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Rock - Released November 2, 2018 | Sanctuary Records

Distinctions 4F de Télérama
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Rock - Released October 26, 2018 | BMG Rights Management (UK) Limited

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Rock - Released March 30, 2018 | Sanctuary Records

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Rock - Released March 30, 2018 | Sanctuary Records

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Rock - Released March 30, 2018 | Sanctuary Records

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Rock - Released August 1, 2013 | Sanctuary Records

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Rock - Released March 30, 2018 | Sanctuary Records

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Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire) extends the British-oriented themes of Village Green Preservation Society, telling the story of a London man's decision to move to Australia during the aftermath of World War II. It's a detailed and loving song cycle, capturing the minutiae of suburban life, the numbing effect of bureaucracy, and the horrors of war. On paper, Arthur sounds like a pretentious mess, but Ray Davies' lyrics and insights have rarely been so graceful or deftly executed, and the music is remarkable. An edgier and harder-rocking affair than Village Green, Arthur is as multi-layered musically as it is lyrically. "Shangri-La" evolves from English folk to hard rock, "Drivin'" has a lazy grace, "Young and Innocent Days" is a lovely, wistful ballad, "Some Mother's Son" is one of the most uncompromising antiwar songs ever recorded, while "Victoria" and "Arthur" rock with simple glee. The music makes the words cut deeper, and the songs never stray too far from the album's subject, making Arthur one of the most effective concept albums in rock history, as well as one of the best and most influential British pop records of its era. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Rock - Released March 30, 2018 | Sanctuary Records

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Face to Face was a remarkable record, but its follow-up, Something Else, expands its accomplishments, offering 13 classic British pop songs. As Ray Davies' songwriting becomes more refined, he becomes more nostalgic and sentimental, retreating from the psychedelic and mod posturings that had dominated the rock world. Indeed, Something Else sounds like nothing else from 1967. The Kinks never rock very hard on the album, preferring acoustic ballads, music hall numbers, and tempered R&B to full-out guitar attacks. Part of the album's power lies in its calm music, since it provides an elegant support for Davies' character portraits and vignettes. From the martial stomp of "David Watts" to the lovely, shimmering "Waterloo Sunset," there's not a weak song on the record, and several -- such as the allegorical "Two Sisters," the Noël Coward-esque "End of the Season," the rolling "Lazy Old Sun," and the wry "Situation Vacant" -- are stunners. And just as impressive is the emergence of Dave Davies as a songwriter. His Dylanesque "Death of a Clown" and bluesy rocker "Love Me Till the Sun Shines" hold their own against Ray's masterpieces, and help make Something Else the endlessly fascinating album that it is. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Rock - Released March 1, 2017 | Castle Communications

Miscellaneous - Released May 5, 2017 | Rarity Music

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Rock - Released March 30, 2018 | Sanctuary Records

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The Kinks' second album, Kinda Kinks, was rush-recorded on either side (and in the midst) of a world tour that took them all the way to Australia in the course of bridging the 1964-1965 New Year. Under those circumstances, the fact that every cut but one was an original was no small tribute to the songwriting ability of Ray Davies, even if most of the songs were less than first-rate -- because what was first-rate was also highly memorable, and what wasn't also wasn't bad. In the space of two frantic late-December and mid-January sessions, and a brutal week in February of 1965, the group cut 11 songs to fill out a long-player that was already destined to contain "Tired of Waiting for You" (a product of the previous summer's work, held back by producer Shel Talmy for a single). Also along for the ride were the latter's driving B-side "Come on Now" and "Something Better Beginning" (both cut in December 1964). So the resulting record was uneven but filled with promise, and possessed of at least three bright spots -- additionally, and equally important, this album showcased a much more sophisticated sound, Dave Davies' guitar turned down (and even switched to acoustic in a couple of spots) as Ray Davies began exploring aspects of emotions and storytelling that transcended anything in the group's prior output -- "Nothin' in This World Can Stop Me Worryin' 'Bout That Girl" may have been a mouthful of a title, but it also put them right in the front of the British Invasion pack for seriousness and complexity, out in front of where the Beatles or almost any of the competition were in early 1965, but it didn't stop them from switching gears to the bluesy "Naggin' Woman." ~ Bruce Eder
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Rock - Released November 10, 2014 | Legacy Recordings

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Rock - Released March 30, 2018 | Sanctuary Records

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Ray Davies and company had already participated in one failed television musical when the movie Percy came along -- it wasn't as original as Arthur, nor did Davies have nearly as much to do with its creation, but he still outdid himself given the material at hand. Directed and co-produced by Ralph Thomas, who had been responsible for some brilliant thrillers (The Clouded Yellow, Above Us the Waves) and very popular comedies (Doctor in the House) in past decades, Percy was the story of the world's first penis transplant (it was probably inspired, or at least justified, by big-budget efforts of the period like Myra Breckinridge). Although virtually unseen in the United States, it was still popular enough to yield a sequel (Percy's Progress), but its real impact came from its soundtrack. Davies wrote some hauntingly beautiful ballads and some solid blues and country as well -- "God's Children" and "Animals in the Zoo" have turned up on some career anthologies, but there's a lot more to Percy than those two tracks. "Completely" is as fine a slow blues as the band ever recorded, with a sizzling performance by Dave Davies, and "Dreams" is a pretty solid rocker, even up alongside "Animals in the Zoo." To this day the album has never appeared in the U.S. catalog -- recorded at the tail end of their contract with Pye Records in England and Warner/Reprise in America, and connected with a movie that was never going to see much exposure in the U.S.A., Reprise passed on it at the time. ~ Bruce Eder
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Rock - Released June 20, 2011 | Castle Communications

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Rock - Released March 30, 2018 | Sanctuary Records

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Rock - Released June 3, 2016 | Legacy Recordings

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Rock - Released September 9, 2014 | Legacy Recordings

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Pop - Released October 26, 2018 | Sanctuary Records

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Rock - Released September 9, 2014 | Legacy Recordings

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Arista had made it clear they would not accept any concept albums from the Kinks, and Sleepwalker, their first effort for the label, makes good on the band's promise. Comprised entirely of glossy arena rockers and power ballads, the album is more of a stylistic exercise than a collection of first-rate songs. Ray Davies contributed a handful of fairly strong songs, highlighted by the exceptional "Juke Box Music," which sees him in a shockingly resigned frame of mind, claiming that rock & roll is just rock & roll, and nothing more. Unfortunately, he chose to illustrate that fact by loading the rest of Sleepwalker with competent but undistinguished mainstream rock. While that might have made the album a hit at the time, its processed sound and weak songs sound dated today, especially compared to the lively arena rock the Kinks later released. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Rock - Released March 25, 2014 | Legacy Recordings

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The Kinks in the magazine
  • Britpop forever
    Britpop forever The brilliant new album from Eugene McGuinness, leader of everlasting English rock…