Sunday, 3 June 2018

The Kinks - The Kinks (1964)

You really got me....

  

Released October 1964

Recorded at Pye Studios, London

The Kinks’ debut album, released in 1964, contained none of the pertinent “social comment” songs that the group, through the songs of Ray Davies, became known for - Waterloo Sunset, Sunny Afternoon, Tired Of Waiting and so on. This was an album similar to those put out by The Rolling Stones, Manfred Mann and The Yardbirds at the time, The Who, and to a certain extent The Beatles (although The Kinks, like The Stones and The Yadbirds, were blues to The Beatles’ rock n roll).

TRACK LISTING

1. Beautiful Delilah
2. So Mystifying
3. Just Can't Go To Sleep
4. Long Tall Shorty
5. I Took My Baby Home
6. I'm A Lover Not A Fighter
7. You Really Got Me
8. Cadillac
9. Bald Headed Woman
10. Revenge
11. Too Much Monkey Business
12. I've been Driving On Bald Mountain
13. Stop Your Sobbing
14. Got Love If You Want It                             

The material is nearly all short, sharp blues rock covers, like Chuck Berry's Too Much Monkey Business (also covered by The Stones, The Beatles, The Hollies and The Yardbirds - funny how they all covered the same songs) and Beautiful Delilah (again, also covered live by The Rolling Stones) and the much-covered Long Tall Shorty. Slim Harpo’s Got Love If You Want It is also from the same supply. Other songs, like those written by Shel Talmy and Davies himself were pastiches of that blues rock style (particularly I Took My Baby Home) and, while it is all quite fun and enjoyable, it is very much just another mid- 60s British blues rock album. I have to say that two of the Shel Talmy songs, though - Bald Headed Woman (also covered by The Who) and I've Been Driving On Bald Mountain were truly dreadful (what was it about "bald" I wonder?). 

At the time the album was perceived very much as “second rate Rolling Stones” offering. This perception was probably a correct one - The Stones and The Yardbirds were much better than The Kinks in the blues field at the time, as The Animals, Them and The Who would prove to be. The Kinks desperately needed to find their own identity, something different to the blues scene. Thankfully for them they were soon to do that. You have to remember also that they were only young when they put this out. Yes, The Rolling Stones and The Who released far better debuts, but The Kinks needed to follow a bit of a different path, as indeed did the other two groups. 

Two Davies tracks give a hint as to the potential that lay relatively dormant at this point - Stop Your Sobbing  (a hit for The Pretenders some 14 years later) and the now viewed as ground-breaking rock riffery of You Really Got Me, full of (at the time) unique lead guitar attack. That track really stands out from those around it as something different and, yes, something special. The subsequent single All Day And All Of The Night would cement that new reputation even more. The Kinks were to prove that they were not just another British r ’n’ b covers band. Before that, though, this album can't really be rated as anything more than ordinary. 

The album appears in both stereo and mono versions the two subsequent Kinks album only appeared in mono. Both versions are actually quite lo-fi in quality and not particularly well-produced. 

The Live At The BBC extras included in the Deluxe Edition are excellent, both in musical and sound qualities.

C

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