THE KINKS To The Bone (1996) & To The Bone – The Rehearsals (1994)

To The Bone (1996)
To The Bone – The Rehearsals (1994)
Is This Their Fond Farewell?

To The Bone stands today as The Kinks’ last album. A live album – half of it unplugged, before an intimate gathering at their own Konk Studios. The session and release were financed by the label-less band themselves, since apparently no one else was stepping up to do it for them. And since MTV didn’t invite them, Ray & Dave simply unplugged themselves and went to work. When I first heard it, I still loved The Kinks, but had tired of their 90s output. And while the “unplugged” phase may have been just another suit of clothes for the unfocused Kinks, the acoustic half of To The Bone was a fresh look at their catalog. A couple of years later, the album received a Stateside release as a two disc set with, unfortunately, even more of the live arena tracks (*) that peppered the one disc version. Routine power rock recordings of well-worn titles whose presence I could never understand, unless this actually was Davies’ idea of giving the people “what they want.” There’s nothing inherently wrong with these rockin’ anthem performances and audience singalongs, but who needs more of ’em? Especially when there’s a more unique idea – unplugged – being under-used? Even the lazy sequencing suggests it was thrown together. That said, a little selective editing will produce a dozen fine, if extremely loose, acoustic sides from the Brothers Davies. Additionally, there are two new studio tracks – presumably the last studio recordings from “The Kinks.” Sadly, all of this may be their last hurrah, as Ray and Dave have yet to make musical amends. Not surprisingly, it’s out of print. Amazon

To The Bone – The Rehearsals may even be more entertaining, despite being even more fragmented. It’s an unreleased set of semi-acoustic work tapes captured during the run up to the official To The Bone/Konk show. The sound quality is real good, though the band is incomplete and Ray is singing casually off-key – or not at all, resulting in numerous instrumental passages. It’s a lot of unfinished threads, but fascinating fly-on-the-wall stuff for those (of us) who like this sort of thing. That’s Dave singing “I’m Not Like Everybody Else,” and the extended instrumental intro to “Low Budget” is cool. Unfortunately, due to its nature, The Rehearsals can’t really provide a consistent listening experience, but it’s all good fun. Hear their quickie 1:23 take of “Muswell Hillbillies,” below.

All Day And All Of The Night (4:27) *
Apeman (4:06)
Tired Of Waiting (1:49)
See My Friends (3:25)
Death Of A Clown (2:35)
Muswell Hillbillies (3:20)
Better Things (3:06)
Don’t Forget To Dance (4:50) *
Sunny Afternoon (2:39) *
Dedicated Follower Of Fashion (1:55) *
Do It Again (Acoustic) (1:47) *
Do It Again (3:54) *
Celluloid Heroes (5:23)
Picture Book (2:35)
Village Green Preservation Society (2:26)
Do You Remember Walter? (3:44)
Set Me Free (2:36) *
Lola (4:29) *
Come Dancing (3:40) *
I’m Not Like Everyone Else (5:43) *
Till The End Of The Day (2:37) *
Give The People What They Want (3:57) *
State Of Confusion (3:25) *
Dead End Street (2:30) *
A Gallon Of Gas (5:21)
Days (3:18) *
You Really Got Me (3:41) *
Animal (3:40) (New Studio Recording)
To The Bone (4:30) (New Studio Recording)

It/Announcement: Club Vegas Lounge (2:07)
Catch Me Now I’m Falling/Tired Of Waiting (1:46)
Dedicated Follower Of Fashion (1:12)
I’m Not Like Everybody Else (1:33)
Now And Then (3:44)
Victoria (3:18)
The Hard Way (2:41)
I’m Not Like Everybody Else (4:05)
Come Dancing (4:07)
Till The End Of The Day (2:08)
Top Of The Pops (3:27)
Tired Of Waiting (1:45)
Set Me Free (1:48)
A Well Respected Man (1:55)
Muswell Hillbillies (1:23)
Have A Cuppa Tea (2:25)
Uncle Son (3:05)
Sunny Afternoon (1:39)
Dead End Street (2:44)
David Watts (1:42)
Satisfaction (Intro) (0:24)
Autumn Almanac (3:14)
Around The Dial (3:23)
Low Budget (3:32)
Sleazy Town (6:16)
State Of Confusion (1:54)
Superman (2:55)
Superman/Destroyer (3:11)


  • Willard
    November 22, 2011 - 10:30 | Permalink

    Search HERE

  • Muddy
    November 22, 2011 - 12:11 | Permalink

    Thanks for some interesting versions. Hooray for the Kinks.

  • wylie prybar
    November 22, 2011 - 13:33 | Permalink

    Who ever thought To the Bone would close the (picture) book on the Kinks? There was always that hope that (like the Byrds, Beach Boys, Band, and any number of non-B-named bands) they would rally for one great last (not lost) Kinks album, a final statement worthy of their legacy and capabilities. Instead of an exclamation point, To the Bone was more like ending with ellipses . . .
    When I bought it, my reaction pretty much were in line with the comments above. The unplugged renditions were a welcome, fresh take on some songs I wasn’t sure I needed to hear again for a while. The arena-rock material — yeesh. As I’ve written elsewhere, whoever introduced Dave Davies to the Marshall amp should have to spend eternity lugging a full stack around on his back. All the wit and subtlety of Ray’s songs is bludgeoned out of them with tons of crunchy barre chords.

    I’m glad you’re giving folks who might have passed on buying To the Bone, when you could, another shot at hearing it, Willard, and appreciate you giving ME the chance to hear the rehearsals. Can’t wait.

    And still hoping for that last great Kinks album …

    • Willard
      November 22, 2011 - 16:21 | Permalink

      Here’s hoping…

  • pete
    November 22, 2011 - 14:42 | Permalink

    Kinda Krappy Krunchy Khords? Is that what you’re saying? And who knew the Kinks actually rehearsed? Lovably loose, I always thought. I look forward to checking these out — thanks.

  • Johnny Kinkdom
    November 22, 2011 - 15:02 | Permalink

    Saw the final tour on Long Island and spoke to a publicist before the show. The sessions that became ‘To The Bone’ were scheduled to be released. Publicist said Ray wanted to call it ‘Live at Club Vegas’ even though it was recorded at Konk. I guess that was too tacky for even the Kinks. Oh, well. The rehearsals have been out their for awhile and are a really nice treat for fans. Thanks for expanding the Kinkdom. We can always use more residents!

  • AussieJohn
    November 24, 2011 - 22:59 | Permalink

    Thanks for this! Does anyone know of any other See My Friends done live – I can’t recall ever having seen one….

  • DavidWatts
    December 4, 2011 - 07:49 | Permalink

    Thanks for this post and for all you do. More Kinks please!

  • Jon
    March 17, 2013 - 15:01 | Permalink

    Thank you so very much for the ‘To The Bone’ rehearsals – I had no idea this even existed.

    Not to be greedy, but any chance of a lossless rip?

    • Willard
      March 17, 2013 - 17:23 | Permalink

      Sorry, don’t deal with lossless around here. The files are too big and my ears are too bad to tell the difference.

  • paulfalk
    October 25, 2013 - 12:52 | Permalink

    Saw the Kinks fourteen times between ’73 and ’95. They went from small theaters (2500 seats or so) to hockey arenas (17,000 seats) to, sadly, a 1200 seat “theater in the round” the last time they played here in Buffalo. It was sad to see these r&r greats trying to adjust to a stupid rotating stage, and although the show was awesome, it was sad they had dropped so much in popularity. I’m actually glad that was their last tour, before they would become one of the pathetic old farts at play oldie bands that clog up the casinos and play “free” after lunch oldies shows (insert name of any 60’s, 70’s or eighties band that only has one, sometimes NONE of the original members). They might not have gone out on top, but at least they went out with grace and a respect for their fans. However, some former members of the band do do shows as “The Kast Off Kinks” and have released a couple e.p.’s of, you guessed it, old Kinks hits. Now that’s pathetic!

    • Willard
      October 25, 2013 - 13:00 | Permalink

      Personally, I kind of zoned out on the Kinks in the 90s. That arena rock got old for me. But… I was just missing the 70s. Didn’t even know about The Kast Off Kinks, however. Sounds bloody terrifying.

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