Friday, March 09, 2012

The Kinks in Mono (Sanctuary, 2011)

Coming hard on the heels of boxed sets releasing the mono (recorded using only one channel of transmission) recordings of Bob Dylan and The Beatles, comes a well designed and re-issued box of the early recordings (1964-1969) by the British Invasion stalwarts, The Kinks. The box collects all of the LPs released during this period, and mops up all of the miscellaneous singles and EPs as well. Tracking the band's development from an early R&B unit that enjoyed some fresh hits with the riffed based rockers "You Really Got Me" and "All Day and All of the Night." It's very interesting to follow the band's musical evolution into album length suites on records like Something Else and The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society. These albums ran counter to the trend of swinging sixties progressiveness, instead invoking a wistful nostalgia for an England of the past. They were far from conservative, though, using their pop sensibility superbly on the Face to Face album and culminating with the album Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire) which has scathing lyrics decrying the glorification of war and the pettiness of the British caste system, melding it to a graceful and melodic lyricism. This boxed set is quite expensive, but for fans of the band, they will find a logically laid out and well remastered set of extraordinary music. Kinks in Mono - amazon.com

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