Kinks- To the Bone pt 2- Ray Davies

In the mid-90s when The Kinks decided to release a comprehensive career “best of” called To the Bone, recorded live in concert as well as intimately unplugged, no one knew that the century-old business model of the recorded music industry was about to disintegrate ten years later, virtually overnight, in large part due to the digital disruption of the internet. But what both sides of the equation, the musicians and the record labels which recorded and distributed the music, did know then was that practically all of the British Invasion cash cows like The Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Who, and The Kinks were about to have their record company copyrights expire after twenty-five years, and the ownership rights to these iconic songs revert back to the bands.

(Above, the original cover for the 1994 single disc version of To the Bone)

“Recording companies are worse than ex-wives. I think they hang onto things longer, and they get more cruel and more trivial the more that you deal with them. Especially when you leave them. They like to hang onto everything,” quips my guest, singer/songwriter Ray Davies of The Kinks. When I good-naturedly poked Sir Ray about the Kinks’ reputation as being, shall we say, mercurial on tour from night to night, he didn’t protest. “Well, even when we’re inconsistent we’re the best band in the world,” Davies chuckles.”I remember doing Madison Square Garden (in New York City) for two sold out nights. I walked on stage, tripped over a microphone lead (cord), and fell into the orchestra pit! ‘Rock star’ isn’t something that you can associate with The Kinks, because it’s everything that we’re ‘anti-‘. We’ve always been that way, and the more various managers and record companies have tried to make us posture and make us rock gods, there’s something that turns us off of that. Even among our peers (Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Who) we’re regarded as outsiders, which is fine by me.That’s why I think a lot of newer bands that come along they kind of identify with The Kinks. I suppose if they are the ‘children of a family’, then we are a lot like older relatives. The Kinks are sort of vagrant uncles that come back to the house on Sunday for the free meal!” Part two of two. – Redbeard