Plastic Man (song)

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"Plastic Man"
Plastic Man cover.jpg
Single by the Kinks
B-side"King Kong"
Released28 March 1969 (1969-03-28)
Format7-inch 45 rpm single
RecordedMarch 1969
StudioPye (No. 2), London
LabelPye (7N 17724)[1]
Songwriter(s)Ray Davies
Producer(s)Ray Davies
The Kinks UK singles chronology
"Plastic Man"

"Plastic Man" is a song written by Ray Davies and recorded by the Kinks in 1969.

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.[citation needed]



  1. ^ Plastic Man at, retrieved 10 March 2009.