Kinks/Dave Davies Releases -

By Sean Egan

Record Mart & Buyer - December 1998

The following couple of months are going to be an expensive period for Kinks fans, with the re-release of four of their '70s albums, all of their 60s EPs and a Dave Davies compilation all planned, Sean Egan was the one with the loan application ...

The forthcoming 'Unfinished Business' is a Castle double set which anthologises the work of Dave Davies, with The Kinks and solo, from 1964 to the present. The EP Collection, also from Castle, is a limited edition of 10 Kinks EPs and includes some tracks not available elsewhere.

Following the completion of Castles reissue series of The Kinks' Pye albums, the baton has now been passed to Velvel Records which is to release all the LPs the band recorded for the RCA and Arista labels. Continuity is ensured, though, by the retention of Peter Doggett to provide in-depth sleevenotes.

The first batch of four albums is now available 'Muswell Hillbillies', the band's 1971 debut for RCA, is considered to be amongst the Kinks' best by both Ray and Dave Davies. The two bonus tracks, Mountain Woman and Kentucky Moon, have never been released before. The following year's Everybody's In Showbiz contains two new live recordings.

'Preservation Acts 1 and 2' represent Ray Davies' most ambitious project. Originally released in 1973 and 1974 respectively, they form a rock opera which deals with a power struggle between two rival politicians. Although Act 2 suffers from patchiness and a confused plot, Act 1 is surely one of the greatest Kinks classics. Its Sweet Lady Genevieve is as gorgeous a love song as The Kinks ever perfomed. One of the two bonus track is the hard-riffing single Preservation which, strangely, was never part of the original albums.

The Kinks' Dave Davies Talks to RM&B

Is the compilation the definitive Dave Davies story?

I think it's pretty extensive without putting too much stuff on. It's nice to have something new on an anthology.

How did you select the tracks?

Some of them were obvious. 'You Really Got Me and 'All Day And All Of The Night ; we had to have those. 'I'm Not Like Everybody Else has always been a Kinks fans favorite. Disc Two is extracts from my solo albums.

Your first solo album only appeared in 1980. Why the long delay?

In the '60's, we did go in the studio with the guys and put some tracks down. I think the record company were trying to do it on the cheap and I wasn't very happy with the results. It didn't bother me whether I recorded or not. I was having a good time. Later on, I had so many ideas it was driving me mad and I had to get these songs out. There was a point in the late '70's all the songs started to fall in place for me.

Would you and Ray have socialised if you wern't in the same band?

If we hadn't been thrown together working, living in and out of each others' pockets, we might have actually got on really well. In the early days, ray and I were very supportive of each other. Business going wrong, people being deceitful - it catches up on you. All the petty jealousies and the pressure. People used to get really shocked by the abuse Ray and I would throw at each other in the studio.

In your autobiography, you claim to have met aliens.

It was a very profound experience. Even now when I talk about it I can feel a little bit of the way I felt then. It's a linking up with these intelligences on some other plane of existence. We have to remember that there's a lot that goes on around us that we don't know about. My experience was like a telepathic communion. Has it changed me personally? Absolutely. It's made me very motivated to try and help younger people in general.

There's been rumours of a reunion of the original Kinks. Are you in favour?

I suppose it would be nice if it was like a TV special. A record would be a bit retro: four old men getting in the studio and doing 'You Really Got Me' backwards.

By Sean Egan, Record Mart & Buyer - December 1998

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