The Kinks – Misfits

More of The Kinks

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  • With seriously good Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it on both sides, this was one of the better copies we heard in our recent Misfits shootout
  • Quite a bit richer and tubier than most of what we auditioned, qualities that helped the acoustic-guitar-based tracks work their magic 
  • The big hit here was Rock and Roll Fantasy and it sounds every bit as good as you hope it would
  • 4 1/2 stars: “The Kinks became arena rockers with Sleepwalker, and its follow-up, Misfits, follows in the same vein, but it’s a considerable improvement on its predecessor…Misfits is a moving record that manages to convey deep emotions while rocking hard. The Kinks hadn’t made a record this good since Muswell Hillbillies.”

What excellent sides such as these have to offer is not hard to hear:

  • Bigger, more immediate staging in a large acoustic space
  • More Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1978
  • Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the good weight down low
  • Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the instruments having the correct timbre
  • Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional space of the studio

No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is of course the only way to hear all of the above.

Standard Operating Procedures

What are the criteria by which a record like this should be judged? Pretty much the ones we discuss in most of our Hot Stamper listings: energy, vocal presence, frequency extension (on both ends), transparency, harmonic textures (freedom from smear is key), rhythmic drive, tonal correctness, fullness, richness, and so on down through the list.

When we can get all, or most all, of the qualities above to come together on any given side we provisionally award it a grade of “contender.” Once we’ve been through all our copies on one side we then play the best of the best against each other and arrive at a winner for that side. Repeat the process for the other side and the shootout is officially over. All that’s left is to see how the sides matched up.

It may not be rocket science, but it is a science of a kind, one with strict protocols that we’ve developed over the course of many years to ensure the results we arrive at are as accurate as we can make them.

The result of all our work speaks for itself, on this very record in fact. We guarantee you have never heard this music sound better than it does on our Hot Stamper pressing — or your money back.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Misfits
Hay Fever  
Live Life
Rock ‘N’ Roll Fantasy
In A Foreign Land

Side Two

Permanent Waves
Black Messiah
Out Of The Wardrobe
Trust Your Heart
Get Up

AMG 4 1/2 Star Review

The Kinks became arena rockers with Sleepwalker, and its follow-up, Misfits, follows in the same vein, but it’s a considerable improvement on its predecessor. Ray Davies has learned how to write within the confines of the arena rock formula, and Misfits is one of rock & roll’s great mid-life crisis albums, finding Davies considering whether he should even go on performing.

“Misfits,” a classic outsider rallying cry, and “Rock and Roll Fantasy” provide the two touchstones for the album — Davies admits that he and the Kinks will never be embraced by the rock & roll mainstream, but after Elvis’ death, he’s not even sure if rock & roll is something for mature adults to do. Over the course of Misfits, he finds answers to the question, both in his lyrics and through the band’s muscular music. Eventually, he discovers that it is worth his time, but the search itself is superbly affecting

Although Ray would return to camp on their next album, Misfits is a moving record that manages to convey deep emotions while rocking hard. The Kinks hadn’t made a record this good since Muswell Hillbillies.