Plastic Man (song)
|Single by the Kinks|
|Released||28 March 1969|
|Format||7-inch 45 rpm single|
|Studio||Pye (No. 2), London|
|Label||Pye (7N 17724)|
|The Kinks UK singles chronology|
The song is in a similar style to earlier tracks such as "Dedicated Follower of Fashion". It was written and recorded specifically as an attempt at a hit single, released only days after being recorded. The previous year had been commercially disastrous for The Kinks. Their two singles had failed to reach the top 10 in the UK and failed to chart at all in the US. The album The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society had also failed to chart in both the UK and US.
The plan for a hit backfired when the use of the word 'bum' (in the line "...plastic legs that reach up to his plastic bum") meant that the BBC refused to play the song. The single only managed to reach #31 in the UK and the following two Kinks singles failed to chart altogether.
The single was not released in the US and, although B-side "King Kong" was included on the Kink Kronikles compilation in 1972, "Plastic Man" was left off, only being released in the US on The Great Lost Kinks Album in 1973.
Both sides of the single (as well as a stereo version of the A-side) are included as bonus tracks on the CD reissue of Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire). In 2004, the B-side appeared on the 3-disc Deluxe Edition of The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society, while in 2011, both the mono and stereo mixes of the A-side appeared on the Deluxe Edition of Arthur.
Both sides of the single were the final songs to be recorded with founding bassist Pete Quaife and therefore is the last recorded single with the original Kinks line-up, although many Quaife-era Kinks songs have been released since his departure. Shortly after the release of the single, Quaife quit the group and was replaced with John Dalton, who had substituted for Quaife from June-October 1966 when Quaife was injured in a car accident. Quaife stated in 1998 that "Plastic Man" was his least favourite song that he recorded with The Kinks.
- Ray Davies - acoustic guitar, lead vocal, backing vocals
- Dave Davies - lead guitar, harmony vocal, backing vocals
- Pete Quaife - bass guitar, backing vocals, falsetto vocal
- Mick Avory - drums
- Plastic Man at kinks.it.rit.edu, retrieved 10 March 2009.