Face To Face (studio album) by The Kinks
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The Kinks bestography
The best album by The Kinks is The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society which is ranked number 156 in the list of all-time albums with a total rank score of 10,458.
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Face To Face track list
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Face To Face ratings
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This album is rated in the top 1% of all albums on BestEverAlbums.com. This album has a Bayesian average rating of 80.3/100, a mean average of 79.3/100, and a trimmed mean (excluding outliers) of 80.5/100. The standard deviation for this album is 13.1.
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A smart and witty album that is ultimately let down by the instrumentation not being up to the same quality as the lyrics. This record is basically a concept album with its views on the social classes and the struggles of life. It really captures the state of Britain at the time of recording and this makes it such a joy to go back through, listen to the words and see just how far but also how little we have progressed in the nearly 60 years since this album was made. The lyrics always kept me intrigued in this record and brought me back countless times to keep exploring and relating to them. However, the instrumentation and musicianship just isn't up to the same level as on some of their later works. It feels simple, empty and a bit dull in places as it really struggles to get stuck in my head. Obviously there are a few exceptions to this but for the majority the run time it feels very lacklustre. Despite this, I am a huge fan of the extra little sound bites they added in such as the phone on Party Line and the thunder on Rainy Day In June as this was quite ahead of its time. Overall, a beautifully written album that has some of the best Kinks lyrics ever but the music itself leaves a lot to be desired.
Underrated. Should be on the same level as Lola and Something else. Party Line, Sunny Afternoon and Rosie are all great songs. A bit more boring near the end, but still a fun album to enjoy
I typically don't enjoy The Kinks music as much as other people, but I need to admit that on this, there are some great tracks and nice melodies, but they will be better with time.
Ray Davies said in a 1966 interview that The Beatles Revolver album (also released 1966) was shit 🤣 what a fuckin asshole. This album is whimsical British mid 60s trash. Some songs are decent
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One of the best albums of all time, the quality of the songs is just sublime... so far ahead of most 1966 albums. The Kinks actually had something to say here unlike 99% of their peers. Middle class life in England and the gap between rich and poor (A House In The Country, Sunny Afternoon), running away from home (Rosie Wont You Please Come Home), the opener song from this album deals with anonymity (Party Line) which is well ahead of its time. Look at where we are now, nobody knows you on the internet, just like the lyrics of Party Line predicted. "Is she big, is she small, is she a she at all" (preceding Lola, their biggest hit, a song about a transexual). The two songs Dandy and Fancy are about polygamy (Fancy: the music playing being an imitation of indian music - a novelty at the time, music and lyrics are from connected from that stand point, Dandy is a music hall style song of 2 minutes about Dave Davies and "that 2 girls are too many, 3 is a crowd and 4 you're dead"). The songs are connected through a certain theme, that being society in England and how it actually is, instead of what Ray Davies projects a fantasy of England (see: Village Green Preservation Society). Holiday In Waikiki is about winning a ticket to Hawaii, thus temporarily escaping the mundane middle class life and enjoying one self), Most Exclusive Residence For Sale is about the same guy who had a "House In The Country" who now loses his private property and has to pay off a mortgage (big problem in the 50s and 60s and after for that social class, the protagonist now being part of the middle class)
You don't have to read so much into the lyrics as all of this is really obvious.
Too Much On My Mind is about a mental breakdown that Ray Davies had earlier in 1966 (kind of reminds me of the many personal songs he wrote around that time, see: Two Sisters from another great album, Something Else).
I'll Remember and You're Looking Fine don't really fit in all that much like the 12 masterpieces on this album but they are alright, just average rock songs from 1966, nothing special, not too bad either, I certainly prefer them to a lot of songs featured in the album before this.
Rainy Day In June is a very atmospheric, unqiue song, using sound effects in a way not many other rock / pop bands did before (The Beatles and the Beach Boys did use sound effects too, the Kinks used them for multiple songs on the same album: Party Line, Holiday In Waikiki, Rainy Day In June. They also used effects for a single like the Beatles and Beach Boys did, Yellow Submarine, Caroline No, that Kinks single being Big Black Smoke)
All in all, I think Face To Face deserves to be so highly rated, being around the 890s in the overall ranking. Personally, I think it should be at least in the top 3 of 1966, but 8th place in 1966 isn't that bad. Evidently, more than enough people know about it, the instrumentation might be the reason why it's not as highly ranked in the Kinks discography like Arthur, Lola vs Powerman or even Something Else. All these albums have in common that the instrument playing is more enjoyable to the average listener and while Face To Face has good riffs and great basslines, the band who made it added more instruments for the following four albums and made the songs a bit deeper (not in a lyrical sense). In a way, Face To Face was the last garage rock album but at the same time the first operetta type concept album the Kinks did.
Best tracks: Too Much on My Mind, Most Exclusive Residence for Sale, Fancy, Sunny Afternoon
Worst tracks: Party Line, Session Man, You're Lookin' Fine
More advanced musicianship and intricate song writing compared to their earlier, garage rock style albums. There are still great guitar riffs throughout the album, but they are couched in more lush compositions that would foreshadow the grandoise concept albums they'd put out in the late 60s and 70s with varying degrees of success. I'm of the belief that The Kinks singles collections often surpass their albums (which is not my normal style), but this is the one I'd grab if you told me to pick one Kinks album for my collection.
Another big improvement over the last album, just like Kontroversy was over the ones before it.
Sunny Afternoon and Rosy Won't You Please Come Home are exceptional songs by any standard.
Their first great album
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