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Tim "Tim" (Belfast, Northern Ireland)

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The Kink Kontroversy
The Kink Kontroversy
Price: £7.52

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Kinks klassic, 6 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: The Kink Kontroversy (Audio CD)
By The Kink Kontroversy Ray Davies was starting to show signs of the songwriting prowess which would make him one of Britain's most loved lyricists in subsequent years and although not quite as refined as anything on the next few albums, I'm On An Island and The World Keeps Going 'Round were small steps towards his mid/late '60s greatness. And there's still rave-ups in Milk Cow Blues and Till The End Of The Day and they're amongst the most exhilerating rockers The Kinks ever laid down. All in all, this is the best of their R 'n' B era albums.


Face To Face
Face To Face
Price: £5.52

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hello, who's this speaking please?, 31 July 2013
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This review is from: Face To Face (Audio CD)
The first major turning point in The Kinks' career. Although it starts with a song (Party Line) typical of their initial R 'n' B-orientated albums, it soon becomes clear that the LP is largely in the more thoughtful lyric-driven style Ray Davies had exhibited on the older singles A Well Respected Man and Dedicated Follower Of Fashion. There's deeply personal songs such as Rosie Won't You Please Come Home and Too Much On My Mind (about Ray Davies' sister migrating to Australia and his 1966 nervous breakdown, respectively) and satirical songs such as Session Man and Sunny Afternoon. With some of their all-time greatest lyrics, this is one of The Kinks' best albums of the '60s.


Something Else By The Kinks
Something Else By The Kinks
Price: £8.72

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best enjoyed with afternoon tea, 10 July 2013
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1967 was a pivitol year for The Kinks (and of course, for rock 'n' roll in general). Ray Davies' beautiful masterpiece Waterloo Sunset came out at the beginning of the year's so-called Summer Of Love and was deservedly a big hit in the UK. It's parent album is this, and while it's not a huge step forward like Face To Face was from their earlier R 'n' B stylings, it's a bigger and better record than everything they did before. Kicking things off in speedy style is David Watts - a classic Davies character study about a schoolfriend. Next up is Dave Davies' trademark song Death Of A Clown, which arguably gives Something Else The Kinks' greatest opening 1-2 of their career. Before we reach the aformentioned Waterloo Sunset at the very end of the album, we're also treated to the jaunty musichall Harry Rag, the bouncy piano-led Situation Vacant and the laid-back ode to that most English of refreshments Afternoon Tea. Something Else, indeed.


The Village Green Preservation Society
The Village Green Preservation Society
Price: £6.43

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars God save the village green, 10 July 2013
The Village Green Preservation Society is a curious beast. It's undoubtedly The Kinks' most famous studio album but it was a flop on release and contains no hit singles. It's where Ray Davies' very English lyrical aesthetic of afternoon tea and waterloo sunsets reached it's apex with songs largely about yearning for simpler times. The opening title track states this theme explicitly with lyrics referencing Desperate Dan, strawberry jam and tudor houses. As the album goes on there's songs about lost friends (Do You Remember Walter?), lazy, carefree days (Sitting By The Riverside) and memories induced by old photographs (Picture Book and People Take Pictures Of Each Other). The music is amongst the most gentle and pretty The Kinks ever made and although quite samey in places, it doesn't really matter because Ray Davies' songwriting was at it's absolute peak at this time.


Arthur - Or The Decline and Fall Of The British Empire
Arthur - Or The Decline and Fall Of The British Empire
Price: £8.77

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arthur, we love you, 9 July 2013
Essentially a rock opera as it has a plot (it was to be the soundtrack of a TV play that was never made), Arthur, although overshadowed by the previous year's Village Green Preservation Society, is one of The Kinks' most criticially acclaimed LPs (and rightly so!). The story follows a man (the titular Arthur) who leaves his idyllic life in post-war Britain to emigrate to Australia with his family. Kicking things off is the incredible, rushing Victoria - a classic Kinks single which brought the band back into the charts after a dry spell (and set the scene for the following year's huge Lola-driven commercial comeback). My other highlights (of which there are many) include the gentle shoulda-been-a-hit Drivin', the epic ode to the 'ideal home' Shangri-La and the multi-sectioned She Wore A Hat Like Princess Marina, which has an incredible frenzied musichall ending. Classic Ray Davies.


Lola Versus Powerman and The Moneygoround, Part One
Lola Versus Powerman and The Moneygoround, Part One
Price: £5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You might even hear it played on the rock 'n' roll hit parade, 9 July 2013
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The Kinks kicked off the '70s in style with this commercial, creative and critical high point. As with all their LPs of this era, it's a concept album, this time focusing on the corruption of the music business (something Ray Davies would return to, most notably on 1986's Think Visual). Among the songs that exemplify this theme are the infectious musichall number The Moneygoround - an exploration of the politics of royalties, the jolly Denmark Street - an indictment on sleazy publishers and the hard rocking Top Of The Pops - a satire of the chart race. And then of course there's Lola - one of The Kinks' most famous and loved hits and to top it all off, there's also one of Dave Davies' greatest ever songs in Strangers. Musically there's a mild change of direction with a slight country influence on some of the tracks (Lola, The Contenders...) - a sound that would be more pronounced on their next couple of albums (excluding Percy). Truly one of the Kinks' best albums and probably my overall favourite.


Percy
Percy
Price: £7.27

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a load of c*ck, 20 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: Percy (Audio CD)
The Kinks saw out their Pye contact with this soundtrack album for a little-known British comedy film about a penis transplant(!). Made up of a few pop songs reminiscent of the Village Green era and some instrumentals (including a organ-led one of Lola), it's not hugely essential but still an enjoyable stopgap. The pretty opener God's Children was a fine single.


Muswell Hillbillies
Muswell Hillbillies
Price: £8.84

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another great album from the Muswell hillbilly boys, 20 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: Muswell Hillbillies (Audio CD)
On their last proper studio effort Lola Versus Powerman And The Moneygoround, Part One, The Kinks exhibited a mild country rock influence for the first time. With Muswell Hillbillies, they make a full crossover to this sound. Despite the adaption of this most American of genres, Muswell Hillbillies still sounds oddly English - a "distinctly British, cabaret take on Americana", as perfectly described by the AllMusic Guide. Ray Davies himself described it as a "comedy album" which isn't hugely off the mark when considering, for example, the amusing Have A Cuppa Tea but songs such as the harrowing Alcohol and the stark Oklahoma USA refute that statement. Nonetheless, it's mostly a fun goodtime album and although the lyrical territory of urban renewal and fear of an ever-changing modern world is one that Davies would revisit time and time again, this is probably his definitive statement on the theme.


Everybody's In Show Business
Everybody's In Show Business
Price: £6.28

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Here comes yet another Kinks album (and it's a doozy), 17 Jun. 2013
Keeping the loose country rock sound of the previous year's Muswell Hillbillies with an added New Orleans jazz feel, the studio side of Everybody's In Showbiz will please anyone who enjoyed the aformentioned album. The lyrics this time mostly focus on touring life - bad motorway food (Motorway), general monotony (Here Comes Yet Another Day) and the loneliness brought on by stardom (Sitting In My Hotel and Celluoid Heroes). Easily the most famous song on the record is Celluoid Heroes which despite not being a hit single, remains one of Ray Davies' most beloved songs and is a staple of his live shows to this day. But as beautiful a song as Celluoid Heroes is, in this writer's opinion it doesn't touch Sitting In My Hotel - a song of such staggering beauty that I believe it should be ranked alongside Waterloo Sunset. To keep with the theme of the record, the second half of the album is a live concert and largely draws from Muswell Hillbillies. Typical of their shows of the time, it's loose, drunken and lots of fun.


Preservation Act 1
Preservation Act 1
Price: £7.66

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The calm before the storm, 31 May 2013
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This review is from: Preservation Act 1 (Audio CD)
With this album The Kinks embarked on a 4 album-long foray in the world of rock opera. Their 1969 album Arthur was considered one of the earliest examples of the form but it does little to prepare oneself for the epic 3 LP-long (4 if you count the 'prequel' Schoolboys In Disgrace) Preservation saga. Taking in a complex story with music spanning from classic Kinks pop to showtunes, the workload Ray Davies took on for the entire Preservation project is incredible, especially considering his personal life was crumbling around him at the time. The chronicle starts with this, a relatively subdued pop/rock album which is more accessible and song-driven than the following year's Act 2. It's more a collection of character sketches (sound familiar?) to set the scene and contains some of the most beautiful songs Davies ever wrote (Sweet Lady Genevieve, Sitting In The Midday Sun...). Because it contains little narrative, it stands up alone and doesn't need to be listened to back to back with Act 2 to be fully enjoyed.


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