Friday, July 1, 2016

Kinks 6: Greatest Hits!

Since it had been a few months since their last LP, and another one wasn’t due until the end of the year, Reprise took it upon themselves to compile a Kinks hits collection. It was fairly easy to do; just pull together all their A-sides, right? Well, they didn’t exactly do that, and the emphatically if incorrectly titled Greatest Hits! collected nine songs that had already been on US LPs, plus their latest hit.
One sound was common to their most popular songs, and that guitar kicks off several of those hits in a row—“You Really Got Me”, “Tired Of Waiting For You”, “Set Me Free”—before the less obvious selections of “Something Better Beginning” and “Who’ll Be The Next In Line”. “Till The End Of The Day” is the potboiler kicking off side two, before we come to the one song that hadn’t been on an album yet. With a slow distorted strum, “Dedicated Follower Of Fashion” is another one of Ray’s satiric portraits of current styles, camped up in the vocals and responses, and underscored by “A Well Respected Man” coming next. “Ev’rybody’s Gonna Be Happy” kicks up the party, ending with “All Day And All Of The Night”.
It’s tough to quibble with the quality of the songs, and since Reprise had already collected most of the extraneous tracks on previous albums, there weren’t a lot of rarities left. As it was, Greatest Hits! totaled 24 minutes upon original release. Rhino’s 1989 album of a similar title used a different sequence for their LP, though their CD did include all of the songs from the Reprise set, in glorious mono, with eight more tracks of the same period. But by then, the band’s legacy had gone far beyond the pre-psychedelic era, and any compilation had to take that in mind.

The Kinks Greatest Hits! (1966)—4

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