The Kinks: Kinkdom (1965)

The Kinks
Reprise 6184 
Rating: ***** (Good Shit)
Fifth album, released December 1965 (US only), reached #47. 
This set was part of something we saw happening in England in 1965, bands leaving the copycat stuff to the blues purists (aka assholes) of the UK.  Meanwhile the Kinks and other groups pushed forward with pop music.  We see this with the Who’s classic debut album (also released in December ’65) and the changing sounds of the Yardbirds with their first three albums, all released in ’65 (especially the changes after they got rid of Clapton and started to focus on their original pop songs.)  Not only were the songs becoming more original, albums were beginning to be more than just homes for the hits with filler filling the rooms.  We can hear the changing times when we compare Beatles ’65 at the beginning of the year to Rubber Soul in December, or with the direction the Rolling Stones would take with Aftermath early the next year.  While some of the places these trends would take rock music should have been avoided, in 1965 change was creating more inventive music and better albums, especially in England.

While the Kinks were always more original than most British bands, this set really sees them focusing on their own songs and their own sound, what made them so interesting from the start.  The covers weren’t needed, but the entire set is enjoyable, and the strong cuts are great.  While there’s a sprinkling of social commentary in the collection, most of the songs focus on girls.  Most of the best pop songs are about girls.

A melancholy runs through several cuts, and this not only foreshadows some of their classic songs in the years to come, it’s easy to hear the influence this music had on other bands in the years and decades that followed.  This band also knew how to rock, instead of just offering watered-down versions of American R&B like too many other British Invasion bands.  The Kinks clearly came from the garage.  

The Kinks were one of the very best bands to ever come out of England, and this is one of their best albums.

Rating: ***** (Good Shit)

— winch

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