26 September 2023

Muswell Hillbillies / Everybody’s in Show Biz – Everybody’s A Star

Start the conversation

Reviewed by Ian Phillips.

By The Kinks, BMG 2022.

The Kinks rate as one of my all-time favourite bands.

Over the years I have used their music in a number of plays because nothing captures the mood of working-class England and the 1960s-1970s era better than Ray Davies’ songs.

Check out Dead End Street and Shangri-La. Outstanding!

Not only is his writing superb but musically he combines sixties English pop/rock with elements of folk, baroque, and vaudeville, tapping into the rich musical heritage of his homeland.

My favourite albums range from the period where the band moved from writing and recording pop hits, such as You Really Got Me and All Day And All Of The Night, to developing albums that were thematically consistent, such asThe Village Green Preservation Society,Arthur (or The Decline and Fall of the British Empire), and Muswell Hillbillies.

This change in direction coincided with a move from the Pye label to RCA Records and it allowed Ray Davies to produce bodies of work that were detailed and ambitious in their scope and not reliant on ‘hit’ singles.

Actually, the move was presaged by Pye records response to the Village Green record which they didn’t see as containing hits.

Their lack of vision cost them dearly as the Kinks went on to produce the biggest selling albums of their career.

Of course, such is the brilliance of Ray’s writing that invariably the albums contained songs that were ideal singles and suitably radio friendly.

The title track from Village Green Preservation Society andLast of The Steam-Powered Trains and Victoria and Shangri-La from Arthur are perfect examples.

Muswell Hillbillies and Everybody’s in Show Biz Everybody’s A Star are fantastic albums and these re-issues are destined to become fan favourites.

The two albums come in a substantial box set that includes all formats.

The full box contents includes six LPs; four CDs; 1x Blu-Ray Video; one Deluxe 52-page Hardback book; an A2 size Kinks London Roots map; Printed memorabilia; a Kinks badge; an exclusive D2C 7” single ( Supersonic Rocket Ship/20th Century Man); plus bonus tracks and previously unreleased recordings.

The package is available from the Kinks site – www.thekinks.info

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.