The Kinks – The Anthology Of The Kinks 1963-2001 (Wonderland Records WLR-2161)

The Anthology Of The Kinks 1963-2001 (Wonderland Records WLR-2161)

Disc 1 (74:00):  I’m A Hog For You (Raves demo 11/63), I Believed In You (Ravens demo 11/63), Revenge (Ravens demo instrumental 1963), I Don’t Need You Anymore (Ravens demo 1964), Too Much Monkey Business (alt. take 1964), Got Love If You Want It (alt. take 1964), Don’t Ever Let Me Go (purposed single 1964), This I Know (Ray Davies 7/65), Milk Cow Blues (BBC 8/10/65), Never Met A Girl Like You Before (BBC 8/10/65), Wonder Where My Baby Is Tonight (BBC 8/10/65), And I Will Love You (unreleased 1965), Love Me Till The Sunshine (BBC 8/4/67), Death Of A Clown (BBC 8/4/67), Good Luck Charm (BBC 8/4/67), Sunny Afternoon (BBC 1/25/67), Mr. Pleasant (BBC 1/25/67), Susannah’s Still Alive (BBC 1/25/67), David Watts (BBC 10/25/67), Sand On My Shoes (early version of Tin Soldier Man), Easy Come There You Went (unreleased ’68), Days (BBC 1968), Victoria (BBC 12/18/69), Australia (Australian single edit ’69), Supersonic Rocketship (alt. take 1972), Celluloid Heroes (mono/alt. mix), You Really Got Me (live US TV “Midnight Special” 1974), Money Talks (live US TV “Midnight Special” 1974)

Disc 2 (74:11):  Elevator Man (Sleepwalker demo), On The Outside (Sleepwalker demo), Sleepwalker (acetate ’76 with extra verse), Brother (acetate ’76 with earlier end), Stormy Sky (acetate ’76 with longer end), Moving Picture (alt. take), Wild Man (B-side of Imaginations Real ’80), Give The People What They Want (acetate ’81 with extra verse), Yo-Yo (acetate ’81 with longer end), Predictable (acetate ’81 with longer end), Destroyer (acetate ’81 with longer end), One Night With You (B-side of Love Gets You ’83), Once A Thief (outtake from State Of Confusion ’83), Quiet Life (Ray on Absolute Beginners), Eternity (Dave demo for Faraway, So Close! ’91), Sitting In The Stand (Ray solo TV tune), Unfinished Business (Dave solo), Love Gets You (Dave solo), I’ll Get Over (Dave solo), When The Wind Blows (“Emergency” Dave solo)

Disc 3 (76:37):  Ooba Diooba (Ravens’ acetate 11/63), Long Tall Sally (live late 1963), Bald Headed Woman (alt. take 1964), Got Love If You Want It (alt. take, 1964), She’s My Girl (Dave Davies acetate 1965), I Am Free (BBC session 1965), Listen To Me (Kinks acetate early 1966), Sunny Afternoon (stereo version), Susannah’s Still Alive (1969 mix for solo album), Misty Water (1983 remix), Hold My Hand (stereo demo 1968), Plastic Man (BBC session, 1969), Are You Ready, Do You Wish To Be A Man?, Crying (Dave’s unreleased solo tracks), Victoria, Mr. Churchill Says (BBC session, 1969), Lola, Apeman (BBC sessions, 1970), Marathon, Got To Be Free (From TV play “Long Distance Piano Player”, 1970), Entertainment, Bernadette (alt. takes from acetate, 1981), Video Shop (live 1987), The Road (Ray Davies live on “The David Letterman Show,” 1988)

Disc 4 (77:25):  You Really Got Me (B-side to Down All The Days, 1989), How Can I Get Close (Ray Davies on “The David Letterman Show,” 1990), Now And Then (rough mix, 1990), You Really Got Me (Ray, Dave & The Smithereens, 1991), Hey Donny (live in Frankfurt, 1993), Phobia, Over The Edge, Wall Of Fire, Till The End Of The Day (BBC session at Maida Vale Studios, January 7th, 1994), All Day And All Of The Night, Waterloo Sunset, I’m Not Like Everybody Else, Till The End Of The Day, You Really Got Me (BBC session at Maida Vale Studio, late 1994), To The Bone (home demo recorded by Ray, 1996), To The Bone, Waterloo Sunset (studio by Ray & Pete Mathison for US radio), You Really Got Me, Yours Truly Confused #1, Lola (Ray Davies, BBC program “Jools’ Hootenanny,” December 31st, 2000)

The Kinks are among of handful of bands and artists who began forged the boundaries of expression in rock and roll.  Starting as an R&B cover band, they quickly developed their own style which which influenced other bands such as The Who.  Some of their judgements were questioned (even from within the band themselves), but they were always a source for creativity and were, at their worst, interesting.  

The Anthology Of The Kinks 1963-2001 on Wonderland Records, the manufacturers of some of the best unofficial box sets to be released the past couple of years, is their first attempt at documenting the Kinks.  It is the first big Kinks title, and is an update of, The Secret Sessions (Phenomenal Cat PC 63/71) released a decade ago.  It contains some of the same tracks but, unlike Secret Sessions which focuses upon the sixties, Wonderland presents rarities from all of their eras including the years after they officially disbanded. 

The collection has five hours of music which all in the best available sound quality.  Many of the songs can be found on official releases and other on out-of-print discs.  Many of the tracks, and even the artwork, draws inspiration from the Kinks Picture Book 6CD set released in 2008.

The only real criticism that can be leveled against this set is the lack of cohesiveness of material.  Discs one and two follow the band from 1963 to 1991, and discs three and four go from 1963 to 2001.  Another minor concern is the mixing of sources.  Unreleased acetates, demos and BBC sessions are all mixed together.

Despite that, it is a great collection of rarities and offers a fascinating glimpse into the Kinks’ creative evolution taken from rare tracks not generally available.

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