Muswell Hillbillies Hybrid SACD - DSD
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Audio, Cassette, January 22, 1990
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Top Customer Reviews
Ray Davies had already produced some fine concept albums ("Village Green Preservation Society" and "Arthur") in the late 60s, and "Muswell Hillbillies" returns to some of those themes: the ordinary man or woman, caught up in forces beyond their control "Holloway Jail", "Uncle Son"; the good old days before technology ("Twentieth Century Man", "Complicated Life"). In passing the Kinks comment on fad diets ("Skin and Bone"), addiction ("Alcohol") and bureaucracy ("Here Come the People in Gray").
There's not a false note or a weak song to be found on this elegant and touching album. The overarching theme is a whimsical view of British fascination with the mythical America of movies ("Take me back to those black hills/That I have never seen", sings Ray in the title track). However, this is not the three-chord power rock of the Kinks' early singles; nor is it the para-metal of their later hits like "Low Budget". While their hard rock albums sold much better, my preference is for the lighter, more whimsical Kinks, with their uniquely British perspective on pop music. I rate this as one the Kinks' four or five best records.
Although it was a relative commercial failure on its release, the years have been kind to the 1970s Kinks, as more people have discovered that this music really rocks ... in its own Kinky way.
This new SACD remaster is nothing short of spectacular. The sound is crystal clear, the stereo separation is almost lifelike; in short, these songs have never sounded better. The disc plays in regular CD players and is a major improvement over previous CD issues.
Do yourself a favor: buy this disc, pour yourself a cuppa tea, and take a trip back to those black hills that most of us have never seen. As Eric Burdon once sang, "It will be worth it!"
From the fist moment I heard "Muswell Hillbillies" I knew I was hearing one of the very best albums in Rock and Roll. The songs of Ray Davies transcend old-fashioned bluegrass, blues, English vaudeville, and German Beerhall music, delicately making it something urgent and relevant for the new millenium.
Not one of these songs could be considered a pop hit unto itself, but all together they make one of the most original and versatile listening experiences you're likely to hear.
Thematically, "Muswell Hillbillies" is a loose concept album about the gentrification of the Muswell Hill neighborhood. More generally, it's about ordinary, tradition-minded English people finding themselves thrust against their will into the modern world. Ray rants against technology, conformity, and intrusive government-- some of the same sentiments that would suffocate later Kinks albums like "UK Jive"-- but here, crucially, he never lets the vitriol obscure his empathy and sense of humor.
Smart, angry, funny, and surprising, "Muswell Hillbillies" is the Kinks at their very best. If you like rock music at all, don't hesitate to add this album to your collection.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This may be the most entertaining album the Kinks ever made. I would count it among their top 3 for songwriting and conceptual execution. Read morePublished 17 months ago by R. Starr
The Kinks released a series a excellent records between 1967-1971 [The Village Green Preservation Society, Arthur, Lola Vs Powerman & the Moneygoround, and Muswell Hillbillies],... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Robert W. Fish
In my very questionable opinion, this is as much of a "genius" Kinks album as Kinda Kinks , Something Else, Village Green , Arthur, and Lola.Published 19 months ago by Johnny P
just as I remember it; sound quality excellent; delivered on time and as expectedPublished 21 months ago by S Benford
I'm two years into rediscovering the music and importance of Ray Davies and the Kinks and Muswell Hillbillies is one of my favorites in regards to the "golden" phase of... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Thirty-Ought Six
THE KINKS are BRLLIANT!!!! that is all I can really write about this band and deluxe cd edition.enough said-GOD SAVE THE KINKS!Published 24 months ago by ac
“Muswell Hillbillies” is an album that bears repeated listening. It seems the more times I play it, the more I appreciate the nuances of the music and lyrics. Read morePublished on April 27, 2014 by Dr. Mikey