Saturday, March 24, 2012

40 Years Ago Today : Kinks Kronikles


      Like a lot of Americans when I thought of The Kinks I thought of "You Really Got Me", "All Day And All Of The Night" and "Lola" and not about a hell of a lot more. I was familiar with the One For The Road live album and Give The People What They Want but, added together, I wasn't getting much more than the three chord anthem side of this band. And then, in college, somebody lent me The Kink Kronikles, a bargain priced ( $5.99) double album compilation  of what at least one man, music critic John Mendelsohn, considered to be some of the best songs The Kinks recorded between 1966 and 1970. And I've been a huge fan ever since.

  Somebody with a critical ear really needed to have done a double album like this for The Beach Boys (1967-1973) but that's a topic for another post. ( What songs would I put on a Beach Boys Kronikles?)

   Of course you can take issue with some of Mendelsohn's choices. Including only the title cut from Village Green Preservation Society probably delayed my discovering my favorite Kinks album by at least two years. From Face to Face, of course you should pick "Sunny Afternoon" . I can understand "Fancy".  But "Holiday in Waikiki" over "House in the Country" or "Too Much on My Mind"? That's nuts.

  Still Kinks Kronikles, released March 25, 1972 and compiled without the assistance of The Kinks who left Reprise for RCA,  is a generous treasure chest full of gems: singles that made no impact in the US ( "Autumn Almanac", "Days") and glorious B sides ( "She's Got Everything", "Mindless Child of Motherhood").

Robert Christgau gives the compilation an A and Rolling Stone ranked the album #231 on its list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

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