Written by 2:49 am Audiophile Music

Kinky Boots, Kinky Clothes, Kinky Sounds on The BBC

Mark Smotroff gets Kinked for Tuesday.



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How do you write — in 400 words — a review of a 5 CD and 1
DVD boxed set tracking an exhaustive, remarkably detailed account of one of the
most influential bands in music history? Well… you don’t. But, I will say
this about the beautifully packaged “The Kinks At The BBC” set:

The sound is wonderful given the recordings were made (likely
on 2 or 3 track tape with minimal overdubs) for radio as early as September
1964. BBC required performers to re-record their hits to reduce the airtime
given to “records” vs. live performances (due to problems between
broadcaster’s and musician’s unions). These recordings largely come from radio
transcription discs used to syndicate the shows (original tapes were not saved
in the early days). The live recordings from the 70s onward are pristine.

The DVD is a gem, compiling in best (known) quality,
now-legendary-among-fans TV appearances on
Top
of the Pops
, The Old Grey Whistle
Test
and the 1977 Christmas special. Image quality is remarkable given the
age of these clips. In particular, it gives us relative late-comers (I became a
fan in 1977) a great idea of what the band was like in 1971 after it’s big come
back hit, “Lola.” At that time, the Kinks were re-inventing itself as
entertainers more in line with vaudeville than the FM radio rock of the period.
Today, this music sounds timeless.

Disc 3 & 4 feature audio of the two full concert TV
broadcasts (the shows found on the DVD). Its wonderful to hear these in
pristine quality  — recordings long
exchanged between hard core Kinks fans over the years via hissy
multi-generation cassettes. 

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The live performances are excellent. Drummer Mick Avory and (on
the early 60s material) bassist Peter Quaife shine bright with clarity
sometimes overshadowed on studio recordings. Contrary to common belief, the
audiences seem into the mid-70s theatrical material. History would have us
believe this stuff fell completely flat on audiences. Not so. They like it.

As you should be. Are you a hardcore fan? If so, get this. If
not, the two-CD “BBC Sessions” set from 2001 is still available and a
good place to start.

And, there you have it: a Kinks box set review in 400 words or
less.

Anyone want to by my old used CD?

 

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