The Kinks are going super deluxe with a joint reissue of two of the band's most significant albums. On September 9, BMG will issue a combined box celebrating The Kinks' first two albums for the RCA label: 1971's Muswell Hillbillies and 1972's Everybody's in Show-Biz / Everybody's a Star. The campaign will encompass a variety of formats including the centerpiece 6LP/4CD/1BD box plus 2CD, 1LP, 2LP, 2CD, 1CD, and digital releases.
Muswell Hillbillies, the band's ninth studio album, was named after Muswell Hill, the area of North London that Ray Davies and brother Dave once called home. Like The Kinks' classic Village Green Preservation Society before it, Muswell concerned itself with themes relevant to British life, wryly addressing working-class conditions and the changes affecting the populace. The LP touched on many of the musical styles which had fascinated Davies, from tough R&B-influenced rock and roll to country and British music hall. The Kinks - Ray on guitar and vocals, Dave on guitar and vocals, John Dalton on bass, John Gosling on piano, and Mick Avory on drums - were joined by brass section The Mike Cotton Sound, led by trumpeter Cotton. Yet despite naturally continuing themes previously explored on Kinks records, Muswell Hillbillies wasn't an auspicious debut for the band at RCA. Acclaim from publications like Rolling Stone and Stereo Review had a negligible impact on sales. The 12-song LP failed to chart at all in the United Kingdom. It fared better in the United States, reaching a peak of No. 48. The biting album opener, "20th Century Man," was released as a single in the U.S. only, backed by "Skin and Bone." Ray Davies' sharp condemnation of the modern world's ills missed the Billboard Hot 100, "bubbling under" the chart at No. 106.
RCA stood by its new signings, though. Often seen as a transitional album pointing the way towards producer-songwriter-frontman Ray Davies' more theatrical style, Everybody's in Showbiz / Everybody's a Star took its inspiration from the band's life on the road. The double album's original songs were originally intended as the soundtrack to The Colossal Shirt, an unrealized film about The Kinks' touring life. Ray used his own experiences in showbiz to inform larger commentary on the dreams of ordinary Americans vs. Hollywood's fantasies. The LP showcases the same lineup of the Davies brothers, Dalton, Gosling and Avory, joined by brass and woodwind players Mike Cotton, John Beecham and Alan Holmes (all of whom played on Muswell), and comprises both studio tracks and a live set from New York's Carnegie Hall recorded on March 2-3, 1972.
The Carnegie Hall tracks on the original LP include Kinks klassics such as "Lola" and "Brainwashed" as well as an eclectic variety of cover versions including a snippet of "Mr. Wonderful" (from the 1956 Sammy Davis Jr.-starring Broadway musical of the same name), the 1926 chart-topper "Baby Face," and "The Banana Boat Song" (best known in its rendition by Harry Belafonte).
Both Muswell Hillbillies and Everybody's in Show-Biz have been reissued and expanded numerous times in the past. The new, combined box set includes (with content descriptions provided by the label):
6 x LP
- Muswell Hillbillies 2014 gatefold deluxe 2LP remastered from newly discovered Ray Davies original master tapes, pressed on colored vinyl
- Everybody's In Show-Biz - Everybody's A Star 2016 gatefold deluxe 3LP, remastered from original master tapes, pressed on colored vinyl
- Muswell Hillbillies & Everybody's In Show-Biz: 11 new Ray Davies track remixes 1LP, bespoke new artwork, pressed on heavyweight black vinyl
4 x CD
- Muswell Hillbillies & Everybody's In Show-Biz original albums remastered in gatefold wallets, with original artwork
- 11 new Ray Davies track remixes (previously unreleased) in gatefold wallet, bespoke new artwork
- The Kinks 1971 US Tour Travel Montage (contains new Ray Davies track remixes, one of which is a previously unreleased track)
- Previously unseen, digitally restored Ray Davies 1971 home movie, narrated by Ray (15 mins long)
Deluxe Hardback book
- 52 pages on glossy art paper, extensive text with new band interview quotes, rare and unseen photos and memorabilia
The Kinks "London Roots" map
- A2 size on uncoated sepia paper stock, Kinks' North London roots map with key historical Kinks related locations, chosen by the band
- 6 x glossy Kinks photos from 1971 / 1972
- Bespoke, metal and enamel, yellow and black, Kinks RCA-era logo heavy pin-clasp badge
- Back of box, color 12" paper onsert displaying contents
(*) Those who purchase directly from The Kinks' official store will additionally receive a 7-inch single of "Supersonic Rocket Ship" b/w "20th Century Man" 1972 RCA Spanish promo single picture sleeve replica on black vinyl.
[It appears that each album in the box set has one vinyl LP of bonus tracks culled from the previous expanded editions; these are not included on CD. The new Ray Davies remixes are included on both CD and LP in the box set. Ray's new "Travelling Montage' and two more 2022 mixes are on CD only.]
Additional formats for the release are as follows:
- 1LP: Muswell Hillbillies (Album remastered from newly discovered Ray Davies original master tapes, original 1971 gatefold LP artwork replicated, black heavyweight vinyl);
- 2LP: Everybody's In Show-Biz - Everybody's A Star (Album newly remastered from original master tapes, original 1972 gatefold LP artwork replicated, black heavyweight vinyl);
- 2CD: Muswell Hillbillies & Everybody's In Show-Biz - Everybody's A Star (Both original albums remastered and combined, bonus tracks of four new Ray Davies remixes, hardback book packaging, booklet containing sleeve notes with new band quotes and rare photos);
- 1CD: Muswell Hillbillies (Original album remastered, bonus tracks of 3 new Ray Davies remixes, booklet containing sleeve notes with new band quotes and rare photos); and
- 1CD: Everybody's In Show-Biz - Everybody's A Star (Original album remastered, bonus track of new Ray Davies remix, booklet containing sleeve notes with new band quotes and rare photos).
Everybody's in Show-Biz's "Celluloid Heroes (U.S. Single Version 2022 Edit)" is now streaming everywhere to offer a taste of the upcoming collections. All formats are due on September 9 from BMG, with pre-order links active now. See below for the track listing (which was not confirmed in the original press release but is listed on Amazon and at other retail sites).
The Kinks, Muswell Hillbillies/Everybody's in Showbiz - Everybody's a Star (BMG, 2022)
6LP/4CD/1BD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
2CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
Muswell Hillbillies 2LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
Muswell Hillbillies 1CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
Everybody's in Show-Biz 2LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
Everybody's in Show-Biz 1CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
2LP - Muswell Hillbillies, 1971 original album, 2022 Remaster (Stereo):
A1. 20th Century Man
A2. Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues
A4. Skin And Bone
A6. Complicated Life
B1. Here Come The People In Grey
B2. Have A Cuppa Tea
B3. Holloway Jail
B4. Oklahoma U.S.A.
B5. Uncle Son
B6. Muswell Hillbilly
C1. Lavender Lane
C2. Mountain Woman
C3. Have A Cuppa Tea (Alternate Version)
C4. Uncle Son (Alternate Version)
C5. Kentucky Moon
C6. Nobody's Fool (Demo)
D1. Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues (BBC Peel Session)
D2. Holiday (BBC Peel Session)
D3. Skin And Bone (BBC Peel Session)
D4. 20th Century Man (Alternate Instrumental Take)
D5. Queenie (Backing Track)
D6. Muswell Hillbillies (Radio Spot)
3LP - Everybody's In Show-Biz - Everybody's A Star, 1971 original album, 2022 Remaster (Stereo)
A1. Here Comes Yet Another Day
A2. Maximum Consumption
A3. Unreal Reality
A4. Hot Potatoes
A5. Sitting In My Hotel
B2. You Don't Know My Name
B3. Supersonic Rocket Ship
B4. Look A Little On The Sunny Side
B5. Celluloid Heroes
C1. Top Of The Pops
C3. Mr. Wonderful
C4. Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues
D1. Muswell Hillbilly
D3. Banana Boat Song
D4. Skin And Bone
D5. Baby Face
E1. Til The End Of The Day (Live at Carnegie Hall, New York, 2 March 1972)
E2. You're Looking Fine (Live at Carnegie Hall, New York, 2 March 1972)
E3. Get Back In Line (Live at Carnegie Hall, New York, 3 March 1972)
E4. Have A Cuppa Tea (Live at Carnegie Hall, New York, 2 March 1972)
E5. Sunny Afternoon (Live at Carnegie Hall, New York, 2 March 1972)
F1. Complicated Life (Live at Carnegie Hall, New York, 2 March 1972)
F2. Long Tall Shorty (Live at Carnegie Hall, New York, 3 March 1972)
F3. History (Studio Outtake)
F4. Supersonic Rocket Ship (Alternate Mix)
1LP - Ray Davies Remixes:
A1. Have A Cuppa Tea
A2. 20th Century Man
A5. Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues
B1. Supersonic Rocket Ship
B2. Here Come The People In Grey
B3. Here Comes Yet Another Day
B4. Holloway Jail
B5. Sitting In My Hotel
B6. Oklahoma U.S.A.
Muswell Hillbillies original album remaster; Everybody's in Show-Biz - Everybody's a Star original album remaster; Ray Davies Remixes; and Bonus Disc (Travelling Montage/Travelling with My Band (2022 Mix)/Celluloid Heroes (2022 Mix)
Peter Rustin says
5.1 mixes? No?
Gregory Viner says
Giving first listen it’s quite a remarkable update very noticeable sound up grade especially on Holloway Jail background singers I’ve barely heard before jump out at you!
It’s a beautiful box shop around its out there fairly reasonably priced!
Have a cuppa tea so far very amazing upgrade !
David B says
interesting but very surprised that they've left off the various bonus tracks from the previous reissues .. a whole disc of them for "Everyone's in showbiz" .. so not much for the fans then .. maybe it's aimed at those recent converts to the Kinks .. can't see me getting this ..
I have the RSD deluxe LP’s of both albums so I’ll be passing on this, stream the new mixes and maybe get the single MH if they’re really different.
Larry Davis says
I have both the 2 Sony Legacy double CD digipacks of these albums...might just stick with those...
Bring on the 10-disc PRESERVATION COMPLETE box.
I am, not kidding.
Bring on the 10-disc PRESERVATION COMPLETE box.
I am not kidding.
Larry Davis says
Village Green Preservation Society or Preservation Acts One & Two?? There has been a massive Village Green box already...
David B says
and if i've got this right you only get the bonus tracks shown above ,on cd, if you buy the super deluxe edition er alongside the 6 vinyl albums .. buying the single cd reissues doesn't give you any bonus tracks ????
so for those who don't collect vinyl it's an expensive way of getting a handful of bonus tracks .. why didn't they follow the Beach Boy's example and at least include some bonus material on the single cds???
I'm always dumbfounded by the way artists seem unable to be consistent with their reissue program.
In 2018 they gave us Village Green, which was more or less organized like this one, combined media replicated on LP and CD.
Then we had Arthur and Lola, which were CD sets with just a few 7" thrown in - heaven knows why - but still, ok, you'd think they learnt their lesson.
BUT NO, we're back to duplicated content on CDs and LPs.
WHY??? Why force us to buy both formats ( and who needs to have both formats) instead of releasing them separately, allowing us to choose?...
Yes, I know the answer, "we call it riding the gravy train"...
by this time for me the kinks were done/ after the awful lola vs powerman. rca had big hopes ($$$$$) they would continue to get even bigger. well muswell was a huge dissapoint for me and showbix was the same. flat production by ray ,sides 3/4 are a mess, why not older trax included. hence the bonus live songs here.still the kinks kollector will love it but.. why include vinyl ? i bought arthur deluxe but no vgps/ too much vinyl that i know i will never play.so. i love the kinks 64 to 69 and am very happy with 2 cd expanded versions that were issued in japan.if you dont own/know bout them they are a MUST.
Larry Davis says
Sorry but that Lola album was a total masterpiece & cool concept too about the music business...but hey, if you didn't like it, no clue why, it's your take on things...as for the Japanese 2CD reissues, which are those??