A welcome re-up request since this compilation of lost gems is a seminal album for any Kinks fan (and even the others). So here it is. Not much to add. More in the previous post below. Catch it here.
As strange as it may seem, this venal compilation released by Reprise (the US label, in England it was Pye) to make some cash on The Kinks' back after they had left for RCA (2 years before, Reprise had released the double Kinks Kronikles the previous year), is one of the best Kinks LP. Yes, these 14 songs, recorded between 1966 and 1970, 5 among them for a putative version of Village Green Preservation Society (and that I had included in the complete version of this LP I posted on this blog previously) stand proudly together and honestly could have been gathered by the band for a single album although they were recorded on a 4 year timespan (except "I'm not like everybody else", great but rather unfitting with the rest and in the first Kinks style). Ray Davies tried too much to be a storyteller after 1967, and most of the Kinks albums between 1967 and 1975 suffered from this ambition (after that, it was the US-influenced sound that ruined the band's offerings). Here, it's a modest but geniusly composed-played-sung series of instant standards songs. Only the Beach Boys and the Beatles were able to achieve this, and Ray Davies had nothing to envy to Brian Wilson or to the Lennon-McCartney tandem. Yes, even if Arthur is one of my favourite Kinks album, this one has always had a particular place in my heart. Since it was shelved in 1975 after Ray Davies instituted legal action and never was reissued on CD, the album became a very rare collector. Songs were for most of them released as bonus tracks on the albums official CD various reissues (you can have details on the wikipedia page here) except for "Til Death Do Us Part" and "Pictures In The Sand". A shame since they both deserve to be included in every CD collection. Even if I got the vinyl, this is not a personal rip. I found it on the net. It seems it's not from the CD versions but directly from the vinyl although the quality is very good and it must sound weird but for me this album should not sound too clean. It's the analogic scratching atmosphere I got in my head and that I want to keep until my last moment. I'm not sure to post often here in the future and if this blog would close with this album, it would not be a bad swansong.