Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Drivin'...The Kinks Story Part Two...Show # 198

In 1969, The Kinks released King Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire). Originally Ray Davies conceived this concept to be a soundtrack to a TV play. The play was cancelled and the Kinks recorded the album. The story of the album was based on the life of Ray Davies real life brother-in-law who moved to Australia named, Arthur. The album was also the album in which Peter Quaife left the band (he was one of the original founding members), he was replaced by John Dalton. The album was moderately successful in the US, the band who was on a four year US ban starting visiting the states and getting more notice (the ban was over in 1969).

The album King Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire) contained alot of great songs. The starting track, "Victoria" is an upbeat excellent track. The drum work is simply amazing. The song itself did not chart in the US, but it did in Sweden and Canada. Other great tracks include "Brainwashed", "Australia", and "Shangri-La". When the album was re-issued on CD it contained bonus tracks. One of them being the song "King Kong" which is a rocking almost White Stripes sounding song. The album is also constantly being compared to The Who's Tommy. Tommy also is a concept album, the band was influenced by The Kinks. The truth is Dave Davies was friends with Pete Townshed, and the two bands both made a concept album; It doesn't really matter who did it first because both albums are great.

After adding John Gosling on keyboards, The Kinks recorded Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneyground Part One in 1970. The album was taking a look at the music industry, poking fun at it. The album also contained the hit "Lola", which was a huge hit all over the world for the band. "Apeman" also cracked the top ten in the UK. In 1971, Percy was released. The album was a collection of instrumental and non instrumental Kinks songs that was written for the British comedy film Percy. The album is seen as not as great as the bands other albums by critics. It was not released in America.

In 1971, the bands previous contracts expired and they signed to RCA. Muswell Hillbillies came next in 1971. The album was the first album recorded in the bands own studio titled Konk studios. The album was named after Muswell Hill in London where the Davies brothers grew up. The album is more acoustic than the bands previous albums. It contained elements of country, blues, and music hall. Despite the fact that the album wasn't successful commercially many regard the album as an example of Ray Davies best work.

Everybody's In Show-Biz came out in 1972 and it was a double album. The first disc is studio recordings, while the other is a live compilation of the bands two night stay at Carnegie Hall. The album also showed a shift in the musical stylings of Ray Davies. He was progressing towards a more theatrical, operatic style. These would be expressed in the bands next four albums Preservation Act 1, Preservation Act 2, Soap Opera, and Schoolboys in Disgrace.

The band would continue their career into the 90's; In the 80's the band achieved more success in the US. In 1995, X-Ray was released it was an autobiography written by Ray Davies, and in 1996 Dave Davies released Kink his own autobiography. Ray and Dave have since had solo careers. In 1990, The Kinks were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 2005, inducted into UK Music Hall of Fame.

The Kinks were a band that were lumped into the British invasion of the 60s, that included the likes of The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, and The Who. Despite the fact that they didn't do as well in the US as the UK, the band is an influential group that has influenced the likes of The Who, The Clash, The Jam, Richard Hell, Buzzcocks, The Knack, The Pretenders, Oasis, Blur, Libertines, and Franz Ferdinand. The Kinks created a different kind of platform for creating music that is still relevant today as it was back in the 60's. Recently rumours have been flying on whether or not The Kinks will do a reunion tour, but it is not known whether this will happen or not. In December of 2008, The Kinks released a 6 CD box set. It contains a 60 page booklet, demos, outtakes, and previously unheard material. The box set is titled Picture Book.

To see part one of my kinks history click Here. Also if you are looking for further Kinks information, the best site to go to is Dave Emlen's Unofficial Kinks Web Site. Next week I will be doing a show on the UK punk band Buzzcocks.

Kinky Play List:

1. Party Line (Face to Face 1966)
2. Got My Feet on the Ground (Kinda Kinks 1965)
3. Dancing in the Street (Kinda Kinks 1965)
4. Rosie won't You Please Come Home (Face to Face 1966)
5. Sunny Afternoon (Face to Face 1966)
6. I Need You (B-Side of Set Me Free 1965)
7. Come on Now (Kinda Kinks 1965)
8. You Shouldn't Be Sad (Kinda Kinks 1965)
9. Never Met a Girl Like You Before (Kinda Kinks 1965)
10. Situation Vacant (Something Else 1967)
11. Till the End of the Day (Kink Kontroversy 1965)
12. She's Got Everything (B-Side of Days 1968)
13. Harry Rag (Something Else 1967)
14. Dedicated Follower of Fashion (Single 1966)
15. Susannah's Still Alive (Single 1968)
16. This Strange Effect (BBC Session 1965)
17. Days (Single 1968)
18. Shangri-La (Arthur 1969)
19. Waterloo Sunset (Something Else 1967)
20. Love Me Till the Sun Shines (B-Side of Death of A Clown 1967)
21. Where Have All the Good Times Gone (Kink Kontroversy 1965)
22. Dead End street (Single 1966)
23. Everybody's Gonna Be Happy (Single 1965)
24. Victoria (Arthur 1969)
25. Brainwashed (Arthur 1969)
26. King Kong (Arthur 1969)
27. Starstruck (Village Green 1968)
28. I'm Not Like Everybody Else (Sunny Afternoon B-Side 1966)

Kinks Videos:

Victoria (Live 1979)
A Well Respected Man
The VIllage Green Preservation Society
Commerical featuring I'm Not LIke Everybody Else


The Disappeared said...

Hi Dave - nice Kinks retrospective (and nice playlist too).
You mentioned some of the bands who have been influenced by The Kinks so I thought I might add that there are a few good Kinks cover versions too.
Those that spring immediately to mind include (in no particular order):
The Fall - Victoria
The Jam - David Watts
The Stranglers - All Day & All of the Night
Kirsty MacColl - Days
The Pretenders - I Go To Sleep and Stop Your Sobbing
Queens of the Stone Age - Everybody's Gonna Be Happy

I believe that there's also a version of "Tired of Waiting" by XTC somewhere out there, and a Ray Davies/Damon Albarn duet of Waterloo Sunset that's been removed from Youtube.

Dave said...

Thanks for the information. I have heard most of those, the one with Damon Albarn and Ray Davies sounds interesting.