Review of "Kriminally Rare" Kinks bootleg

Date: May 23, 1998 9:37 PM
From: Jayme Blaschke

I got the CD boot "Kriminally Rare" in from Midnight Records (cost $21.95) yesterday and thought I'd give a review. *Note that I don't condone bootlegs as they take money away from the artists, but I don't see how the selections on this album (or most other Kinks bootlegs) would ever make it onto a legit release.*

For those of you pining for a copy of the "Did Ya?" EP, you might ought to get this one. The first three tracks--Did Ya?, New Worlds, Look Through Any Doorway were the three original songs on the EP. Sorry, "Days" and the live "Gotta Move" aren't here.

The Track listing: 1, Did Ya?; 2, New World; 3, Look Through Any Doorway; 4, Elevator Man; 5, On the Inside 6, Return To Waterloo; 7, Prince of the Punks; 8, Artificial Light; 9, Massive Reductions; 10, Waterloo Sunset; 11, Live Life!; 12, Slum Kids; 13, Toymaker; 14, Mean Disposition; 15, Love Gets You; 16, Noise; 17, I Wish I Could Fly Like Superman.

According to the liner notes (what there are of them) Elevator Man and On the Inside are outtalkes from the Misfits album. Return to Waterloo is from the original soundtrack, but this isn't the same version from the Waterloo Sunset: Songs of Ray Davies disk that was released recently. This one starts out almost acoustic, then adds more guitars and electric stuff. Not bad, and it's got more energy than the other. The sound quality here's not great, though. Prince of the Punks, Artificial Light and Massive Reductions are listed as B sides of Arista singles. Massive Reductions is a lot edgier and rawer than the version on Word of Mouth, and I like this one better. Waterloo Sunset is the live version from the U.K. version of To The Bone. I still don't know why it's not on the U.S. double album. It's excellent.

Live Life! is an alternate version from Misfits with an extra verse. Slum Kids is a live version of the unreleased song from Preservation Act II, and it fits right in with the style of songs on that album. Toymaker is a neat little gem that's a throwback to the vocal unison songs of the 60s (think Incense and Peppermints, Mammas & Pappas) although Kinkish. It's listed as "Song recorded by U.K. band Wild Silk." I assume Wild Silk originally recorded it, and the Kinks covered it. It sounds like the Kinks vocals. There's no songwriting credit, so I don't know if it's a Davies composition or not.

Mean Disposition and Love Gets You were both singles from Dave's Chosen People album. Noise came from the State of Confusion cassette. Superman is the extended rock radio remix that was promo only. If you like the original, you'll like this one. If you prefer the live version, then you probably won't like this one.

As could be expected, the sound quality varies wildly, with tracks 1-3 and 10 being best, since they originated on CD. Noise and Return to Waterloo are fairly poor compared to the rest of the tracks, and Mean Disposition and Love Gets You are only a little better. The rest I'd say are good quality vinyl. Fortunately, nothing is unlistenable--no Kelvin Hall here. It's fairly high quality as far a boots go, and the liner notes only have one glaring mistake, listing Waterloo Sunset as having come from "To the Born."