Thursday, November 19, 2009

'Cos when he puts on that dress he looks like a princess

The Kinks second LP release on Arista was Misfits, released in mid-1978. Cut from the same cloth as the previous year's Sleepwalker, the band takes a further step into the guitar rock of the pre-punk period. Of course the punk movement itself was already underway in the UK while in the USA the C.B.G.B.'s bands were beginning to make some noise. By this point the Kinks were a product of a different generation and yet somehow managed to tap into a market that had been so indifferent to them in their 60's heyday.

There are some good songs here, including Misfits, A Rock and Roll Fantasy, Black Messiah, Out of the Wardrobe, and Live Life. The band had developed into a very cohesive live unit at this point. I would rank it a few steps down from the previous effort but there is certainly nothing to be ashamed of here.

The Kinks pull out all the stops for the extremely Stones-ish Live Life. Ray takes a very pragmatic view about political causes and the extreme views of both ends of the social spectrum.

Trendy intellectuals always take action,
For every cause that's ever been in fashion
Weekend revolutionaries protest and sing
Because they're dedicated followers of any old thing

With a hilarious two word fragment from his 1966 single he puts a whole movement in its place.


Holly A Hughes said...

Mmmmm, what a great clip! It's so important to see them performing to realize how vital their music remained. The Kinks made the transition to this musical era so much better than the Stones did. (And always had more interesting things to say while they were doing it!).

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

Just to second Holly: One of the very best live Kinks Klips I've ever seen -- many thanks for posting.

One note in defense of the Stones, who were no slouch in the summer of '78 either -- Some Girls holds up to this day as a flat-out brilliant album. Maybe it was just something in the air that summer, but what an amazing time for music.