What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that despite the band name, selected no doubt for its shock value as sexual innuendo back in the day, The Kinks rarely delved into problematical content. About as strange as it gets is the famous "Lola," about the innocent narrator's encounter with a transvestite in a London bar in his youth, and how neither one of them is sorry about it. The band's early, British-invasion songs blended power pop and social commentary, and influenced generations of bands to come. This collection (which includes live versions of "Lola" and The Kinks' first hit, "You Really Got Me") is drawn from The Kinks' later period and balances sentimental ballads, nostalgia for the past, and biting satire of the many economic and political ills of the era, as seen by founder Ray Davies.
What's the story?
COME DANCING captures Kinks frontman Ray Davies in classic form, confronting the '70s and '80s with his trademark mixture of bitter satire, social commentary, and sweet sentiment. You won't find so much of the simpler pop of their British Invasion days (collections of which are currently rather hard to come by, except as imports); instead, you'll find the complex message of the narrator who gets a job as a department store Santa, is promptly mugged for his money, and exhorts his listeners to remember the less fortunate at Christmastime.
Is it any good?
If you're looking for their early-period material, this is not the collection for you. But you'll find Ray Davies' radical, misfit sensibility that things just have to be better than this, unleashed on an era that richly deserved it. The songs range from sentimental nostalgia to snarky social satire, set to catchy tunes that often became instant hits.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the bad economy of the '70s and its similarities to today's troubles. Do "A Gallon of Gas" and "Low Budget" still seem relevant? Do you still have to be Superman to survive?
Why do you think the past from one's childhood (as seen in "Come Dancing," for example) tends to inspire such nostalgia?
In "Catch Me Now I'm Falling" the United States has always come to the aid of other countries and now needs a bit of help itself. Does that match today's reality?