The Kinks

In Box

Phases & Stages

The Kinks

At the BBC (Sanctuary/Universal)

Despite a four-decade arc defined by dramatic commercial peaks and valleys, the Kinks were rarely at a loss for exquisite songcraft. Picking up where 2001's two-disc BBC Sessions: 1964-1977 left off, this 5-CD/1-DVD UK import meticulously traces the band's enthralling path. Their earliest Beeb sessions, necessitated by the Musician's Union "needle time" restrictions, are expedient re-recordings of singles like 1964 breakthrough "You Really Got Me" and 1965's proto-psychedelic "See My Friends." The raw power of these performances underscores how the Kinks attracted disciples as disparate as Van Halen and the Jam. As Ray Davies' vivid depictions of shambling everyday existence emerges with "Sunny Afternoon," the band's arrangements become subtler. Many of the Kinks' late-Sixties radio sessions forego live performance in favor of augmenting studio recordings with overdubs, but the band's under-heralded mid-Seventies incarnation with horns and backup singers shines in live concert recordings that reaffirm the strength of Preservation Act tracks like "Money Talks" and "Demolition." The box set also unearths bootlegs of sessions not archived by the BBC, though the sound quality is horrendous. The real gemstone is nearly four hours of BBC-TV appearances. Ray owns the camera in a vampy breakdown of "Got Love If You Want It" from 1964's The Beat Room, and the group's 1977 Christmas concert begins with Old Grey Whistle Test host Bob Harris taking a pie in the face and ends with the frontman singing "Father Christmas" in full Santa regalia. A poignant 1993 Late Show performance of "Scattered" and a 1994 update of "You Really Got Me" find the latter-day Kinks still bringing down the house in the Britpop era.

****

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More the Kinks
Phases & Stages
The Kinks
Picture Book (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Jan. 9, 2009

Off the Record
Off the Record
Music News

Austin Powell, Dec. 5, 2008

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Matthew Logan Vasquez
Light'n Up (Record Review)

Elise Barbin, June 14, 2019

The Infinites
The Infinites
The Infinites (Record Review)

Rachel Rascoe, May 10, 2019

More by Greg Beets
Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
80 local picks from Molly Burch to Brownout

Dec. 28, 2018

Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
80 local picks from Molly Burch to Brownout

Dec. 28, 2018

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

the Kinks

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle