Guide to British Music of the 1960s

April 2023

CD Review: The Kinks - The Journey Part 1

The Journey Part 1 is a very interesting compilation of the Kinks output over the years. This is not a Greatest Hits compilation but a themed journey through the band's catalogue. As such, the tracks are not in any particular order, time-wise but they follow a theme. The tracks are a mix of singles, b-sides and album tracks. Many well-known singles are omitted. Maybe they will make an appearance on Part 2. Of the 30 tracks included, just seven are single A-sides. Nevertheless, this does hold up well as a consistent body of work that rewards the listener with stories and observations.

The time period covered is 1964 to 1975, starting with You Really Got Me, not the first single but the first hit and the first number one. As the band members note, there was some apprehension about recording this track but it was a live favourite. Not only did it take the band to the top of the charts but it was a major influence on the music of the time and was much imitated. Even the Who's debut single I Can't Explain owed a major debt to You Really Got Me.

The Kinks released some classic singles during the 1960s. Tired of Waiting for You and the incredible Waterloo Sunset were also number one hits and are quite rightly viewed as classics. However, the unique songwriting of Ray Davies is also evident on b-sides and LP tracks. Davies developed his own style where he would comment of English life. This became particularly evident from the LP Face to Face onwards. Many tracks also were inward looking, trying to understand himself.

Dave Davies also proved himself as a writer with a few solo hits including Death of a Clown from 1967. This is featured here and was included on the 1967 LP Something Else by the Kinks.

By the late 1960s LPs were showing more of a theme, if not a pure concept album. They harked back to childhood, nostalgia and Englishness. While some iconic tracks are missing and, presumably, to appear on a later album, Do You Remember Walter?, Days, Where Have All the Good Times Gone and Dead End Street certainly fit into this category. However, it was not all about Englishness. Ray Davies wrote some great love songs, sometimes about frustrated love, Tired of Waiting For You or Just Can't Go To Sleep. Stop Your Sobbing is a classic from the debut album and was a huge hit for the Pretenders some time later.

This is an excellent career overview and surely the first of a set of albums that showcase one of the most idiosyncratic bands to come out of the UK.

BMG

Original release: 24 March 2023

Essential Tracks

  • You Really Got Me
  • Waterloo Sunset
  • Dead End Street

Track Listing

Side One

  1. You Really Got Me

  2. All Day and All of the Night

  3. It's All Right

  4. Who'll Be The Next in Line

  5. Tired of Waiting for You

  6. She's Got Everything

  7. Just Can't Go To Sleep

  8. Stop Your Sobbing

  9. Wait Till the Summer Comes

  10. So Long

Side Two

  1. Dead End Street

  2. Schooldays

  3. The Hard Way

  4. Mindless Child of Motherhood

  5. Supersonic Rocket Ship

  6. I'm in Disgrace

  7. Do You Remember Walter?

Side Three

  1. Too Much on My Mind

  2. Nothin' in the World Can Stop Me Worryin' 'Bout That Girl

  3. Days

  4. Where Have all the Good Times Gone

  5. Strangers

  6. It's Too Late

  7. Sitting in the Midday Sun

Side Four

  1. Waterloo Sunset

  2. No More Looking Back

  3. Death of a Clown (Dave Davies)

  4. Celluloid Heroes

  5. Ace Nice and Gentle

  6. This is Where I Belong

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