Muswell Hillbillies

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
How did the Kinks respond to the fresh start afforded by Lola? By delivering a skewed, distinctly British, cabaret take on Americana, all pinned down by Ray Davies' loose autobiography and intense yearning to be anywhere else but here -- or, as he says on the opening track, "I'm a 20th century man, but I don't want to be here." Unlike its predecessors, Muswell Hillbillies doesn't overtly seem like a concept album -- there are no stories as there are on Lola -- but each song undoubtedly shares a similar theme, namely the lives of the working class. Cleverly, the music is a blend of American and British roots music, veering from rowdy blues to boozy vaudeville. ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
How did the Kinks respond to the fresh start afforded by Lola? By delivering a skewed, distinctly British, cabaret take on Americana, all pinned down by Ray Davies' loose autobiography and intense yearning to be anywhere else but here -- or, as he says on the opening track, "I'm a 20th century man, but I don't want to be here." Unlike its predecessors, Muswell Hillbillies doesn't overtly seem like a concept album -- there are no stories as there are on Lola -- but each song undoubtedly shares a similar theme, namely the lives of the working class. Cleverly, the music is a blend of American and British roots music, veering from rowdy blues to boozy vaudeville. There's as much good humor in the performances as there are in Davies' songs, which are among his savviest and funniest. They're also quite affectionate, a fact underpinned by the heartbreaking "Oklahoma U.S.A.," one of the starkest numbers Davies ever penned, seeming all the sadder surrounded by the careening country-rock and music hall. That's the key to Muswell Hillbillies -- it mirrors the messy flow of life itself, rolling from love letters and laments to jokes and family reunions. Throughout it all, Davies' songwriting is at a peak, as are the Kinks themselves. There are a lot of subtle shifts in mood and genre on the album, and the band pulls it off effortlessly and joyously -- but it's hard not to hear Dave Davies' backing vocals and have it not sound joyous. Regardless of its commercial fate, Muswell Hillbillies stands as one of the Kinks' best albums.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/16/2008
  • Label: Velvel Records
  • UPC: 634677982316
  • Catalog Number: 79823

Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Kinks Primary Artist
Dave Davies Guitar, Harmonica, Keyboards, Vocals, Slide Guitar
Ray Davies Guitar, Piano, Vocals
Mick Avory Drums
John Beecham Trombone, Tuba
Michael Cotton Trumpet
John Dalton Bass
John Gosling Organ, Keyboards
Alan Holmes Clarinet
Mike Cotton Trumpet
The Mike Cotton Sound Brass
Michael Avery Drums
Technical Credits
Ray Davies Composer, Producer
Mike Bobak Engineer
Doug Hinman Contribution
Roger Quested Engineer
Alan Silverman Mastering
Roger Questeo Engineer
Peter Doggett Liner Notes
Bill Crowley Reissue Producer
Klaus Schmalenbach Contribution
Albert Pinheiro Engineer
Ryan Tully Engineer
Dawn Frank Engineer
Graham Hogg Engineer
Raymond Douglas Davies Producer
Richard Edwards Engineer
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Customer Reviews

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    Posted July 21, 2009

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