I recall, they seem to be either incredibly direct or
just nonsense stream-of-consciousness), but Davies uses irony to
satirize his culture: ("House In The Country", "Dedicated Follower of
Fashion") and more often than not he skewers himself and his peers
along with the nominal target of the satire. How is that hiding?
"Reed uses observational songs ("Lisa Says", "New Age") to convey
troubled aspects of his own personality."
How do you know this? Couldn't he be trying to convey aspects of
Lisa's personality? After singing "Heroin" and the bits about sailors
and sucking ding dongs in Sister Ray, did Lou really need to use
distancing techniques to say what he wants?
I don't understand your whole point about how writing about
characters/writing observationally is more detatched or "emotionally
blank" than writing in the 1st person (which both Reed and Davies did
a good part of the time anyway).
I know I'm being picky, but I'm just trying to work through your post
in my head here. Thanks.
I suppose I should have been more explicit in saying that I link
Davies and Reed in my mind because they both project an ambiguous
sexual identity in many of their songs. "See My Friends" is the first
Kinks song to do this. The emotional core of the song is very
difficult to reach because the lyrics seem so mysterious. Davies only
openly touched on sexuality in a few songs ("David Watts" and "Lola"
are obvious examples), but many post-66 Kinks songs display a
theatrical campness ( such as "Mr. Songbird").
Kinks songs in general seem to contain a passive masculinity, which
is at odds with the macho romanticism of most 60s rock. This
passivity can be glimpsed as early as "Tired of Waiting for You".
Many of Davies's songs seem to be about being on the sidelines and
watching other people (e.g. "Waterloo Sunset"). I don't know how much
you can link this passivity to sexuality. I think a lot of it stems
from his persona of being a man who is old before his time. While
most rock stars were making utopian claims for freedom, Davies had a
love/hate relationship with tradition. His ambition was to own a
house in the suburbs.
"Hiding behind irony" means being playful and indirect. In the case
of "Afternoon Tea", a sad story is conveyed through a jaunty, happy
song. Davies was very emotionally disturbed for large parts of his
career and he chose to express this through ambiguity and distance,
rather than through angst.
For me, Reed's songs during 1969-70 share many qualities with the
Kinks. Incidentally, Reed was a Kinks fan. By that time most rock
bands were getting very heavy, but the Kinks and the Velvets were
still doing pop songs. Pop is often seen as "feminine", while rock is
macho. The performance of "Lisa Says" on the 1969 album almost has a
50s pop quality to it, especially the "why am I so shy" section. It
is ironic that the man who wrote "Sister Ray" is suddenly
singing "why am I so shy". Reed seems to be hiding his troubles
behind gentle songs. Okay, so I'm guessing that Reed used "New Age"
as a way of conveying troubled aspects of his own personality.
However I know for sure that the girl in "Rock 'n' Roll" is based on
Reed , because he said so in an interview.
― fritz, Tuesday, 18 December 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link
― Aaron W (Aaron W), Monday, 10 March 2003 16:10 (seventeen years ago) link
― Amateurist (amateurist), Monday, 10 March 2003 16:13 (seventeen years ago) link
― Rockist Scientist, Monday, 10 March 2003 16:22 (seventeen years ago) link
― Aaron W (Aaron W), Monday, 10 March 2003 16:33 (seventeen years ago) link
"Face to Face" and "Something Else" are two of the best records of the classicrock era, etc. Their early rockers are also quite good and actually I prefer them these days to the more commonly lauded stuff, they're crass and fun. "Village Green" is a record I find a bit overrated, but it certainly has its supporters, and there are some good songs there. I never could stand "Arthur" or most of their post-1970 work, it just sounds like fairly one-dimensional sloppy rock to me, which might work for other people. "Muswell Hillbillies" is their last even reasonably good record, in my opinion. "Lola" is a classic of classic rock but the rest of that record is terrible. Ray D. just got more obvious as time went on and the band more professional, but they still weren't especially skilful. Their early stuff is amazingly badly recorded and I suppose that's part of the charm. As a great classic rock and roll story their early days are certainly fun to read about, so while I think they did some great stuff they, in my estimation, in no way rank with the great classic rock bands of the '60s--Stones, Beatles, Beach Boys, Moby Grape, Love. (Yeah, I know Moby Grape and Love did very few albums in the '60s, but if you add up the number of truly great songs by each it wouldn't be too far off from what the Kinks did.)
― Jess Hill (jesshill), Monday, 10 March 2003 17:33 (seventeen years ago) link
― christoff (christoff), Monday, 10 March 2003 18:15 (seventeen years ago) link
Face to Face from 1966. this seems to be the bridge between the fluffier (but great) pop stuff and the brilliant, mature songwriting that ray davies blossomed into later. "Rosie, Won't You Please Come Home?" is one of my favorite davies songs ever; a sad, pleading paen to a departed sister that totally blows my mind. the above-mentioned "rainy day in june" is also very intense and sort of ahead of it's time (and features some musique concrete!). plus, the cd reissue tacks on "I'm not like everybody else" and "This is where i belong", the latter being a totally sentimental tearjerker that literally makes me tingle.
Something Else from 1967 has "waterloo sunset" which i don't even need to write about. also a highligh is "no return", another underrated classic. you may notice that my tastes run towards the melancholy, reflective side of ray davies. however, i still enjoy stompers like "David Watts" and "love me til the sun shines".
The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society from 1968. my love of this record cannot be put into words. here, everything comes together - the sad, longing for a departed past; the brilliant melodic sense; the folky, yet not folk-rock arrangements. when i sing along to this in my car (this is my #1 favorite singalong record) i nearly cry during "Animal Farm" when davies sings "well she's far from home/and she's free from harm/and she need not far/i'm by her side". actually i have cried during this line. but it's lively, and bouncy, and just brilliant (as is essentially every song on the album). even the songs i didn't care for at first, like "village green", grew on my immensely. "people take pictures of each other" is brilliant postmodern commentary and social satire, reflecting the overall tone of the album: sad AND joyous. the cd bonus tracks include "days" which is another 4-star, 10/10 amazing brilliant pop song. if you take into consideration that this was made in 1968, post-Sgt Peppers, this really jumps out as a fish out of water, a product unfortunately cast at the wrong time.
Arthur from 1969. i'm also very fond of this record though it doesn't compare to village green. "victoria" rips, and would have belonged on village green. they really start to rock harder here, and it almost foreshadows their arena-rock future. dave davies really comes into his own here too, with "mindless child of motherhood" (which is a bonus track, but still....). not as essential but great nonetheless.
i'm also really big on Muswell Hillbillies which may be the one last great record they made. it's like Village green part 2.i've never listened to the rock operas all the way through.
― john fail (cenotaph), Monday, 10 March 2003 18:50 (seventeen years ago) link
― zaxxon25 (zaxxon25), Monday, 10 March 2003 19:25 (seventeen years ago) link
― Horace Mann (Horace Mann), Monday, 10 March 2003 19:39 (seventeen years ago) link
― Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Monday, 10 March 2003 20:33 (seventeen years ago) link
I'd actually search most (maybe apart from their 63-64-output), but their 1966-68 output (plus a compilation) will still be the most natural place to start.
However, most of their 70s and 80s output, with the exception "Come Dancin" and "Don't Forget To Dance" may be destroyed.
― Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Tuesday, 11 March 2003 00:29 (seventeen years ago) link
Really? That was immediately my favourite, and remains so. As a result of this thread I am downloading it now, being too lazy to find it somewhere in a box at this time of night. If we're talking about Kinks songs that have made me cry, that's right up there.
― N. (nickdastoor), Tuesday, 11 March 2003 02:46 (seventeen years ago) link
― N. (nickdastoor), Tuesday, 11 March 2003 02:49 (seventeen years ago) link
― john fail (cenotaph), Tuesday, 11 March 2003 03:19 (seventeen years ago) link
― N. (nickdastoor), Tuesday, 11 March 2003 03:32 (seventeen years ago) link
― N. (nickdastoor), Monday, 17 March 2003 00:20 (seventeen years ago) link
― Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Monday, 17 March 2003 00:38 (seventeen years ago) link
― Dr. C (Dr. C), Monday, 17 March 2003 09:24 (seventeen years ago) link
I consider "Afternoon Tea" the best ever non-single by The Kinks.
― Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Monday, 17 March 2003 11:54 (seventeen years ago) link
― girl scout heroin (iamamonkey), Monday, 17 March 2003 15:37 (seventeen years ago) link
― Horace Mann (Horace Mann), Monday, 17 March 2003 15:49 (seventeen years ago) link
Classic, all the way.
― Mr. Diamond (diamond), Monday, 17 March 2003 21:14 (seventeen years ago) link
Ray Davies wrote a book of short stories based around his songs a few years ago- can't remember the title, but the story based on "Afternoon Tea" was a highlight (the one on "Rock & Roll Fantasy" is cold, hard truth for us music geeks.)
Something Else By The Kinks = Best Kinks album! It's got Ray Davies' usual wonderful pop stuff PLUS some damn great Dave Davies Power Pop (which can't be said about Village Green, except maybe "Big Sky")
― Daniel_Rf (Daniel_Rf), Tuesday, 18 March 2003 00:29 (seventeen years ago) link
― Bobby D Gray (bedhead), Tuesday, 18 March 2003 04:20 (seventeen years ago) link
― Justyn Dillingham (Justyn Dillingham), Tuesday, 18 March 2003 07:01 (seventeen years ago) link
― N. (nickdastoor), Tuesday, 18 March 2003 12:34 (seventeen years ago) link
― J (Jay), Tuesday, 18 March 2003 14:48 (seventeen years ago) link
― Amateurist (amateurist), Saturday, 22 March 2003 04:29 (seventeen years ago) link
"Berkeley Mews" is good.
"Dedicated Follower of Fashion" is far superior to "Well Respected Man." "Dandy" is all right.
I went back and listened to all of them from "Kontroversy" thru "Muswell." "Face to Face" is still my pick for the only really essential one. "Village Green Preservation" had lost a lot of its allure, as had "Something Else." I do like "End of the Season" and love "Funny Face." "Arthur" except for "Victoria" and "Drivin'" sounded just as uninspired as ever. I don't much care for the stuff on "Great Lost Kinks" album although I'm glad I have it. "20th Century Man" is great.
― Jess Hill (jesshill), Saturday, 22 March 2003 21:21 (seventeen years ago) link
― N. (nickdastoor), Sunday, 23 March 2003 05:45 (seventeen years ago) link
― Jess Hill (jesshill), Sunday, 23 March 2003 20:44 (seventeen years ago) link
― Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Sunday, 23 March 2003 22:20 (seventeen years ago) link
I do too, but the lyrics are a bit odd- Greta Garbo, Betty Davis and Maryiln Monroe are all typecast as these poor weak females who couldn't deal (and we all know the truth's alot more complicated than that), while Valentino, Lugosi and Rooney just get blindingly obvious remarks about their image (Valentino's randy, Rooney's nice, Lugosi played vampires a lot) w/o any mention of the tragedy in their lives. I hate to politicise everything (especially a song as pretty as this one), but that song's got some major gender issues.
― Daniel_Rf (Daniel_Rf), Sunday, 23 March 2003 23:46 (seventeen years ago) link
― Arthur (Arthur), Monday, 24 March 2003 07:11 (seventeen years ago) link
― Rockist Scientist (rockistscientist), Tuesday, 25 November 2003 15:42 (sixteen years ago) link
I'm beginning to think I talk too much about The Kinks on ILM. Well, that album at least.
― Kate Silver (Kate Silver), Tuesday, 25 November 2003 15:48 (sixteen years ago) link
Andy Miller's recently published book about the Village Green album is a good read, if you're into that kind of thing.
― Rick Spence (spencerman), Tuesday, 25 November 2003 16:21 (sixteen years ago) link
― amateur!st (amateurist), Friday, 23 July 2004 05:07 (sixteen years ago) link
i think the best kinks kompilation is "kronikles." i don't think it's been remastered? the LPs sound truly lousy, like mono reprocessed for stereo. but the song selection is pretty much definitive.
over the years i've come to like the kinks less. i enjoy the early snotty stuff most these days and have a bit less patience for things like "village green" and "arthur." "face to face" and "something else" are the best albums-as-albums in my opinion; "muswell hillbillies" is nice too. there are a lot of cool b-sides, like "creeping jean." i like earlier obscure album tracks like "i'm on an island" and "gotta get the first plane home" as well. but i listen to them far less than i do the easybeats these days. and after 1970, i think they're fairly worthless except for a smattering of tracks--those koncept albums are pretty dire.
― eddie hurt (ddduncan), Friday, 23 July 2004 13:52 (sixteen years ago) link
― youn, Monday, 20 March 2006 01:22 (fourteen years ago) link
The sound on the current Reprise CD is just as bad. However, the song selection is impeccable (add these two discs with the best-of Rhino released about a decade ago, and you have one hell of a three disc set of essential pre-1971 Kinks). If I'm not mistaken, all of the tracks on -Kinks Kronikles- have appeared on the Castle remasters - if you have all of them, you can burn your own version of Kronikles which much superior sound.
― James, Monday, 20 March 2006 18:37 (fourteen years ago) link
― Chairman Doinel (Charles McCain), Monday, 20 March 2006 18:46 (fourteen years ago) link
― James, Monday, 20 March 2006 18:52 (fourteen years ago) link
― Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Monday, 20 March 2006 19:38 (fourteen years ago) link
The 70s catalogue is not worthy at all. 70s-80s Kinks is heavily overrated.
― Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Monday, 20 March 2006 19:44 (fourteen years ago) link
I love Muswill Hillbillies and Everybody's In Showbiz, and the first Preservation album has a few good songs (like "Sweet Lady Genevieve."). Past that, yeah, I can't disagree, though there are some highlights here and there. The three albums the Kinks cut for MCA in the late 80's (UK Jive, Live:The Road and Think Visual) are quite henious, from what I remember. I couldn't bear to listen to them much.
― James, Monday, 20 March 2006 19:49 (fourteen years ago) link
― Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Monday, 20 March 2006 19:50 (fourteen years ago) link
― Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Monday, 20 March 2006 19:52 (fourteen years ago) link
Which is one reason why I like it. The thing is, even though they are trying to "sound American," the songs are still a series of portraits of English life ("Have a Cuppa Tea?" Not American). The title gives it away, since Muswill Hill is a section of London. If the Kinks had tried to sound American in the matter of the Rolling Stones I might not like the record. But it' still the Kinks writing songs about English life to me, just in a different set of clothes, so to speak.
― James, Monday, 20 March 2006 19:54 (fourteen years ago) link
The KinksLola Versus Powerman and The Moneygoround Part One50th Anniversary, Multi-Format, Album Re-issuesOut December 18 on BMGAvailable to Order Now: https://thekinks.lnk.to/Lola50AnniversaryPR New Track "The Follower - Any Time 2020" https://thekinks.lnk.to/AnyTime2020PR
Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One, commonly abbreviated to Lola Versus Powerman, or just Lola, is the eighth studio album by The Kinks, recorded and released in 1970. A concept album ahead of its time, it’s a satirical appraisal of the music industry, including song publishers, unions, the press, accountants, business managers, and life on the road. One of the all time classic Kinks albums.
Let the 50th anniversary celebrations begin, as The Kinks unveil special multi-format release plans for the album as a lovingly produced Deluxe Box Set, 1LP, Deluxe 2CD, 1CD and digitally - to be released on December 18 via BMG.
• Limited Edition, Deluxe 10” Slipcased book pack (containing 60 page book, 3 X CDs, 2 X 7” singles, 4 X color prints)• 1LP Gatefold• 2CD Hardback Book• 1CD Softpack• Digital• HD Digital• D2C Limited Edition Exclusives (free with boxset orders): 7” Single, Enamel pin badge
The 50th Anniversary box set campaign launches with a brand new Ray Davies’ remix / medley of the Kinks track "Any Time" (titled "The Follower - Any Time 2020 Feat: Anytime by The Kinks"). https://thekinks.lnk.to/AnyTime2020PR
Originally written by Ray as a possible B-side for "Apeman", "Any Time" includes previously unreleased versions and excerpts of several Kinks tracks from the Lola album as well as added spoken word and sound effects. It is a concept piece about which Ray states “The isolation caused by Coronavirus can give people time to re-evaluate the world and re-assess their lives. Music can comfort the lonely, transcend time and it’s not the future or the past, yesterday, today or tomorrow. It’s anytime”. He adds, “I saw a way of making this unreleased 1970s track connect to an audience in 2020. I also saw a way of showing that music can time-travel, that memory is instantaneous and therefore can join us in the ‘now’. I put this together as something surreal then realized that it was really happening. The song has found its place - after its 50th Birthday!”
― Loud guitars shit all over "Bette Davis Eyes" (NYCNative), Thursday, 15 October 2020 00:31 (two weeks ago) link
awesome they're repressing it, vinyl copies are like 40 bucks minimum
― frogbs, Thursday, 15 October 2020 03:16 (two weeks ago) link