It’s odd – sometimes there’s an artist who, despite my best efforts to take an inclusive view, slips through my fingers for years. I may know about them but – for whatever reason – I’ve never really listened to them. Then, something triggers a journey of discovery, and I explore what for me is a hidden gem (that everyone else has known about for years).
The Kinks recently became a case like that. A leisurely, sunny late-morning breakfast in New York’s East Village bore decent food and very pleasurable music. Neither of us knew who it was, but it was so good that we asked. The waiter, an Indian chap, said they were “Kings,” and it took several more songs (and the appearance of ‘L.O.L.A. Lola’) for the coin to finally drop. Oh, the Kinks!
A quick visit to Amazon.com resulted in this:
Fabulous music. At first, second and third listen, what I love most is how English they are. And that they’re perhaps ‘more like the Beatles and less like the Stones’ (whatever that means; I’ve never been a big Stones fan). I like the playfulness of the lyrics, the clean simplicity of the music. Theirs is definitely a catalogue I’d like to explore further.
Other major artists of rock history that are in my blind spot include The Who and The Band. I’ve started to look into The Band more actively lately. Maybe The Who’s next. (Yes, I know that’s an album of theirs. I just haven’t heard it :)