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Other People's Lives

4.4 out of 5 stars 96 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 21, 2006
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Product Description

CD on VTAO RECORDS by Ray Davies - Other People's Lives (US)

Medium 1
Things Are Gonna Change (The Morning After)
After The Fall
Next Door Neighbour
All She Wrote
Creatures Of Little Faith
Run Away From Time
The Tourist
Is There Life After Breakfast?
The Getaway (Lonesome Train)
Other People's Lives
Stand Up Comic
Over My Head
Thanksgiving Day

As the leader of one the most vital and volatile bands of the British Invasion, Ray Davies may also have been one of the genre's most underappreciated, often playing second fiddle to the likes of Lennon, McCartney, and Jagger, but never failing to reignite the flame on a now-legendary songwriting caldron. More than a decade since the Kinks' last release, Davies makes his virgin foray into solo artistry with 13 songs that reverberate with the wistfulness and introspection that have forever been his trademark. It doesn't take long to detect, as the guitar/bass crescendo and tomorrow-will-be-better lyrics make "Things Are Gonna Change (The Morning After)" a singalong halfway through its 4:21. And then the world once again is put under Davies's uncanny surveillance: his pal Mr. Brown in the country-singed "Next Door Neighbour," "The Tourist" hobnobbing in New Orleans (where Davies makes an American home), and eras of lost acquaintances in "All She Wrote," a Kinks-ish acoustic rocker. They are reminders of what we've missed--and hopefully what's yet to come--from a remarkable artist whose return is undoubtedly being celebrated from the streets of a restored Big Easy to the barstools of Muswell Hill. --Scott Holter

More Ray Davies

The Storyteller

The Kink Kronikles

Come Dancing with the Kinks

The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society

Arthur: Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire

Muswell Hillbillies

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Things Are Gonna Change
  2. After The Fall
  3. Next-Door Neighbour
  4. All She Wrote
  5. Creatures Of Little Faith
  6. Run Away From Time
  7. The Tourist
  8. Is There Life After Breakfast?
  9. The Getaway (Lonesome Train)
  10. Other People's Lives
  11. Stand Up Comic
  12. Over My Head
  13. Thanksgiving Day

Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 21, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: V2 North America
  • ASIN: B000E1JOPM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,342 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Wayne Klein HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 26, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Ray Davies has been MIA for too long."Other People's Lives" is a terrific return to form. The glossy production surface compliments the songs-- here he does what he does best creating character studies in each song perfectly crafted with rich melodies. From the touch of sonic discord (pardon the pun) that opens "Things are Gonna Change" to the witty lyrics and a melody that would have fit at home on "Village Green" in "Is There Life After Breakfast?" Ray's in top form. The playing perfectly supports his witty observations in "Stand Up Comic" which acts as a perfect metaphor for his own career.

The CD booklet has great liner notes from Ray discussing the origin of the songs, how they came to be recorded, what he thinks of them now that they're finished. As usual the notes are clever, witty and feature his brand of self depreciating humor that fans love. While the material was written and recorded prior to his attack in New Orleans (he chasd a purse snatcher that had his girlfriend's stuff and was injured in a knife attack in the process) and Hurricane Katrina they sound like they capture that vibe.

His last album 1998's "The Storyteller" CD had some new material that was extremely good mixed in with vintage Kinks tunes as part of Ray's "audiobiography" tour for X-RAY. These songs were recorded in 2002 but weren't mixed until last year with finishing touches put on the album as well. At age 62 Ray has found his muse and that's good for us the listeners. Sure some people complain that Dave's biting guitar playing is missed (and it is on a few tracks)but it would also have felt out of place on some of these more intimate tracks. Besides, Dave's been busy making some fine music of his own with "Bug" and was recovering from his stroke last year.

Ray we missed you! Don't wait another 7 years to release the next album!
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Format: Audio CD
A long wait for this one. Mr. Davies first proper solo disc! It's all I expected (and more) from Ray Davies. 13 minor masterpieces, and nothing drags this disc down! It's been a long

long time we've heard anything new from Ray (with or without the Kinks). Savor this one! A very solid 5 star CD!!!
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Format: Audio CD
Ray Davies first solo-album had been awaited for couple for some years before it finally was released in February 2006. Among the reason for its delay was the assault on Ray in New Orleans in 2005. Actually two albums have been released previously in Davies' name; the sound-track "Return to Waterloo" ( 1986 ) and his "Storyteller" ( partly live ) show from 1998.

But this is his first "real" solo album, and one of the big questions was if he could live up to the high standards of the many classic Kinks albums released during the last 40 years, without brother Dave's great guitar playing. The short answer to that question is, "Yes!".

On a some tracks a little Dave guitar would have been welcome; and also his characteristic high harmony vocals. But few only Kinks albums have such overall consistent songwriting as this new album. And Ray voice is apparently as strong as ever; I had the opportunity to see him perform here in Denmark last year, and it was a great show with Ray in top-form on all levels; in spite of having just recently recovered from complications concerning his New Orleans assault.

Two songs have already been released as singles in 2005 and they're both outstanding. "The Tourist" is a fine melodic song that has a quite heavy guitar break. "Thanksgiving Day" is "only" included as a hidden track, which is really quite strange, since it may very well be the strongest track of them all - the song shows that Ray's vocals and his songwriting are as good as ever.

The album starts off very effectively with the musically very strong track "The Morning After" - very much Kinks sounding ( Think Visual ).
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Format: Audio CD
This album is so huge it seems churlish to constrain it with a mere review. Ray Davies has been called the quintessential English song writer (whatever that means) and, more recently, a visionary genius (which makes him sound like the leader of a weird sect).

This album has already collected more reviews than many of its more famous predecessors from The Kinks, and it deserves it. Here's why: unlike all of his contemporaries - Macca, the Stones, Dylan The Who - Davies has preserved his gift for melody. Almost every song here is a belter: I've blasted them all out in the tube, in the shower, under the duvet and at the kitchen sink. Some of them are pure heaven.

Then there's that voice. Amazingly, for a man of 62, his singing sounds more pure, languid and varied than ever.I listened back to some of the early recordings (I Go To Sleep from 1965, for example) in which Ray sounds lovably fraught in a boyish way, and he's kept that but moved beyong it on this recording.

The Kinks always had a studied lack of style which confused the critics and put off record buyers. Something Else and Face To Face are real hotch potches of styles - all over the place in a crazy, unplanned way. Other People's Lives is the same, which is why it won't be a commercial succes. But it's right in line with its illustrious peers.

The writing is still intact: imagine Macca penning a brilliant satire on cultural imperialism like The Tourist; imagine Mick Jagger concocting the devastating (and tragic?) lines to All She Wrote; and does Dylan still have it in him to open his heart as Davies does in After The Fall?
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