2020 Album Draft- Round 9 Pick 2- Cincinnati Babyhead selects- The Kinks- Schoolboys In Disguise.
CB got a little lazy and borrowed an old take from his own bag. I was going to do ‘Sleepwalker but after Max (great pick by the way) covered the later era I thought I’d go back and take an album that is so “Kinks” to me. I’ve been kinda hiding in the weeds with this band. I had to take them it was just a matter of which one. I was also leaning towards a live album so I could get a sort of “best of”. I’d be happy with anything by them. So here it is folks, one of The Kinks story records. Original take follows. Oh yeah, I’m trying to figure out how to take ‘Waterloo Sunset’ with me.
I’ve wanted to do this record for a long time.
I love the Kinks and I also liked the concept album thing. I wasn’t long out of school (forced out) when I grabbed this album. CB was a schoolboy in disgrace for sure.
Ray sets the stage from the opening cut, his vocals are all nostalgic, thinking of his schooldays. He’s probably the only person who could sing this tune (album) with the emotion that brings it to life. Ray is the narrator of this tale like only he could be. Does anyone do this better? On the second cut Jack is the idiot dunce until he hits the dance floor proving you “don’t need a high IQ to make your body move”.
The Kinks take you through our hero’s schooldays from start to finish. Telling of his adventures and misadventures. The songs all fit the story and you can pluck a few out that are stand-alones like ‘Education’ which is just a great rocker along with ‘The Hard Way’. Some really good music being played behind all of Ray’s shenanigans. Always liked Dave and Mick’s playing. John Gosling adds his Garth Hudson type licks. The whole band lays down the appropriate backing. I love when Dave busts out with his great rock licks.
But back to Rays performance because that’s what it is, a performance . He doowops his way through falling in love (we’ve all been there), making a confession to the headmaster (I could really feel for the poor bastard on this one. It was all “the naughty little girls ” fault ) on ‘Headmaster’, then becoming the headmaster and berating the pupils. ”You’re much to dumb to educate”. Ray Davies is such a great songwriter, stirring up feelings, emotions, images. He and the Kinks really are CB favorites. ‘The Last Assembly’ sees our character at the end of his journey. He made it. ‘No More Looking Back’ is the albums coda and a step outside the story. A Kinks masterpiece. Our character reminiscing. Very good finish. I love this album!
I had an acquaintance who saw the band perform this album. He said it was just one special show. I saw the The Kinks live a few times and they would bust out a couple cuts from this record. “Hard Way’ is just an out and out rocker. with Ray dropping into character.
I literally wore this record out. One of my favorite covers front and back. The Kinks might have been in disgrace but CB was with them. They could do no wrong with me. I had a few concept albums up to this point and I would get lost in them. This was no exception. Yup CB did the education thing the hard-way, there was just no way around it. This should stir up some memories for you while being entertained by one of the best bands in my book.