I’ll tell you what, next to The Clash, my favorite group of all time just might be The Kinks. Not because every album (or every song on most albums) is a gem, because the band has sure had their clunkers. But because those albums and songs that did hit, stayed with me.

The first cassette I ever owned was “Misfits.” It was a birthday present, and at the time, “Low Budget” was a mash hit, and that was the one I’d asked for. So I was sad to see Ray Davies’ warped face on the cover, instead of the high-heeled painted-toenail of a lady’s foot. But I gave it a chance. From the opening notes of the album, the wistful rain of guitar notes before the drums kick in on the title track, I was hooked. I played it until I could hear the other side through the tape. Then I bought the CD. Then the import version came available, and I bought that.

With so much product on the market these days, it’s tough for albums to have shelf-life. But for me, there are many Kinks albums that I still listen to, end-to-end, on a regular basis. I even prefer the records from their more commercial phase, in the late ‘70s to the mid ‘80s, to some of their more “classic,” earlier albums. But there’s so many great ones. Their first, eponymous record, Village Green Preservation Society, Schoolboys in Disgrace, Low Budget, Give the People What They Want . . . Even their relatively recent double album, To The Bone, is great. So, the Kinks need a post.

1. Tired of Waiting-Of Montreal and Days-Of Montreal

2. Act Nice And Gentle-The Black Keys

3. Waterloo Sunset-Islands

4. Better Thinks-Dar Williams

5. Situation Vacant-Spoon

6. Victoria-Sonic Youth

7. Nothin’ In the World Can Stop Me From Thinkin’ About That Girl-Feist

8. This is Where I Belong-Ron Sexsmith

9. Dead End Street-Elliot Smith (zip file)

10. Set Me Free-Britt Daniel (of Spoon)

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