Death of a Clown received an outstanding rerelease on this Dave Davies Hits 7″ for 2016’s Record Store Day. One of three Kinks releases, Dave Davies Hits also contains the personal fav, Susannah’s Still Alive. I, of course, say this with all due respect, but thankfully, Dave’s personal career didn’t take off in 1968. Village Green, Lola, Arthur, and Muswell were all to follow, and I for one can’t imagine what they would have been without master Dave on the 6-string.
I’ve been holding out for the 2012 remastered mono / stereo reissue of The Kink’s 1967 masterpiece, Something Else by the Kinks, but had to pull the trigger on this original US stereo pressing when faced with the decision. Chapter two in the “perfect album string” that started with 1966’s Face to Face and ended with 1971’s Muswell Hillbillies (6 albums in total), Something Else… is home to the following flawless cuts: Harry Rag, Waterloo Sunset, Death of a Clown (a Dave track), David Watts, and Two Sisters. Like with all early, middle, and late Kinks releases, Something Else… is nothing short of essential listening material. Ray Davies = genius… that is all.
Sundays are for resting, so get off your computer and enjoy what’s left of your weekend. (On the left, the 1968 US Reprise Records pressing, and on the right, the 2011 UK Sanctuary Records double “orange splattered green” mono / stereo release.) God save the Village Green (and what’s left of your weekend)!
Can you imagine James Ensor in a piano keys tie? So too is the flabbergasting monstrosity that is to follow… 1980’s One for the Road was, sadly, and with a heavy blanket of shame, my first Kinks album. The raging rivers of comfort that are Arthur, Village Green, Something Else, and quite literally, every-damn-thing-else I’d discovered by The Kinks, were slow to flow throughout my younger, adolescent, and obviously stupid, darker days. One never forgets their first… as much as they’re willing to try.
– Donald Duck
– Strawberry jam, and all the different varieties
– Mrs. Mopp
– Good Old Mother Riley
– George Cross, and all those who were awarded them
– Little shops
– China cups
– Tudor houses
– Antique tables
– The Village Green
– The Village Green Preservation Society
– The Desperate Dan Appreciation Society
– The Draught Beer Preservation Society
– The Custard Pie Appreciation Consortium
– The Sherlock Holmes English Speaking Vernacular
– The Office Block Persecution Affinity
– The Skyscraper Condemnation Affiliate
What you do with this information is squarely up to you, just so long as you have a nice day. 🙂
If you were stranded on a remote island (that conveniently harbored electricity, speakers and a bomb-ass turntable), and you were only allowed to pick three albums with which to spin for your remaining, ocean-gazing days, what three albums would they be?
For me, the first two albums were no-brainers. Paul’s Boutique by the Beastie Boys, and The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society by The Kinks. Choosing the proper versions, both albums are double LPs (1998’s Grand Royal reissue and 2011’s mono/stereo split), so you’re already a leg up on the island dwelling competition. The third and final album requires much more, overanalyzed thought. Do you play it safe and pick Abbey Road? What about The Beatles, also known as the White Album? Or, do you skip the 12” format altogether and grab your favorite song, which just happens to be a post-hardcore thrasher by the obscure Wisconsin band, Defacto Oppression? Certainly NOT an easy decision to make (in this overly voluptuous hypothetical), second-guessing is sure to follow after the inevitably dreadful decision is (finally) made.
Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska garnishes some thought, but would probably be far too depressing… after all, these three albums will help feed, or deter the fact that you are, after all, stranded on a remote island. Emergency & I by the Dismemberment Plan is a considerably strong candidate, but would immediately be my number four pick. Bizarre Ride II (The Pharcyde), In Case You Didn’t Feel Like Showing Up (Live) (Ministry), This is Tim Hardin (Tim Hardin… duh), and Circa: Now! (Rocket from the Crypt) are all, exceptional lily pads on this thought pond, but none of them make the distinct cut.
London Calling (The Clash), Double Nickels on the Dime (Minutemen), Singles – 45’s and Under (Squeeze), Energy (Operation Ivy), Appetite for Destruction (Guns N’ Roses), which would easily be my number five pick, Black Monk Time (The Monks), and Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables (Dead Kennedys) all lay floating in the salted sea of “never to enjoy again.” Damn, this post is depressing.
And the winner goes to… The Shape of Punk to Come… the quintessential soundtrack to my evasive youth wins the number three spot, and with little hesitation, I might add. Refused’s best, and another double LP, this top three has quickly turned into the top six, and would respectfully demonstrate, and/or adequately demolish my headspace for the rest of my delusional life. To pick three out of 2,800 is certainly NOT an easy gesture… if asked again tomorrow, I’d have a completely different roster. Oh, the joy, and immediate pleasure of viable options.
Much like the LP itself, there are two sides to this conundrum. On one hand, listening to nothing but the Kinks can be, and often is, some of the best consecutive series of days one could ever live, given the enormity of their monumentally successful catalog of perfect grooves. Let’s call this the A-side. On the other hand, there is an entire universe of juicy, wet ear candy that needs inspecting and overly sarcastic analyzing, that, because of the Kinks and their erotic time-sucking, mouth-watering tunes, gets neglected. We’ll label this the B-side.
If you find yourself locked into a Kinks bender, and there’s no end in sight, do what I do. WALK THE HELL AWAY! Try as hard as you can to ignore the luscious songwriting and blood-pumping beats. I assure you, it won’t be easy, but I believe in you. Have no fear, however, because the great thing about the Kinks, is that you can’t go too long without listening to them. Just be extremely cautious… those Kinks are dangerous.
What once was lost… should sometimes remain lost. Not the case with this arousing little nugget of Kinks history. The Great Lost Kinks Album, for those of you who don’t know, was NOT in fact an album recorded by the band that was mysteriously whisked away by the inevitable hands of fate, then miraculously found and released some seven years later to a wide and welcoming audience. Instead, The Great Lost Kinks Album was a compilation of B-sides, film and television themes, songs written and performed by Dave Davies for his never-released solo album, and various other unreleased tracks.
Apart from containing some pretty damn rare (at the time) Kinks tracks, TGLKA (you can figure it out) was not authorized by the band, and according to the lovely Wikipedia article, Reprise, the label, never even informed the band of its release. According to the same article (mentioned in the previous paragraph), the band (The Kinks… keep up) became aware of the album only after it appeared in the US Billboard charts. A lawsuit ensued and Reprise was forced to discontinue the album in 1975, some two years after its release, and the rest is Kinks history.
On a COMPLETELY unrelated note, why are we still fastening our shoes with string? Velcro tried (and failed) in the 80s, but it’s 2013, people! We haven’t developed an updated technique with which to secure our feet clothes? We need to get to work!
Fine, I’ll tell you. They were all monumentally talented artists on the Reprise Records label. As a longtime collector of the Kinks, I’m a bit surprised to find Duke Ellington and Dean Martin to be their egg-borrowing neighbors. Apparently Reprise was started by Frank Sinatra in 1960, and then sold to Warner Bros. Records in 1963… and a year later the label would land the rights to Pye Records (UK label of the Kinks), and the well-rounded and eclectic Reprise Records family was born.
This is an insert from Frank Sinatra’s Strangers in the Night album. Not being a huge fan of the womanizing crooner, I decided to avert my attention to the brothers Davies. Have a good Saturday!
Would you buy this album for $1.84 + CA state tax? Look at it! It’s got mold or something all over the sleeve. The hell?! On one hand, The Kinks Greatest Hits! is a bit of a farce to begin with, what with it not containing ANYTHING from The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society, Arthur or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire, Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One OR Muswell Hillbillies, but it does possess a b side that rivals any five track early Kinks comp I’ve ever heard… but it’s moldy, or whatever… but it’s The Kinks!… but look at it!… its got A Well Respected Man on it, and it’s only $1.84…
Would you buy this album for $1.84 + CA State tax? Well, you can’t. I already did.
Released on 1970’s Lola vs. the Powerman & the Money-Go-Round, Part One, Strangers wasn’t written or performed by The Kinks’ vehement songwriter, Ray Davies, but instead by his equally talented brother and lead guitarist, Dave Davies. Strangers is MY definitive acoustic love song. With its intercontinental grandeur, its vastness can be realized from coast to coast, from continent to continent, and from heart to heart.
Strangers is the most important song I’ve ever heard, because it, above all others, connects me with the love of my life. It acts as the vaccine to life’s woes, and the reliever of its burdens. It’s a symbol of strength, a foundation of trust, and a song of admired fervor. It is a song performed by my favorite band, and a song adored by my favorite person.
Happy birthday, Jillian. I love you.