THE JOURNEY – PART 2
It has taken 60 years, but The Kinks seem to be getting the recognition they so rightfully deserve. Sure, they had hits in the 1960s and had a couple of popular songs in the 1980s, but in the past they were never as highly regarded as they are today. That is a shame, as The Kinks are one of the most creative, original, and at times challenging, bands of the last 60 years. This compilation (or should I say kompilation) follows on the heels of The Journey – Part One. The two albums were put together to not only celebrate 60 years of The Kinks but to resurrect some lost gems. That is the beauty of both sets, big hits sit side by side with lesser-known album cuts. A great song, like “Monica” is seldom heard by more than diehard fans who embrace the classic The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society (1969).
That is the point of this collection. The songs are not arranged. Side one of the four-sided set is subtitled ‘The World Around The Journeyman Starts To Crumble As His Life Is Turned Upside Down’. It kicks off with one of their biggest hits, “‘Til The End Of The Day” (1965), and from there many classic Kinks songs and the obscure version of the wonderful “This Time Tomorrow (Alternate Take)”. It is a beautiful song featuring emotional vocals from Ray Davies.
Side two is titled ‘The Journeyman is Led Astray By Ghosts And A Dark Angel’. This side kicks off with the massive hit, “Lola” and ends with a brand new 2023 mix of “Money Talks”. The mix is not radically different from the original 1974 version, but it does sound sharper and clearer than the original RCA mix.
Side three bears the title ‘Our Journeyman Is Seduced By These Ghosts And Demons Of The Underworld And Searches For His Lost Innocence’. It has only one hit on it, “Dedicated Follower Of Fashion” and this is set among many deep cuts, plus a 2023 mix of “Where Are They Now”, originally from Preservation Part One (1973). Again, it does not differ from the original, other than it sounds better and much brighter. It is a gem that has gone unnoticed for far too long.
Side four is ‘Despair Turns To Elation As Journeyman Overcomes His Fear. Reunites With Old Friends’. It opens with three live songs from 1975 and again, these are all 2023 mixes. Titled “New Victoria Street”, fans are treated to “Everybody’s A Star (Starmaker), “Slum Kids” and “(A) Face In The Crowd”, all of which sound great live and are well worth the price of the set. The album ends with “God’s Children”, which is one of the best songs The Kinks ever recorded. It was buried on the soundtrack for Percy and here it sound better than ever.
It is fun listening to the songs and seeing how they do fit together. The set was compiled by Ray and Dave Davies with help from other members of The Kinks. Some may be deterred because the songs are not chronological but by the end of the album it doesn’t matter. All the songs tend to flow together. It is a shame they did not tap into their 1980s and 1990s catalogue but, again, this is a small complaint. Perhaps there will be Volume Three.
The other hope for these compilations is to encourage new Kinks fans to explore their incredible catalogue. They were much more than a singles band, in fact they thrived with their albums. Ray Davies wrote and conceived several concept albums and rock operas, and they are all well worth the time to invest and listen. The Journey – Part Two, like the previous Part One, does serve as an excellent introduction to the wonderful world of The Kinks.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: THE KINKS – THE JOURNEY – PART 2