By The Kinks
When one of the most influential bands of our times releases its first three original albums at once, you had better sit up and start taking notes.
With a career spanning over forty years, The Kinks sound, lyrics and music is still head and shoulders above any of their contemporaries. Their words and music sometimes reflected the tensions and the turmoil of an ever changing Britain. They were to music as the kitchen sink drama was to cinema and television dramas back then, albeit set to an amazing background of influential music. They were and still are one of the major backbones of all modern day music we know today, and these three albums still sound as fresh and as relevant as ever.
A twenty eight track edition of their debut album 'Kinks' is an epic!
Songs which are now to most, old favourites, sound strong with such classics as, 'You Really Got Me' and 'All Day And All Of The Night', which were cited by rock legend Tony Iommi as being the birth of the heavy metal riff.
Although most of the debut album is rooted in rhythm and blues, it is stimulating and energetic and created a force to be reckoned with in response to the northern half of the country's fondness for the Mersey beat sounds. This album clearly shows Ray Davies to be showing signs of genius with a song entitled 'Just Can't Go To Sleep', which without doubt is the equivalent, if not better, than any of the Beatle's songs penned during that time.
There are some covers on there which include, 'I'm A Lover Not A Fighter', 'Cadillac', 'Bald Headed Woman' but they tend to get left by the wayside with outstandingly original tunes such as 'Stop Your Sobbing' and 'Revenge'.
The follow up album 'Kinda Kinks' in 1965, sees the band firmly planting their musical feet on the road to creeping stardom and prestige. 'Kinda Kinks' contains hardly any cover versions, because the songwriting has clearly gone from strength to strength; they are simply no longer needed as an album filler. What is more impressive is that they managed to record their second offering in just three days!
This album shows the quality of The Kinks' rawness, with an extremely gritty rock and roll guitar sound, however it is an acoustic song entitled 'So Long' that steals the track list for me. Ray Davies shows his softer, more spry side throughout this album, possibly a taster of things to come. 'Something Better Beginning' and 'Don't Ever Change' have a magical, thoughtful melody line which runs through them and leaves you thinking about all the amazing possibilities that are to come from this band.
The third album and release this month is 'The Kink Kontroversy'. The third production from The Kinks was also released in 1965, and in a slight shift of power, 'The Kink Kontroversy' really brings Dave Davies into more of the vocal spotlight. On this album, the singing is more shared between the brothers, and shows their harmonizing skills to the upmost levels.
'Gotta Get The First Plane Home' is unrefined as can be, rough and ready, however it manages to be very musically equipped thanks to The Kinks' way with a simple, addictive guitar riff. 'I Am Free' is beautifully sung by Dave, 'Ring The Bells' is a lovely semi-acoustic. 'Til The End Of The Day' is a song parallel to 'All Day And All Of The Night' and 'You Really Got Me', which all seem to be cut from the same, aggressive guitar sound, cloth.
'Where Have All The Good Times Gone?', was released damn near to the ultimate peak of UK pop music which seemed to go against the fact that everyone around that time was generally happy, so The Kinks released this all-time classic song, which seemed so terribly out of the fashion and not of the times. To most music critics at the time it must have seemed ridiculous.
'The Kink Kontroversy' is the best album of the three releases in my opinion, it is such an awesome album that styles of the time didn't matter. The Kinks, never, ever, dedicated followers of fashion!