Schoolboys in Disgrace Hybrid SACD - DSD
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The Kinks rock hard as they revisit the schoolyard on this great 1975 album.
The Kinks' concise, typically bittersweet 1975 reflection on the trials and tribulations of the English school system would foreshadow Pink Floyd's similarly themed, if gratuitously unfocused The Wall by half a decade. It would also close out the band's oft-misunderstood "concept" period. Following on the heels of Preservation, Acts 1 and 2, and Soap Opera, albums whose sprawling, Floydian narratives were pointedly deflated by Ray Davies' lovable, Vaudevillian loopiness. Schoolboys has long seemed the red-headed stepchild in that ancestry. But, it's precisely the album's scaled-back ambitions and breezy delivery (typified by the 50's vamping "Jack the Idiot Dunce") that have preserved its charm. Dave Davies' chunky guitar progressions gratifyingly return to the fore on "In Disgrace" and "The Hard Way," while brother Ray's sharp-eyed observations wax alternately cynical ("Education") and wistful ("The First Time We Fall in Love"). This remastered new SACD edition is compatible with regular CD players. --Jerry McCulley
Top customer reviews
Ray Davies is still into his 'Flash' personna but this 'prequel' was also the last we'd hear of 'Flash'. Fine by me because after this we only get one more 'rock opera', his "Soap Opera" album. Don't get me wrong I'm a Ray and Dave Davies and their band fan from 1970 on. This is one of my favorite Kinks albums. My friends in High School really took notice of them when I'd spin this on my old Phillips GA212 turntable.
Sound to me is great but now I've a audiophile surround sound and SACD system that I use for listening. This disc 'rocks' on my system. Hope it does on yours too! It comes complete with all the liner notes, and lyrics and MORE than was on the original album. Enjoy.
This is a review of the hybrid SACD version of "Schoolboys in Disgrace." Look, I LOVE the album itself; it's one of the Kinks' best -- funny, irreverent, nostalgic, all at once. And very musical -- the guitars, keys, vocals, bass and drum parts here are just wonderful in every way. However, it was very disappointing to put the disc in my SACD player and search in vain for the surround layer. It clearly says, on the back cover, that this release includes an "SACD Surround Sound" layer, meaning it should play in 5.1-channel format.
Nope. If it had that layer, "Multi Channel In" should come up as an option on my Denon receiver, and it doesn't.
Well, I was suspicious before I ever played the thing -- reason being that the rest of the reissues in this Kinks SACD series all seem to be stereo-only. They're labeled as such on "Misfits," "Sleepwalker" and "Everybody's In Showbiz." Buyer beware: I also bought the live album, "One More For the Road," which is also labeled as surround; like "Schoolboys," it isn't.
And just for the record, MFSL's SACD of "Low Budget" is stereo-only as well, although it is correctly labeled as such.
Be nice if they fixed this labeling problem on "Schoolboys" and "Road." I really have nothing against two-channel SACDs, but it would be nice to know what I'm getting.
The Kinks are arguably the greatest social commentary rock band ever. Back in the day, the Beatles and Stones slagged (British slang for what my kids would now call "hated on") the Kinks as a band with horrid sound and no quality. Huh. If you can't say something nice about the Kinks you must not like good music, in my opinion.
This is one to get and listen to over and over. And, as a salute to Ray Davies (pronounced "Davis" per Ray himself), I am listening to No More Looking Back twenty times in his honor. Take that, Mick!