The Kinks

The Kink Kronikles

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Strictly speaking, the double-album compilation The Kink Kronikles isn't a greatest-hits collection. Covering the years 1966 through 1970, The Kink Kronikles may not be packed with hits -- out of the album's 28 tracks, only nine were hits in the U.K. or the U.S. -- yet it's a definitive overview of this era, which was one of Ray Davies' most productive (and influential) periods. Apart from the hits -- the lazy, sardonic "Sunny Afternoon" and the gorgeous "Waterloo Sunset," and the 1970 comeback hits "Lola" and "Apeman" -- there is a wealth of music that ranks among their very best material that isn't available on any other album. First off, non-LP British hit singles like the music hall raver "Dead End Street" and the wry "Autumn Almanac" are included, as are Dave Davies' two solo hits, "Death of a Clown" and "Suzannah's Still Alive." Then there are the wealth of non-LP singles and B-sides that didn't make the British charts, plus worthy unreleased songs, obscurities like "This Is Where I Belong" and "She's Got Everything," and album tracks that demonstrate another side of the Kinks' musical versatility and Davies' abilities. The key to the success of The Kink Kronikles is how the singles and rarities complement each other and, taken together, present a full portrait. It's the rare compilation that is equally valuable to the collector and to the neophyte fan.

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