BBC Sessions 1964-1977

The Kinks

Sanctuary, 2001

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


Despite all of my efforts, I've never been able to really develop a taste for Ray Davies and The Kinks. Oh, sure, I like their hits such as "You Really Got Me," "Tired Of Waiting For You" and "Come Dancing," but when it comes to getting into the meat of albums like Village Green Preservation Society, I find myself at a loss.

So it may seem on the surface that I'm not the best person to review my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 BBC Sessions 1964-1977, a collection of 35 tracks (33, if you don't count interviews) from brothers Ray and Dave Davies and crew -- and I guess I'll concede that point. I'll also concede that this collection is for the die-hard fans of the band. But even to the casual listener, there will be some level of interest that may make you want to try and get your feet wet again concerning this group.

What is most interesting to me, as an outsider in the world of all things Kinks, is that this collection makes me more interested in discovering their material from the '70s, not the '60s. Sure, it's always nice to hear "All Day And All Of The Night" and "You Really Got Me," but the first disc tends to get bogged down at times with tracks that aren't bad, but just don't have the emotional impetus that I'd be looking for. Songs like "Cadillac," "See My Friend," "Death Of A Clown" and "Harry Rag" sometimes border from the obscure to the just plain weird, and fall somewhat flat. On the other hand, tracks like "Where Have All The Good Times Gone?" "Waterloo Sunset" and "The Village Green Preservation Society" do pique my interest more.

That interest hits its high mark on disc two, with tracks like "Mindless Child Of Motherhood," "Victoria," "Celluloid Heroes" and "Money Talks". The tracks featuring the band performing live are some of the best on the entire set, and show just how good and energetic The Kinks could be in concert.

If anything, BBC Sessions 1964-1977 strikes me as a disc that is meant to be a present for the long-time fans who have followed the group's ups and downs -- and, let's face it, fame has not been particularly friendly to The Kinks. So while the person looking to dip their toe into the pool of The Kinks' discography could get away with picking up a best-of compilation, the true fans of the group will undoubtedly treat this as a lost treasure, as they well should.

Rating: C+

User Rating: B+



© 2005 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Sanctuary, and is used for informational purposes only.