The Kinks: The Journey – Part 2: Wrapping Up a 60-Year Career Retrospective

<em>The Kinks: The Journey – Part 2:</em> Wrapping Up a 60-Year Career Retrospective

Written by Frank Doris

I’ve never made a secret of the fact that I’m a Kinks fan. I’m in good company – they’re one of the most beloved and important bands to come out of the British Invasion, and they proved to have far more longevity than most of the groups to burst from that musical supernova, as evidenced by The Kinks: The JourneyPart 2, released in celebration of their 60th anniversary.

It’s not surprising that the band has become part of the musical fabric of not just our generation, but really, of history, at this point, like the Beatles or Bob Dylan or Miles Davis. Ray Davies is, as I’ve noted time and again, one of the keenest observers of the human condition of anyone, and his witty, incisive, poignant and sometimes heartbreaking lyrics found the perfect complement in the rest of the Kinks: Mick Avory (drums, percussion), Pete Quaife (bass), and in the vastly underrated proto-punk-metal guitar work and songwriting of brother Dave Davies.


The Kinks: Ray Davies, Pete Quaife, Dave Davies, Mick Avory. Courtesy of Avalon Red.


Like the previous The Journey – Part 1 released earlier this year (see my review in Copper Issue 189), Part 2 doesn’t follow a strict chronological order; instead, the songs are grouped thematically, as noted on the LP and CD versions:

Side 1: The world around the Journeyman starts to crumble as his life is turned upside down.
Side 2: The Journeyman is led astray by ghosts and a Dark Angel.
Side 3: Our Journeyman is seduced by those ghosts and demons of the underworld and searches for his lost innocence.
Side 4: Despair turns to elation as Journeyman overcomes his fear [and] reunites with old friends.

The Journey – Part 2 offers a wealth of everything from hits (like “A Well-Respected Man,” the gender-bender classic “Lola,” and the wryly ironic “Sunny Afternoon”) to what any Kinks connoisseur would call deep classics (“See My Friends,” “Animal Farm”) to some very very deep cuts like the sublimely touching “Two Sisters” and Dave Davies’ incandescent “Susannah’s Still Alive”), and more than a few of Raymond Douglas Davies’ undisputed greatest songs. There are also six new Ray Davies mixes including three live cuts from a 1975 “New Victoria Suite”: “Everybody’s a Star,” “Slum Kids,” and “A Face in the Crowd.” Most of the tracks were remastered in 2023, with a handful redone a few years ago. (For whatever reason, Dave’s “Lincoln County” didn’t get the remastering treatment.)



It’s a fantastic selection of songs, made all the more mind-boggling by the fact that another double album’s worth of superb material isn’t here, and was already released on Part 1 (just a quick reminder: “You Really Got Me,” “Waterloo Sunset,” “Do You Remember Walter?,” “Celluloid Heroes” and Shangri-La” among them). Not every song on the collection works for me – “Artificial Man,”  “Everybody’s a Star” and a couple of others don’t float my boat – but yeah, you kind of need to get both albums, (especially if you’re a vinyl enthusiast), after which you’ll have a wonderful Kinks collection at hand.

It’s pretty much impossible to pick the songs that are the Kinks’ greatest, but there’s no denying that three of the songs on The Journey – Part 2 are very high in the running: “This Time Tomorrow,” here presented in an alternate take (!) and perhaps the only two songs that could possibly close this anthology series: the magnificent, larger than life “Big Sky,” and “God’s Children,” a song about the perils of technology robbing us of our humanity that sounds more relevant today than ever.

Like The Journey – Part 1, the audio restoration for The Journey – Part 2 was done by Andrew Sandoval at Beatland Tours, and the analog mastering for the vinyl and lacquer cuts was performed by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio. Again, I’m sure some remastering and tweaking was done to keep a degree of sonic consistency, especially in the EQ. Keeping things in perspective – some of these recordings are raw, almost primitive, and they’re rough-sounding. Don’t expect “audiophile” sound quality. This isn’t Shelby Lynne’s Just A Little Lovin’ or Kraftwerk’s The Catalogue 3D. That said, these Kinks cuts are the sound of a fondly-remembered bygone era, an actual sound that no one will ever produce again.

Out of 27 cuts, 12 are in the original mono. I listened to both the Qobuz 24/48 hi-res stream and the 2-LP vinyl version.

The vinyl and CD versions come with a booklet with track information, lots of very cool photos, and quotes by Ray Davies, Dave Davies, and Mick Avory. I wasn’t able to get an interview, but their comments about the songs are in the booklet, and offer a lot of first-person insight into the songs. Here’s a sampling:

“This Time Tomorrow”

Ray: “Written on a long-haul flight. After a while you have no idea where the jet is taking you, so you just take the boarding pass you are given, get on the plane and hope it’s going somewhere nice.”


Dave: “There are many stories about ‘Lola’ but I tend to use the one where our manager Robert met someone at a nightclub, and the rest is history.”

“Sunny Afternoon”

Ray: “Attempting to get off the treadmill!”

Dave: “One of Ray’s gems. A special time and a special song for the Kinks. ‘Sunny Afternoon’ knocked the Beatles off number one and England won the World Cup!”

“Two Sisters”

Dave: “I’ve always liked this. It seems like it could be about our sisters but there’s an undercurrent that it’s about me and Ray.”

“Dedicated Follower of Fashion”

Ray: “That’s dedicated, not medicated.”

Mick: “The only Kinks song I know all the words to. This song brings back lots of memories of the Carnaby Street days. We used to shop there and follow some of the trends and see some of the other bands wandering around.”

“Big Sky”

Ray: “About finding inner strength.”

“God’s Children”

Dave: “A very beautiful song. One of Ray’s masterpieces.”

Ray: “A fresh start in a new world.”



The Kinks: The Journey – Part 2 track listing:

Till The End Of The Day (1965)
Preservation (1974)
David Watts (1967)
This Time Tomorrow (Alternate Take, 2020 Mix) (1970)
A Well Respected Man (1965)
Monica (1968)
Scrapheap City (1974)
Lola (1970)
Sunny Afternoon (1966)
Animal Farm (1968)
Creeping Jean (1969)
Two Sisters (1967)
See My Friends (1965)
Money Talks (2023 Mix) (1974)
Rainy Day In June (1966)
Dedicated Follower Of Fashion (1966)
Where Are They Now? (2023 Mix) (1973)
Wicked Annabella (1968)
Susannah's Still Alive (1967)
20th Century Man (1971)
Sitting By The Riverside (1968)
New Victoria Suite - Everybody's A Star (Starmaker) (Live, 2023 Mix) (1975)
New Victoria Suite - Slum Kids (Live, 2023 Mix) (1975)
New Victoria Suite - (A) Face In The Crowd (Live, 2023 Mix) (1975)
Holiday Romance (1975)
Big Sky (1968)
God's Children (1971)

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