The Kinks

Come Dancing with the Kinks: The Best of the Kinks 1977-1986 [Koch 2000]

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Originally released as a double-album set in 1986, just after the Kinks had their last run at chart success, Come Dancing With the Kinks (The Best of the Kinks 1977-1986) does an excellent job of summarizing their stadium rock and AOR radio favorites on Arista. It leaves no single or radio favorite behind, while adding such terrific obscurities as "Long Distance" (originally only released as a bonus track on the State of Confusion cassette; the early '80s were a completely different world than the late '80s), the non-LP single "Father Christmas," the wonderfully sentimental album track "Better Things" (a close, upbeat cousin to Dylan's "Forever Young"), and the charming "Heart of Gold." In addition to these, there are live takes of "You Really Got Me" and "Lola" taken from the fine One From the Road album. It winds up being a representative selection of the Kinks' time as stadium warriors. They may have released some good albums during this period -- and Misfits and Low Budget are close to great -- but listeners looking for the bare essentials from this period will not be disappointed with this first-rate collection. [Three songs -- "Catch Me Now I'm Falling" plus the title tracks to Misfits and Sleepwalker -- were dropped from the CD reissue of Come Dancing in order to have it fit the running time of a late-'80s compact disc.]

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