The Kinks


Band members                              Related acts

  line 1 (1964-69)
- Dave Davies - vocals, guitar
- Ray Davies - vocals, guitar
- Peter Quaife - vocals, bass (1964-69)
- Mickey Willard - drums, percussion

 

- Mick Avory - drums (replaced Mickey Willard) (-84)
- John Beecham - trombone, tuba (1971-72)
- Mike Cotton - trumpet (1971-72)
- Dave Davies - vocals, guitar
- Ray Davies - vocals, guitar
- John Dalton - bass (replaced Peter Quaife) (1970-79)
- Gordon Edwards - keyboards (replaced John Gosling)

  (1979-)
- Ian Gibbons - vocals, keyboards (replaced 

  Gordon Edwards) (1980-)
- John Gosling - keyboards (1970-79)
- Bob Henrit - drums (replaced Mick Avory) (1984-)
- Alan Holmes - sax clarinet (1972)
- Davy Jones - sax, clarinet (1972)
- Andy Pyle - bass (replaced John Dalton) (1977-78)
- Peter Quaife - vocals, bass (1964-69)
- Jim Rodford - bass (replaced Andy Pyle) (1980)
- Mickey Willard - drums


 

- Argent (Jim Rodford)
- Blodwyn Pig (Andy Pyle)
- Dave Davies (solo efforts)
- Maple Leaf
- Nashville Teens (Ian Gibbons)
- Phoenix (Jim Rodford)
- Pretty Things (Gordon Edwards)
- Rolling Stones (Mick Avory)
- Savoy Brown (Andy Pyle)


 

Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Kinks-Size

Company: Reprise

Catalog: R-6158

Year: 1965

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: mono pressing; light surface scratches but no skips or clicks

Available: 1

Catalog ID:

Price: $20.00

 

Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Kinks-Size

Company: Reprise

Catalog: R-6158

Year: 1965

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: stereo pressing

Available: 1

Catalog ID:

Price: $20.00

 

 

 

 

"Kinks-Size" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Tired of Waiting for You

2.) Louie Louie

3.) I've Got that Feeling

4.) Revenge

5.) I Gotta Move

(side 2)

1.) Things Are Getting Better

2.) I Gotta Go Now

3.) I'm a Lover Not a Fighter

4.) Come On Now

5.) All Day and All of the Night

 

Say it's early 1965, you're an American record company executive who's just seen two new singles by one of those British rock & roll bands on your label shoot up the charts, and there's no album to go with them; what do you do? Well, if your company was Reprise Records and the singles were "All Day and All of the Night" and "Tired of Waiting for You" by the Kinks, then what you did was take five songs off of the band's recent British singles and EPs, two cuts ("I'm a Lover Not a Fighter," "Revenge") that had been dropped from the U.S. version of the group's debut album, and one ("Come on Now") off of their second U.K. LP, throw them and the two hits together on a 12" disc, come up with a pretty cool name, and voila you had Kinks-Size. What makes this record more enjoyable than the band's U.K. albums of the same era is that it was made up largely of singles, albeit many of them failed ones, but still all efforts at luring in millions of listeners 150 seconds or so at a time. The American label essentially distilled the best parts of the group's work in England, thus giving albums like Kinks-Size a distinct advantage. From the raw, slurred "Louie Louie" to the pounding rave-up of "Come on Now," this record rocks, showing off the better sides of the group's R&B output and early, formative, Beatles-influenced experiments as well. It may be a pastiche, but it's also more fun than their accompanying U.K. long-players of the era, and it had no equivalent in England for many years, though most of the tracks have since surfaced on expanded-CD versions of the band's first two albums.

 

Rhino's reissue of Kinks-Size from 1988 is a distillation of some of the best sides that the Kinks had cut from mid-1964 through the late winter of 1965, making it a seriously enjoyable album without any apologies or excuses, unlike their official albums of the period. Beyond the hit that was the album's <i>raison d'etre</i>, "All Day and All of the Night," listeners also got the group's underrated, Mersey-ish rendition of "Long Tall Sally," one of the more entertaining renditions of "Louie Louie" (with a delightfully slurred vocal by Ray Davies and lots of rhythm guitar) from across the pond, the pounding yet poignant lament "I've Got That Feeling," the just plain pounding "I Gotta Move," and the exquisitely plaintive "Set Me Free." The presence of a pair of upbeat, Mersey-style originals, "You Still Want Me" and "You Do Something to Me" -- which deservedly failed as singles but work just fine as album cuts -- help make Kinks-Size more cheerful and less dour than the group's official LPs of the period, while the Bo Diddley -style call-and-response number "Things Are Getting Better" adds extra muscle to side two. "I Gotta Go Now" starts out like a second-rate track until the band starts stretching out on the song in ways that few U.K. bands of the period ever did in the studio, and it ends up being diverting. Of course, for vinyl collectors as well as listeners during the early-CD era, the best part about Kinks-Size is that it was full of tracks that were otherwise never on LP and scattered over nearly a half-dozen singles and EPs, though most of its songs have since turned up as bonus tracks on the 1998 U.K. CD reissues of The Kinks and Kinda Kinks albums.


Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Kinkdom

Company: Reprise

Catalog: R-6187 

Year: 1965

Country/State:

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: mono pressing; light surface scratches but no skips or clicks; still in shrink wrap (opened)

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5017

Price: $30.00

 

 

Perhaps to insure continued employment in the mid-1960s American record company marketing departments had a nasty habit of butchering UK releases in order to make them more 'palatable' for domestic audiences.  That was certainly the case with 1965's "Kinkdom".  For whatever reason Reprise management decided the band's third UK studio release "Kinks Kontroversy" needed some major work before being released to an American audience.  The album was given a new title, new artwork, the song sequence was drastically changed with several tracks deleted in favor of a couple of earlier UK singles.  There must have been some logic to the exercise though it's lost to me.  

 

Overlooking those business and marketing decisions the fact the album ever saw the light of day was a minor miracle.  In June the band started their first American tour opening for the likes of The Beach Boys, The Moody Blues, Sonny and Cher and The Supremes.  Apparently under considerable pressure, Ray Davies and company didn't handle the stress all that well.  Never the closest of friends, Ray and co-manager Larry Page became increasingly at odds with one another, culminating in a Hollywood Bowl meltdown where Ray refused to take the stage and had to be bribed to perform.  fed up with the band, Page subsequently left them mid-tour, turning his attention to The Troggs and other bands.  After five performance the Kinks American tour collapsed, culminated by a four year ban from the American Federation of Musicians.  

 

Against this backdrop it's amazing that the album marked a major creative jump forward for the band.  While tracks like 'Never Met a Girl Like You Before', the criminally short 'Who'll Be the Next In Line', 'I Need You' and their cover of 'Louie Louie' were worthy additions to the band's rock credentials, the band's willingness to experiment and stretch musical boundaries came out in material like the Indian influenced 'See My Friends', the dandy-esque 'A Well Respected Man' and the country influenced ballad 'Don't You Fret'.  Elsewhere 'Naggin' Woman' stood as a nifty nod to Elmore James.  Ray and company seldom sounded as if they were having as much fun and the performances literally exploded with confidence.  Simply an amazing album !!!                 

 

- 'See My Friends' b/w 'Never Met a Girl Like You Before' (Reprise catalog number 0409)

- 'A Well Respected Man' b/w 'Such a Shame' (Reprise catalog number 0420)

 

Propelled by the hits, the parent album actually sold well, peaking at # 13.

 

"Kinkdom" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) A Well Respected Man   (Ray Davies) - 

2.) Such a Shame   (Ray Davies) - 

3.) Wait Till the Summer Comes Alone   (Dave Davies) - 

4.) Naggin' Woman   (Lazy Lester) - 

5.) Never Met a Girl Like You Before   (Ray Davies) - 

6.) See My Friends   (Ray Davies) - 

(side 2)

1.) Who'll Be the Next In Line   (Ray Davies) - 

2.) Don't You Fret   (Ray Davies) - 

3.) I Need You   (Ray Davies) - 

4.) It's All Right   (Ray Davies) - 

5.) Louie Louie   (Richard Berry) - 

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Face To Face

Company: Reprise

Catalog: R-6228

Year: 1966

Country/State: London, UK

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: minor water damage bottom back; minor stains; bullet hole

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD

Price: SOLD $25.00

 

Produced by Shel Talmy, 1966's "Face To Face" was released in the face of personnel upheavals that saw bassist Peter Quaife tender his resignation forming the band Maple Oak (only to quickly reconsider and withdraw his paperwork). Initially brought in to cover for Quaife while he recovered from a broken ankle, former Mark IV bassist John Dalton subsequently found himself added as a permanent member of the lineup. With Ray again penning the majority of material (the sole exception, 'Party Line' was co-written by Ray and Dave), the set stood as a largely overlooked masterpiece. Chock full of wonderful songs, tracks such as 'Dandy', the harpsichord propelled 'Too Much On My Mind', 'Holiday In Waikiki' and 'Rainy Day In June' were innovative (the band incorporating sound effects into their catalog), insightful (the rocking 'House In the Country' found Ray delving into social commentary), clever and tuneful. Personal favorite, the fuzz guitar propelled 'I'll Remember' (should've been a massive hit).  Elsewhere, released as a single, 'Sunny Afternoon' b/w 'I'm Not Like Everybody Else' (reprise catalog number 0497) went top-20, propelling the parent set to # 135.

"Face To Face" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Party Line   (Ray Davies - Dave Davies) - 
2.) Rosy Won't You Please Come Home   (Ray Davies) - 
3.) Dandy   (Ray Davies) - 
4.) Too Much On My Mind   (Ray Davies) - 
5.) Session Man   (Ray Davies) - 
6.) Rainy Day In June   (Ray Davies) - 

(side 2)

1.) House In the Country   (Ray Davies) - 
2.) Holiday In Waikiki   (Ray Davies) - 
3.) Most Exclusive Residence for Sale   (Ray Davies) - 
4.) Fancy   (Ray Davies) - 
5.) Little Miss Queen of Darkness   (Ray Davies) - 
6.) You're Lookin' Fine   (Ray Davies) - 
7.) Sunny Afternoon   (Ray Davies) - 

 


14.) I'll Remember (Ray Davies) - 


Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  The Live Kinks

Company: Reprise

Catalog: RS-6260

Year: 1968

Country/State: London, UK

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: minor ring and edge wear

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 4417

Price: $20.00

 

In the UK this one was entitled "Live At Kelvin Hall", which makes it easy to understand why Reprise opted to market it with the more generic title "The Live Kinks" in the States.  Produced by Shel Talmy and recorded during a 1967 concert in Glasgow Scotland (aka Kelvin Hall), this one was quite a surprise. Saturated in audience noise (aka screaming young girls), an unintelligible announcer and some needless start-up noddling, this one started out slowly, but when it got going The Kinks proved themselves to be quite an accomplished live act.  Easily as impressive as some of their better known English Invasion compatriots, Ray Davies was in prime form - namely short and sweet pop oriented material.   Sure the sound quality wasn't great.  Gawd only knows why but Talmy's mix was extremely muddy, but the band managed to cut through those limitations with an invigorating sense of enthusiasm.  Think that's just hype?  Check out the band's rockin' performances on ''Come On Now', the classic 'You Really Got Me' and the bluesy 'You're Lookin' Fine'.  The set was also worth hearing for a couple of obscurities in the form of 'I'm On an Island', 'Dandy' and their covers of 'Milk Cow Blues' and 'Batman Theme'.  For Kinks fanatics, Reprise mistakenly identified 'All Day And All Of The Night' as 'Till The End Of The Day''.

 

"The Live Kinks" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Till The End Of The Day   (Ray Davies) - 3:20

2.) A Well Respected Man   (Ray Davies) - 2:25

3.) You're Lookin' Fine   (Ray Davies) - 3:03

4.) Sunny Afternoon   (Ray Davies) - 4:40

5.) Dandy   (Ray Davies) - 1:43

 

(side 2)

1.) I'm On an Island   (Ray Davies) - 2:53

2.) Come On Now   (Ray Davies - 2:28

3.) You Really Got Me   (Ray Davies - 2:25

4.) Medley

     a.) Milk Cow Blues

     b.) Batman Theme

     c.) Tired of Waiting for You   (Ray Davies - 

 

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Something Else By the Kinks

Company: Reprise

Catalog: RS-6279

Year: 1967

Country/State: London, UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: --

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD 5247

Price: SOLD $30.00

 

 

Continuing their partnership with producer Shel Talmy, 1967's "Something Else By the Kinks" was every bit as good as their earlier releases.  As a result I'm not sure why this one tends to get overlooked in The Kinks discography. True, the band's garage roots and more recent brushes with psych were long gone (okay, 'Lazy Old Sun' sported a touch of psych) - replaced by the start of Ray Davies shift to a more mod orientation (check out their spiffed up wardrobes) accompanied by plenty of social commentary ('David Watts', 'Two Sisters' and 'Tin Soldier Man').  That said, virtually everyone of these 13 tracks had something going for them - the only forgettable song was Ray's cocktail jazzy 'End of the Season'.  Highlights included Situation Vacant', the jazzy 'No Return', and the glorious Waterloo Sunset'.  Elsewhere the album was interesting in that 'Love Me Till the Sun Shines' and 'Death of a Clown' showcased brother Dave in the role of  writer and lead singer.  The results were surprisingly impressive, with the latter song standing as a Kinks classic though it was actually previously released as Dave Davies debut single - 'Death of a Clown' b/w 'Love Me Till the Sun Shines' (Reprise catalog number 0614).  Reprise also tapped the album for a US single in the form of 'Waterloo Sunset' b/w 'Two Sisters' (Reprise catalog number 0612).  Unfortunately, without a US tour (though the band undertook extensive supporting dates throughout the UK), the album could do no better than # 153 in the States.

 

"Something Else By the Kinks" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) David Watts   (Ray Davies) - 

2.) Death of a Clown   (Dave Davies - Ray Davies) - 

3.) Two Sisters   (Ray Davies) - 

4.) No Return   (Ray Davies) - 

5.) Harry Rag   (Ray Davies) - 

6.) Tin Soldier Man   (Ray Davies) - 

7.) Situation Vacant   (Ray Davies) - 

 

(side 2)

1.) Love Me Till the Sun Shines   (Dave Davies) - 

2.) Lazy Old Sun   (Ray Davies) - 

3.) Afternoon Tea   (Ray Davies) - 

4.) Funny Face   (Ray Davies) - 

5.) End of the Season   (Ray Davies) - 

6.) Waterloo Sunset   (Ray Davies) - 

 

For anyone interested here's a link to a YouTube period performance of the classic 'Waterloo Sunset': 

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: ***** (5 stars)

Title:  The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society

Company: Reprise

Catalog: RS-6327

Year: 1968

Country/State: London, UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: minor ring and edge wear; gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5020

Price: $40.00

 

 

A couple of years ago a collector friend and I got into a friendly argument over what rock album had generated the most critical acclaim.  Dumbsh*t me thought it would be "Sgt. Pepper", or perhaps "Dark Side of the Moon".  My smarta*s friend apparently knew better telling me that it would be  "The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society".  Certainly not a particular scientific measure, but a quick online search indicates a tidal wave of posthumous affection for this album.  That praise is even more impressive given this album original attracted  lukewarm reviews and didn't sell worth squat when released in 1968.

 

On a personal note I'll readily admit that as a consumer I've always been wary of hype which was probably the main reason I steered clear of this album for years (for goodness sakes there's even a book dedicated to the album).  That and the fact that many people I'd heard shower praise on the collection had apparently never actually heard the album.  In retrospective I can tell you this is one of those rare cases where the hype is warranted.

 

Widely praised as one of the great rock concept albums with a plotline mourning the loss of innocence throughout England, that label is probably somewhat of a stretch since Ray Davies seems to have stitched the package together on the fly. There were certainly songs that reflected Davies memories of youth and a lifestyle long gone, but there were also songs that touched on the downsides of fame ('Starstruck') and stuff that was plain goofy (someone tell me what the hell 'Phenomenal Cat' was about).  The easygoing title track was lifted from an earlier Kinks track (1966's 'Village Green'), with most of the songs recorded during the 1966-68 period.  Some songs were apparently set aside for a planned Ray solo effort, while others were viewed as being too un-commercial or simply inappropriate for a Kinks release.  Regardless, by early 1968 The Kinks had begun to pull together what was originally planned to be a 20 track, double album set.  Executives at both Pye (their UK label) and Reprise (their US distributor) were less than thrilled with the double album set concept and with Davies refusing to finish the project up, ultimately opted for a streamlined, single LP release.  Interested in getting new material on the shelves Reprise was planning on releasing some of the band's new new material as "Four More Respected Gentlemen".  That option was dropped in favor of the resulting single album set, though Reprise returned to the vaults in the early-1970s, releasing much of the shelved material as 1973's "The Great Lost Kinks Album". 

 

I'll readily admit that it took me a little while to get into this album.  Anyone expecting to hear a standard mix of Kinks garage rockers and R&B was undoubtedly surprised by the collection, which probably helps to explain the critical and commercial indifference it was met with.  Other folks have pointed out that with its pastoral landscapes and reflections on life's ups and downs it was unlike anything competitors were releasing during that timeframe ...  Compare this to the electric blues, hard rock and political and social commentary infusing other era-releases and you can kind of understand why lots of folks wondered what in the world Ray Davies and company were thinking about with these nostalgic tales of affection and loss.  (Okay, 'Wicked Annabella' actually sounded like a prototype T-Rex effort). Certainly these highly personalize visions certainly didn't help to make Davies and company 1968's coolest band.  Add the fact that Davies songs had a distinctive English feel to them that was largely lost on American audiences (the same way lots of Americans don't get Monty Python, or English humor).  The thing is that with a little effort, Davies easy going and nostalgic visions of a rapidly dying English lifestyle became highly addictive.  Who would have ever thought you could hum along to a track celebrating the retirement of steam engines from the British rail system ('Last of the Steam-Powered Trains'), a song that fondly recalls a first kiss 'Village Green', or a song that espoused the joys of country living and the past ('The Village Green Preservation Society').  How about falling in love with an album celebrating/mourning the loss of old traditions?  Well if there was ever an album to generate such feelings, this is it.

 

"The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) The Village Green Preservation Society   (Ray Davies) 2:45

2.) Do You Remember Walter?   (Ray Davies) 2:23

3.) Picture Book   (Ray Davies) 2:34

4.) Johnny Thunder    (Ray Davies) 2:28

5.) Last of the Steam-Powered Trains   (Ray Davies) 4:03

6.) Big Sky   (Ray Davies) 2:49

7.) Sitting by the Riverside   (Ray Davies) 2:21

 

(side 2)

1.) Animal Farm   (Ray Davies) 2:57

2.) Village Green   (Ray Davies) 2:08

3.) Starstruck   (Ray Davies) 2:18

4.) Phenomenal Cat   (Ray Davies) 2:34

5.) All of My Friends Were There   (Ray Davies) 2:23

6.) Wicked Annabella   (Ray Davies) 2:40

7.) Monica   (Ray Davies) 2:13

8.) People Take Pictures of Each Other   (Ray Davies) 2:10

 

There were actually two versions of the album.  Pye originally released the album with a 12 song track listing.  Unhappy with the results, Davies convinced the company to quickly halt distribution.  AT his behest a revamped, MK2 version was subsequently released reflected a wide array of changes including re-sequenced songs, new mixes of several tracks including 'Do You Remember Walter' and 'People Take Pictures of Each Other', the addition of five new tracks ('Last of the Steam-Powered Trains', 'Big Sky', 'Sitting by the Riverside' Animal Farm' and 'All of My Friends Were There') and the loss of 'Days' and 'Mr. Songbird'.  

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Arthur or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire

Company: Reprise

Catalog: RS-6366

Year: 1969

Country/State: London, UK

Grade (cover/record): VG- / VG

Comments: minor ring, edge and corner wear; minor tear on left edge of back cover; gatefold sleeve

Available: 2

Catalog ID: not yet listed

Price: $10.00

 

 

The next year Davies and company were commissioned to provide the score for a Julian Mitchell television play. With a theme of middle class discontentment (the generation gap, military service, England's past glory) Mitchell's depressing play was roundly slammed, but the resulting soundtrack "Arthur (or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire)" won widespread critical praise.  Musically the set was a concept piece having to do with everyman Arthur's decision to move from England to Australia (at least that's what we think the plotline was about).  Exemplified by tracks such as "Australia", "Drivin'" and the horn-propelled "Brainwashed" the collection proved surprisingly melodic, hard rocking and captivating. In spite of it's Anglophile storyline, propelled by the hit single "Victoria" b/w "Brainwashed", the album sold remarkably well in the States, just missing the American top-100 at #105. In support of the album the band also returned to the States for their first tour in four years. In typical fashion, Davies and company hadn't spent much time rehearsing with the usual dire consequences (musical miscues, forgotten lyrics, and frayed tempers). Adding to the problem, shortly before the tour bass player Quaife quit for the second time, reappearing as a member of Maple Oak (see separate entry). Hastily added to the lineup, replacement John Dalton literally had to play the first couple of dates by ear. Inexplicably, the album proved a major commercial disappointment in England. (The album was originally released with a gatefold sleeve.)

"Arthur (or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire)" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Victoria   (Ray Davies) - 3:37
2.) Yes Sir, No Sir   (Ray Davies) - 3:42
3.) Some Mother's Son   (Ray Davies) - 3:22
4.) Drivin'   (Ray Davies) - 3:15
5.) Brainwashed   (Ray Davies) - 2:30

(side 2)

1.) Australia   (Ray Davies) - 6:40
2.) Shangri-La   (Ray Davies) - 5:17
3.) Mr. Churchill Says   (Ray Davies) - 4:40
4.) Young and Innocent Days  (Ray Davies) - 3:20
5.) Nothing To Say   (Ray Davies) - 3:07
6.) Arthur   (Ray Davies) - 5:20

 



Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Kinks Greatest Hits

Company: Marble Arch

Catalog: MALS-1403

Year: 19??

Country/State: London, UK

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: Canadian pressing

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 4554

Price: $8.00

 

 

Kinks compilations are not exactly rare, nor is this Canadian "best of' package.  That said, "Kinks Greatest Hits" offers up an excellent cross section of the band's early and mid-career hits, along with some rather funny back cover interviews with the Davies, Mick Avory and Peter Quaife (the record company also managed to come up with four of the ugliest photos of the band you'll ever see).

 

"Kinks Greatest Hits" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) A Well Respected Man

2.) Where Have All The Good Times Gone

3.) Till The End Of The Day

4.) Set Me Free

5.) Tired Of Waiting For You

 

(side 2)

1.) All Day and All Of The Night

2.) I Gotta Move

3.) Lola

4.) Wait Till The Summer Comes Along

5.) You Really Got Me


Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Muswell Hillbillies

Company: RCA Victor

Catalog: LSP-4644

Year: 1972

Country/State: London, UK
Grade (cover/record): 
VG / VG

Comments: minor ring wear; gatefold sleeve; original inner sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: not yet listed

Price: $10.00

 

In 1971 the band's contract with Reprise expired. Offered a million dollar advance against future royalties for five albums, Ray and company wasted no time signing with RCA Victor. Ironically, preparing for their first RCA release, Ray found it particularly difficult to come up with material. Suffering from severe writer's block, in desperation he booked a round trip flight between London and Los Angeles. The result was "Muswell Hillbillies". Recalling his North London youth, musically the set was nothing less than schizophrenic; Davies and company bouncing across virtually every genre imaginable, including rock ("20th Century Man"); country ("Skin and Bones"), ragtime ("Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues"), music hall ("Holiday"), etc.. Surprisingly, the set held together well, making for one of Davies' most impressive outings. Backed by an extensive American tour (the lineup expanded to include a horn section), the album eventually hit #100. The album also found the band adding keyboard player John Gosling to the lineup. (The collection was originally released with a gatefold sleeve.)

"Muswell Hillbillies" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) 20th Century Man   (Ray Davies) - 5:50
2.) Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues   (Ray Davies) - 3:29
3.) Holiday   (Ray Davies) - 2:36
4.) Skin and Bones   (Ray Davies) - 3:36
5.) Alcohol   (Ray Davies) - 3:30
6.) Complicated Life   (Ray Davies) - 4:20

(side 2)

1.) Here Come the People In Gray   (Ray Davies) - 3:45
2.) Have a Cuppa Tea   (Ray Davies) - 3:37
3.) Holloway Jail   (Ray Davies) - :22
4.) Oklahoma U.S.A.   (Ray Davies) - 2:31
5.) Uncle Son   (Ray Davies)- 2:30

 


6.) Muswell Hillbilly   (Ray Davies) - 4:51


Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Great Lost Kinks Album

Company: Reprise

Catalog: MS 2127

Year: 1973

Country/State: London, UK
Grade (cover/record): 
VG+/VG+

Comments: minor ring and edge wear; includes insert

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 

Price: $40.00

 

After seven years recording for Reprise Records and in the face of diminishing sales, in 1971 The Kinks shifted their allegiance to RCA Victor. With Reprise lawyers having decided the label was owed one more Kinks album, Reprise marketing wasted little time raiding their recording vaults in order to paste together 1973's optimistically titled "Great Lost Kinks Album."  The projects genesis reported came from a shelved Kinks project entitled "Four More Respected Gentlemen"  that morphed into "The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society."   Reprise marketing certainly gave the impression this was a cohesive project, but these 13 tracks reflected a mixture of odds and ends ranging from 1966's 'I'm Not Like Everybody Else' to 1970s 'The Way Love Used to Be.'  Several tracks came from the "Village Green" sessions.  Other efforts such as the opener 'Til Death Do Us Part' reflected material written for English television and films.  Technically it wasn't even a true Kinks album.  'Where Did the Spring Go' was' essentially a Ray Davies solo effort recorded for a BBC television drama.   'There Is No Life Without Love' was one of three efforts intended for an abandoned Dave Davies solo album.  In spite of that fractured background, that's not to imply this compilation wasn't worth hearing.  I found the mid-'60s "Four More Respected Gentlemen" / "Village Preservation" era tracks to be the most enjoyable material.  Tunes like 'Lavender Hill ', 'Rosemary Rose' and 'Misty Water' offered up first-rate Ray Davies compositions highlighting nice melodies, interesting lyrics and the band's instantly recognizable presentations.  The album's highlights came in the form of the roaring "B" side 'I'm Not Like Everybody Else' and the Dave Davies jangle-rocker 'This Man He Weeps Tonight.'  You just had to wonder how these got lost in The Kinks catalog.  A perfect retrospective?  Nah.  Start with the double album set "Kinks Kronikles", but if you can find a cheap copy, don't overlook this one.

 

The album's also interesting in that Reprise released it without the cooperation from, or advanced notice to the band.  Ironically, as part of their contract with Reprise, the band had turned over tapes containing outtakes and various odds and ends to Reprise, though the material was never intended to be released.  Davies reportedly learned of the album's released when he saw it listed on the US Billboard sales charts (sales peaked at # 145).  Kinks management immediately brought suit which saw Reprise stop sales in 1975. 

 

The late Belgian artist Jean-Michel Folon provided the startling cover art.  

 

Music critic / musician John Mendelsohn provided extensive biographical information and commentary on the liner notes insert.  Mendelsohn had been a longtime, hardcore Kinks fan.  He'd overseen the double album compilation "The Kink Kronikles."   That made his scathing comments on the mid-'70s KInks line-up somewhat startling.



"Great Lost Kinks Album" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Til Death Do Us Part   (Ray Davies) - 3:12   rating: ** stars

With a breezy, horn powered English music hall-styled melody, 'Til Death Do Us Part' certainly wasn't a conventional rock song.  It's actually always reminded me of something Harry Nilsson might have crafted.  Pleasant, but not something that really appealed to my American ears.  Davies was apparently commissioned to write the song for the 1969 British comedy movie "Til Death Do Us Part" starring Dandy Nichols and Warren Mitchell.  The film's all but unknown in the States.  It was based on a British television series that's equally obscure here in the States.  Songwriter and future First Class lead singer Chas Mills ended up re-recording the song for the film songtrack.  Perhaps Mills was cheaper that Davies?

2.) There Is No Life Without Love -  (Dave Davies - Ray Davies) - 1:55   rating: *** stars

'There Is No Life Without Love' was one of three songs intended for a shelved Dave Davies solo album.  The tune  originally appeared as the "B" side to Dave Davies' 1968 single  'Lincoln County.'  The track was a weird little ballad featuring Dave and bassist Peter Quaife sharing lead vocals with Ray handling lead guitar.  There wasn't much to the tune though you had to wonder why it wasn't titled 'Julie.'  Always liked the harpsichord flurishes - at least I think it was harpsichord.

3.) Lavender Hill    (Ray Davies) - 2:53   rating: **** stars

Depending which references you chose and believe, 'Lavender Hill' was either an outtake written and  recorded for 1968's "The Village Green Preservation Society", or for 1971's "Muswell Hillbillies" LP.  Musically it was instantly recognizable as a Ray Davies product sporting a pretty mash up of English music hall and lite psych moves.  Reportedly Davies hated the track and it was reportedly one of the reasons Davies sued Reprise Records to have the "Great Lost Kinks Album" withdrawn.

4.) Groovy Movies   (Ray Davies) - 2:30    rating: **** stars

Seemingly another "The Village Green Preservation Society" castoff, the bouncy 'Groovy Movies' was another rarity featuring Dave on lead vocals; though I seem to hear bassist Peter Quaife in the background as well.  The horn-powered arrangement was hyper-commercial; the only thing seemingly going against the song being Dave's somewhat ragged vocals.  Easy to see why Ray handled most of the vocals.

5.) Rosemary Rose   (Ray Davies) - 1:43   rating: **** stars

One of Ray Davies' prettiest melodies ...  the song's also a good example of his knack for enigmatic lyrics.  Two lines in and I was trying to figure out what was going on: "Nature sure gave you such a beautiful nose. Though you're not beautiful as someone would know ..."   Wrapped in a beautiful melody, complete with harpsichord.  Funny to think this was a castoff performance.

6.) Misty Water    (Ray Davies) - 3:01    rating: **** stars

One of three tracks intended for the aborted "Four More Respected Gentlemen" project, if there was a undiscovered treasure on the album then the rollicking 'Misty Water' was in the running for the title.  Kicked along by somie bouncy Farfisa organ, the tune had a garage beat and energy to it. It  was also a nice example of Dave's less-is-more guitar work.

7.) Mr. Songbird   (Ray Davies) - 2:24   rating: **** stars

Recorded in 1967, the charming 'Mr. Songbird' may have been tongue-in-cheek, but with a glistening melody; sweet vocals and some dainty mellotron washes, it brings a smile to my face every time I hear it. 

(side 2)

1.) When I Turn Out the Living Room Light   (Ray Davies) -  2:17   rating: ** stars

'When I Turn Out the Living Room Lights' was one of two tracks written for the BBC television drama "Where was Spring."  Almost sounding like a cabaret piece, it was not one of the stronger performances.  Davies' own comments on the song: "There has to be acceptance that when you're with someone, you both have faults, so let's turn off the living room light and imagine that we're both beautiful--let's get on with life."

2.) The Way Love Used to Be   (Ray Davies) - 2:11    rating: **** stars

The album's most recent selection, the beautiful, brooding ballad 'The Way Love Used to Be' was originally recorded for the 1970 English "Percy" soundtrack LP.  One of the prettiest tunes Davies ever wrote, the only issues I have with the song stem from the heavy string orchestration that occasionally threatened to overwhelm Davies and the abrupt fadeout.  Given the collection only had seven true Kinks songs (instrumental soundtrack scores rounding out the collection), Reprise elected not to release the collection in the States.  Label lawyers subsequently decided The Kinks owed Reprise one more studio album.  With Davies and company already signed and recording for RCA Victor, the result was the release of "Great Lost Kinks Album."

3.) I'm Not Like Everybody Else   (Ray Davies) - 3:29    rating: ***** stars

The earliest song on the collection, 'I'm Not Like Everybody Else' was originally written with Eric Burden and the Animals in mind.  They turned the song down so The Kinks recorded it themselves.  The song appeared as the flip side to the 1966 English 'Sunny Afternoon' 45.  One of the raunchiest rockers they ever recorded, the combination of Dave and Ray's  ragged voices and roaring, grunge-infused lead guitar made this a monster. You had to wonder how this one got lost in The Kinks catalog.  Truly a lost classic.  There's an even better  live version with Ray on lead vocals.  Ray was quoted talking about the tune: "(It)  was never a hit for the Kinks, but over the years every true Kinks fan relates to that particular song, and it's funny, because that particular version is one of the only songs where Ray and I actually swap lead vocals. Elsewhere, when he sings lead I do the octave harmonies, or where I sing lead he's doing background vocals. Ray and I have very different ranges, fortunately, and our textures are different, which really helps for distinctive harmonies."

4.) Plastic Man   (Ray Davies) -  3:00    rating: **** stars

On the heels of the relative commercial failures of "Village Green Preservation Society" and recent singles, the band went into the studio with the intention of writing a hit.  Naturally things didn't go as planned.  While the tune was bouncy and commercial, the "cockney" edge wasn't seen as attractive to American audiences so Reprise didn't bother releasing it as a US 45.  The tune was released as a 1969 UK single.  Unfortunately Davies lyrics included the word "bum" (as in butt), which saw the track get banned by the BBC.  In spite of the airplay ban, the single managed to hit the UK top-40 (peaking at # 31).  It was also the final recording to include original bass player Peter Quaife. 

- 1969's 'Plastic Man' b/w 'King Kong' (Pye catalog number 7N 17724)

YouTUbe has a black and white performance of the band (with new bassist John Dalton), lip-synching the track for the German Beat-Club television program: The Kinks - Plastic Man (1969) - YouTube

5.) This Man He Weeps Tonight -  (Dave Davies) - 2:38    rating: **** stars

'This Man He Weeps Tonight' was the album's only Dave solo composition.  Opening up with some glorious Byrds-styled twelve-string guitar, the tune featured a wonderful jangle-rock melody and one of Dave's tightest vocals. It was another tune intended for Dave's shelved solo debut and you had to wonder why the tune was relegated to the "B" side of Dave's 1969 'Shangri-La' 45.

6.) Pictures in the Sand   (Ray Davies) - 2:45   rating: *** stars

With a breezy, old-school melody and a drunken chorus, 'Pictures in the Sand' sounded like the kind of song McCartney would occasionally park on a Beatles album.  A little too cutesy for my ears.

7.) Where Did the Spring Go?   (Ray Davies) -  2:10   rating: **** stars

Another tune written for the BBC tv drama "Where was Sping", 'Where Did the Spring Go' managed to combine a pounding, bouncy melody with some dark and thought provoking lyrics on mortality.  Where did my teeth go?  Another album highlight that resonates with me now that I'm a senior citizen.

 

 

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  The Kinks Kronikles

Company: Reprise

Catalog: 2XS 6445

Year: 1972

Country/State: London, UK

Grade (cover/record): G / VG

Comments: double album set; gatefold sleeve; minor ring wear

Available: 1

Catalog ID: not yet listed

Price: $15.00

 

More than willing to cash-in on the band's sudden commercial success, former label Reprise sought to recoup some of it's investment with the release of the double album "The Kinks Kronicles". Pulling together 28 selections, you could certainly argue about the track listing (no "You Really Got Me" !!!). On the other hand, you had to admire the catalog (27 of the 28 credited to Ray). For any non-fan, this is the set to start with. Hitting #94, the retrospective actually sold better than their recently released studio set. (The album was originally released with a gatefold sleeve.)

"The Kinks Kronicles" track listing:
1.) Victoria (Ray Davies) - 3:37
2.) The Village Green Preservation Society (Ray Davies) - 2:45
3.) Berkeley News (Ray Davies) - 2:34
4.) Holiday In Waikiki (Ray Davies) - 2:43
5.) Willesden Green (Ray Davies) - 2:23
6.) This Is Where I Belong (Ray Davies) - 2:23
7.) Waterloo Sunset (Ray Davies) - 3:15
8.) David Watts (Ray Davies) - 2:29
9.) Deadend Street (Ray Davies) - 3:20
10.) Shangri-La (Ray Davies) - 5:17
11.) Autumn Almanac (Ray Davies) - 3:05
12.) Sunny Afternoon (Ray Davies) - 4:40
13.) Get Back In Line (Ray Davies) - 3:05
14.) Did You See His Name? (Ray Davies) - 1:55
15.) Fancy (Ray Davies) - 2:25
16.) Wonderboy (Ray Davies) - 2:47
17.) Apeman (Ray Davies) - 3:53
18.) King Kong (Ray Davies) - 3:22
19.) Mr. Pleasant (Ray Davies) - 3:00
20.) God's Children (Ray Davies) - 3:12
21.) Death of a Clown (Ray Davies) - 3:03
22.) Lola (Ray Davies) - 4:06
23.) Mindless Child of Motherhood (Dave Davies) - 3:07
24.) Polly (Ray Davies) - 2:47
25.) Big Black Smoke (Ray Davies) - 2:32
26.) Susannah's Still Alive (Ray Davies) - 2:20
27.) She's Got Everything (Ray Davies) - 3:05

 

 


28.) Days (Ray Davies) - 3:30


Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Come Dancing with the Kinks: The Best of the Kinks 1977-86

Company: Arista

Catalog: AL11-8428

Year: 1986

Country/State: London, UK

Grade (cover/record): --

Comments: double album set

Available: 1

Catalog ID: not yet listed

Price: $5.00

 

 

Following the band's decision to sign with MCA, Arista released an 18 track, double album "best of" compilation. "Come Dancing with the Kinks: The Best of the Kinks 1977-86" pulled together the best of their Arista catalog, including all of the radio hits, near misses and better album cuts. Probably a good investment for casual fans, the set was redundant for hard core fans. For a double album set, the album sold well, hitting #159.

"Come Dancing with the Kinks: The Best of the Kinks 1977-86" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) You Really Got Me   (Ray Davies)
2.) Destroyer   (Ray Davies)
3.) (Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman   (Ray Davies)
4.) Juke Box Music   (Ray Davies)
5.) Rock and Roll Fantasy   (Ray Davies)
6.) Come Dancing   (Ray Davies)
7.) Do It Again   (Ray Davies)
8.) Better Things   (Ray Davies)

(side 2)

1.) Lola   (Ray Davies)
2.) Low Budget  (Ray Davies)
3.) Long Distance   (Ray Davies)
4.) Heart of Gold   (Ray Davies)
5.) Don't Forget to Dance   (Ray Davies)
6.) Living on a Thin Line   (Ray Davies)
7.) Father Christmas   (Ray Davies)
8.) Celluloid Heroes   (Ray Davies)

 

 

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: ** (2 stars)

Title:  Think Visual

Company: MCA

Catalog: MCA-5822

Country/State: London, UK

Year: 1987

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: not yet listed

Price: $5.00

 

Their first release for MCA, "Think Visual" proved professional and mildly enjoyable, if hardly an essential addition to the band's catalog. While "Lost and Found" and "How Are You" boast two of Ray's prettier melodies and "Repetition" was top-40 catchy, elsewhere the band sounded lackluster and lost for direction. Known for their ability to churn out memorable melodies, here the majority of the set came off as little more than mundane AOR. Best of the lot was Dave's "Rock 'n Roll Cities". In spite of an American tour, the collection failed to match earlier sales, peaking at #81 on the charts.

"Think Visual" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Working at the Factory  (Ray Davies) - 2:58
2.) Lost and Found   (Ray Davies) - 5:19
3.) Repetition   (Ray Davies) - 4:06
4.) Welcome to Sleazy Town   (Ray Davies) - 3:50
5.) Video Shop   (Ray Davies) - 5:15

(side 2)

1.) Rock 'N' Roll Cities   (Dave Davies) - 3:43
2.) How Are You   (Ray Davies) - 4:27
3.) Think Visual   (Ray Davies) - 3:12
4.) Natural Gift   (Ray Davies) - 3:44
5.) Killing Time   (Ray Davies) - 4:02
6.) When You Were a Child   (Ray Davies) - 

 

 

 

Davies) - 3:40


Genre: rock

Rating: ** (2 stars)

Title:  The Kinks Live - the Road

Company: MCA

Catalog: MCA 42107

Year: 1987

Country/State: London, UK

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: not yet listed

Price: $5.00

 

Their second release for MCA, "The Kinks Live - the Road" was recorded during the band's 1987 American tour at performances at Maryland's Merriweather Post Pavillion and Philadelphia's Mann Centre. From a marketing standpoint the decision to release a live set may have seemed curious, but given the previous set's dismal sales, it probably made sense. To be honest, most of the set was disappointing. Avoiding their earlier catalog (a perfunctory "Apeman" being one of the few exceptions), the set found Davies and company concentrating on their late-'70s/early-'80s hits ("Destroyer", "Come Dancing" and the still recent "Think Visual"). With the possible exception of "Think Visual" and Dave's pretty "Living On a Thin Line", the band seldom generated much enthusiasm, content to turn in professional, if pedestrian performances. Elsewhere, the leadoff track "The Road" was a new (if forgettable) studio effort. A minor seller, the set hit #110.

"The Kinks Live - the Road" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) The Road   (Ray Davies) - 6:07
2.) Destroyer   (Ray Davies) - 3:41
3.) Apeman   (Ray Davies) - 1:59
4.) Come Dancing   (Ray Davies) - 3:32
5.) Art Lover   (Ray Davies) - 3:42
6.) Cliches of the World (B Movies)   (Ray Davies) - 5:21

(side 2)

1.) Think Visual   (Ray Davies) - 2:05
2.) Living On a Thin Line   (Dave Davies) - 4:24
3.) Lost and Found   (Ray Davies) - 4:16
4.) It   (Ray Davies) - 6:48
5.) Around the Dial   (Ray Davies) - 3:31
6.) Give the People What They Want   (Ray Davies) - 

 

 

 

(Ray Davies) - 4:08

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