Saturday, July 15, 2006

66. The Kinks - Face To Face (1966)

Track Listing

1. Party Line
2. Rosie Won't You Please Come Home
3. Dandy
4. Too Much on My Mind
5. Session Man
6. Rainy Day in June
7. House in the Country
8. Holiday in Waikiki
9. Most Exclusive Residence for Sale
10. Fancy
11. Little Miss Queen of Darkness
12. You're Lookin' Fine
13. Sunny Afternoon
14. I'll Remember


This is a good album, probably not to the level of excellence of some of the previous stuff I've had here, but it is a very good bit of fun. Face To Face has lots of elements of previous albums by The Beatles and some songs could be theirs, Party Line is a good example. What the Kinks do differently here is their subject. There's very few actual love songs in this album and that is a good thing. Revolver didn't have many as well but wasn't as blatantly deviating from the rock love song as this album is.

Other elemts which are very original to the Kinks and that I appreciate a lot is the use of a harpsichord as a rock instrument. I love that, from the Stranglers to Tori Amos it has been used endlessly after the Kinks but it is used very effectively here in Rosie Won't You Please Come Home for example. Also the lyrics of the Kinks are peppered with great humour but also quite deep messages in their songs. From the commercialisation of Hawaii to the shackles of Session Musicians a variety of themes are covered here.

Again The Kinks have the obligatory Indian influenced song which is Fancy here, it seems like no album in 1966 could be without one of those. And of course there's the huge hit Sunny Afternoon which was a hit because it is indeed a great track. On the down side they aren't as innovative as The Beatles were and it almost seems like a bit of a knock-off, while it fortunately has enough original elements to not be one.

It's a very enjoyable album, and something I am happy to listen to more often. While it didn't shatter the earth, the songs do stick in your head. Buy it at Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. Holiday in Waikiki
2. Sunny Afternoon
3. Little Miss Queen of Darkness
4. Rosie Won't You Please Come Home

Final Grade



Little Miss Queen of Darkness is one of the best song titles in the world ever. Not a bad track as well!

From Wiki

Some rock historians have credited the album as arguably one of the first concept albums in rock/pop, with the loose common theme of social observation. In its original inception, Davies had attempted to bridge the songs together with sound effects, but was forced to revert to the more standard album format by Pye Records before the album's release. Some of these effects remain, in "Party Line", "Holiday in Waikiki", "Rainy Day in June", and other songs not included in the final album ("End of the Season", "Big Black Smoke"). Davies was also in conflict with Pye over the final album cover art, whose psychedelic theme he later felt was inappropriate. Although one of the more important albums of its era, it is also probably the most dated of the Kinks' major albums, especially in its production and mixing.

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