One For The Road (The Kinks) – Album Review

“One For The Road” Was Released In 1980. It Showcased The Kinks As True Stadio Warriors.

“One For The Road” Was Released In 1980. It Depicted The Kinks As True Stadium Warriors.

To many, this live album is the one that incarnates The Kinks’ glory days during the late ‘70s/early ‘80s. It acted as a sort of story book in which the band – a true pioneer of “loud” genres such as punk and (up to a point) metal showed how they had helped define those genres, and how it was capable of blending in with current movements without really losing its touch, and without Ray Davies’ legendary eye becoming blurred at all. Thus, we have a version of “You Really Got Me” that is done in the vein of Van Halen, and a rendering of “Lola” that has a disco-inflected ending.

The contemporary album “Low Budget” is the one better-represented here. Many songs are extended both instrumentally and lyrically (the title track is one of the clearest examples, and “Wish I Could Fly Like Superman” is done as a straight up rock song – it loses the disco edge). “Pressure” is the one exception, with the song being abridged (and it was a short song to begin with). Just when you are becoming drawn to it, it finishes – but rather explosively, I must say. And “National Health” was one of the most played songs from the album here in Uruguay and in Argentina.

I don’t have to tell you that the remaining of the disc is made up of a smattering of old tunes. Hey, we are talking about Ray Davies here. He takes his nostalgia seriously. The band performs “Stop Your Sobbing”, “Where Have The Good Times Gone”, the ultra-popular “All Day And All Of The Night” and even “Till The End Of The Day”. That particular song receives a bizarre reggae treatment that is as disconcerting on subsequent listens as the first time around. And they also do “Victoria”, but the CD version is (sorrowfully) abridged.

The same happens with “Celluloid Heroes” and “Misfits”, but speaking of the latter I prefer this version to its studio counterpart – even if it misses a key section, the sound is less furnished on the whole and it truly reflects the sincerity that lies at the nucleus of the song.

I must tell you that the CD edition of the concert originally omitted one of the best tracks found on the two-LP album, “20th Century Man”. That was thankfully set to right in the Konk/Velvel reissue. Continue reading

The Kinks (Compilation Album)

This 20-track Anthology Was Released By Disky In 1996. It Gives A Very Good Overview Of The Kink's Early Successes.

This 20-track Anthology Was Released By Disky In 1996. It Gives A Very Good Overview Of The Kink's Early Successes.

Issued by Disky in 1996 and named merely “The Kinks”, this CD anthologizes their early hits right up to the “Lola vs. the Powerman & the Money-Go-Round, Pt. 1” album. There is not a lot to dislike and not that much to change either.

The CD has everything from their early smashes “You Really Got Me” and “All Day And All Of The Night” to cuts like “Waterloo Sunset”, “Lola” and “Apeman”. Moreover, non-album sides that are key to the band’s appeal like “Days” and “Dedicated Follower Of Fashion” are featured. The one and only blemish is the inclusion of “Dandy” at the expense of tunes like “See My Friends”, “A Well Respected Man” or “Set Me Free”. Continue reading

The Kinks – General Introduction

The Kinks Were Ray Davies (Guitar, Lead Vocals), Dave Davies (Lead Guitar), Pete Quaife (Bass) & Mick Avory (Drums).

The Kinks Were Ray Davies (Guitar, Lead Vocals), Dave Davies (Lead Guitar), Pete Quaife (Bass) & Mick Avory (Drums).

Some call the Kinks “the original punks” because of the dirty sound of their early records, others go as far as to call them the fathers of heavy rock. They were a quartet in which tensions were constant among its members, with the two brothers that led the band eventually becoming estranged from each other. The Kinks were actually banned from performing in the States owing to their riotous onstage behavior. And people like Pete Townshend have said that Ray Davies (the band’s main composer) should have been a poet laureate. And I think most people who listen to “Waterloo Sunset” is inclined to feel the same way.

Aggression, volume, wit, profoundness and delicacy. These are the adjectives you can extract from the above. And these adjectives apply either in part or in whole to my favorite bands, and to every band that has marked me – The Who, The Jam, Oasis…  The Kinks were simply one of the most influential bands in the history of British music.

They were part of the initial wave of British Invasion bands, with their third single being a hit everywhere it started spinning. Dave Davies’ guitar insinuated the power that harder-rocking outfits were to unleash a decade later into the airwaves. He had sliced the amplifier with a blade in order to get the gritty sound. The song was called “You Really Got Me”, and it was to influence The Who both structurally and thematically, and the most realized punk and new wave acts of the late 70s such as The Clash, The Jam and XTC always expressed that they either dearly respected or even worshipped The Kinks. Continue reading