If you were knocked unconscious at a 1978 Kinks show and found yourself suddenly waking up in the time of Rip Van Obama, the sound of Low Budget in heavy rotation would not seem out of place in the least. And perhaps, given Ray Davies penchant for playing with our heads, it might be an interesting sleight of hand to see Low Budget re-emerge as a brand new work on iTunes and enjoy the reaction to it's still fresh and troubling perspective on the decline of empire, tenuous alliances and pervasive economic insecurity.
Whether the political scorecard has morphed to Bush and Brown from Carter and Thatcher and your Pinto has given way to a Prius, every track on the Kinks remarkable (but dimly remembered) 1978-comeback release is still uncomfortably prescient in 2008.
Hate slumming at Wal-Mart for the finest in Chinese fashion - try the title-track on for size (if it fits.) Got four dollar petrol still ringing in your ears - fill-up with A Gallon of Gas. Think America's stature has taken a worldwide beating - there's the disc's best song, Catch Me Now I'm Falling. Spending more time cocooning with your mortgaged Plasma television - I'm sure you'll be fond of Moving Pictures. Distempering your offspring with scripts of Ritalin - just pop a few tabs of Attitude. The entire record is a mirror held up to our collective faces that still punches with the ferocity of a much newer work.
I know there are many Kinks fans who were depressed at the latter-day arena rock incarnation of the band and much preferred their Kinks Kinkdom or Preservation Society, British Invasion sound. Frankly, I never understood why we had to choose as the muscled-up version of the band represented here is every bit the musical and lyrical equal of the "mod" Kinks who arrived in the early sixties. In any era, Low Budget is a timeless collection deserving of some newfound respect.
What did you think of this review?
Fun to Read
About the reviewer
Michael Neiss (NJExit34)
Jun 25, 2009
Jun 10, 2011 01:38 PM UTC
Consider the Source
Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.
All tracks have been digitally remastered by Bob Ludwig (Gateway Mastering, Portland, Maine).
This is a Hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.
1979's LOW BUDGET became The Kinks' biggest selling release since their GREATEST HITS album of 1966. This was due in large part to constant touring and significant airplay of such singles as "(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman"). This period followed an era of concept albums and saw Ray Davies returning to the craft of separate, simpler songs. One of the album's highlights is the quietly engaging "Little Bit Of Emotion."
Davies alternates between being a romantic and a social commentator, though LOW BUDGET stresses the later aspect of his songwriting. The streamlined arrangements, loud guitars, and loud drums of LOW BUDGET are in keeping with the sound of the previous (SLEEPWALKER and MISFITS) and future (GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT, STATE OF CONFUSION, and WORD OF MOUTH) Kinks albums.
Recorded at Konk Studios, London, England in January 1979; The Power Station, New York, New York in May 1979; Blue Rock Studios, New York, New York in June 1979. Originally released on Arista (AB 4240). Includes liner notes by Fred Schruers.
Personnel: Dave Davies (vocals, guitar, harmonica, keyboards); Ray Davies (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Jim Rodford (vocals, bass guitar); Nick Newell (saxophone); Mick Avory (drums).