BBC Sessions 1964 – 1977
In a lot of ways, the Kinks paved the way for fast and furious punk chord riffing, from the churning riffs “All Day and All of the Night” to the very similar churning riffs of “You Really Got Me,” raucous pop hits that effectively hid their finely-developed senses of music and humor.
This two-disc set, composed of previously unavailable BBC sessions, wanders somewhat chronologically through the Kinks’ catalog, offering if not the best performances, then a fairly good selection of songs. The aforementioned “All Day” and “You Really” stand in contrast to the more fully-formed “Tired Of Waiting” and “Holiday.”
As the years roll by, you can hear the maturity creak into the songs like grey whiskers; songs like “Celluloid Heroes” and “Get Back In The Line” show great social conscience. However, the Kinks never let that stop them, as the live tracks on the second disc (including two renditions of “Skin And Bone”) testify.
Overall, this is a good set for the casual Kinks fan, placing some of their more obscure material side by side with (sometimes) unexpected versions of familiar hits. Extensive liner notes and the occasional interview segment help shed a lot of light on this somewhat neglected band.