Face to Face (The Kinks album)

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Face to Face
Studio album by The Kinks
Released 28 October 1966
Recorded 23 October 1965 – 21 June 1966 at Pye Studios, London
Genre Baroque pop, pop rock
Length 38:31
Label Pye
Producer Shel Talmy
The Kinks chronology
The Kink Kontroversy
(1965)
Face to Face
(1966)
Something Else by The Kinks
(1967)
Singles from Face to Face
  1. "Sunny Afternoon"
    Released: 3 June 1966 (UK), July 1966 (US)
  2. "Dandy/Party Line"
    Released: October 1966 (Europe)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[1]
Blender 4/5 stars[citation needed]
Rolling Stone 5/5 stars[2]

Face to Face is the fourth studio album by English rock band The Kinks, released on 28 October 1966 through Pye Records. With this album, the band moved away from the hard-driving beat music style of 1964/65, which had catapulted them to international stardom. It was the first Kinks album consisting entirely of Ray Davies compositions.

Background[edit]

Ray Davies suffered a nervous breakdown just prior to the major recording sessions for the album.[citation needed] The new style of writing began gradually the previous year with compositions such as "A Well Respected Man" and "Dedicated Follower of Fashion" and in May 1966 with the hit single "Sunny Afternoon", which reached #1 in the UK. This song's great popularity proved to Ray and the Kinks' managers that the group could find success with this style of songwriting.[citation needed] The new album would follow this pattern, as would the group's recorded output for the next five years. The 1966–71 period inaugurated by this album would later be called Ray's and the Kinks' "golden age".[citation needed]

Rock historians[citation needed] have credited the album as arguably one of the first rock and roll concept albums, with the loose common theme of social observation. In the album's original inception, Ray attempted to bridge the songs together with sound effects, but was forced to revert to the more standard album format by Pye Records before the album's release.[citation needed] Some effects remain such as in "Party Line", "Holiday in Waikiki", "Rainy Day in June" and on songs not included in the final album ("End of the Season", "Big Black Smoke").[citation needed]

Recording[edit]

"I'll Remember" was the earliest track on the album, having been recorded in October 1965 during sessions for The Kink Kontroversy.[citation needed] Two other songs recorded during the Face to Face sessions – "This Is Where I Belong" and "She's Got Everything" – were eventually released as B-sides to singles released in 1967 and 1968, respectively.[citation needed] Both songs eventually appeared on the 1972 US compilation album The Kink Kronikles.

Pete Quaife had temporarily quit the band before the June–July 1966 recording sessions, and his replacement John Dalton can be confirmed playing only on the track "Little Miss Queen of Darkness".

Two songs on Face to Face, although written by Ray, were originally recorded and released by other British bands in the months prior to the release of this album.[citation needed] The Pretty Things had a minor UK hit in July 1966 with "A House in the Country", which peaked at #50; their final entry on the singles charts.[citation needed] Herman's Hermits, meanwhile, took their version of "Dandy" top ten in several countries (including #5 in the US and #1 in Canada), beginning in September 1966.[citation needed] The Rockin' Vickers also recorded a version of "Dandy" which they released as a single in December 1966 in both the UK and the US. They recorded another Ray Davies composition, "Little Rosy", that was never recorded by The Kinks.[3]

Contractual issues held up the release of the album for several months after final recording,[citation needed] and Ray was also in conflict with Pye over the final album cover art, whose psychedelic theme he later felt was inappropriate.[citation needed]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Ray Davies (Dave Davies claims to have written "Party Line" in his autobiography Kink).

Side one[edit]

  1. "Party Line" – 2:35
  2. "Rosie Won't You Please Come Home" – 2:34
  3. "Dandy" – 2:12
  4. "Too Much on My Mind" – 2:28
  5. "Session Man" – 2:14
  6. "Rainy Day in June" – 3:10
  7. "A House in the Country" – 3:03

Side two[edit]

  1. "Holiday in Waikiki" – 2:52
  2. "Most Exclusive Residence for Sale" – 2:48
  3. "Fancy" – 2:30
  4. "Little Miss Queen of Darkness" – 3:16
  5. "You're Lookin' Fine" – 2:46
  6. "Sunny Afternoon" – 3:36
  7. "I'll Remember" – 2:27
Note: The original UK CD release of the album reverses the two sides.

Release[edit]

The album was released in a particularly tumultuous year for the band, with personnel problems (Pete Quaife was injured; he resigned and later rejoined the band), legal and contractual battles and an ongoing hectic touring schedule.[citation needed] The album was critically well received,[citation needed] but did not sell particularly well at the time of its release (especially in the United States), and was out of print for many years.[citation needed]

Reissues since 1998 have included bonus tracks of songs released contemporaneously as singles (most notably "Dead End Street") as well as two unreleased tracks.[citation needed]

Unreleased songs[edit]

"Mr. Reporter" was recorded in 1969 for Dave Davies' aborted solo album and was released as a bonus track on the 1998 Castle CD reissue of Face to Face. An earlier version featuring Ray Davies on lead vocals was recorded in February 1966 and was apparently intended for this album or an unissued EP. The scathing track satires the pop press, and was probably shelved to prevent offending music journalists who had been crucial to the Kinks' commercial success. Other unreleased songs from the Face to Face sessions reportedly include "Fallen Idol", about the rise and fall of a pop star, "Everybody Wants to Be a Personality", about celebrities, "Lilacs and Daffodils" (AKA "Sir Jasper"), which is reportedly about a schoolteacher (and is the only Kinks track with vocals by Mick Avory) and "A Girl Who Goes to Discotheques". It is unclear whether any of the unreleased tracks will ever be released officially. Dave indicated they were never satisfactorily completed for release and some were later reworked into different songs such as "Yes Man", another song from these sessions which was an early version of "Plastic Man".

Personnel[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine (1966-10-28). "Face to Face - The Kinks | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-06-13. 
  2. ^ "The Kinks: Album Guide | Rolling Stone Music". rollingstone.com. Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
  3. ^ "The Rockin Vicars – Little Rosy – YouTube". YouTube. 20 August 2009. Retrieved 25 October 2012. 

External links[edit]