Come Dancing With the Kinks: The Best of the Kinks 1977-1986
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The Kinks, Come Dancing With the Kinks: The Best of the Kinks 1977-1986
After Ray Davies exorcised his theatrical demons on the Preservation, Soap Opera, and contract-closing Schoolboys in Disgrace albums, the Kinks left RCA for Arista and what would be their most successful string of stateside albums. Under Clive Davis's direction, Ray returned to writing tighter pop songs, while brother Dave rediscovered the joy of simple power chords. This compilation of tracks from the band's Arista years gathers some of the decade's most contagious works, including "Catch Me Now I'm Falling," "Sleepwalker," "Superman," "Destroyer," Dave's "Living on a Thin Line," and the title track, whose roller-rink organ and music-hall nostalgia made the Kinks MTV heroes. Sure, "A Gallon of Gas" and the tub-thumping "Low Budget" slip into novelty terrain, but they're offset by a selection of revved-up live tracks ("Lola," "You Really Got Me"), wistful masterpieces ("A Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy," "Misfits," "Don't Forget to Dance," "Good Day"), and the best working-class Xmas anthem ever ("Father Christmas"). All in all, a fine sampling of the Kinks' second coming. --Bill Forman
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I admit I mostly got it because i have recently become enamored of the song "Come Dancing"- it's just so perfect! but I've always loved "Lola" and it's a great live version here... and all of the other cuts are equally fine.
I do have some qualms about "greatest hits" compilations in general. While sometimes I've bought an album because I adored one particular song, and the rest has been "bleh"... ofthen there's another song or 2 on it that are brilliant but just have not gotten the publicity. I realize that when I buy "greatest hits" I'm missing the later.
I am also not best pleased that many of the "greatest hits" sets include edited versions of the "hits", generally removing the interesting/controversial lyrics (like the Dire Straights one).
But- that's a tangent.
This is an excellent album that has solid versions of many of the Kinks' wonderful sonts. Especially the title track!
For a group that usually comes in fourth on the list of the greatest British rock bands (Beatles, Stones, Who...), this disc collates their later period.
As you'll see, however, they manage to "cover" their earlier hits as well.
They have a number of killer singles here, opening with "Come Dancing". The Kinks have always excelled in bringing witty little 'slices of life' to their tunes, in a way we didn't see until the earlier Squeeze records.
Their rock songs have a surprising crunch to them, and it is a testament to their quality that Green Day could cover "Do It Again" note for note, and the youngsters in the crowd wouldn't know the difference.
Then again, The Kinks sorta cover themselves throughout this disc. There are the live versions of "Lola" and "You Really Got Me". Then there are the chords from the aforementioned "Do It Again"...
...but it reaches an apex with "Destroyer", which cribs liberally from "All Day and All of The Night", mentions "Lola" and pretty much introduces the Sixties half of the Kinks' career to the Seventies' fans...
...it's a total party of a song...
"Low Budget", "Misfits", "Don't Forget To Dance"...all great spins.
And then we get "Father Christmas"! One of the great modern Christmas rockers.
Sweet liner notes and a gatefold LP-like cover make this uncommonly easy to recommend.