by Mott the Dog
re-mastered by Ella Crew
In 1979 The Kinks came back ... again.
After finding success in 1964 with their chart topping hit
single “You Really Got Me”, which gave them the template for a stream of hit
singles from the mighty pen of Ray Davies, elder brother of Dave Davies, who’s
guitar style changed the whole face of Rock ‘n’ Roll music with his what
were to become known as Heavy Metal riffs.
From 1964 - 1967, The Kinks had twelve consecutive top ten
hits in the U.K. with three number one’s including “Tired of Waiting” and
the immortal “Sunny Afternoon”. Amazingly, “Waterloo Sunset” only got to
number two, a travesty of justice. During this period The Kinks were considered
one of the top contenders, and were always this Dog’s favorite. The Beatles
always seemed a little too managed to be the real thing, and The Stones sounded
like they wanted to come from Detroit not Dartford, where they did come from.
The Kinks loved coming from England, acted like it, and sung about it.
somehow in 1967 the hits just dried up and the British press kicked over the
bones, pronouncing The Kinks dead.
In 1970 out of nowhere they came up with “Lola”, a top
ten hit all over Europe and the States. Probably only one of two songs to be
about transsexuals to slip through the tough censorship rules of the British
Broadcasting Company to reach the top ten on the back of massive radio exposure.
(The other one being Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild side”.) Maybe the man in
charge of censorship just thought Lola was a nice girl with a deep brown voice,
and those nice Kink chaps were perfectly normal. Nice one, Hubert.
Following this up with more hit singles, a hit album, and
lots of goodwill through doing popular soundtrack work for trendy movies such as
the eye-wateringly topical “Percy”, about a very delicate transplant.
With their newly re-found fame the Davies Brothers packed
their band up and moved lock, stock, and barrel across to the United States of
America, where they were welcomed with open arms, and proceeded to pump up the
coffers with the Yankee dollar. But slowly the hits dried up and it was time for
a bit of a re-think. An attack on American Stadium Rock was the way the Davies
Brothers decided upon and went back into the studios with original drummer Mick
Avory and Jim Redford, bassist.
Redford, formerly with progressive rock band Argent, added a
lot of bottom end into the Kinks as well as a much-needed injection of fun and
enthusiasm. Keyboard player Gordon Edwards (ex Pretty Things) had just been
fired from the band for indulging too much in the Rock ‘n’ Roll lifestyle.
So for the purpose of these sessions Ray Davies doubled up on keyboards, but by
the time the band went back on the road a young man by the name of Ian Gibbons
(later a long time member of the Ian Hunter Band and top session player) had
taken over keyboard duties.
By that time “Low Budget” had given them their first top
ten single in nine years and a top ten album to boot.
The music was perfect, capturing the mood of the times with
Ray’s musing over his observations on life. In “A Gallon of Gas” the
singer rues over the irony now that he has fame, fortune, the requisite life
style, and most importantly a shiny new Cadillac. There is not a drop of
gasoline to power his latest acquisition. (For those of you too young to
remember, there was an oil crisis in 1979.) Even though times have changed the
music is still very relevant today as it was then.
Slip this newly re-mastered version of “Low Budget” into
your CD player and cast yourself back to a time when musicians actually had to
play their instruments and song writing was a real art. Every song is a gem with
elder brother singing with emotion in his own unique whimsical style. Dave lays
down some typically gritty Kinks Rock ‘n’ Roll guitar, whilst the rhythm
section locks tightly into the jumpin’ grooves. Filling out the sound further
is Nick Newell on saxophone on a couple of tracks.
It’s all gone a bit quiet on the Kinks front recently
again, so expect a dramatic comeback at a time zone somewhere in your region any
day now. However, in the mean time...
... go on - treat yourself - get a “Low Budget”.
Ray Davies - Guitar, Keyboards, and Lead Vocals
Dave Davies - Lead Guitar, Vocals
Mick Avery - Drums
Jim Redford - Bass, Vocals
Catch me now I’m falling
(Wish I could fly like) Superman
In a Space
little Bit of Emotion
A Gallon of Gas
A Gallon of Gas, extended version
Catch me now I’m falling, extended version
(Wish I could fly like) Superman, disco version (another sign of the times)
To contact Mott the Dog email: [email protected]