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Face to Face Import, Original recording remastered, Extra tracks

26 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, Original recording remastered, April 11, 2000
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Product Description

1998 reissue of this classic 1966 album by the band,remastered, repackaged with the original artwork, new sleevesleeve notes, lyrics and seven bonus tracks: 'I'm Not LikeEverybody Else', 'Dead End Street', 'Big Black Smoke','Mister Pleasant', 'This Is Whe

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Like Another Side of Bob Dylan and the Beatles' Rubber Soul, Face to Face marks the beginning of the Kinks' classic period. From here on, Kinks records would become more than collections of songs, they'd become coherent frames whose material added up to a complete perspective. This record arguably presents the birth of the "concept album." And in the subcategory of records vying for first concept album (pre-Tommy, of course), such as S.F. Sorrow by the Pretty Things, Face to Face is easily the most rewarding. All of Ray Davies's themes are represented: materialism among the English upper class ("House in the Country," "Most Exclusive Residence for Sale"), depression ("Too Much on My Mind"), and nostalgia ("I'll Remember"). But these themes always lead Davies to penetrating, timeless songs of resignation, and so it is here ("Sunny Afternoon"). This is mandatory listening for any fan of popular music from the '60s. --Gene Booth


1. Party Line
2. Rose Won't You Please Come Home
3. Dandy
4. Too Much On My Mind
5. Session Man
6. Rainy Day In June
7. A House In The Country
8. Holiday In Waikiki
9. Most Exclusive Residence For Sale
10. Fancy
11. Little Miss Queen Of Darkness
12. You're Lookin' Fine
13. Sunny Afternoon
14. I'll Remember
15. I'm Not Like Everybody Else
16. Dead End Street
17. Big Black Smoke
18. Mister Pleasant
19. This Is Where I Belong
20. Mr. Reporter
See all 21 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 11, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import, Original recording remastered, Extra tracks
  • Label: Castle Essential
  • ASIN: B000007V25
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,896 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Steve Vrana HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on January 8, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Don't let the psychedelic appearance of the album art fool you into thinking this is somehow the Kinks' entry in the summer-of-love sweepstakes, including Sgt Pepper, Smiley Smile, Their Satanic Majesties Request, or Of Cabbages and Kings--all which were released in 1967. Instead this is Ray Davies turning away from the hard-driving rock 'n' roll which was the backbone of their first three UK albums and finding a broader range of textures to add to his music and a shift in his lyrics.
Ray's songs often were snapshots of everyday life. "Session Man" was written as a tribute to Nicky Hopkins who frequently appeared on Kinks tracks (and almost every other major British artist of the period). "Rosie Won't You Please Come Home" was directed at Ray's sister who was living in Australia at the time. "Rainy Day in June"--complete with opening thunderclap--was inspired by Ray's backyard garden sanctuary. As he explains in the liner notes: "I love rain and the moistness after a storm, and it was about fairies and little evil things within the trees that come to life." And you can't help but believe that Ray's personal experience with the taxman was the basis for "Sunny Afternoon"--a No. 1 in the UK, but only No. 15 in the US.
There were still songs that were reminiscent of the Kinks of old: the rollicking "Party Line," the hard driving "Holiday in Waikiki." But Ray was broadening his musical landscape. He wasn't going to limit the band to the "Kinks" sound of "You Really Got Me" and "All Day and All of the Night" and remain a durable and viable band.
This was the beginning of a high water mark for the band.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Michael Topper on November 10, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Between the years 1965-69 (but especially between 66-67) four
UK bands were crowned the royalty of rock: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks and The Who. Of these four, The Kinks
would decline and fade the quickest--especially in the United States--by no fault of their own. Released at the tail end of
their chart success in the US (Sunny Afternoon had made #14 there in the summer of '66, and topped the UK charts), "Face To Face" was the album which simultaneously put them in the same artistic league as their three peers while destroying any further chance of commercial success.
"Aftermath", "Revolver", "A Quick One", "Between The Buttons", "Sgt.Pepper" and "The Who Sell Out" represented a stunning growth and maturity in UK album style during this time, and "Face To Face" (along with its successor "Something Else") is no exception. It was 1966 when the LP became more than just a collection of songs, and The Kinks were pioneers in the field, making "Face To Face" a song cycle outlining the UK class system with exquisite detail. Ray Davies' original plan for the album was to link all of the songs without the customary three-second gap (an idea which predated "Pepper"), so sure was he that he had created something of thematic unity. Although he didn't get what he wanted, "Face To Face" remains a landmark in the group's career, a time when their music began to take on greater instrumental color and their lyrics reflected the singer's own personal obsessions (this, of course, characterized albums like "Aftermath" and "Revolver" as well).
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 28, 1999
Format: Audio CD
this album is a flat-out masterpiece! i think of it as the kinks' revolver -- and, trust me, i'm not guilty of hyperbole. it was recorded in the same year (1966) and it has the same dreamy (i.e., druggy) feel of the beatles LP. nearly every song is a daring departure from the earlier, wildly popular kinks sound of you really got me and till the end of the day. even the extra tracks on this english import shine like pure pre-summer of love authentic psychedelic diamonds. do your head a favor and check this out.....P.S.: the kinks next two albums, something else and the villiage green preservation society are -- and it almost scares me to say this -- even better than face to face and are a must own for anyone who claims to care at all about rock n' roll (or whatever their calling it these days).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bill Your 'Free Form FM Print DJ on June 30, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Music people argue, what was the first rock concept album: SF Sorrow, Tommy, Sgt. Pepper, Village Green. In a sense, who was first really does not matter. The more informative fact to realize is that in the 60s, great artists fed off and tried to outdo each other, and this fuled some wonderful records.

Face to Face is prime example. This is about swinging London. It talkes about party lines, run away teenagers, session men, and being home on a sunny afternoon. Ray Davies, maybe rock's best storyteller after Dylan, creates a masterpiece that discribes English, and London, life in the 1960s. If the record is not a story in itself, it definately linked by its themes.

You can also argue, to no end, if this is his materpiece. Or is Village Green better, or is it the epic, experimental sweep of Something Else. True, Something Else is more ambitious, musically, and when Village Green arrived, recording technology had improved, so the music did SOUND better.

Actually, I feel that Face To Face and Village Green are two sides, same coin. Where the first is about city live, the other is about the rustic countryside during the same period. But they are both sound paintings of the England Davies documented so well.
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