No More Looking Back (The Kinks’ last concept LP — from 1975)

Four years prior to Pink Floyd’s The Wall, the Kinks commented on the English school system and its affects on childhood. On Nov. 17, 1975, they released (The Kinks Present) Schoolboys in Disgrace. It was the band’s 14th studio album, their sixth release on the RCA label.

The Kinks, specifically Ray Davies, had been creating theatrical concept albums on RCA and (The Kinks Present) Schoolboys in Disgrace continued the trend. The LP’s story is a series of scenes about a naughty schoolboy who becomes even worse from severe punishments. Musically, the album was a return to the band’s original sound — simple rock riffs and ballads, plus the occasional doo-wop verse (to supplement the ’50s school setting). The album garnered its fair share of negative reviews, but made it to #45 on the US album charts.

Comedian Bobcat Goldthwait is working to adapt the album into a film (it’s currently “in development” for release in 2013).

About poppaculture

I am a seasoned consumer of modern (and not so modern) culture.
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2 Responses to No More Looking Back (The Kinks’ last concept LP — from 1975)

  1. Tom says:

    You know this is like bait for me, right?

    So, now I’ve just spent an hour trying to decide, “Favorite Kinks song”? But, as usual, I refuse to hang myself on any single favorite.

    “I’m Not Like Everybody Else” is probably in my top twenty-five for Ray, though. Here’s a nice post-Kinks version: .

    Just missed hearing Davies in either St. Paul or Milwaukee. Shoot. Currently, his backing band is The 88, a rock band that looks like it is worth hearing on its own merits: .

    As to Schoolboys in Disgrace — yes, yes, I think the Kinks probably received more bad press than good during their theatrical period. Bad album after bad after bad album, said Rolling Stone, right? I remain a big fan of it all, though — Preservation, Soap Opera, and then Schoolboy in Disgrace, which is probably the most musically satisfying of that run for most people. Just because of its returns to rockin’ roots. But doesn’t the theatrical thing really just grow out of their concept albums of earlier years? Hmm. As is usual, you picked the best song on the album. Looking forward to that movie, now. Thanks!

    Tip for aspiring rockers: Do not play and sing the Kinks’ “The Hard Way” for your nephew if his mother is within earshot. Yes, a lesson learned. The hard way. .

    • poppaculture says:

      I had been eagerly awaiting Nov. 17 to post this one, hoping to see a reply–and yours did not fail: great links, insights with which I agree and a closing laugh.
      You’re right, many of the Reprise albums were just as much “concept” as Preservation, et al …

      I forgot to mention Britian’s NME listed it as one of the worst album covers (i think a member of T. Rex drew it).

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