The Kinks 1963-1970 : Classic or Dud + Search and Destroy

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I've been steeling myself to throw my beloved Kinks to the ILM wolves for over a year - so finally, here we go!

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

doctor, i'm afraid i'm not familiar with the kinks at all, outside of 20 golden greats which is ace but it's also on lp which i havent been able to listen to for about two or three years now. so any info would be great.

jess, Saturday, 15 December 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

What I know, I like and admire greatly. I always felt they'd been slighted by History, so was glad when Britpop appeared to want to reverse that injustice c.1994. Whether it did so successfully and aptly, I won't now try to judge. I got to see them live that year, which I'm glad about.

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 Headroom c.1985.)

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

I like most of the Kinks stuff, but unlike most people, I think, I enjoy their later stuff more. The earlier, rawer sound is not so impressive or interesting in light of the million or so other bands with a similar sound. I know it sounds more punk or stripped down rock or whatever, it's just too simple to interest my ears much anymore.

Nude Spock, Saturday, 15 December 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

By 'later' do you mean their 65-69 work (which isn't stripped down at all)? In which case I don't think you're in a minority in the hipster crowd, anyway. OK, so 'You Really Got Me' and 'All Day and All of the Night' might get a lot of oldies radio play, but it's 'Something Else', 'The Village Green Preservation Society' and 'Arthur' that get all the critical acclaim. Other than those three, I'm very keen on 'Autumn Almanac' and 'Mr Pleasant'.

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

Yes, Nick, cuz when the post 1970 thread popped up, I realized that would be the real "later" stuff and that stuff I dislike intensely. I guess I like the middle aged stuff the best.

Nude Spock, Saturday, 15 December 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I like Lola. I like Lola vs. Power Man and the Money Go Round. Most people seem to dislike it, yet Lola's a big hit (which most hipsters detest). That came out in 1970, I think, and is their last good album, in my opinion. Some of the compilations that came out were good, though.

Nude spock, Saturday, 15 December 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Arthur = The Kinks' peak. And, in my opinion, it may be the best rock album to come out of 1960s Britain. The songwriting never lets up. From start to finish, it holds you in such a cathartic state. The sounds & the words are full of just the right doses of compassion, venom, and romance. Turn it up loud. It sounds good that way.

The early garage-rock stuff where the band hadn't started incorporating all the British music hall influences is great, too. They rock with a lot more abandon than the early Beatles records, the songwriting is eons better than the early Who, and they were more whimsical than the early Stones. If ya like the rock music and you ain't heard Kinks Kontroversy, geddit. Your socks will be rocked off.

Oliver, Saturday, 15 December 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I only know two albums - Something Else and Village Green Preservation Society. At first, my favorites were 'Starstruck', 'Two Sisters', and all the sweet songs on the the flip side of Something Else, imagining it as an LP.

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 between brothers.

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 Else'.

youn, Saturday, 15 December 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Favourite mark s popsong evah 1970-92-ish = Lola
Favourite mark s popsong evah 1992-ish to date = See My Fwends

mark s, Saturday, 15 December 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

"Rainy Day in June" is the most ominous song I've ever heard. Also, that hopeless, resigned Ray Davies world view in "I Go To Sleep", "Big Sky", "People Take Pictures of Each Other", "Dead End Street", "Did You See His Name", "Get Back in Line"--so great.

I'm inclined to agree with you, Dr. C.

Arthur, Saturday, 15 December 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Total classic. Ray Davies is my all-time favourite songwriter. For me, some of the best tracks from that period are "Rosie Won't You Please Come Home", "Mister Pleasant", "Two Sisters", "Do You Remember Walter" and "Shangri La".

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

The push-pull of Ray Davies's internal tug-of war, never mind the tension between him and Dave, is one of the main elements which makes the Kinks so irresistible. It's there in so many of their greatest songs - lyrically, melodically or sonically. Look at the expression on RD's face on many photographs and album covers. His expression and posture (whether a sceptical raised eyebrow or just a slight physical distance between him and the others) shows that while the others are *Kinks, having their photos taken*, he's looking ahead trying to figure out what it all means.

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 Kinks' genius.

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

Not sure that I know 'You Stil Want Me'. Your close analysis is fine.

'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

Their obsession was with decline and failure - in love affairs, in their band, of the British Empire - and their lyrical strength is in Davies' awareness that nostalgia is both seductive like Axl's "warm safe place where as a child I'd hide" and a kind of cartoon reduction of memory. It's a more conflicted view of the past than one hears in a lot of pop - "Dead End Street", not "Penny Lane".

fritz, Monday, 17 December 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Yes, Fritz. The Beatles circa '67 sound one-dimensional next to End Of The Season, Dead End Street, Autumn Almanac, Waterloo Sunset, Afternoon Tea, Wonderboy...

Dr. C, Monday, 17 December 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

They brought in 'Indian' elements before the Beatles (See My Friends, Fancy) and in a far less literal-minded way.

And they invented T-Rex! Listen to King Kong from the 'Arthur' reissue if you wondered where Marc Bolan got his sound from.

Dr. C, Monday, 17 December 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Oliver is spot-on about the earlier albums - ignore received opinion, Kinks, Kinda Kinks and Kinks Kontroversy are all great! If I had to pick one I'd go for Kinda Kinks - Don't Ever Change, Come On Now, Look for Me Baby, Something Better Beginning, Set Me Free, See My Friends, I Need You and the fantastic solo piano demo of I Go To Sleep.

Dr. C, Monday, 17 December 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

who's received wisdom is that? kinda, kontroversy, & something else are the very best of the kinks. village green and arthur are great, but the earlier 3 are IT.

fritz, Monday, 17 December 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Dr C - Your reference to Ray Davies's "internal tug-of-war" reminded me exactly why I like the Kinks so much. It is the ambiguities of the lyrics that intrigue me.

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 personality.

Mark Dixon, Monday, 17 December 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Mark, I'm really interested in your post. It seems like you're praising Reed and Davies for their ambiguity, but you make some odd value judgements about their technique along the way.

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.

fritz, Monday, 17 December 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Fritz, thanks for the interest in my posting. I apologize if it didn't make total sense, but I was quite tired when I was writing.

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.

Mark Dixon, Monday, 17 December 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Thanks for clarifying things, Mark.

fritz, Tuesday, 18 December 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

one year passes...
Just want to write that "Victoria" and "Waterloo Sunset" might be the two best songs ever written. Okay, I just did.

Aaron W (Aaron W), Monday, 10 March 2003 16:10 (seventeen years ago) link

I'd like to give a shout out to "Oklahoma, USA" from Muswell Hillbillies.

Amateurist (amateurist), Monday, 10 March 2003 16:13 (seventeen years ago) link

Classic from what I know of it. I've only realized in the past few years that I have not given the Kinks due credit (maybe because the only Kinks album my brother had when I was growing up was Soap Opera, which I liked at the time, but which now seems too silly). Of course, I heard other things on the radio, but didn't always know that what I was listening to was by the Kinks. I think they're underplayed and somewhat underappreciated in the U.S.

Rockist Scientist, Monday, 10 March 2003 16:22 (seventeen years ago) link

Was listening to them with girlfriend over the weekend and she said pretty much the same thing, "Why haven't I heard them more? All their songs are fantastic."

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

I second Amateurist's Oklahoma, USA, and in fact, the whole of Muswell Hillbillies -- but it's hard to find much fault with anything post-Kink Kontroversy.

christoff (christoff), Monday, 10 March 2003 18:15 (seventeen years ago) link

the kinks from 1966-1970 are one of my favorite musical artists ever. to me, they have a few ESSENTIAL albums:

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

love love love "She's Got Everything"

zaxxon25 (zaxxon25), Monday, 10 March 2003 19:25 (seventeen years ago) link

you ever notice how on Meat Puppets II Curt Kirkwood sounds just like Dave Davies?

Horace Mann (Horace Mann), Monday, 10 March 2003 19:39 (seventeen years ago) link

Unimpeachably ultra-classic, of course. Also I think about the second or third band I ever saw live, in 1975 or so. Waterloo Sunset is as lovely a pop song as has ever been recorded.

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Monday, 10 March 2003 20:33 (seventeen years ago) link

Classic, definitely.

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

even the songs i didn't care for at first, like "village green", grew on my immensely.

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

I am looking forward to hearing 'This is where I belong' - it sounds great. Does anyone know if Frank Black's cover is any good (I can't find the original online at the moment)

N. (nickdastoor), Tuesday, 11 March 2003 02:49 (seventeen years ago) link

i mean "village green", not "village green preservation society", but yeah, it's genius too.

john fail (cenotaph), Tuesday, 11 March 2003 03:19 (seventeen years ago) link

yeah, I know you mean 'village green' (I am confused - i don't like VGPS so much)

N. (nickdastoor), Tuesday, 11 March 2003 03:32 (seventeen years ago) link

I can't stop listening to 'Afternoon Tea' now. I never listened to it properly before and thought it was a bit twee.

N. (nickdastoor), Monday, 17 March 2003 00:20 (seventeen years ago) link

Classic. high point being Face To Face through Village Green.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Monday, 17 March 2003 00:38 (seventeen years ago) link

Animal Farm!

Dr. C (Dr. C), Monday, 17 March 2003 09:24 (seventeen years ago) link

I can't stop listening to 'Afternoon Tea' now. I never listened to it properly before and thought it was a bit twee.

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

I keep telling myself I'm not going to buy anymore Kinks albs. I already a really good greatest hits and the double-disc BBC set, and y'know, to get more would be at the exclusion of buying other, probably newer music. But I can't help myself. I bought Face to Face, and then Kinda Kinks, and I know that before long I'll have at least this 63-70 run of albums.
There are just TOO MANY great songs to not hear them all. I'm not usually completist like this. In fact I went through a very difficult ritual to cleanse myself of that disease, but I can't help myself anymore.

Horace Mann (Horace Mann), Monday, 17 March 2003 15:49 (seventeen years ago) link

Horace, you need it all up to Muswell Hilbillies.

Classic, all the way.

Mr. Diamond (diamond), Monday, 17 March 2003 21:14 (seventeen years ago) link

I can't stop listening to 'Afternoon Tea' now. I never listened to it properly before and thought it was a bit twee.

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

Yo, all I know is that it's springtime and Kinda Kinks was the absolute best soundtrack to driving artound with the top down today.

Bobby D Gray (bedhead), Tuesday, 18 March 2003 04:20 (seventeen years ago) link

More needs to be said about Arthur. It's got a few weak spots, and some of the performances could be better, but I think the flaws are more than made up for by "Some Mother's Son" and especially "Shangri-La," the most wrenching song the Kinks ever did. It's just perfect: the quiet fierceness of the verse, the somber horns, the way Ray sings "You can't go anywhere," then the crazy out-of-nowhere "All the houses in the street have got a name/Cuz all the houses in the street they look the same!" bit. Every time I hear them charge into the chorus ("Shangri-LAAAAAAAA") I think they might be my favorite band, period, not just my favorite Sixties band.

Justyn Dillingham (Justyn Dillingham), Tuesday, 18 March 2003 07:01 (seventeen years ago) link

Now I can't stop listening to 'Drivin'.

N. (nickdastoor), Tuesday, 18 March 2003 12:34 (seventeen years ago) link

Totally classic up to and including Muswell Hillbillies, intermittently classic thereafter.

J (Jay), Tuesday, 18 March 2003 14:48 (seventeen years ago) link

Only one person has mentioned "Days." The song's virtue is its directness. I find almost beyond affecting.

Amateurist (amateurist), Saturday, 22 March 2003 04:29 (seventeen years ago) link

I like the songs with Rasa.

"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

You find Shangri-La uninspired? Hell, you find Some Mother's Son and Yes Sir, No Sir, uninspired? Australia? Young and Innocent Days?


N. (nickdastoor), Sunday, 23 March 2003 05:45 (seventeen years ago) link

Sorry--I just find that kind of thing too obvious--some kinda bad musical number or something. Which is what a lot of Kinks music is, I think, so maybe that's the point. The more specific it is, the less it's trying to make some big point about the decline of the British empire or way of life--as if I care to begin with--the better I like it. And that's not mentioning RD's horrible later stuff, like that idiot song about Hollywood Boulevard...

Jess Hill (jesshill), Sunday, 23 March 2003 20:44 (seventeen years ago) link

I love Celluloid Heroes! It's great!

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Sunday, 23 March 2003 22:20 (seventeen years ago) link

I love Celluloid Heroes! It's great!

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

I remember John Mendelsohn complained about the lyrics to "Celluloid Heroes" in the liner notes to the Kinks Kronikles. He thought the "stars on Hollywood Blvd./actual movie stars" metaphor was too obvious or corny or something. It always sounded great to me. And the melody is timeless.

Arthur (Arthur), Monday, 24 March 2003 07:11 (seventeen years ago) link

eight months pass...
I bought the Kinks Ultimate Collection (2 CDs) and it seems like more than enough of the Kinks for me. Maybe they aren't as underrated as all that after all. I see people making comparisons to the Beatles, but I truly think the Beatles are way ahead. I do like several of their songs, but the earliest stuff seems to follow a very narrow formula, so a few songs are enough for me. Also the clever social observation in songs like "Dedicated Follower of Fashion" or "Plastic Man" is really annoying. I might conceivably check out The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society though.

Rockist Scientist (rockistscientist), Tuesday, 25 November 2003 15:42 (sixteen years ago) link

Yes, you should! I think, Village Green is one of the few albums one should own by the band, outside of a singles collection. Reminds me, I should order teh box set.

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

Anyone else think that 'Animal Farm' on the Village Green album sounds like a template for most of Echo and the Bunnymen's material?

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

seven months pass...
has anyone besides me seen wim wenders's the american friend?

amateur!st (amateurist), Friday, 23 July 2004 05:07 (sixteen years ago) link

i saw American's been a while...

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

one year passes...
arthur has jam band elements, doesn't it? i really like track 11.

youn, Monday, 20 March 2006 01:22 (fourteen 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."

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

IIRC "She's Got Everything" didn't make the cut w/Castle. Which is sad cuz it's an awesome track.

Chairman Doinel (Charles McCain), Monday, 20 March 2006 18:46 (fourteen years ago) link

Damn, you are correct. And it is a terrific song.

James, Monday, 20 March 2006 18:52 (fourteen years ago) link

Some great stuff out there. Would have loved to hear stereo mixes of a lot of their 65-66 output though.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Monday, 20 March 2006 19:38 (fourteen years ago) link

And, btw, one singles compilation plus their 66-69 quartet of albums should give you the most important stuff. You may also add "The Kinks Kontroversy". And make sure the compilation includes "Stop Your Sobbing" which is one of their best ever songs.

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

"The 70s catalogue is not worthy at all. 70s-80s Kinks is heavily overrated."

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

I absolutely despise "Mushwell Hillbillies". There is something about the most archetypical English sounding band of all time, trying to sound typically American for once, that I just can't tolerate.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Monday, 20 March 2006 19:50 (fourteen years ago) link

Kinks OPX

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Monday, 20 March 2006 19:52 (fourteen years ago) link

"There is something about the most archetypical English sounding band of all time, trying to sound typically American for once"

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

fourteen years pass...

The Kinks
Lola Versus Powerman and The Moneygoround Part One
50th Anniversary, Multi-Format, Album Re-issues
Out December 18 on BMG
Available to Order Now:
New Track "The Follower - Any Time 2020"

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").

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

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