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.


  1. Your enthusiasm for this album is quite evident in your write up, which was a fun read! The Kinks probably deserve more credit than they get. I’ll think, “Oh yeah, the Kinks. Hmm..” Then I “discover” an album like “The Kinks Are the Village Preservation Society” or “Muswell Hillbillies” and I wonder where they’ve been all my life. This would seem to be another one of those albums.

    • Like i said I could have picked a few Kink’s albums (Did one of my first takes on ‘Hillbillies’). Oh yeah I’m a Kinks guy “to the bone”. They just appeal to my music bone. Ray Davies writes songs that combine so many emotion backed by a great band. ‘Schoolboys’ is a hidden gen for sure.

  2. Like Introgroove said, the Kinks aren’t given enough ‘props’ by the general public. I haven’t heard of this album actually, but you usually can’t go wrong with Ray Davies and Co., and you make it sound irresistible.

  3. It’s great to see the Kinks back in the draft! Only the Kinks can sound like the Kinks. Sounds like this album was perfect timing for you in your life CB.
    I can’t think of many if any Kinks songs I really dislike. Your enthusiasm is coming through loud and clear. Dave Davies is the king of the guitar bursts.

    • There’s just something so down to earth about these guys. A little punch up once in awhile (throw Mick Avory in the mix) just to keep it real. I know they both talk fondly of their older sisters. Bottom line these guys are good. I was very cool to open Hans’s page and seeing your choice a while back.

    • The hardest part is finding the right one. I knew their earlier songs but from greatest hits from most… but I knew a few like
      The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society and Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire)…but I’m closer to the later albums…whichever you can’t go wrong.

  4. This isn’t one of their albums I’m familiar with, but you had me at The Kinks. I listened and enjoyed it. Nice choice and write up that made me expand my appreciation for them even more. They are so consistently good.

  5. Ray has a way of blending humor and sadness into his songs sometimes. He does it quite a bit on this one. I’m stuck in a bit of a Kinks loop right now. See what you folks are doing to me.
    I know you’re a big Who fan, I always thought Davies and Townshend were joined at the hip. Two of my fave song writers.

  6. CB I’m somewhat familiar with The Kinks, but there is so much more I want to learn about them. I tried to find “Arthur” at the library and they didn’t have it. I understand the appeal they have and it always surprised me when I learned a song I loved by another musician had been written by Ray. In a weird piece of synchronicity, I just read Hans post today on John Denver’s “Annie’s Song” and asked him if he knew who “I Go To Sleep” was written for and found this NPR interview where Terry Gross is asking Ray for details about some of his songs. Check it out here if you want to hear it: https://www.npr.org/2014/12/25/372906846/naive-yet-revolutionary-ray-davies-on-50-years-of-the-kinks
    Good heartfelt write-up, CB. You have my vote for being able to take “Waterloo Sunset” if I can borrow it once in awhile 🙂

    • Just plug in to their vast wealth of tunes (solos also). So much good stuff. Also some of their tunes are sneaky, they catch you later. I seen the Kinks a few times, great show but I also seen Ray solo in an intimate venue. What a night that was. Like being with an old friend in his living room.
      I had to peek at the link you sent. Will bracket the time to take in. Ray is one of the few rock guys I like listening to.
      We can invite everyone for a BBQ and sing along to ‘Waterloo Sunset’. “Waterloo sunsets fine …”

    • Wonderful that you saw them and Ray live. A draft BBQ would be a blast. Maybe in the Spring after the pandemic is over. Gives me time to memorize the lyrics. Have you seen that movie Juliet, Naked? Based on a Nick Hornby novel (just read Nick has a new book out also!)

  7. I guess I’m one of those that never gave The Kinks the credit they deserve. While I always really liked every song I’ve ever heard of theirs, I just didn’t have the motivation to dig deeper. I’ve certainly developed a greater appreciation for their discography as a result of this Album Draft series.

  8. As I think I noted to Max when he picked “Give the People What They Want,” while I’ve heard and like a good number of Kinks songs, I haven’t really explored their albums in greater depth. Based on the songs I’ve heard, I’m generally more drawn to their ’60s music.

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