OK, Holly got me going the other night when she mentioned this. :-[
Do people really think it's 50% crappy -- I don't. I do think it has it share of Klunkers, but I also think it has it's share of fantastic Ray & Dave rockers. It also has a good helping of thoughtful, political, insightful, classic poetic Ray writings that were almost forgotten in the LPs before it. UK Jive was ......... OK, back to PHOBIA.
Yes, I think it would have shaved this 16 track offering down by a few, but for the most part 12 of these are SOLID to these EARS. What say you!
1. Opening 2. Wall Of Fire 3. Drift Away 4. Still Searching 5. Phobia 6. Only A Dream 7. Don't 8. Babies 9. Over The Edge 10. Surviving 11. It's Alright 12. The Informer 13. Hatred (A Duet) 14. Somebody Stole My Car 15. Close to The Wire 16. Scattered
I love Drift Away, Still Searching, Scattered, The Informer, and Hatred (though it has taken me years to appreciate Hatred :-[ ).
But a lot of the songs don't speak to me as Ray's songs usually do. Only A Dream was clearly written by someone who has never worked in an office. Babies is slightly creepy, IMO. Somebody Stole My Car is too slight an idea. Don't doesn't go anywhere -- it lacks the usual smart Ray Davies twist. And the other songs just aren't very memorable, either musical or thematically or lyrically. It almost feels as if Ray were anxious about getting an album out there because he could feel the band falling, and for once he was willing to lower his standards. Just my opinion! It probably doesn't help that this is an album I didn't listen to when it first came out...
"Scattered" is one of my stone-cold top 10 Kinks Klassics. As I said on another thread, I think a lot of the other songs would come across better with production that was less overblown. And if the choruses weren't repeated quite so many times.
That's where I think this album was thrown off by the mid-90s context. Remember when a pop song ran 2:58? If you didn't keep it short, you couldn't get airplay. By the mid-90s, though, songs routinely lasted at least 5 minutes. But rarely did they have enough ideas -- either musically or story-wise -- to justify the extra length.
As Gary intimated here and before , the glaring, blaring and jarring production is of it's time! Doesn't bother me and I can attest that some of that appealed to music fans of the time who actually heard the album or some of it's tracks; they/I were/was used to it perhaps !
The Kinks were a happening band to me from my early high school years (State of Confusion) to Phobia and I experienced them as such as a 'contemporary band' and the striking superiority they had over the pop, hard rock, and metal bands I came across during that time!
Only A Dream is a favorite of Tim and mine as I find it remarkable that a rock star could show such shyness and vulnerability and be so believable and relatable to us!
I posted on the This or That thread that I chose Phobia over Sleepwalker with the 'personal experience' component being a major factor! Sleepwalker was an album I didn't get for a few years after Phobia came out! I do like the similarity in theme of the title tracks!
Tough, but since it was the first Kinks album I bought the day it came out and was the one I blasted 'It's Alright' off of to my Ozzy Osbourne obsessed roomie (Zig Ziglar's nephew, btw) to show the Kinks were always and still cool; he said he didn't like the Kinks but sure liked that track ; it ROCKS and has 'Scattered' and 'Only A Dream' too; so I'll verge on the blasphemous and go with
Hatred, Informer, Drift Away, and Still Searching are A list tracks to me! As indicated above, 'It's Alright' fit my more metal/grunge leanings coming on at the time and I'll still blare that one when I want a Rocked Out feeling ! Really like 'Surviving' and 'Somebody Stole My Car' and is fun and gave me some 'Drive My Car' wink and nods! I like the other tracks pretty well; Babies is the one mediocre track to me and I still like the music to it!
Last Edit: Apr 4, 2012 11:41:11 GMT -5 by bamajohn1
Thank you all for your Komments Koncerning the Swan Song, The Final Elbow of the KinKs Career -- PHOBIA.
I wish Mr. Reporter would give his/hers full Komments why they think 50% of this LP is Crappy.
In the meantime, I want to share a little of why I think this album flopped instead of topped the charts back in the Spring of 1993.
1. It has just a few too many songs on it. Sixteen, really? It's almost a double LP for back in the old days. 2. The LP just doesn't flow that well between songs. IMO 3. As HH pointed out, some of these could have been shaved down -- allot! 4. The Hits on this album are BURIED -- Bad placement! 5. Poor Promotion -- or WHAT promotion. I heard people at the concert say "What -- they have a NEW album?" They went on all the Late Night Shows after the tour was complete! Who planned that?
I love this album still for all it's faults because of the tender songs buried deep within. The rockers still burn in my ears to this very day. I played this CD constantly for a straight week, after it came out, until I knew every word, every note, unlike many before it.. I could finally do that again! It's still on my top ten.
That's cool that talking about this LP made you put it back on your CD turntable and rediscovered how good it actually is. I know I'm in the minority when it comes to this one, but it's still my favourite of the latter period KinKs discs.