Imagine if – the alternative Kinks discography, 1964–1971

Imagine if – the alternative Kinks discography, 1964–1971

Dear reader. Surely, you have at some point become frustrated when you realize that the records of your favourite artists could have been even better, after discovering that they recorded several worthy songs that for some unfortunate and unfathomable reason were discarded. Not to mention that some of their best compositions were officially only released by other artists. Again, PopDiggers helps to rewrite the music history, so that you will no longer be alone in Imagining if …

Since the Imagine if … series is counterfactual, it is very theoretical but at the same time also creative – sometimes like being stranded in Geeksville. So please try to look at Imagine if … as an unpretentious thought experiment. Changes to lyrics and arrangements would have been required on some songs to enhance their strength, of course, but if you extract the essence of the songs and then use your imagination you will be just fine.

KinksThe Imagine if … series started in July 2021 with The Rolling Stones, and now it’s time to compile The Kinks alternative discography 1964–1971. As stated in Kind(a) Ray Davies, I think that Ray stands out as the best songwriter and artist of the sixties and early seventies, based on the merit that he recorded and wrote almost 200 songs during those years with The Kinks, of which I would say that 130–135 range from acceptable to fantastic.

Speaking of “extract the essence of the songs and then use your imagination”, it’s no secret to fans that The Kinks released at least three concept albums during these years, but I took the liberty to change the track order anyway.

Each year has its own section, which begins with the original UK discography, followed by the alternative one. To make it clearer, only links to songs that differ from the original are provided.

Note: I’ve taken the liberty to “dismiss” Dave Davies’ solo recordings during 1967–1969, having included his compositions in The Kinks’ discography instead.

All songs are written by Ray Davies, except where noted.

Please notice some super cool, alternative picture sleeves!

Original UK discography, 1964

I Took My Baby Home / Long Tall Sally (Robert Blackwell–Enotris Johnson–Richard Penniman) [February]

You Still Want Me / You Do Something To Me [April]

You Really Got Me / It’s All Right [August]

The Kinks (LP) [October]
Beautiful Delilah (Chuck Berry) / So Mystifying / Just Can’t Go To Sleep / Long Tall Shorty (Herb Abramson–Don Covay) / I Took My Baby Home / I’m A Lover Not A Fighter (J.D. “Jay” Miller) / You Really Got Me // Cadillac (Bo Diddley) / Bald Headed Woman (Shel Talmy) / Revenge (Ray Davies–Jimmy Page) / Too Much Monkey Business (Chuck Berry) / I’ve Been Driving On Bald Mountain (Shel Talmy) / Stop Your Sobbing / Got Love If You Want It (Slim Harpo)

All Day And All Of The Night / I Gotta Move [October]

Kinksize Session (EP) [November]
Louie Louie (Richard Berry) / I Gotta Go Now // I’ve Got That Feeling / Things Are Getting Better

PopDiggers’ alternative discography, 1964

I Took My Baby Home / Long Tall Sally (Robert Blackwell–Enotris Johnson–Richard Penniman) [February]

There’s also Dave Davies’ unreleased I Believed You (another source says it’s a collaboration between Ray and Dave Davies), taped in October, 1963, but his effort doesn’t live up to the standard we require in “Imagine if …”.

Kinks - You Really Got MeI’ve Got That Feeling / You Still Want Me [April]

The sad yet incredibly striking pop song I’ve Got That Feeling is a much better option that could have reached high on the charts, instead of the original A-side, You Still Want Me.

You Really Got Me / It’s All Right [August]

The Kinks (LP) [October]
Beautiful Delilah (Chuck Berry) / So Mystifying / Just Can’t Go To Sleep / Long Tall Shorty (Herb Abramson–Don Covay) / I Don’t Need You Any More / I’m A Lover Not A Fighter (J.D. “Jay” Miller) / You Really Got Me // Cadillac (Bo Diddley) / Bald Headed Woman (Shel Talmy) / Revenge (Ray Davies–Jimmy Page) / You Do Something To Me / One Fine Day (Dave Davies) / Stop Your Sobbing / Got Love If You Want It (Slim Harpo)

New: I Don’t Need You Any More; You Do Something To Me; One Fine Day.

Omitted: I Took My Baby Home; Too Much Monkey Business; I’ve Been Driving On Bald Mountain.

Kinks - KinksIt’s a tough job to enhance the original debut album, which featured six originals. Bald Headed Woman and I’ve Been Driving On Bald Mountain (which isn’t good enough to be included) were public domain folk songs, for which The Kinks’ producer, Shel Talmy, had claimed songwriting credits.

In the end, eight songs on the original album are kept, but I Took My Baby Home is omitted because too many singles on an album is a sign of a lack of material. I Don’t Need You Any More matches The Kinks’ other embryonic rhythm ‘n’ blues ventures, even though The Dave Clark Five seem to be another source of inspiration. If you ignore the slightly amateurish approach with adolescence mixed with energy, You Do Something to Me (the original B-side on the second single) stands out as an appealing handiwork. It’s still more enjoyable than You Still Want Me in any case. When it comes to the battle to be the wildest song, Dave’s fierce One Fine Day versus You Really Got Me ends in a draw…

Tired Of Waiting For You / I Gotta Move [October]

Believe it or not, but Tired of Waiting for You was recorded four–five weeks before All Day and All of the Night. The question arises whether they would have followed up You Really Got Me with such a gentle explosion in comparison. Since the main goal of the Imagine if … series is to present the ideal release schedule by thinking outside the box, the answer should be “yes!”. In addition, a follow-up that does not sound too similar to the previous release is a way to avoid becoming a flash in the pan.

Kinks - Kinksize SessionKinkzise Session (EP) [November]
Louie Louie (Richard Berry) / I Gotta Go Now // Don’t Ever Let Me Go (Ray Davies or Dave Davies) / Things Are Getting Better

New: Don’t Ever Let Me Go.

Omitted: I’ve Got That Feeling.

Don’t Ever Let Me Go is a first cousin to You Really Got Me and All Day and All of the Night, but it’s still good enough as a filler on an EP.

Original UK discography, 1965

Tired Of Waiting For You / Come On Now [January]

Everybody’s Gonna Be Happy / Who’ll Be The Next In Line [March]

Kinda Kinks (LP) [March]
Look For Me Baby / Got My Feet On The Ground / Nothin’ In The World Can Stop Me Worryin’ ’bout That Girl / Naggin’ Woman (Jimmy Anderson–J.D. “Jay” Miller) / Wonder Where My Baby Is Tonight / Tired Of Waiting For You // Dancing In The Street (Marvin Gaye–Mickey Stevenson–Ivy Jo Hunter) / Don’t Ever Change / Come On Now / So Long / You Shouldn’t Be Sad / Something Better Beginning

Set Me Free / I Need You [May]

See My Friends / Never Met A Girl Like You Before [July]

Kwyet Kinks (EP) [September]
Wait Till The Summer Comes Along / Such A Shame // A Well Respected Man / Don’t You Fret.

Till The End Of The Day / Where Have All The Good Times Gone [November]

The Kink Kontroversy (LP) [November]
Milk Cow Blues (Sleepy John Estes) / Ring The Bells / Gotta Get The First Plane Home / When I See That Girl Of Mine / I Am Free (Dave Davies) / Till The End Of The Day // The World Keeps Going Round / I’m On An Island / Where Have All The Good Times Gone / It’s Too Late / What’s In Store For Me / You Can’t Win

PopDiggers’ discography, 1965

Kinks - All Day And All Of The NightAll Day And All Of The Night / Come On Now [January]

Something Better Beginning / Wonder Where My Baby Is Tonight [April]

The Kinks’ original sixth single, Everybody’s Gonna Be Happy, was a lame sequel to Tired of Waiting for You, which consequently only reached #17 on the UK singles chart. Some of Ray’s early pop songs are impressive and the melancholy Something Better Beginning is no exception, which would have fared better than Everybody’s Gonna Be Happy. There is a bit of amateurish charm on the frugal Wonder Where My Baby Is Tonight, which the Swedish fans appreciated so much that it became a top ten hit.

Kinda Kinks (LP) [May]
Look For Me Baby / Got My Feet On The Ground / Nothin’ In The World Can Stop Me Worryin’ ’bout That Girl / Naggin’ Woman (Jimmy Anderson–J.D. “Jay” Miller) / Wonder Where My Baby Is Tonight / Everybody’s Gonna Be Happy // Dancing In The Street (Marvin Gaye–Mickey Stevenson–Ivy Jo Hunter) / Don’t Ever Change / Who’ll Be The Next In Line / Set Me Free / You Shouldn’t Be Sad / Something Better Beginning

New: Everybody’s Gonna Be Happy; Who’ll Be The Next In Line; Set Me Free.

Omitted: Tired Of Waiting For You; Come On Now; So Long.

Kinks - Kinda KinksWith Kinda Kinks, the group took a step away from the standard rhythm ‘n’ blues exercises heard on the first album. In retrospect, it seems that the second LP was a bit rushed, arriving just five months after the debut album. Therefore, I “postponed” the release by two months. In fact, Ray Davies later expressed his dissatisfaction with the substandard production.

Everybody’s Gonna Be Happy will do as an album track. Despite being a weak effort regarding the lyrics – “I was the best one you had. I was the one who gave you love” – Who’ll Be the Next in Line (the original B-side to Everybody’s Gonna Be Happy) is a fast pacer, which sounds even better covered by Sir Douglas Quintet.

Regardless of these critical comments, Kinda Kinks has a lot to offer. Honestly, the alternative version of the LP may be slightly inferior compared to the original, because Tired of Waiting for You is not included. On the other hand, half-measures like putting Everybody’s Gonna Be Happy on a single has been avoided. In addition, the least good original track, So Long, is substituted by Set Me Free. As for the two cover songs, Naggin’ Woman and Dancing in the Street, The Kinks should have given these a second thought.

See My Friends / I Need You [June]

See My Friends was recorded on May 2, so they could have secured a release in June.

I Go To Sleep / A Little Bit Of Sunlight [August]

Sorry, all fans of wylde Kinks songs, but Ray’s emotional hayride I Go to Sleep cannot be neglected. Just imagine it backed with Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound. A Little Bit of Sunlight was demoed by Davies on May 24 and is a quite charming piece of music, sounding even better when The Majority covered it.

Kinks ‎– Kwyet KinksKwyet Kinks (EP) [September]

Tell Me Now So I’ll Know / Such A Shame // There’s A New World Opening For Me / This Strange Effect

New: Tell Me Now So I’ll Know; There’s A New World Opening For Me; This Strange Effect.

Omitted: Wait Till The Summer Comes Along; Well Respected Man; Don’t You Fret.

This Strange Effect is suitable for opening the alternative version of Kwyet Kinks, added with two fascinating compositions that Ray recorded as demos. Tell Me Now So I’ll Know is Ray Davies stripped to the buff, filled with overwhelming sadness. Despite the optimistic title, There’s a New World Opening for Me evokes the ghost of a bleak future. Musically, there are no objections to this alternative EP – which shows that there were no limits to Ray’s creativity, even if the omitted Don’t You Fret and Wait Till the Summer Comes Along do not meet the high expectations.

A Well Respected Man / I Bet You Won’t Stay [November]

A Well Respected Man is simply too good to be hidden as an EP track. (A US #13 hit – quite surprisingly after the group had been banned earlier that year from performing over there.) Now I can also reveal the cliff hanger from Kind(a) Ray Davies: that A Well Respected Man is the song that Ray was proudest of when I interviewed him in 1993. I Bet You Won’t Stay was released by the American group The Cascades in August, described in Kind(a) Ray Davies as “an enigmatic song with a very distinctive yet appealing sound”.

Kinks - The Kink KontroversyThe Kink Kontroversy (LP) [November]
Milk Cow Blues (Sleepy John Estes) / Ring The Bells / Gotta Get The First Plane Home / When I See That Girl Of Mine / I Am Free (Dave Davies) / Till The End Of The Day // The World Keeps Going Round / I’m On An Island / Where Have All The Good Times Gone / It’s Too Late / What’s In Store For Me / You Can’t Win

The Kink Kontroversy is the only album in this article that is identical to the original release. At first glance, the musical progression from Kinda Kinks seems less obvious, but there is more than meets the eye. During this creatively intense phase in pop history, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones often excluded 7” tracks from their albums. If The Kinks had wanted to strut their stuff in the same manner, they should have followed that trend. Therefore, I didn’t include Well Respected Man and I Bet You Won’t Stay.

Three other compositions were recorded during this period. The Honeycombs covered the not-so-impressive Emptiness, while Time Will Tell and This I Know were rightly never released. Despite a few weak efforts, Ray Davies still had a fantastic year – writing 25–30 rewarding compositions and proving that he was the undisputed champion in his field.

Original UK discography, 1966

Dedicated Follower Of Fashion / Sittin’ On My Sofa [February]

Sunny Afternoon / I’m Not Like Everybody Else [June]

Face To Face (LP) [July]
Party Line / Rosy Won’t You Please Come Home / Dandy / Too Much On My Mind / Session Man / Rainy Day In June / House In The Country // Holiday In Waikiki / Most Exclusive Residence For Sale / Fancy / Little Miss Queen Of Darkness / You’re Looking Fine / Sunny Afternoon / I’ll Remember

Dead End Street / Big Black Smoke [November]

PopDiggers’ discography, 1966

Dedicated Follower Of Fashion / Mr. Reporter [February]

The original B-side, the dreary Sittin’ On My Sofa, is replaced by Mr. Reporter, which is not one of their best songs. But the furious attack on a certain professional group, in combination with raw sound, generates a rather enticing creation. Ray had no problem being a straight shooter even at this early stage! She’s Got Everything was recorded at the same time, but not put on vinyl until two years later (as the B-side of Days). A few months earlier, And I Will Love You had been cut, but thankfully it stayed in the can for many years.

Sunny Afternoon / I’m Not Like Everybody Else [June]

Kinks - Face To FaceFace To Face (LP) [July]
Party Line / Rosy Won’t You Please Come Home / King Of The Whole Wide World / Too Much On My Mind / Session Man / Rainy Day In June / House In The Country // Holiday In Waikiki / Most Exclusive Residence For Sale / Little Man In A Little Box / This Is Where I Belong / You’re Looking Fine / Sunny Afternoon / I’ll Remember

New: King Of The Whole Wide World; Little Man In A Little Box; This Is Where I Belong.

Omitted: Dandy; Fancy; Little Miss Queen Of Darkness.

The tracks on Face to Face were recorded between October 1965 and June 1966, but contractual issues held up the release until October. Ray Davies was also in conflict with Pye regarding the final album cover art, whose psychedelic theme he considered inappropriate. The album took The Kinks to another level, and some even called Face to Face a concept album.

After a few small changes from yours truly, we can even call Face to Face a masterpiece. Yes, Ray was really that good! The benefits of King of the Whole Wide World and Little Man in a Little Box are elaborated in Kind(a) Ray Davies. As for the third new song, it’s easy to agree with a comment on YouTube: “This Is Where I Belong is one of their most underrated tunes and a most eloquent endorsement for not straying too far from home.”

Three other songs were recorded around the same time; Everybody Wants to Be a Personality (about celebrities), Lilacs and Daffodils a.k.a. Sir Jasper (which reportedly is about a schoolteacher and the only Kinks track with vocals by Mick Avory) and A Girl Who Goes to Discotheques, but none of these have seen the light of day so far.

Kinks - DandyDandy / All Night Stand [September]

If you’re wondering what happened to Dandy, here’s the answer! Since the five and a half months that elapsed between the original release of Sunny Afternoon and Dead End Street are too long for dedicated followers of The Kinks, this problem is solved here – with a really good B-side (which was recorded by The Thoughts) as a bonus. Dandy topped the German singles charts, and it would surely have been a good 45 spin in the UK as well.

Dead End Street / Big Black Smoke [November]

Original UK discography, 1967

Waterloo Sunset / Act Nice And Gentle [May]

Something Else By The Kinks (LP) [September]
David Watts / Death Of A Clown (Ray Davies–Dave Davies) / Two Sisters / No Return / Harry Rag / Tin Soldier Man / Situation Vacant // Love Me Till The Sun Shines (Dave Davies) / Lazy Old Sun / Afternoon Tea / Funny Face (Dave Davies) / End Of The Season / Waterloo Sunset

Autumn Almanac / Mr. Pleasant [October]

PopDiggers’ discography, 1967

KinksTin Soldier Man / No Return [March 1967]

Now you have to use your imagination to solve the predicament with the six-month time gap between Dead End Street and Waterloo Sunset by filling it with another single. There were a few songs recorded early enough to meet the requirements; End of the Season, Two Sisters and Tin Soldier Man. End of the Season is the most obvious choice, but the lyrics “Winter time is coming” and “Winter is here, end of the season” disqualifies it from a spring release. Tin Soldier Man – recorded in November 1966 with other lyrics and another title, Sand On My Shoes – could have become a singalong classic like Yellow Submarine. Below, the mundane No Return is omitted from the alternative version of Something Else By The Kinks, but is one of the first to be recorded.

Waterloo Sunset / Act Nice And Gentle [May]

Something Else By The Kinks (LP) [September]
David Watts / Death Of A Clown (Ray Davies–Dave Davies) / Two Sisters / Oh What A Day It’s Going To Be / Mr. Pleasant / Rosemary Rose / Situation Vacant // Love Me Till The Sun Shines (Dave Davies) / Lazy Old Sun / Lavender Hill / Funny Face (Dave Davies) / End Of The Season / Waterloo Sunset

New: Oh What A Day It’s Going To Be; Mr. Pleasant; Rosemary Rose; Lavender Hill.

Omitted: No Return; Harry Rag; Tin Soldier Man; Afternoon Tea.

Kinks - Something Else By The KinksAlthough some recognize Something Else By The Kinks as their best sixties album, I still can’t help but feel slightly disappointed. Compositions like No Return, Harry Rag and maybe even Afternoon Tea and Funny Face simply do not match the otherwise high standard of Face to Face. I also could not include two singles (as you have seen is Tin Soldier Man, but not Death of a Clown a single track, as the latter song was not recorded until June), although Waterloo Sunset could not be ignored.

The foundation to End of the Season was laid as early as April 1966 – probably with a different arrangement. Oh What a Day It’s Going to Be, recorded by the unknown duo Mo & Steve in 1966, is an interesting, sophisticated piece. The well-known Mr. Pleasant is seductive, musically speaking, with lyrics that take off from A Well Respected Man. Rosemary Rose and Lavender Hill, which did not officially appear until 1973, were actually recorded during summer of 1967. Both songs capture Ray Davies at his best and let us share his inner thoughts. A striking arrangement accentuates the quality even more.

Not included is the backing track Little Women, which was recorded during the same time.

Autumn Almanac / Berkerley Mews [October]

The catchy Berkerley Mews wasn’t released until June 1970 but was probably recorded during Autumn 1967.

Original UK discography, 1968

Wonderboy / Polly [April]

Kinks - DaysDays / She’s Got Everything [June]

The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society (LP) [November]
The Village Green Preservation Society / Do You Remember Walter? / Picture Book / Johnny Thunder / Last Of The Steam-Powered Trains / Big Sky / Sitting By The Riverside // Animal Farm / Village Green / Starstruck / Phenomenal Cat / All Of My Friends Were There / Wicked Annabella / Monica / People Take Pictures of Each Other

PopDiggers’ discography, 1968

Wonderboy / Polly [April]

Days / She’s Got Everything [June]

The Village Green Preservation Society / Wicked Annabella [October]

Of course, The Village Green Preservation Society, one of my favourite compositions by Ray Davies, must be put on a 45 to avoid too long a gap between the UK singles. (Starstruck was issued as a single in some countries, including the USA, and became a Top 20 hit in the Netherlands.) It was tough to omit Wicked Annabella on the album below, but it appears here as an exclusive singles track.

Kinks - Are The Village Green Preservation SocietyThe Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society (LP) [November]
The Village Green Preservation Society / Do You Remember Walter? / Picture Book / Johnny Thunder / Last Of The Steam-Powered Trains // Big Sky / Sitting By The Riverside / Animal Farm / Village Green / Starstruck // Phenomenal Cat / Mr. Songbird / There Is No Life Without Love (Ray Davies–Dave Davies) / Did You See His Name? / People Take Pictures of Each Other // Lincoln County (Dave Davies) / Misty Water / Pictures In The Sand / Susannah’s Still Alive (Dave Davies) / Till Death Us Do Part

New: Mr. Songbird; There Is No Life Without Love; Did You See His Name?; Lincoln County; Misty Water; Pictures In The Sand; Susannah’s Still Alive; Till Death Us Do Part.

Omitted: All Of My Friends Were There; Wicked Annabella; Monica.

Do not worry folks, there is nothing wrong with your arithmetic skills! Thinking outside the box made The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society a double album, because Ray Davies was armed to the teeth with many great songs at this time. After all, a 2LP is not far-fetched.

According to Wikipedia, The Kinks had hoped to release it as a two-record set with 20 tracks in the late summer of 1968, but Pye Records rejected that plan. As a compromise they allowed a 15 track edition. (In a few countries a 12 track album was released, which is now a rarity.) The alternative The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society sticks to the 20 track formula and skips a couple of the weaker songs on the original album. It’s a coincidence that this album and The Beatles’ White Album were released on November 22. If Pye had been on its toes, The Kinks could have been the first British pop group to release a double album.

Village Green was recorded in November 1966 and first issued on a French EP in May 1967 (just like Two Sisters), but Village Green is included on the alternative album anyway. When it comes to the eight new songs, Mr. Songbird, There Is No Life Without Love, Did You See His Name?, Lincoln County, Misty Water, Pictures in the Sand, Susannah’s Still Alive and Till Death Us Do Part, the level of performance on Mr. Songbird and Till Death Us Do Part is gratifyingly high. The unreleased instrumentals, or backing tracks, Easy Come, There You Went, Spotty Grotty Anna and Mick Avory’s Underpants do not qualify.

Original UK discography, 1969

Plastic Man / King Kong [March]

Drivin’ / Mindless Child Of Motherhood (Dave Davies) [June]

Shangrila / This Man He Weeps Tonight [September]

Arthur Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire (LP) [October]
Victoria / Yes Sir, No Sir / Some Mother’s Son / Drivin’ / Brainwashed / Australia // Shangri La / Mr. Churchill Says / She Bought A Hat Like Princess Marina / Young And Innocent Days / Nothing To Say / Arthur

Victoria / Mr. Churchill Says [December]

PopDiggers’ UK discography, 1969

Kinks - Where Did My Spring Go? Where Did My Spring Go? / Creepin’ Jean (Dave Davies) [March]

The despairing Where Did My Spring Go?, uplifted by one of Ray Davies’ most captivating melodies, is simply on my All time Top 20 list of Kinks songs. Even though Ray is strolling on the dark side of Memory Lane – complaining that his physical and mental state has gone steadily downhill – it’s a shame that Where Did My Spring Go? did not receive an official release until 1973 nonetheless. Hard rocking and energetic Creepin’ Jean, with Dave on steroids, is a better effort than another heavy song from the same period, Ray’s pointless King Kong.

Shangrila / Mindless Child of Motherhood (Dave Davies) [July]

Victoria / Drivin’ [October]

Kinks - ArthurArthur Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire (LP) [October]
Victoria / Yes Sir, No Sir / Some Mother’s Son / Do You Wish To Be A Man (Dave Davies) / Brainwashed / Australia // Shangri La / Hold My Hand (Dave Davies) / This Man He Weeps Tonight / When I Turn Off The Living Room Light / Plastic Man / Arthur

New: Do You Wish To Be A Man; Hold My Hand; This Man He Weeps Tonight; When I Turn Off The Living Room Light; Plastic Man.

Omitted: Drivin’; Mr. Churchill Says; She Bought A Hat Like Princess Marina; Young And Innocent Days; Nothing To Say.

Not everyone may agree that the original album has a couple of weak tracks (Mr. Churchill Says and Nothing to Say) and a few average ones (Drivin’, She Bought a Hat Like Princess Marina, and Young and Innocent Days), but this may be due to very high expectations based on Ray Davies’ deliveries over the past five years.

But replacements with unreleased songs like Do You Wish to Be a Man (one of Dave’s best performances), This Man He Weeps Tonight (another one of Dave’s best performances) and When I Turn Off the Living Room Light (one hundred percent charm) solves this deficiency. As for Dave and Hold My Hand, you are suddenly in a state of amazement, as his laid-back and captivating ballad could just as easily have been made by The Band. Plastic Man – originally The Kinks’ first single in 1969 – is of course familiar, but not good enough to get the status as a 45.

There are also three unreleased but tedious compositions by Dave Davies that are left out (I’m Crying, Are You Ready Girl? and Mr. Shoemaker’s Daughter).

Original UK discography, 1970

Lola / Berkeley Mews [June]

Apeman / Rats [November]

Lola Versus Powerman And The Moneygoround, Part One (LP) [November]
The Contenders / Strangers / Denmark Street / Get Back In Line / Lola / Top Of The Pops / The Moneygoround // This Time Tomorrow / A Long Way From Home / Rats / Apeman / Powerman / Got To Be Free

PopDiggers’ discography, 1970

The Ballad Of The Virgin Soldiers / Groovy Movies [February]

Ray’s beautiful instrumental The Virgin Soldiers March was recorded for the movie The Virgin Soldiers. The lyrics were added later – though not by Ray – to the American folk singer Leon Bibb’s version. Imagine if … The Ballad of the Virgin Soldiers had been given a different title, some great lyrics from our hero and a different arrangement, which would have made it yet another classic. Groovy Movies, which remained unreleased until 1973, is not sensational in any way but still a decent B-side.

LolaLola / Young And Innocent Days [June]

Since the original B-side, Berkerley Mews, already has been used, Young And Innocent Days, previously omitted from Arthur or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire, will suffice as the flip.

Apeman / Rats [November]

Lola Versus Powerman And The Moneygoround, Part One (LP) [November]
Helga / Strangers / Moments / Get Back In Line / Lola / God’s Children / The Moneygoround // This Time Tomorrow / A Long Way From Home / Rats / Apeman / Powerman / Dreams

New: Helga; Moments; God’s Children; Dreams.

Omitted: The Contenders; Denmark Street; Top Of The Pops; Got To Be Free.

A few tracks on the original LP do not meet the standard (The Contenders, Denmark Street and Top of the Pops), and I’m not that impressed by Got to Be Free either.

About seven weeks before the album was released (November 27), Ray had started recording the soundtrack to Percy (released in March 1971).

Kinks - Lola Versus Powerman And The Money Ground Part OneA handful of these songs should have replaced the tracks mentioned above, but with different titles and lyrics. God’s Children is a forgotten gem and the beautiful instrumental Helga could have been even better with some interesting lyrics. Moments, which has the same impeccable arrangement as God’s Children and Helga, is really growing on you and Dreams is a decent album filler.

The bottom line is that these songs should have been included on a “real” Kinks album, instead of on a forgotten soundtrack to a dubious movie.

During the same period, Anytime and The Good Life were also recorded, but sadly they are as insignificant as the weaker tracks on the original album.

Original UK discography, 1971

Muswell Hillbillies (LP) [November]
20th Century Man / Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues / Holiday / Skin And Bone / Alcohol / Complicated Life // Here Come The People In Grey / Have A Cuppa Tea / Holloway Jail / Oklahoma U.S.A. / Uncle Son / Muswell Hillbilly

PopDiggers’ discography, 1971

Kinks - The Way Love Used To BeThe Way Love Used To Be / Just Friends [March]

One of Ray’s most affecting compositions, The Way Love Used to Be, from the soundtrack is not forgotten, but elevated to a 45! Just Friends is another track from Percy. Not one of Davies’ brightest moments, but still better than a few tracks from Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One.

Muswell Hillbilly / Lavender Lane [November]

After two top five hits on the UK singles chart, you would suspect that RCA’s marketing staff wanted to continue on the road to success by releasing another single. An edited version of 20th Century Man from the album Muswell Hillbillies was released in the US and a few other countries, but Muswell Hillbilly knocks the socks off most other contemporary songs in the country rock genre. The unreleased Lavender Lane could just as easily have been included on the upcoming album, as Ray had a bucketful of great songs around this time.

Muswell Hillbillies (LP) [November]
20th Century Man / Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues / Holiday / Skin And Bone / Alcohol / Complicated Life // Here Come The People In Grey / Have A Cuppa Tea / Holloway Jail / Oklahoma U.S.A. / Nobody’s Fool / Muswell Hillbilly

New: Nobody’s Fool.

Omitted: Uncle Son.

Being accustomed to the superiority of Ray Davies, the best is yet to come. Muswell Hillbillies could be my favourite album by Ray Davies & Co. In any case, it is certainly one of the most underrated albums.

So there’s no need to modify the track list on an album that is (almost) immaculate. Or? Since the ambition here is to create the best track list, Nobody’s Fool, which was recorded about seven weeks before Muswell Hillbillies was released, just cannot be ignored. So Uncle Son has to go, even though it’s an acceptable track.

From the same period there is also the anonymous backing track Queenie, the disharmonious Kentucky Moon and the easily forgotten Mountain Woman.

Some final words

Muswell Hillbillies serves as an end point to a golden era. Then Ray Davies began to thin out ideas that he had previously managed to present in three minutes with ingenious sharpness and insight, to theatrical performances spread over an album or two.

After Muswell Hillbillies we were still blessed with some fantastic songs, like Celluloid Heroes, Life On the Road and A Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy, plus a handful of decent albums, but the magical moments materialized less frequent than during the golden years 1964–1971.

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2 Comments

  1. I agree with many of the suggestions made but some of the omitted songs are amongst my very favourite Kinks songs eg Afternoon Tea and Uncle Son.

  2. I must vehemently disagree with your assertions:

    ‘Sitting on My Sofa’ is ANYTHING but “dreary.” I urge you listen again, at a higher volume. It’s got a great riff, a great solo (especially as I imagine Dave “windmilling” in the middle of the solo, bashing the same chord repeatedly), and Ray’s “This boy’s never had anything quite so dear” is terrific.

    Just outright dropkicking “Fancy” is a crime against humanity. SMH in disbelief. But, hey, everybody’s entitled to their opinion. I suppose…..

    And the exclusion of those tracks from ‘Something Else’ is a dastardly black mark on your already soiled character! Perhaps I am unimaginative, but I can’t imagine the album with out them. A pox on your house!!

    Your excisions from VGPS make me want to projectile vomit into your lap. How dare you? And just when I thought you might be “funning”, I find out you’re serious with your butchery of Arthur! You DO realize that there was a theme to that album, right? A “concept?” You’ve taken conception and turned it into a miscarriage!

    “Creeping Jean” would be better as the “A” side, as it might be the most overlooked classic in the pantheon of Kinks.

    But, I must say, you’ve created food for thought. A lot of work and thought went into your presentation. I appreciate reading your insights.

    ………..misguided though they may be.
    😉

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