Monday, November 12, 2007

No. 231: The Kink Kronikles

Band: The Kinks
Album: The Kink Kronikles
Why Rolling Stone gets it right: This two-disc set reflects the band's most productive period after their mod/pre-punk early years. This was the period that the band made its critical hay and the songs reflect the Davies brothers' biting humor, clever guitar work and distinct British-ness.
Why Rolling Stone gets it wrong: I'm not sure this isn't a token, just to get the Kinks on here somewhere. Yes, this period was their most productive and yes, their only classic album was recorded during this period, but the Kinks' influence lies in their early singles work.
Best song: "Waterloo Sunset" is the wonderfully melancholy song about lost love.
Worst song: "Get Back In Line" isn't great.
Is it awesome?: It's an odd collection, but the Kinks are awesome.

The 1966-1970 period of the musical world was one of mass exploration, as rock and roll was maturing and the entertainment world was experimenting with drugs.

The Kinks, poster children for the Mod rock movement of early 1960s London, were no different. The band released albums dealing with issues as diverse as the future of man ("Lola versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One"), small town life ("The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society") and the nature of being British ("Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire)"). That band wrote interesting, incisive lyrics.

This collection covers those albums, as well as the non-thematic "Something Else by the Kinks" and "Face to Face." Also, the double-disc set has some non-LP singles and b-sides.

Not to get too repetitive, but I don't totally see the point in getting this set on here. "Something Else" is on the list, as is "The Village Green Preservation Society." Why put all three on here, yet keep any of the band's early stuff -- the really important stuff -- isn't there.

It's too bad. The Kinks' early work is, at least, as important to rock and roll history as the Stooges and Television records are, in that the band's early songs are pure punk rock. The fury of "My Generation" is equaled in "You Really Got Me" in a much more tightly packaged record.

I love "The Village Green Preservation Society" and "Something Else" isn't bad, either. But, this collection is too much.

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