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The Kinks - Low Budget

Review: 151
Date: 24 Oct 03

 


Rating: 5 Stars

Musicians:
Ray Davies - Guitar, Keyboards, and lead Vocals
Dave Davies - Lead Guitar, vocals
Mick Avery - Drums
Jim Redford - Bass, vocals

Tracks Listing:
Attitude
Catch me now I'm falling
Pressure
National Health
(Wish I could fly like) Superman
Low Budget
In a Space
little Bit of Emotion
A Gallon of Gas
Misery
Moving Pictures
Bonus tracks:
A Gallon of Gas, extended version.
Catch me now I'm falling, extended version
(Wish I could fly like) Superman, disco version (another sign of the times)


In 1979 The Kinks came back . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . again.

After finding success in 1964 with their chart topping Hit Single 'You Really Got Me', which gave them the template for a stream of hit singles from the mighty pen of Ray Davies, elder brother of Dave Davies, who's guitar style changed the whole face of Rock 'n' Roll music, with his what were to become known as Heavy Metal riffs.

From 1964 -1967 "The Kinks" had twelve consecutive Top Ten hits in the U. K. with three number one's including 'Tired of Waiting' and the immortal 'Sunny Afternoon'. Amazingly, 'Waterloo Sunset' only got to number two, a travesty of justice. During this period "The Kinks" were considered one of the top contenders, and were always this Dog's favorite. "The Beatles "always seemed a little too managed to be the real thing, and "The Stones" sounded like they wanted to come from Detroit not Dartford, where they did come from. The Kinks loved coming from England, acted like it, and sung about it.

The Kinks

But somehow in 1967 the hits just dried up and the British press kicked over the bones, pronouncing The Kinks dead.

In 1970 out of nowhere they came up with 'Lola', a Top Ten hit all over Europe and the States. Probably only one of two songs to be about Transsexuals to slip through the tough censorship rules of the British Broadcasting Company to reach the Top Ten on the back of massive radio exposure. (The other one being Lou Reeds 'Walk on the Wild side'.) Maybe the man in charge of censorship just thought Lola was a nice girl with a deep brown voice, and those nice Kink Chaps were perfectly normal. Nice one, Hubert.

Following this up with more hit singles, a hit album, and lots of goodwill through doing popular soundtrack work for trendy movies such as the eye-wateringly topical 'Percy', about a very delicate transplant.

With their newly re-found fame the Davies Brothers packed their band up and moved lock, stock, and barrel across to the United States of America, where they were welcomed with open arms and proceeded to pump up the coffers with the Yankee dollar. But slowly the hits dried up and it was time for a bit of a re-think. An attack on American Stadium Rock was the way the Davies Brothers decided upon and went back into the studios with original drummer Mick Avory and Jim Redford, bassist. Redford, formerly with progressive rock band "Argent" added a lot of bottom end into the Kinks as well as a much needed injection of fun and enthusiasm. Keyboard player Gordon Edwards (ex "Pretty Things") had just been fired from the band for indulging too much in the Rock 'n' Roll lifestyle. So for the purpose of these sessions Ray Davies doubled up on keyboards, but by the time the band went back on the road a young man by the name of Ian Gibbons (later a long time member of the "Ian Hunter Band" and top Session Player) had taken over keyboard duties.

By that time "Low Budget" had given them their first Top Ten single in nine years and a Top Ten album to boot.

Kinks' Ray Davies
Ray Davis

The music was perfect, capturing the mood of the times with Ray's musing over his observations on life. In 'A Gallon of Gas' the singer rues over the irony now that he has fame, fortune, the requisite life style, and most importantly a shiny new Cadillac. There is not a drop of gasoline to power his latest acquisition. (For those of you too young to remember, there was an oil crisis in 1979.) Even though times have changed the music is still very relevant today as it was then. Slip this newly re-mastered version of "Low Budget" into your CD player and cast yourself back to a time when musicians actually had to play their instruments and song writing was a real art. Every song is a gem with elder brother singing with emotion in his own unique whimsical style. Dave lays down some typically gritty Kinks Rock 'n' Roll guitar, whilst the rhythm section locks tightly into the jumpin' grooves. Filling out the sound further is Nick Newell on saxophone on a couple of tracks.

It's all gone a bit quiet on the Kinks front recently again, so expect a dramatic comeback at a time zone somewhere in your region any day now. However, in the mean time….

….go on - treat yourself - get a "Low Budget".

 

Pawed by Mott The Dog
Remastered by Ella Crew

E-mail: review@mott-the-dog.com


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