Guide to British Music of the 1960s

December 1998

CD Review

The Kinks - Something Else

 

Released in 1967, Something Else showed the Kinks moving away from R & B cover versions surrounding one or two hit singles to a greater maturity in the songwriting of Ray Davies. With the album, The Kinks moved from pop stars to more thoughtful and thought-provoking artists. It also marked the last original Kinks album to make the charts in Britain. However, Something Else boasted what is widely regarded as the group's greatest song and number two single Waterloo Sunset. This song about two lovers meeting outside Waterloo Station remains powerful even 30 years later. The opening number is also well-known possibly less as a Kinks song but more for the cover version by The Jam in 1978. David Watts is essential Ray Davies. The original has a level of charm not present in the Jam's version and this make the style of Davies' nasal vocal sound all the more envious of David Watts.

The Kinks were known for their arguments and on-stage fights and Dave Davies uses Death of a Clown to have a "dig" at his older brother. This song was also released as a single, credited to Dave Davies, and it made number 3 in the UK in July 1967. The follow-up, Susannah's Still Alive, has been added to the CD re-release of the album. The CD also features the single Autumn Almanac and it is makes it worthy of purchase for this track alone, especially as it is available at low price in many stores.

Much of the album was standard Ray Davies fare, not meant in any derogatory way, as it charted different vignettes of London life from the aforementioned lovers to the rag & bone man Harry Rag and Afternoon Tea.

mp, November 1998

Released: 1967
Pye
UK Chart Position: 35
US Chart Position: 153
Virgin Top 1000 Ranking: 428

Essential Tracks:

  • Waterloo Sunset
  • David Watts
  • Harry Rag

Track Listing:

  1. David Watts
  2. Death of a Clown
  3. Two Sisters
  4. No Return
  5. Harry Rag
  6. Tin Soldier Man
  7. Situation Vacant
  8. Love Me Till The Sun Shines
  9. Lazy Old Sun
  10. Afternoon Tea
  11. Funny Face
  12. End of the Season
  13. Waterloo Sunset

Bonus Tracks on CD

  1. Act Nice and Gentle
  2. Autumn Almanac
  3. Susannah's Still Alive
  4. Wonderboy
  5. Polly
  6. Lincoln Country
  7. There's No Life Without Love
  8. Lazy Old Sun (Alternate)

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