The Great Lost Kinks Album

Release info:

Produced by: Ray Davies
Release date: 25 Jan, 1973
Record label & catalog #: Reprise MS 2127
Country: USA
Format: 12" vinyl LP (album), 33 1/3 RPM
Release type: Compilation
Description/Notes: mono and stereo

Tracks:

Side 1
1. Till Death Us Do Part   mono mix (3:12), recorded Sep 1968 at Pye Studios
2. There Is No Life Without Love   mono mix (2:00), recorded probably Jan 1968 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
3. Lavender Hill   mono mix (2:53), recorded probably Aug 1967 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
4. Groovy Movies   stereo mix (2:31), recorded May-Jun 1969 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
5. Rosemary Rose   mono mix (1:43), recorded Jan 1968 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
6. Misty Water   stereo mix (3:03), recorded 3 May, 1968 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
7. Mr. Songbird   stereo mix (2:23), recorded probably Nov-Dec 1967 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
   
Side 2
1. When I Turn Off The Living Room Light   mono mix (2:17), recorded 4 Feb, 1969 at BBC's Riverside Sound Studios, Hammersmith, London
2. The Way Love Used To Be   stereo mix (2:11), recorded 11 Oct 1970, mixed Nov 16-18, 1970 and Jan 1971 at Morgan Studios (2), Willesden, London
3. I'm Not Like Everybody Else   mono mix (3:29), recorded 12 May, 1966 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
4. Plastic Man   mono mix (3:00), recorded Mar 1969 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
5. This Man He Weeps Tonight   stereo mix (2:40), recorded May-Jun 1969 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
6. Pictures In The Sand   mono mix (2:45), recorded May 1968 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
7. Where Did My Spring Go?   mono mix (2:10), recorded 28 Jan, 1969 at BBC's Riverside Sound Studios, Hammersmith, London


Liner Notes:

The title of this album refers to the fact that in early 1969 Reprise was about to release a Kinks album that they knew as RS 6309 and that the public would know as Four More Respected Gentlemen. For reasons not known by your kronikler; that album was never released, and came to be known by the name we've given this one, although this one Is not RS 6309 (several selections of which were included on The Village Green Preservation Society, but rather a collection of never-released-in-America tracks from a whole buncha different places. It will thus be perceived that this is an attempt to simulate electronically a rather than the G. L. K. A. The consumer who consequently feels defrauded is urged to be grateful for this album regardless, to consider that not just any record company would go to the trouble of digging old tracks that never saw the light of day out of its vaults in an attempt to capitalize on the artist's prosperity under different auspices.

When last The Kinks were thusly kronikled, it was proposed that a genius' hat would not rest awkwardly upon Ray(mond Douglas) Davies' head, and/or/but that as performers the group demand even its most ardent fans last vestiges of charity.

As was noted in the earlier Kronikles, though, little could be more futile than attempting to predict Kinkly developments, and, as this is being written (on the eve of 1972's autumn). both of the above immodest proposals shriek out for reconsideration.

By no exertion of the imagination are the present onstage Kinks above reproach. They persist in simply assassinating such of their earlier vintage splendors as "Waterloo Sunset" with John Dalton still, after three years as a Kink and several hundred performances of the song under his belt, daring to come no closer than a yard to his microphone during what on the recorded version was one of the most exquisite vocal harmonies in modern rock history.

Their bringing a transvestite onstage to flop around obscenely during "Lola" may indeed be perceived as degrading to the audience as well as to the song. Who among us doesn't wish that Ray weren't so bitchy to brother Dave onstage, that he weren't so perversely fond of advising Dave to shaddup into his microphone and hence through perhaps 800 p.a. watts when Dave accompanies his elder sibling's between-song patter with a bit of guitar work?

And Ray's acceleratingly queenly stage manner does tend to diminish, if not obviate. the emotional majesty of such songs as "Brainwashed." But in spite of all the above, who can deny that The Kinks have become just about the funnest live rock and roll show under the big sky?

How on earth, for instance, can one not be delighted by an incarnation of The Kinks that can and does leap from its contemporary repertoire into irresistibly haphazard revivals of such charming old horrors as "Baby Face" at the flick of a Davies wrist? And however much it might reduce the effect of an occasional "Brainwashed' to that of such a charming old horror. How can one, in the end, fail to find Ray's tirelessly exuberant "camping' (as the English would have it) less than exhilarating?

Wotta sight are the current Kinks! Groupies charlestoning frenziedly in the wings... An immensely motley horn section one of whom looks like three of Black Sabbath's identical twin, another of whom looks like he just wandered off the bandstand of The Lulu Show doubling up with laughter at the absurd Dixieland that's coming out of their horns... Pudgy John D. and D. Davies, much bewhiskered, cracking one another up with heavy English poses...The perpetually- ravaged-looking John Gosling balanced precariously at his keyboards in the center of a mountain of discarded beer cans.

...And this preposterous bow-tied bastard grandson of Oscar Wilde grinning the most lopsided grin anyone's ever seen while flouncing to and fro like a Ziegfreid choreographer's worst nightmare. But, as was noted in The Kink Kronikles, the role of underdogs has always been much cherished by them, and only a stranger could conceive of a Kinkdom in which nothing was amiss. What's clearly amiss with The Kinks since the dawn of the present decade. if you'll allow your kronikler his two new-pence' worth, is that Raymond D. Davies' songwriting brilliance as a songwriter has greatly dimmed. In many of the songs on 1971's Muswell Hillbillies Ray's treatment of the familiar theme of the old-fashioned, tradition- cherishing soul's inability to suffer the cruel modern world was largely clumsily heavy-handed and obvious, often self-consciously clever rather than satirically incisive. To many, including this kronikler, it seemed that much of that album represented an attempt on Ray's part to blunt the cutting edge of his satire in order to make it digestible to what he hoped would be a mass audience, that he was in fact patronizing a public that had been only marginally aware of The Kinks before "Lola."

In the recent Evervbody's in Show Biz there's hardly a trace of my own favorite Davies, the immensely-social-conscienced champion of the forgotten ordinary people. Instead, it's a bitchily egocentric Davies who dominates the work, one whose primary interest is making clear to his listener the agony he must endure to stay on the road entertaining us.

To which this kroniklers own response is: if it makes him so miserable that he can think of little but the insufferable cuisine of the motorway and how he`s compelled to consume maximum portions of same in order to retain sufficient strength to come onstage to perform for us, he certainly and we probably would be better off in the end if he'd retire from touring and get back to sensitizing us-with some of the most beautiful songs anyone`s ever written - to aspects of the world that few other writers even perceive.

Yes, I, for one. would give up seeing what's become a sublimely enjoyable stageshow if it meant the rejuvenation of the Ray Davies who wrote "Waterloo Sunset" and "Get Back in Line" and "Shangri- La'' and "Days."

When The Kinks are about to perform in my neck of the woods I indeed feel good from morning til the end of the day, but the songs on Arthur, for instance, have been making me feel an entire spectrum of emotions for over three years' worth of days. Better that he should be writing as he once did, say I.

It's just occurred to me that I be better off not revealing to you that most of the selections on the present album were recorded (and probably composed) around the same time as ...Village Green Preservation Society, at which time you'd have stood a better chance of seeing an Onassis on a skateboard than the Kinks van on the dreaded motorway. So how's this kronikler gonna squirm out of the fact that several of the songs here are neither profound humanitanan statements nor nor monuments of satire, but rather only sheerest whimsy? As long as I've told you that. please be so kind as to allow me to tell you what I know and think about each track of this collection . . .

Apparently so demanding are the charts they've been asked to play that the horns can be heard gasping for a second wind about three-quarters of the way through the music-hallish "Til Death Do Us Part" (whose relationship to the British TV show of the same name the inspiration for AIl in the Family, incidentally the kronikler is not certain about). I, for one. am most delighted by the exquisite lines. "l'm only me, not someone better/ Not someone good ..."

"There Is No Life Without Love' should, by virtue of an almost identical arrangement, remind you of ViIIage Green's "Sitting by the Rlverside," and hails from the never-released Dave Davies "solo' album inspired by the immense British and European successes of "Death of a Clown" and kept tucked away in the vaults by virtue of the immense international lack of success of subsequent Dave solo singles.

Possibly contrary to the expectations of recent konverts to the Kinks Kause, "Lavender Hill" reveals little, if anything, about Ray's sexual leanings, and instead simply finds him longing to in habit the world of his own fantasies.

Dave's got fantasies, too, of course. One of which is revealed in decidedly snappy fashion in "Groovy Movies:' another native of his solo project.

Rather in the fashion of Susannah's Still Alive: "Rosemary Rose" is the portrait of a lonely young woman who's finding it no pushover to latch onto a lover. She'd do well. it would seem. to solicit advice in the cosmetic uses of fog and haze from Maria and her daughters Cone of whom. I'II bet, is Wicked Arrabella), whose tale is told in "Misty Water." If she pulls it off she can look forward to the day when such paragons of glamor as R. Davies will find her so enchanting that they'll devote all their time to drawing pictures of their love in the sand. God help her.

"When I Turn Off the Living Room Light:" composed for a British television drama (whose name the kronikler failed to catch, as usual), and, by the sound of it, recorded and mixed In no more than 10 minutes. finds Raymond Doug near the pinnacle of his form, making us us want to laugh and cry simultaneously. We feel like callous swine for giggling at the sorry plight of the two homely lovers described in the song, but how can we help but giggle when the person Ray's singing to is obviously the most unsightly mutant ever coughed up by homo sapiens? Kinks fans of Semitic lineage will perhaps not be inordinately delighted by the ditty's opening remarks.

"The Way Love Use to Be" (one did it with what God - rather than a transplant surgeon - had given him or her to do it with) hails from the sound track of the film Percy, and features a vocal performance by Ray that makes clear that he'll never have to go hungry so long as movie scores demand romantic ballads.

The present album's eldest track. "l'm Not Like Everybody Eise:" was originally the B-side of 1966's "Sunny Afternoon". Unlike Ken Emerson, this kronikler fails to detect anything other than the usual I'm-gonna-let-my-freak-flag-fly sentiments therein, but is nevertheless excited by Dave's impassioned voicing of said sentiments.

"Plastic Man," too, began life as a B-side (to "King Kong"). Unlike such cousins as "Mr. Pleasant," this infectious toe-tapper implies no moral judgement. In fact, by being just unspeakably good-natured musically and pointing out lyrically that plastic folk aren't distressed even when people stomp on their toes and pull their noses all over the landscape. it hints that being plastic might be loads of fun.

The kickoff track from the Dave album, "This Man He Weeps Tonight," features an an uncharacteristically tight instrumental arrangement evocative of the early Byrds, a dynamic vocal, and at least a couple of very strong lyrical images. You'll like it.

"Mr. Songbird" finds Ray once again in a positively exuberant mood, cheerfully warbling perhaps the corniest lyrics ever conceived by a British songwriter. Jimmy Page did not play the recorder.

"Where Did My Spring Go?:" composed for the same TV show as "Living Room Light," is probably the most chillingly cynical of all of Ray's songs. Here he sings the part of a man terrified to the point of cursing the time he spent being in love by the realization that physically he's no more what he once was.

JOHN MENDELSOHN
Los Angeles
September, 1972

(c)1973 Warner Bros Records Inc.
Printed in USA
MS 2127


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