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coverpic flag England - Full Moon 115 - 02/13/06

Through the retro-scope:
Anniversary Album of the Moonth

The Kinks
Face to Face

This is a piece in a series of 12 Luna Kafé desserts, presenting a dozen of records celebrating their 40th, 30th, 20th or 10th birthday this year 2006. I've chosen three out of each "class". Classics, milestones, favourites. You name it. Some among the global masses, others maybe in smaller circuits only. Maybe we could group them under the moniker "Pet Records" - to re-name one of the many 40-year-olds of 2006.

These days Ray Davies is putting out Other People's Lives, his first 'real' solo effort (not counting the "music from the motion picture" album Return to Waterloo of 1985, plus the run-through-your-back-catalogue, then add small stories and little anecdotes album, The Storyteller, of 1998). In February 40 years ago the indeed charming and highly amusing "Dedicated Follower Of Fashion" was launched, as a late single off The Kink Kontroversy (1965). The Kinks were hot, and the times were still a changing. The Kinks were a band oozing with charm, joy and friendliness. Listening to the sound of The Kinks, the voice of Ray Davies and his songs is, well, like hanging around with old friends. And 1966 was the time to meet up with Raymond Douglas Davies, David Davies, Peter Quaife, and Michael Avory - face to face.

In the summer of 1966 "Sunny Afternoon" hit the charts, being the teaser for the fourth Kinks album to come. Spreading summery warmth and sunny beams to its listeners (despite its dazed feel and lazy tristesse). Then. And now. It's one of the many timeless Kinks hits for the history books. Face to Face was recorded between October '65 till June '66, and the album was released a few months later. The album presented 14 songs, and is the first Kinks record to feel like an album 'all full and complete'. From the telephone ring in opening track "Party Line", till the closing riff of "I'll Remember". The Kinks had (starting with Kontroversy the year before) turned into a more sophisticated pop/rock band. Cunning songs, witty lyrics - funny, but often with a touch of happy-sadness called melancholia.

Face to Face is good, but far from the best Kinks platter. But it's got tracks like the "Dedicated Follower..."-related "Dandy", the moody and thoughtful "Too Much on my Mind", the classic Davies-tale "Most Exclusive Residence for Sale", the sunny "Sunny Afternoon", and the rainy "Rainy Day in June". There's also the funny "Holiday in Waikiki", the Eastern-inspired pop-sike exotica of "Fancy" (kinky, huh?), and the 'original' to Blur's "Country House", "A House in the Country". If you thought Brit-pop was born in the 90s you should lend an ear to Face to Face this year. Cheers, Kinks! thanks, Ray! See you (on stage) in April!

PS! Some weeks after the album was released The Kinks put out another classic single (yes, not from the album - single only): "Dead End Street".

Copyright © 2006 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Kinks articles/reviews: At The BBC, Dead End Street, See My Friends, Something Else, State of Confusion, You Really Got Me.

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