Face to Face - Pye 1966
Especially lyrically the album is a milestone. Davies here showed over an entire album, a rare talent to portray his contemporaries, both in person and in the more socially realistic - themes which he continued to work with over the next decades.
While the group developed artistically, they were still able to continually hold a grip of the charts with songs like "Sunny Afternoon," "Dead End Street", "Dandy" (Herman's Hermits) and "House in the Country" (Pretty Things) .
Compared to its predecessor, "Kinks Kontroversy", "Face to Face" is musically a much more complex album, where many different genres are touched upon. The songs are generally more melodic and the original raw sound is only in glimpses prevalent - songs like "You're Looking Fine", "Party Line" and "She's Got Everythingthing (b-side), however, could well have been" Kontroversy "songs.
The album contains several of Davies' both funny and sensitive character sketches. "Session Man" and "Dandy" fall under the more satirical section, while "Little Miss Queen of Darkness" shows Davies' more sensitive side - a very beautiful song.
Contemporary social realism is explored in "Most Exclusive Residence For Sale", "Holiday in Waikiki", "House In The Country", and of course "Sunny Afternoon" and "Dead End Street."
A very personal song is the beautiful "Rosy Won't You Please Come Home," written to Ray's sister Rosy. In "Fancy" the Kinks again ('See My Friends ")experiment with the oriental sounds and harmonies.
Among the bonus tracks are contemporary single tracks, several of which have previously been difficult to find. Here you'll find gems like "This Is Where I Belong" and "Big Black Smoke" - both in stereo and mono. Interesting that the stereo version of "This Is Where I Belong" has both count-in and a longer fade-out.
There are also interesting, alternative versions of the album's songs. Eg. "Fancy" with a very long fade-out.
Both stereo and mono versions of the album sound perfect. This must be the ultimate release of this timeless album.