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Working Man's Cafe (Ltd Ed Deluxe CD/DVD Combo) [Extra tracks]

Ray DaviesAudio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

Price: $19.73 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Biography

Ray Davies, one of the most successful and influential songwriters to emerge from the British music scene of the 1960s, founded the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame rock band The Kinks with his brother Dave in 1963. The band’s string of top ten international hits began with “You Really Got Me”, followed by “All Day and All of The Night”, “Tired of Waiting”, ... Read more in Amazon's Ray Davies Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 19, 2008)
  • Original Release Date: 2008
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Extra tracks
  • Label: New West Records
  • ASIN: B0012IWK0W
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135,095 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Vietnam Cowboys (4:12)
2. You re Asking Me (3:22)
3. Working Man s Café (3:41)
4. Morphine Song (4:18)
5. In A Moment (4:29)
6. Peace In Our Time (4:39)
7. No One Listen (3:13)
8. Imaginary Man (4:09)
9. One More Time (4:28)
10. The Voodoo Walk (4:24)
See all 16 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Americana A Work In Progress DVD. Filmed and directed by Ray Davies.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Working Mans Cafe a new studio album by legendary musician and Rock n Roll Hall of Fame member Ray Davies (founder, singer, songwriter of The Kinks), features 12 new songs written by Davies, and co-produced with Grammy® Award winning producer/engineer Ray Kennedy (Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle) and 4 bonus tracks. Recorded in Nashville, Working Mans Café is Davies second solo album, following his solo debut Other Peoples Lives, released in 2006.

The deluxe CD/DVD contains a limited edition DVD entitled Ray Davies Americana A Work In Progress. Filmed and directed by Ray himself, it features footage from the fall 2001 Storyteller Tour. Ray narrates over the post-9/11 landscape of airports, freeways, hotels, soundchecks and performances, with songs from Working Man s Café as the soundtrack. It all culminates in New Orleans, the city that inspired many of the songs on the new album. The film is a fascinating glimpse into life on the road with one of rock n roll s most legendary artists. It is filmed and directed by Ray Davies.

Working Mans Café, focuses on the plight of the worker, the every day man around the world. It is Davies American record (many of the songs were written and all produced in the US) describing the changes he s seen in this country since he first started visiting in the 60s. In a recent four star Mojo Magazine review Davies is described as having a tourist s blend of enchantment and bafflement when writing about the United States

Amazon.com

2008 must be an interesting year to have an outsider's view on the US and its role in the world, and when Ray Davies sings "everywhere I go it looks and feels like America," it's hard to miss a bit of the bitterness in the observation. His second studio solo album in three years, Working Man's Cafe feels like exactly the album a 60-something rocker would craft--assured and direct yet searching and restless, a glimpse into the head of a man who's comfortable in his skin but still wonders how he fits into a world that seems to be turning faster and stranger as the years pass by. Davies has cultivated this contraposition of bitter and sweet, of intertwining comfort and conflict throughout his years leading the Kinks, and now continues into what looks to be a fruitful solo career. There's a bit of George Harrison in the melody and sentiment of "One More Time," acknowledging the widening gap between powerful corporations and the overtaxed little guy, while still envisioning the possibility of a brighter future. And the title track's half-acidic, half-nostalgic take on modern homogenization follows the classic Davies approach of reporting what he sees around him with one eye toward a fading past: "I bought a pair of new designer pants where the fruit and veg man used to stand." It's nice to note that, 40 years on, the songwriter that skewered '60s Brits with "A Well-Respected Man" and "Dedicated Follower of Fashion" still wields a sharpened pen and pulls no punches. --Ben Heege

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OK, I'll go first February 22, 2008
Format:Audio CD
I've had this CD since it was released in Europe in November and I've listened to it almost everyday since. It's an improvement over his previous effort 'Other Peoples Lives' aka 'OPL'. While there were 3 or 4 songs on OPL that I'll always listen to, some of them were flat and others were over-produced. That is not the case of any of the songs on this album. All of the songs on the album use the same group of musicians, were recorded in the same place over a short period of time. Since Ray Kennedy co-produced the record, there is little or no navel-gazing that has marred so many Kink productions. None of the songs, with the exception of 'Angola', are too long or are lyric-heavy at the expense of the melody.

The musicians, especially the lead-guitarist Patrick Buchannan, are excellent. Buchannan captures the spirit of Dave Davies in many of the solos, especially on 'I, the Victim'. His guitar tone is very Gretschy and gritty and his piercing solos are outstanding. The bassist and drummer are solid and unobtrusive. The mix is consistent and just dirty enough to keep everything edgy.

Rays vocals are outstanding. He pushes his limits sometimes, especially on 'Peace In Our Time', which is marred by some atrocious belting. The ballads 'One More Time', 'The Real World' and 'Imaginary Man' are the high points for me. 'OPL' had nothing on par with these three songs. Its nice to know Ray can still write beautiful songs, and to his and/or Ray Kennedy's credit, none of them are too long or over-arranged. The vocals are outstanding, especially on 'One More Time' and 'The Real World'. Some reviewers have said these songs drag the record down, but I think they give it balance and variety and a sense of humanity that most pop music severely lacks.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I wanna pray but don't know what to"....Ray Davies February 26, 2008
Format:Audio CD
This is what all of us KINKS fans and Ray Davies admirers have been waiting for...a true Masterpiece and it IS! This sounds great the first time through...cool grooves, nice rockin tunes and the unmistakably beautifully unique voice of Ray Davies! The good news is that the second third and fourth listens reveal more with each and that is the mark of a great record! Lyrics start to emerge and familiarity breeds appreciation not boredom.
The version with DVD is highly recommended..its only 20 minutes but all of it precious to fans ....and not much more mula..
GOD SAVE THE KINKS..and Raymond Douglas Davies!

If you are a fan...do not hesitate ...if you felt his last (only) solo effort was middling...join the crowd...this is GREAT!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ray's return to form in a terrific solo album February 29, 2008
Format:Audio CD
Ray returns in top form on his fourth solo album (his first being "Return to Waterloo" even though it involved members of the Kinks). This isn't just his best solo album but holds its own with some of his best work with The Kinks. It's a pity it's NOT a Kinks album but I doubt that Dave and Ray will resolve their differences any time soon. Either way, Ray has come up with an album that is compelling in its subject matter with witty, insightful lyrics and melodies that match the quality of his best compositions of the past.

The CD/DVD comboversion is only worthwhile for the additional rocking track "I, The Victim" which doesn't appear on the CD available by itself. The DVD is interesting but its more like a glorified home movie of Ray's 2001 tour of the United States. Its interesting primarily for its glimpses of America post-9/11. It's also most interesting for the snippets we see of Ray working on his songs or performing from the tour to support X-Ray (his book).

I actually liked most of "Other People's Lives" but found "Working Man's Cafe" to be more consistent with no tracks that I would consider weak. In addition to the album and the bonus track "Angola" (which is really about Ray being shot in New Orleans during a purse snatching)we also get two demos and with the CD/DVD combo set the rough mix of "I The Victim" (it's on the CD as a bonus track) which, I assume, is from a forthcoming project. Highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fine View of the many Ray Davies! February 27, 2008
By Dano
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This latest CLASSIC by the greatest songwriter EVER hits the spot in all the right ways. Much better than the last one although next to everything else released that year it is a classic! If you love the later great underrated Kinks recordings like "Sleepwalker" you'll love this too. Ray Davies certainly is not running out of ideas after all these years and that is a wonderful thing to behold. There's instant classics on here in the mold of other great works of beauty (think Long Distance)ie.(The Real World and Imaginary Man), great songs that rock like hell(Hymn for a New Age)and storytelling like only Ray Davies can do, "Working Man's Cafe" and "Morphine Song". You better get this special edition while you can because the bonus tracks are incredible too. I,The Victim and Angola rocks the best of all! I haven't watched the free DVD yet but I am looking forward to it. Long live Ray Davies-for the world truly needs but certainly doesn't deserve him!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yea Ray! March 28, 2008
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Life is great........Ray has released another collection of music. The thing about Ray Davies and the Kinks is that you get the exhilirating pleasure of rediscovering their body of music when there's an event like this. You hear WMC and then want to play Something Else or Misfits. Back to WMC (this is such a great CD!) and then maybe time for Muswell Hilbillies. Hey! I think I'll give brother Dave a spin......Fractured Minds or Kinked. This goes on and on, because there is (was) so much depth to this man's musical soul and so much great music from the brothers and the band. And then it all comes crashing back when Ray Davies writes again. We know God loves us and wants us to be happy (borrowing from Ben Franklin here) because we have this genius making music for us. Now, if only He would cause them to reunite...............
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Stunning
I didn't even listen to this CD until 2010. I've long given up on my rock heroes of the 60's coming out
with anything great (Okay, Neil Young can still do it). Read more
Published on December 30, 2011 by Jacktavish
4.0 out of 5 stars Listen to my heartbeat......
'Morphine Song' is my favorite here.
Has to be one of his best ever solo works.
Listening to the lyrics, I can't help thing it's about his stay in a hospital after being... Read more
Published on September 25, 2011 by Bernard J. Ryan
5.0 out of 5 stars a vital work
Straight into Rayville with Vietnam Cowboys. Always observing, always chronicling, ever commenting; he's king songwriter. Mr. Read more
Published on November 25, 2010 by OLD GUY.
5.0 out of 5 stars One of His Best
Ray Davies is an extraordinary composer, lyricist and performer. This album has it all: great music with thoughtful lyrics. Read more
Published on September 29, 2009 by Sea Otter
5.0 out of 5 stars A MASTERPIECE
If you're already a Kinks or Ray Davies fan, you don't need me to tell you that this is great music from one of our best composers. Read more
Published on October 20, 2008 by Mark Zimmerman
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor Production and Arrangements Destroy Great Songs
What can one say about a CD whose best track is the bonus "demo version" of the album's first song? I'll take the simplicity and purity of the demo version of Vietnam Cowboys over... Read more
Published on July 29, 2008 by Dewey
3.0 out of 5 stars NO GREAT SING ALONG MELODIES...
I know. You ALL gave the CD FIVE Stars. I have been as most of you have been a KINKS /RAY Davies fan since 1964. Read more
Published on July 5, 2008 by DICK YORK IS THE BETTER DICK
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow
Fantastic. Ranks right up there with some of Ian Hunter's work over the last fifteen years: poignant, mature lyrics, instantly catchy riffs. There's not a throwaway track here. Read more
Published on July 5, 2008 by J. Huebner
5.0 out of 5 stars One more voice in the chorus
It is gratifying to see that so many others hear what I am hearing with this record. As another who unashamedly admits to loving Ray Davies even though I find most of his... Read more
Published on May 29, 2008 by Wade Mcinnis
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank God for Ray Davies
A strong followup to his previous album, "Other Peoples Lives", gives Ray another opportunity to mine the human condition with perception, humor and empathy. Read more
Published on May 27, 2008 by Amazon Customer
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