The Kinks – Face To Face (1966)

Face to Face is the fourth studio album by the English rock band The Kinks, released in October 1966. The album marked a shift from the hard-driving style of beat music that had catapulted the group to international acclaim in 1964. It is their first album consisting entirely of Ray Davies compositions, and has also been regarded by critics as rock’s first concept album. The album was included in Robert Christgau’s “Basic Record Library” of 1950s and 1960s recordings, published in Christgau’s Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981).

Track Listing:

Side one
No. Title Length
1. “Party Line” 2:35
2. “Rosy Won’t You Please Come Home” 2:34
3. “Dandy” 2:12
4. “Too Much on My Mind” 2:28
5. “Session Man” 2:14
6. “Rainy Day in June” 3:10
7. “A House in the Country” 3:03

Side two
No. Title Length
1. “Holiday in Waikiki” 2:52
2. “Most Exclusive Residence for Sale” 2:48
3. “Fancy” 2:30
4. “Little Miss Queen of Darkness” 3:16
5. “You’re Lookin’ Fine” 2:46
6. “Sunny Afternoon” 3:36
7. “I’ll Remember” 2:27

Review: The Kink Kontroversy was a considerable leap forward in terms of quality, but it pales next to Face to Face, one of the finest collections of pop songs released during the ’60s. Conceived as a loose concept album, Face to Face sees Ray Davies’ fascination with English class and social structures flourish, as he creates a number of vivid character portraits. Davies’ growth as a lyricist coincided with the Kinks’ musical growth. Face to Face is filled with wonderful moments, whether it’s the mocking Hawaiian guitars of the rocker “Holiday in Waikiki,” the droning Eastern touches of “Fancy,” the music hall shuffle of “Dandy,” or the lazily rolling “Sunny Afternoon.” And that only scratches the surface of the riches of Face to Face, which offers other classics like “Rosy Won’t You Please Come Home,” “Party Line,” “Too Much on My Mind,” “Rainy Day in June,” and “Most Exclusive Residence for Sale,” making the record one of the most distinctive and accomplished albums of its time. — Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Schill Score: 7.75/10

Listen to Album on Spotify

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