Posts Tagged ‘Dave Davies’


The Kinks had brought proto-Americana to old London Town on 1971’s Muswell Hillbillies after Ray Davies had defined what it meant to be oh so veddy British in song and spirit with crystalline clarity and beauty on such delightful albums as “The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society” (1968) and “Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire)” (1969). Then in 1972 they returned to America after a four-year touring ban by the American Federation of Musicians (for reasons that still remain unclear).

New day indeed. Davies turned his sharp songwriting pen to the United States here and there on this album. The Kinks would follow “Everybody’s in Show-Bizwith concept albums like “Preservation Act 1” and “Act 2” and “Soap Opera“. By the 1980s they became a U.S. arena rock band as befitted their iconic British Invasion status.

The original Show-Biz found The Kinks in a period of transition when it was released on August 25th, 1972, and combined studio cuts with live tracks from their tour earlier in that year. Organist John Gosling, whose Hammond B3 trills open the album, had already started filling out the band’s sound on the Lola Versus Powerman on the Moneygoround Vol. 1 album in 1970. A horn section was added to the touring group. The original release served as a delightful Kinks Kompendium for us Yanks who would happily be hearing much more from the Brothers Davies & Co. here in The Colonies in the years to follow.

There are many reasons to own and treasure this album, both its first incarnation and now expanded version. First and foremost among them is the title song, “Celluloid Heroes,” one of the glittering gems from the treasure chest that is the Ray Davies song catalogue. It’s an eloquent, touching and at times witty while also bittersweet rumination on fame, something Davies has always expressed mixed feelings about. It melds melancholia with nostalgia as it also serves as a backhanded tribute and at the same time offers a cautionary tale. It’s a song I can listen to forever and never grow tired of, and always be affected by.

“Sitting in My Hotel” – a minor Davies masterpiece – expresses similar feelings within one subdominant theme (among a number) of this collection: Life on the road as The Kinks return to America.

“Maximum Consumption” makes a horn-punctuated commentary on American food consumerism as fuel for touring (with subtle yet shimmering Dave Davies slide guitar), and “Motorway” (food is the worst in the world) bears a British title yet applies Stateside as it clips along like tires rolling on the pavement. Ray’s food fetish also was found on the original album’s studio tracks on “Hot Potatoes,” where the connection between edibles and love is explored.

The traveler’s loneliness and alienation gets its brief from both Ray (on his melancholic “Sitting in My Hotel”) and Dave (who penned the more upbeat “You Don’t Know My Name,” laced with more slide guitars and not one just but two flute solos).

Souls in motion float through an imaginary outer space on “Supersonic Rocket Ship,” buoyed by lilting steel drums that reflect a Kinks Kalypso phase that was also part of this album and era for the band.

The Caribbean also washes up on the first disc’s concert tracks with a short snippet of the huge Harry Belafonte hit “Banana Boat Song,” which would become a regular goofball feature of Kinks shows in the years to follow. Food gets served up again on “Skin And Bone,” one of five live tracks drawn from Muswell Hillbillies, implying that The Kinks were not averse to plugging their most recent releases, also with numbers from Lola (the wry “Top of the Pops”) and ’69’s Arthur (the searing “Brainwashed’). Ray also gets all show-bizzy and taps his English Music Hall roots on the pre-rock pop standards “Mr. Wonderful” and “Baby Face.”

The first CD now ends as the second vinyl disc did back when with a 1:42 tease of just the chorus of “Lola,” the fourth (at #9) of the only five U.S. Top 10 hits by the Kinks. (Ray would also toy with concert audiences in much the same way by playing bits of “You Really Got Me,” which one might say is missing from the live numbers here if what is played weren’t so largely wonderful.)

The 17 tracks added for the 2015 Legacy Edition round out and enhance the profile of the Kinks circa 1973. We get another Ray Davies gem in a verdant live rendition of “Get Back in Line,” one which many missed when it came out on Lola…It’s Ray’s song for the common and labouring man, a la Lennon’s “Working Class Hero,” but rather than a mordant sharpen-the-razor-blades-and-pour-a-warm-bath rumination it’s a stirring call to do as the title advises and trudge on through life.

We also get full and rich in-concert renditions of past high points cum hits with “‘Til the End of the Day” and the always delicious “Sunny Afternoon.” Plus not redundant alternate live takes of “Muswell Hillbilly,” “Alcohol,” “Acute Paranoid Schizophrenic Blues” and “Holiday” from the Muswell album (plus that release’s “Have a Cuppa Tea” and “Complicated Life”), even better than the other ones on disc one, good as they are, and different, reminding us of the glory days of rock concerts when the way the songs were delivered and the experience could change from night to night (rather than today’s rote set lists).

There’s also a wonderful never-before-released Ray Davies studio number “History,” brother Dave doing his “Long Tall Shorty” thing live, and alternate takes on “Supersonic Rocket Ship” and “Unreal Reality.” The expanded set wraps up with a lyric-less backing track titled “Sophisticated Lady” that would later be fleshed out as “Money Talks” on “Preservation Act 2″.

All told, the significance of this collection can be found in how it becomes more than the sum of its parts, while at the same time so many of its parts are notable – like, say, Dave’s searing guitar work on the live take of “You’re Looking Fine” (from 66’s Face to Face), which proves him one of classic rock’s sadly unsung six-string heroes – ironically, as he did come up with perhaps the quintessential rock riff on “You Really Got Me.” The oft-battling Ray and Dave were even getting along – at one point the former introduces the later in a slight mock Italian accent as “a real good-a-friend of mine” – and this album is certainly a showcase for their also underrated brotherly harmonies.

Everybody’s in Show-Biz” may have caught The Kinks in transition, but it also captures the band in one of its primes. And this expanded reissue does what such releases are supposed to do: reiterate and double-down on an act’s greatness, bringing greater glory to the legacy of a band who, from the British Invasion on right up to their final 1994 release – the also largely (must I say it yet again?) unheralded live collection To The Bone, one of the favourite albums of this near-lifelong Kinks Konvert. Rock music would have been so much less without them, and not nearly as fun or deeply touching or…. God Save The Kinks!.

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When The Kinks released “Sleepwalker”, It was their first album for the Arista label, Released in February 1977, they hadn’t significantly bothered the U.S. single or album charts in quite a few years (when their 1970 single “Lola” had hit the top 10). Many had written them off as hopelessly old-fashioned. Their leader, singer and main songwriter, Ray Davies, had spent most of the ’70s on a series of theatrical concept albums that never caught fire in the studio or in live performance, and his addition of back-up singers, brass section and costumes to the Kinks’ presentation failed to excite. Their glory days seemed over before they pulled off one of rock’s greatest comebacks and launched a successful “arena rock” phase that even they didn’t see coming.

As part of the British Invasion in the ’60s, the Kinks had their share of U.S. top 20 hit singles, including “You Really Got Me,” “All Day and All of the Night,” “Tired of Waiting for You” and “A Well Respected Man,” all written by Ray. Other strong recordings issued as singles (“Till the End of the Day,” “Set Me Free,” “Dedicated Follower of Fashion”) got lots of national airplay too. Ray provided the clever lyrics, which often referenced youth culture and hip London locations, and his brother Dave Davies supplied the primitive yet highly effective guitar parts. With solid bassist Pete Quaife and drummer Mick Avory, they had the whole package: catchy melodies, smart wordsmithing, memorable riffs and sex appeal. (They sometimes couldn’t stand each other though, and got into fistfights on stage and off—this was one conflicted band!)

Despite the success with singles during their 1964-66 heyday, their albums never sold very well. 1966’s excellent music-hall-style 45 “Sunny Afternoon” was their last ’60s hit, but the excellent album it appeared on, “Face to Face“, Their next three albums are all now considered classics, but sold even worse: “Something Else”, “The Village Green Preservation Society” and “Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire)“. Back home, the British hit singles never stopped, but did nothing or weren’t even released in America: “Waterloo Sunset,” “Days,” “Deadend Street,” “Autumn Almanac.”

After Columbia Records squeezed out its top executive Clive Davis in a scandal in 1973, he launched the Arista label the following year, subsisting on lightweights like Barry Manilow and the Bay City Rollers until he began to sign important artists: Patti Smith, Lou Reed and, eventually the Kinks, who had been dropped by RCA after six sometimes interesting but commercially weak-selling albums.

In May 1976, the brothers Davies and Avory joined keyboardist John Gosling and John Dalton on bass (he’d replaced Quaife in 1969) at the newly built, Kinks-owned Konk Studios in London. Producing himself and working with a new 24-track system, Ray had over two dozen new songs to consider. The band worked on them for the rest of the year, rejecting many (some, like “Black Messiah” and “Hay Fever,” showed up on later Kinks albums). Clearly, Ray Davies was determined to deliver a high-quality set with a direct, lean instrumental approach, knowing it might be his last chance to re-establish the band as a serious commercial attraction.

The resulting “Sleepwalker” album was just what the band needed. “Life on the Road” is a very strong lead-off. Despite the title, it’s not a “gee, touring is tough” complaint, but a touching tale of a naïve small-town kid who finds the big city of London both exciting and frightening: “Mama always told me the city ladies were bawdy and bold/And so I searched night and day to catch a kissable lady/But all that I caught was a cold.” The narrator, not unlike other Davies protagonists over the years, can be read as sexually ambiguous: “I was standing with the punks in Praed Street when a muscle man came my way/He said ‘Hey, are you gay? Can you come out and play?’/And like a fool, I went and said ‘Okay’.” Musically, it starts as a ballad with a gorgeous, wistful melody, and then jumps up into an energetic Chuck Berry-inspired rocker, before a punchy ending that combines both. Ray does some of the best singing of his career, and his brother’s shouted harmonies bring back the ’60s template.

Released as a single the title track helped the album to climb the album chart. Here the lyrics are nothing special; it’s a basic meat-and-potatoes mid-tempo rocker with some terrific multi-tracked guitar work from Dave. “Sleepwalker” also contains several characteristic Ray-penned changes in tempo and dynamics, and features another versatile Ray vocal. He might struggle with pitch on occasion, but you always feel he’s singing directly to you.

Clive Davis reportedly wanted “Brother” to be released as a single (he compared it to “Bridge Over Troubled Water” but in places it sounds more like the Beach Boys doing “Waterloo Sunset”). It’s an impressive cut, with finely arranged strings, vocal harmonies and biting guitar licks from the reliable Dave. You’d think a song with that title might address Ray’s love-hate relationship with his sibling, and maybe it does in disguised form: “The world’s going crazy and nobody gives a damn anymore/And they’re breaking off relationships and/Leaving on sailing ships for far and distant shores/For them it’s all over, but I’m gonna stay…’Cause I’m your brother, though I don’t even know your name/I’ve discovered that deep down inside you feel the same.”

Mick Avory starts off “Jukebox Music,” joined by Dave setting up the churning tempo. The instrumental production perhaps owes a bit to Bad Company, Bachman-Turner Overdrive and other popular rock bands of the period. Ray wisely gives plenty of room for his brother’s guitar work, on both acoustic and electric. The lyrics are rousing but negligible compared to the power of the band. Tailor-made for live performance, it’s an example of how Ray recognized a certain simplicity was going to aid the group’s return to relevance. You can almost hear him thinking, “Sure, I’m a genius songwriter, but this one’s going to put food on the table.”

The album concludes with “Life Goes On,” expressing a common Davies sentiment, that normal existence requires forbearance, equanimity and appreciation of simple things, but can also seem futile: “Life will hit you when you least expect it/And one day when you are gone/You know that life will still go on/But no one’ll care if you’ve been good, bad, right or wrong/Life will still go on.”

Ray, always a superb front man, wore funny suits and hats, and created a playful atmosphere in which audience sing-alongs like “Lola,” “Alcohol” and “Sunny Afternoon” meshed with their new material. He kept “Waterloo Sunset” and “Celluloid Heroes” (one of the few big songs from the RCA days) in the set. Dave revelled in striking rock-god poses and turning up the volume.

The Kinks appeared on television’s Midnight SpecialThe Mike Douglas Show and other programs, and word spread that this band was a lot of fun to see live. “Sleepwalker” kept selling to teenagers who barely remembered the Kinks of the previous decade, or thought they were a new band.

The follow-up Arista albums “Misfits”, “Low Budget”, “Give the People What They Want” and “State of Confusion” saw the Kinks returning to serious chart success and gold records. Their pleasantly sloppy attitude gave them street cred with emerging punk bands like the Jam and the Clash, and they never suffered from the new wave backlash against the likes of “dinosaurs” Pink Floyd or Genesis. By the time their lovely single “Come Dancing” went top 10 in 1983, the Kinks were once again considered a must-see attraction onstage, and Ray was lauded as a songwriter who compared to Lennon-McCartney, Townshend, Goffin-King and Jagger-Richards.

“Sleepwalker” is the sixteenth studio album by the English rock group, the Kinks, released in 1977. 

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Dave Davies, who first came to prominence as lead guitarist and co-founder of The Kinks; he has been an original & unpredictable force, without whom guitar-rock styles including heavy metal & punk would have been inconceivable; he slashed the speaker cone of an Elpico amp with a razor blade & fed it into a larger amp, thereby ‘Inventing’ pregain & a raunchy guitar sound that turned rock’n’roll guitar playing on its head, as heard on The Kinks first major hit ‘You Really Got Me’ in 1964. 

In addition to his dozens of albums with The Kinks, Dave has released a series of respected solo albums over the years; his evolution as a musician, songwriter & recording artist has paralleled his passionate pursuit of spiritual knowledge – a story told on his DVD, ‘Dave Davies Kronikles: Mystrical Journey’ he also released, with his son Russ Davies, The Aschere Project – ‘Two Worlds’…a futuristic concept album described as sounding like “Art Of Noise meets Pink Floyd”.

The Kinks in Concert BBC 1973

Ray Davies (lead vocals/guitar), Dave Davies (lead guitar), John Dalton (bass guitar), John Gosling (piano) Mick Avery (drums),

Setlist: Dedicated Follower of Fashion, Lola, You Really Got Me All Day and All of The Night, Waterloo Sunset.

Something Else by The Kinks

‘The Village Green Preservation Society‘ may the one that gets all the plaudits, but ‘Something Else’ can lay claim to being just as good in it’s own way, featuring some of the best of Ray Davies’ songwriting, which of course means it’s up there with the some of the best song writing ever.

Apart from “End of the Season”, the album was recorded between the autumn of 1966 and the summer of 1967, when the Kinks had cut back on touring and had begun recording and stockpiling songs for Davies’s as-yet poorly defined “Village Green” project. The song “Village Green” was recorded in November 1966 during the sessions for the album, but was released on a French EP in 1967 and did not appear on a Kinks LP until the next release, The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society.

Opening with public school satire ‘David Watts’ (later made famous by The Jam), ‘Something Else’ is a bit of a dry run for ‘Village Green‘, lacking the overarching concept, but still rating high on essential Englishness and also delving into such standard Davies topics as identikit suburbia (‘Tin Soldier’), idle affluence (‘End of the Season) and sibling rivalry (‘Two Sisters’, apparently a coded comment on the band’s brother problems). What does it sound like? Well, it sounds like The Kinks, that is to say that there’s plenty of sprightly sixties RnB based guitar pop, a bit of copycat psychedelia (Davies was never one to overlook to convenience of hijacking bandwagons), some Cockney knees-up pleasantries (Dave Davies’ ‘Death of a Clown’) and enough good humour and essential pathos for most bands to base their entire careers on.

‘Afternoon Tea’, with it’s understated, very British sense of romance and charming, Davies brothers vocal interplay, would be quite enough to carry the LP on it’s own, but alongside the infectious ‘Harry Rag’, ‘David Watts’, ‘Lazy Old Sun’ and the rest, ‘Something Else’ is easily capable of unveiling masterpieces one after another. There is a little filler – Dave Davies’ other compositions don’t quite come up to the mark and ‘Situations Vacant’ is distinctly Kinks by numbers, but all in all this is an essential album by a band too often dismissed as a ‘singles act’. Oh, and it’s got ‘Waterloo Sunset’ on it – what else could you possibly want from a Kinks album?

A classic from the archives, “Something Else” is the fifth studio album by The Kinks and gets a loving reissue on Sanctuary Records. On 140g vinyl with the original UK track-listing, it’s the last Kinks album to be produced by Shel Talmy and showcases one part of a mid-career high that’s still an influence today. Out on vinyl LP from Sanctuary Records.

Originally Released 15th September 1967

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Much like the ebbing away of these unprecedented times, 50 years ago, the music world was coming to terms with the end of an endemic fever that had changed the face of society. As the Fab Four scrambled to studios to release their break-up albums, the Kinks seized that large Beatle-sized hole to mock the very system that had taken them to those dizzying, and ultimately suffocating heights, in their 1970 album “Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Pt.1”, which has been re-released and remastered in a glossy deluxe format.

The Kinks were the contrarian’s choice in the 60s music scene, the swagger of Mick Jagger and the Jesus-like appeal of John Lennon meant that Ray Davies and co. found themselves dwarfed in the zeitgeist of their era. Far from nobodies nonetheless –  such tracks as  ‘You Really Got Me’, ‘Waterloo Sunset’ and ‘Sunny Afternoon’ belong in in the same pantheon as the ‘Hey Jude’s and ‘Angie’s of this world, but alas their popularity found itself dwarfed by the canonisation of their British Invasion counterparts.

“Lola” gave the Kinks an unexpected hit, and its crisp, muscular sound, pitched halfway between acoustic folk and hard rock, provided a new style for the band. However, the song only hinted at what its accompanying album, “Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One”, was all about. It didn’t matter that Ray Davies just had his first hit in years — he had suffered greatly at the hands of the music industry and he wanted to tell the story in song. Hence, Lola — a loose concept album about Ray Davies’ own psychosis and bitter feelings toward the music industry.

He never really delivers a cohesive story, but the record holds together because it’s one of his strongest sets of songs. Dave Davies contributes the lovely “Strangers” and the appropriately paranoid “Rats,” but this is truly Ray’s show, as he lashes out at ex-managers (the boisterous vaudevillian “The Moneygoround”), publishers (“Denmark Street”), TV and music journalists (the hard-hitting “Top of the Pops”), label executives (“Powerman”), and, hell, just society in general (“Apeman,” “Got to Be Free”). If his wit wasn’t sharp, the entire project would be insufferable, but the album is as funny as it is angry. Furthermore, he balances his bile with three of his best melancholy ballads: “This Time Tomorrow,” “A Long Way from Home,” and the anti-welfare and union “Get Back in Line,” which captures working-class angst better than any other rock song.

These tracks provide the spine for a wildly unfocused but nonetheless dazzling tour de force that reveals Ray’s artistic strengths and endearing character flaws in equal measure. [The 50th anniversary edition of Lola Vs Powerman is expanded by three discs filled with rarities that span the decades. The Kinks needed to cast a wide net for this 2020 reissue since Lola received a healthy double-disc expansion in 2014, one that unearthed the outtakes “Anytime” and “The Good Life,” which are both here in new mixes. “Anytime” also seeds the newly created “The Follower — Any Time 2020,” where new spoken word elements are interwoven with the original track. There’s a lot of this kind of thing on this 50th Anniversary Edition, including several “Ray’s Kitchen Sink” tracks, which contain Ray Davies and his brother Dave discussing the album’s songs while music plays in the background.

A bunch of mono mixes and alternate takes, most previously reissued, are here along with an “Apeman” from Unplugged, selections from the Ray-starring production The Long Distance Piano Player, Ray singing “Lola” with the Danish National Chamber Orchestra, and a version of “A Long Way from Home” from Ray’s 2006 Austin City Limits.

Some of this is strange, much of it is good, and all the worthwhile cuts were on the 2014 set, so this is for the hardcore Kinks fan, the one who appreciates the oddities of the bonus material instead of cursing the absence of unheard music (which likely does not exist).] What makes this album one of the Kinks’ most peculiar is its scattergun genre usage: the opening track, ‘the Contenders’ exhibits this vision, with a slow percussion and jaunty acoustic guitar transitioning, without warning, into a hard-rock crescendo. Initially this breathes freshness an invigorating freshness, but as the album progresses, this indecisiveness and laid-back approach towards genre makes this album difficult to fall in love with. For example, a song like ‘Apeman’, which is such a strong single, falls flat because it is surrounded by a weak music-hall tribute in ‘the Moneygoround’ or weird George Formby pastiche “Denmark Street”. With Christmas approaching, see this album as a box of Celebrations songs like ‘Get Back in Line’ and ‘A Long Way from Home’ sit like a Bounty amongst the fantastic ‘Lola’ and ‘Rats’.

Thematically, Lola Versus Powerman, can be lumped together with Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here or Pulp’s This is Hardcore as it is an album with the clear, age-old message – the music business is called a business for a reason – to cripple and pornographise the artistic expression and freedom of musical creation for profit and growth. On ‘Powerman’, the band channel their disgust for the abusive relationship between executives, artists and their music while ‘Top of the Pops’ is a brilliant slapstick satire about the process of making a hit, with Davies evoking the forced enthusiasm of the industry in his vocal performance. In fact, it is a crippling indictment (and brilliant foresight) of the band that the quip “I might even end up a rock’n’roll god / It might just turn into a steady job” rings true today, with bona fide legends such as David Crosby having to sell their publishing rights for money. No industry revolution will never be started by this album however – Davies misses the mark by not making his message cohesive enough. It is no surprise that ‘Lola’ was the first song written off the album, as every song feels like an attempt to make an LP to surround the big hit. The exotic nature of the iconic steel guitar on that track spreads its tentacles through the album and eventually looms large over them, stifling the listener to enjoy them only moderately.

Ray Davies described his oeuvre as “a celebration of artistic freedom (including my own) and the right for anyone to be gender-free if one wishes” and the bonus tracks offer an insight not only to how the album was created, but how the band transported their complex product to the stage with some roaring live tracks. What is clear is that despite its somewhat disjointed nature, Lola Versus Powerman is still a vibrant expression of what the Kinks became so famous for: variety, innovation and joy.

No other songwriter in rock during the 1960s portrayed life in the British Isles as richly and as pointedly as The KinksRay Davies. In songs such as “A Well Respected Man,” “Autumn Almanac,” “Dedicated Follower of Fashion” and “Dead End Street,” and on albums like Village Green Preservation Society and Arthur, Davies captured vividly the class-driven lifestyles and peculiarities of the English, both present-day and in times gone by. By the time the 1970s kicked in, though, Davies had begun reaching into a deeper well for inspiration. The albums Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One (1970), which took aim at the inequities of the music industry, and the following year’s country music-influenced, nostalgic Muswell Hillbillies, found Davies and the Kinks extending their lyrical and musical range.

The Kinks’ tenth studio album, 1972’s double LP “Everybody’s in Showbiz”, is about to get the Legacy Edition treatment from Sony’s Legacy Recordings. The classic studio/live hybrid album will be reissued along with a full disc’s worth of previously unissued studio outtakes (recorded at London’s Morgan Studios) and concert material (recorded March 2nd-3rd, 1972 during The Kinks’ Carnegie Hall concert stand). or Everybody’s in Show-Biz, released on RCA Records in the summer of 1972, the Kinks went the double-live album route—one studio disc consisting of 10 brand new songs, and a live LP recorded at Carnegie Hall in March of that year. The latter consisted primarily of songs drawn from the recent studio albums, while Davies’ new material—the writing of which coincided with the Kinks’ trend toward more theatricality in their live performances—mixed the autobiographical (a few songs focused on the touring life—and the crappy food consumed along the way) and the observational.

While not quite fully a concept album—not in the way that the following Preservation Act 1, Preservation Act 2 and Soap Opera were, anyway—the studio half of Everybody’s in Show-Biz was the most unified statement the band had made since 1969’s Arthur. It was, as all of their output had been over the past several years, exceptional.

It was also a relative bomb. In the United States, where the Kinks’ popularity had ebbed and flowed—largely due to a legal snafu that kept them from touring in the States between 1966-69—the album only reached #70 in Billboard, 35 points lower than Lola had (but better than Muswell Hillbillies, which stalled at #100). Show-Biz also failed to produce a hit single, whereas the title track of Lola had given them their first U.S. top 10 in five years.

In retrospect, what’s most astounding, perhaps, is how American radio—and, consequentially, record buyers—utterly failed to initially recognize what was easily one of Davies’ finest compositions to date: “Celluloid Heroes.”

Incredibly, the song failed to chart. Today, it’s considered something of a Kinks Klassik—one of those songs that defines the band and is often cited as being among Davies’ finest creations. The ballad finds the singer looking wistfully at the heyday of Hollywood, that era when all it took was a dream, a modicum of talent and a bus ticket to Los Angeles for fame to turn from a dream to reality—or not.

In the opening stanza, Davies sings: “Everybody’s a dreamer and everybody’s a star/And everybody’s in movies, it doesn’t matter who you are/There are stars in every city, in every house and on every street/And if you walk down Hollywood Boulevard, their names are written in concrete.”

The latter reference, to the iconic Hollywood Walk of Fame, is Davies’ nod to the many who’d come and gone, “Some that you recognize, some that you’ve hardly even heard of/People who worked and suffered and struggled for fame/Some who succeeded and some who suffered in vain.”

He name-checks several: First there’s Greta Garbo, who “looks so weak and fragile, that’s why she tried to be so hard.” There’s Rudolph Valentino (who “looks up ladies dresses as they sadly pass him by”), Bela Lugosi, Bette Davis, George Sanders and Mickey Rooney. And, of course, “dearest Marilyn,” the most glaring example of the star system’s lures and failures: “She should have been made of iron or steel/But she was only made of flesh and blood.”

Recorded with the piano of recent recruit John Gosling taking a prominent role, “Celluloid Heroes” was tender and melancholy, both tribute and admonition. It’s not the stars themselves that our narrator identifies with; it’s who they play. He doesn’t want so much to be a Hollywood star himself; he wants his own life to disappear into those of the characters on the screen. “Celluloid heroes never feel any pain, and celluloid heroes never really die,” Ray Davies sings. It’s a gem of a song that was almost lost amidst the indifference to an underrated album. Fortunately, its own star rose and hasn’t faded since.

Often seen as a transitional album pointing the way towards producer-songwriter-frontman Ray Davies’ more theatrical style, Everybody’s in Showbiz took its inspiration from Davies’ life on the road.   The album’s songs were originally intended as the soundtrack to The Colossal Shirt, an unrealized film about The Kinks’ touring life.  The LP showcases the band lineup of Ray Davies, guitarist Dave Davies, bassist John Dalton, keyboardist John Gosling and drummer Mick Avory, joined by brass and woodwind players Mike Cotton, John Beecham and Alan Holmes (all of whom played on Muswell Hillbillies, recently reissued by Legacy.)

The Carnegie Hall tracks on the original LP include Kinks originals such as “Lola” and “Brainwashed” as well as an eclectic variety of cover versions including “Mr. Wonderful” (from the 1956 Sammy Davis Jr.-starring Broadway musical of the same name), the 1926 chart-topper “Baby Face” and “The Banana Boat Song” (best known in its rendition by Harry Belafonte).

The 17-track bonus disc of the new Legacy Edition premieres never-before-heard live versions of “Sunny Afternoon,” “Get Back in Line,” “Muswell Hillbilly,” “Complicated Life” and the rarely-played “Long Tall Shorty” as well as the outtake “History,” alternate mixes of “Supersonic Rocket Ship” and “Unreal Reality” and “Sophisticated Lady,” an embryonic rehearsal version of “Money Talks.”

The remastered Legacy Edition includes new liner notes by journalist David Fricke.  It’s due in stores on CD and vinyl from Legacy Recordings on June 3rd; the vinyl 3-LP edition contains the original album and a selection of nine bonus tracks (noted below).  Both versions can be pre-ordered at the links below!

The Kinks, Everybody’s in Showbiz: Legacy Edition (RCA VPS-6065, 1972 – reissued Legacy Recordings, 2016)

CD 1: The Original Album

  1. Here Comes Yet Another Day
  2. Maximum Consumption
  3. Unreal Reality
  4. Hot Potatoes
  5. Sitting In My Hotel
  6. Motorway
  7. You Don’t Know My Name
  8. Supersonic Rocket Ship
  9. Look A Little On The Sunny Side
  10. Celluloid Heroes
  11. Top Of The Pops (Live)
  12. Brainwashed (Live)
  13. Wonderful (Live)
  14. Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues (Live)
  15. Holiday (Live)
  16. Muswell Hillbilly (Live)
  17. Alcohol (Live)
  18. Banana Boat Song (Live)
  19. Skin And Bone (Live)
  20. Baby Face (Live)
  21. Lola (Live)

Tracks 1-10 Recorded March-October 1972 at Morgan Studios, Willesden, London
Tracks 11-21 Recorded March 3, 1972 at Carnegie Hall, New York, New York

CD 2: Bonus Tracks

  1. ‘Til The End Of The Day (Live) (previously issued) (*)
  2. You’re Looking Fine (Live) (previously unreleased commercially) (*)
  3. Get Back In Line (Live) (*)
  4. Have A Cuppa Tea (Live) (*)
  5. Sunny Afternoon (Live) (*)
  6. Muswell Hillbilly (Live)
  7. Brainwashed (Live)
  8. Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues (Live)
  9. Holiday (Live)
  10. Alcohol (Live)
  11. Complicated Life (Live) (*)
  12. She’s Bought A Hat Like Princess Marina (Live) (previously issued)
  13. Long Tall Shorty (Live) (*)
  14. History (studio outtake) (*)
  15. Supersonic Rocket Ship (alternate mix) (*)
  16. Unreal Reality (alternate mix)
  17. Sophisticated Lady (early rehearsal version of “Money Talks”)

All tracks previously unreleased except where noted
(*) denotes bonus track included on vinyl edition

Tracks 1-13 Recorded March 2-3, 1972 at Carnegie Hall, New York, New York
Tracks 14-17 Recorded at Morgan Studios, Willesden, London

The Kinks lead guitarist Dave Davies has revealed some details about a 50th Anniversary reissue of the band’s 1970 album “Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One” that’s being prepared for release later this year. Dave tells ABC Audio that his brother, Kinks frontman Ray Davies, finished mixing the collection, which will feature various unreleased bonus tracks, including demos, odd mixes and more. The package includes a matt laminated rigid slipcase featuring the original LP cover reproduced with foil and metallic silver finishes. Three CDs contain: The original album new remaster from original HD master tapes, singles (stereo and mono mixes), B-sides, alternate original mixes, new medleys with Ray and Dave Davies conversations, new Ray Davies remixes and original session out-takes, previously unreleased session and live tape audio, instrumental & acoustic versions, previously unreleased demos and BBC material.

Originally recorded 9th May 1970 at Morgan Studio 1, Willesden, UK for The Kinks classic ‘Lola Versus Powerman And The Moneygoround, Part One’ original album sessions. This fresh, new 2020 remaster was done from the original HD master tapes by expert Kinks engineer Andrew Sandoval, overseen by Kinks frontman Ray Davies. ‘Lola’, which reached the #9 in the US, #2 in the UK and Germany, was the Kinks‘ biggest single success since ‘Sunny Afternoon’ in 1966 and marked the start of big comeback Stateside. The track, written by Ray Davies, allegedly details a romantic encounter between a young man and a possible trans-gender person whom he meets in a club in Soho, London.

The Kinks continuing the 50th anniversary celebration of their studio albums with various new editions of 1970’s “Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Pt 1”. The December 18th release via Sanctuary Records is produced in association with The Kinks, with audio and visual content curated by Ray Davies. The original album, released on November. 27th, 1970, included the worldwide hit single, “Lola,” as well as “Apeman,” a top 5 record in many markets.

On November 25th, the band premiered an animated video of “Lola,” telling the story of a romantic encounter between a young man and a possible trans-gender person whom he meets in a club in Soho, London.

From the new collection’s announcement: The concept album, their eighth studio release, is a satirical appraisal of the music industry, including song publishers, unions, the press, accountants, business managers, and life on the road. This classic album appeared during a transitional period for the Kinks, and was a critical and commercial success.

Dave also reveals that one interesting highlight of the deluxe reissue is a section dubbed “The Kitchen Sink Tapes” that features recently recorded conversations between Ray and him discussing various songs from the album. “It’s stuff we recorded before this weird pandemic thing,” he explains. “We met up at Ray’s house, and we just [had an] impromptu kind of conversation, [talking] about ‘Ape Man’ and what ‘Lola’ meant to us and how it came about, and how the ideas for ‘Strangers’ were born.”

Davies also reports that the Lola Versus Powerman reissue will include some demos of the song “Lola” that Ray recorded at his house, and an unreleased demo of the Dave-penned gem “Strangers.”

“Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One” was released in November 1970. The record featured the enduring hit “Lola,” which peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #2 on the U.K. singles chart. A second single, “Apeman,” only reached #45 on the Hot 100, but was a #5 hit in the U.K. The concept album, their eighth studio release, is a satirical appraisal of the music industry, including song publishers, unions, the press, accountants, business managers, and life on the road. This classic album appeared during a transitional period for the Kinks, and was a critical and commercial success.

Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One, commonly abbreviated to Lola Versus Powerman, or just Lola, is the eighth studio album by The Kinks, recorded and released in 1970. A concept album ahead of its time, it’s a satirical appraisal of the music industry, including song publishers, unions, the press, accountants, business managers, and life on the road. One of the all-time classic Kinks albums. Although it appeared during a transitional period for The Kinks, Lola Versus Powerman was a success both critically and commercially for the group, charting in the Top 40 in America and helping restore them in the public eye, making it a “comeback” album. It contained two hit singles: ‘Lola’, which reached the #9 US, #2 UK and Germany – becoming the Kinks’ biggest success since ‘Sunny Afternoon’ in 1966 – and ‘Apeman’, which peaked at #5 in the UK and Germany.

Meanwhile, Dave says that he and Ray still haven’t got any concrete plans to release the new music that they’ve worked on together during the past few years. n m,.,m,.mnn m,jhgfduyfdsp-0“We’ve been talking about it,” he reports. “And we’re getting together [soon] with a view to maybe peruse stuff that we got and see if maybe we can and maybe we can’t. And we’ll see.”

The limited deluxe edition is lavishly packaged, with a 50th anniversary deluxe 10” book-pack of that album, containing many previously unreleased tracks and versions.

The December 18th release via Sanctuary Records is produced in association with The Kinks, with audio and visual content curated by Ray Davies. The original album, released on November 27th, 1970,

Lola Versus Powerman’ 50th Anniversary Box Set Available as a Deluxe 10” slipcased book pack (containing 60 page book, 3 x cds, 2 x 7” singles, 4 x colour prints) and on black heavyweight gatefold vinyl, 2CD and 1CD formats.

The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society 50th anniversary super deluxe

BMG Records will issue a 50th anniversary edition of The Kinks‘ 1968 album The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society in October. The Enormous 11-disc super deluxe edition • 2018 remasters • 174 tracks

The band’s sixth studio album was originally issued in November ’68 and would be the last album by the original line-up (bass player Pete Quaife departed in early 1969). Describing the album today, Ray Davies says it’s about “the ending of a time personally for me in my life. In my imaginary village. It’s the end of our innocence, our youth. Some people are quite old but in the Village Green, you’re never allowed to grow up. I feel the project itself as part of a life cycle.”

The super deluxe edition is an eleven-disc set, no less. It contains a double vinyl LP with stereo and mono versions (both 2018 remasters) and a 12-track ‘Continental’ (Swedish) version on vinyl.

In addition there are five CDs of content as described below:

  • CD1:
    2018 Stereo Remaster, from the original HD tape transfers + bonus tracks of singles, B sides and original album related tracks
  • CD2:
    2018 Mono Remaster, from the original HD tape transfers + bonus tracks of singles, B sides and original album related tracks
  • CD3:
    Village Green Sessions – Including alternate versions, mixes and backing tracks, many previously unreleased
  • CD4:
    Village Green At The BBC – TV performance track audio and band interviews, many previously unreleased
  • CD5:
    Preservation, Sessions, Live & Demos – including mid 70s recordings, previously unreleased home demos, Ray Davies live in Denmark 2010 and unreleased track ‘Time Song’.

The three remaining discs are a trio of replica seven-inch singles, reproduced in picture sleeves. They are:

  • Days / She’s Got Everything (1968)
  • Starstruck / Picture Book (1968)
  • The Village Green Preservation Society / Do You Remember Walter? (1969)

There are 174 tracks in total (see full track listing at the bottom of this post) with “many previously unreleased tracks and versions”, including the previously unreleased track ‘Time Song’ which was performed by The Kinks at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in January 1973. This track was Davies’ commentary on the UK joining what was then called The Common Market. Ray says “This song was recorded a few weeks later but never made the final cut on the Preservation Act I album. Oddly enough, the song seems quite poignant and appropriate to release at this time in British history, and like Europe itself the track is a rough mix which still has to be finessed.” This track features in the box set and the 2CD edition.

Check out the previously Unreleased track ‘Time Song’ :

The box set comes with a 52-page hardcover book with extensive sleeve notes and new band interviews and includes essays by Pete Townshend and other writers. It boasts “special packaging” with debossed box cover, foil & metallic text, linen cloth finish and a ‘bespoke accessories holder’.

It also comes with what we like to call ‘stuff’… broadly categorised as ‘memorabilia’. This includes a poster of Village Green LP inner gatefold; Empire Liverpool 1968 tour poster; glossy 10” x 8” photos from Hampstead Heath 1968 photoshoot; colour press photo with reproduced band signatures; Bournemouth 1968 gig ticket; PYE Records promo card; ‘Days’ sheet music etc.

The other three physical editions are a 2CD deluxe ‘art of the album’ which features the stereo and mono remasters and bonus tracks (49 tracks in total), plus single disc vinyl and CD versions with just the stereo remaster.

The Kinks “Are The Village Green Preservation Society” 50th anniversary editions are out on 26th October 2018. The UK box set price of £94 seems pretty good for all that content .

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As a founding member of The Kinks, Dave Davies is a musician who needs little introduction. After decisively solving the riddle of the first “Great Lost Dave Davies Solo Album,” 2011’s magnificent Hidden Treasures, we now have what should have been its sequel: Decade. Years prior to the issue of Dave’s first “proper” solo album, 1980’s AFL1-3603, he was working on the fascinating tracks that make up this new compilation. The tapes were unearthed by his sons and properly mixed and mastered in a way that lets these songs shimmer and shine even brighter than they did at inception. Any album recorded over the span of 10 years runs the risk of ending up wildly erratic, yet Decade is surprisingly cohesive. A real treasure.

The album, which arrives October. 12th, is a collection of unreleased songs he recorded from 1971-79. You can listen to the lead single, “Cradle to the Grave,” below.

“I am so pleased that after all this time these tracks are being released to see the light of day,” he said in a press release. “These songs have been silently nagging at me to be recognised all these years. At last I can proudly present this album Decade to the world. I do hope you all enjoy the music.”

 Dave penned several great songs, such as “Death of a Clown” from Something Else and the Arthur-era outtakes “Mindless Child of Motherhood” and “This Man He Weeps Tonight.” But as the press release notes, Dave’s songs “had no apparent place” in the concept albums Ray was creating, so these tracks remained “under beds, in attics, in storage” until they were discovered by Dave’s sons. “We were busy, and we were touring, he continued, “The Kinks were very vibrant that whole period of time. It wasn’t really until the end of the ‘70s that I started to really take my writing seriously. I should have done it anyway—because what’s ‘serious’ and ‘not serious’? Just get stuff out, you know?”


There is a rather tasty Kinks Tribute album being given away as the free cover disk with this month’s latest issue of Mojo.

The Kinks will always occupy an important place in rock music history thanks to their early hit “You Really Got Me,” which was one of the first rock songs to use guitar distortion. However, once the first wave of the British Invasion died down and The Beatles emerged as the biggest band in the world, the Kinks began to fade from the public eye, despite continuing to produce infectious pop-rock albums well into the mid-’70s. Singer/rhythm guitarist Ray Davies is widely regarded as one of the greatest songwriters in pop music history and though only a few Kinks songs get played in regular rotation on classic rock radio, the band has dozens of albums worth of great material.

Many of the best acts across multiple genres have cited the Kinks as being a major influence, from punk rock groups such as The Ramones and The Clash to Britpop groups like Oasis and Blur. As one of the early pioneers of hard rock and heavy metal, the Kinks deserve to be in the same conversation as bands like The Beatles and Led Zeppelin when it comes to the godfathers of riff-based music.

It contains 14 tracks and includes the likes of Gaz Coombes, Nada Surf, Chuck Prophet, Jacco Gardner, Wreckless Eric, Mick Harvey and American Wrestlers amongst others.


Have a listen to French duo Les Liminanas’ take on Two Sisters also featuring Anton Newcombe and Ty Segall’s version of perhaps the band’s greatest composition, Waterloo Sunset, and retains faithful to the original whilst imbuing it with a whole new gnarly charm.