„Muswell Hillbillies“ stands out as one of The Kinks‘ best and finest albums.
It shows Ray Davies at a new creative songwriting peak. The Kinks are in full flight and their first collaboration with the brass section, The Mike Cotton Sound, is exceptionally good muting into an appealing and fantastic blend of British and American roots music. The songs are definitely very British and very personal too. Ray Davies didn’t need to adopt a musical foreign identity to write intimate songs about his own family and his North London roots. They are embedded in Ray’s own world. Therefore the record can hardly be compared to any other Kinks album.
The Kinks had a new, fresh and promising start here. One senses the new lease of life that their hit „Lola“ had given them.
My favourite tracks? All of them! I never grow tired of listening to „20th Century Man“. All the songs are so good that they should not only be played intimately to friends but to the whole wide world! No false modesty here.
„Muswell Hillbillies“ is one of the best musical statements by a British band of the 70’s!
Haha just a quick post to let you know I haven't been able to get "Skin And Bone" out of my head all day, it is so catchy and memorable. I agree Martin, what I like about Ray's songwriting is that he write about real life, small mundane things like having a cup of tea, smoking a cigarette or getting a strange call on a party line. He writes about things no-one else would dream of writing about and he makes them interesting, very interesting. From my limited knowledge of The Kinks, up to now he seems to either write about a longing, not sure if longing is the right work, for the past and a contempt for modern day life. Which at my age certainly strikes a chord with me. How anyone can write a song about having a cup of tea and make it a superb song, well as far as I can tell only Ray can. He has a keen eye for the minutia of life which is breath taking.
Haven't posted here for a while because I have been busy listening to the album which gets better every play and as Martin says there is not a bad song on the album, one song will be my favourite, then another, then another. There is real genius at work here
This has moved up into my top 3 Kinks albums ( of the ones I have heard up to now) along with VGPS and Arthur and I would hate to hate to pick.
I do fully understand your viewpoints, I'm completely with you.
As far as I am concerned, THE KINKS have always been discreetly successful. The Kinks as a British musical and intellectual institution were (and are!) always present, even more today. There is no way past them.
Everyone who talks about the world's socio-cultural and musical eras/influences/changes of the 60's, 70's and 80's automatically mentions The Beatles, The Rolling Stones AND The Kinks in the same breath. Of course it would have been nice if an album had entered the album charts after VGPS.
Let's raise a glass to The Kinks!
Last Edit: Nov 4, 2020 10:34:13 GMT -5 by martin53
As usual the songs are slowly growing on me and I am starting to really enjoy the songs, of course there is no way it can top VGAS, Arthur or Muswell Hillbillies, but even for a soundtrack it is a very good album.
Thanks for posting the "Percy" video, it really is a product of it's time, could only have been made in the time it was, but really enjoyed watching it.
Haven't listened to the live part of the CD yet, concentrating on the actual album. As usual I am getting to like the songs the more I listen to them, can't pick a song that stands out yet but I will with more listens.
As a footnote to this post has anyone else noticed the similarity between "Hot Potatoes and "My Sweet Lord" or is it just me? As a songwriter I have always picked up on similarities between songs, it helped me stop getting sued for plagiarism . It doesn't stop me enjoying the song, just wondered if anyone else had noticed?
Been neglecting my odyssey for a while now, been running a friend's newsagents while he self isolated.
Just giver the album a play before posting this and I must say, coming back to it with fresh ears, I love it. It is now one of my fav Kinks albums, it seems a lot more relaxed and loose than other Kinks albums and this is something I really like.
Mt fav songs, up to now are, "Sitting In My Hotel" "Hot Potatoes" and of course "Supersonic Rocket Ship" an "Celluloid Heroes" but there is not a song on it that I do not like, a lot .
Going to give the live side a good listening in the next week and then report back.
Well done Kinks for keeping up the amazingly high standards