Friday, October 28, 2011

face to face

The golden age of the Kinks was ushered in with the sophisticated social commentary of this matured and assured concept album. For the first time, Ray Davies wrote all of the songs; most of which after a nervous breakdown. He took increasing solace in the the bittersweet dramas of the common folk: "I write songs about people, and I happen to feel that the suburbanite kind of person who's not much noticed is quite interesting." It was a tumultuous time for the band. During the eight months they spent recording 'Face to Face', Pete Quaife left the band after a car accident and was replaced by John Dalton; but Quaife returned to play on most of the album. Shel Talmy produced the album at Pye Studios in London. Executives had their doubts about the new musical direction; but after the massive success of 'Sunny Afternoon' during the summer, they couldn't deny the potential. The album peaked at number twelve; but only made it to one hundred and thirty six in the US.

'Rosie Won't You Please Come Home' was inspired by Ray's sister, who lived in Australia with an abusive husband.

"Rosy won’t you please come home
Mama don’t know where you’ve been
Rosy won’t you please come home
Your room’s clean and no one’s in it"

"Knockin’ on the back door,
Climbing through the window,
Hubby’s gone away,
And while the cat’s away
The mice are gonna play.
Oh, you low down dandy,dandy"

The scathing 'Session Man' features Nicky Hopkins tickling the ivories. There was an unnamed session player who contributed to the album.

"He reads the dots and plays each line,
And always finishes on time.
No overtime nor favors done.
He is a session man,
A chord progression,
A top musician.
He's not paid to think, just play."

"He don't need no sedatives To ease his troubled mind At work he is invariably Unpleasant and unkind
Why should he care If he is hated in his home? "

'Holiday in Waikiki' retains some of the studio effects that Ray wanted to use to link up all of the tracks on the album.

I won a competition in a little column in my local paper.
So I packed my bags and flew across the sea all on my local paper.
I sailed to Hawaii in the U.S.A.
I'm just an English boy who won a holiday in Waikiki.
I didn't realize it was commercialized when I unpacked my cases,
Because a genuine Hawaii ukulele cost me thirty guineas,
And even when I'm swimming I have to pay.

'Fancy' is a hypnotic raga.

"Fancy, if you believe in what I believe in,
Then we'll be the same, always.
Fancy, just look around thee
If you will fancy all the girls you see, always.
My love is like a ruby that no one can see,
Only my fancy, always.
No one can penetrate me,
They only see what's in their own fancy, always. "

face to face
full album:

All songs written and composed by Ray Davies, except where noted.

1. "Party Line" 0:00   (R.Davies - D.Davies)
2. "Rosie Won't You Please Come Home" 2:35 
3. "Dandy" 5:09 
4. "Too Much on My Mind" 7:22 
5. "Session Man" 9:50 
6. "Rainy Day in June" 12:04 
7. "A House in the Country" 15:15 
8. "Holiday in Waikiki" 18:19 
9. "Most Exclusive Residence for Sale" 21:12 
10. "Fancy" 24:01 
11. "Little Miss Queen of Darkness" 26:31 
12. "You're Lookin' Fine" 29:48 
13. "Sunny Afternoon" 32:35 
14. "I'll Remember" 36:12

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