I know I deserve severe chiding for admitting this, but being a late Kinks Konvert, To the Bone was my introduction to songs such as "Muswell Hillbillies", "Better Things", "Celluloid Heroes", "Village Green Preservation Society", et al. This fine collection; along with a revisiting of Word of Mouth, Misfits, and State of Confusion all on vinyl; served to induce a searching out of all the other original Kinks material not in my possession--at least that which is available. Still working on some of the rarer stuff. To this end, To the Bone is a great, great album!
The reworkings of old favorites in an intimate live setting at Ray Davies' Konk Studios are a delightful diversion. I especially like the calypso-like "Apeman", despite Ray's slip-up on "poli-ti-shee-ans", and "See My Friends" which sounds psycho-sensational in a modern recording.
This was also where I first heard such wonderful songs as "Do You Remember Walter" and "Days". "Don't Forget To Dance" sounds absolutely sublime--better than the original. In fact, most all the material at the kozy "Konkfest" is really fine.
Though I think a song like "Do It Again" benefits from "the studio treatment", the concert recordings also don't leave much to be desired. I'd have liked more Konk stuff instead, however. As to the new songs, both "Animal" and "To the Bone" have the qualities I like in a Ray Davies tune.
Though others may deem this album a valedictory or an epitaph, I'll bet little did Mr. Davies know what an "introduction" this fine double-album would be for some.