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Muswell Hillbillies [Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered]

The Kinks Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
Price: 17.95
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The Kinks were formed by brothers Ray and Dave Davies in their hometown of Muswell Hill, North London. The brothers began playing skiffle and rock and roll, recruiting Peter Quaife to play bass with them. By the summer of 1963, as The Ravens, they'd recruited drummer Mickey Willet. Eventually their demo tape reached American record producer Shel Talmy who helped the band land a contract ... Read more in Amazon's The Kinks Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Muswell Hillbillies + Lola Versus Powerman and The Moneygoround, Part One + Arthur - Or The Decline and Fall Of The British Empire
Price For All Three: 34.76

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Product details

  • Audio CD (31 Aug 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Velvel
  • ASIN: B000009DI1
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 102,127 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. 20th Century man
2. Acute schizophrenia paranoia blues
3. Holiday
4. Skin & bone
5. Alcohol
6. Complicated life
7. Here come the people in grey
8. Have a cuppa tea
9. Holloway jail
10. Oklahoma USA
11. Uncle son
12. Muswell hillbilly
13. Mountain woman
14. Kentucky moon

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Halleluja Rosie lea. 19 Jan 2005
Format:Audio CD
I decided to write this review as a means of helping other people discover this wonderful album the same way that I did.
I'd bought "Village Green" and was just browsing through the site and I noticed all these rave reviews for "Muswell", I thought at the price it was worth a chance and am I glad I took it.
A bitter-sweet look at life in England at the time this is a far more entertaining way to learn about our more recent history than any book.
The song writing is that good (read the booklet that comes with the album) you are transported back in time.
The opening "20th century man" offers an immediate insight of life and thoughts at the time of writing and the album carries on with poignant reminders of life "Holiday", "Skin & bone", "Complicated life", "Here come the people in grey", "Muswell Hillbilly" all dealt with the subtle humour of Ray Davies. The track "Have a cuppa tea" immediately made me think of my Grandma (bless her) with a smile and a tear at the same time. I don't think a Robbie Williams track will ever move me that way.
In short you've got all variety of music on here from blues to rock to folk and back again, I love it, my kids (6 & 4 years old)
love it (a joy to hear them singing "halleluja rosie lea) and you'll love it.
Hope you've found this review helpful, thanks to the other reviewers that's how I found this album.
It's a bargain price aswell.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars astounding piece of work!!! 31 May 2003
By Paul
Format:Audio CD
I cannot believe I stumbled on this one by accident. Had never heard of the album but liked the Kinks early stuff so thought I'd buy it. This is an album where every few tracks or so I just cant help shaking my head in acknowledgement of the amazing song-writing ability of Ray Davies. This is an album I'll never get bored of listening to. Interesting mix of musical styles - r and b, jazz and country - works incredibly well - not a duff track on there. I used to think Pete Townshend was the most talented Rock songwriter that Britain had produced but after listening to this album and the preservation albums I think that mantle now belongs to Ray.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kinks on Top Form 13 Jun 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
If most people accept the Beatles and the Stones as the two greatest British bands of the 1960's then who should be 3rd? Many fine contenders exist - The Who, The Small Faces, The Moody Blues to name but three but I feel that accolade firmly rests with the Kinks. As they entered the 1970's they were riding high on the back of the massive hit 'Lola' and had just switched label to RCA. Surely another decade of uninterrupted success lay ahead.

We now know that was not to be, the endless stream of killer singles was to dry up and Ray Davies would take the band in a different direction towards music hall. However before that all happened the band produced one of their finest albums. There is no big hit single here but the songs are perfectly crafted pop/rock confections with a country tinge and a small nod to future music hall adventures to come. The thing is the album works as a whole, their most cohesive work since 'Preservation Green' and perhaps as such is greater than the sum of it's individual songs.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the three best Kinks albums ever! 2 Jun 2007
Format:Audio CD
Muswell Hillbillies proved to be a dramatic departure for one of the sixties most prolific and successful British pop groups. From Lola in 1970 we were suddenly dropped into 40 minutes of what seemed like a collection of gloomy and depressing songs. There were no hit singles on this album. RCA must have had a pink fit! However, if you treat this album as a serious collection of honest songs about the world we were all growing up in at the time; it stands up as a truly remarkable album. The lyrics are finely written. The tunes are catchy and well played. 20th Century Man (the opening track) is a powerful statement of not wanting to be part of this world. Ray still plays this track live today and it still sounds outstanding 36 years on. Oklahoma USA is one of the most beautiful songs you will ever here. Tracks like Alcohol, Skin and Bone and Complicated Life have an air of sarcasm and wit about them that is very appealing. There are a lot of Kinks fans out there - me included - who feel that this album was a real one-off departure for the Kinks which sounds as fresh and gritty today as it did in 1971. We thank Ray and the band for this classic album because the band never released anything as honest and open again. A true classic but don't look for any hit singles here - there aren't any - just a collection of great observations that are still very relevant in the 21st century.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Melancholy Masterpiece 15 July 2009
Format:Audio CD
One of the greatest albums ever made, no question. Roots rock and roll with a caustic depressive lyrical outlook unique to Sir Ray (and why not?!). Anyone who thinks becoming a rock star will make you happy should listen to this album.

All life we work but work is a bore,
If life's for livin' then what's livin' for?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
After years of making do with Kinks `best ofs', a little while ago I started collecting all their albums. Along the way I have come across some absolute treasures which are never represented in compilations, and this classic album is definitely one of them.

This album falls in between the English pastoral and the overblown pantomime rock opera periods of the band. It presents us with a series of catchy, well written tunes, in turns rocky alternating with reflective. The lyrics are among some of Ray Davies' best, especially `Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues', which has to be one of the best Kinks songs ever!

Musically this is hard to define - blues/jazz, with a slight London/Cockney feel. Whatever it is, it's brilliant and I love it!

This 1998 reissue from Velvel is a decent effort, which sounds pretty good and includes some decent liner notes.

An unfairly neglected album in the Kinks canon, one that delivers track after track. This will appeal to fans of the Kinks, especially fans of the Lola and Village Green albums.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Muswell Hillbillies writes .....
Great Country and Western song - the song of the album title. I have always liked it and it's a classic. Good strong songs on the rest of the album.
Published 2 months ago by J A HEERY
4.0 out of 5 stars Muswell Hill meets the mid west
A wonderful and typically quirky Kinks ( Muswell Hill meets the Mid West!) album which is a joy to listen to after all these years - and like all good music does not feel dated. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Richard Liley
3.0 out of 5 stars The Decline and Fall of The Kinks
After a string of great albums from Face to Face to Lola Vs Powerman The Kinks went into terminal decline. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Nigel W
2.0 out of 5 stars No surround sound
This may be better quality, being an SACD, but it's only 2.0. Sony will be pleased, but not me. If you like the Kinks and it's missing from your collection, but it.
Published 2 months ago by Stephen Hall
5.0 out of 5 stars Muswell Hillbillies.
Another great album from The Kinks. Did not sell many copies on release but has sold well over the years.
Published 3 months ago by etta pratt
1.0 out of 5 stars upset
i found this recording nothing like what i was hoping for , in fact it was very depressing to listen to and i am so sad i can not say anything else
Published 3 months ago by vincent kelly
5.0 out of 5 stars It really got me...
Excellent cockney pride from the 70's. Davies is a fantastic lyrical genius and you feel part of his thought process with these songs...
Published 4 months ago by Ady182
5.0 out of 5 stars No more Dynaflex! - so you can hear all the instruments, proving yet...
Superb album, as relevant today as it was then (it's East London's turn now!).
To hear new (as in unreleased) tracks recorded at the time is an added joy - Why hasn't he got a... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mr S.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Re-Issue Yet?
Muswell Hillbillies was a landmark album for the Kinks, marking a real switch from the pop singles band to album based focus, the mistake was that were as the Rolling Stones and... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Bill
5.0 out of 5 stars What a gem!
I had never heard this album before, but being desperate to hear something 'new' from the Kinks, gave it a punt. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Malcolm Jones
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