Friday, September 22, 2006

97. The Kinks - Something Else By The Kinks (1967)

Track Listing

1. David Watts
2. Death Of A Clown
3. Two Sisters
4. No Return
5. Harry Rag
6. Tin Soldier Man
7. Situation Vacant
8. Love Me Till The Sun Shines
9. Lazy Old Sun
10. Afternoon Tea
11. Funny Face
12. End Of The Season
13. Waterloo Sunset


Here are the Kinks again, and this album really is something else. The Kinks sound like nothing else in the 60's at the same time they sound like a throwback and ahead of their time. In the way a retro-ish band would do it. Like Franz Ferdinand or The Coral for example, but the 60's equivalent.

This is actually caused by their mild conservativism in ideological terms. The Kinks show a love for English society and all things English which will be later explored in Village Green more fully. But here tracks like Harry Rag or Waterloo Sunset are an example of this. A love for what is at the same time dismal and depressing but also representative of Englishness.

I think you kind of have to live here for a while to understand how "Dirty old river, must you keep rolling /Flowing into the night /People so busy, makes me feel dizzy" can have a certain charm. On the other hand it might just be the way of coping with living here, starting to appreciate the horrid and the garbage in the streets.

Anyway, The Kinks capture this with actually great songs, all of them are good, all of them will stick in your mind. And that is something the Kinks always did, make whole albums which are not only consistent but consistently catchy and lyrically thoughtful.

So buy it from Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. David Watts
2. Situation Vacant
3. Waterloo Sunset
4. Harry Rag

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Songs on the album composed by Ray Davies followed his affinity for strongly English-inspired subject matter, including the stately, harpsichord-laden "Two Sisters," the lazy shuffle of "End of the Season," the sardonic and hilarious "David Watts," and the other standout tracks "Death of a Clown" (written and sung by lead guitarist Dave Davies) and "Afternoon Tea." The album is capped by the otherworldly beauty of the hit single "Waterloo Sunset," considered by many to be the career apogee of Davies' songwriting.

The songs on the album were recorded over a transitional phase of Davies' songwriting career, between the fall of 1966 and the summer of 1967. During this time he and the Kinks had cut back on touring, and had begun recording and stockpiling songs for his as-yet poorly defined "village green" project. Also, following the great commercial and personal success of the "Waterloo Sunset" single in May 1967, Davies became less focused on hits and more intent on exploring his own songwriting interests. In fact, the album title may come from Davies' appeal to the Kinks' management in the summer of 1967 that he wanted to do "something else" besides writing hit singles.

The album is unusual in the Kinks' catalogue from this period for the inclusion of three songs composed by guitarist Dave Davies, including the solo hit single "Death of a Clown." Based on the unexpected success of the song, the younger Davies began exploring a solo career. The followup singles did not meet with the same success, and by mid-1969 his solo ambitions would be set aside for a decade.

The album sold poorly in the UK, in part because it competed with budget-priced compilation albums of early Kinks hits from 1964-1966. Also, singles-oriented Pye Records released "Waterloo Sunset" and "Death of A Clown" many months before the album itself, effectively dulling the enthusiasm of record buyers for the LP. The lack of success also reflected the changes occurring in pop music at the time, as well as The Kinks' rapid movement towards unfashionable song themes, a trend which culminated in the subsequent album The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society. They would score one more big UK hit single shortly after the release of Something Else with "Autumn Almanac," then would not have a big hit again until "Lola" in 1971.

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