The Kinks – Something Else – Our Shootout Winner from 2009

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Something Else

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

This Original Reprise Tri-Color Steamboat Label pressing is one of the best sounding Kinks records we’ve ever had the pleasure of playing here at Better Records. It sounds nothing like the typically dull and smeary domestic Kinks LPs we are used to hearing. The overall sound is lively, musical, and natural. Drop the needle on No Return for wonderful sound and music — it’s got a bit of a Jobim vibe. 

After dropping the needle on a wonderful sounding copy a few months back, we started pursuing these in the hopes of getting a proper shootout together. It didn’t happen easily or inexpensively — clean looking copies of this one go for as much as $50 in the local bins, and that’s obviously with no guarantee of good sound or quiet vinyl. We found a few good ones and a few stinkers, but this copy went beyond our expectations. It’s got punchy bass, great energy, and real texture to everything. Most copies tend to be too smooth and veiled, but this one passed our tests with flying colors.

Play David Watts or No Return on side one for the best sound, and Afternoon Tea or Waterloo Sunset on side two for the same.

Some tracks sound better than others, but for the most part this thing sounds Right On The Money. I don’t think you’ll be able to find a better sounding Kinks record without going through a bunch of different copies — and they don’t come cheap, no matter where you shop!

Make sure to read the insightful 5 Star AMG review — they really nail this one!

TRACK LISTING

Side One

David Watts 
Death of a Clown
Two Sisters 
No Return 
Harry Rag 
Tin Soldier Man 
Situation Vacant

Side Two

Love Me Till the Sun Shines
Lazy Old Sun 
Afternoon Tea 
Funny Face 
End of the Season
Waterloo Sunset

AMG 5 Star Rave Review

Face to Face was a remarkable record, but its follow-up, Something Else, expands its accomplishments, offering 13 classic British pop songs. As Ray Davies’ songwriting becomes more refined, he becomes more nostalgic and sentimental, retreating from the psychedelic and mod posturings that had dominated the rock world. Indeed, Something Else sounds like nothing else from 1967. The Kinks never rock very hard on the album, preferring acoustic ballads, music hall numbers, and tempered R&B to full-out guitar attacks.

Part of the album’s power lies in its calm music, since it provides an elegant support for Davies’ character portraits and vignettes. From the martial stomp of “David Watts” to the lovely, shimmering “Waterloo Sunset,” there’s not a weak song on the record, and several — such as the allegorical “Two Sisters,” the Noël Coward-esque “End of the Season,” the rolling “Lazy Old Sun,” and the wry “Situation Vacant” — are stunners. And just as impressive is the emergence of Dave Davies as a songwriter. His Dylanesque “Death of a Clown” and bluesy rocker “Love Me Till the Sun Shines” hold their own against Ray’s masterpieces, and help make Something Else the endlessly fascinating album that it is.