Monday, November 16, 2009


Coming out of the three album Preservation series, The Kinks were still an eight man band plus additional backup singers. At the time Ray Davies stated that after the intensity of the previous albums he wanted something lighter and less serious. The rest of the band - well, at least Dave for certain - were growing tired of the concept albums. But Ray persevered to complete and release A Soap Opera one year after Preservation Act 2.

This album tells its tale in a single LP with dialogue interspersed to assist with the story telling. It is cute and listenable but I rarely find myself pulling out the vinyl. There are not any songs that I would list as a favorite, although the first song opens the record with a wall of sound. Ray has been accused of "borrowing" from himself and other bands, though I do not hear it so much. But in this case the opening riff on Everybody's a Star (Starmaker) owes a heavy debt to The Move's awesome Do Ya. It loses some steam after the opening salvo but is one of the perkiest tunes on the album.


Holly A Hughes said...

I dearly love every second of this album. Irrationally so, I suspect -- but it came along at the right time of my life, when nobody else was listening to the Kinks and they were getting so weird. They were like my eccentric English cousins that I had to hold near and dear to my heart. It's too bad that many of them don't work out of context, but for me, this album is packed with brilliant songs that have their own stratum in my subconscious. I don't think I could have survived my first few office jobs without having "Rush Hour Blues" and "Nine to Five" playing in my head!

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

I'm akin to Mr. P. in that after playing this LP to death in the day, I rarely dust it off now. But I'm akin to Holly in that that doesn't stop numerous Soap Opera moments from popping up from my subconscious. Only, the songs that most often come to my mind are probably the most comic ones: The lines "My baby's got the most deplorable taste but her biggest mistake is hanging over her fireplace" must come to me unbidden 3 or 4 times a year. And "don't take my word for it, TRY it yourself" more often that that!