Friday, January 18, 2013


Uncut Magazine's recent "Ultimate Guide" is dedicated to The Kinks. I've never been a fan of special editions or year-end issues. I don't want to look back at the "Year In Pictures." But I do love when Uncut publishes these "ultimate guides." They pick an artist and get their writers to reevaluate every record. New reviews and song by song ratings of everything including live records, compilations and solo recordings. It's exhaustive and great fun.

As I was reading, I was truly fascinated by the songs that were highlighted as 4 and 5 star pieces of work. There were the obvious, of course. But even as a Kinks fan, I realized the melodies of many of Ray's mini masterworks didn't immediately come to mind. I can sing every part of "Waterloo Sunset," bass line, middle harmony, etc. But "Something Better Beginning?" I had to listen and get reacquainted.

My idea was to throw these songs in a playlist as I was reading and then give it all a go when I finished.

Here is that playlist. I'm calling it "Part One," as it only covers the Pye/Reprise years. (Part Two will cover the RCA years and Part Three, the Arista years.)

I did some editing. There are more than 20 Ray masterpieces, and Uncut doled out those stars quite generously. 

You will notice that this playlist is a bit short on rockers, which says something about the writers of Uncut or me or both.


Where Have All The Good Times
Stop Your Sobbing
Nothin' In This World Can Stop Me Worryin' 'Bout That Girl
Too Much On My Mind
So Long
Two Sisters
Something Better Beginning
Most Exclusive Residence For Sale
Get Back In The Line
Johnny Thunder
A Long Way From Home 
Ring The Bell
Autumn Almanac
Some Mother's Son
A Well Respected Man
Waterloo Sunset



bglobe313 said...

Great idea.

I go through periods when I think Ray Davies is the greatest rock songwriter around. Melodies, clever lyrics, something to say, and good musical settings.

And, as noted, the Kinks could rock!


buzzbabyjesus said...

I've been a fan since 1972 when I bought "The Kinks Kronikles". I know all these songs. Very nicely done.

iggy said...

Looking forward to a reacquaintance. Thanks, Sal.


kevin m said...

It's my humble opinion that Uncut is now the best music magazine around.

A walk in the woods said...

Looking forward to hearing this! I don't have much Kinks, so this will be a pleasure.

dogbreath said...

Looks like we're going to be housebound thanks to a snowy weekend & now we can have a Kinky weekend too! Really good to have some less well-known songs aired in this mix. Nice one, sir, many thanks!

Jeff Matthews said...

God Save The Kinks, as they favorite all-time band. I think I have 30 some odd albums and I'm sure I'm missing lots; the later Pye/Reprise albums are still my favorites (esp Village Green). Haven't read the article but there are SO many gems from this period. You omitted everything from The Great Lost Kinks Album - yes, mostly throwaways but This Man He Weeps Tonight (one of my favorite Dave tracks)?

The Grim Reefer said...

The Kinks always had a delightfully skewed perspective, composed of equal parts of humor, angst, anger, and irony, Ray Davies explores the battered terrain of the ego bruised by the brutal indifference of 20th century (british) society.

Albert said...

Dad brought home A Well-Respected Man..45...Reprise was it?...mid/late '60's?...that's where it began for's been said they were "barred" from US touring for several inadvertent lucky break for Ray's writing IMO....the closer in sentiment to all things English the better the music...great list...Too Much on My Mind, Autumn Almanac, me thinks Mr.Partridge re-wrote Autumn Almanac into Season's Cycle...PERFECTLY FORGIVABLE!...pps wondering if playlist 2 will include Dead End Street...BIG favorite...

Bombshelter Slim said...

Thanks Sal, I look forward to the next installments, wondering if you'll omit "Showbiz" (overplayed) and include "Sitting In My Hotel"... I guess we'll all find out!! And it will be interesting to see what you include from the Preservation year(s)..

ronh said...

As always, Sal, you're the best.

Anonymous said...

Ray Davies was the master of social comment the lyrics to some of his tracks mirror what was happening in England during the 60's - songs like Dead End Street show the dark side of the swinging 60's.

Thanks Sal for te great share