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Sleepwalker

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Feb. 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Velvel
  • ASIN: B0000254K4
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 599,198 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
Rolling Stone described this album as "A pheonix rising from the ashes" and whilst might be pushing it a bit, there is a marked increase in the overall quality of songwriting, performance and production compared to the previous two concept albums. Perhaps Ray Davies had finally acted on his own mantra of "No More Looking Back", the closing track on the previous "Schoolboys in disgrace". What was originally side 2 of the album kicks off with the fantastic guitar histrionics of "Juke Box Music" and proceeds through the reamaining four songs to provide as seemless and melodic a suite as could be found on any contemporary recording. The sloppyness was back on the following years "Misfits" and has remained since, and whilst this haphazzard philosophy is a large part of the Kink's charm, it is refreshing to hear them making such a concerted effort to make this album work on every level, and a shame that this sheen was not applied to anything before or after.
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Format: Audio CD
In the aftermath of the musical theatre episode in the Kinks career, that produced albums like Preservation Acts I & II and Soap Opera, they came back with this much more Rock and Roll album. It was surely in response to the punk and the renewed interest in ecentric music that Ray Davies found renewed vigour.

When I saw the cover of this album I knew I would like it and it did not disappoint. Life On The Road kicks things off with a world weary take on the love hate relationship with touring. Mr Big Man is a classic Davies take on the man who turns his back on his roots. Sleepwalker is a standout track that shows that fascination with the sinister. Brother needs no explanation in this band. Jukebox Music is typical Davies. Here is one of England's most skilled and admired songwriters dismissing his own craft.Sleepless Nights, Stormy Sky, Full Moon and Life Goes On draw this album to a close with never a dip in quality.

This was the launch pad for the Kinks going back to conquer America, having fallen from grace there in their early rise to fame.

I can't express how wonderful I think this band are, always ploughing their own furrow, never following the crowd. If you were interested enough to look at this then you should buy it, NOW!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars 25 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Only Juke Box Music! 16 July 1999
By elynch@excelonline.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The remastered Kinks classic Sleepwalker, reissued by Velvel, is an extremely satisfying CD. The band has a tight, stripped-down sound that really emphasizes the talents of the individual musicians. Dave demonstrates a more contained style on his solo's, to effectively complement the mood and feel of Ray's lyrics without sacrificing the "sound" he has made famous. The CD starts out with a great one-two combination of "Life On The Road" and "Mr. Big Man". Dave the rave is in great form on "Mr. Big Man", with his guitar providing the perfect punctuation to Ray's biting condemnation of a former friend who made it big and forgot where he came from. The title song, "Sleepwalker", is a Kinks rocker that again features great guitar work. This time a nice give and take between Dave and Ray. "Brother" foreshadows some of the darker themes on the CD, and finds the band in excellent harmony while singing about changing relationships. "Juke Box Music" is another all out rocker that every Kinks fan can relate to, as Ray teases his fans about the importance of Kinks music in their lives. "Sleepless Night", "Stormy Sky" and "Full Moon" are pleasant sounding songs, with pleasing melodies that belie their darker subject matter of broken relationships, loss of identity and madness. As usual, Ray ties up all the loose ends in unique Kinks fashion with the philosophical "Life Goes On", a rock assertion that no matter what happens, life goes on. This CD may be the best musically that the Kinks have put out. The vocals, music and lyrics have never sounded better. The 4 bonus tracks that appear on this CD offer the Kinks fan a chance to hear songs that were previously unreleased in the US. Interesting to note that "The Poseur" was considered for the title song (according to liner notes). I know it's only juke box music, but I like it!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars News Flash: Kinks Faces Recently Seen On Milk Carton! 29 May 2001
By Clark Paull - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
When the tour to support "Sleepwalker" hit Detroit's Cobo Hall back in 1977, the mighty Kinks were given the middle slot on a three-band bill, just above Ray Manzarek's Nite City and just below (believe it or not) Heart. Par for the course since The Kinks never seemed to get the respect they so richly deserved stateside, at least not until the arena rock trappings exhibited on "Low Budget." "Sleepwalker," like "Muswell Hillbillies," is perfect, with not a duff track to found within its grooves. "Life On The Road," "Juke Box Music," and the title track are all mandatory listening and validate Ray Davies' reputation as a pop music visionary and genius. Golden...
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing Sleepy About It 3 Aug. 2004
By Gianmarco Manzione - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Whether or not it is "only juke box music," "Sleepwalker" also happens to be the most consistent album in the string of releases that comprised The Kinks second wind. The sound is juicy as an over-ripe melon, the music is fantastic, and the songs are some of the best in the band's catalog: the anthemic "Juke Box Music," the hit single, "Sleepwalker," and "Sleepless Night," one of those ocassional gems penned by younger brother Dave. "Life on the Road" is a rock 'n roll theme song in its own right: a characteristically charming take on the lifestyle of the rock star. "So I searched night and day/to catch a kissable lady/But all I caught was a cold," Ray quips as the song trundles delightfully onward. History may have robbed these guys of their richly deserved immortality, but compared to the garbage other baby boomer bands put out at this time (all that reggae and disco trash from the Stones, or those pitiful late-70s CSN albums), the songs on "Sleepwalker" speak for themselves.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Kinks Album (including Something Else...) 22 Nov. 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I wish this faze of the Kinks topsy turvy career could have lasted much longer. Sleepwalker is better than Misfits and Low Budget and this is their best trio of Kinks albums. Sleepwalker at various turns is very funny, rocks, broods, laments and soars. In fact the song Life On The Road alone contains these elements and more! This is close to my favorite album ever released. I would like to know who had been keeping Dave Davies from playing his guitar? Live he has always shined but it is a pleasure to hear him really break out on this album.Terrific playing, singing and song composition make this a tremendous album. And no Muswell Hillbillie gag songs!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars classic 29 April 2010
By Bill Your 'Free Form FM Print DJ - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Ray Davies must have tired of trying to be Noel Coward, or at least not making money at doing so. He had, since 1973, been making rock opera's, but with the rise of punk and disco and most mainstream art rock getting tacky, he made a decisive move.

What we have here is a rock and roll album. There is an over arching mood of being lost, needing comfort, engaging in rituals that have long outgrown their joy on Sleepwalker.

This is not a concept album in the sense of Preservation: Act 1 or two. Actually, Sleepwalker is a throwback to 1960s albums like The Village Green Preservation Society: not a story but songs tied together by theme and nuance--in Sleepwalkers case, compulsion and search. It works better: most rock operas have not dated well but albums with threads done well will always hold up.

Musically, this is the American, streamlined polished rock that people like Bob Segar and, to a further extreme, Boz Scaggs were doing so well. If progressive was past the boom, write really good songs, used 1970s improved production, and the best musicianship possible.

The title track, "Mr. Big Man," "Juke Box Music." All these characters with pathologies and longings center around the album the way Walter, Monica, and Annabella did the Village Green. And though Sleepwalker takes place after the world had lost the innocence of the Village, painfully beautiful "Stormy Sky," ties the album together when the lost and lonely find, for a few moments, the intimacy and refuge they seem to look for.

This is the Kinks at their most professional to date without being cold. 1970s rock when mainstream music still had some warmth.

The Kinks would do one more great album in this style, Misfits, before making a show of their sell out on Low Budget.

But if Ray was knowingly beginning flight to the rock and roll bank on Sleepwalker, he could not have done it better
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