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on 20 June 2013
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.
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on 14 November 2013
"Muswell Hillbillies" was the first Kinks album that I bought in 1973 when I actually simultaneously bought "Preservation Act 1" and for that reason, these two albums for me pretty much belong together. The albums would mean extremely much for me and during the following years I spent a lot of time looking up the Kinks' Pye back-catalogue, which at this time was no easy task. I was also lucky enough to experience the group live several times during the 70s, including one cocert here in Denmark and I was also one of the lucky few who got to see the group perform Preservation Act at the Royalty Theatre in London in December 1974.

In retrospect , I accept that "Muswell Hillbillies" to a greater extent than the "Preservation Act 1" is a musical milestone, although the album lacks catchy "hit songs " like"Sweet Genevieve", "Sitting in the Midday Sun" and "One of the Survivors" .

My first favorites were originally "20th Century Man" , which I still think has everything a good rock song should have. Moreover, it was not "marred by" horns which at this time I had a little trouble coping with. Also the quiet songs "Oklahoma USA" and "Uncle Son" quickly became favourites, but over time, of course, I had to surrender to the whole album, because the songs quite simply were so good . Lile always Ray Davies 's lyrics have by both humor and bite, and there's plenty of food for thought .

The album now has the status of a one of rock history's biggest albums, which of course is fully deserved, while it is for me is incomprehensible that "Preservation Act 1" did not obtain a similar status, but on the contrary often referred to as one of The Kinks' weaker albums. hope that posterity will correct this error. In addition to the three already mentioned "Preservation" songs, I shall also mention the "Where Are they Now" and "Daylight " as songs which have all the best of the Kinks .

The deluxe edition of "Muswell Hillbillies", endowes you with four outtakes that never found their way to the final album. "Kentucky Moon" and "Mountain Woman" were previously released as bonus tracks , while "Lavender Lane" and "Nobody's Fool" is out for the first time. You can understand that the first two were opted out by the group; competition really was great, while both "Lavender Lane" and "Nobody's Fool" are fine songs that really deserve a release.

I thought from the first time I heard " Mountain Woman", that the song could have fitted nicely into "Misfits" while "Kentucky Moon" , with its demo sound never really made any impression . "Lavender Lane" has the " authentic" "Muswell Hillbillies" sound, and it is a fine song, which the group perhaps felt borrowed a bit from too much from "Waterloo Sunset" . " Nobody's Fool" is a nice quiet song that fine could have fitted well into the mood of "Percy".
"Queenie" is an incomplete number, without vocals, and not really interesting. The alternative mixes of "Muswell Hillbilly" and "20th Century Man" from the compilation album "Celluloid Heroes" are the logical choices , while there are fine alternative versions of "Uncle Son" and "Have a Cuppa Tea". An undeniably great album in the Kinks catalog.
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on 2 November 2012
Many know The Kinks for their cutting edge 60's pop songs. The ban from touring America led the band and Ray Davies in particular to enter into a period of introspection, and the result was a number of albums - including this one - that told stories about ways of life that Ray feared was disappearing for good. How ironic that the songs address subjects such as faceless bureaucracy and the Nanny State that are as relevant today as they were then.

Give it 3 listens, to give you familiarity and awareness particularly of the lyrics. You'll be hooked from that point on.
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on 26 November 2012
a bit different to there usual music but this cd is excellent to just sit and listen to.A must for long car rides.
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on 9 August 2013
I must admit i've overlooked this album for quite a while,i thought it was not worth listening after arthur and green village became my kinks favourites, i was wrong,this is a trully enchanting album
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on 6 May 2014
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. Ray Davis is understandably proud of this album - and I have one thing to say to him - Have a cuppa Tea!
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on 7 January 2013
I had heard some of the tracks on a TV programme.and after reading some of the reviews decided to buy the CD. I was not disappointed. I love it and have played it several times. Not the usual Kinks but as usual great to listen to!
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on 12 April 2013
I reckon this is the Kinks at their very best. Not their best known work, but full of keen observation and social comment, and brilliant sing-along tunes.
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on 13 June 2011
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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on 16 November 2014
Classic Kinks album!Wonderful songs!A must buy :)
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