The Kinks, Misfits

Chris Hunt

By Chris Hunt

on 04.22.11 in Reviews


The Kinks
The King of Rock’n’Roll: dead, Father Christmas: robbed by hoodlums. What in the…?

The second Kinks rock album aimed primarily at the US market, Misfits was recorded against a backdrop of disharmony, as Ray Davies drove his disillusioned band through countless retakes to achieve the sound he wanted. It is possible that he might have sucked much of the life out of their performances, but like all Kinks albums there are gems to be found (the title track is one). Although Davies was not a great Elvis fan, it was the news of Presley's death that kickstarted the writing process of the album's pivotal moment, "Rock'n'Roll Fantasy," which proclaimed "The King is dead, rock is done/ You might be through but I've just begun." Issued as a single, it gave the Kinks their first US Top 30 hit since "Lola" eight years earlier. The delightfully ironic single "Father Christmas" features on the reissue as a bonus track, where Davies has Santa confronted by street hoodlums: "We want your bread so don't make us annoyed/ Give all the toys to the little rich boys."