"I'm a 20th century man, but I don't want to be here," declares Ray Davies on 'Muswell Hillbillies' opening track, with a typically wry statement-of-intent. Originally released November 1971, this classic Kinks album was the follow-up to the seminal 'Lola vs Powerman' album and the first with their new label RCA.
Written and produced by Ray Davies, 'Muswell Hillbillies' was something of a departure for The Kinks, musically reflecting their fascination with America while lyrically embracing their British roots.
This new 2-CD deluxe version features 5 previously unreleased tracks, including 'Lavender Lane' and early demo 'Nobody's Fool', as well as alternative song versions and BBC sessions. All have been re-mastered from original tapes by well-known Kinks archivist Andrew Sandoval, and includes a booklet designed by award winning art director Phil Smee.
The album is a total joy and veers effortlessly from rowdy blues and boozy vaudeville to the country sound of its title track and music-hall fuelled 'Alcohol'.
'Muswell Hillbillies' ranks amongst the Kinks best, which is really saying something.
In 1971 the Kinks line-up was: Ray Davies (guitar and vocals); Dave Davies (guitar and vocals), John Gosling (keyboards), John Dalton (bass), Mick Avory (drums).
A new Ray Davies book - Americana: The Kinks, The Road and The Perfect Riff is published by Virgin Books this autumn.
Full Tracklisting for 'Muswell Hillbillies'
1. '20th Century Man'
2. 'Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues'
4. 'Skin And Bone'
6. 'Complicated Life'
7. 'Here Come The People In Gray'
8. 'Have A Cuppa Tea'
9. 'Holloway Jail'
10. 'Oklahoma U.S.A.'
11. 'Uncle Son'
12. 'Muswell Hillbilly'
1. 'Lavender Lane' (unreleased)
2. 'Mountain Woman' (unreleased)
3. 'Have A Cuppa Tea' (Alternate version)
4. 'Muswell Hillbilly' (1976 remix)
5. 'Uncle Son' (Alternate version)
6. 'Kentucky Moon' (unreleased)
7. 'Nobody's Fool' (demo - unreleased track)
8. '20th Century Man' (alternate instrumental take)
9. '20th Century Man' (1976 remix)
10. 'Queenie' (unreleased)
11. 'Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues' (BBC Peel Session)
12. 'Holiday' (BBC Peel Session)
13. 'Skin And Bone' (BBC Peel Session)