Political Beats podcast

Episode 131: Jay Cost / The Kinks [Part 2]

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Introducing the Band:
Your hosts Scot Bertram (@ScotBertram) and Jeff Blehar (@EsotericCD) are with guest Jay Cost. Jay is the Gerald R. Ford senior non-resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and the author of, most recently, James Madison: America’s First Politician. Find him on Twitter/X at @Jay__Cost.

Jay’s Music Pick: The Kinks
Haven’t we done these guys already? We sure did! But this is the part of the Kinks' career we didn't do any real justice to back six or seven years ago when Jay first joined us for our comically brief discussion of the Kinks' Seventies career.

We remedy that here, for the second part of our grand Kinks retrospective (covering everything from 1969's Arthur, or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire onwards) sheds light on an era of their career that has been largely forgotten, but which contains much of their greatest music. From the conceptual ambitions of Arthur, Lola, and an entire passel of early-to-mid '70s concept albums that are usually more mocked than listened to (wrongfully so, we argue), the Kinks reclaimed stardom, promptly kicked it right back to the curb in order to do concert/stage production hybrids for a few years, and then with superb 1976 Sleepwalker went right back to climbing the album and singles charts. And all throughout it Ray Davies's lyrical vision -- singular in both its profundity and also its occasional cheerful mundaneness -- guided the group through a series of records that, while no longer discussed as much as their classic Sixties era, were extremely popular in their time and justifiably so. 

We pretty much wrap up our discussion with Give The People What They Want (1981), so if you have to be a big Think Visual! fan, then this episode may disappoint you. But we doubt it. Because Political Beats is proud to have finally given the latter era of the Kinks their proper due, and in a way that we hope will make several new fans. Click play, sit back in your old rocking chair in your Shangri-La, and enjoy.

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