Originally Posted by evollove
Low Budget (1979)
Give the People What They Want (1981)
State of Confusion (1983)
Word of Mouth (1984)
Good bad albums, or bad good albums? The guitars sound cool for the most part, and Davies' lyrics remain Davies-esque (a very good thing). But after all, during this period they did add a fifth member to play the "synth." The 80s were harsh, but these albums could've sucked a lot more than they do. And they beat the crap out of Dylan's output of the time, or the Stones, or McCartney, etc.
The Kinks... The Davies bros. in general, and especially Ray, have always been the runt of the litter. I don't know why, because their music was so diverse and so bold during that golden era between their debut and Lola Vs. Powerman.. An incredible run of albums that more than kept pace with what the Beatles, Stones and Who were doing at the time.
But the general consensus is that they started sucking after the switch to RCA, and I can't really argue that those were weird times, but I still find moments to enjoy on Preservation Act 1 & 2.
But if you skip ahead, Sleepwalker really is an interesting and bizarre album. And their work in the 80's was indeed superior to that of the Stones, and Dylan.
Davies was a perennial outcast, always misunderstood. The Kinks as a band were always a few mental steps ahead of the populist rock n' roll world. Albums like Village Green Preservation Society and Arthur were far too subtle and quirky and eccentric for American audiences in the '60s. But looking back they were really something. "Victoria" is one of the best songs of the '60s. But how do you expect the American youth culture in 1968/9 to be able to relate to it, or any of their quintessentially British concept pieces?
Kinks > pretty much everything.