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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Face to Face

The Kinks

1966

Buy At Rough Trade
Face to Face
Album Summary

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, instead drawing heavily from baroque pop and music hall. It is their first album consisting entirely of Ray Davies compositions, and has also been regarded by critics as one of rock's first concept album. Davies' blossoming songwriting style became increasingly observational and satirical, commenting on English culture, social class and the music industry. Despite containing the hit single, "Sunny Afternoon", the album's initial reception was lukewarm in both the UK and United States compared to the Kinks' previous LPs, charting at No. 12 and No. 135, respectively. Face to Face eventually earned retrospective critical acclaim, recognized as a pivotal record of the psychedelic era and an important milestone in the Kinks' evolution. 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). The album was included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.27

Votes

10339
Genres
Rock
Psychedelic Rock

Reviews

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Mon Jan 25 2021
4

I gotta say, this album is quite "dandy" perfect for a stroll on a springtime day. Lots of harpsichord is welcome. I feel as if I'm on a boardwalk passing neon lights as the sun begins to set. Just groovy enough without suffering from being overtly psychedelic.

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Mon Nov 08 2021
3

You could be forgiven for forgetting that you're not listening to The Beatles or The Rolling Stones or any of a half-dozen britrock bands. There are some bands that are just pillars of a time and place. The Kinks seem to just bounce around in the in-between spaces that aren't occupied by the greats. They don't offer anything really new or unique to the britrock scene. They're just sort of filler. Not that the album is bad. It's not bad by any measure. There's a lot of good stuff on here. There just aren't any tracks that stand out. In every case, someone else did it better.

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Mon Feb 08 2021
2

A bit simplistic, but I suppose that's the time period. It wasn't a bad listen, but not something I'd return to.

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Sun Jan 17 2021
3

Classic Kinks: always a pleasant listen. I don't deep-dive into their work the same as I do some from that era, but I never regret listening through one of their 1960s albums. "Sunny Afternoon" might be my favorite all-time Kinks song.

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Sat Jul 03 2021
2

I fully expected to love this album. I consider Ray Davies one of the great working class lyricists; he's capable of writing with great compassion and insight. He is also capable of snappy, indelible songcraft. But not here. The melodies are standard 60s pop and instantly forgettable for the most part. Same goes for the song structures. Although I appreciate his ethnographic focus on Face to Face, Davies' lyrics are not specific and incisive enough to have much impact. The performances are shockingly mediocre as well--they range from charmingly ramshackle to downright flabby. This is a classic? I don't think so.

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Fri Sep 02 2022
5

So this is what caused Britpop? PS: I love the Kinks

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Mon Oct 04 2021
2

I think to appreciate this one I have to put it in 1966 context. It came out a couple months after Revolver. Nice inoffensive pop rock. But little to grab you, tweak your expectations, or surprise you.

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Thu Oct 01 2020
5

A more raw beatles sound, Not sure which came first though

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Wed Apr 14 2021
5

Part of their mid/late 60s stretch of perfect albums.

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Tue Jun 22 2021
5

Call this album pride month because it was SOSOSO colorful !! Rainy Day in June reminded me of several shades of blue, Too Much On My Mind was yellow. The entire album was shades of red and orange. I got really into it after a few songs and I genuinely enjoyed it so much that I didn't notice when it had ended. It was really slow but it was still interesting.

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Sat Feb 06 2021
4

Fun music. They sound like The Beatles who were more willing to take risks with weird lyrics. Toward the end of the album, they took some musical risks that I really enjoyed. Dead End Street and Big Black Smoke were standouts for me.

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Fri Feb 05 2021
3

V nice. Sunny afternoon always massive chill. If I heard this when it first came out I probably would have been pretty obsessed.

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Tue Jun 14 2022
3

This is fun, nice and jolly and easy to listen to. Not much that elevates it though - Sunny Afternoon is superb, but not much else that I think I'm likely to go back to. Just squeaks a 3 as well.

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Wed Sep 07 2022
3

Every song on this albums is just okay other than Sunny Afternoon which is great.

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Tue May 24 2022
1

Maybe, face to face, the Kinks are really something to look at. Unfortunately, 'Face To Face' is nothing much to listen to. This might be the only time I can remember liking a single (‘Sunny Afternoon’) less after listening to the LP. I’ve never fancied the Kinks much, nor understood why they are so often exalted to the same stature as their British musical colleagues, namely, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Who. While Ray Davies does sing with conviction on 'Face To Face,' expressing cultural commentary with a lot of snippy humor, there’s not a lot else to his vocals or lyrics. Likewise, the band is competent, but nothing and no one really stands out, save Nicky Hopkins’ terrific keyboard work throughout. Only trouble is, he’s not even in the band! Apparently, the Kinks made a conscious move away from their former garage band rock n’ roll to more of a softer pop sound. Girl, they really got me before. But on 'Face To Face,' I just kept wanting to be released. Most of the LP is a critique on England’s class and socioeconomic issues in 1966, which works as a snippet of history, but not as an enjoyable or inspiriting musical experience. On second thought, it only partly works as a snippet of history, a contextual one as seen from the have-nots in the industrial part of the city scoffing at the general commercialism in Britain during the mid 60s… at least when they’re not coveting the haves’ stuff over on the wealthy and posh side.

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Thu Jun 17 2021
5

Really enjoyable album. Fan of the Beatles will like this.

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Mon Jun 07 2021
5

Great summer feeling album. Stick it on and listen front to back

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Mon Jul 19 2021
5

ALready my third Kinks album in this exercise. I love this album. Ray gives us such wonderful little vignettes with colourful characters and places. Many memorable songs. Love it. 5 stars

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Tue Aug 10 2021
5

Ray Davies crafts an absolute treasure trove of 60s pop nuggets whilst indulging his fascination with Englishness and class.

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Thu Sep 16 2021
5

Excellent! Not heard previously and really good.

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Wed Oct 06 2021
5

classic Kinks album, not much else to say

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Fri Oct 22 2021
5

The Kinks are, to my ear, the most consistently listenable of the big British bands from this era. I put 'em up there with The Beatles, Stones, and The Who. All of whom were shuffling towards the concept album at this time. This album is thoroughly enjoyable and I'd throw it on nearly anytime.

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Fri Oct 22 2021
5

Loved the album. An unexpected new classic for me.

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Sat Jan 01 2022
5

Really wasn’t sure what 1966 The Kinks would be like. But I loved it! It has got a great vibe and is a very good listen. Most of the songs I really enjoyed, and even the ones that I wasn’t completely in to weren’t bad to listen to. My favorite songs were “Party Line”, “Dandy”, “Session Man”, “House In The Country”, “Holiday in Waikiki” and “Little Miss Queen of Darkness”. I love “Sunny Afternoon” and realized that I actually should have known what to expect from 1966 The Kinks as I know this song really well! I don’t know if I would have named the artist as The Kinks though if I had heard it before this. Really enjoyed this. Fantastic album.

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Sat Jan 01 2022
5

I've been waiting for The Kinks. I don't know this album aside from a few songs. I loved every track. Super great.

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Sat Jan 01 2022
5

I have heard of The Kinks, but did not know this album. It was not what I expected at all, but I very much enjoyed it. The album had a sound similar to British bands of that era. Out of the context of the album, I would not have guessed that the band was The Kinks…sounded like other British Invasion bands.

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Mon Jan 03 2022
5

Already my third Kinks album in this exercise. I love this album. Ray gives us such wonderful little vignettes with colourful characters and places. Many memorable songs. Love it. 5 stars

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Wed Jan 05 2022
5

Amazing album alot of cool songs!!

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Tue Jan 11 2022
5

Got a soft spot for The Kinks, and this is one of thier best albums.

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Fri Feb 04 2022
5

Amazing, legendary album!!!!!

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Mon Mar 28 2022
5

Love that jangly guitar. These guys are right up there with th Beatles, the Hollies, the Zombies, etc. Love it!

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Wed Apr 20 2022
5

I mean, it's The Kinks. I'm never not going to love this.

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Tue May 03 2022
5

Up until the release of Face To Face in 1966, the Kinks were primarily known as a hit singles band, but this album would be a turning point. Face To Face was the first of a string of soon-to-be classics the Kink's albums recorded in the late 60's. This too, is the first of Ray Davies vision of concept records that he explores further in the late 60's and 70's. This might be considered one of their "under the radar" masterpieces and ironically this is the only Kinks record I don't have on vinyl in my collection, though I've listened to it many, many times and I would consider this a must-hear! I really need to buy this album!

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Wed Aug 10 2022
5

I’ve always enjoyed The Kinks. This was a solid album.

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Wed Aug 31 2022
5

Unique name. Some unique elements in the sound. Same casual atmosphere. Definitely the same vibe at The Beatles. But definitely not a riff-off. Far from that, it's a different beast on its own. A not-so-common gem of '60s rock.

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Wed Sep 14 2022
5

The kinks has a modern sound, and although it's not on the album, You've really got me is one my favourites.

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Tue Sep 20 2022
5

Correct link for the original album https://open.spotify.com/album/11bCxxD2wy2iXMshA3nHvk?si=cYIZYOkoTHqjnumbBAM6lg

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Tue Sep 20 2022
5

I just know one song of this band, so for me this album is absolutely great and a beautiful discover. I would listen to it again anytime.

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Tue Sep 27 2022
5

This is a really great album, I didn't know it but thank you 1001 album generator, this music is wonderful and it reminds me to the Beatles but with a very special touch! 5 stars :D

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Thu Sep 29 2022
5

This is possibly my favorite of the Kinks' earlier albums. You can really feel the beginnings of a distinctive sound they're defining for themselves, rather than the focus on playing American rhythm and blues that bedevils so many English bands of that era. Musically, the album is crisp and charming, with some fun baroque touches that give a lot of depth to the arrangements without sounding overly quaint. The whole album is a pleasure, but "Sunny Afternoon" is truly delightful. Fave Songs (All songs, from most least favorite): Sunny Afternoon, Little Miss Queen of Darkness, Holiday in Waikiki, Rainy Day in June, Rosy Won't You Please Come Home, I'll Remember, Dandy, You're Lookin' Fine, A House in the Country, Party Line, Fancy, Most Exclusive Residence for Sale, Session Man, Too Much on My Mind

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Thu Oct 13 2022
5

Really good mid-late 60's musid

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Tue Oct 18 2022
5

Another superb album from the most English of bands. Better than The Beatles in every department.

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Mon Nov 28 2022
5

The Kinks are real story tellers on this album. The lyrics are just as important as the musicianship, and all together makes a excellent listen. There is only one well known track on this album but you won't be disappointed with any of the songs. Great stuff from the mid-60's!

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Sat Dec 31 2022
5

Out of the string of classic albums Ray Davies and co. released from *The Kink Kontroversy* to *Lola Versus The Moneygoround*, this is my least favorite, for reasons I can't quite fathom myself. All the key ingredients of the Kinks' second period are there, though. Here are the witty, sarcastic cuts about the British middle class (opener "Party Line", for instance, or the upbeat ditties "Dandy" and "A House In the Country"--another clear inspiration for later britpop stalwarts Blur). We can also find tongue-in-cheek, quite "meta" callbacks to their rockier beginnings ("Session Man"). Plus moody setpieces such as the wonderful "A Rainy Day In June", the droning, quasi-psychedelic "Fancy", and obviously that timeless hit that "Sunny Afternoon" is. Reading myself again, I realize *Face To Face* deserves to be considered among the band's finest records. It's just that the whole doesn't gel the way their other classic albums do--maybe because the album's tracklisting is a little too topsy-turvy, even compared to the band's usually eccentric and "messy" standards when it comes to 180-degrees turns. So I will switch my initial 4/5 grade to a 4.5 - 5 one nonetheless. Face to face with Davies' songwriting genius, it's the least that i can do. Number of albums left to review: 691 Number of albums from the list I find relevant enough to be mandatory listens: 151 Albums from the list I *might* include in mine later on: 71 Albums from the list I will certainly *not* include in mine (many others are more important): 86

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Fri Jan 20 2023
5

I love the Kinks. I've been listening to them since I knew what music was, so I might be a little biased. I find their English wit and dreary up-beat sadness really endearing. Sunday Afternoon is one of my all time favourites. They are weird, silly, sad and I love them. But to be fair, I think I prefer their later albums. Overall a solid album. Low 5

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Fri Jan 20 2023
5

Love this album. Love the kinks. It has such a good beat and energy and the style of music is just my thing. I love sunny afternoon, and Rosie won’t you please come home. Low 5

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Wed Jan 25 2023
5

I need more kinks in my life

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Wed Jul 19 2023
5

PREFS : TOUT MOINS PREF : RIEN

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Thu Aug 17 2023
5

Not a single horrid song, dead end street and sunny day were favorites of mine

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Thu Sep 21 2023
5

Amazingly soothing, lighthearted songs. Great rock/blues sounds in some tracks too.

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Mon Nov 06 2023
5

Honestly this is a really good Kinks album and it really stands the test of time. I never listened to them until recent years, but they are fun to listen to!

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Thu Feb 08 2024
5

The Kinks are the shit. I wish my reviews were better but my life sucks rn.

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Tue Feb 13 2024
5

The Kinks older stuff is underrated.

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Sat Jul 17 2021
4

I liked it a lot more now than when I first listened to it. While not as varied as Something Else or as conceptual as Village Green, has a lot of quintesential Ray Davis style songs. Also, rosie won't you please come home is beautiful. Closer to a 3.5

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Sun Jun 06 2021
4

Never heard the album but top quality.

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Mon Feb 08 2021
4

Familiar British pop rock, a la the Beatles

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Mon Jan 25 2021
4

Really enjoyed the sound-- very Beatles/Bryds-esque

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Sun Apr 25 2021
4

Pretty good rock album. Need to give the Kinks a bit more of a chance.

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Tue May 18 2021
4

It's so weird to me that we don't see The Kinks as equals to the Beatles. Their music is just as good, but their lyrics are probably more mature. Very interesting.

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Mon Mar 01 2021
4

Rainy day in June and Sunny Afternoon are my two faves

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Tue May 18 2021
4

yo this is actually sick. just hella fun and random. didn’t listen to all the mixes but I’m sure I got the rough idea you know? some of my favourite kinks songs x

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Thu Jan 14 2021
4

First rating, personal scale may change

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Thu Feb 04 2021
4

kinks ei ollutkaan tuttu, mutta toimii.

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Wed May 19 2021
4

Fun album. I should really get more into The Kinks.

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Wed May 19 2021
4

Pretty solid, I enjoyed this one

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Wed May 19 2021
4

It has the same roller coaster quality that a lot of albums from this era do with all the sub three minute songs, but there were some really good songs on there. After listening through this, I feel like I need to listen to some more of The Kinks. Really the only reason this is getting a four from me is because I would rather have fewer longer songs than a crap ton of short ones. When you have that high of a volume of short songs I feel like there will feel like there are more bad songs than there actually are and the good ones are a little less memorable. Favorite tracks: “Rainy Day In June,” “Little Miss Queen of Darkness,” and “Dead End Street”

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Sun Jan 17 2021
4

Very, very nice. Interesting mix between cheerful and thoughtful songs. Good lyrics.

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Wed Apr 07 2021
4

Fantastic, can really hear the influence they've had on so many bands, as good as a Beatles album easily. Just missing maybe one more banger to be a 5

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Mon Mar 01 2021
4

Solid, couple of the big songs on there and all the others were good too... Again, spotify gives you the 'special edition' with all the bonus tracks mixed in :( don't think it listened quite as intended

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Wed Feb 24 2021
4

Not bad, a little too vintage for my taste, but some good songs. I liked She's Got Everything.

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Sat May 29 2021
4

Ewig nicht mehr gehört aber ist ein absoluter Grundpfeiler für die moderne Musik und ein spaßig zu hörender Teil der British Invasion

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Wed Mar 24 2021
4

Got it already. Will relisten later. Already my favourite Kinks album.

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Sat Apr 10 2021
4

Not my favorite Kinks album but still great!

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Sun Jun 13 2021
4

Really solid Kinks album. It's no "Arthur", but the mod spirit is there.

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Sat Apr 17 2021
4

in some cases i have been known to forgive britishness

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Thu May 06 2021
4

Reminds me of Beatles and the Zombies. Lots of different genres and songs, very catchy and not one bad song.

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