The EP Collection

Release info:

Produced by: Shel Talmy, Ray Davies
Release date: Jun 1990
Record label & catalog #: See For Miles SEECD 295
Country: UK
Format: CD
Release type: Compilation
Description/Notes: Manufactured in France


1. See My Friends   mono mix (2:44), recorded 3 May, 1965 at Pye Studios (No. 1), London
2. All Day And All Of The Night   mono mix (2:20), recorded 24 Sep, 1964 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
3. I Gotta Move   mono mix (2:24), recorded 17, 18, 24, 25 Aug 1964 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
4. Louie Louie   mono mix (2:57), recorded 18 Oct, 1964 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
5. I've Got That Feeling   mono mix (2:45), recorded 18 Oct, 1964 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
6. A Well Respected Man   mono mix (2:38), recorded probably 6 Aug, 1965 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
7. Don't You Fret   mono mix (2:41), recorded probably 6 Aug, 1965 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
8. It's Alright   mono mix (2:35), recorded mid-Jun, 1964 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
9. Things Are Getting Better   mono mix (1:57), recorded 18 Oct, 1964 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
10. I Gotta Go Now   mono mix (2:54), recorded 24 Sep, 1964 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
11. Set Me Free   mono mix (2:10), recorded 14 Apr, 1965 at Pye Studios (No. 1), London
12. You Really Got Me   mono mix (2:13), recorded mid-Jul 1964 at IBC Studios, London
13. Wait Till The Summer Comes Along   mono mix (2:06), recorded probably 3 May, 1965 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
14. Till The End Of The Day   mono mix (2:18), recorded 25-30 Oct, 1965 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
15. Such A Shame   mono mix (2:17), recorded probably 14 Apr, 1965 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
16. Dedicated Follower Of Fashion   mono mix (2:59), recorded 7 Feb, 1966 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
17. David Watts   stereo mix (2:37), recorded probably May-Jun 1967 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
18. Two Sisters   mono mix (2:01), recorded 24, 25 Nov, 1966 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
19. Lazy Old Sun   mono mix (2:46), recorded Jun 1967 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
20. Situation Vacant   mono mix (3:11), recorded early-to-mid 1967 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
21. Death Of A Clown   stereo mix (3:12), recorded Jun 1967 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
22. Love Me Till The Sun Shines   mono mix (3:15), recorded Jun 1967 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
23. Funny Face   mono mix (2:17), recorded May-Jun 1967 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
24. Susannah's Still Alive   mono mix (2:21), recorded probably Aug 1967 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London

Liner Notes:

In August 1964 the Kinks claimed their first No. 1 hit, "You Really Got Me" was the group's third single; it's cutting riff, demonic drive and sheer excitement factor had propelled them on from more tentative predecessors. Their debut release, (a cover of "Long Tall Sally"), and the follow-up, ("You Still Want Me", an unpolished original), scarcely prepared the listener for the compulsive, inspired onslaught. With this, the Kinks had blossomed from being hopeful pretenders to the declared front-runners.

Their history requires scant repetition. Formed around a core of Ray Davies (v.g.), his brother Dave (v.g.) and schoolfriend Pete Quaife (b.), by 1963 they'd acquired a more permanent name, the Ravens, and a management team. They'd also moved out of the beat clubs and dance-halls of their Muswell Hill home turf and were playing R&B on the debs' circuit. A demo tape secured them a publishing deal, a producer and, in January 1964, a recording deal with Pye. By that time they'd changed their name to the Kinks and the final piece of the jigsaw followed when drummer Mich Avory joined after an audition.

The group's subsequent success pinpointed Ray Davies'songwriting talent; it was thus no real surprise that their first E.P. should develop this facet. "Kinksize Session" was issued in November 1964. None of the songs appeared on a contemporary release and it provided a fascinating insight into his early work. Here, three originals contrasted a version of "Louie Louie," itself the prototype for "You Really Got Me," and its inclusion seems to acknowledge this debt. By contrast, the melodic "I've Got That Feeling" is almost "Merseybeat" in construction while "Things Are Getting Better" plugs into the riff that had appeared on "Revenge" from the group's first album. The third composition, "I Gotta Go Now," offered the reflective jazz-based direction Davies was experimenting with at the time. This style was also heard on "It's Alright," the flipside to that seminal third release. One of Ray's earliest songs, his laconic vocal style seems to suggest a debt to pianist Mose Allison. The searing instrumental breaks, however, are pure British R&B.

"It's Alright" and "You Really Got Me" both appeared on "Kinksize Hits," released in January 1965. The ohter titles were "All Day And All Of the Night," the successful follow-up single, (No. 2/October '64) and its coupling, "I Gotta Move." Whereas "All Day ..." was an (excellent) inversion of its predecessor, "I Gotta Move" once again showed how Ray was expanding his songwriting as he tried to hone his ideal direction. Such early tracks, however, are more than merely formative and surpass much of what their rivals could offer.

"Kwyet Kinks" (September 1965) was arguably the group's most important E.P. That same year their commercial fortunes had proposed with singles which had, with one important exception, continued the style and direction of "You Really Got Me." Parallel to this, however, was Ray Davies' desire to develop a more mature and perceptive approach and the Kinks' second album, "Kinda Kinks" had introduced a quieter, more reflective sound. "A Well Respected Man" was the first of a series of songs which also observed social themes. Highlighted by sharp, wry lyrics, Ray's barely disguised animosity works because he isn't spiteful, but rather amused. In blending satire to such a memorable tune, the classic Kinks period had truly begun.

Once again all of the tracks were exclusive to the E.P. although "A Well Respected Man" was popular enough to be later issued as an "A" side in America, (where it was a Top 20 hit), and in Europe. Its importance in the group's canon is such that the song often obscures the rest of the content. The "Kwyet" title confirmed that these too were not built from the accustomed, tough Kinks' sound. Indeed while "Wait Till the Summer Comes Along" was perky and optimistic, "Don't You Fret" and "Such A Shame" were soft, almost passive songs, emphasising an ever- growing subtlety.

"Dedicated Kinks," released in July 1966, offered four of the group's hit singles. The earliest, "Set Me Free" (No. 9/May '65) was over a year old. Slower in tempo than many of its predecessors and somehow more vulnerable, the song remains unfairly under-rated. It was followed in July by "See My Friends" (No. 10/August '65), the Kinks' most radical, experimental record to date. Constructed to imply pop's concurrent flirtation with all things Eastern, the drone effect merely heightened the air of mystery the song astutely cultivated. Ray never sounded more vulnerable, nor so distant. "Till the End ofthe Day" (No. 8/December '65), by contrast, bursts into life, reclaiming the "old" Kinks' charm with an almost uncontrolled excitement.

The final song was "Dedicated Follower Of Fashion" (No. 4/March '66), which took Ray's pithy observations out from the middle class and into the King's Road. This swipe at dandy foppishness was tied to a tune so memorable that it both satirised and celebrated an era. It justifiably confirmed the composer's place as one of Britian's leading songwriters.

The final two E.P.s were released during April 1968, a time when the format itself was falling from favour. "Dave Davies' Hits" was self-explanatory. This collection showcased his first two "solo" singles. "Death Of a Clown" and "Susannah's Still Alvie," and their respective flipsides, "Love Me 'Till the Sun Shines" and "Funny Face." The success of these releases, the first reached No. 3, the second No. 20, generated a profile outwith the main group. The failure of two further 45s forestalled such aspirations for several years. Despite the "Dave Davies" credit, three of the songs appeared on the Kinks' fifth album, "Something Else," while the exception, the rumbustious "Suzannah," undoubtedly also featured the parent group. Dave's songs always offered a contrast to those of his older brother; they were generally simpler, more carefree and somehow less "English." Ray, meanwhile, was perfecting his portraitures.

"The Kinks" consists of a further four songs from their wonderful "Something Else" album. Both lead off with "David Watts" (later covered by the Jam), a marvellous chronicle of boyhood wishfulness, wrapped in one of the Kinks' most timeless tunes. "Two Sisters" was another magnificent song, the women's twisting relationship is deftly told while the harpsi- chord adds just the right shade of poignancy. "Situation Vacant" recalls the group of an earlier, rockier time, even if it borrows a hookline from Dylan's "Most Likely You'll Go Your Way." The final inclusion was "Lazy Old Sun," an expansive composition which evoked a special, almost pastoral atmosphere. The songs's gorgeous, sweeping arrangement exemplified everything special about this period in the Kinks' long history.

From there the group struggled to combine an obvious artistic excellence with commercial success. It was not until the quirky "Lola" soared to No. 1 in July 1970 that they regained their previous profile. By then the E.P. tradition had died, while the Kinks' own craft was replaced by something less romantic and (arguably) less rewarding. The tracks on offer here show how incisive Ray Davies' work could be. It confirms the Kinks' position at the cutting edge of '60s pop.

Nicky Keith

Related Releases:

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 SEE 329 12" vinyl LP (album), 33 1/3 RPM
The EP Collection Volume Two 18 Nov, 1991 UK See For Miles SEECD 329 CD
E-mail Dave Emlen