The Kinks have been one of my musical passions since I was a kid. I’ve been meaning to do a Kinks cover for this feature but, on the whole, most of their LP covers aren’t all that great. I picked Muswell Hillbilliesbecause it’s one of their best LPs plus I madea point of having a pint at the Archway Tavern the first time I was in the UK. It wasn’t as easy to track something down in the days before the google but I found it.
As an album, Muswell Hillbillies is brilliantly sequenced, and tells the tale of how Ray and Dave’s neighborhood was gentrified within an inch of its life. A story that is just as relevant today as it was when the LP was released in 1971. The music is a skewed tribute to Americana with touches of trad jazz, rockabilly, blues, tin pan alley, and country and westen. The title track has one of the greatest opening couplets in rock and roll history:
Well, I said goodbye to Rosie Rooke this morning,
I’m gonna miss her bloodshot alcoholic eyes,
She wore her Sunday hat so she’d impress me,
I’m gonna carry her memory ’til the day I die
I couldn’t find high quality scans of the LP, gatefold and all, and my own copy is in a box in one of our closets so these will have to do:
Here’s the whole damn album via the YouTube with 2 bonus tracks at the end: