Articles Tagged: The Kinks

Certain Songs #877: The Kinks – “Killing Time”

Album: Think Visual
Year: 1986

Think Visual was the first Kinks album in nearly a decade to show up with no fanfare. With only the Davies brothers left from the original quartet — Mick Avory left after Word of Mouth — they’d transformed into a legacy act.

While it took two decades for that to happen, it was still a fate that The Who had avoided by breaking up (remember, it was 1986) and The Rolling Stones had avoided by sheer force of will, though Dirty Work was slagged pretty hard (and somewhat unfairly), so it was really for the die-hards. I kinda doubt that Think Visual was anybody’s first Kinks album.

And given that the autumn of 1986 was a pretty major transitory period for me, I bought it because it was the Kinks, but it didn’t get nearly a much of an airing as The Smiths and R.E.M. and Elvis Costello and Robyn Hitchcock records that were dominating the hearts and minds of my peers at the time.

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Certain Songs #876: The Kinks – “Do It Again”

Album: Word of Mouth
Year: 1984

So while I was glad that The Kinks had their biggest single in nearly two decades — number 6 in the U.S. — with “Come Dancing,” outside of the killer bridge, I didn’t feel any particularly affinity for it as a song.

And I really didn’t like the album it featured on, 1983’s anonymously-rocking State of Confusion, which I probably should have revisited for this, but I didn’t. Much better was the follow-up, 1984’s “Word of Mouth,” which had a pair of stellar tracks: Dave Davies’ lament “Living on a Thin Line” and Ray Davies’ umpteenth song about life on the road, “Do It Again.”

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Certain Songs #875: The Kinks – “Around The Dial”

Album: Give The People What They Want
Year: 1982

As my favorite Kinks studio album from their hard-rocking renaissance, I was fully aware that Give The People What They Want was as cynical as its title, but I didn’t care. Part of it might have been because I saw them twice during this album cycle, the first at the Fabulous Forum in L.A. with Tim & Larry, right around the time it came out and the second time at the US Festival a year later.

I don’t remember much about the first show — other than the set list was basically the One For The Road setlist w/ a couple of new songs sprinkled in — I do remember that Ray reacted during the US Festival to some people recognizing Chrissie Hynde just offstage by yelling “Haven’t you ever seen a girlfriend before!”

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Certain Songs #874: The Kinks – “Celluloid Heroes (Live)”

Album: One For The Road
Year: 1980

I’m sure that some of you were wondering where the hell this was when I zipped from “20th Century Man” to “No More Looking Back” last week. After all, it’s the one song between “Lola” and “Come Dancing” that’s stuck in the culture.

It’s just that I’ve always like this live version — kicked off by a long, thrilling Dave Davies guitar solo — better than the slightly wispy original version, that’s all, especially since it’s not like they rock it up too much after the song proper starts.

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Certain Songs #873: The Kinks – “The Hard Way (Live)”

Album: One For The Road
Year: 1980

With each of the long-running 1960s artists that had somehow lasted into the late 1970s, there was a milestone that I call “The First Album That Came Out After I Became a Fan.” In other words, I’d been digging into their back catalogs, but look! here’s was a brand new record as well!

So for example, with The Rolling Stones, that record was Some Girls, for The Who, it was Who Are You, and for The Kinks, that record was 1979’s Low Budget.

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