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Tag: The Kinks

The Kinks – Something Else By The Kinks (1967/2018) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

The Kinks – Something Else By The Kinks (1967/2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz  | Time – 36:56 minutes | 821 MB | Genre: Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Sanctuary Records

The brothers Davies were in fantastic form on this 1967 album; the songs range from the witty to the wistful: their classics Waterloo Sunset; Death of a Clown , and David Watts plus Two Sisters; Lazy Old Sun , and more! Having closed out their hard-rock period, the Kinks went pastoral on “Something Else”. It’s an album of folk and pop songs about the quiet pleasures of family life and the English countryside, dotted with harpsichords, acoustic guitars, and ethereal harmonies. A radical rejection of the Age of Aquarius, it was one of the boldest pop albums of its time, a commercial failure but an artistic landmark. In “Two Sisters,” Ray Davies sings about a wild, swinging woman and her homemaking sister, and dares to side with the latter. Other songs include “Afternoon Tea,” surely the first rock song ever written on that subject, and the majestic “Waterloo Sunset,” which has been described as the most beautiful song ever written in the English language.

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The Kinks – Lola vs. Powerman and the Moneygoround, Pt. 1 (1970/2018) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

The Kinks – Lola vs. Powerman and the Moneygoround, Pt. 1 (1970/2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz  | Time – 40:04 minutes | 922 MB | Genre: Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: 7Digital | Front Cover | © Sanctuary Records

Lola , of course, became a classic-rock radio mainstay, but this entire 1970 album is nothing less than essential: Apeman; Got to Be Free; A Long Way from Home; Rats , and more songs that run from the funny to the furious.

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The Kinks – Arthur or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire (1969/2018) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

The Kinks – Arthur or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire (1969/2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz  | Time – 48:49 minutes | 1,08 GB | Genre: Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Sanctuary Records

HighRes-ReMaster of this 1969 album from the iconic British Rock band led by brothers Ray and Dave Davies. “Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire)” is the seventh studio album by The Kinks, released in October 1969. Kinks frontman Ray Davies constructed the concept album as the soundtrack to a Granada Television play and developed the storyline with novelist Julian Mitchell; however, the television programme was cancelled and never produced. The rough plot revolved around Arthur Morgan, a carpet-layer, who was based on Ray Davies’ brother-in-law Arthur Anning.

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The Kinks – Schoolboys in Disgrace (1975/2015) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

The Kinks – Schoolboys in Disgrace (1975/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 36:24 minutes | 738 MB | Genre: Rock
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Legacy Recordings

Ray Davies had indulged himself one time too often with Soap Opera, and his bandmates, namely brother Dave and founding member Mick Avory, revolted, insisting that their sixth RCA album sound more like a Kinks album (certainly, that’s something RCA wanted too). So, Davies designed their next album as a return to a simpler, band-oriented sound. Of course, he didn’t jettison his love for conceptual works, so Schoolboys in Disgrace was born. Working under the presumption that a return to simple rock demanded a simple theme, Davies constructed the album as a nostalgic trip through childhood, reviving ’50s rock & roll (including the occasional doo wop harmony) for the album’s foundation, then turning the amps up high. There’s no actual story per se it’s a series of vignettes, like a coming-of-age film. As such, it’s intermittently successful, on both the hard rock (“Jack the Idiot Dunce”) and ballads (“The First Time We Fall in Love”), but it’s way too campy for anyone outside of the dedicated. And that campiness is all the stranger when married to thundering arena rock; at least with Preservation, the vaudeville made sense in context, but here, the Kinks are pulling in two separate ways, and Schoolboys winds up as one of their least satisfying albums as a result.

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The Kinks – One for the Road (Live) (1980/2015) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

The Kinks – One for the Road (Live) (1980/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:17:52 minutes | 1,56 GB | Genre: Rock
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Legacy Recordings

The Kinks’ scattershot U.S. career never fully flourished like that of their British Invasion peers. The most quintessentially British of British bands especially in the increasingly nostalgic songs of vocalist/rhythm guitarist Ray Davies the Kinks enjoyed a spike in popularity in America in the late ’70s and early ’80s. The gold-selling 1980 double-live album One for the Road is a fascinating document of trailblazing elder statesmen who paved the way for heavy metal and punk, but never felt a glorious pop song was out of their grasp. It also proves that Dave Davies is a criminally underrated lead guitarist. Brothers Dave and Ray Davies, bass guitarist Jim Rodford, drummer Mick Avory, and guest keyboardists Ian Gibbons and Nick Newell recorded One for the Road at several concerts in 1979 and 1980. “Lola” is the best-known track from this album, and this live reading was a minor hit single; Ray Davies’ teasing intro shows his playful side. “The Hard Way,” “Low Budget,” a raw, stripped-down “(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman,” “Celluloid Heroes,” and “You Really Got Me” are the other standouts.

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The Kinks – Low Budget (1979/2015) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

The Kinks – Low Budget (1979/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 41:48 minutes | 847 MB | Genre: Rock
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Legacy Recordings

Low Budget doesn’t have a narrative like Preservation or Soap Opera, but Ray Davies cleverly designed the album as a sly satire of the recession and oil crisis that gripped America in the late ’70s thereby satisfying his need to be a wry social commentator while giving American audiences a hook to identify with. It was a clever move that worked; not only did Low Budget become their highest-charting American album (not counting the 1966 Greatest Hits compilation), but it was also a fine set of arena rock, one of the better mainstream hard rock albums of its time. And it certainly was of its time so much so that many of the concerns and production techniques have dated quite a bit in the decades since its initial release. Nevertheless, that gives the album a certain charm, since it now plays like a time capsule, a snapshot of what hard rock sounded like at the close of the ’70s. Perhaps not so coincidentally, Davies’ songwriting fluctuates throughout the album, since it’s dictated as much by commercial as artistic concerns, but the moments when he manages to balance the two impulses as on the disco-fueled “(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman,” the vaudevillian “Low Budget,” “A Gallon of Gas,” the roaring “Attitude” (possibly their best hard rocker of the era, by the way), and “Catch Me Now I’m Falling,” where Davies takes on the persona of America itself are irresistible. Low Budget may not have the depth of, say, Arthur or Village Green, but it’s a terrifically entertaining testament to their skills as a professional rock band and Davies’ savvy as a commercial songwriter.

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The Kinks – Everybody’s in Show-Biz (Legacy Edition) (1972/2016) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

The Kinks – Everybody’s in Show-Biz (Legacy Edition) (1972/2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 02:13:23 minutes | 1,42 GB | Genre: Rock
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Legacy Recordings

The 2016 Legacy Edition of Everybody’s In Show-Biz includes the original album, produced by Raymond Douglas Davies, in its entirety alongside a full disc’s worth of previously unissued studio sessions outtakes (recorded for the album in 1972 at Morgan Studios, Willesden, London) and live material (recorded March 2-3, 1972 during The Kinks’ triumphant Carnegie Hall concert run).

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The Kinks – Word of Mouth (1984/2015) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

The Kinks – Word of Mouth (1984/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 42:04 minutes | 913 MB | Genre:  Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Legacy Recordings

State of Confusion gave the Kinks their biggest single in nearly 20 years, but they didn’t try to replicate the music hall-tinged pop of “Come Dancing” on its follow-up, Word of Mouth, preferring to concentrate on straight-ahead hard rock. Most of the material was well crafted, but only a few songs were distinctive, particularly the circular, synth-spiked minor hit “Do It Again.”  ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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The Kinks – Sleepwalker (1977/2015) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

The Kinks – Sleepwalker (1977/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 40:06 minutes | 826 MB | Genre:  Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Legacy Recordings

Arista had made it clear they would not accept any concept albums from the Kinks, and Sleepwalker, their first effort for the label, makes good on the band’s promise. Comprised entirely of glossy arena rockers and power ballads, the album is more of a stylistic exercise than a collection of first-rate songs. Ray Davies contributed a handful of fairly strong songs, highlighted by the exceptional “Juke Box Music,” which sees him in a shockingly resigned frame of mind, claiming that rock & roll is just rock & roll, and nothing more. Unfortunately, he chose to illustrate that fact by loading the rest of Sleepwalker with competent but undistinguished mainstream rock. While that might have made the album a hit at the time, its processed sound and weak songs sound dated today, especially compared to the lively arena rock the Kinks later released. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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The Kinks – Celluloid Heroes (1975/2017) [Official Digital Download 24bit/96kHz]

The Kinks – Celluloid Heroes (1975/2017)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 45:03 minutes | 911 MB | Genre:  Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Legacy Recordings

Released in 1976, just as the Kinks ended their notoriously uneven tenure at RCA, The Kinks’ Greatest: Celluloid Heroes is a summary of their time at the label. Since they didn’t have many genuine hits while at RCA, this winds up being a haphazard sampling of concept albums. Occasionally, an album is accurately represented. For instance, the selections from Muswell Hillbilles are perfect, but considering that nearly half this compilation leans on that terrific record, they would have to be. Apart from that album, the selection is decidedly hit and miss. It isn’t that singles are missing – their lone British hit from this time, “Supersonic Rocket Ship,” is nowhere to be found – or that albums are overlooked (no Schoolboys in Disgrace), it’s that highlights like “Here Comes Yet Another Day” and “Sweet Lady Genevieve” are left on their original albums.  ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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