The EP Collection Volume Two

Release info:

Produced by: Shel Talmy, Ray Davies
Release date: 18 Nov, 1991
Record label & catalog #: See For Miles SEE 329
Country: UK
Format: 12" vinyl LP (album), 33 1/3 RPM
Release type: Compilation


Side 1
1. Long Tall Shorty   stereo mix (2:48), recorded late Aug 1964 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
2. I Took My Baby Home   stereo mix (1:46), recorded probably 17 Jan, 1964 at Pye Studios (No. 1), London
3. Got Love If You Want It   stereo mix (3:49), recorded late Aug 1964 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
4. Tired Of Waiting For You   mono mix (2:30), recorded 17, 18, 24, 25 Aug 1964 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London, with additional guitar overdub at IBC Studios, London in 29 Dec 1964
5. Come On Now   mono mix (1:45), recorded 22 or 23 Dec, 1964 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
6. You Can't Win   mono mix (2:38), recorded 25-30 Oct, 1965 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
7. Where Have All The Good Times Gone   mono mix (2:48), recorded 25-30 Oct, 1965 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
8. Never Met A Girl Like You Before   mono mix (2:03), recorded 14 Apr, 1965 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
9. Party Line   stereo mix (2:32), recorded Apr 1966 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
10. Dandy   mono mix (2:08), recorded probably Jan 1966 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
11. Sunny Afternoon   mono mix (3:31), recorded 13 May, 1966 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
Side 2
1. Dead End Street   mono mix (3:20), recorded probably 22 Oct, 1966 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
2. I'm Not Like Everybody Else   mono mix (3:29), recorded probably Jan 1966 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
3. Big Black Smoke   mono mix (2:32), recorded probably 21 Oct, 1966 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
4. Session Man   stereo mix (2:07), recorded May 1966 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
5. Fancy   stereo mix (2:25), recorded 14 May, 1966 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
6. This Is Where I Belong   mono mix (2:25), recorded May 1966 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
7. Sitting On My Sofa   mono mix (3:03), recorded 29, 30 Dec, 1965 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
8. Mr. Pleasant   mono mix (3:00), recorded Mar 1967 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
9. Waterloo Sunset   stereo mix (3:17), recorded Apr 1967 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
10. Act Nice & Gentle   mono mix (2:39), recorded probably Jan 1967 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
11. Village Green   stereo mix (2:08), recorded 25 Nov, 1966 (string overdubs Feb 1967) at Pye Studios (No. 2), London

Liner Notes:

Those following See For Miles' estimable 'EP Collection' series will already be aware of 'The Kinks EP Collection Volume I' (SEE/SEECD/SEEK 295). They may also be puzzled by this second volume as its predecessor compiled every track issued in Britain in that format. Here, however, the EPs in question are French, which not only gives access to yet more Kink Klassics, but also to several rare performances.

The opening song, 'Long Tall Shorty', first appeared on the Kinks' eponymous debut album and Dave Davies' rasping treatment of Tommy Tucker's R&B standard also closed the group's first French EP. The same set also featured a pulsating version of Chuck Berry's 'Beautiful Delilah' and a rendition of 'I'm A Lover Not A Fighter', initially recorded by Lazy Lester. These songs also feature Dave on vocals and such inclusions provide a timely reminder of the important role the line-up's youngest member enjoyed on early releases.

Leader Ray Davies was responsible for 'I Took My Baby Home', initially issued as the flipside of 'Long Tall Sally', the Kinks' first single. Although largely indebted to prevalent Merseybeat, the song provided an early indication of his emergent songwriting talents. However, although his compositions would soon provide the group with almost all of their material, judicious favourites remained an itegral part of the overall picture, as evinced by a vibrant interpretation of Slim Harpo's 'Got Love If You Want It'. Never comfortable with the cut & thrust of R&B, this more-measured song was ideal for Ray's laconic delivery and his explosive, if underused, harmonica style.

Released in January 1965, 'Tired Of Waiting For You' became the group's second UK chart-topper and confirmed them as one of the country's leading acts. Despite Ray's newfound, almost wistful, approach, the same artiste was still capable of rocking out. 'Come On Now' offers little melody, yet there's no denying the sheer power of the performance and its excitement, while 'I Need You', originally the flip of 'Set Me Free', was cut from the same bone-crunching cloth, and is included herein by virtue of its subsequent appearance on "Kinks Volume 5".

A further 'B' side, 'Where Have All The Good Times Gone', is arguably one of Ray Davies' finest early songs. Later covered by David Bowie on "Pin Ups", its sense of longing belied the youthfulness of its creator, yet much of the undoubted effectiveness is derived from an excellent melody. The contrast between its poignancy and the simple sentiments of 'You Can't Win' simply enforce the composer's versatility. The final track on the UK LP "The Kink Kontroversy", it is one of several overlooked gems on a set which closed the group's early period and ushered in the social commentary/satirical era for which they are most fondly remembered. 'What's In Store For Me', later culled for the EP "Dedicated Follower Of Fashion", also dates from this exemplary set and catches Dave performing a song, redolent of the Sir Douglas Quintet's 'She's About A Mover', with his customary verve. Meanwhile 'Never Met A Girl Like You Like You [sic] Before' is also a cheerful reminder of the writer's pop craftsmanship. Originally coupled to the introspective 'See My Friends', this jaunty celebration did not appear on a contemporary album and is one of the rarer Kinks' 60s recordings. The same is true of 'Sittin' On My Sofa', which supported the ground-breaking 'Dedicated Follower Of Fashion'. The former song is little more than a riff, perhaps betraying a hasty origin, yet its very casualness simply adds to an undoubted charm.

'Dandy' and 'Party Line', two songs which first appeared in 1966 on "Face To Face" in the UK, were coupled together on a Continental-only single. In France, where the 2-track format was largely a novelty, they were joined by two further cuts from that excellent album, the raga-influenced 'Fancy' and the plea-ridden 'Rosie Won't You Please Come Home', largely taken by afficionados as an open address by Ray to one of his sisters. 'Dandy' the EP's title track, is a highly commercial song, and could well have been considered as a Kinks' UK single. It would doubtlessly have been a smash; as versions by Herman's Hermits, the Rockin' Vickers and Clinton Ford simply emphasised its potential.

A UK number 1 in the summer of '66, 'Sunny Afternoon', is rightly regarded as one of the Kinks' finest singles with its biting lyric, compulsive hooklines and memorable, descending riff. Yet once again Ray Davies used the opportunity to provide a contrasting coupling. 'I'm Not Like Everybody Else', written with contemporaries the Animals in mind and paradoxically sung by Dave, is the group at their most assertive and this highly personal declaration - there's no mistaking its depth of feeling - was taken up by several US garage groups who saw an affinity in its adolescent snarl.

If 'Sunny Afternoon' dealt with the decaying landed classes, 'Dead End Street' chronicled a less-affluent birthright. The succession of images, and feeling of hopelessness, were somewhat doomy for a pop song, yet the single still reached the UK Top 5 thanks to yet another superb tune. A corresponding video, portraying the group as scurrilous undertakers, was however banned on the grounds of bad taste although the attendant publicity doubtlessly aided chart progress anyway. Its 'B' side, 'Big Black Smoke' - cautionary tale of a young innocent abroad in the city - was another impressive performance and both tracks formed the core of a tenth French EP, entitled, not un-naturally, "Dead End Street". Also present was 'Session Man', Ray's tongue-in-cheek 'tribute' to pianist Nicky Hopkins who had played on numerous Kinks' sessions. Who could resist its lyric - "He's a session man, a chord progressian, a top musician" - nor its sense of irony.

The Kinks were highly popular in Europe, as the multiplicity of releases would suggest. It was inevitable that at some point an exclusive would follow, something borne out by 'Mr. Pleasant'. This jaunty piece, a close cousin of the infamous 'Well Respected Man', was also marked by a vaudevillian impression of England enhanced by its mock trad-jazz backing. The song was eventually issued in Britain on the reverse of 'Autumn Almanac', but no contemporary spot was found for its sparkling coupling, 'This Is Where I Belong'. Although denied a UK pressing until now, it had been scheduled to appear on a Kinks' Charities EP, pencilled for release in April 1967. Set to accompany it were 'Mr. Reporter' and 'And I Will Love You', both shelved, 'Two Sisters', later to appear on "Something Else" and 'Village Green', which would not surface in Britain until the following year on the "Village Green Preservation Society" LP. However, this nostalgic composition joined 'This Is Where I Belong' and 'Mr. Pleasant' on the "Mr Pleasant" EP which, for a brief time, basked in the notoriety of its exclusive content. Subsequent releases elsewhere would end this status, but such anomilies are what made the EP genre so appealing.

The Kinks' 1967 singles closed with 'Waterloo Sunset'/'Act Nice And Gentle', both of which also appeared on the group's 12th, and final, French EP. The former remains one of their best-loved, and more common, performances, while the latter is more elusive. An almost country and western song and a preview, perhaps, of the direction taken on "Muswell Hillbillies", 'Act Nice And Gentle' is another performance which has generally escaped repackaging. Thus herein is included the familiar and the rare, in effect the function of the EP itself, and yet another reminder of the excellence of the Kinks.

Nicky Keith

Related Releases:

The EP Collection Jun 1990 UK See For Miles SEECD 295 CD
The EP Collection 18 Jun, 1990 UK See For Miles SEE 295 12" vinyl LP (album), 33 1/3 RPM
The EP Collection Volume Two 18 Nov, 1991 UK See For Miles SEECD 329 CD
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