Tag Archives: Jon Lord

Rocks In The Attic #467: The Kinks – ‘Kinks’ (1964)

RITA#467.jpgA couple of months ago, I got so sick of having no Kinks records in my collection I resolved to do something about it. But there was a problem – after nearly twenty years of collecting, I had never seen any Kinks records in the wild. They do exist, don’t they? I haven’t just made them up in my head?

So, what do you do when you can‘t find an animal in the wild? You employ the services of a poacher. Onto Discogs I went, and I found some very nice recent reissues of the first three albums – Kinks (1964), Kinda Kinks (1965) and The Kink Kontroversy (1965) – all on lovely red vinyl. I paid my money and very soon, just like the dentist-cum-hunter who shot and killed Cecil the lion, I had my prize. By the way, Cecil The Lion sounds so English, it could almost be the title of a Kinks song.

Of all the beat explosion bands that emerged in the wake of the Beatles, the Kinks might just be my favourite. Their run of ‘60s singles – from You Really Got Me in 1964, though to Lola in 1970 – is bloody strong, and of such a high quality they really should be seen as equals to the Beatles, the Stones and the Who. They’re quite often not though. They tend to be considered as poor cousins, one rung down on the ladder with the likes of the Hollies, Manfred Mann and the Animals.

In Ray Davies, the Kinks had something that those premier bands could only dream of – a one-man Lennon & McCartney and  a remarkably consistent songwriting machine. Only Pete Townshend comes close in being the singular visionary for one of those top ‘60s band – and as far as I’m concerned, the strength of Davies’ songwriting blows him out of the water.

As a debut album, this record is very similar in tone and content to its contemporaries, being comprised mainly of R&B and rock n’ roll covers, together with a previous few examples of original material. The two standout songs on the album – You Really Got Me and Stop Your Sobbing – are exactly that though – standout songs. They’re absolutely fantastic. Stop Your Sobbing might be more famous for its cover by the Pretenders (it was never released as a single by the Kinks), but it’s still a great song.

The record is also notable for the non-Kink personnel who played on the sessions – namely Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin on guitar, and Jon Lord from Deep Purple on piano. Crikey!

Hit: You Really Got Me

Hidden Gem: Beautiful Delilah

Rocks In The Attic #132: Deep Purple – ‘Machine Head’ (1972)

Rocks In The Attic #132: Deep Purple - ‘Machine Head’ (1972)This album kicks ass. It was recorded in Montreux, Switzerland, using the Rolling Stones mobile studio. That particular piece of equipment was responsible for some landmark albums throughout the ‘70s, and this is definitely one of them.

Everybody knows the opening guitar riff to Smoke On The Water, but beyond that first minute or so, it’s a really soulful piece of music, considering it’s supposed to be the blueprint for heavy metal. The lyrics shouldn’t work either. Imagine a heavy rock song released in the 21st century, where the lyrics recount the inspiration, and the subsequent recording of the song. It sounds terrible – a band resigning themselves to banality because they can’t come up with any original ideas; but everything about Smoke On The Water is awesome.

History – and every guitar magazine on the planet – would have you believe that Ritchie Blackmore is the hero of this album – but Jon Lord’s keyboards really steal the show for me (with Ian Gillan’s vocals a close second). The organ work throughout the album is superb – through the prog rock workouts of Highway Star and Lazy – and that’s coming from a man who usually thinks organs belong in church.

Hit: Smoke On The Water

Hidden Gem: Lazy