The Kinks

Third (And Last) Great Lost Kinks Album

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The third (and, if the title is to be believed, last) in this bootleg series of 1960s and early-1970s Kinks rarities is actually more interesting than its predecessor (Another Great Lost Kinks Album), offering another mix of unreleased BBC sessions, studio outtakes, TV appearances, and the like. Packed with 30 songs and 79 minutes of music, the contents are too diverse to summarize in a single review. To begin with, though, there are 17 BBC radio recordings from 1964-1970 that aren't on the official BBC Sessions 1964-1977 compilation. The sound quality on these is usually excellent, and always listenable, including some real desirable rarities, namely two songs which never made it on to 1960s Kinks records in any form: a 1964 cover of Chuck Berry's "Little Queenie" and a 1965 cover of the far more obscure Big Joe Turner/Bill Haley cut "Hide and Seek." (The latter track is an entirely different version than a separate BBC performance of the same tune that's been bootlegged under the title "All Aboard," in more complete form and vastly better audio to boot.) While the other BBC cuts all have studio counterparts, they include some relatively infrequently traveled songs like "I've Got That Feeling," "You Shouldn't Be Sad," "Never Met a Girl Like You Before," "I Am Free," and "Mr. Churchill Says." Good stuff all, even if the arrangements aren't too different from the familiar studio takes, and some of the 1969-70 Beeb recordings are just different mixes of the official recordings with new vocals.

As for the non-BBC radio items here, the highlights are a late-1963 demo of a frivolously disposable early British Invasion-like song, "Obadiabloo"; an exciting, totally live September 1964 BBC TV version of "Got Live if You Want It"; and two solo Ray Davies songs, "Got to Be Free" and "Marathon," from the 1970 BBC television play The Long Distance Piano Player, Ray's piano and vocal being the only accompaniment. Some of the rest of the set is less interesting (stereo mixes of three Face to Face tracks) or disappointing (the mid-'60s outtakes "Listen to Me" and "She's My Girl," which have poor sound quality and aren't such great songs either). Still, the CD's very well packaged; it and the similarly bountiful bootlegs Another Great Lost Kinks Album and The Great Lost Kinks Album are essential supplements to the official 1960s- to early-'70s Kinks discography for fanatical fans of the group. (Incidentally, no label is listed on the spine or disc, but a logo reading "LOISIRS" appears in the upper left-hand corner.)