Posts Tagged ‘The Kinks’

May be a black-and-white image of child, sitting and food

Grammy-nominated and band of the moment the psychedelic soul duo Black Pumas have joined forces with indie-pop outfit Lucious for an updated collaborative cover of The Kinks “Strangers”. Released to streaming platforms on Thursday via ATO Records, the new cover also appears in the promo trailer for the forthcoming YouTube Originals documentary, Life In A Day 2020. The film premiered as part of the Sundance Film Festival recently.

“To me, ‘Strangers’ has a really interesting way of cutting through straight to the soul,” Black Pumas singer Eric Burton said in a press statement about the song, which The Kinks first released way back in 1970 on the band’s “Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One” album. “I had such a good time inhabiting this honest reflection on love lost and the triumph that is a resilient human spirit.”

In addition to the documentary trailer arriving Thursday, the band also shared an eight-minute behind-the-scenes featurette showing how their cover with Lucius came to be in the recording studio.

Black Pumas and Lucius have released a new cover of The Kinks classic “Strangers.”

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.

Kinks the the kink kronikles

The Kink Kronikles is a compilation double album by the Kinks, released on Reprise Records in 1972, after the band had signed with RCA Records the label assembled this compilation without input from the band. Instead, Reprise invited rock journalist and noted Kinks fan John Mendelsohn to compile this package. Five tracks made their U.S. debut in any format here – “Berkeley Mews”, “Willesden Green”, “This Is Where I Belong”, “Did You See His Name?” and “King Kong”. The latter two were original to this compilation, and “King Kong” would be released as Reprise single 1094 two months after the release of this double album.
in 1971. It contains thirteen non-album singles, fourteen tracks taken from five albums released by the band from 1966 to 1971 (including the UK-only Percy), and one track previously unreleased. Designed specifically for the American market, it peaked at No. 94 on the Billboard 200. The single versions and mixes were not necessarily used for each track.

Featuring the original sleeve-notes.”This limited edition, gatefold, red vinyl 2LP is a reproduction of the sought-after, 28 track, 1972 Reprise US LP compilation (1966-1971). Considered an exemplary compilation Contains hits, album tracks, US-only versions, non-album singles and B-sides. Featuring original sleeve-notes.

This limited edition, gatefold, red vinyl 2LP is a reproduction of the sought-after, 28 track, 1972 Reprise US LP compilation (1966-1971).Contains hits, album tracks, US-only versions, non-album singles and B-sides .Featuring original sleeve-notes. “This limited edition, gatefold, red vinyl 2LP is a reproduction of the sought-after, 28 track, 1972 Reprise US LP compilation (1966-1971).Contains hits, album tracks, US-only versions, non-album singles and B-sides. Featuring original sleeve-notes.

Tracklist:

SIDE 1 1 Victoria 2 The Village Green Preservation Society 3 Berkeley Mews 4 Holiday In Waikiki 5 Willesden Green 6 This Is Where I Belong 7 Waterloo Sunset

SIDE 2 1 Lola 2 Mindless Child Of Motherhood 3 Polly 4 Big Black Smoke 5 Susannah’s Still Alive 6 She’s Got Everything 7 Days

SIDE 3 1 David Watts 2 Dead End Street 3 Shangri-La 4 Autumn Almanac 5 Sunny Afternoon 6 Get Back In Line 7 Did You See His Name?

SIDE 4 1 Fancy 2 Wonderboy 3 Apeman 4 King Kong 5 Mr.Pleasant 6 God’s Children 7 Death Of A Clown”

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The Wild Honey Orchestra & Friends Play THE KINKS ARE THE VILLAGE GREEN PRESERVATION album in its entirety & bonus songs from the same era. Hosted by writer Chris Morris, the event, which will benefit the Autism Think Tank, will take place Saturday, February 23rd, 2019 at 8 p.m., at the historic Alex Theatre, 216 N. Brand Blvd. in downtown Glendale, Calif.

Led by acclaimed musical director Rob Laufer (whose credits include George Martin’s Hollywood Bowl tribute to Sgt. Pepper), Wild Honey Orchestra and Friends will present a full and faithful recreation 1968’s masterpiece THE KINKS ARE THE VILLAGE GREEN PRESERVATION SOCIETY, with an additional full set of Kinks songs from the pre-1973 era to augment and paint the full picture of this masterpiece .

All of the album’s fifteen songs will be performed with exacting detail – every oboe, Mellotron, vintage acoustic twelve-string, harpsichord and cello will be represented by the real instruments – by musicians and vocalists dedicated to and in love with this music. The Wild Honey Orchestra players have backed up everyone from Brian Wilson to Arthur Lee, and have earned international respect for bringing tricky studio creations to the live stage.

In a 2018 essay, Pete Townshend describes Village Green as “a pop masterpiece.” The Sydney Morning Herald recently declared: “it’s impossible to imagine British pop without The Kinks’ Village Green. The album was a flop in ’68, but the conscious preservation of English voices and characters was upheld by countless Kinks fans from Bowie to the Clash, XTC, the Jam, Madness and the ’90s Britpop of Blur, Pulp and Oasis.” In the tradition of Wild Honey’s previous benefit events (Buffalo Springfield, the Band, Beach Boys 67-77, Big Star, and three Beatles shows), Wild Honey Orchestra & Friends will passionately celebrate every musical nuance of Kinks‘ brilliant material from this era with full instrumentation (strings, horns, and more).

Current members of the Wild Honey Orchestra include a who’s who of respected L.A. recording artists: musical director Rob Laufer, guitar, vocals; Elliot Easton of the Cars, Jim Laspesa (Brian Wilson/Dave Davies); David Goodstein, drums/vocals; Derrick Anderson (The Bangles) and Robby Scharf, bass guitar; Chris Price (Emitt Rhodes) and Willie Aron, keyboards, vocals; Jordan Summers (Jakob Dylan), Danny McGough (Tom Waits and more), keyboards; Dan Rothchild, bass; guitarists Andrew Sandoval & Rob Bonfiglio: Nelson Bragg, percussion; Probyn Gregory, Kaitlin Wolfberg (L.A. String Explosion) and Lyn Bertles, strings.

 

After performing at the 2015 Wild Honey White Album show, Chris Collingwood of Fountains of Wayne declared the Wild Honey Orchestra to be “just about the most cracking backup band I’ve ever heard. I told my friends that playing with that many amazing musicians behind me felt like piloting a 747.”

As with last year’s sold-out tribute to The Buffalo Springfield with Richie Furay at the Alex, the concert will benefit the Autism Think Tank. This non-profit organization brings together a team of top autism specialists, via an Internet medical conference, to tackle the medical and psychological problems faced by children and young adults with autism.

The looming dissolution of the Beatles, after a stirring run of creative genius, signaled that everything would be different in the ’70s. They released their final album in Abbey Road, though the earlier-recorded Let It Be would follow, after some post-session doctoring from Phil Spector. They weren’t the only ones who departed: The original Jimi Hendrix Experience, Eric Burdon and the Animals and the Jeff Beck Group fell apart, even as Rolling Stones co-founder Brian Jones died. The warm feelings of Woodstock were quickly forgotten in the bloody aftermath of Altamont.

The death of Brian Jones, July 3rd , Brian Jones had long since relinquished his role as a major contributor to the band he founded, the Rolling Stones, when he drowned in his swimming pool at his home in Cotchford Farm, the estate formerly owned by A.A. Milnes, author of the ever popular children’s book, Winnie the Pooh. He had been fired by the Stones the month before due to drug use and increasingly erratic behavior, leaving Jones more or less out in the cold as far as any further recording ventures were concerned. Initially ruled “death by misadventure,” the verdict was later questioned when rumors spread that a construction worker named Frank Thorogood actually murdered Jones and had made a deathbed confession to a confidante. In 2008, the Sussex police department declared it was no longer investigating the claim. Nevertheless, Jones became the first member of the so-called 27 club, whose membership now includes Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, Amy Whitehouse and a number of other artists whose lives ended at the fateful age of 27. His death also ended a prolific and profound era for the Stones, which many still argue, was the most creative period of their collective career.

At the same time, bands appeared that would dominate the decade to come. Led Zeppelin released their acclaimed first and second albums in ’69, laying a sturdy foundation for superstardom. Zeppelin seemed to arrive as a fully formed new blues-rock variant, harder and louder than anything that had come before. In fact, after touring together extensively, the band arrived in the studio with this material so well rehearsed that they only needed 36 hours spread out over two weeks to complete the album. Its influence, however, has endured – not just as a template for their own career, but also for untold legions of soon-to-be-famous heavy-metal purveyors.

In the summer of 1969, Zeppelin was a band on the rise. Its self-titled first album, released in January of that year, reached Number 10 on the Billboard charts in the U.S., and peaked at Number 6 in the U.K. The band’s pairing of blues, folk and psychedelia eventually would make it the biggest band of the 1970s, “as influential in that decade as The Beatles were in the previous one,”  Zeppelin would play more than 40 gigs on their Summer of 69 tour of U.S.A.

Chicago issued the first of what will eventually be four straight multi-album projects, A band with a bright horn section and a scalding guitarist, Chicago was really all about dichotomy back then. Four songs from their introductory double album would enter the charts, through to 1972’s Chicago V. 

Mick Taylor joined The Stones, sparking their most heralded period – though one that was marked by a turn toward darker subject matter. Rolling Stones, ‘Let It Bleed’ was aptly titled, the second in a quartet of genius albums by the Stones echoed all of the very real apprehensions surrounding this era – like a gritty yin to the Beatles’ utopian yang on ‘Abbey Road.’ Mick Taylor’s arrival also ushered in a harder-edged sound, which combined to create one of rock’s most visceral triumphs. It’s sexy, foreboding, topical and dangerous, sometimes all at once.

Altamont – December 6th was one of the darkest days in music history, Altamont sealed the lid on the promise of peace and love that was capped by Woodstock, and did so within mere months following that celebratory event itself. The Stones, who headlined the sprawling festival in the California desert, may have had good intentions to offer a free concert, but enlisting the Hell’s Angels as security was a terrible idea. Though the line-up was stellar—CSNY, Santana and Jefferson Airplane reprised their roles from Woodstock, along with the Flying Burrito Brothers providing an excellent add-on—an aura of violence and uncertainty pervaded the proceedings. Both Jagger and Airplane singer Marty Balin were accosted the former as he left his chopper, the latter onstage and the death of concert goer Meredith Hunter by a pack of Angels who claimed they saw him wielding a gun, ensured the fact that an idyllic utopian era of the ’60s was quickly come to an end.

‘Abbey Road’ was always a far more fitting send off for the Beatles than ‘Let It Be’ could have ever been. It’s among Paul McCartney’s brightest, most artistically satisfying, moments. But John Lennon’s punctuations (and, to a quickly emerging degree, George Harrison’s) undoubtably make it so. Moments away from imploding, they arrived for these sessions as distinct individuals, rather than stylized mop-topped group. Yet, for a moment in time and for this one last time, the Beatles’ separate personalities seemed to work again in service of the whole.

The Beatles Final Concert, January 30th, Although the Beatles’ impromptu performance on the rooftop of their Apple headquarters in London’s central environs was rumored to be a tryout for a return to live concerts, it was in fact part of the band’s final hurrah. The tumultuous sessions for their album Let It Be exposed a group in disarray, and indeed, a mere nine months after this live six song set—all culled from tracks they had been working on at the time The Beatles were officially broken. Filmed to provide a cap on the ill-fated Let It Be film, it’s still an exhilarating experience to watch the four former Fabs giving it a final go for the curious crowds below. “Hope we passed the audition,” John says before vacating the premises on orders from the police. Yes, Mr. Lennon, indeed you did.

Nick Drake, ‘Five Leaves Left’ was an autumnal yearning which surrounds these folk-rock recordings, and that’s likely the reason Drake was overlooked in his time. Even smart assists from Richard Thompson, then of Fairport Convention fame, couldn’t push this delicately conveyed album into the public consciousness back then. Sadly, Drake only had five years left. He died at age 26 in 1974 of an overdose.

This daring debut by prog rock band King Crimson, ‘In the Court of the Crimson King’ still remains prog’s standard bearer, the best example of a then-emerging movement that sought to combine musical concepts with rock. ‘In the Court of the Crimson King’ was also a template for how this seemingly ever-evolving band would operate, as their lineup almost immediately flew apart. The core pair of Robert Fripp and Greg Lake was all that remained by the time King Crimson set about recording a follow-up.

The Kinks ‘Arthur,’ a triumph of rock with a British sensibility subtitled “Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire,” never gets the short-hand praise of contemporary works like the Who’s ‘Tommy.’ That’s likely because it’s less ambitious. But it’s also far more listenable – like a rock musical, rather than a rock opera. Hailed as one of rock’s first great concept albums, ‘Tommy’ – like so many examples in that genre – sometimes suffers creatively at the expense of furthering the plot. But at its best, this represents the Who at their finest. And there’s no questioning how the album opened up new narrative possibilities for pop composers.

The Who Performed Tommy for the First Time, April 22nd Notably, the concert in Devon, England, preceded the album’s official release by a month. Although other offerings can claim to be the first real rock operas—The Pretty Things’ S.F, Sorrow and the Kinks’ Arthur, among them—The Who were the only band to take the unusual step of performing an album in its entirety. They’d later take Tommy to some of the world’s great opera houses, elevating rock in both intellect and intent.

The debut of supergroup Blind Faith, June 7th, Heralded as the first true “super group”—a term that would resurface continuously in the years that followed Blind Faith was based on an all-star union between guitarist Eric Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker of Cream and vocalist/keyboard player Steve Winwood of Traffic, with bassist Ric Grech, formerly of Family, added later on. Although Clapton in particular was wary of the implications involved in such a high profile ensemble and equally concerned about inviting the tempestuous Baker into the fold—he agreed to pursue the possibilities, owing in small part to the fact that he and Winwood had worked together in a short-lived ad hoc outfit called Powerhouse a few years before. The group’s less than spectacular live debut at Hyde Park further exacerbated Clapton’s concerns, and after a single spotty album and tours of Scandinavia and the U.S., the group disbanded later that year.

Dylan Reemerges at the Isle of Wight, August 31st, Dylan had been largely absent from public view since a 1966 motorcycle accident drove him into self-imposed seclusion. Other than his work with the Band at Big Pink, he chose to spend time with his family and record an album, Nashville Skyline, a shocking departure from any album he had offered before. Consequently, the announcement of his appearance at England’s Isle of Wight Festival attracted an extraordinary amount of interest, including the curiosity of various Beatles, a Stone, Eric Clapton, Pink Floyd’s Syd Barrett and a still gestating Elton John. Rumor had it that Lennon, Harrison and Starr might join Dylan onstage, and although that proved false, Dylan alone was enough to mesmerize the masses. Dressed in a beige suit, his hair cut short, he performed a 17-song set with backing from the Band, a concert that included several classics from his catalog as well as tracks from Nashville Skyline and its immediate predecessor, John Wesley Harding. It’s still considered a landmark performance today.

That was probably to be expected for a generation still reeling from shocking assassinations and an ever-escalating war. So, too, was a move toward nostalgia for the old ways. Bob Dylan Having hinted at his intentions on the more rustic ‘John Wesley Harding,’ Dylan definitively left behind protest music for a head-long dive into deep country for the charming, determinedly happy ‘Nashville Skyline.’ In its own way, this was revolutionary too as he went country, even as his old backing musicians in The Band released a determinedly homespun self-titled masterpiece. The Byrds also splintered, with two members Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman left to dive deeper into their passion for country and western music. The resulting album, unfortunately, did little on the charts – but it proved to be a well-spring of inspiration for descendent bands like the Eagles. breaking away to form the Americana-focused Flying Burrito Brothers.

Although there had been several gingerly moves to find common ground between the disparate realms of country music and rock ’n’ roll early rock pioneers Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, the Everly Brothers and Rick Nelson all had claims on country—in the divided America of the late ’60s, followers of the two styles were decidedly distinct. Nevertheless, the Byrds and the Buffalo Springfield effectively made efforts to narrow that divide, making it only natural that the two groups they spawned, the Flying Burrito Brothers and Poco respectively, would, to paraphrase the title of the latter’s debut album, pick up the pieces. As a result of releases like The Flying Burrito Brothers’ debut, The Gilded Palace of Sin, in February 1969, country-rock blossomed, spearheaded by the influence of “cosmic cowboy” Gram Parsons (a member of both the Byrds and the Burritos) before later finding a permanent bond with the release of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s Will the Circle Be Unbroken, featuring members of both the new guard and the old, two years later.

The Stooges, ‘The Stooges’ This album’s wiry, first-take feel was no put on: Three songs from the Stooges‘ titanic debut were written in a single day, after their label said the album needed more material, then banged them out live. The ferocious results gave the nascent heavy metal genre new fire, presupposed far-off punk, and scared the hell out of parents everywhere.

Creedence Clearwater Revival began to come into their own here, reaching heralded high points with “Born on the Bayou” and “Proud Mary.” The rest of ‘Bayou Country’ doesn’t always reach that level, but the album is nevertheless surrounded by a sense of expectancy. They’re discovering themselves with every revolution of this album, and it’s a fizzy joy to hear. The second of an incredible run of three CCR albums from 1969 codifies every great thing the earlier ‘Bayou Country’ pointed toward. Sharply drawn, ‘Green River’ is just as sharply played – with none of the period-piece noodling that had occasionally seeped into their first two albums. John Fogerty dilated his muse on ageless cuts like “Bad Moon Rising,” the title track and “Lodi,” and Creedence finally found its true voice.

The Allman Brothers Band an accomplished debut as they blended rock, blues, jazz and a distinctly Southern sensibility to came up with something uniquely and forever their own. Taken for granted in today’s multi-cultural melting pot, ‘Santana’ marked the big bang of Latin rock. Within a year, congas and timbales had found their way into the music of the Rolling Stones, Sly Stone, Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis, among many others. But it all started here, as ‘Santana’ blended mind-blowing, genre-bending musical explorations with more compact songs like the rambunctious Top 10 hit ‘Evil Ways’.

Jimi Hendrix forms the Band of Gypsies, October and with the release of Electric Ladyland, Jimi Hendrix was at the height of his prowess, but the break-up of the Experience left him without a band and bereft of new recordings. His band at Woodstock, ostensively dubbed “Gypsy Sun and Rainbows,” found him expanding his original trio concept and reuniting with his former army buddy, Billy Cox. The aggregate, which Hendrix referred to as “a band of gypsies” when interviewed on The Dick Cavett Show, fell apart soon after, although Cox continued on bass and joined Hendrix for some informal recording dates with Buddy Miles. It was a natural combination; Miles had subbed for Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell on two tracks used for Electric Ladyland, and the trio went on to record a few demos and rehearse for an upcoming concert at the Fillmore East that would span New Year’s Eve. The self-titled album, released on Capitol Records to satisfy a contractual obligation, became the band’s only official recording, but clearly pointed the way to a more racially charged sound Hendrix was working on for the future.

Woodstock, August 15th-18th, If ever there was a single gathering that served to define the spirit of the ’60s, those three days spent in the muddy fields of Yasgur’s farm in upstate New York takes the prize. It wasn’t always pleasant—despite an amazing array of rock’s most influential artists (Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, CSNY, Santana, Jefferson Airplane, Richie Havens, et. al.), the traffic, the mud and the scarcity of supplies (other than the acid of course) tended to test the resolve of all involved. Still, it was that spirit of love, peace and music that pervaded the proceedings over all, assuring a communal embrace while setting the precedent for festival gatherings, a basic blueprint that remains relevant to this day.

Jefferson Airplane, ‘Volunteers’ was the last album to feature both Marty Balin and Spencer Dryden, ‘Volunteers’ blended a few bucolic moments (featuring guest stars Jerry Garcia and members of CSNY) in with the now-expected psychedelic rock – but that’s not this album’s best-remembered legacy. Instead, it’s a series of molten, occasionally profanity-laced rebukes of the American status quo. They left the ’60s with a bang.

Joining together for the first of what would become a string of free-wheeling, muscular successes alongside his band Crazy Horse, Neil Young blows a hole in the comfy folk-rock conventions of ‘Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere’ in fact, has a lot more in common with the wild eclecticism of his work with Buffalo Springfield, but with a new tone that’s both sharper and looser.

Records in  heavy rotation in my bedroom included the debut album from Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin II, The Beatles Abbey Road , The Who’s Tommy, King Crimson’s In The Court Of The Crimson King a great record,one that for its time was truly unique, The Rolling Stones Beggar’s Banquet which never left my turntable and the follow-up release Let It Bleed, Neil Young’s masterpiece Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, Zappa’s Hot Rats which help change my musical perspective, Fleetwood Mac’s Then Play On, CSN debut, Blind Faith’s one and only official release which is also a very strange record, Nashville Skyline by Bob Dylan, The MC5’s Kick Out The Jams, Isaac Hayes’ Hot Buttered Soul which arrived unexpectedly when I did not respond in time to a record company selection deadline and glad I got this gem,Chicago Transit Authority double set before they shortened their name to Chicago,  Jethro Tull’s Stand Up, Live Dead, The Doors Soft Parade, Pink Floyd’s Live Ummagumma, Jefferson Airplane’s Volunteers, and Procol Harum’s A Salty Dog.

Few events in American history caused as much upheaval as the war in Vietnam. Young people took to streets and college campuses, protesting a conflict that they viewed as little more than an excuse for a murder machine entangling thousands of young draftees. Not surprisingly, musicians supplied the soundtrack against which protest was pursued. With the sound and imagery flashing across television screens night after night, it was only natural that people would find respite in an array of anthems—“Fortunate Son” by Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Street Fighting Man from the Rolling Stones,” “For What It’s Worth (written about the riots on Sunset Strip) by Buffalo Springfield, “Machine Gun” from Jimi Hendrix, Country Joe and the Fish’s “Vietnam Song” and “Volunteers” which came courtesy of Jefferson Airplane. All served to remind the youth of the country that they weren’t alone in their determination to sway some sentiment and avoid the bloodshed overseas.

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Ray Davies’ well-documented thrall with the U.S. continued to deepen, even as it found new complexity on the 2017 U.K. Top 20 album Americana. He keeps digging here, picking at old scabs (including his scary encounter with a mugger in 2004) but also exploring the promise that this country still offers. Like most sequels, it’s not quite the equal of what came before. In fact, the album’s best lyric – “All life we work, but work is bore / If life’s for livin’, what’s livin’ for? – comes from a redo of a Kinks song from 1971. Still, that doesn’t speak so much to the relative quality of Our Country: Americana Act II as to a towering legacy that he has to wrestle with every day.

This is a demo version. The simplicity of the recording and the piano captures the feeling of being alone and in love so well. I Go to Sleep is a song written by Ray Davies. It was never recorded by the Kinks, but Ray Davies‘ demo is included as a bonus track on the reissue of their second studio album Kinda Kinks. “I Go to Sleep” was covered by The Pretenders and released as the fifth single from their second studio album Pretenders II. The song was later included on the Pretenders‘ compilation album The Singles. The song was also featured in the films Romanzo Criminale and Sweet Sixteen.

Unreleased song by Ray Davies/The Kinks from 1965

 

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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