Sunday, 3 June 2018

The Kinks - The Kink Kontroversy (1965)

Till the end of the day....

  

Released November 1965

Recorded at Pye Studios, London

Despite being heralded as a “transitional album”, which saw a swing away from the blues-influenced covers and self-penned songs of the first two albums, there were still just a few examples of those type of tracks on here. Far less, though, it has to be said. It is still a bit Stonesy, but in a mid sixties Stonesy way, as opposed to a bluesy Stones one.

TRACK LISTING

1. Milk Cow Blues
2. Ring The Bells
3. Gotta Get The First Plane Home
4. When I See That Girl Of Mine
5. I Am Free
6. Till The End Of The Day
7. The World Keeps Going Road
8. I'm On An Island
9. Where Have All The Good Times Gone
10. It's Too Late
11. What's In Store For Me
12. You Can't Win                                                

Milk Cow Blues was a robust cover of a classic blues, and the single Till The End Of The Day is, in many ways, a rehash of All Day And All Of The Night, while Gotta Get The First Plane Home and When I See That Girl Of Mine are still very mid-60s Rolling Stones-ish in both sound and delivery. However, they remind me of The Stones’ Aftermath, which was recorded over a year later, so maybe The Stones were Kinks-ish! Dave Davies' wistful I Am Free was surely an influence on The Stones' I'm Free, lyrically and musically, or was it the other way around? Both would seem to date from the Autumn of 1965. 

Ray Davies’ songwriting, however, is moving in the direction he would later employ for the rest of his career with songs like I'm On An Island and the riffy, powerful Where Have All The Good Times Gone (covered impressively by David Bowie on 1973’s Pin Ups and Bowie, I am sure, “borrowed” the bass line for 1973’s Aladdin Sane's middle part). The World Keeps Going Round definitely has hints of hippy-ish pop and has definitely left the blues behind. 

The soft ballad Ring The Bells almost sounds like early 70s “country rock”. These songs were more mature and sophisticated, particularly when compared to the band’s raw earlier material.

It's Too Late is a partial return to blues rhythms but with a solid acoustic guitar and bass upbeat rock riff. What's In Store For Me takes a blues bass line and rhythm and adds it to a typically 1964-1965 Beatles-esque melody. So, in many respects the chug of the blues still underpins a lot of the material, but the light, tuneful mid-sixties breeziness dominates. The same applies to the muscular You Can't Win. This track features some excellent bluesy guitar and piano, but the vocal is pure Beatles as are the 1964 era Lennon-esque lyrics. It is one of the album's best tracks, though.

In many ways, Kink Kontroversy was the band’s Beatles For Sale  - understated yet worthy of several listens. It is, however, as many 60s/70s albums were, very short. It is a pity the excellent, amusing single, Dedicated Follower Of Fashion was not included on it.

B-

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