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The Kinks - Picture Book

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Picture Book

The Kinks

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One problem with a long wait is that things happen in the interim. In the case of the highly anticipated Kinks box set, these things were a steady stream of reissues and repackages -- some of these were pulled from the shelves before the unveiling of the six-disc Picture Book in late 2008, but at that late date almost all of the Kinks vaults had been emptied on deluxe reissues of every album from 1964's The Kinks until 1984's Word of Mouth (capped off by a triple-disc version of Village Green Preservation Society), with various other compilations like Live at the BBC and Dave Davies' Unfinished Business filling out the gaps. All this means that Picture Book isn't quite the clearinghouse for rarities it once would have been -- and many of the unreleased tracks here are often alternate takes or mono mixes, although there are some quite interesting demos here -- but the main purpose of Picture Book, as it would be with any box set this size for an artist with a career as significant and lengthy as the Kinks, is to tell the story as thoroughly as possible and on that level, it's very successful, even observant. As always, it's possible to quibble over song exclusions, this time with some justification -- since they had a surplus of great songs in the '60s many are left behind, singles from "Plastic Man" to "Jukebox Music" are overlooked, and another opportunity to reissue the studio version of "When I Turn Off the Living Room Light" is missed -- but to dwell on what's missing is to ignore what's here: 138 tracks that tell the tale of one of Britain's greatest bands -- and one of their strangest -- in detail. This detail does mean each act of the story gets almost equal treatment, with the band's heyday of 1966-1970 deservedly receiving a slight emphasis, with precisely a third of this set devoted to these glory years. Even this cold statistic suggests that the box leans heavily on Face to Face through Lola, which isn't quite right: it lingers on the prime but not at the expense of either the group's early or later years or even their early-'70s detour into odd theatrics. Picture Book takes a little while to get going, cycling through some standard-issue British beat before the band starts to hit its groove after cutting "You Really Got Me," which non-chronologically opens the set like a fanfare. Similarly, it also has a bit of a long close, as the Davies brothers drag into the mid-'90s with Phobia and To the Bone, but between this slow start and finish lies one of the greatest pop sagas in all its glory and occasional bewildering embarrassment. Fortunately, there's not much of the latter, as the set cherry-picks Ray Davies' convoluted concept albums well and gets the best of the uneven '80s LPs (although the choice to include the smash comeback "Come Dancing" as only a demo is a bit puzzling), making this a full-bodied, representative portrait of a band that's notoriously difficult to pigeonhole. Inevitably, some partisans will grouse that there's too much latter-day stuff at the expense of that classic '60s run, but that's not quite right: Picture Book does a remarkable job of getting into the flow of their career, so the transition from the delicate Village Green to the America-conquering arena rockers of a decade later makes sense. The group had to go through the loose-limbed, ragged Muswell Hillbillies before settling into the concept albums where every gesture became grander -- all theatrics amped up for the time when the amps themselves ruled the roost. As this covers the Kinks itself, not Ray Davies, this stops during his fallow period in the '90s -- ever the misfit, he managed not to capitalize on the Brit-pop moment he godfathered -- so there's not quite an upward swing at the conclusion as there would be if his solo albums were taken into equation. Even so, Picture Book has a wealth of riches, proof that the Kinks are in the first ranks of rockers, right up there with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. What other band could invent hard rock and metal with a two-chord riff, then detour into wry social satire, then establish modern British pop with Something Else, retreat into nostalgia before inventing the rock opera before the Who, then sell America tongue-in-cheek hard rock about gas shortages and the falling dollar, then feel totally at ease on MTV...all the while having a second command as exuberant and open as Dave Davies, who does get his fair shake here. No other band could claim that because there is no other band like the Kinks, as this long-awaited, largely essential, always absorbing box set proves conclusively.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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Picture Book

The Kinks

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1
Brian Matthew Introduces the Kinks (Live At the BBC)
The Kinks
00:00:08

The Kinks, MainArtist

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1964 BBC licensed courtesy of BBC Worldwide to Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG company

2
You Really Got Me (Mono Mix)
The Kinks
00:02:14

Raymond Douglas Davies, Composer, Writer - Dave Davies, Backing Vocals, Lead Guitar - Ray Davies, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer, Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica - The Kinks, MainArtist - Shel Talmy, Producer - Mick Avory, Drums, Percussion - Pete Quaife, Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1964 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

3
I'm a Hog for You Baby (Demo)
The Ravens
00:01:39

The Boll-Weevils, MainArtist

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 2008 Kinks Properties Ltd.

4
I Believed You (Demo)
The Ravens
00:01:56

The Boll-Weevils, MainArtist

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1998 Kinks Properties Ltd.

5
Long Tall Sally (Mono Mix)
The Kinks
00:02:11

Enotris Johnson, Composer, Writer - Robert Blackwell, Composer, Writer - Dave Davies, Backing Vocals, Lead Guitar - Ray Davies, Keyboards, Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica - Richard Penniman, Composer, Writer - The Kinks, MainArtist - Mick Avory, Drums, Percussion - Pete Quaife, Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1964 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

6
I Don't Need You Anymore
The Ravens
00:02:09

The Ravens, MainArtist

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 2008 Kinks Properties Ltd.

7
Stop Your Sobbing
The Kinks
00:02:05

Raymond Douglas Davies, Composer, Writer - Dave Davies, Backing Vocals, Lead Guitar - Ray Davies, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer, Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica - The Kinks, MainArtist - Shel Talmy, Producer - Mick Avory, Drums, Percussion - Pete Quaife, Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1964 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

8
I Gotta Move
The Kinks
00:02:23

Raymond Douglas Davies, Composer - Dave Davies, Backing Vocals, Lead Guitar - Ray Davies, Keyboards, Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica - Robert Plant, Composer - Jimmy Page, Composer - The Kinks, MainArtist - John Bonham, Composer - Shel Talmy, Producer - Mick Avory, Drums, Percussion - Pete Quaife, Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1964 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

9
Don't Ever Let Me Go
The Kinks
00:02:19

Ray Davies, Composer - The Kinks, MainArtist - Shel Talmy, Producer

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

10
All Day and All of the Night
The Kinks
00:02:21

Raymond Douglas Davies, Composer, Writer - Dave Davies, Backing Vocals, Lead Guitar - Ray Davies, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer, Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica - The Kinks, MainArtist - Shel Talmy, Producer - Mick Avory, Drums, Percussion - Pete Quaife, Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1964 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

11
Tired of Waiting for You
The Kinks
00:02:29

Dave Davies, Backing Vocals, Lead Guitar - Ray Davies, Composer, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer, Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica - The Kinks, MainArtist - Shel Talmy, Producer - Mick Avory, Percussion - Pete Quaife, Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1965 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

12
Come On Now (Mono Outtake With Two False Starts)
The Kinks
00:03:38

Dave Davies, Lead Guitar - Ray Davies, Guitar, Vocals, Writer - The Kinks, MainArtist - Shel Talmy, Producer - Mick Avory, Drums - Pete Quaife, Bass Guitar

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1965 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

13
There's a New World Just Opening for Me (Mono Kassner Publishing Demo)
The Kinks
00:02:27

The Kinks, MainArtist

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 2008 Kinks Properties Ltd.

14
Ev'rybody's Gonna Be Happy
The Kinks
00:02:13

Dave Davies, Backing Vocals, Lead Guitar - Ray Davies, Composer, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer, Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica - The Kinks, MainArtist - Shel Talmy, Producer - Mick Avory, Percussion - Pete Quaife, Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1965 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

15
Who'll Be the Next In Line
The Kinks
00:01:59

Ray Davies, Writer - The Kinks, MainArtist - Shel Talmy, Producer

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1965 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

16
Time Will Tell
The Kinks
00:02:35

The Kinks, MainArtist - Shel Talmy, Producer

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1965 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

17
Set Me Free
The Kinks
00:02:09

Dave Davies, Backing Vocals, Lead Guitar - Ray Davies, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer, Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica - The Kinks, MainArtist - Mick Avory, Percussion - Pete Quaife, Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1965 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

18
I Need You
The Kinks
00:02:23

Dave Davies, Backing Vocals, Lead Guitar - Ray Davies, Keyboards, Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica - The Kinks, MainArtist - Shel Talmy, Producer - Mick Avory, Percussion - Pete Quaife, Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1965 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

19
See My Friends
The Kinks
00:02:44

Dave Davies, Backing Vocals, Lead Guitar - Ray Davies, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer, Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica - The Kinks, MainArtist - Shel Talmy, Producer - Mick Avory, Percussion - Pete Quaife, Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1965 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

20
Wait Till the Summer Comes Along
The Kinks
00:02:05

The Kinks, Performance, MainArtist

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1965 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

21
I Go to Sleep (Demo Version)
The Kinks
00:02:42

The Kinks, Performance, MainArtist

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1998 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

22
A Little Bit of Sunlight (Kassner Publishing Demo)
The Kinks
00:01:50

Dave Davies, Backing Vocals, Lead Guitar - Ray Davies, Keyboards, Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica - The Kinks, MainArtist - Mick Avory, Percussion - Pete Quaife, Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 2008 Kinks Properties Ltd.

23
This I Know (Demo)
The Kinks
00:02:01

Dave Davies, Backing Vocals, Lead Guitar - Ray Davies, Keyboards, Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica - The Kinks, MainArtist - Mick Avory, Percussion - Pete Quaife, Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

24
A Well Respected Man (Mono Mix)
The Kinks
00:02:41

Dave Davies, Backing Vocals, Lead Guitar - Ray Davies, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer, Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica - The Kinks, MainArtist - Shel Talmy, Producer - Mick Avory, Percussion - Pete Quaife, Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1965 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

25
This Strange Effect (Live at Aeolian Hall, 1965)
The Kinks
00:02:33

Dave Davies, Vocals, Lead Guitar - Ray Davies, Piano, Vocals - The Kinks, MainArtist - Keith Bateson, Producer - Mick Avory, Drums - Pete Quaife, Bass Guitar

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1965 BBC licensed courtesy of BBC Worldwide to Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG company

26
Milk Cow Blues
The Kinks
00:03:40

Dave Davies, Backing Vocals, Lead Guitar - Ray Davies, Keyboards, Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica - The Kinks, Composer, MainArtist - Shel Talmy, Producer - Mick Avory, Percussion - Pete Quaife, Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1965 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

27
Ring the Bells
The Kinks
00:02:17

Dave Davies, Backing Vocals, Lead Guitar - Ray Davies, Keyboards, Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica - The Kinks, Composer, MainArtist - Mick Avory, Percussion - Pete Quaife, Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1965 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

28
I'm On an Island
The Kinks
00:02:14

Dave Davies, Backing Vocals, Lead Guitar - Ray Davies, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer, Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica - The Kinks, MainArtist - Shel Talmy, Producer - Mick Avory, Percussion - Pete Quaife, Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1965 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

29
Till the End of the Day (Mono Mix)
The Kinks
00:02:18

Raymond Douglas Davies, Composer, Writer - Dave Davies, Backing Vocals, Lead Guitar - Ray Davies, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer, Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica - The Kinks, MainArtist - Shel Talmy, Producer - Mick Avory, Percussion - Pete Quaife, Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1965 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

30
Where Have All the Good Times Gone
The Kinks
00:02:49

Raymond Douglas Davies, Composer, Writer - Dave Davies, Backing Vocals, Lead Guitar - Ray Davies, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer, Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica - The Kinks, MainArtist - Shel Talmy, Producer - Mick Avory, Percussion - Pete Quaife, Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1965 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

31
All Night Stand (Mono Mix;Demo)
The Kinks
00:01:52

The Kinks, Performance, MainArtist

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

32
And I Will Love You (Mono Mix)
The Kinks
00:02:17

The Kinks, Performance, MainArtist

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

33
Sittin' On My Sofa
The Kinks
00:03:03

Dave Davies, Backing Vocals, Lead Guitar - Ray Davies, Keyboards, Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica - The Kinks, MainArtist - Shel Talmy, Producer - Mick Avory, Percussion - Pete Quaife, Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1966 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

DISC 2

1
Dedicated Follower of Fashion (Alternate Version)
The Kinks
00:03:01

Dave Davies, Backing Vocals, Lead Guitar - Ray Davies, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer, Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica - The Kinks, MainArtist - Shel Talmy, Producer - Mick Avory, Percussion - Pete Quaife, Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1998 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

2
She's Got Everything (Stereo Mix)
The Kinks
00:03:09

Raymond Douglas Davies, Composer - Ray Davies, Writer - The Kinks, MainArtist - Shel Talmy, Producer

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1968 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

3
Mr. Reporter (Ray Davies Vocal Version)
The Kinks
00:03:55

Dave Davies, Backing Vocals, Lead Guitar - Ray Davies, Producer, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer, Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica - The Kinks, MainArtist - Shel Talmy, Producer - Mick Avory, Percussion - Pete Quaife, Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

4
Sunny Afternoon (Mono Mix)
The Kinks
00:03:30

Raymond Douglas Davies, Composer - Dave Davies, Backing Vocals, Lead Guitar - Ray Davies, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer, Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica - The Kinks, MainArtist - Shel Talmy, Producer - Mick Avory, Drums, Percussion - Pete Quaife, Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1966 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

5
I'm Not Like Everybody Else (Mono Mix)
The Kinks
00:03:26

Dave Davies, Backing Vocals, Lead Guitar - Ray Davies, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer, Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica - The Kinks, MainArtist - Shel Talmy, Producer - Mick Avory, Percussion - Pete Quaife, Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1966 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

6
This Is Where I Belong (Mono Mix)
The Kinks
00:02:22

Raymond Douglas Davies, Composer - Ray Davies, Writer - The Kinks, MainArtist - Shel Talmy, Producer

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1967 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

7
Rosy Won't You Please Come Home (Mono Mix)
The Kinks
00:02:31

Dave Davies, Backing Vocals, Lead Guitar - Ray Davies, Composer, Keyboards, Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica - The Kinks, Composer, MainArtist - Shel Talmy, Producer - Mick Avory, Drums, Percussion - Pete Quaife, Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1966 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

8
Too Much on My Mind (Stereo Mix)
The Kinks
00:02:25

Raymond Douglas Davies, Composer - Dave Davies, Backing Vocals, Lead Guitar - Ray Davies, Keyboards, Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica - The Kinks, Composer, MainArtist - Shel Talmy, Producer - Mick Avory, Drums, Percussion - Pete Quaife, Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1966 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

9
Session Man (Mono Mix)
The Kinks
00:02:12

Dave Davies, Backing Vocals, Lead Guitar - Ray Davies, Composer, Keyboards, Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica - The Kinks, Composer, MainArtist - Shel Talmy, Producer - Mick Avory, Drums, Percussion - Pete Quaife, Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1966 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

10
End of the Season
The Kinks
00:02:56

Dave Davies, Backing Vocals, Lead Guitar - Ray Davies, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer, Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica - The Kinks, MainArtist - Mick Avory, Percussion - Pete Quaife, Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1967 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

11
Dead End Street (First Version)
The Kinks
00:02:58

Raymond Douglas Davies, Composer - Ray Davies, Producer, Writer - The Kinks, MainArtist

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

12
Village Green (Stereo Mix)
The Kinks
00:02:07

Dave Davies, Backing Vocals, Lead Guitar - Ray Davies, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer, Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica - The Kinks, MainArtist - Shel Talmy, Producer - Mick Avory, Percussion - Pete Quaife, Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1968 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

13
Two Sisters
The Kinks
00:01:59

Dave Davies, Backing Vocals, Lead Guitar - Ray Davies, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer, Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica - The Kinks, MainArtist - Shel Talmy, Producer - Mick Avory, Percussion - Pete Quaife, Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1967 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

14
David Watts
The Kinks
00:02:30

Raymond Douglas Davies, Composer, Writer - Dave Davies, Backing Vocals, Lead Guitar - Ray Davies, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer, Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica - The Kinks, MainArtist - Shel Talmy, Producer - Mick Avory, Percussion - Pete Quaife, Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1967 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

15
Mr. Pleasant
The Kinks
00:02:57

Raymond Douglas Davies, Composer - Ray Davies, Writer - The Kinks, MainArtist - Shel Talmy, Producer

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1967 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

16
Waterloo Sunset
The Kinks
00:03:13

Raymond Douglas Davies, Composer - Ray Davies, Writer - The Kinks, MainArtist - Shel Talmy, Producer

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1967 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

17
Death of a Clown
The Kinks
00:03:01

Raymond Douglas Davies, Composer - Dave Davies, Composer, Vocals, Writer, Lead Guitar - Ray Davies, Producer, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Writer, Rhythm Guitar, Harmonica - The Kinks, MainArtist - Mick Avory, Percussion - Pete Quaife, Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals

© 2008 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1967 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

Album Description

One problem with a long wait is that things happen in the interim. In the case of the highly anticipated Kinks box set, these things were a steady stream of reissues and repackages -- some of these were pulled from the shelves before the unveiling of the six-disc Picture Book in late 2008, but at that late date almost all of the Kinks vaults had been emptied on deluxe reissues of every album from 1964's The Kinks until 1984's Word of Mouth (capped off by a triple-disc version of Village Green Preservation Society), with various other compilations like Live at the BBC and Dave Davies' Unfinished Business filling out the gaps. All this means that Picture Book isn't quite the clearinghouse for rarities it once would have been -- and many of the unreleased tracks here are often alternate takes or mono mixes, although there are some quite interesting demos here -- but the main purpose of Picture Book, as it would be with any box set this size for an artist with a career as significant and lengthy as the Kinks, is to tell the story as thoroughly as possible and on that level, it's very successful, even observant. As always, it's possible to quibble over song exclusions, this time with some justification -- since they had a surplus of great songs in the '60s many are left behind, singles from "Plastic Man" to "Jukebox Music" are overlooked, and another opportunity to reissue the studio version of "When I Turn Off the Living Room Light" is missed -- but to dwell on what's missing is to ignore what's here: 138 tracks that tell the tale of one of Britain's greatest bands -- and one of their strangest -- in detail. This detail does mean each act of the story gets almost equal treatment, with the band's heyday of 1966-1970 deservedly receiving a slight emphasis, with precisely a third of this set devoted to these glory years. Even this cold statistic suggests that the box leans heavily on Face to Face through Lola, which isn't quite right: it lingers on the prime but not at the expense of either the group's early or later years or even their early-'70s detour into odd theatrics. Picture Book takes a little while to get going, cycling through some standard-issue British beat before the band starts to hit its groove after cutting "You Really Got Me," which non-chronologically opens the set like a fanfare. Similarly, it also has a bit of a long close, as the Davies brothers drag into the mid-'90s with Phobia and To the Bone, but between this slow start and finish lies one of the greatest pop sagas in all its glory and occasional bewildering embarrassment. Fortunately, there's not much of the latter, as the set cherry-picks Ray Davies' convoluted concept albums well and gets the best of the uneven '80s LPs (although the choice to include the smash comeback "Come Dancing" as only a demo is a bit puzzling), making this a full-bodied, representative portrait of a band that's notoriously difficult to pigeonhole. Inevitably, some partisans will grouse that there's too much latter-day stuff at the expense of that classic '60s run, but that's not quite right: Picture Book does a remarkable job of getting into the flow of their career, so the transition from the delicate Village Green to the America-conquering arena rockers of a decade later makes sense. The group had to go through the loose-limbed, ragged Muswell Hillbillies before settling into the concept albums where every gesture became grander -- all theatrics amped up for the time when the amps themselves ruled the roost. As this covers the Kinks itself, not Ray Davies, this stops during his fallow period in the '90s -- ever the misfit, he managed not to capitalize on the Brit-pop moment he godfathered -- so there's not quite an upward swing at the conclusion as there would be if his solo albums were taken into equation. Even so, Picture Book has a wealth of riches, proof that the Kinks are in the first ranks of rockers, right up there with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. What other band could invent hard rock and metal with a two-chord riff, then detour into wry social satire, then establish modern British pop with Something Else, retreat into nostalgia before inventing the rock opera before the Who, then sell America tongue-in-cheek hard rock about gas shortages and the falling dollar, then feel totally at ease on MTV...all the while having a second command as exuberant and open as Dave Davies, who does get his fair shake here. No other band could claim that because there is no other band like the Kinks, as this long-awaited, largely essential, always absorbing box set proves conclusively.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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Britpop in 10 Albums

“If punk was about getting rid of hippies, then I'm getting rid of grunge.” It was with this sentence from Damon Albarn in 1993 that England invaded the stage previously dominated by Nirvana and Seattle grunge. Britpop is deeply linked to politics and local identity and emerged just as Tony Blair and New Labour were entering the scene. English romanticism was once again becoming attractive compared to the American identity, which was considered too hollow in the UK. Make way for “Cool Britannia”.

The Dark Side of the Moon: An Astronomical Success

Pink Floyd's ground-breaking album The Dark Side of the Moon was the result of a long creative process that began around 1968. A Saucerful of Secrets (the main track from the eponymous album) was, for Nick Mason at least, where it all began. Their next album Ummagumma (1969) gave each band member the opportunity to create a solo piece, though they would have to combine their talents if they wanted to hit the jackpot. Pink Floyd continued to search for the perfect record with Meddle, an album which highlighted their skills in the studio, and Atom Heart Mother, before they reached nirvana with The Dark Side of the Moon. And the album’s perfection hasn’t faded one bit.

1968/1972, The Stones’ Four Aces

Beggars Banquet, Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers and Exile On Main Street: in five years, the Rolling Stones sign their biggest records. Four masterworks that would shake up the history of rock ’n’ roll…

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