Release Date: Aug 13, 2012
Record label: Sanctuary
With Britain seeing a royal wedding, a diamond jubilee, the Olympic Games, ministers mooting plans to buy the Queen gifts with taxpayers’ money and the increased marginalisation of the liberal, more Euro-friendly arm of the coalition government, the past couple of years haven’t exactly been friendly to the Anglosceptic hipster. At the time of writing, the national broadcaster has as good as dedicated all of its resources to coverage of the London Olympics: those who refuse to be cajoled into celebrating our (entirely chance) Britishness are deemed by my parents society to be anti-fun Nazis. Now, as I’m not keen on coming over all Daily Mail, much credit has to go to the BBC for helping the uninitiated to join in with this whole patriotism thing.
The early days of the Kinks saw a band run ragged by the onset of newfound superstardom. The Kinks hit the ground running at an exhausting pace in 1964, with a relentless schedule of touring, recording, and various on-air interviews and performances that would keep them in the charts and jet-lagged until an eventual slowing down into the '70s and '80s. Pared down from a six-volume set that collects every known recording from the BBC archives that the band ever did, The Kinks at the BBC focuses on peak years 1964 through 1977, still cramming in 54 tracks, but leaving the band's less inspired material from the '80s and a wealth of poor-quality bootleg recordings to the absolute completists.
A revealing monument to the genius of one of Britain’s greatest bands. Paul Whitelaw 2012 Available as both a limited-edition six-disc box set and a two-CD collection (listed, left), this ambitious undertaking traces the marriage of two great British institutions over the space of 30 years. Expanding upon studio sessions and live recordings previously available on BBC Sessions: 1964-77 and the epic Picture Book box set, it's the first time that every surviving Kinks performance has been officially compiled from the BBC archive.
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.