NYCD: The Blog

Friday, February 10, 2006


With the release of the highly-anticipated and incredibly wonderful Ray Davies solo CD "Other People's Lives" just weeks away, the head Kink has been in high profile lately. And justifiably so. The
Kinks may not have had as many hits as The Beatles or The Rolling Stones, and certainly not as much airplay on classic rock radio as The Who, but to many people, Ray Davies' is the songwriter of choice.

Many Kinks' fans, including us here at NYCD, dismissed just about all The Kinks' releases post "Give The People What They Want," The Kinks' last solid LP, from 1981. Gone was the nuance of such classics as "Nothing In The World Can Stop Me Worryin' 'bout That Girl," which was used to such great effect in the cult classic "Rushmore," and "I Need You," a song as simple as the more famous "You Really Got Me, " but even more primal and raw. The records seemed full of over-produced, stadium-rock anthems that just did not cut it. Where was "Waterloo Sunset" or "Oklahoma USA?"

Then one day, while discussing the new Ray release with a good friend of NYCD and die hard Kinks fan, we brought up this same discussion. Why have the Kinks sucked since 1981? Even the Rolling Stones managed to churn out a few classics in the same time frame.

One week later, he presented us with a homemade CD: THE KINKS - Latter Day Gems.

His explanation: "Ray Davies still writes amazing songs. The record companies keep picking the weakest tracks as the singles, no one is interested and the record disappears, leaving the amazing tracks unheard."

Here's his track listing for the CD. We'd probably heard them when they first came out and we gave perfunctory listens to the albums they came from. When surrounded by mediocre songs, they got lost in the shuffle, but on this disc, they all sounded like the classics they are.

1. Scattered
2. War Is Over
3. Good Day
4. Did Ya
5. Quiet Life
6. Animal
7. Heart Of Gold
8. The Million Pound Semi-Detached
9. My Diary
10. How Are You
11. Surviving
12. Hatred
13. Look Through Any Doorway
14. Long Distance
15. Expectation
16. Down All The Days

Here are the albums they came from:

Word Of Mouth (1984)
Think Visual (1986)
UK Jive (1991)
Phobia (1993)
To The Bone (1996)

All these albums have some amazing stuff alongside some real crap, but they're all worthwhile if you're a Kinks fan. They're NOT available on iTunes, so pick 'em up any way you can. Perhaps even order them from us!


Blogger Jesse said...

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4:05 PM  
Blogger Jesse said...

Actually, *Word of Mouth* and *To the Bone* are rather good albums. (So, to a lesser extent, are a couple represented on that homemade CD but not on your list of sources: *State of Confusion* and Davies' first solo outing, *Return to Waterloo*. I think there's also a track or two on there that didn't see the light of day until the *Waterloo Sunset* collection.) And *Phobia* grew on me after a few listens, though at least a third of it should have been junked.

After *Word of Mouth* the Kinks switched from Arista to MCA. That's when the quality really started to slide, though there were still a few gems tucked away on each record.

4:08 PM  

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