The Kinks

Recorded proof that talent goes away
*special introductory paragraph
*The Kinks
*Kinda Kinks
*Kinks-Size Kinkdom
*The Kink Kontroversy
*Face To Face
*Live At Kelvin Hall
*Something Else
*The Village Green Preservation Society
*Arthur (Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire)
*Part 1 Lola Versus Powerman And The Moneygoround
*The Great Lost Kinks Album
*Percy
*The Kink Kronikles
*Muswell Hillbillies
*Everybody's In Showbiz
*Preservation Act 1
*Preservation Act 2
*Soap Opera
*Schoolboys In Disgrace
*BBC Sessions 1964-1977
*Sleepwalker
*Misfits
*Low Budget
*One For The Road
*Give The People What They Want
*State Of Confusion
*Word Of Mouth
*Think Visual
*Live: The Road
*UK Jive
*Did Ya EP
*Phobia
*To The Bone
*You Really Got Me: The Story of The Kinks DVD


I generally don't review sports teams, but when I saw the New York Kniks score 500 points against

I generally don't review rock and roll bands, but when I heard the Muswell Kinks record 500 albums against all odds, I knew that Ray and Dave Davies had done something remarkable. The Kinks' career can be cleanly divided into four different periods: Rockin' roll ("You Really Got Me," "All Day And All Of The Night"), British-obsessed pop character studies ("Sunny Afternoon," "Lola"), overblown show tune "rock operas" (no hits whatsoever) and catchy radio hits from mediocre albums ("Wish I Could Fly Like Superman," "Come Dancing"). So grab your melodic armchair and let's get ready! (ready" rhymes with "greedy" and is defined as "in the act of reading")

Don't argue with the progress of American dictionaryism. Who's the semanticist here?


The Kinks - Pye 1964
Rating = 5

I smelled trouble the minute I found out that the Kinks didn't have a hit with "Radar Love" in 1974. It's that kind of shocking revelation that can change your whole world in a nutshell and make everything important seem like so many hot air balloons wafting overhead. Luckily, it seems as though very few bands actually had a hit with "Radar Love" in 1974 and everybody else is simply cruising through life dependent upon an overriding public belief that it's okay not to have had a hit with "Radar Love" in 1975. I can forgive the public for feeling this way, but I will never forget.

The Kinks' first album was called The Kinks and can now be found on compact dickeroo under the tittie You Really Got Me. There's a very good reason for this lie. "You Really Got Me" is the only good song on the album. This one. The one I gave a 5 to.

Have you ever heard the old adage, "The first Kinks album isn't very good"? Well, now's your chance. Because we're here on Mark Prindle Dot Shit and I declare that even though I used to love it as a fun fast example of youthful enjoyment of r'n'b and early rock and roll, my eyes have of late been cleansed to the sordid reality that every song except "You Really Got Me" sounds exactly the same. It's the same thing over and over and over and over and over. This is mostly probably because Ray Davies only wrote six of the songs, and he was really young, and his brother Dave tried to sound like an old American black bluesman but ended up sounding like a British teenager who has just swallowed a stuffed animal. My feelings towards this record are negative. But Dave's hair is long as SHIT for 1964! Did he get his ass kicked? Cripes! Supposedly his sister appeared at a gig once wearing jeans and a newspaperman approached her, thinking that she was Dave. Imagine the look on his face when her voice came out! Ha ha! Imagine! Ha ha! I read this in the liner notes! Imagine! Ha ha! What a great piece of mainstream humor! Ha ha! It reminds me of back when I had long hair and I drove to Taco Bell and a man was looking at me from the next car over. When I got out of the car, he said, "Oh, you're a dude! I thought you was a dude-ette!" How's a young hippy freak to respond to such a comment? Speaking of long hair, don't do it. No wait -- if you're young, DO IT. But cut it short when you graduate from college, because your hairline is going to start receding and your face is going to get wrinkles and laughlines. I kept my long hair until I was about 25 and it was a horrible mistake that I will not repeat. Plus long hair is uncomfortable when the wind blows it in your face. That's the topic of this album.

They play fast fun white boy blues on this album, like the early Rolling Stones and Beatles. But it's neither rough'n'tough nor melodic enough to warrant sitting still and listening to it. God they sound young! Ray sounds unsure of himself. It's fast like punk rock though! If you're into punk rock, mosh to "Beautiful Delilah" and "Cadillac" and "I'm A Lover Not A FIghter!" But the guitars just diddle and dick around (except in "So Mystifying," where Dave or more likely a studio musician plays a HAMMER-ON lead guitar line like Eddie Van Halen! It goes, "Dom dom doodily-dee! Diddla diddla (repeat)" and "Diddla diddla" is where he hammers on. Not "Ramble On," you crazy Led Zeppelin Head! Ha ha! We're all laughing now because OJ Simpson murdered two people and is insane, yet he's not in jail! I like OJ Simpson and that is what I say. Football. I like OJ Simpson, like I knew he could. SLOW DOWN, SONG BY ME! OJ! SIMPSON! ORENTHAL! WHOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Send me 4 dollars and you'll know the epic "OJ Simpson" by Low-Maintenance Perennials. Which reminds ms of a point I wanted to make at some point, and now seems good since this first Kinks album is straightforward garage rock fast r'n'b with every song sounding exactly the same. Here's my point (break paragraph please, Mr. Naked Stenographer)

(Thank you, Mr. Naked Stenographer.) My point is about manufactured bands. Here's my dumbass guy: "The Sex Pistols were a manufactured band! Nyah! I'm a fucking loser!" Here's truth for people who like truth: LOTS of bands are manufactured. If you create a band with people who aren't your friends, that is a MANUFACTURED BAND, Tithead. If you put an ad in the paper looking for a bassist and drummer, and two guys answer and you form a band with them, that is a MANUFACTURED BAND, you fucking Puritan judgmental know-it-all fuckhead who will be dead the minute I meet you, you piece of shit prick. The only NON-manufactured bands are those created by FRIENDS, like the Low-Maintenance Perennials, my old band that hasn't existed in about eight years. Do you get my picture? If Malcolm McLaren "manufactures" a band, it's no goddamned different than East Bay Ray putting an ad in the paper and "manufacturing" a band with Klaus Flouride, Jello Biafra, 6025 and The Price Is Right host Bob Barker - it's the same FUCKING THING, YOU STUPID FUCK! I'M SO SICK OF STUPID FUCKS!!!

Because they remind me too much of me at their age. I was the same way. And it made me miserable for no reason.

This is important: Drop your moral stance. Drop your straight edge ethics. Drop your judgments. You're making yourself upset for no reason. No reason at all. Don't waste your short time on Earth worrying about whether other people are drinking or enjoying football. It doesn't matter, and you will never, ever, ever, ever, ever change the world. So stop trying. Admit failure. And assassinate everybody in the Bush cabinet.

In all seriousness though -- the Kinks weren't very good yet when they recorded this album. It really is like white boy r'n'b exuberance at its most generic. It's not BAD, but it's also not particularly GREAT (aside from "You Really Got Me," "So Mystifying" and a Ray original with beautiful harmony vocals called "I Took My Baby Home.") The Pretenders' "Stop Your Sobbing" is on here too, but that song sucks as hard as Chrissy Hynde on Ray Davies' "Flesh Penis".

Also somebody keeps playing the fucking harmonica. Stop playing the fucking harmonica! The guitar tones are thin and tickly. There's a piano in a few songs. The Kinks sound like rich kids trying to sound like poor kids. Try the next album instead!

Addendumb (tee!): "You Really Got Me" totally rocked for 1964, with a really tough hard distorted guitar tone that Dave created by shoving knitting needles into the ears of his fans, but it's NOT (as many young people claim) the "first heavy metal song ever." The earliest heavy metal song I've heard is Link Wray's "Rumble" (1958), and that doesn't even count Bill Haley's 1956 Metal Up Your Ass LP. Also -- why was producer Shel Talmy writing so many songs about bald women? Is he talking about pelvic regions? Or does he just really fucking hate bitches with brain cancer, the cunts?

Reader Comments

steve.robey@mindspring.com
I think the Kinks reviews on your site are among the more inspired reviews on your site. I rank them among my favorite bands... for a select few albums in their discography. This first album by the KInks is admittedly pretty stinky. I like "So Mystifying" also, as well as "Got Love if You Want It", and some others, but those Bald-themed songs are just embarrassing. Kudos to you for having the intestinal fortitude to make it through their entire discography. I made it up to Think Visual... and gave up. So close....

Ben
Man, the whole reason for this album was to capitalize on the sudden success of "You Really Got Me," and while I wouldn't say it's the only good song on the album, it's the only one that doesn't sound like an embarrassment. Songs like "Beautiful Delilah," " I Just Can't Go to Sleep" and "Got Love if You Want it" are good too, but they still sound like a bunch of 16 year olds trying to sound like professionals. The other songs are amusing, but the two "bald" songs and "Too Much Monkey Business" are pafuckingthetic. It took me a while, but I have learned to appreciate "Stop Your Sobbing," but I can't help but hear elements of the Beatles song "Not a Second Time" (especially towards the ending). A 5 is way too nice for this album, even if it has "You Really Got Me" and great drumming.

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Kinda Kinks - Pye 1965
Rating = 7

Come on now! Baby come on now! It's getting late and we'd better go! Try to imagine yourself in the Kinks in 1965. It must have been incredible, but incredibly frightening as well. Frightening enough to make you record bad backup vocals like those that RUIN "Look For Me Baby" and "You Shouldn't Be Sad." Because you're trying to be the Beatles in those songs. You're not the Beatles! I understand though. You're young people.

There I go again, hallucinating that I'm a psychologist to early 60s rock bands. Enough! I lost four wives during the harrowing Gary Lewis and the Playboys child sex cult hearings. "I know my limitations," sings Dave Davies, but he hasn't noticed that he's not a 70-year-old black man. He's a little less embarrassing on here anyway. Let's go back in time to 1947.

It's 1947 and Ray Davies has a col voice, sounding cocky and ironic. There are only two covers on here, and it's clear that Ray Davies is all about the melody. The vocal melody that you sing to yourself at night when the candles have grown dim: "So tired. Tired of waiting. Tired of waiting for you." Have you seen Rushmore? Not only should that movie make you go, "HOLY FUCK! THE CREATION FUCKING RULED! (which they did)," but it should also make you hear The Kinks' "Nothin' In The World Can Stop Me Worryin' 'Bout That Girl," with its amazing folk-blues acoustic picking and emotionally deadening vocals. "Something Better Beginning" is beautiful as well, with its absolutely gorgeous ringing guitar break. I'm supposed to point out that "All Day And All Of The Night" isn't on an album. It was just a single.

Why did Ray Davies let his little brother sing lead? He had a weak voice! No good!

Stronger production than the first record, and some moves into great balladry as Ray develops quickly into an amazing melodicist. But there's still lots of half-assed compositions. "Wonder Where My Baby Is Tonight" is just the theme to Sesame Street, for crying out loud. And Ernie, Bert, Kermit, Big Bird, Mr. Hooper, Bob, Luis, Maria, the Snuffle-Up-A-Gus, Elmo The Child Porn Star and Fucky The Naked Fuckass, and Oscar don't need to appear on a Kinks album to make a hundred dollars. They're all rich! My name is David/That's a fine name/It may not -- see, David ISN'T his name. He's a LIAR and probably a man molester. So are The Wiggles of Australia. They're clearly gay. Do you want your child growing up around gay people? I do. Gay people are more sensitive than straights, who like football. Let's get in a fistfight over this.

It's a good album -- shows that Ray loved pop melodicism more than dopey rock and roll of the first album's wilt. But he wasn't GREAT yet. Except at times. Hey, listen up. Listen to me. Listen up. I dreamt about some weird stuff, and I think it must be real with you to me and all about then where everything why not to under chew pillow etc fie fie ford fjord gat I got your gun with beebles and tree fish ear ear pringle pringle pringle pringle pringle my name's not pringle my name is Ernest Goestocamp.

But the acoustic guitars are pretty. Ray Davies, thank you for becoming a good songwriter until you had a nervous breakdown in 1973 and everything else you did made foul-smelling products emerge from a hole south of my back.

Also, Ray double-tracks his vocals a lot. I just noticed that in my notes.

Reader Comments

steve.robey@mindspring.com
One of the most half-asses albums ever recorded. If you can find the Castle Communications reissue of this album, buy it immediately - the bonus tracks are more than worth the price of the CD. The actual album tracks almost universally suck, but the singles from that period that comprise the bonus tracks RULE! Well I guess "Set Me Free" doesn't exactly RULE, but it's a hell of a lot better than "You Shouldn't Be Sad". And what else is on there? "I Need You" is the third and best attempt at a You Really Got Me riff. A Well Respected Can is on here (written about Jennifer Lopez), as well as See My Friends, probably their coolest pre-Face to Face song, hands down. So I'll give the actual album a 6/10, but the Castle reissue a 9/10.

Ben
A 7? I'm more of a 2.5. No effort here at all. Still sounds like a bunch of 16 year olds picking up guitars for the first time. "Come on Now" is hideous and is one of the few songs I think the world would be better off without. Everyone loves "Tired of Waiting for You," but I just see it as a simple generic stupid Roy Orbison rip off that just happened to be released as a single. The rest of the album is pretty uneventful, even if it does have "You Shouldn't Be Sad," one of my personal favorite Kinks songs. Oh, and "Nothibg Can Stop Me" is a nice acoustic folk song, at least there's SOMETHING to separate it from the first album.

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Kinks-Size/Kinkdom - Rhino 1988
Rating = 9

Granted, it's cold and rainy outside. But does that really give me leeway to repeat to Henry The Dog over and over and over, "It's cold and rainy! (pause) Like Boots McChainey!"? If I were an honest man, I'd have to argue to the contrary. I must have said it sixty-bajillion times in just the last 20 minutes we were outside! And who is this so-called "Boots McChainey"? I'll tell you who. Ray Davies under an assumed name. He's a cold, rainy man who was shot in the leg last night thanks to nothing more than the psychic vibrations of my reviews. But don't take my word for it - ask his brother Dave's book Kink, wherein Dave tells of years and years of Ray ripping his ass off songwriting rights-wise, taking credit for all of Dave's work and verbally abusing him from here til everywhere. Well, FUCK YOU, RAY! Unless Dave's lying. As for Ray getting shot, I've spent all morning trying to come up with a hilarious joke about it. Let me show you what I've got so far:

What did Ray Davies say when he was shot in the leg?
"When I said I wanted 'a bloody hole,' I meant I wanted to have sex with a woman on her period, not that I wanted to get shot!"

Ha hah! Ah yes. NO WAIT A MINUTE! "When I said I wanted 'a bloody hole,' I was using the word 'bloody' as English slang, and referring to a 'bit of a root' on 'a bird,' and not suggesting that I wanted you to shoot me!"

Ha hah ha! Ah me. Yes. NO HANG ON!!! "When I said I wanted a hit that was 'number one with a bullet,' I meant that I wanted to have a hit on the radio, not that I wanted to be shot in the leg with a bullet!"

Heh heh ha. You see, the possibilities are endible. But what are we doing here, just wasting valuable web space on a bunch of hurdy-gurdy jimmy mack slack? Do you realize how many times I could have sung "Love can rock you/Never stop you/Aaaaaaaah/Love is like a rock" in the time I've spent writing this pile of fucking SHIT?

Back in the 1960s, the American and British record industries had different points of view. The Brits were all about singles and EPs, and the Americans were all about singles and then putting the singles onto albums to sell the albums. So after the first two Kinks albums (which I think were torn and ripped apart for their American releases, but I'm not positive), America's Reprise Records decided to collect some hit singles and EP tracks and thingies from Britain's Pye Records and issue two previously non-existent Kinks albums entitled Kinks-Size and Kinkdom. I guess there was some crossover with other albums or some crap (along the lines of The Beatles' Yesterday...And Today), so in 1988, the brilliant lads at Rhino Records gathered up all the non-redundant tracks and piled them onto one big giant amazing 17-track compact disc called Kinks-Size Kinkdom. And holy Cripes, is this some fracckking great early Kinks! With the loud distorted guitars and the gentle pippity ballads and Ray's smooth coolster voice and some mod American r'n'b influence merged with British pop hall goodness with unforgettably hummable vocal melodies laid atop it all, this may be a stitches-and-sonsofbitches release, but good luck finding a better Kinks product in THIS market! (Thanks for nothing, Enron and their friends in the Al-Queda!)

Do the Davies have stuffy noses? Sometimes they sound like they could use a Kleenex. But look at these hits you've heard on the radio: "Who'll Be The Next In Line" and "Ev'rybody's Gonna Be Happy" (fast fun jubilees of Britishized r'n'b), "Set Me Free" and "Such A Shame" (dark brooding guitar masterpieces of love gone ungood), "A Well Respected Man" and "Dedicated Follower Of Fashion" (old-timey music with caustic lyrics about just two of the many, many people that Ray has loathed throughout his life). And this goes not without mentioning the angry, arrogant "I'm Not Like Everybody Else" and --- okay, I have something that is either a question or a concern: "See My Friends" gets all sorts of press coverage from dailies, weeklies and wire services as being the first rock song to incorporate Eastern influences. First of all, although I'm guilty of it (and murder), isn't it a bit presumptuous to cram every form of music from an entire portion of the globe under the blanket term "Eastern"? But beyond that -- what exactly is "Eastern" about this song? There are no sitars or sarods in it. Is it just because Ray sings the three main vocal notes in kind of a hypnotizing manner over a modal backing chord? Is that Eastern? Because that's a major chord in a Western key as far as I can tell. But I'm not an expert, so I'm not saying that everybody else is wrong. I just, myself, don't understand what the Eastern influence is. Just that it kinda "sounds" like Indian music!? Tell me! Do tell me! Personally I'm more impressed with the astoundingly full guitar wash that opens "Dedicated Follower Of Fashion" -- how did they create that sound and why didn't they use it more often?

Getting back to the matter at hand, this CD is the epitome must-own of early Kinks r'n'b power pop rock loud guitar material, even if one or two of the songs aren't the greatest thing you've ever heard in your life (for example, "Don't You Fret," which I like to call by the pet name "Rock Of Ages Cleft For Me"). So stop shooting Ray Davies because it's cold and rainy!

(pause)

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The Kink Kontroversy - Pye 1965
Rating = 8

This would probably be considered the final of the original Kinksy-sounding guitar rock records, but baby it's already moving on to more and more gentle melodic pop songs, which is no problem at all because the Rain Man tears at that.

Let me show you something. You know me, right? You know my ins and my outs, right? The angle of my rifle? Check this out. This next paragraph is something I pulled from the Intronet -- somebody trying to do an "imitation" of me. And I ask you, straight-out -- Am I really this weak?

The parody reads: "Poop! I was just sucked off by a Taiwanese whore while watching midget porn. And the experience reminded me of the Police so I put on the 'Regatta De Blanc' album. Actually I put on a cartoon that was voiced by Mel Blanc. Cartoons are the shit. Especially the X-rated ones. X-rated like your mom. Speaking of the Police, I like their song 'Don't Stand So Close To Me' because nobody ever stands close to me. I scare them away with my poop."

So you tell me. Did this parodist capture the real me? Did he tie me up with a bedstring and color me correct? If so, I feel it's best for the world that I chop off all my typing fingers and eat them.

Ooo, but then I could poop out my fingers, glue 'em back on and type with 'em all stinky!!! I'm IN! Let's DO it!!!! (*can't figure out how to turn on the jigsaw puzzle*)

I gotta go to sparring class, so let's get this boat on the show. Some of Ray's vocals (especially "I'm On An Island" and "Where Have All The Good Times Gone") sound incredibly bored, but considering the fact that Pye Records made the band write and record about 700 albums in their first 12 months as a band, I think it's more likely that he was just exhausted and depressed. I know I'd be depressed if I was going to be penning the song "Destroyer" within the next two decades. And I'm not saying Ray Davies was a psychic or anything, but if you knew what I know about his crystal balls, you'd be a lot more hesitant to bite him in the groin than you are right now. As for the album, I for one am chock-rabbitted at Ray's incredible sense of melody-making, especially in terms of vocals. Man, it's HARD to come up with a good vocal melody! Look at punk rock and heavy metal with the yelling and the screaming. Then listen to "The World Keeps Going Round" - it's a simple voice song but boy it sticks with you! Listen to just the music (block out his vocals with the power of Will) and think, "Hmm. Would I have chosen to sing this particular vocal melody to this music?" Chances are that you wouldn't. It takes a talented songsmith to craft and etch a memorable doody-dah for the people to hum along to. Melodic vocals are so much more enjoyable than all that yelling and screaming you hear behind the TV and in the grocery store.

The album ends with a couple of uneventful songs, but otherwise this is a fine maturing collection of distorted garage rockers and gentler acoustic/piano pop numbers with a few surprising traces of Caribbean influence ("I'm On An Island"), soulful gospel ("I Am Free") and Eddie Van Halen's alcoholic wife-losing guitar pyrotechnics topped with David Lee Roth's gymnastic showmanship and humiliating fall from public interest ("Where Have All The Good Times Gone"). And that's what's so "Kontroversial" about it! That and the original album cover, which depicted Margaret Thatcher steering a remote controlled Evil Kneivel bike into a baby's vagina.

Reader Comments

nikus80@hotmail.com (Aprentice)
It sounds like a parody. Not like the real one, like a parody, because is over done. Is not as funny as the original. See how he overuses the word poop. Mark, instead, uses a great array of offending songs, like ass dildo, tits, poop, shit, blowjob, et cetera. And he doesn't needs to use offending words to offend. THAT's the difference.

steve.robey@mindspring.com
Mark, that "parody" of your writing is a bit too heavy-handed to approach the subtlety with which you ease poop jokes into your prose. My two favorite poop jokes on your site occur in the Frankenchrist and the Can-Unlimited Edition reviews, by the way, in case you're keeping track.

Onto the Kinks.... The Kontroversy album is pretty neat, but not quite there. "I'm On an Island" is my favorite song on the album, and "Til the End of the Day" is a pretty close second. A lot better than Kinda, but nowhere near the heights of Face to Face, one of my favorite albums of all time. I like Dave's work on this album though... "I Am Free" is nice, as is his desperate rockin attempt at "Milk Cow Blues".

johnvillanova@verizon.net
O.K. I'm gonna start with this LP because as far as I'm concerned this is the first Kinks LP... let's face it, the (actual) first 2 (U.S. 4) albums are hodgepodgish at best, Ray was penning phenomenal singles but not paying too much attention to his long player duties...well with this album the scene had changed...... WITH THIS LP RAY DAVIES GROWS A BRAIN ! ! ! ! OH! and the BEST PART! THIS RECORD CROSSED THE ATLANTIC OCEAN WITH THE SAME TITLE AND TRACK SELECTION ! ! ! !, I swear it must be the very first British LP to do this amazing feat....well the graphics changed...but.....anyway..

The only cover kicks off this kollection (Milk Cow Blues) and its great!!! (covers were the bane of the earlier kollections by the way.....go ahead listen to their version of Louie Louie over and over again, I dare ya!) and it just keeps getting better from there..Gotta get the First Plane Home, When I See Thqat Girl of Mine,You Can't Win...Great UK POP!

World Keeps Goin' 'Round and I'm On An Island are insights as to what to expect in the future, Where Have All The Good Times Gone makes the hair on my back (not just my neck) stand up every time Dave yells "Wont you tell me" and Till The End of the Day is the last great stab at the "knitting needles in your ears" kind of tune....overall I'll give the album an 8, only because I know of what's to come...........

Ben
Wow, I didn't realize how much of an improvement this was over the other two. They sound like an actual band here, and a good one. There's a great vibe going throughout this album and the band has never sounded so energetic. Before they got carried away with themselves. Sad thing is, I used to hate this album. Forget bonus tracks, this album is good without them. The best ones are "Till the End of the Day", "Where Have All the Good Times Gone?", "I Am Free" and "Milk Cow Blues".

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Face To Face - Pye 1966
Rating = 9

As you may have read at the top of your RealOne Player, from 1966 to 1969, the Kinks were barred from touring in the U.S. because of a dispute with an American labor union. This may be the reason why such a fine era of Kinks Popp Klassix created nary a wink of excitement over here across the border. Or it might be because all the songs are about British people doing English things in the United Kingdom. WHERE THE HELL DID MY NOTEBOOK GO?!??!

Ah yes, here it is. I'd left it on the turntable from when I was taking notes on the new Pearl Jam rarities compilation. Entitled Lost Dogs, this double-CD compiles thirty lost tracks ranging from pre-Ten ballads to Eddie Vedder rubbing his ear with a WHAT THE F

On Face To Face Ray Davies forced himself to come face to face with the fact that he was no longer a mod "face" and his face was growing wrinkles, and facing such a phase forced him to face a future of repeating the "You Really Got Me" riff to beenytoppers or developing his artistic palette, if you will, enriching his life's creations with the multitudinous hues of audiochromography. Take the fuzzy out of the guitar and replace it with acoustic picking, lighter-toned electric guitars of varying tones and textures -- even harpsichords for yesterday's motherfucker!

But to live is to love, and this is where Day Ravies really comes through on Facet Of Ace. This is music to love: uptempo country-pop, tappy-toe British music hall, gorgeous gentle balladry, regal Left Banke-esque plinkity-plunks for the Royal Family, unhappy dark British smoking a pipe melodies ("Rosy Won't You Please Come Home" LITERALLY sounds like you're playing Clue! And I don't mean the motion picture starring Lee Ving as "Mr. Boddy"!), intense drama, fast folky pop -- Chief, this is - oh, I'm sorry, may I call you Chief?

Oh okay, if you prefer "Asspecker," that's fine too. Asspecker, this is one of those DIVERSE albums that tells you something important about the songwriter - he's no juvenile horse with a sole stunt. He channels a veritable whirlypool of feelings, impressions, constipation and musical styles into his brain-world, expelling them in a gaseous discharge of incomparable melody. Except the lazy boring "Most Exclusive Residence For Sale" and Dave The Brother's fucking stupid as shit dopeyass novelty shit song "You're Looking Fine."

The hit single was "Sunny Afternoon," an incredibly dark sardonic song about a wife-beating alcoholic that somehow manages to be played at baseball games, perhaps by the same programmers that love that fist-pumping patriotic anthem "Born In The USA." No other tracks made much headway in the U.S. though, maybe because the fey British bouncy-tones were no match for America's hardass garage bands like the Standells and the Music Machine? No that's not it, because "House In The Country" is a great uptempo Beatles-style rock and roller. So I don't know. I'm just glad that the record has ultimately gone down in history as one of the best because a human being or animal seldom finds twelve really great pop melodies of varying styles and moods on the same album. These days, you're pretty much gonna have to stick with Ween to get that. Can I make that comparison? Kinks to Ween? Modern Ween, sure! They're pretty poppy! And by "poppy," I mainly mean that the songs are full of softer tones -- not the hard grit of "All Day And All Of The Night." I also am not referring to opium, though I'm thinking of converting my kitchen into a den if I can find enough darkness and scumbags.

Reader Comments

steve.robey@mindspring.com
Years and years ago, I found a budget line double LP for $2 in a used bin called "Lola, Percy and the Apeman Come Face to Face With the Village Green Preservation Society...Something Else!". Remember those "Golden Hour of the Kinks" cheapo compilations? This was a double album of that - so TWO HOURS of the BEST KINKS I HAD EVER HEARD OR EVER WILL HEAR IN MY LIFE. Sound quality was ca-ca, but so what? Anyway, that was my introduction to this era of the Kinks (after The Kink Kronikles, which provided a pretty generous teaser). And one of the most significant purchases of my life. It had all but two tracks from "Face to Face" on it (one of which, curiously, was "Sunny Afternoon"... "I'll Remember" was the other), and I've loved each and every one of them except for "House in the Country", which can go take a hike (ever heard the Pretty Things cover? Don't!).

Face to Face is, in conclusion, one of the greatest albums of all time. At least in the top 100. Probably top 49. Still can't decide which is better though, this album or the two that followed it (skipping over Live at Kelvin Hall). If you like progressive 60s pop music at all, you haven't heard anything until you've heard the Kinks from 1966-1969. And while you're at it, look for the Easybeats too. They rule!

DenBlake29@aol.com
i love all the kinks lps from kontroversy to kronikles but no matter how much i love the village green i still like this one more. it shows ray's brilliance because they did so much with so little here. just the basic 2 guitar line-up and a little help from a harpsichord and you get emotional greatness. ray didn't have another genius and george martin to help him out. brian wilson sat in the studio and did thousands of takes with the finest studio musicians the U.S. had to offer. ray was working with some of the least capable musicians to play on big time records. i love the guys but their playing is no match for the allmans for example. yet these kinks lps are stunning. all hail ray davies. surely with stevie wonder and john and paul and one or two more as the greatest geniuses in the history of rock music. anyhow when people ask me who's lps i would take to a desert island i always say i would take the kinks catalog. and i still consider face to face to be the most lovable.

JOHN.J.DOYLE@nuim.ie
Hey guys, we've finally made the big time. This sure is one "mofo" of an album. (Sorry, the prissy l'il computer wouldn't let me engage in "profain" language). Certainly what I like to refer to, as a 10/10 kind of album. Even deaf people are said to like this big steamin' pot of groovy stew. Just don't check on my sources. They haven't been updated since Buck Rogers went AWOL. Gee, that Buck dude was a sweet guy. Shame about the cod piece.

OSLANE@student.gvsu.edu
I've said it before but, again, nice work on the site, got me more into music I otherwise wouldn't pay attention to. such as the kinks. i'm not really an invasion fan I love this album. My friend has every kinks album and is obsessed but so far I've only heard this one, kink kontroversy and village green and this is my favorite even though I love those other two as well.

and yet still you diss the one of two songs I listen more than any on Face to Face, "You're Looking Fine." just the opening pare of couplets in that song are so good. Also, my friend has the british import version of the remaster series so he's got all the b-sides and you diss my favorite on those too, "I'm Not Like Anybody Else."

Ben
As much as I like this album, I can't help but think that the previous album was when the kinks got their act together. I also think this album isn't as good as the last one ("Dandy" is too cute and "Rainy Day in June" and "Fancy" are boring). But those are all my complaints. Favorite here is "Most Exclusive Residence for Sale" (not "lazy boring" at all). Album sounds great in mono too.

Add Your Thoughts?

Live At Kelvin Hall - Pye 1967
Rating = 8

What on Earth were we talking about? Ah yes, The Stinks. The Stinks outdid themselves in 1967 with the incredible breakthrough Live At Kelvin Hall, so-named because the temperature of the auditorium is set at a spine-curdling zero kelvin degrees year-round. After Pete Quaife freezes to death halfway through, things really pick up steam with a hot sassy medley of famous tracks including Aerosmith's "Milk Cow Blues," Tim Burton's "Batman" and The Kinks' "Tired Of Smelling Your Shoe." And Mr., I'm here to announce this: "Milk Cow Blues" is a fast blues-rock song that flows into "Tired Of Waiting For You" about as naturally as Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song" flows into the Caspian Sea (i.e. PISS!). Hey! Did you know that the Kinks actually LIVE at Kelvin Hall? I never knew this, but it says it right here on the back cover. Fuckin' shit! Let me use the HTML tag for "end paragraph" to show you how smart I am.

I DID IT! GRADE ME ON ACCURACY AND I GET A B+! (I did it wrong the first 600 times but you weren't around to watch). This album features live renditions of one song from the first album, two from Kinda Lame, one from Sizedom, three from Monster Magnet's Greatest Hits Kontroversy and three from the most recent release, Face To Face. I have issues with rating live albums. Mainly this: if a band decides to play their best songs in concert and proceeds to play versions that sound just like the album versions, does that mean the album deserves a 9 or 10? Or should it get a lower grade because it offers nothing new? I've struggled over this question at least since Buddy Holly At Budokan came out, and possibly many years before. But what do YOU think? Let's make this an extra-special section of the site, where you actually respond to a question instead of sitting there on your ASS and not telling me that you're reading my writing. GOD, MONSTER MAGNET SUCK COCKS!!!! WHO THE FUCK NEEDS WORTHLESS SHITTYASS GRUNGE MUSIC??? THIS IS PATHETIC SHIT!

As for The Kinks in love at Melvins, I like the Melvins. I have interviews with two of the members on another site I run, which you can find at www.markprindle.com. Please enjoy it and tell all your friends! I'd tell mine but I don't have any. As a general rule, I fucking hate everybody. But in actuality, people who are nice to me are the greatest. I like to be nice back. And then there's people whose work thrills me and makes me act like a Fan Man. (like my Tommy Erdelyi interview - HOLY FUCK, I INTERVIEWED FUCKING TOMMY RAMONE!).

My point is that it's a good live album. The vocals are a little muffled, but the guitars are louder than hellck. So loud that you can hear which individual strings on each instrument are out of tune. But there's no reason to buy it, because you should buy the albums with the original studio versions. If a guy throws it out of a car at you, keep it because it's really good. But don't waste your money on it! That's money you could send to me for more Johnny Cash CDs! Because one thing's for certain: they sure don't all sound exactly the same!

Speaking of which, doesn't that Alanis Morrisette song "Ironic" kick ass?

God I love referring to shitty pop songs that came out ten fucking years afuckgo.

I'm now 60% employed and I'm reading a book about heavy metal. Monster Magnet are worthless. The Kinks aren't though. Well, they are now. And have been since the day I was born. But prior to that date, they were a great band! Whoever shot Ray Davies should be ashamed of himself for not doing it right after Soap Opera came out.

Not that I'm knocking the shittyass album Soap Opera! Just you wait! When you get to that review, you'll be all like, "Wow! Mark Prindle totally loves Soap Opera!" But dude, that's because you're on the wrong site. My name is All. All Musicguide. Weird name for my parents to name me, but what could I do? I was a fuckin baby and shit! I crapped all over them when they named me that, but what else could I do to verbalize my discontent? Bottom line: Stephen Thomas Erlewine has never offered to pay me money for my obscene record reviews. Therefore, Stephen Thomas Erlewine mastered yoga just so he could suck his own cock.

EAT SHIT, EVERYONE WHO'S NEVER HIRED ME!

Unless you're thinking about it, in which case, "Dude! Your magazine RULES!"

Reader Comments

superunknown@ananzi.co.za (Hans Burger)
Personally, I think it's OK to give live albums a high grade if they're a collection of identical versions of the band's best songs. Just note that in the review, and everything works out great.

I really like Monster Magnet, by the way. Though I understand how every other human being on earth might hate them.

jscottwinn@yahoo.com
"Boingo Alive" by Oingo Boingo is a studio-live album. And it's good.

nikus80@hotmail.com (Aprentice)
The question is, "would you rather listen to the originals?", or, "is there a lot of difference?" or "a greatest hits compliation would be better?" or crap along these lines. I don't think you actually NEED to fiddle around with 8 or 9 (or simply say it, like on satan stole my teddybear). If they are the same shit as the original, why would anyone want to buy it?

stevenjules@xtra.co.nz
live albums? I hate em! being subjected to "DAVID LIVE" (closely followed by the almost as bad "VIVA ROXY MUSIC") as a 3 yr old stud, has meant ANY live album has me running for cover. So although being AT THE GIG (Being groped by young girls/boys/both, having beer spilled on you, getting beaten up, having your car stolen) is fine, listening to it afterwards stone cold sober sucks, EXCEPT The Melvins "Montreal" which sounds like a LIVE DRUM CHECK BEFORE THE BAND STARTS. But the points system has always been a bit confusing, like some dude was stupid enough to give Weens "God Ween Satan", "The Pod" AND "The Mollusk" ALL 10's and another equally thick guy gave The Butthole Surfers "Another Man's Sac" AND "Locust Abortion Technician" BOTH 10's and I suspect The Melvins will GET the SAME treatment. Does that mean each album is graded on its merit or the band as a whole? Which then means every band is entitled to at least ONE 10, even if they don't deserve it. Talking of bands not deserving a 10, being Takaninis' biggest Monster Magnet fan (pop. 800) I admit "God Says No" sucked large globs of snot but "Superjudge" (which criminally has only 1 SONG on the "Greatest Hits" album, the slightly weak kneed "Black Balloon") is a GREASY LONG HAIRED DUMBASS LYRICED LAZY DO NOTHING ALL DAY PLAY AIR GUITAR SMACKED UP BITCH RAISE YOUR GLASSES AND THANK THE LORD IT'S NOT MATCHBOX TWENTY STAND ON TOP OF A MOUNTAIN SLUGFEST OF AN ALBUM. Any album with song titles like "Cyclops Revolution" "Cage Around The Sun" and "Evil (Is Going On)" gets a BIG THUMBS UP. Just don't waste your money on "God Says No", so in short buy The Kinks (and Superjudge)

Ben
Not much a fan of this one, even if I do like most of the songs. The studio versions are better, and although the medley at the end is pretty cool, it's just not that exciting. There's also versions of my least favorite kinks song (of the sixties anyway) "Come on Now" and "Dandy". There are pretty rocking versions of "Till the End of the Day" and "You Really Got Me" however. As much as I like "Sunny Afternoon", I don't like how the audience sings part of it.

Add your thoughts?

Something Else - Pye 1967
Rating = 9

True story: A few nights ago, my wife and I were jaunting happily down Lexington Avenue when we passed one of those dippy little stores that sells overpriced novelties like Dog Lamps and the Dogopoly board game, and I noticed something I'd never noticed before: the store was called "Something Else"! I of course turned to my wife who could give a shit's dickass about such matters and said, "Hey! That's the next Kinks album I have to review!" We then continued on to our destination, The Part 1 Lola Versus Powerman And The Moneygoround Edible Condom Store.

"This is the master, alright?" says someone presumably in the production/mixing department and away we go into one of the greatest and most varied records that the Kinks ever recorded. Granted, it was awarded no hit singles by you stupid Americans (I'm from the country of Marlboro), but the songs oh sweet mother of mary God. First of all, it's full of fun early stereo experimentation and very soft and clean tones - acoustic guitars, friendly pianos, occasional brass, bubbly bass, crisp drumwork, majestic harpsichords, not to mention Ray and Dave's dandy English voices - so it's automatically a pleasure for the ears to behold. Then Ray "Dark Overlord of Great Vocal Harmonies" Davies shows up with a swatchbook of every type of music he's capable of writing: classic '60s pop, princely art music, Spaniardy bossanova, military March Against Smoking, British music hall goodtimes, Dylanesque social protest, druggy acid folk, bubblegum psych, bachelor pad EZ listening and emotional balladry. That's ten genres I've identified, and he only wrote eleven goddamned songs for the record!! So either Something Else should be called Some STUFF Else or I'm finding genres where they don't exist! And I know that's not the case because I completely overcame my schizophrenia the day I realized that Paul Bettany and Ed Harris don't exist.

So let's take a look at what Ray's singing about this time out. There's a married woman who is jealous of her swingin' single sister until finally realizing how blessed she is with her children. Then there's a guy who is driven by his ambitious mother-in-law to quit his job in pursuit of a higher salary -- he then can't find a job and his wife leaves him. Then there's - WHOA! "Death Of A Clown" is the most tear-drenchedly beautiful song I've ever heard! And DAVE wrote it! Huh? No, not Dave Thomas from the Wendy's commercials - what the hell sense would that make?

My final point for you is that Ray Davies at this point in his life was hot on character studies and British imagery/activity/geography. He was also at this point a stronger songwriter than John Lennon and Paul McCartney combined.

Mainly because if you actually tried to merge the bodies of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, you'd run into all kinds of compatibility issues with the bloodstream and nerve endings and whatnot. Under that kind of biological pressure, our combined "Lencartney" creature would likely be rendered artistically incapacited for at least six months to a year, leaving the charts wide open for Ray Davies and the other top pop craftsman of the day, that guy who wrote "Brandy You're A Fine Girl".

Oh. "Waterloo Sunset" is on here. A lot of people consider that The Kinks' best song, so I should mention it if only to avoid their BULLSHIT. It IS a pretty song (especially the backup vocals), but that ugly snapback lead guitar tone sounds like somebody strung the instrument with rubber bands. And believe me -- I have nothing against rubber bands, but they'd look better on my floor (if you know what I mean, you lady there in the rubber band pants).

Reader Comments

jb2533@hotmail.com
Something Else, eh? Well, this album is something else..... but is it really? Yeah. But still, you can hear a bunch of "Beatleisms" in it. I find it odd, though, that people find this to be the absolute height in the Kinks' entire catalogue. I don't have their entire catalogue but I have some of their more acclaimed stuff and I think Village Green is a few levels above this one. Village Green is much more balanced. Something Else, though, has some good highpoints such as the graceful "Waterloo Sunset".... and a few others. This is not a bad record, though........... hunh, for its nice feel and because it's by the Kinks......... I'd give it an 8. Village Green, though, would get a 9 1/2 or 10.

Now, because I'm a countdown kind of guy.

In honor of Rollingstone's 100 Immortal list....

some alterations I would put in.

I haven't looked at it too much though, so I probably will miss some things

Add Tom Waits

Eric Clapton is on there 3 times..... take off his solo career or something, he got kinda lame quick (I sorta think).... I'm not a good judge on that though.

Aerosmith at 57? More like 107 (I guess)

Frank Zappa at 71? He's probably, overall, the most brilliant guy on this list.... why not the top 50?

Put Mr. Elvis Costello 50 places up, he's also one of the most talented guys on here.

Good job on putting The Kinks on here, I was suprised.

Has Radiohead really had time to establish themselves among the absolute greatest acts in the entire history of rock & roll?

Roxy Music? Uhhhhh, pretty lame at times.... maybe Brian Eno, yeah, they should give him some of the much deserved credit he deserves.

Hoorah for Phil Spector!

Simon and Garfunkel but not Paul's solo career? Simon and Garfunkel had more flash, but Simon's most accomplished (boring) and mature work came in his underrated (except for Graceland) solo career. I'd take Rhymin' Simon, Graceland, and Paul Simon over much of his work with Garfunkel.

I'd put Bruce Springsteen and Prince (not as much as Bruce, though) a few places higher.

I've never even heard of Ricky Nelson.

An interesting choice with James Taylor..... hunh, he is underrated.

Why Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers and not CCR?

Randy Newman, is also one of those guys who should be recognized......

you know, even if he has almost no commercial appeal.... but that's not the point of the article.... even though I'm the one probably missing the point... but still, there are some changes I would have made.

steve.robey@mindspring.com
OK, pound for pound, I'm going to say that this is the best Kinks album ever. It's kind of always a tossup between this one, Village Green, and Face to Face, but today at least, this is the one to buy. I think it might be because of all the songs on here that make me nearly break out in tears. The songs are THAT GOOD. The lyrical themes alone are peerless: "Two Sisters" is an extremely touching Cinderella sort of allegory; "Situation Vacant" is a tragicomedy about giving in to pressure from your in-laws and living to regret it; "Afternoon Tea" almost feels like a sequel to "Sunny Afternoon", with its images of peaceful bliss juxtaposed against the lament of a lost lover and/or friend. "Waterloo Sunset", for all the hoopla that's been written about it's beautiful arrangement and vocal harmonies, is really carried by its lyrics: a bittersweet portrait of a voyeur, blissfully living vicariously through a young couple he sees from his window each day. Dammit, who writes fuckin lyrics like that anymore? Those are the lyrical highlights.. The musical highlight has to be "Lazy Old Sun", with a very odd chromatic chord progression and equally odd melody on top of it, augmented by triumphant horns. Dave's song "Funny Face" is also a highlight - and a very touching lyric about his childhood sweetheart whom he got pregnant at a very early age and who was forbidden to see him again as a result. True story. You go, Dave "Death of a Clown" Davies!!

Ben
I've heard rumors about this being the best Kinks album. Bullshit. I get that they were trying to make the most British album possible, but there are some huge drawbacks to this album. They start with "Harry Rag" and "Tin Soldier Man". As popular as they are, I can't get into them (too cute and poppy). I also might be alone on this one, but I think the Jam did a better version of "David Watts".

But that's just about all the bad things aside. When this album is bad, its pretty bad, but when it's good, it's wonderful. I'm surprised Dave wrote such top quality songs here, the gorgeous "Death of a Clown" and the rousing "Love Me Till the Sun Shines". Shame you don't like "Waterloo Sunset" as much as the rest of the world does. I think it's not only the best song on the album, but also the most beautiful song they ever did. I also really like "Two Sisters" (I'll take that over "Eleanor Rigby" any day) and "End of the Season (which kind of reminds me of Morrissey). Good album, even if it is overrated. I'll give it a 7.

Add your thoughts?

The Village Green Preservation Society - Pye 1968
Rating = 9

Wait though, wait. I have a hilarious drinking story for you. Okay, so a few nights ago the wife and I go to Penang Malaysian Restaurant so she can get her Roti Canai before we go to Pizza Uno to fill my arteries with death. So we're at Penang and I've made the foolish mistake of drinking FOUR large mouthfuls of John "Jack" Daniel's Old Time Old No. 7 Brand Quality Tennessee Sour Mash Whiskey. Now I know a lot of you readers are young people who might not have ever been drunk, so let me try to describe it for you: You know how when you're flying in a rocket ship high above the universe, you get kind of a quivery feeling in your brain that makes it hard to focus and stand up straight? It's like that, but on crystal meth.

So we're at Penang Malaysian Restaurant and my male substitute for a vagina (whatever it's called - "boob" or whatever) decides it has to "you know." So I go to the bathroom to "you know" and I can't get the toilet paper off the roll. It's stuck on the roll. And see, I like to wipe down the seat before sitting on it to prevent another man's urine from giving crabs to my butt. So I was angry as a wolverine when the toilet paper wouldn't come off the roll. Oh! Did I mention I pee sitting down? Most men do. REAL men anyway; those who are secure in their sexuality and have nothing to prove, and don't fuck each other in the ass when they're standing up peeing all over each other. So I get angry at the toilet paper roll and in my drunken state, the most appropriate course of revenge is to pull out the wong-dong and release jets of yellow gold all over the floor. So I do this for a moment before realizing that I'm 30 years old. Pausing, I focus all my strength and concentration on the toilet paper roll, manage to extract a piece and fwee! The toilet seat is clean for you and me! So I sit down on it to finish my private business when I look up to my left and see a goddamned CAMERA up on the wall! A fucking VIDEO CAMERA! They filmed me peeing on the floor! They're going to THROW ME OUT and CALL THE POLICE! I can't deal with that kind of harrassment, so I decide to take matters into my own hands. I reach up, grab the camera, rip it off the wall and strategically remove the batteries and -- the uh... disinfectant can. The one that I thought was a video camera.

So it appears that most restaurants don't film their patrons taking a crap. But see, when you're flying high on alcoholijuana, these things don't occur to you! But we're okay now, me and Penang. I hope so anyway, as I'm planning a return visit in about 20 minutes.

This album has a lot of nostalgia stuff going on, as any critic will tell you. It also has a very live sound - boxy drums, loud bass, acoustic guitars, live pianos, earthy production - it's stellar pop songwriting, but not presented in a Vaseline-clean manner like the last record. The guitar tones are choppier and harder. Lots of "unresolved verses" that become "resolved" in the chorus, which is always pleasing to the listener of music. And have you ever actually listened to the lyrics of "All Of My Friends Were There"? I always thought it was a positive song, but it's actually about his friends watching him up on stage doing a SHITTY JOB! And how he wished NOBODY had been there!!!! And am I nuts or does the chorus of "Animal Farm" sound like the guy in the Strokes? I don't know. These are random thoughts. Essentially, this album is the Kinks' nonstop pop masterpiece. It's not a diverse collection of influences like the last two - it's just a whole bunch of natural and well-performed melodies all in a row. MELODY. CHERISH THE MELODY. You WILL marvel at Ray's brilliance, and wonder how it is that he can write such great vocal lines. When "All Of My Friends" started, my wife started singing "Lotsa pizza! Lotsa pizza!" because it's a herky-jerky Italian wedding song like that. Yo La Tengo covered "Big Sky." Let me start over.

There's only so many ways that I can think to say, "Wow! Check out these catchy, moving, haunting, wonderful melodies that sound like nothing I've ever heard and make me want to sing them all the time!" THAT is what Ray Davies excelled at when he was at his best. This album is all pop, so do NOT look for kickass rock (only ONE song uses a distorted evil guitar). If you're okay with acoustic guitars, bounciness, fun, good times, yearning for the olden times and a whole lot of notes sung by the singer, you MUST purchase this Kinks album. I just hear each song and go, "Wow. It's another one. How does he do it?" And more importantly, how did this album fail to create a hit single in the U.S.? Are we fucking MORONS?!?!

All you non-Americans, SHUT YOUR ASS. Americans are the smartest people in the world - can't you tell by the way we're the only Empire left? Your shittyass country is SHIT compared to us! Don't ask me why though. I've yet to quite figure that out. I have to assume it's due to the intelligence of past leaders because the current administration is a bunch of worthless corporate pricks.

Piano raags. A blues-rock riff. A warped version of classic rock. But only TWO songs (tracks 3 and 4) that aren't audio bliss entirely. And even those two have moments of audio bliss. Believe me. My wife has hooded eyes just like Faye Dunaway, and I don't care. Right, Henry? Henry's the dog of the family. Hey! No more Shel Talmy! Ray produced this one by himself! That must be why it's not soft. Well, it IS soft. The songwriting is soft, but some of the - I mean, it's like "real" pop/rock, not synthetic la-de-da. Not that the last album was. FUCk! Let's just say, "Hey, Ray wasn't saying to himself, 'These are friendly songs I wrote, so every instrument must sound friendly.'" They DON'T all sound friendly. But they sound REAL and GENUINE. And that's what he was going for on this record with his sad lyrics about times past and how they were so much better than times now. (And by "times now," I of course mean "36 years ago." Now Ray's like four thousand years old and a worthless old impotent)

If you want to hear clever melodicism that is still unmatched this many years later, you MUST own these last three albums (excepting Live While The Melvins Ball). They are just SO consistently smart and unlike anything you've ever heard. Ray started sucking eventually, but these three albums were the tops, er... head on! (Clash reference, and a bad one at that!)

I love this album. It has TWO songs about how people take pictures of each other to remember how times used to be. TWO!!!! ZERO would be enough songs to cover this topic, but Ray wrote TWO!!! That's why I so love an earlier verison of himself.

Reader Comments

my_kansas@hotmail.com (Paul Pittman)
This, in my opinion, is the finest Kinks album. And for once I agree with most of the stuff Pringle had to say, although Picture Book and Johnny Thunder have always been two of my favourites. A 10.

watta502@yahoo.gr (Akis Katsman)
This is an excellent Kinks album! In fact, I'm listening to it the time I write these lines! All the songs rule, not unlike Arthur. If I had to pick a favourite, it would be "Village Green", it's a perfect short pop song. Other favourites of mine include "Do You Remember Walter?", "Animal Farm" and the catchy title track. Arthur may be better in overall, but this album is very very close. 9.5/10

MatthewByrd@hotmail.com
Wow! This album is excellent! Not a stinker in the bunch, nope, the album runs smoothly the whole way through. I've heard few pop albums that are so enjoyable. I would say a 10 is in order. Now, for no apparent reason.......... here are MY top 5 80's metal songs. Oh yeah! As you can see, I'm a countdown kind of guy.

1.Jump - Van Halen - How can you disagree? I mean, this is not only the best 80's metal song, it's actually a credible song that could be on any greatest song/single list.

2.Welcome To The Jungle - Guns 'N' Roses - Well, I'm not really a fan of any of these bands.......... but, this one's not too bad. This defines the band when they were good (cough), which wasn't for a very long time......... maybe half of one album.

3.Photograph - Def Leppard - Oh Yeah! Are you gettin' it? Are you really gettin' it? Then ARMAGEDDON IT! This one's produced by Robert 'Mutt' Lange........ he's one of the more accomplished producers. Well, the guy produces Shania Twain now......... lucky bastard.

4.Livin' On A Prayer - Bon Jovi - Well, I guess it's a rule to really like Bruce Springsteen if you're from New Jersey....... like these guys. You can hear some Springsteenian lyrics in this song........ just for that, I'm gonna knock it up to no. 2 next time.

5.Counrty Roads (Take Me Home) - John Denver - Ok, I guess this song doesn't fit into the category.......... but, what the heck, I like it. I guess I'd put like........ 'You Shook Me All Night Long'............ but, AC/DC aren't really that 80's, even in the 80's. Ok, my actual pick for 5 is.............. The Final Countdown - Europe.

JOHN.J.DOYLE@nuim.ie
Mark forgot to put an extra little dot on that list of 9, cos let's be honest, this is another perfect 10 from Raymond Douglas Davies and co. Maybe you got this one mixed up with the "Village Green Persecution Society". Don't worry Mark, it's a mistake I make all the freakin' time. Like leaving halibut in the cupboard, forgetting to go fishing with Rocky, allowing big sideburned gorrillas to whack me across the back of the head on a regular basis, taking too much jive from Diehl. Ah, watcha gonna do, hey? The view from the trailer is beautiful, so I ain't compaining.

Dan Brookes
This is so good, I don't know where to start. The lack of comments on this is suspicious; doesn't everyone think these are fifteen of the finest pop songs ever written? It's the only album that everyone in our band can agree that we all like, and as such has soundtracked the ride to shows on countless occasions. The amount of times I've butchered these songs in my own songwriting is so often to be countless...one of the best ever. There's no fat on it: a lack of excess is the one thing that hardly anyone can do - think how many albums there are that have unnecessary tracks, or parts of songs that are superfluous. This just finds the point, hammers it home, and moves on. Incredible.

cjfreeman@homemail.com.au
Brilliant review. The malaysian eatery stuff is so horribly evocative. Anyway, these are some of the most unique, emotional, resonant, and incredibly well constructed pop songs EVER. It's like seargent peppers without the bullshit jokey stuff, or that beach boys album which everyone likes. But this stuff is so WEIRD. You'd think ray was being sarcastic with all the unbelievably heavy nostalgia; but he's almost not! And that's one of the nice things about this album; you don't know quite what to make of it. So many of the songs are very weepy, nostalgic, overdone, dreamy, and yet genuinely ANGSTY, not a teenage way, but in an empty, pathetic, old mans way. What makes it all the more wonderful is how unfashionable this music was; it's nice to listen to something so idiosyncratic, (at least lyrically). It makes it feel more like a truly "genuine" document. Not a fashion statement, or an attempt to fit into the times. It's like ray's trying to find some comfort in things from his childhood, free from this "big and wild and half insane" world, but admitting to us, (or perhaps not) the sillyness of just that. Lines like "God save donald duck, vaudeville and variety. We are the desperate dan appreciation society" seem to both celebrate and demean this kind of thick nostalgia. It's also sad to think about all the people in the desperate dan appreciation society and what not. Pitcure book's a bit crappy though.

Ben
I think a 9 might be going a little too far. As much as I like (not love) this album, it kind of falls apart at the end. Aside from "Wicked Annabella" (which is great, and the only song from this album to get a Wikipedia article), I'm not really into anything after "Starstruck" (though "Phenomenal Cat" is okay).

But the stuff before "Starstruck" is pretty remarkable. The first four tracks are excellent, and then we get a surprisingly great blues song "Last of the Steam Powered Trains" which is miles better than the blues stuff they attempted back in 64-65. "Big Sky" is my personal favorite here, but it's followed closely by the gorgeous "Animal Farm" and for some odd reason "Village Green". Definitely overrated, but still very good. I'll give this a solid 8.

Add your thoughts?

Arthur (Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire) - Reprise 1969
Rating = 9

So I'm in a car at some point in the last year and I hear this r'n'b rap dancey pop number on the radio with a woman singer. All is going fine and boringly until suddenly I hear her use the term "moebius strip." I don't know the name of the song; I don't study my OWN human shit, let alone some pop whore's. But the bottom line here - the line at the bottom - is that I can deal with a lot of things in life (a ripped baseball card, a hard-to-reach whisker), but a moron trying to sound smart by cramming the words "moebius strip" into her mindless assdumb songass is too much for me to bear. I thus proceeded to smash the car over and over into the city of Philadelphia, killing everyone inside.

One songwriter who knew better than to use the term "moebius strip" in a pop song was a talented young man named Raymond Douglas Davies, who would later change his name to Alice Cooper. He would then change it back to Raymond Douglas Davies just moments later. But in the meantime, somewhere in his timeline of activity, he wrote a rock opera and possible television special about Arthur, a hilarious rich alcoholic portrayed by the late Dudley Moore. <---- LIE DETECTOR BEEPITY BEEP! Arthur was actually a relative of Ray's who grew disgusted with Britain's role in WWII and retired to what he hoped would be the easy life in Australia. <---- TRUTH DETECTOR! WHOOP! WHOOP!! JINGALINGALING! God that would fuckin' rule if everyone had to wear a truth detector that made really loud honking noises every time they said something true. I'm totally gonna invent that and pitch it to Ashcroft as a terrorism deterrent.

Huh? No, not RICHARD Ashcroft. He may be a talented copyright violator, but he just doesn't have the (get this) "VERVE" of John Ashcroft. (*audience applauds amazing play-on-words, shaking their heads back and forth in astonishment and inner ear infection*)

Let's talk about lyrics, since Ray was a great lyricist back in the day (and this CD includes a lyrics sheet). Throughout Arthur, Sister Ray addresses such issues as (shockingly) nostalgia for a more innocent time ("Long ago life was clean/Sex was bad and obscene"), the repressive death wish of army life during wartime ("Give the scum a gun and make the bugger fight/And be sure to have deserters shot on sight/If he dies, we'll send a medal to his wife"), middle-class conformity ("You've got a job and a house/And a wife, and your kids and a car/Yeah, you're conditioned to be what they want you to be/And be happy to be where you are"), the widening gap between the aristocracy and the poor who foolishly admire them ("He tries to feed his wife and his family/And buy them clothes and shoes they can wear/But he's bought a hat like Anthony Eden's/So he don't care") and emotional distance between family members ("How are those noisy neighbors next door/I'll have to go soon 'cos I'm getting bored/I gotta be home early to see a good play/So far Papa, I got nothin' to say"). See what good lyrics he wrote? There are MORE too! A HUNDRED more!

Musically, The Kinks have moved forward with ambition, leaving Britpop behind for a tougher and more biting ROCK sound. Mick Avory seems to be hitting the drums with much more force than before, and Dave is playing wankoff bluesy guitar solos and licks all over the place, like he's been taking lessons from little-known Cream guitarist Erik Clapton. The songs are also longer than before, giving the band room for multiple stylistic changes and even a droning modal JAM in one track! Sweeping strings and military brass are present in several tracks, accompanied generally by both acoustic and lightly distorted electric guitar (and bass, obviously - OBVIOUSLY). And it seems to me that they spent more time on the arrangements and production than on the previous releases -- like there's more in the mix to listen to, and more of a full-band groove than the songwriter-driven pop melodies of Preserving Somebody Else's Face. In fact, although I personally feel that a few of these melodies could use a little more...you know...MELODY (like am I nuts or does every line in the white gospel "Nothing To Say" bear a striking resemblance to the last line in each verse of "Yes Sir No Sir"? What's with that obvious "this line stops HERE" rhythmic stop in both songs?), the excellent playing and richer songscopescapes stand up to repeated listens, as it's so easy to hear new things in the mix each time you listen. Backup "aaaah"s, wild descending bass lines, harpsichords, interesting cymbal taps, etc.... This is three-dimensional music, so much so that if you slice the edge of the CD forcefully against your eye, you can almost FEEL it. Plus it contains what may very well be my favorite Kinks song of all-time, "Shangri-la." That's a good song. It goes, "Shangri-laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Shangri-laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Shangri-laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa." And then it repeats and there are verses and stuff. It's really pretty and sad. It goes like this: "Shangri-laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

One other thing that must be mentioned: In three or four songs (including The Fall's hit single "Victoria"), Ray sings in a dopey low voice like he's holding a puppet show or some SHIT. Probably LIKES shoving his hand up puppets' asses, the pedophile.

Oh, that was Pete Townshend? Sorry about that - sometimes I mix up my guys who haven't written a decent song in 30 years.

Reader Comments

watta502@yahoo.gr (Akis Katsman)
Arthur is a hell of an art/pop (or whatever) record. I don't get any comparisons with The Who's Tommy. This album is much better than Tommy; that Who album is so overrated. Here we don't have filler AT ALL, and we have some of the best songs ever to exist ("Some Mother's Son" and "Shangri-La"). "Australia" is another favourite of mine - it's so trippy! Man, what a genius Ray Davies was! I think I'll listen to this album right now! 9.5/10

MatthewByrd@hotmail.com
I really haven't listened too a lot of the Kinks' albums but I have listend to this one and I would say I would really have to say I think it's excellent. Jeez, why doesn't anybody know about these guys except for 'you really got me now?' I would take 'Shangri-La' over that one anyday. Something Else is stellar.... if not a bit disjointed(but, is that really a problem?) and I haven't really given Muswell Hillbillies a listen. As far as Village Green, I'm a-gonna wait until I'm not incredibly sick of 'Picture Book' which is on a HP commercial.

gag05@bigpond.com.au
Fuck I hate Ray Davies! No man should be allowed to write melodies as good as he did! “Autumn Almanac”, “Wonderboy”, “Waterloo Sunset”, “David Watts”, “I’m Not like Everybody Else”, ”Dandy”..shit was there ever a better pure pop/rock songwriter then this guy when he was at his best? Only Lennon/McCartney come to mind but even those two might have been a few steps behind that gifted cunt Ray Davies during his peak 65- 69!!! “Mr. Pleasant” is the greatest song the Monkees never had written for them.

alexmortland@hotmail.com
Overrated. Nothing but "Victoria" really grabs me, but that's one helluva tune, fa shiggity. Love that lowbrow doofus vocal sound!

dwagner@fpi.flexibleplan.com
"like am I nuts or does every line in the white gospel "Nothing To Say" bear a striking resemblance to the last line in each verse of "Yes Sir No Sir"? What's with that obvious "this line stops HERE" rhythmic stop in both songs?"

haha - that melody is great. It's as if he's saying, "This melody is serious business!" do do do do... DO DO DO DO.

Ben
This is my favorite Kinks album. Just when I thought they couldn't make another album as even as "Kontroversy", they put this out. I agree with the 9 rating. Only complaints here are "Australia" and the slightly boring "Young and Innocent Days". I love how the band decided to rock for this one and not just try to come up with beautiful melodies.

My favorites here are the title track, "Victoria", "Some Mother's Son" and "Nothing to Say". This album was apparently written as a movie script or something. Can you imagine how a movie of this album would have turned out?

Add your thoughts?

Part 1 Lola Versus Powerman And The Moneygoround - Reprise 1970
Rating = 8

Graffiti = urine.

No, I'm serious. It does. People who run around with spraypaint cans "marking" their "tag" or whatever everywhere are EXACTLY like dogs going around marking their territory by peeing on buildings and stuff. It is the exact same mindset. I'm not being facetious - this is fact. Spray painters cover up each other's work with their own tags - that's the same thing that dogs do; they try to pee HIGHER UP on a building than the previous dog. They smell the previous message (just as graffiti people look at the previous message) and then try to cover it up with their own. It's a way of saying, "I was here! Acknowledge me!" That's all graffiti people are doing - pissing all over town, unable to rise above the communication level of animals because their lives are empty and pathetic. FUCK YOU, GRAFFITI PEOPLE!

Except the ones who can actually create art. You guys are cool. But the ones who just write "CASH" and "SNOTY" everywhere - are you people fucking retarded?

As for Lolers And the Assgrab Of Society, although it's gone down in history as Ray's angry scream of rage at the sleazy music business, the real theme of the record is his struggle to escape the overcrowding, greed, backbiting and corruption of modern society. In songs like "The Contenders," "This Time Tomorrow," "Apeman" and "Got To Be Free," Ray seeks solace in love, solitude, nostalgia and a return to nature. On a less "general" and more "specific" jib, he also condemns union heads in the brilliant "Get Back In Line" and tells an entertaining story about a beautiful woman in "Lola." She is a beautiful woman and that's what the song is about, and nothing else.

Having said that, four of these 13 songs definitely ARE about the music business, and their sarcastic wit is a real hoot for all of us up here - Dino, Sammy Dave, all of us up here sharing a bottle of bubbly. Here are a few lyrics for your enjoyment:

"Denmark Street": You go to a publisher and play him your song/He says 'I hate your music and you hair is too long/But I'll sign you up because I'd hate to be wrong'

"Powerman": He's got my money and my publishing rights/But I've got my girl and I'm alright

"The Moneygoround": Robert owes half to Grenville/Who in turn gave half to Larry/Who adored my instrumentals/And so he gave half to a foreign publisher/She took half the money that was earned in some far distant land/Gave back half to Larry and I end up with half of goodness knows what

"Top Of The Pops": Now my record's number 11 on the BBC/But number 7 on the N.M.E./Now the Melody Maker want to interview me/And ask my view on politics and theories on religion.

Musically, as the album is not a collection of spoken word pieces, it contains music. Countryish rock music! The songs wallow in messy untuned acoustic guitar strumming, Keith Richardsy lead electric country-blues licks, banjo and soft piano by new (fifth!) band member John Gosling. The arrangements are much emptier and less developed than those of Arturo, but most of the actual melodies are as touching and/or toe-tappingly singalongable as ever, if a bit more pasture-sounding. There are a few generic attempts to "ROCK OUT" in a crunchy Stonesy vein that don't come across too well; although you get the sense that the generic "Louie Louie" hard rock of "Top Of The Pops" is intended as ironic commentary on the anatomy of a hit single, the same can't be said for Ray's overlong "Powerman" or Dave's lame "Rats." They're not BAD songs though - just not really the Kinks' forte at this point. But must a group constantly repeat themselves? Can't a band occasionally try to branch out and try new styles?

No.

Best,
Johnny Ramone

Reader Comments

J.Mcelhatton@theglobaldraw.com (Julian McElhatton)
I would have thought you of all people would have noticed that `Lola' was not a beautiful woman, but a strapping transvestite lady. I know you're not dumb, but you can't understand how she walked like a woman and talked like a man. It's something to do with HAVING A DICK.

pneumoniaceilings@yahoo.ca (Ken Stuebing)
Mark, yer thorough, as-overlong-as-they-were-long-overdue Kinks album commentaries attest well to Ray Davies' stunning craftsman knowhow. Truly, Ray is what the Kinks were about. "Big Sky!" "Waterloo Sunset!" "Where Have All The Good Times Gone!" "Too Much On My Mind!" "X-Ray" was a clever book, too! Ray rules!! Now, with this here Lola vs Powerman, though, props are necessary for bre'r Dave.

Dave Davies' songwriting is supposed to be the secret dark horse in most of the Kink's ouvre, but it's never really grabbed me much... 'cept for "Strangers," the second song on this album. Without overstating too much, listening to "Strangers" for the first time was, in retrospect, a kind of turning point in my life as a rockfan. More and more, this fabulous song reveals its stark emotional power... it's like really early emo, or something. It stops me dead in my tracks when I hear it now.

Its beauty is in the way it's sung, Dave's voice crackling with rage, "And if I live too long, I'm afraid I'll die." Magnificent. "Strangers" achieves a harmonic poignancy quite in the vein of Dylan's "Tears of Rage," but is superior in terms of gripping feel. And I never thought, y'know, that a Kinks song could ever transcend a Dylan classic, but there you go. Dave Davies, you get props. Someone send him props... buy some Lord of the Rings costume props on ebay and send Dave Davies props. Someone!

Daniel M.
I have to agree with pneumoniaceilings@yahoo.ca (Ken Stuebing) comment about Strangers. My God what an awesome track!

I've always loved the Kinks, but I was never hardcore enough to listen to all their stuff. I just assumed that the stuff on their greatest hits packages is their best stuff and that I wouldn't be rewarded if I submerged myself into their entire catalogue. Boy was I wrong! The last few days I've listened to all their albums from their debut to The Great Lost Kinks Album and I've found 83 songs that I love. 83 songs! I'll say it again, 83 SONGS! The only rock band that can approach that number is the Beatles, if even them. I don't think even the Rolling Stones recorded that many great tracks. And the Village Green Preservation Society is the greatest rock album of all time, and I say this after only having listened to it the last few days. Pretty much every track on the album is a masterpiece. Even the best albums are lucky to have 5 great songs. This album is remarkable, not least because I have never heard of any of these songs. They are completely new to me, not even included on their best of packages. That midget voice in Phenomenal Cat is a stroke of genius. The chorus in Do You Remember Walter is so good . . .it sounded familiar to me when I realized Elvis Costello ripped it off for his late 80's hit Veronica. And the chorus to All of my Friends Were There is sublime. And Big Sky . .

83 songs! 83 great songs from 1964-1974 (including 4 later songs that I like Wish I Could Fly Like Superman, Better Things, Don't Forget to Dance, and Come Dancing). If I was a chick I would let Ray Davies poop on me!

Ben
Sounds like the Kinks going mainstream. This mixes the beautiful melodies of "VGPS" and the hard rock of "Arthur", but the result could have been a lot better. Aside from that stupid "Moneygoround" thing, there's nothing bad, but then again nothing that really stands up to "Arthur" or the best songs from "VGPS". I love the concept, but this album is just too messy and Ray's voice annoys me on a couple of tracks. But there is one song I really like, and that's "This Time Tomorrow", and it's a shame it never got released as a single. I think it's miles better than "Lola" (which is good but I've heard it too much). I'll give this a 7.5 or 8.

Add your thoughts?

The Great Lost Kinks Album - Reprise 1973
Rating = 6

ZZ Top. So let's get one thing straight -- I love the early Kinks material. But I'm not going to chase a rat up a tree and call it a mocassin, no matter how comfy it feels on my foot. The Pretty Good Lost Kinks Album is a bunch of OUTTAKES, pure and simple -- mostly from the Village Green Preservation Society era. And that's a great album and a great era for pop music, as was Ray Davies a great man to bring it to us. So of course, even some of his outtakes are going to be pretty great. And so they are. But not NEARLY enough of them! Too much of this material is fey. Absolutely fey, bouncy, la-de-da British Hall Vaudeville jokey "Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da" throwaway happiness. "Lavender Hill" is certainly a great song of varied moods and expressions, but shit like "Mister Songbird (The 59th Street Bridge Song)" and "When I Turn Off The Living Room Light" is an embarrassment to the Ray Davies classic era legacy as far as I'm concerned. Unless music to you is nothing more than a joke - a punchline and chance to giggle at those silly kids who like death metal. This is pouncy fuckall pissass sissy novelty music. Not all of it, but the 40% that I hate for sure. I like the first couple songs, as light as they are, but a man can only take so much lightweight ass-fucking before he screams, "DO SOMETHING YOU ACTUALLY SEEM TO CARE ABOUT!" And of course Ray did. He wrote and recorded many, many great songs that he cared about. These are the throwaways. That's why it's so hard to find these days. I had to buy a bootleg copy, myself. I'm glad I did, because otherwise I'd be wondering about it and a vein on my forehead would thump up and down in time with today's latest hit rock and roll songs, such as The Cult's "Love Removal Machine" and George Boy's "Don't You Really When You Hurt Me." But these are b-sides and tossasides for the most part. The most emotionally charged songs on the record, "I'm Not Like Everybody Else" and "The Way Love Used To Be," are available on other CDs. "This Man He Weeps Tonight" is a great song too - with THREE-part harmonies! - but is that worth the forty dollars you'll be paying for a bootleg of this LONG-deleted album? (Supposedly Ray Davies forced it out of print, realizing how pansyass most of the tracks are). I don't think it is. In all honesty, it is a "pretty good album." But that's all. Most of the songs are "okay," but much weaker than the other material Ray was writing at the time. More jokey, less emotionally resonant and melodically interesting. But it's developed a real mythical quality, so lots of people say it's amazing. It's not. It's too wispy, bouncy and irritatingly sugary without being intelligent and moving. On a related note, the words "strife" and "fright" are for terrible lyricists. "Strife" rhymes with "life," but nobody in the real world actually uses it. Same with "fright," regardless of Ozzy Osbourne and Brian Johnson -- it rhymes with "night" but nobody uses it out here in the real world. It's for lousy songwriters who think rhyme is more important than honesty. HONESTY IS VERY IMPORTANT, AND TOO MANY PEOPLE LIE. That's my important issue for today: TRY TO BE HONEST. Corruption destroys the soul, not that there's such a thing as a soul. But it makes you a really shitty, unreliable, untrustworthy person if you go around lying. Truth is hard sometimes, but it's important. Let me give you some truth because I love you. I'm serious - I found out today that I get 1900 individual visitors a day (19,000 hits total) and it makes me feel so good. It makes me feel like I have something to offer. I love you for visiting my site. Thank you for doing so, and I hope I don't waste your time with bullshit. Have you read my interview with George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher? It's funnier than you'd expect, just because I did such a shitty job with it. But my point is that Honesty is a good thing. Honesty and lack of meanness. I'm not going to lecture you on religion or not killing people tonight. Tonight, my sermon is on honesty and lack of meanness. There are trillions of people in terrible conditions. If you have a computer, you're essentially a tri-jillionaire compared to the majority of the world. So keep that in mind. And don't steal from people and rip them off behind their backs. Some people have very severe emotional problems. You don't have to LIKE them, but try to be honest with them instead of trashing them behind their backs. I've trashed people behind their backs before and all it's ever done is make me feel very, very bad. I was born, I shall die, in between I am an unknown, but wow! 1900 individual visitors a day? Who ARE all you people? Why am I not getting 1900 emails a day? Honesty is this: Just because 99999999 jillion people buy Linkin Park records doesn't mean they're any fucking good at all. It just means they have the ability to appeal to 13-year-olds who aren't yet well-versed enough in the ways of musical history to realize what a weak shitass interpretation of "metal" they actually are. Hate is painful for both the hateful and the hated. If you are unhappy and hateful, try to get health insurance and see a cognitive therapist. I know it can be tough if you don't have much money, but dude if you have a computer, how poor can you be? Don't beat your wife. Figure out what's going on with your thinking, and work to re-carve those pathways in your brain. It worked for me. You just need to focus on what's REALLY important to you. If you love your wife, prevent yourself from being a monster to her. Just make an effort to do so. It's possible to succeed, if you really fear divorce enough. Also, try not to worry too much. Just let things go. Just try to think about what's going RIGHT. It's HARD, I know. But try. Life is a matter of things that all end. Your problems WILL end, I promise. This is all temporary. Just try to hang in there and get as much happiness as you can.
Reader Comments

gardner@localline.com (James A. Gardner)
Funny title. It's got some great songs, but the duds bring it down to where "Good" would be more accurate. The songs were lost either because the band wanted them to be, or else their label was jacking them around. "Misplaced" maybe. And this set of songs was never really intended to be an album. "Kinks" is the only word in the title I don't take issue with. So "Good Misplaced Kinks Stuff (and some duds)" would've been a more accurate title. GLKA sure has its fans, or it wouldn't be selling for $40 as a boot, or showing up all over ebay (hey, for a fun laugh, check out what "ebay" means in Russian!). And get this, the original GLKA is only the first of what's now THREE volumes to carry this title. The second, called the Neu Revue version, has 30 songs, some from the original album, some other rarities. Now there's a third, called "The Last GLKA" IIRC. And I don't believe it's got any tracks in common with the original. Got some other rarities and BBC stuff; seems kind of contrary to the original concept, actually. Strangely -- to me, anyway, as I like the song -- the Neu Revue one deletes "The Way Love Used To Be," one of the high points of the original and one of Ray's most genuine- sounding, moving ballads. Others find it soppy. Whatever. And "When I Turn Off the Living Room Light" ... ok, it's a lousy, threadbare arrangement and poorly mixed, but those lyrics don't do anything for you? While I agree there's some crap on the album, you don't find truffles without digging through that other stuff. Which reminds me, why didn't anyone do "Savoy Truffle" at that George Harrison tribute concert? Anyway, this one gets an 8 from me, since you asked. About honesty ... well, anyone who doesn't think it's important should just take a look at world affairs and where dishonesty has gotten us. Mark, don't know why you don't get 1,900 e-mails a day. You should! So now I'm just gonna hit SEND another 1,899 times ...

Add your thoughts?

Percy - Pye 1971
Rating = 8

As my stockholders are aware, I've invested considerable time into ensuring that I not have to review soundtrack albums for movies about penises. Unfortunately, I was unable to prevent The Kinks from recording the soundtrack to Percy, a movie about a penis transplant starring Britt Ekland of Peter Sellers fame (presumably as the penis, or some sort of sheath in which it is encased).

However, on the positive grind, it's a great soundtrack! A collection of instrumental genre screwarounds interspersed with some Vegasy vaudeville and a few bits of gorgeous saddencholia, it must be taken as a "soundtrack" to be loved (it's far too noncommital to pass for a "real" Kinks album), but it's much too diverse and fun to actively loathe, even if you're addicted to OxyContin, you FAT FUCKING ASSHOLE.

Been aching for a groovy rock instrumental version of "Lola" with the vocal line performed on a creaky old organ? Indeed you haven't at all! Nevertheless, it's on here, along with a cool Pink Floydy blues jam, a good-time acoustic shuffle, an Italian ethnic ooh-la-la, a rocker with scary noises and three astonishingly wonderfoul (the British spelling of "wonderful") and heart-wrenching piano vocals called "God's Children," "The Way Love Used To Be" and "Dreams." Most songwriters would eat their knobs to write songs as emotionally stimulating as these, but what does Ray do? Throws 'em on a soundtrack about a penis.

Oh, I'm sorry. I was a bit vague in that last paragraph, so let me take this opportunity to clarify my position: "Knobs" are those things that dangle under your "cack."

I know that the Kinks were experimenting with "concept records" as far back as Pillage Bean Reservation Social Studies Class, and I'm also well goddamned aware that they'd been hardening up their rock sound since Arthur, but against all evidence to the contrary, I nevertheless foolishly and wrongly insist that Percy marks the final studio release of the Kinks' "genius pop" era. Beginning with Muswell Hillbillies, The Kinks entered their third phase - that of an increasingly fallible and melodically inconsistent conceptual rock band.

Reader Comments

pedroandino@msn.com
funny you may notice but even if you rent the movie percy is a penis transplant! if u never seen movies like that and harold and maude back off mainstreem ass kisser! this is an obscure album because if u overdosed on shit like the osmonds get this and sticky fingers! okay u say that this album has an new version of lola and vegas music! olay a floydian 12 bar blues jam! check! a good good time acoustic song! check! a rocker with odd sounds! check! 3 ballads! check! and an italian song! check! okay! if this is a good movie gay men would enjoy it!

Add your thoughts?

* The Kink Kronikles - Reprise 1972 *
Rating = 10

This is the album that turned me into a Kinks fan, and if you're not already a Kinks fan, it will do the same for you, unless you don't like it, in which case you're just not cut out to be a Kinks fan. The Krinkly Kronikle is a double-album featuring 14 astonishing tracks from the previous six LPs and 14 more mindblowing rarities from EPs, sings and thingles. The "never heard the Kinks much" guy will buy it, go "Holy Fucking Shorts!" and go on to purchase the six preceding LPs, safe in the knowledge that (a) no more than THREE songs were pulled from each, leaving eight or nine more piles of greatness to be absorbed through the skull like those new Japanese cell phones that are perfectly safe even though they pump radiation directly INTO YOUR SKULL, and (b) even after they purchase the six preceding LPs, the Kromdickles will still be a necessity in their collection, featuring an entire LP of previously non-LP material, including lovely pop songs ("This Is Where I Belong," "Mindless Child Of Motherhood," "Susannah's Still Alive," "Days," "Did You See His Name"), bouncy catchy greatness ("She's Got Everything," "Dead End Street," "Autumn Almanac") and Ray's pansy-pants Music Hall goofiness (others).

SPECIFICS: three tracks each from Face To Face, Something Else and Lola, two from Arthur and Percy and strangely a scant ONE song from the legendary Village Green Preservation Society LP. So many classics - "Victoria," "Holiday In Waikiki," "Waterloo Sunset," "David Watts," "Lola," "Shangri-La," "Get Back In Line," "Sunny Afternoon," "Death Of A Clown," "God's Children," "Apeman" - I totally gotta buy this album for my Dad. These are the greatest pop songs ever written!

So start your Kinks collection here, and there's an awfully good chance that you won't be ENDING it here.

Even if, chronologically speaking, you really SHOULD perhaps consider ending it fairly soon here.

Reader Comments

nikus80@hotmail.com (Aprentice)
why give it the 10? I thought you were supposed to give the 10 to their peak, so we folks know which record we want to get. But do we need to be cheap with the kinks? with the who? I don't think so. I think the 10 should be given to a greatest hits album or a greatest hits live album ONLY if the band is unconsistent. But even if the blue album may be the best album ever, is it worth it? can you do the cheap with the beatles?

I read your reviews to get an idea of what record should I get. Ok, I read them for laughing, but ALSO, I don't own that many records (about 200) and I want to know what should I get.

steve.robey@mindspring.com
Mark, you're right on the money with this review. For me too, this is the one that turned me into a Kinks fan about 20 years ago, and I still play the hell out their music to this very day. Like other people, I already had Kinks Greatest Hits with "You Truthfully Acquired Me" and "Tired of Dating Your Mom" as well "A Well Infected Dong". I think I also had Give the People What They Want (how about "Killer's Eyes"? Great tune) and maybe Low Budget and/or One Pink One For the Road. In other words, I had all the obvious stuff - all of which is just fine and/or dandy. But nothing that prepared me for The Kink Kronikles. I still remember borrowing the cassette from my high school friend (Remember cassettes? Did they suck ass or what? Even though they give you two holes in the middle rather than just one like LPs and CDs do. But as my mom always told me, one hole is plenty). What a day that was. A tidal wave rose out of nowhere out on the usually tranquil Biscayne Bay, and within minutes the school was underwater. And I was still standing there, going, "WHAT ARE ALL THESE NEW SONGS NOBODY EVER TOLD ME ABOUT? JEEZ LOUISE, WHAT HAVE I BEEN MISSING??" Quite a lot actually. And at that point in time, it was next to impossible to find the original albums ("Face to Face" thru "Percy") because they were out of print (except the "Lola" one, I think) and CDs were not yet quite as ubiquitous as they would become in just a couple of short years. The ubiquitosity of the Kink's CD catalog increased only marginally outside the US, so the only way I could get "Face to Face" and "Percy" was by paying $30 for an import if i was lucky enough to find it at someplace like Tower Records which was the only place you could find certain things you really wanted back in those days. Nowadays you just type a few characters (at least 3 of which are "www"... say, douglas adams once quipped that it's odd that "www" takes 3 times longer to say than what it's supposedly short for. neat, huh?) on your keyboard, enter your credit card number, and they'll deliver it to your door. Wonderful? You bet. But I digress. You must buy this album. Why? For one thing, even in the wake of all the Kinks reissues which include buttloads of bonus tracks like "Dead End Street" and "Autumn Almanac" (their two finest singles from this period), The Kink Kronikles is still the only place you can have "Berkeley Mews" (the B-side of "Lola") and "She's Got Everything" (the B-side of "Days" I think, also covered by the Romantics during a momentary lapse of bad taste). So the very fact that I can write so emotionally about this fine album 20 years later is evidence enough that it will change your life. Buy it. Then get all the rest like I did. With today's technology, it should only take you a few minutes.

DenBlake29@aol.com
hey everyone, the vinyl version has a rendition of waterloo sunset that will make you see god. why they didn't put such an obvious masterpiece on a double cd set is a big piece of stupidity. really unbelievable how it could be left out. otherwise i enjoy the heck out of this set too.

JOHN.J.DOYLE@nuim.ie
Get rid of "Willesden Green", add 2 or 3 other tracks, "Sitting On My Sofa", "I'm Not Like Everybody Else", etc, and you have what is quite possibly the best compilation album of all time. Brilliant.

johnvillanova@verizon.net
Yes this was my first Kinks LP (first borrowed from a friend, and then I had to go out and get one all for my very own!!!!) and yes, I then went and bought the six previous LP's , and lo and behold, over time I've purchased all thirty something........ but nothing will beat those previous six....God they were good, (when you were a kid,nobody got Kinks Lps for birthdays and Christmases, all good little boys received Beatles, Creedence and Stones albums) Nowadays I don't get that excited,ohmigod,cracking the shrink-wrap,look what I missed feeling anymore...that kinda sucks....hell, being 50 sucks...Hey!! all you young bucks out there toting guitars around, find this cd and LEARN...LEARN...LEARN!!! (I know I'm rambling, but maybe I can get through to somebody who has hair on his (or Her) head that isn't grey)

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Muswell Hillbillies - RCA Victor 1971
Rating = 7

Get out your hoedown pitchfork! It's time to launch a farm! The cocnept of this cocnept album is that Ray's parents were simple country folk who were forced by urban renewal to move to the wealthy Muswell Hill area of Britain. That totally happened in real life (and shit), so Ray took it, added a little Beverly Hillbillies twist and voila! A concept album about Benny Hill.

You'll find lots of goodtime music on here - sort of a mixture of generic The Band-esque country-rock, Dixieland Jazz and drunken music hall Britishness. It seems like they had a heck of a good time making the record, and the sound mixture rollocks my bollocks with its harmonicas, steel guitars, tubas, accordions, acoustic guitars and other country-swamp instruments of every variety. But I'll be fucked up the ass with Mary Lou Retton if there aren't some major-league stinkers on here. I'll admit that I'm biased against redneck music, but "Acute Schizophrenic Paranoia Blues," "Holloway Jail," "Complicated Life," "Here Come The People In Gray" and "Uncle Son" don't have anything even APPROACHING an original melodic idea. If you like generic country-blues, you're in good shape, but I don't at all and likely never will because I'm a haughty Yankee of the sort that burned down Atlanta that time in that war.

I will readily admit, however, that the other seven songs are a Hell of a good time, perfectly capturing Ray's desired laid-back whiskey-soaked swamp country feel while still retaining the intelligence and impossible hookiness of his earlier work. In the immortal words of our planet's funniest entertainer, "You May Be A Redneck If" you like this album.

Reader Comments

alexmortland@hotmail.com
I think this may be my favorite Kinks record. Ray's voice just sounds PERFECT over these drunken cabaret tunes, and I'll goddamned if a lot of this stuff doesn't remind me of Tom Waits' 80's records. Hell, "Alcohol" sounds like it was WRITTEN for "Rain Dogs", doesn't it?

JOHN.J.DOYLE@nuim.ie
Yadda, yadda, yadda. The fish ran away with the spoon. My fingernails fell from Mars. John Denver was really Elmer Fudd in disguise. Mark, you're in denial, but I'm here to help ya baby! All you gotta do is "Get yourself in that cool, clear water" No hang on, that's SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. Whatcha gotta do is give "Muswell Hillbillies" 10/10, and then we can start on the therapy. There, see now?! That wasn't so hard, was it?.

Wes Paxton
So I'm gonna throw in my 2 cents here. I've been a pretty big Kinks fan for a good 10+ years, and I believe this to be their best and most consistent album. Like the typically perverse artistic sensibilities of the Kinks, they went completely against the prevailing aesthetics of their contemporaries at every turn, which is why this album is heavily influenced by Americana, like bluegrass, country, and southern culture instead of carrying the torch of epic hard rock like most everyone else in England in 1971. Perhaps this is also why there are no singles and the album did not do very well upon release. Despite this, it's also probably their loosest, funniest, and most unusual record, all while retaining a certain dry British wit. My picks for the best tracks are "Holiday," "Complicated Life", "Have a Cuppa Tea", and "Oklahoma USA." The last of these is probably one of the most affecting songs in their canon-- and that's saying something. Almost all of the rest of the songs on the album are very good as well, although I almost always skip "20th Century Man" because I feel like the melody is rather weak, and "Mountain Woman" (a previously unreleased track for the CD reissue) feels too reductionist and ham-fisted for me to listen to these days. One of the things I really like is how the lyrics reflect on the romance of Americana and idealized "simple" living, but simultaneously acknowledge that the reality of the world is much more complex and differs significantly from the abstract and idealized vision, and often comes as a blast of cold water to the narrator-- usually to humorous effect; just listen to "Holiday" and "Complicated Life" to get a sense of what I mean. Expertly crafted, methinks. The humor that fills most of the album is also balanced by a few poignant and contemplative views of the changing times ("Oklahoma USA" and "Uncle Son"), and troubled people ("Alcohol" and "Holloway Jail"). All in all, I think you, Mark Prindle, have maligned this album with your 7/10. It's the kind of album that I think will work well as you sit on your stoop with a pork-pie hat. It deserves at least a 9/10, probably 9.5/10.

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Everybody's In Showbiz - RCA Victor 1972
Rating = 7

You ever have one of those days when you're too exhausted to write a decent review of The Kinks' Everybody's In Showbiz LP? Well, that sort of thing used to happen to me all the time! Until I found a way out of it.

Sitting in the classroom, thinking it's an awfully New Orleansy album, what with horns all over the joint and Sloppy Joe country-western/blues/music hall concoctions telling tales of life on the road as a travelin' band. The redneck feel of Muswell Hillbillies is gone (Thank fucking GOD), but they're still not The Pop Kinks of yesteryear. Those days are long gone. Now Ray's got his mind on the Mardi Gras swamp rock of The Ventures' Swamp Rock LP and many other hits by the original artists. You can almost smell the gumbo!

No wait, that's my panties.

Speaking for me personally, I think the - oh wait, I didn't tell you this is a double-album. One is studio, the other is live with a horn section, playing mostly songs from the last album. Speaking for me personally, I think the studio album is a fricckin' hoot - I mean, I REALLY like it. I have the feeling I get out of it what most people get out of Muswell Hillbillies - the feeling that I'm drunk off my ass at a sleazy humid Southern alcohol party full of toothless men and topless women. The fun, the hooks, the inebriation! And then of course "Celluloid Heroes" comes on and reminds you you're a pop singer traipsing down Hollywood Boulevard. But until then, the fantasies of loose sex and death by vomit-swallowing are as hot and heavy as the bags under my eyes.

Which I've lit on fire with a candle.

AUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!

I wonder if there is actually anybody in the universe who would, upon discovering that his face was on fire, take the time to type "AAUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!" into his computer rather than devoting both hands to patting out the flames. If there is, ten dollars says he's a Dave Matthews fan.

The live album's kind of a pisser though. It's nice to have horns all over creation (I hate horned jazz, but they sound pretty nice as elements in rock music - see Gerry Rafferty's "Baker Street" and The Who's "My Wife" for two of at least five possible examples), but their live set was just so infuriatingly stupid at this point in their career. Shitty songs like "Top Of The Pops" and "Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues" share space with miniscule snippets of irritating standards ("Mr. Wonderful," "Banana Boat Song") and... just the AUDIENCE singing the chorus to "Lola" for a minute and a half? I mean, it's one thing to shove an album up your ass before sending it to the pressing plant like Bono does, but whatever happened to Quality Control? Did somebody replace that whole department with a bunch of vaginas or something? What the hell does a VAGINA know about Quality Control?

Do you realize how many of those things gave the go-ahead to Ashton Kutcher?

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Preservation Act 1 - RCA Victor 1973
Rating = 6

Alot of people don't know this about me, but I used to

Wander around with nowhere to go
Curse hectic living and wish it would slow
Bury my anger and hide all my hate
Convincing myself that I couldn't relate
Worry perpetually, not knowing why
Hating existence and wanting to die
Nobody knew what I felt deep inside
I veiled my emotions to salvage my pride

But please, don't worry about me because now I'm

Finding direction and seeing it through
Relearning things that I thought I once knew.
something
something that rhymes with that line
something else
something that rhymes
Sharing my feelings with people who care
I may not be perfect, but I'm getting there!!!

Your first sign that things in Kinks Land are getting a little out of hand is the list of band members on the back cover. Since when does America's Favorite "You Really Got Me" Rock 'N Roll Quartet feature as its core members Ray Davies, Dave Davies, Mick Avory, John Dalton, John Gosling, Alan Holmes, Laurie Brown and John Beecham, along with "Other Singers" Krysia Kocjan, Sue Brown, Pamela Travis, Lewis Rich and Lee Pavey? And more importantly - that's a list of 13 people --- SO WHO THE FUCK IS THIS 14TH PERSON ON THE ALBUM COVER?!?!??!! Did Ray just not realize that an extra smelly hippy had joined his horrible commune of long-haired grotesqeries? Well, Mark Prindle noticed. And Mark Prindle will not rest until this matter reaches the Supreme Court (Of Shit).

Here's what happened. Ray Davies decided to write a Broadway-style show tune musical called Preservation that would focus on a theme of political corruption or something. But he hated the original recordings, so he canned them. Owing the record label an album, he quickly threw down SOME of the songs and those are what you have here. He then went back to writing the full-fledged Preservation stage show and worst fucking album he'd ever written in his life. But that's next! Let's stick here on Preservation Act 1, which isn't terribly consistent, but at least it has three or four really awesome Ray Davies-style pop songs on it.

FIrst of all, the production on this thing is completely flat. It just sounds like nobody gave a crap whether all the instruments were audible or just shoved together in one big mid-level glop. No crystalline "ding!"s, no booming bass - just a whole lot of mid-range pianos, horns and nondescript guitar lines. As for the songs, three or four of them are a delightful return to classic Ray pop style; fans of their earlier pop period should get a major kick out of the peaceful acoustic "Daylight" and "Sweet Lady Genevieve," McCartneyesque happy-tone "Sitting In The Midday Sun" and adorable music hall ode to "Cricket" ("It has honor/It has character/And it's British!"). But the rest of the album is a lot more problemsome and troublematic: a distressing mixture of cornball "hard" rock songs, tepid ballads and (most troubling of all) bombastic shitty show tunes. SHOW TUNES!!! The absolute least emotional and most repulsively fake of ALL possible music forms. There's a reason that Andrew Lloyd Weber has been diagnosed with intense mental retardation, and it has nothing to do with "art," believe me. Show tunes are the musical equivalent of a tube of cherry-flavored lip gloss trying to pass itself off as a fresh fruit salad. But of course Ray Davies had to gravitate towards them, just like Pete Townshend did. I guess when you've completely lost your spiritual muse, the best you can do is make big stupid gestures for big stupid people. But again I'm getting ahead of myself. I'm really talking about the next couple albums now.

And talking ANGRILY! ERRRR! ARRRR! As pirates do!

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Preservation Act 2 - RCA Victor 1974
Rating = 3

Many unpleasant things happened to Ray Davies in 1974. His marriage fell apart. He had a nervous breakdown. Former Philadelphia Athletics outfielder Moose Haas passed away. And worst of all, he released the double-album Preservation Act 2. This is complete Broadway kitsch, an overblown collection of bad show tunes and false emotions telling a story about fascist governments, revolutions and some fellow named "Mr. Flash." The horn section sounds great throughout, but aside from ONE serious-sounding number ("When A Solution Comes") and a downright huggable western-themed novelty track soaked in Andrews Sisters-style female vocal harmonies ("Scrapheap City"), the entire collection is an unpleasant mixture of hookless rock'n'roll and big stupid theatrical obviousness. Even the MUSIC HALL numbers sound more insincere than usual. This is just bad children's music - not a single unpredictable chord change or creative approach to songwriting. Just cliche after cliche after etc. Maybe Ray was concentrating so hard on the plot of the piece that he didn't have time to write any actual melodies? More likely he had just finally reached the end of his creative streak. But he wrote enough masterpieces in the 60s to forgive him for hitting bottom during the Nixon administration.

God, I'm listening to the album again right now and man, it's REALLY fucking bad. Regardless of my bad attitude, not ALL musicals are the worst piece of shit I've ever shoved up my ear. For example, I'm all for a nice "So Long, Farewell" or "I Love To Live In America." But there's just nothing charming or timeless about these songs. How often do you hear of Frank Sinatra working "Flash's Dream (The Final Elbow)" into one of his world-famous show tune melodies? How often do you hear of Nancy Sinatra working "Second-Hand Car Spiv" into one of her collaborations with Lee Hazlewood? How often do you hear of Frank Sinatra, Jr. working

Huh? No no, I was done with that sentence.

Reader Comments

eclipsereviews@hotmail.com (Roland Fratzl)
This is the only Kinks album that I own, and the only one that I've even heard. Something tells me I could have picked a better place to start!

I'm such a sucker. I actually got the double cd package of both Preservation albums in one, and honestly, the only reason why I bought it was because of the two hot blondes on the cover with porn star legs wearing blood red, chunky, platform sex shoes. How could any guy not get a hard on upon seeing those lovelies? So, in my twisted mind that image somehow equalled good music, and I bought the bloody thing. I was comforted somewhat by the fact that it was what I assumed to be a mid 70's rock album by a legendary, well respected band, but then I listened to it and my heart sank. It is fucking boring beyond belief, and this is coming from someone who loves show tunes!

Oh well, at least it will always provide adequate jerk off material!

jdecuir@satx.rr.com (Jeff DeCuir)
Nah. Wrong again, Mark. These are good records. A couple of my favorites.

By the way, if I had a van, I would have this painted on the side all big-like: http://www.johannas-art.com/MyArtworkInspiredByStevieNicks.htm

(about a year later)

Well, yes...and no. As the liner notes to one of the earlier Kinks albums suggests, things in the land of Kinks are not always what they seem.

Just like how the earlier Kinks single David Watts was not in fact about being envious of a schoolyard rival, but about an chance meeting with a grown ex-military bisexual swinger who had a thing for Dave Davies, songs on Preservation often have double and triple meanings. For instance, Sweet Lady Genevieve is actually about Ray's at the time recent divorce, his bout with alcoholism.

Second Hand Car Spiv appears at first to be a one dimensional character sketch, but under the surface it's another confession song, this time about Kink's borrowing and recycling riffs, often thier own.

Flash's Confession also goes wayyyy back to a dream Davie's had as a child, one that drove him to be a celebrity in a band. Yes, the liner notes and lyrics appear to be simple, but we should know by now that Davie's is just not that obvious. The album is actually much deeper than it appears at first listen, and goes beyond the information supplied in the insert. The highly regarded Muswell Hillbillies was only unsurprisingly 2 albums previous to Preservation...this album seems to deal with the same ideas as Muswell does, but in a more poetic, removed way.

Funny, today I was listening to a track of the album called One of the Survivors and I just started laughing out loud. It picks back up on Johnny Thunder, the Rocker from Village Green. It just nailed me! I thought, "Oh, man! This is exactly how I am with late 70's British punk!"

I happen to think that the songs on the albums are among the Kink's finest moments, yet every review I read about them says they're overblown, underwritten, and substandard.

Am I missing something here? I think they're incredible! It's kinda the Kink's Sandanista.The songs make me want to laugh, cry, pump my fist in the air and yell "Hell, yeah!". The melodies are strong, the lyrics range from vicious to heartfelt. Some of the tracks give me the shivers.....

Production proshmucktion...if you want to hear production, go listen to a flippin' ASIA album.

So, what's up? Dave Davies isn't thrilled about them, but that's no suprise: They aren't exactly guitar heavy. I felt a bit justified for loving them when Ray Davies recommend in his book X-Ray to go back and check them out. Every song is great. It's easily as cool, and less a thrown together rock opera as Tommy.

This isn't the kind of thing I'd go nuts over as a teen. But nowdays, with a little more pain under my belt, I can totally relate.

Mike Noto
I have never really heard this album outside of one or two songs - and man, everything I've read about this album makes it sound like a complete failure on all levels - but the New York band Lamps covered "Salvation Road" for the B-side of one of their singles recently. They actually turn it into a massively distorted and primitive garage rock song. It's pretty fun!

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Soap Opera - RCA Victor 1975
Rating = 3

Another pile of show tunes. And it's no coincidence that you can rearrange the letters in "show tune" and get "One shit, Wu," a blatant reference to Steely Dan's "Doctor Wu" hit single. The Kinks are again listed as eight different people (along with three other vocalists and Jane Ritchie as Norman's Wife), and every song is filled to a fish's gills with horn sections, pianos and other decidedly decidedliness. The bass guitar is really loud too, for some reason. But it's not even heavy and bassy - it just sounds like a guitar with a slightly lower tone. But enough about the goddamned bass tone! What do you think I am, Billy Sheehan's Naked Man Magazine? I'm no such thing! Look -- here's my driver's license. See for yourself!

What the??? I didn't even NOTICE she was pointing the camera at my dangly enis! Fuck you, Department of Vehicular Asshole!

Musically, SaPO OPera is another bad combination of fake rock and roll songs and oversized Broadway musical numbers suitable for Rockettes and tap dancers, with hardly any signs of the talented Mr. Davies we used to know in Liverpool. "Nine To Five" is a pretty little half-song, and "Have Another Drink" starts off with some great Arthur-style blues-rock crooning and raw guitar lickings, but before you can say "Hey, this one's actually pretty good!," it turns into the jokey novelty music that appears to have become Ray's "stock-in-trade" at this point, as he continually "invested" his efforts into an insipid musical form that didn't "pay off with dividends," even in its remastered form on "CD." What a load of "bull (market)" shit!

Though it's a musically worthless record if you're not gay and a fan of the Fame television series, Ray's lyrical concept is actually pretty interesting. A 'Starmaker' rock and roll star switches places with regular guy Norman and lives his ordinary, mundane life, getting more and more arrogant and "above it all" until finally the wife screams at him and forces him to realize that he IS Norman. There never was a 'Starmaker' or a place-switching: the whole thing was all in Norman's mind. His wife had agreed to play along with his game for a little while, but when he started complaining about her ducks on the wall, that was the last straw. Interestingly, as far as Dave Davies and Mick Avory were concerned, Soap Opera was the last straw! Ray had been getting more and more arrogant and "above it all" until finally the band screamed at him and forced him to realize that he IS destroying their careers. There never was a 'Good reason for recording six hundred billion rock operas in a row' or an audience-for-it: the whole thing was all in Ray's mind. His band had agreed to play along with his game for a little while, but when he started rewriting "Supersonic Rocket Ship" as "Ducks On The Wall," that was the last straw. Interestingly, as far as most of my readers are concerned, this is the last sentence.

Reader Comments

JOHN.J.DOYLE@nuim.ie
Poo poo pee doo. 4/10.

jlk2020@columbia.edu (Justin)
Check out the live, black and white version of "Ordinary People" floating around You Tube- I don't know if it's Dave's guitar playing or the soulful arrangement, but this song suddenly becomes awesome- Maybe if they'd stripped away some of the corniness there'd be good album under there.

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Schoolboys In Disgrace - RCA Victor 1975
Rating = 6

I'm gonna let this album review itself.

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JESUS CHRIST! GROW A FUCKING HAND OR GET THE FUCK OFF THE KEYBOARD! I apologize for all the time that's been wasted for both you and me while sitting through this horrible failed experiment. Aside from being one shittyass typist, Schoolboys In Disgrace is the final Kinks Koncept Kompact DisK, and the end of the road for Ray Davies' show tune shib. As his la-de-doo-de tendencies are pushed aside by four other Kinks (not seven), the listener is welcomed into a school-themed variety show of '50s-style doowop, balladry and early rock and roll nostalgia, along with some surprisingly really good '70s piano/guitar rock compositions. Day Ravies may not be up to his original standards, but after a couple albums worth of Andrew Lloyd Weber's ballhair, it's as relieving as a festive bonanza to hear smart underbearing radio-ready pop/rock songs like "I'm In Disgrace," "Headmaster" and the soulful jazzy "No More Looking Back." And sure his hard rockers don't bang your box with the zesty young riffage of "You Really Got Me" or "All Day And All Of The Night," but "Jack The Idiot Dunce" and "The Hard Way" are at least fast, fun and REAL-sounding (loud elecric guitars, no overbearing theatrical bombast). And yes, "The Hard Way" is essentially The Who's "Can't Explain" with the last chord missing, but what man can or would resist that classic Charlie Watts rock and roll beat?

What do you mean Charlie Watts wasn't in the Kinks? Who the hell played on "Nights In White Satin" then?

Hey, this is David Spade finishing off this review. I tell you what - I like this nostalgic hard rock/'50s-style look back at the band members' school days, but I think I liked it even better the first time.... when it was called School's Out by Alice Cooper. (*guzzles jar of fat squeezed out of Chris Farley's ass*)

The album wrote that.

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BBC Sessions 1964-1977 - Sanctuary 2001
Rating = 8

Ahhh, I LOVE B.B. Cing! What's so confusing to me though is that this says "Through 1977," but the latest material on here is from 1974's Preservation Act 2. What happened to Sop Apillas and Schoolboys With Hip Dysplasia? There is no answer.

This is a double CD of special alternate studio recordings of all your favorite Cink Classics -- plus, for collectors, some songs that aren't any good! Of the former category, you'll get yours with such fascinating fare as a peppier, faster version of "Tired Of Waiting For You," a slow evocative rarity called "This Strange Effect," a much tougher and catchier run-through of "Love Me Til The Sun Shines," an adorable old-timey bouncy piano tune called "Good Luck Charm," a galloping old horse version of "Days," a horny "Victoria,", two wondermously gleeful versions of "Skin And Bones" (one with big band, one with small) and "Waterloo Sunset" without that ugly slapback lead guitar.

But don't think you're getting off, Scott Free. There is nothing to like about "Mirror Of Love," "When I Turn Off The Living Room Lights," "Demolition" or not one, not three, but TWO versions of the WORST SONG EVER "Money Talks" (and I don't mean the AC/DC song, although just moments ago I received an email reading, "WHAT THE HELL!!!!!!!! Brian hasn't lost his voice and if you don't like the way that he sounds then you don't like AC/DC!!!!!! His voice is like anything else it evoles so like it or get the hell away from listening to AC/DC!!!!!!!!!!!!1").

Plus
Ray's Gi
gantic Sense of Self-Importance

r
ru
rui
ruin
Boston B
ruins the shit out of a poorly-vocaled "Here Comes Yet Another Day," a lifeless acoustic/keyboard funeral mix of "Get Back In The Line" and a fucking fantastic version of "Did You See His Name?" that he doesn't ruin at all!!! In fact, he makes it fuckin' RULE!!!!!! I guess I could have found a more appropriate sentence to mention it in.

BBC Sessions are fantastic CDs - The Who, The Fall, Led Zeppelin, not The Beatles (those songs are too early) - but they give you such a wonderful opportunity to hear all your favorite classics performed just SLIGHTLY differently than the way you've memorized them all your life, and without the sloppiness, poor recording quality and audience noise that makes every single live album in the world a terrible album that everybody hates. See, that's the thing about live albums; if they would just record them in a studio with no audience, and using overdubs, they'd be so GOOD! But I guess it takes somebody like me, who's OUTSIDE the industry, to see the forest for the trees and figure out how to build a better mousetrap for songs.

Back on the topic of this particular release, I would also recommend getting rid of the haughty Mr. Belvedere-style BBC announcer who asks cutesy questions and utters worthless platitudes before every song. That guy isn't a member of the Kinks - what the hell's he doing on here? I'll tell you what he's doing - eating important time that could be spent on a third version of "Money Talks." And where is their 1983 hit "Come Dancing"??? Don't tell me they didn't perform 1983's "Come Dancing" in ANY of the DOZENS of BBC sessions that they conducted between 1964 and 1977?!??!?! Thanks for fucking up, people who put albums out! You've done it again!

ASSHOLES!!!!!

Who's with me on this 'assholes' thing?

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Sleepwalker - Arista 1977
Rating = 6

I don't know what to think in this crazy world. Scott Panetti represents himself in a cowboy suit and gets the death chamber and Henry Rollins kidnaps an eleven-year-old behind a Florida car wash and has a big hit with "Liar." These aren't things that America said should happen when it wrote its Constitution For The Rich. What happened to people who do things that don't involve murder and kidnapping? Oh that's right - they show their boob during the Super Bowl and everybody gets all upset because we're the most repressed nation in the universe. Who fucking cares if a kid sees a boob in TV? Here's a shocking revelation: it's a human body. BIG FUCKING DEAL. Oooo sex is SOOOOO scary!!!! Anyone who called in to complain about that should be taken out and shot. Not literally, but at least ignored. People like that have problems. I think it's hilarious! She's like 60 and her brother's a child molester and she's throwing her boob all over the place during the Super Bowl! Spike Lee said she "sunk to a new low," implying that it's better to molest children than to be proud of her saggy old weird-looking body. Fuck you, Spike Lee. I like your movies, but fuck you. Some woman bitched and moaned at me tonight because my dog sniffed her as she walked by us on the wrong side of the sidewalk. Then some other old lady whined, "Make up your mind about where...." something or other. Why can't people like this just drop dead? They purposely go out of their way to try to make me mad. Who fucking cares if my dog sniffs her? Did he BITE her? Was her HEALTH at risk in any way? No, no and no. She was just a fat piece of shit. But enough about people trying to ruin the world at my expense.

Skywalkers is the first album in the long final line of Kinks "trying to have hit singles" albums. There's nothing wrong with trying to have hit singles, and it resulted in some great songs. But Ray had worn out his melodic brain in the 60s, so every single one of these LPs is kinda iffy. Some great songs interspersed with lots and lots of complete plagiarism. On this LP, you'll find "Jukebox Music," an amazingly catchy uptempo song that is both thematically and melodically a complete ripoff of the Velvet Underground's "Rock And Roll." You will also find "Mr. Big Man," which is both thematically and melodically a ripoff of John Lennon's "How Do You Sleep?" Otherwise you'll find some good fuckin' shit on here! Or rather... passable stuff. Cliched guitar rockers and piano ballads. But the title track is built around that "Hoo hoo!" Steve Miller drumbeat! I forgot what song it was. "Take The Money And Run"? "Rock 'n' Me?" Whichever one goes "Hoo hoo!" at the beginning. The whole song is built around that drumbeat and it's a rock anthem for generations! Oh wait, I took notes. Let me look at them.

It says here "Lots of loud rock n roll guitars and gentle pianos" and "Just constant mediocrity." But I also see that the last two tracks are nice examples of gentle piano Billy Joel Paul McCarntey pop songdsagsdgdsagd. These records weren't produced worth a shit. Where did all the instruments go? All I hear are vocals! No, that's Misfits. But the mix is so FLAT! Dave is wanking left and right - presumably he took lessons or some SHIT. The first song sounds like Bob Seger. God Damn It. There are definintely some fine moments on here, and it beats the world out of those concept albums, but isn't it sad? So sad that talent drains away? Gray Davis was such a talented songwriter before he decided to run for Recalled Governor of Cafilornia. Which reminds me - who the fuck voted for Arnold Schwarzenneger? Does everybody in California have a piece of shit rubbing up against their brain or something? He's an AUSTRIAN MUSCLEMAN. You know what? George Bush would LOVE corporate fascism. A hell of a lot of people don't matter at all to our government and never have. If you're insane and wanting to kill someone, do NOT shoot your stepparents or kidnap an 11-year-old girl. Go to Washington and kill every last one of those prick politician monsters. Why are people politicians? Because they're addicted to POWER. Did you know that George Bush's father (the first Bush's father) owned a corporation that worked with the Nazis during WW2? Well, he DID! The Bush dynasty is about money, power and corporate greed. I don't understand these people. And also -- there were plenty of historians around during the time of "Jesus," yet not a single one of them mentioned him. Know why? He never existed. Jesus Christ is a fairy tale. If you believe in him, you're a cultist, no better than a Moonie. You're a Christie. The myth of Christianity is completely stolen from pre-existing books. The story of Jesus is the story of the Sun God. When Paul preached about Jesus before the Gospels had been written, he somehow neglected to mention the whole "walking on water" and "raising from the dead" stuff. Why? Because it was made up later. It was MADE UP. JESUS CHRIST NEVER EXISTED. Look at all historical accounts from that period. The Bible is NOT a historical account; it's a storybook written by people with Downs Syndrome. If you open an umbrella indoors, are the umbrella demons going to get you? Yes, as a matter of fact they are.

"Life Goes On" is a catchy song. The Kinks played music.

Having said that, I still love Gary McEwen from The Hombres. I know he'd get mad at me saying these things, but people in life have different opinions and sore spots. He was "saved" by something. I tend to think it was his brain and not Christ. But I still love him. He sent me "Let It All Hang Out Part Two"!!!!

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Misfits - Arista 1978
Rating = 5

Alright, my grosses are speaked and now I can whange this album. The Kinks in this last period played music that made you feel nervous. Like you'd think, "Wow! This song is really great!" and then the next one would be such a totally generic piece of Rolling Stones/Chuck Berry shit, you'd start to doubt whether the previous song had actually been any good. Then another good one comes along, then a complete ripoff of a song you've already heard, and by the time you're at the end of side one, you're scared shitless (literally - constipation) that side two will be ALL shit instead of just half shit. It's scary when you don't know if the next song is going to be any good. It's as scary as being attacked by some guy. But if that happens, put your hand on his chestbone, you know that part up near the shoulder where you can feel the top of the breastplate? QUICKLY shove two finger BEHIND the breastplate and push DOWN and TOWARDS YOURSELF as hard as you can. It will hurt and they will cry and run away. I was thinking about something today. I respect and appreciate the person who burglarized my home (the one who wrote my Scratch Acid reviews). I seriously do. Because he broke in, took things he could sell and left. He didn't trash the place. He didn't pee on our toothbrushes and take a photo of it. He didn't steal anything personal to us. He didn't take anything that couldn't be replaced by insurance. He was probably just a drug addict who needed money. I love him for not hurting my home. We replaced everything easily. He could have completely destroyed our home, but he just took what he thought he could sell and left, knowing that we would have insurance to replace it. Plus it alerted us to the fact that we needed to buy a locked gate for our sliding glass door. What if my wife had been home and I hadn't, and some monster had broken in and killed her? Now we have a locked gate. And we know lots of ways to hurt people, thanks to Buzz's Tae Kwon Do studio.

Fuck what is this? The Kinks are playing in my home! This album is disappointing. The production yet again is flat as hell - everything just sits there like a '70s asshole. Nothing shines high or pounds low - it just all sits there in the middle with NO tones that are pretty on their own. Not a one. How could Ray have let such horrible production make it to the marketplace? Did he not remember the piano of "David Watts"? Or the guitar crunch of "All Day And All Of The Night"? All I can hear on this album are vocals and the bass guitar! The acoustic guitars are COMPLETELY buried. And none of the tones are beautiful in and of themselves. Fucking shit, very few of the songs are good either. Half the time, there seems to be nothing keeping the songs going but drums and vocals (and the midlevel bass I mentioned). Was he a cocaine-head at this point or something?

The bottom line is - if you're going to leave your mix as empty as this, your melodies have to be incredible. I count three and ONLY three great songs on here -- and one of those is by DAVE Davies! The title track sounds like Bob Seger, track two is a shitty novelty rock song, track 3 is a generic political rock song, track four sounds like Dire Straits, what a fucking bunch of fuck shit! There's even a really racist song called "Black Messiah" in which he insists that blacks and whites should be kept separated. And it's a reggae song - horrible. I love that fuzz noise in the first song on side two. It's funny. Look Jack, it's no use reading importance and depth into an album this empty and boring. All-Music Guide gave it 4 1/2 stars out of 5 though so maybe I'm crazy for thinking it's completely empty, boring and predictable. I have defined "Mediocrity" as "the album MISFITS" - what are Glenn Danzig fans supposed to think, for Pete's sake? Don't they have enough problems? Like the fact that they will never kiss a girl? Come on, Ray Davies. Do you actually LIKE this poor music? Did the radio like it? God, it's no good.

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Low Budget - Arista 1979
Rating = 7

They NAILED it! Granted, it's kind of pathetic for me to get all excited about an album that I only give a 7 to (see Yes's Open Your Eyes), but in a latter-day career this depressing, there's something beautifully electrical charging about a record with this many energetic and catchy rock songs. It was 1979 and the Stinks were completely aware of this, bringing a high-charged new wave, punky, r'n'r, discoey, Rolling Stonesy attack to their presentation. The melodies are fun, the backup vocals are killer and the lyrics focus on the most disheartening aspects of the Jimmy Carter years: the inflation, gas shortage, Superman film and other things that were bad too like TV antennas.

It's not a perfect album. For a while, it seems like it will be, as you enjoy the poorly - I need to describe this better.

There are too many generic Chuck Berry/Stonesy moments, I'll admit. "A Gallon Of Gas" and "Misery" are pointless. But look at the fast-paced, poorly arranged guitar rocker "Attitude (Doot doot doot doo-doo doot!)," the "Jumpin' Jack Flash" HOMAGE -- YES, IT'S SURELY JUST AN HOMAGE. AND I'M TOTALLY A GAY ASTRONAUT. "Catch Me Now I'm Falling" (which repeats three parts 400,000 times apiece), the Romantics-guitar-toned new wave "National Health (Oh-oh-oh-oh-Ah-Ah-Ah!)," the greatest fucking disco fucking sfuckingofuckingnfuckingg ever "(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman," which I want to listen to over and over until my ears turn into wings and fly me away to a land with no pain and fear. But also, the stutter-stutter take on '60s r'n'b that closes the album is so wonderful, I shat in your chili. But that's not the time for now. Let's decrstcirebe overall: The guitars are louder than on the last few, the melodies are MUCH stronger than the last several records, and you just get the idea that Ray has some ideas. It's rare in old age that Ray has ideas, but there are SO many good melodic ideas on this record. Like even the complete Chuck Berry ripoff "Pressure" has a hilarious up-and-down bass swoop during the chorus that will have this effect on you: :7D. You will tilt your head at a 90-degree angle and smile. 90 degrees? Christ! When did it get so hot? Speaking of hot, how about tits? Nobody has tits. It's a very popular urban myth. Have you seen the movie The Aliens Are Coming? God man, talk about DAMn! He looks in that book and he totally gets energy and shit. This was Ray's last blast of goodness ever. EVER. The man is a squeezed-out corpse of former talent that should have retired in the early '70s. I love him like a brother, but he has written more awful songs than Helen Reddy and whoever "Brewer" in "Brewer & Shipley" is put together! (Shipley is a goddamned genius though, which is why that band is as timeless as the Tarney/Spencer Band of Run For Your Life fame, and believe me, I'm not talking about the Beatles!)

This is a surprisingly fun and melodic record, though again it has a few really generic songs on side two. Don't miss this one if you're a Kinks fan. You can miss all their other later records, but man -- Ray was in a loop! Ray was cool! Except for "Little Bit Of Emotion" ("Night Moves"), "A Gallon Of Gas" (Frank Zappa's "Groupie Routine") and "Misery" (so nondescript, I can't even name a single song that sounds like it -- how about "every rock and roll song recorded between 1955 and 1960?")

Let's get back to the important issue. The important issue is this: If you see ANY racist, homophobic or sexist comments on my site, I am MAKING FUN of racists, homophobics and sexists. I am none of this, and if I was, I would admit it to you because honesty is very important to me. However, if you see any vehemently anti-religious or political comments on here, I'm serious about them. Not about "assassinate Bush" - that's just anger talking. But you can trust me. I'm not a bad guy. I would never, ever hurt you except in self-defense. If my words hurt you, they were not intended to, nor were they geared towards you. I just lash out at basic concepts and institutions sometimes. I don't mean to come across as arrogantly self-important here - I know that not that many people read my site (2000 a day!). But I do receive comments from people who think I really am all these horrible things - just because they don't get my jokes. Here's a joke: Hey, check it out! A boob! Here's another joke: Watermelon? Keep THAT away from Polacks! Oh no! My eyeball just splattered against the screen! Do you see it? Here it is: (*)

I know that some people need religion. I'm sorry I've bashed it so many times. I don't believe in it, but what the bleep do I know? I don't even get paid to write record reviews. Please somebody pay me for writing record reviews. Do you think that Aerosmith fan who told me "I could never believe in God because of people like you" and "If I ever saw you, you'd be seeing Jesus" would be able to rectify his confusing religious issues in time to pay me for writing record reviews?

Knowing that people might read this gives me a sense that I need to say something important so here it is: STOP HURTING OTHER PEOPLE. In your school, at your work.... just STOP. Try to be the BETTER party in every interaction. Because there's no reason not to. If somebody acts like a prick to you, don't scream at them. Be the BETTER party. Then they will either feel bad or look like a complete asshole to everybody else who saw the altercation. If they hit you, use self-defense. I told you about one way earlier in these reviews. Another way is to push up underneath their nose as fast and hard as you can - that REALLY hurts. Or rear back and kick THROUGH their knee as hard as possible. Not a prissy little "boop" upwards kick, but lift your leg and just kick the shit THROUGH their knee. Practice it now, in case you ever have to use it. People who don't read my site are pricks and we have to defend you against them. How else are you going to fly like Superman? Try to take a self-defense course, if you can afford it.

You want to hear something funny? Here it is:

Oh hell, you're not in my home. How could you have possibly heard that?

On a related note, pay attention to your female classmates. Looking back, I now highly suspect that one of mine was molested by her father. But at the time, I was too dumb to think of such a thing. You're eight now, and life is getting complicated. If somebody whips out their penis and asks you to touch it, bite it off.

Reader Comments

JOHN.J.DOYLE@nuim.ie
The second best Kinks album of the 1970s, and about friggin' time too. They sure left it tight. 8/10.

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One For The Road - Arista 1980
Rating = 7

Double-live album from the Low Budget tour, featuring six songs from that album, two each from The Kinks and Kontroversy, two non-LP tracks and one each from Schoolboys, Lola, Misfits, Muswell, Everybody's, Arthur and Something Else. It was recorded over the course of the tour, which may be unfortunate because the sound quality seems to get worse as it goes. At the beginning, the guitars are nice and crunchy, but by the closing "David Watts," all you can hear are drums and vocals (an easy way to ruin "David Watts," by the way). Their song selection is excellent (they even picked the best six tracks from Low Budget!), but their attempts to refashion certain tunes for the modern age take a little time to warm up to you (and not vice-versa). For example, they start off the schlebing with a slow fuzzed-out "You Really Got Me" with vocals performed by Dave Davies' guitar, reprising it later with a cover of Van Halen's cover(!). Then they perform "Where Are All The Good Times Gone" to the music of "Tired Of Waiting Of You"; the songs were somewhat similar to begin with, but now they've made the full crossover, "Tired" lead guitar and everything. Later, they perform an interesting if lazy reggae/ska version of "'Til The End Of The Day" and a horrific bastardized ROCK version of "(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman" that just suckity duck duck doodah SOCKS. I realize they didn't want to drag a disco machine out on the road with them, but boy oh boy the song just REEKS as a standard and poor rock song.

Other brief thoughts: Why couldn't the Kinks retain a bass player? Is "Prince Of The Punks" meant to sound like a punk rock song? If so, why are those corny '80s keyboards piled on top? And why does nobody ever mention how stupid the lyrics to "Celluloid Heroes" are? I mean, I love the song and all, but it's just a big dumb metaphor utilizing the stars in front of Wong's Famous Chinese Theater as metaphors for (get this) the REAL stars!!! "Don't step on Betty Grable/Because she's had such a lonely life/And don't stop on Rudy Vallee/He was too busy to take a wife/If you step on Mickey Rooney/He'll probably still give you a smile/This song is pretty fucking retarded/But it's been called a 'masterpiece' for a while" (*makes hilarious fart noise under armpit*)

No but sersiouslly bolks!! BRAP!

Good live album! I give it a thumbs up for quality, variety and the hilarious way all those drunk people in the crowd excitedly scream the chorus to "Lola" immediately following the first line of the song.

Reader Comments

gardner@localline.com (James A. Gardner)
You call this a good live album and I would've easily given it a nine at one time. It was recorded on the tour when I first saw the Kinks, in a great Radio City Music Hall-like auditorium with great acoustics, and they were at the top of their game as a live act.
Tell you what, though, the subsequent albums show OFTR for what it truly was: The End of The Kinks.
Throughout these reviews you write about the Kinks' unprecedented fall from greatness to sub-mediocrity (and though I've tried, I can't think of another band that fell so far); this album is the answer to how that happened.
The ruination of the Kinks was Dave Davies buying a Marshall amp. He may not have been the most accurate or innovative player before this, but just listen to him through the four sides of OFTR (or the one side if you have it on CD). He's totally succumbed (yes, this word is pronounced just the way it looks!) to loud, sloppy, distorted Rock God-ism.
You know how SOCKY this version of "(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman" is, how they rocked it up instead of disco-ing it down? Listen to it and how it's been reworked into a guitar rawk "thing" ...
I'm telling you, from here on out, Dave's guitar playing went to distorto- hell and Ray let that flamethrower guitar drive the band's increasingly tiresome sound until even he couldn't take it anymore.
Maybe Ray did run out of ideas--and he sure sounds like it on the last, oh, half-dozen-if-not-more Kinks albums--but he also started writing nothing but simplistic guitar anthems from OFTR on.
There, another Rock 'n' Roll Mystery, solved.

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Give The People What They Want - Arista 1981
Rating = 5

Come on! Who's Ray trying to kid here? He hasn't any idea what the people have wanted for nearly a decade now! These songs are hip, fast, loud and rawly guitarible for the '80s, but only about half of them are actually any good. Aging hipsters among us might note that the rockin' lead-off track, "Around The Dial," sounds suspiciously like the rock and roll stuff the Replacements would be doing in about four years, a truly bizarre and unsettling thought (but then I was always more fond of the Replacements' ballads anyway). I don't want to waste a lot of time talking about this record, because I've already wasted enough time listening to it. See, there's just no valid reason why this sort of record should exist. No, it's not horrible, but there's nothing new here. Nothing new at all. The drums are too loud, the rockers are rote and dopey, the mix is too cluttered, and aside from "Around The Dial," there are only two other great songs on here (the broken-hearted "Yo-Yo" and '60s-pop optimistic album-ender "Better Things").

I can't imagine why ANY rock fan would buy this record when there's so much better material out there that they could be listening to, like a photo album or a bunch of cars going by. I'll admit that the snotty anti-spousal abuse song "A Little Bit Of Abuse" and pedophile's ballad "Art Lover" are at least thematically interesting. But their musical accompaniment is so by-the-books bland, it's easy to miss the fact that Ray's trying out new lyrical territory. For Christ's sake, the only hit was "Destroyer," a near-identical re-recording of "All Day And All Of The Night" with new lyrics. Why does this song exist????

Because Ray ran out of ideas in 1973, that's why.

One other comment: Is my head broken or does the last song fade out incredibly quickly all of a sudden in the middle of a chorus? The hell's up with that? Were the guys late for a "Worst Band Ever" award ceremony or something?

Reader Comments

EricMajor3@aol.com
If ya not as hasbeen or neverwas, ya might see that the kinks were and are a good rock and roll band with an outstanding singer song writer and a lead guitarist who knows his shit. Give the people is an album with rock guitar and rays meaning full singing. Its deeper that 'stones Start me up..........blah! The is insperation behind the songs and they arent being writen for an asshloe to review for his drunken hobby.

ace_kendo
I've always liked 'Destroyer' a lot, the lyrics are pretty smart. "Feeling guilty, feeling scared/Hidden cameras everywhere!/Stop!" "Doctor doctor, help me please, I know you'll understand/There's a timed device inside me, I'm a self-destructin' man!"

Now, the next thing is a pretty big stretch since we're talking about Ray Davies in 1981, but bear with me. I know Ray has no qualms about recycling melodies, but I think he did it on this song for ARTISTIC EFFECT. 'Destroyer' is about Ray's neurosis keeping him from ever being happy in the spite of all his success. What better way to evoke that success than to use a tune and a name from two of his biggest hits, and then rant over them about exploding? If he had named the girl Helena (What, do I have to explain a reference to 'JOHNNY THUNDER??' Like that song is not a big enough landmark in Western culture?) and used the melody from 'Party Line' I would have trouble sorting it out, but as it is I can see where he might be coming from. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure he also knew that the only way for him to get a radio hit was to use songs he had written over a decade before; I'm just saying that in this case he did it very gracefully!

The rest of the album is smelly shit. Why did Ray's voice start sounding so stupid and amateurish in the 70s? 'Cuz he's an ASSHOLE??

cjfreeman@homemail.com.au
I totally agree that this stuff, (around the dial, which doesn't seem to be much less "by the numbers" than the other songs on this album) sounds like the replacements! That was the first thing that popped into my head. I was listening it on youtube and thought that it was a desperate attempt to latch on to the punk thing at the time, (but then they never seemed to have much luck, (or cared at all) with fads) and thought it sounded like what could've, at the time, be seen as almost innovative - fun, punky, sensitive, more of a 60's feel to the chord progressions, up tempo, with catchy little vocal hooks, non wussy but not really aggressive..........the replacements! So I tuned into your show to see if your highly respected opinion had one on this period of the kinks, (which I had always heard was a particulary shitty period) and WOWOW. It's punk rock with proper chords and a singer who doesn't sound like he wants to spit on you...... And art lover is utterly bizare; it's a paedophile SYMPATHY, (kind of) song, following in the great footsteps of the smiths, the brown album, and pete townshed. Completely creepy and borderline thought provoking. Who cares if the it's by the numbers musically, (isn't most rock n roll (?). I mean you can't really listen to most rock n roll records for the melodies. It's the attitude and the aesthetic innovation. So many of those riffs and chords have been recycled so many times, that the songs you think are musically "innovative" are in general only considered so because you haven't heard the records they were plundered from! If rock n roll was to be evaluted just in terms of melody, then it would look pretty hopeless compared to most historical music. But peadophile sympathy?! Words like "i'm not a flasher in a rain coat, i'm not gonna snatch you from your mother - i'm an art lover....." That's GENIUS! Okay maybe it's not

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State Of Confusion - Arista 1983
Rating = 5

They put a parking lot on a piece of shit. Where I used to suck your daughter's tit. Before that, they put out the bowling alley. On the side, I used to ball your daughter Sally. That's where I used to finger all your kids. You thought they didn't, but yes oh yes they dids - Glenn Danzig! Come on out and have yourself a ball. Don't be afraid of Glenn Danzig - he's only natural!

I've been deeply in love with the hook-from-Heavenly "Come Dancing" since I was ten years old, but there are only three other good songs on this record. That's a fact. The fact is that these three songs are the mod Jam-esque guitar attack "State Of Confusion" (Hey! The Kinks have an ALBUM called State Of Confusion too! Did they know this???), the dark note riffer "Cliches Of The World" (it's quite rare that the late-period Kinks take the time to write an actual "note riff" so do try to enjoy it) and the pretty, uptempo Pretenders "Don't Get Me Wrong"-sounding popper "Heart Of Gold." Chrissie Hynde had Ray Davies' baby, by the way. Someone told me they had sex once too, but until I see pictures, you'll get no boner from me.

But let's look at the larger picture. The guitars are loud with raw, garagey tones, but they're covered up by corny '80s keyboard tones, too much hoarse shouting from Ray and once again really truly BAD production. That's what I can't figure out. It's one thing for Ray to run out of melodic ideas; even a genius brain can only be stretched too far. But it's something else entirely to mix all the instruments together into a big reverbed smushy ball of noise. I'll admit that I don't know much about tones and wavelengths and what-have-you, but you don't have to be Cheap Trick producer George Martin to realize that there is no low-end at all on any of these late-period Kinks albums. Everything is playing either mid-range or high-end, then they start screaming the chorus and this big staticy noise of irritation comes out of the speakers. Was it designed to be played in a car or something? So you could hear the vocals over the wind whooshing through the window? Maybe I should fill up my apartment building with gasoline and drive it around for a while to see how it sounds that way.

(three minutes later)

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! MY FACE IS ON FIRE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Heh heh. Just a little disaster humor for you there. But let's get back to the topic of album covers. The last album cover featured Ray Davies running away from a wall. The cover of this one shows the entire band running away from a wall. Does the wall represent a "creative dead end" that they're hoping to avoid as they enter their forties? Or is the wall a symbol for "The Kinks' previous decade of output," with the running band members representing "me personally"? Back in the '60s, Ray Davies wrote songs that hadn't been written before. Not EXCLUSIVELY, understand. And he plagiarized his own work plenty. But his melodic sense - the pop ear, the smart note-nose -- I mean, sing "Do You Remember Walter" to yourself right now, if you know that song. Listen to that melody. That's SMART! Or "Shangri-La" -- or at least one other. So why is it that he was OKAY, lest I suggest COMFORTABLE and even PROUD to release albums like this, that are full of stolen melodies ("Definite Maybe" = Cheap Trick's "Surrender," the piano hook in "Don't Forget To Dance" = The Rolling Stones' "She's A Rainbow," "Young Conservatives" = about 40 Ramones songs) and chord sequences so underwritten that they almost don't exist at all ("Labour Of Love " = two boring chords, "Bernadette" = the most cliched rock and roll riff in the universe)? Was he just so happy to be "kicking out the jams" that he didn't realize that the jams were rotten and filled with guano? I know it sounds like I'm being a little harsh on what is at heart a fairly decent, perfectly average record. But it's not like it's a Tori Amos album or something - this is the fucking KINKS of Village Green Preservation Society fame churning out abulum after abulum of pabulum. I'm all for ruining the good name of a great band (way to go, Dave Gilmour!), but it's gotten to the point now where people who don't know any better simply assume that the Kinks ALWAYS sucked. And that ain't fair to the song "Tired Of Waiting For You"! What about ITS feelings?

See this? This is the world's largest violin playing a sad melody for the song "Tired Of Waiting For You." It doesn't need a dime for the phone because it's already found somebody who cares. Why doesn't it make like a tree and settle its roots right here by my side? I love you, it. GOD, I fucking LOVE YOU!!!! I can't EAT! I can't SLEEP!!!! I know it looks like I'm eating a hamburger right now while taking a nap, but that's SomE other guy!!!! Some other guy in my house dressed in my clothes and wearing my skin!!!! HAY! Take my skin off, you!! Why are you "Ed Gein" (egging) me on???

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Word Of Mouth - Arista 1984
Rating = 3

Even by post-'72 Kinks Standards, Word Of Mouth is particularly horrific. Usually Ray can pull off three or four great songs per album - this one has ONE. And it's not "Do It Again," the video of which features Ray Davies in a subway car, unless I'm thinking of Paul McCartney's "My Brave Face." That actually might be the case. I know it was the "comeback rocker" by some washed-up old bag of marbles, at any rate. Not surprisingly, "Do It Again" is neither a "rocker" nor "any good at all"; it is in fact the most clearcut example available of "Kinks-by-numbers," with not a single new chord sequence or vocal melody to be found. Granted, it's fun to sing "She's Got Everything" to that one part tHat sounds just like "She's Got Everything," but otherwise the song is just humiliating. Especially for me, because I'm the one whose wife sits here night after night wondering why I'm listening to mid-'80s sub-horseshit. So that's not the good song.

So it's "Living On A Thine Line," right? Dave's touching ode to a dying post-war England? Nah. Heartfelt lyrics, but the "sensitive, sorrowful" melody is a worthless cliche that belongs on Brothers In Arms or a Hooters album. It's okay, though. Gotta give Dave "mad props," much like those used in the stage show of comedy jokesmith Carrot The Top.

But the one good song is, of course.... oh wait. It's playing now and it's not nearly as good as I remembered. FCUK!!! Christ! The Kinks SUCK SO FUCKING BAD!!!! This is an album of generic pussyass attempts at hard rock, inters(ilk)pursed with little kids' (cow's ear) pop music and ballads that could have been written by a mustache. "Going Solo" is "Johnny's Gonna Die," "Guilty" is "Eight Days A Week," "Too Hot" is "Sugar Sugar," "Massive Reductions" is Ray singing about getting laId off from his factory job (something he never has and never will know a thing about), the title track is the most pathetic blues rock tragedy since Stevie Ray Vaughan's "Helicopter" -- they even blow the exuberant anthemic chorus of "Sold Me Out" by attaching it to a couple of verses that Ray apparently didn't write until after the album was already mixed down and released.

I know I'm not a professional high-paid poet, but Turd Of Mouth forced me to emit the following candid verse: Mediocrity/Cleaned the sock of me/(*Urinates into a bag of semen*)/Wow! Look at that attracTive weman!

Add your thoughts?

Think Visual - MCA 1986
Rating = 5

There we go. Now they're back up to the acceptable level of mediocrity that I expect from The Kinks. Burt Stevens said this album has clearer production than the last several, and that they have replaced '80s keyboards with slick key washes pulled from adult contemporary. But yet again, Ray sings a song about factory life. NOTE TO WORLD: Ray Davies never worked in a factory. He's made a career on eight years of brilliant musicmaking followed by sixty-eight billion millenia of wasting our time. Hey, I have a guitar. There are a LOT of interesting things you can do with a guitar. But the Kinks won't DO it! They come close at the beginning of the title track, making neat flickigy noises, but then they start in on the shithole boring chord sequences of averageness and the world returns to its axis. Bold? Sure, as LOVE! That's not bold at all. And what's with the pathetic "Owner Of A Lonely Heart" BWEEENK!!!!s in "Natural Gift"? How on earth was that going to age well?! It's nice to hear gentle tones and no gruff distortion though. Those 80s albums were recorded so poorly - now it sounds like Ray is concerned about his fans' ears. He's trying for pop melody instead of hard rock shit. Some of the songs are pretty! Still a lot of forgettable melodies though. But at least they're PRETTY! Dave's songs are two of the best on here. "Lost And Found" is a ripoff of "It's The Same Old Song" - not sure who did that. One sec while I lose three grapefruits and gain two tangerines.

THE FLOUR BLOPS! IT WAS THE FOUR BLOPS! THANK YOOU, THE FOUR BLOPS!! I LOVE YOU!

aND "wELCOME tO Slezy town" is such an obvious ripoff of Genesis's hit single "There Must Be Some Misunderstanding." And "How Are You" is YET AGAIN a ripoff of "Johnny's Gonna Die." And "Natural Gift" reminds me of The Sweet's fantastic "Fox On The Run" - God, I love The Sweet!

My fist has opinions about this album - Go, fist:

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This album has four great songs, which is what you want from a Kinks album. "Working At The Factory" is so pretty! Dave's "Rock And Roll Cities" is catchy, yet stupid, yet catchy! Davs's "When You Were A Child" is a nice pretty uptempo nice chord sequence that sounds like Paul McCartney and "Killing Time' is midetemopo and pretty!

Turds.

I'll express honesty: it's a waste of time trying to explain to you how every post-72 Kinks album aside from Low Budget sounds because I DON'T THINK YOU SHOULD BUY THEM. PERIOD. I DON'T CARE IF YOU'RE A COLLECTOR LIKE ME; THIS SHIT IS NOT WORTH YOUR MONEY. DON'T DO IT. DON'T LOOK AT MY GRADES OF 5 OUT OF 10 AND THINK, "BUT I REALLY REALLY LIKE THE KINKS, SO IT WILL BE WORTH AT LEAST AN 8 TO ME!"

The Kinks are probably the most perfect example of a once-unbelievably-astonishingly-great band turning into something that makes you cry at how formulaic it is. Ray Davies should have retired in 1972. Bottom line. Or taken longer between albums so he could pile up great songs onto one album rather than only offering like four on each one. Why??? I'm seriously asking you -- okay, I understand the stresses of the marketplace and I understand songwriters running low on inspiration -- what I don't understand is somebody saying to themself, "Gee, 'Repetition' and 'Natural Gift' are great songs! Wow! So are these other complete ripoff songs I 'wrote' for this album!" When Ray Davies sits at home and listens to albums like Word Of Mouth and Give The People What They Want, does he HONESTLY think to himself, "I'm not an asshole!"? At least Neil Young can be counted on to put out a good album every once in a while. The Rolling Stones even rolled out of their coffins to give us Voodoo Lounge about a decade ago. But The Kinks? A few great songs surrounded by melodies you personally have heard a hundred billion times by better bands during your short life.

Michael Moore may be a lying fat fuck asshole, but his movies and TV shows are great, so that's more than you can say about the Bush dynasty.

Here's something else important, and I mean this from every ounce of my brain: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE try to protect nice people from assholes. Both types of people exist, for whatever reasons. Nice people are a rare wart of life. Do assholes have any self-awareness? Like, what did Joe Smith think about himself after he raped (I'm guessing) and murdered Carlie Simon or whatever her name was? Did I think, "I'm a good guy! I murdered an eleven-year-old!"? How do you continue living after doing something like that? What in God's name was going through his mind? It's one thing to be able to say to yourself, "I murdered a corrupt public official!" but "I murdered an 11-year-old girl I don't even know!" just doesn't have the same ring. Joe Smith is an asshole. A psychotic asshole, apparently. But people are always kidnapping little kids. Why? Because they're crazy? No. They're just selfish assholes, unable to comprehend or care about the pain of others. Anyone who doesn't believe in the death penalty should at least believe in revenge, I hope. Somebody needs to wreak vengeance on Joe Smith, whose car was shown on the car wash camera three minutes before an unidentified man who looked just like Joe Smith kidnapped Carlie Simon or whatever her name was, fucked her with a telephone pole (I'm guessing) and murdered her with a pile of shit (that was covered by the NY Times). And there are a lot more than him, but they aren't recorded on camera. This is why we need cameras covering every square inch of everybody's home. None of you pricks can be trusted. What the fuck is wrong with you people? Why are you all such monsters? FUCK YOu!!!! FUCK YOu!!!! You DESERVE to waste 18 dollars on Stink Visual!!!

Another important thing: If Domino's brings you a burnt pizzza, send it back. And the Sun City Girls DO have some good albums. Also, do NOT waste your life at work. it could end at any time - you should be at home playing with your doggy.

Reader Comments

Thomas.Johnson@savvis.net
I agree with your fist. It seems the Kinks had maybe 10 or 15 really good songs after 1972. I don’t know because I haven’t listened to any of it. Maybe I’ll go back over your reviews, sort through the poop jokes to find the names of these songs, then download them for one good Kinks CD. Or maybe sometime when you’re sober you can put together a list of the “Top 15 Post-1972 Kinks Songs” for all of us to use and enjoy.

Great website. I hope someday you find some way to make money from it. I’ll buy all my Amazon stuff through your links, that should help a little.

Now I think I’ll go rub my doggie’s belly and act like all the bad people don’t exist.

Add your thoughts?

Live: The Road - MCA 1990
Rating = 10
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It's a PAC-MAN!!! WOCKA WOCKA WOCKA But enough fun of any sort. Here's the real score.

Rating = 4

Hay! I have the worst musical taste in the world! I need a live Kinks concert album featuring nothing but songs off their shittiest albums! Four from Give The People All I'm Capable Of Accomplishing At This Point, 2 each from Think Visual Because The Audio Is a Pathetic Joke and State Of Confustink, 1 from Word Of Mouth, two horrible new songs (one with a real generic clean melody and lyrics about the rock and roll life of the Kinks, another midtempo overblown bombastic piece of crap about that Stephen King novel where they all nail the little girl because Stephen King is a pedophile) and only ONE from a "classic" Kinks album, and one that's not even all that classic -- "Apeman" from Lolita And The MoneyCart. They don't even play the BEST songs from these shitty albums! A live album with only TWO hits?! ("Apeman" and "Come Dancing") Who exactly was this record designed for? Kinks fans who just can't get into that early, crazy pre-1983 material? These songs are terrible! "Art Lover"? "Lost And Found"? They even fuck up "Think Visual" and "Give The People What They Want" by taking out the aspects of the songs that were creative and original. They do "Living On A Thin Line" quite well, I'll admit (thank you, David Davies!) and you can't really kill a song as fun as "Around The Dial" (which is about a fruitless ongoing search for a long-lost favorite DJ). But Shiite Muslims was this entire endeavor a poor idea. I can't even recommend buying it for the two otherwise unavailable tracks because they'll curdle in your ears and make them smell bad.
Reader Comments

Newone88859@aol.com
did you ever see that sealab where stormy kept saying 'wocka wocka wocka'? i have never heard this kinks album and dont expect an answer, i was just reminded of stormy due to the pacman wocka on the kinks page.

Add your thoughts?

UK Jive - MCA 1989
Rating = 5

What must it feel like to release so many disappointing, average albums in a row? Did Ray and his bandmates even care? They must have been aware of the brilliance of records like Face To Face and The Village Green Preservation Society, so what happened? What happens to the human brain when it ages? Did Ray's TASTES change? Did he suddenly think that dumb angry Billy Joel pussy bouncers with Jim Belushi horns were tantamount to a "You Really Got Me" for the late-'80s crowd? Or was he just incapable of creating moving, beautiful work the way he did in the '60s? Because, hard as I might try, I can't think of a SINGLE songwriter who took such a complete nose dive after so many years of absolute brilliance. It really is almost as if he died in 1972 and was replaced by a 6'2 piece of shit. Why did this happen? This music has NOTHING in common with "Do You Remember Walter" or "Set Me Free." If this was a new band trying to get a record contract in 1989, they would have been punched in the stomach because there were so many other great bands in 1989, like Jethro Tull and Black Sabbath, creating hot new interesting music the likes of which America's 1-year-olds had never heard. Like John Cougar's Big Daddy and Poison's Open Up And Say Aaaaaah.! How were The Kinks expected to compete with genius like Stevie Nicks' The Other Side Of The Mirror and New Kids On The Block's Merry Merry Christmas? The bovisou answer is: NO WAY!

There is nothing "jive" about the UK except the rain.

Why are these Kinks songs so long? There's only one shorter than 3:30! I thought the Kinks were supposed to be America's premier punk rock band, with "Judy Is A Punk". At least FINALLY they paid attention to their guitar tones and realized that they'd been irons fucking assholes for the entirely of the decade. These tones are much clearer and lovely. The drums still sound fake like a Fake-fake Fake fake faker Fakir fake fueka fake, but that's to be expected from a band that can't get a record deal because their good days are behind them. But it's full of hide-your-snickers hard rock and forgettable pop that at least makes a solid effort to be tuneful, especially in a few beautiful songs like "How Do I Get Close." Most of the tunes suffer from "One Good Part Buried In Two Or Three Bad Parts" Syndrome though, as per Kinks ratio. "Down All The Days" sounds like Asia, and not The Pogues at all! It's a different song. And "UK Jive" ends with a tribute to the Who's "My Generation," which was released around 24 years earlier. Pity, isn't it? That The Kinks have released so many dull records? "Loony Balloon" is a cross between an Irish Jig and Pink Floyd's brilliant "Your Possible Pasts." My wife thinks the Kinks are gay because so many of their songs are so pansy. But I know they're just British. The entire country is gay and black. HEY! KNOCK IT OFF! KNOCK IT OFF! "Dear Margaret - gonna tell on you" - that's a TERRIBLE lyric. Fuck you, Dave Davies! Why did you write that shitty lyric? That's a terrible lyric! God, I've been all around the world and I can't believe you would write such a bad lyric, the likes of which I have never heard by anybody else, especailly a band that plays music, that's just a terrible lyric - who would you tell, FUCKHEAD? What, are you in elementary school with margaret thatcher? And you're tonna tell the tecaaaaaaaaaacher? GOD! FUCK YOU, DUMB FUCKING LOUSY FUCKING LYRIC FUCKING SONG FUCKING FUCK FUCKER11111

The entire world bought this album because "What Are We Doing" was such a huge hit, and now it's topping all the critics' lists of "Best Album Of All Time," but that shouldn't be the case! The songs are big and dumb, interspersed with easily writable ballads. It's okay. But nothing MORE than okay. Nothing LESS than okay (except shitty), but nothing MORE than okay either (except Heavenly shitty). Curds and whey? More like "Pustules and " Bad songs don't need to exist. So why did Ray Davies write so many? Just to stink up the world? Just to make a living? Why did he do it? "Entertainment" is a terrible song. TERRIBLE. Has he never heard the Gang Of Four People? i love The Gang Of Four People! And that's my life. To go from (smap) I'M SO BRILLIANT to (snap) I SUCK! should have made Ray Davies kill himself, the way it did to other rock stars. But Ray must not realize that his melodic know-how ran away with the cat in 1972. What a year. 1972. The Kinks have only released ONE good album during my lifetime. One of the greatest bands of the 60s, Why? WHY WHY WHY WNY???? Does smartness vanish? How am I supposed to finish my new CD knowing that I've turned 30 and biology insists that my brain cells be replaced by the stupidest ideas in the world? OH YEAH, RAY! You're really KICKIN' ASS with that worthless blues rocker "Entertainment"! Talk about ROCK AND ROLL! You are KICKING ASS!!! Too bad you and your brother drank too much Phenylalanine.

If I thought Ray and Dave were going to read this, I'd be more polite. Because I love them. But they'll never see it, so I'll just be an asshole because kids dig assholes. 10-year-olds especially. Theyre always ass fucking each other in my basement.

What did that even mean? I don't have a basement. I live on the 5th floor of an apartment building. Send me cds. I sent YOU cds! There it is! Life to mop at favi geesl re DRK . Ridh! B? Kddoopels feks bhsk el??? HA!!

Check this out: The Kinks' UK Jive. My wife blowing her nose. Is there really any differnce? YES! My wife's nose results in mucus, while the Kinks' UK Jive only results in the entire world completely forgetting Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Because this album cannot be defeated. "War Is Over"? Ray! You alone ended the Vietnam War in 1989 with this song! "Aggravation"? Ray! You alone ended worldwide aggravation with this gons! "Now And Then"? Ray! You alone changed the name of the candy "Now And Later"s with this hot track of pretty little piano melody! You don't suck, Ray! You're just old and tired, and have forgotten what good music is, for the most part. But the same can be said about Paul McCartney and The White Stripes too, so don't feel bad as you read my reviews. OH NO! DON'T READ MY REVIEWS, RAY! I LOVE YOU! I DON'T WANT TO HURT YOUR FEELINGs! RAY! RAY! I - RAY!

Reader Comments

esweenor@charter.net (Eric Sweenor)
Why does Ray Davies feel the need to use the word "corporation" in every song? At least Dave's songs are almost enjoyably stupid. I've got a compilation called Lost and Found (1986-88) or something like that, with stuff from the three MCA albums, and it's such embarrassingly boring 80s generic crap rock, the sort that I'm ashamed to be listening to alone in my car. In what I should've taken as an ominous sign, if you can't find this whole lot for less than $5 you're obviously not looking. And these guys did "Victoria" and "Wish I Could Fly Like Superman"?

JOHN.J.DOYLE@nuim.ie
Naw, come on Mark, it's a good album if you just give it a chance. Perhaps even the best thing they did since "Muswell Hillbillies", certainly the best thing they did since "Low Budget". Funny how North American audiences seem to hate this album, yet Europeans love it. No! Don't mention David "conditioned and blow dried" Hasselhoff, it's not like that, honestly...........

Add your thoughts?

Did Ya EP - Columbia 1991
Rating = 6

Did Ya notice that the best songs on here are DECADES OLD? Heh heh. Yeah, that's what I'm talkin' about. The old Thinking Computer is certainly turned to 'On' today.

But before we get to that, let's talk about my life since Obama got elected:

1. I had to quit my job because my boss owed me thousands of dollars.
2. I was unemployed for 15 months.
3. I finally got a job, but my boss turned out to be an irrational, micro-managing, disrespectful, verbally abusive, racist asshole.
4. My wife left me, saying she needed a 'trial separation.'
5. My boss infuriated me to the point that I suddenly announced 'I quit' and stormed out, even though it meant I'm not eligible to receive unemployment insurance.
6. My wife told me that she's never coming back and that I have to sell our apartment and move somewhere more affordable.
7. I placed an article in the July issue of Spin.

So yay Obama! I'm in Spin again, begin again!

Yes, my life may be 'challenging' and 'a piece of human shit' at the moment, but don't worry about me! I'm hangin' in! Boo-yaa!

The Kinks' Boo-yaa! EP features:
1. A re-recording of Village Green's "Days"
2. A live version of Kinks-Size's "Gotta Move"
3. A nice jangly '60s-sounding Dave song that's worth hearing, I suppose
4. The title track, a pathetic rip-off of "Dead End Street" and "Sunny Afternoon"
5. An unimaginably godhorrific synthesizer song that sounds like Ray discussing politics while Harold Faltermeyer works to extricate his penis from between two Roland keys.

In other words, a MUST-OWN!

No hang on, typo. I meant "a MUST-ACHE!"

Yes, Did Ya is a bundle of whiskers that you glue to your face and play with a phonograph needle installed in your nose.

I know!!! I thought it was impractical too!!!!

Add your thoughts?

Phobia - Columbia 1993
Rating = 3

Why the hell are there so many songs on here? They're not GOOD!!!! 74 minutes of slickly produced, session musician-sounding, godatrociously badrifficerrible macho hard rock bleah! and typically bland piano and guitar lines of shitty. If it were a three-song EP featuring nothing but the pretty homecoming dance theme "Still Searching," the beautiful "Only A Dream" -- which COMPLETELY nails the giddy, excited feeling you get when you have a crush on a new girl -- and Dave's brooding "Close To The Wire," then that'd be a darn fine three-song EP. But that's not at all what this is. This is a CD in which more than HALF of the 16 songs are not any good at all. To ANYBODY. Including The Kinks themselves, who haven't recorded a studio album since.

Let's see here - there's the smelly blues lick intro, the real shit tough-guy pussypants title track and "It's Alright," the cutesy BAD novelty "Over The Edge" (starring J. Geils Band's "Freeze Frame" hit single!), the sluggish, weak "Surviving" with its miserable, inscrutable three-minute "Hey Jude" ending, the uneventful country ballad "The Informer," the golly that's clever, what fun "tee hee - we're admitting we hate each other" 6-minute-long punk rock song "Hatred (A Duet)," the Peter Gunn variation/homage/copyright infringement "Somebody Stole My Car," the gentle clean boring folksy worthless "Scattered" - Dude, that's a LOT of bad songs! Just bad, bad music! Poor songwriting decisions all over the place. Cliches cliches cliches. (Three of them) Weak lyricism. Possibly THE worst Kinks album ever. Buy it and burn it in the center of town today!

Well, what else am I supposed to say? This is soulless, bad music by old people. The Kinks were NEVER interesting musicians. Their appeal always lay in the songwriting - lyrics and melodies. When Ray ran dry, they had nothing left to ride on. Bad hard rock, predictable pop - chord sequences that have been with us since Caveman Daze '01 B.C. ("Before Christ, who never actually existed")

Reader Comments

dpowel@cj.com
I have Rhapsody, so I decided to give Only a Dream a shot.

Man that song SUCKS so bad!

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To The Bone - Guardian 1996
Rating = 8

This final Kinks release is definitive proof that Ray and Dave are well aware of the stunning timelessness of their back catalog. This is a double-CD live recording, mostly but not completely "unplugged" like MTV used to have people do, of twenty prime-era Klassicks, a seven-fingered handful of post-prime efforts and two complete piece of crap new exercises in dull nostalgia. Like Sesame Street's inimitable Count, I too love to count things, so here's a brief backwallop -- four songs from their legendary Kinks-Size/Kinkdom non-release, three from Village Green Preservation Society and.... err, State Of Confusion (as fucked up and counterproductive as that might sound), two each from Lola, Kronikles, Give The People What They Want and Word Of Mouth and one each from Kinda, Something Else, Muswell Hillbillies, Face To Face, Everybody's In Showbiz, Kontroversy, Low Budget, The Kinks and the single "All Day And All Of The Etc...."

It's an odd mixture of things -- I'm not exactly sure why a "to the bone" unplugged collection would include blissful fuzzed-out distorted renditions of "All Day And All Of The..and so forth" and "Set Me Free" and things of that nature. Also not sure why Ray, upon deciding to play only TWO tracks solo, acoustic and by himself, would pick "Sunny Afternoon" as one of them. That song's kinda... you know, BASED on the bass guitar, isn't it? Also unclear why the perfectly popular Arthur, Sleepwalker and Misfits would get no visibility on this important historical document. But the Bottom Line of importance is that Ray takes these songs seriously, performs most of them very faithfully and lovingly, and makes every effort to sing the melodic lines as originally written rather than half-assing it like Mick Jagger would probably do. And great songs my goodness indeed they are. The recording sparkles with excellence, the pianos and acoustic guitars shingle-cling with newly stringed harmoniousness and the fuzzbox chords are just as mind-melting as they were way back in 1964 when I first heard "You Really Got Me" as a young ball of energy floating through the psychosphere of universal souls. (I totally nailed some energy that would eventually be born as Britney Spears, btw)

I myself find the slowed-down version of "Do You Remember Walter" to be a failed experiment (the whole POINT of that song is to bounce along nostalgically, isn't it?), and for goodness's lord, of all the great rocking songs to be found on Low Budget, why the SHIT did he decide to play the mediocre blues "A Gallon Of Gas"? Otherwise, good job ending your career with an album that wasn't Phobia, Kinks!

Oh -- and Kinks alike!

?

Say! How about we end the reviews with an uplarious roar of a sex comedy adult joke? Like you might read in a naughty brogue's magazine for cads? Here we go: Don't tell 'em I didn't warn you!

The Mark Prindle Dictionary defines "Kinky Sex" as: Sticking your finger up John Dalton's ass.

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You Really Got Me: The Story of The Kinks - ABC Entertainment 2010
Rating = 7

Well hello there, let's learn the story of The Kinks as told via DVD!

Alright then, here they are as young men in black and white performing "Got Love If You Want It." That's quite nice, and a splendid place to begin their story.

GAHH!!! Suddenly there's a narrator speaking 400,000 times louder than the music, making my speakers buzz and my soul dishearten. That's okay though, for I'm sure that said narrator will come in quite handy in sharing this sordid Story Of The Kinks.

Alright, now we're kickin' some asp with a terrific clip of "'Til The End Of The Day," performed live in the middle of billions of young white people dancing. Isn't that insane to think that people used to dance to guitar-based rock music!? But there they are, dancing away. And Sweet Craig, what a great song. And oh yes, now Little Davie Davies is singing "I'm A Lover Not A Fighter"! This is KILLER footage, people! And look at us! You and me are learning the Story Of The Kinks!

WAIT A SECOND! Why are we now watching a music video for "Death Of A Clown"? Don't acquire me incorrect; it's one of the greatest songs ever written. But it came out in July 1967. Am I nuts or did we just cover The Kinks' important formative years in eight minutes of screen time? Furthermore, where the hell did the narrator disappear to?

Oh, now he's back. WAIT A SECOND! Now he's talking about The Kinks' early hits, and the screen caption reads "Two months later, the Kinks were back in the UK Top 3 with 'All Day and All of the Night.'"! Two months after what -- "Death Of A Clown"!? Yeah, if by 'two months later,' you mean 'thirty-one months earlier'!

(which, honestly, would be a pretty strange thing for you to mean by 'two months later')

Why is he talking about the '80s now!? We're not even 11 minutes into the G...D...... movie!

Okay, this narration is getting out of control now. I will transcribe for you exactly what I'm hearing through my speakers:

"After their first burst of popularity, The Kinks became a cult band in the mid-70s until, buoyed by the New Wave's rediscovery of the Davies catalog, they returned to the spotlight in the '80s. Today The Kinks are credited as the founding fathers of genres as diverse as Britpop, punk rock and heavy metal. The Ravens recorded their debut single, a cover of Little Richard's "Long Tall Sally," in January 1964."

Did somebody just drunkenly scrawl out a bunch of cue cards, mix them up, and hand them to the narrator?

Now we're looking at a very old black and white clip of some long-winded idiot introducing The Kinks -- oh, this is gonna be great!

WAIT A SECOND! Right after his introduction, they replaced the clip with some dumbass '80s clip with Japanese subtitles!

WAIT A SECOND! Now we're back to a screaming mid-60s crowd! Jesus Assballs Up A DickSuck Tree! Who put this thing together - a Man with a Time Machine? Well that's fine and dandy for him, but what about the rest of us who can't just zoom willy-nilly back and forth in time to watch the DVD in the correct order?

Oh now here we go to the '80s again, with cocaine-driven Ray "Poor Man's Mick Jagger" Davies bouncing around like a bouncy thing as the band plays "You Really Got Me" at double-speed. Who put this thing together - a golf ball player? Playing by golf ball rules in which the lower score is better and, therefore, things go back and forth in time? That's my theory about golf ball players.

I give up on my mission to narrate the entire DVD for you. But I'll share some highlights with you:

- A lengthy segment about 1971's Muswell Hillbillies, followed by the narrator saying, "Before they began their tour, The Kinks released Arthur, Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire." (Arthur, of course, came out in 1969. To illustrate, the video shows a 1978 performance of "Victoria." A few minutes later, the narrator discusses Muswell Hillbillies. Again.)

- Some new footage of Old Man Ray and Old Man Dave talking about the olden times. The best quote is from Dave, about Ray's 'show tunes' period: "It was an interesting time! Not one of my favorite times....."

- Music videos for "Predictable," "Come Dancing," "State of Confusion," "Do It Again" and "Dead End Street." "Dead End Street" is the most historically interesting, and is therefore cut off after about 30 seconds.

- Ray Davies introducing himself as "Johnny Cash" during a Muswell Hillbillies show.

- THIS CONFUSING TURN OF EVENTS:

(A) Narration at 70:00 -- "The anthemic album State of Confusion followed, and it was another commercial success. At this time, The Kinks enjoyed their second wave of popularity, and bands influenced by them such as U2, The Smiths, The Jam and Duran Duran were topping the charts."

(B) Narration at 75:00 -- "Word Of Mouth. Released in late 1984, the album was similar in tone to the last few Kinks records, but it was a commercial disappointment and began a period of decline for the band."

(C) Narration at 76:30 - "Word of Mouth was the last album the Kinks would record for Arista Records. In early 1986, the band signed with MCA Records in the U.S., London in the U.K."

(D) Narration at 79:00 -- "At this time, The Kinks enjoyed their second wave of popularity, and bands influenced by them such as U2, The Smiths, The Jam and Duran Duran were topping the charts. Word Of Mouth was their last album for Arista Records. In early 1986, the group signed with MCA Records, for which they released several well-regarded albums."

- NOT TO MENTION THIS:

(E) Narration at 77:00 -- "Think Visual, their first album for their new label, was released in late 1986. It was a mild success, but there were no hit singles from the record. The following year, The Kinks released another live album -- appropriately titled One For The Road -- which spent a brief time on the charts." (One For The Road was released in 1980 -- six years before Think Visual.)

Still, as hilariously botched as this "Story of the Kinks" is, the DVD is a fantastic collection of Kinks music videos and live footage -- including an extended mid-60's "Milk Cow Blues" and even some Ray-in-costume footage from the Preservation show! If you're a Kinks fan, definitely pick it up. If you're not, you'll likely still get a kick out of the poor editing and continuity errors. And everybody in the whole world will enjoy watching Ray transition from calm British Invasion rocker to long-haired country freaker to hyperactive yuppie annoyance to elderly gap-toothed varmint.

Also, the one dude's kinda bald. HA HA! BALDIE! Thank God that will never be me, according to my driver's license photo taken a mere 14 years ago.

Reader Comments

Phil
Hi Mark. Enjoyed your Kinks thing and thought it maybe a third correct. Not bad where reviews are concerned.
But "British obsessed" ? Perhaps, just perhaps, its because they're British ? The Beatles lost their way a bit when they started to do Americanised songs too.
And....ever heard of ANY American band doing a British leaning song ? ANY band ?
I rest my cases. ;-)

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