Guide to British Music of the 1960s

April 2020

CD Review: The Kinks - Face to Face (Deluxe Edition)

1966 was a transition year in music and many artists released albums that signalled a change of direction. The Kinks can be included in this as they moved from the R&B style of their earlier releases to the trademark social commentary of Ray Davies' songwriting.

Recording for the LP took place over several months due to Ray Davies having a nervous breakdown and bassist Pete Quaife left the band at one point to be replaced by John Dalton. Dalton plays on on Little Miss Queen of Darkness only but would rejoin the band later in the 1960s after Quaife left. The release of the album was held up for legal reasons and conflict over the cover design.

The LP comprised 14 tracks with additional tracks included on later CD releases and the Deluxe edition. The only UK single on the album was Sunny Afternoon although Dead End Street was one of the additional tracks on this deluxe reissue. However, Hermans Hermits had already had a hit with Dandy in some markets.

Party Line is a great opener with the telephone call later reprised by the Jam with Girl on the Phone. Younger readers may not know that a party line was a shared fixed telephone line from the days when lines were in short supply. The song is sung by Dave Davies rather than Ray and he co-wrote the song. There are references to interruptions when someone is listening on the shared line. Who can it be?

Rosy refers to the Davies' sister Rosy who emigrated to Australia with her husband Arthur. Ray, in particular, was upset by this and it shows in the song's lyrics. Arthur became the subject of a later Kinks album.

House in the Country may have already been familiar as it had appeared on the Pretty Things LP Emotions and released as a single. It was however a Ray Davies song and the Kinks' version was released on Face to Face after the Pretty Things' track.

Sunny Afternoon marked a change in style for Kinks singles but it still reached the number one spot in the UK. The single Dead End Street is included on the Deluxe edition. This continued the style of social commentary for which Davies was becoming well-known. A promotional film for the single, the forerunner of videos, showed the band dressed as undertakers.

All in all this is a great Kinks album that probably does not get the attention it deserves, possibly as it was up against some serious competition in 1966. However, it retains its freshness and the consistency of the songwriting marks this as possibly one of the first concept albums.

CD Release: 20 June 2011

Castle Communications

Original release: 28 October 1966 Pye NPL 18149

Essential Tracks

  • House in the Country
  • Party Line
  • I'll Remember

Track Listing: 

Disc One

  1. Party Line (Mono)
  2. Rosy Won't You Please Come Home (Mono)
  3. Dandy (Mono)
  4. Too Much on my Mind (Mono)
  5. Session Man (Mono)
  6. Rainy Day in June (Mono)
  7. House in the Country (Mono)
  8. Holiday in Waikiki (Mono)
  9. Most Exclusive Residence for Sale (Mono)
  10. Fancy (Mono)
  11. Little Miss Queen of Darkness (Mono)
  12. You're Looking Fine (Mono)
  13. Sunny Afternoon (Mono)
  14. I'll Remember (Mono)
  15. Dead End Street (Mono)
  16. Big Black Smoke (Mono)
  17. This is Where I Belong (Mono)
  18. She's Got Everything (Mono)
  19. Little Miss Queen of Darkness (Alternative mono mix)
  20. Dead End Street (Alternate mono version)

Disc Two

  1. Party Line (Stereo)
  2. Rosy Won't You Please Come Home (Stereo)
  3. Dandy (Stereo)
  4. Too Much on my Mind (Stereo)
  5. Session Man  (Stereo)
  6. Rainy Day in June (Stereo)
  7. House in the Country (Stereo)
  8. Holiday in Waikiki (Stereo)
  9. Most Exclusive Residence for Sale (Stereo)
  10. Fancy (Stereo)
  11. Little Miss Queen of Darkness (Stereo)
  12. You're Looking Fine (Stereo)
  13. Sunny Afternoon (Stereo)
  14. I'll Remember (Stereo)
  15. This Where I Belong (Stereo)
  16. Big Black Smoke (Stereo)
  17. She's Got Everything (Stereo)
  18. You're Looking Fine (Alternate stereo)
  19. Sunny Afternoon (Alternate stereo)
  20. Fancy (Alternate stereo)
  21. Little Miss Queen of Darkness (Alternate stereo)
  22. Dandy (Alternate stereo)

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