Graham Reid | | 1 min read
Of course, no one in their right mind would pretend that the formative seven years of the Kinks would believe that this 17-song collection could somehow be "The Best of The Kinks".
In those years they went from their fuzz-r'n'b garageband stuff like You Really Got Me to their intellectually-framed post-concept albums like The Village Green Preservation Society and Arthur.
But hold hard.
Because some and/or none of that requires prior knowledge.
Greybeards and completists, rune readers and chicken-bone analysists might just have to pull back and consider this uncomfortable fact: Younger listeners curious about the Kinks were not even born when the Kinks' Ray Davies celebrated his 50th birthday in the early Nineties . . .
So why should we expect any of those wonderful young folk (who have a soundtrack of their own youth) to understand the absence of cornerstone Kinks songs (notably All Day and All of the Night) here?
Sometimes context isn't everything and good pop songs should stand on their own: Do these?
Of course You Really Got Me (and it's lesser garageband version I Need You) do; you can't argue with Tired of Waiting or the exceptionally precient See My Friends (Indo-drone rock and melancholia a year before George Harrison's sitar-inclusive pop-rock in the Beatles) which is a standout.
And from there on this cheap compilation gives you Post-It Note flashes of the Kinks which include great songs like the cynical Dedicated Follower of Fashion, a world weary Sunny Afternoon, the class-conscious David Watts, brother Dave's Dylanesque Death of a Clown, the beautiful Days, Victoria, the considerably lesser but huge hit Lola (here in it's "Coca Cola" version). . .
Post-It Notes for sure. But accessible.
Not "the best" of course.
But in this decontextualisation even the gorgeously wistful Waterloo Sunset still sounds lovely.
You can't argue with the almost embarrassingly low price at JB Hi-Fi stores here. It's so cheap I can even bring myself to mention the price.