Friday, December 23, 2011

Something Else by The Kinks {Deluxe Edition} (Pye, 1967; Sanctuary, 2011)

In 1967, amidst the Summer of Love and psychedelia, The Kinks bravely bucked the trend by releasing a beautiful album of thoughtful and immaculately crafted pop music. Their reward for this extraordinary album was almost complete apathy both in England and the United States (where they were banned anyway due to draconian union regulations.) Over time, the album was recognized as one of The Kinks finest, and this deluxe re-issue includes both the mono and stereo mixes of the album as well as period singles and BBC Sessions. It’s quite a well done package, the remastered music sounds excellent with the band exploring everything from a Cockney near sea-shanty “Hairy Rag” to the faux music hall strut “Tin Soldier Man.” Bookending the original album were two of the band’s finest songs, the rocking and propulsive “David Watts,” and the almost unbelievably beautiful ballad “Waterloo Sunset” whos elegiac and nostalgic glow makes it one of the bast songs in pop music history, IMHO. There really isn’t a bad song on the album, but songs about the lives of regular folks of London just didn’t register with music fans looking for more exploratory music, more’s the pity. In addition to a number of alternate takes of album tracks, there is a period session from the BBC with previously unissued versions of Kinks classic singles like “Sunny Afternoon” and “Autumn Almanac.” The short essay of the liner notes has a few typos, but otherwise tells the story of the album in a concise manner. What’s really interesting is the photos of the period of the band (check out those suits!) different singles and other ephemera. This version is a must for hard-core fans of the band, but the curious shouldn’t pass up the original album which is a faultless masterpiece. Something Else by The Kinks (Deluxe Edition) -

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