The Kinks

Everybody's in Show-Biz - 1972

The first Kinks album on which Ray Davies dabbled in the eccentricities that began the band's spiral into vaudevillian camp, Everybody's in Show-Biz is also the last album to maintain the songwriting quality of their late '60s and early '70s LPs. Tales of domesticity and life on the road make up the majority of the first LP of this double set, and although it doesn't quite reach an Arthur... or Village Green... level in terms of a fully formed concept, the songs themselves are really tremendous. My favorites are numerous, but "Hot Potatoes" and "Here Comes Yet Another Day" are absolute classics. Having finally hit their stride as a touring act, the band devotes the second record to a compilation of live tracks - most of which are pulled from the previous year's Muswell Hillbillies album. Buoyed by a full horn section and John Gosling's keyboards, the tunes are executed incredibly well - at points even, more so than their studio counterparts - but Davies' performance as the front man fop steals the show. Sadly, "Lola" is represented here in spirit only, and includes only the crowd sing-along of the chorus. But in the end, its this combination of drunken weirdness and casual brilliance that makes the album so appealing. Not necessarily a great introduction to the Kinks, but once you’ve digested the hits, head here for dessert.

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