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on May 8, 2011
I have always thought the original British release of "Kinda Kinks" (disc one in this reissue) was the weakest of all Kinks albums. True, there are many Ray Davies original compositions, and "Tired of Waiting for You" is one of their biggest hits. However, the album was largely recorded over three days between tours and promotions, and the hurried nature of the record is accompanied by songs about a woman that the singer is in turn hiding from, can't find, is out of reach, is too possessive, is gone, is sad, is changing, is late (in two songs!), is wronged, and is generally causing some sort of unhappiness. While this is somewhat typical of the Kinks, it adds up to an experience of concentrated anxiety. The beauty of the final song on disc one,"Something Better Beginning," somewhat redeems the album, but many of its songs are not among the Kinks' best.

However, the revelation of the first three recent deluxe Kinks reissues is the second disc of "Kinda Kinks." Recorded mostly over the first half of 1965, the first ten songs of disc two, plus two of the other bonus tracks ("I Go to Sleep" and "This Strange Effect") would have made a tremendous album in its time (in the U.S., "Kinks Kingdom" was almost this album) and shows amazing growth for the young group. It shines a spotlight on the parallel universe that existed between the Kinks early singles recordings and their albums.

Disc two starts off with "Everybody's Gonna Be Happy," which immediately lightens things up (even though it was the least successful early single of the Kinks, it is really quite good). Pessimist Ray returns with "Who'll be Next in Line," which was the flip side of the "Everybody's Gonna Be Happy" single that was flipped to the A side in the US because it was (and still is) such a strongly nasty effort.

"Set Me Free" and "I Need You" were the two sides of the next Kinks single, as the group was urged (much to their resentment) to go back to their proven hit sound. You would never know the group was so unhappy, as these two songs remain two of their strongest from this period. "I Need You" in particular returns to the buzz saw guitar sound of "All Day and All of the Night" and is a garage band headbanger (the Ramones lifted the feedback intro in their debut album eleven years later).

The Kinks show everyone that they could not be told what to do with the two sides of their next single, "See My Friends" and "Never Met a Girl Like You Before." Not only is the sound of "See My Friends" not their proven sound, the Kinks managed to release the first Indian-influenced pop song of the era. Not only did they manage to slip into the top 10 with this original sound, they also managed to greatly influence the pop music that followed for the second time already in their brief history (the first time being the distorted blues riff and manic guitar solo of "You Really Got Me"). The opening of "Never Met a Girl Like You Before" is a jokey reference to the opening of "Tired of Waiting for You" that was undoubtedly placed their sarcastically to show the Kinks' label that they were using that proven Kinks sound. What follows is a snappy number that could have been on the Monkees first album a year later. This song was almost never included on Kinks reissues in later years by the not-so-amused folks at Pye.

The next four songs are from the "Kwyet Kinks" EP that featured "A Well Respected Man." OK, I won't go to the "Kinks influencing everyone else" well again, but I will point out that I think this is the first non "boy-girl" hit by a major British Invasion group, and it begins to usher in the more mature Kinks sound of their Golden Years of 1966-71 (in fact, one could argue that this song is the beginning of their Golden Years). Among the other three songs on the EP, "Don't You Fret" stands out as a great Kinks song. It starts out as if the group is playing "Bald Headed Women" from their first album again (nooooo!), but it quickly shows off a very Ray Davies lyric (including pots of tea) and two rave up breaks that are everything great about the Kinks.

Among the rarities included on disc two, the aforementioned "I Go to Sleep" and "This Strange Affect" were written for others singers and never officially recorded in the studio by the Kinks. The demo and BBC recordings included here present stripped-down versions of two beautiful songs.

All in all, this deluxe reissue sounds fantastic thanks to a great remastering job and, for all the reasons mentioned above, is well worth purchasing. The weaker material of the first disc is more than compensated for in the second disc, a pleasant surprise for someone who thought he had heard it all when it came to the Kinks. Kudos to all involved with these reissues and please keep them coming!
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Although it lacked the one-two punch of the major hit singles on the band's debut album, "Kinda Kinks" is actually a better and more consistent album. Why? The reason comes down to the increased confidence from main Kinks songwriter/singer Ray Davies and the fact that he penned more originals for this album than the debut. It also has two of Ray's seminal songs "Something Better Beginning" and "Tired of Waiting for You" brilliant songs that showcases how much Ray had grown between the first and second albums. Ray writes everything but two tracks here for their second full length album on disc one quite an accomplishment given that neither the Stones nor The Beatles had done so by their second albums (the first album of all original Beatles compositions was "A Hard Day's Night" their third album and Lennon & McCartney split the chores).

The previous 1998 reissue had a single disc with 23 tracks half of them from singles, EP's and with 1 previously unreleased gem Ray's demo for the great song "I Go To Sleep". All of those tracks have been retained for this edition and there are an additional 12 tracks that have been added to this edition.

The remastering here by Andrew Sandoval and Dan Hersch does justice to the material without trying to make it sound like many of the loud remasters that have littered shelves over the past decade. It is louder with some compression applied compared to the original PRT CD releases but, that aside, sounds extremely good. Whether or not these will sound better if you have the first CD issues will depend on your ears. I think that Hersch and Sandoval have done a good job of balancing retaining dynamics without making these a wall of harsh sound.

The first disc features the original mono album (I'm assuming that any stereo version doesn't exist any longer, can't be located or has in too bad a shape to include. I don't recall if this album ever received a dedicated stereo mix off the top of my head although I'm sure it did). The second disc features all of the bonus tracks from the previous edition as well as newly discovered previously unreleased material.

We get the tracks from the "Well Respected Men" EP, the demo track "This I Know", "Tell Me Now So I'll Know" (previously unreleased), "A Little Bit of Sunlight" (demo),"When I See that Girl of Mine" (demo), "This I Know" (demo version) plus the previously unreleased tracks "See My Friends" (alternate take), "Come On Now" (Alternate vocal), "You Shouldn't be Sad", "Hide and Seek" (both of which were previously unreleased)and other gems.

As with the other two reissues there is no hard plastic outer case with the "Deluxe Edition" logo. That has been replaced by tape that says the same thing that goes around the entire package.

The booklet has excellent liner notes with quotes from Ray and Dave's books, recording information, photos and an informative essay about the recording of the album.

Highly recommended.
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on June 8, 2011
"Kinda Kinks" is both an improvement on and a regression from the first album. The bad news is that it lacks the coherency of "Kinks". The songs here don't really hang together as an album. Gawd, there's a lot of filler on this. A good 40% of it is unlistenable, e.g. "Dancing In The Streets", a lame motown cover and "Naggin' Woman", an unimaginative and stereotypical blues jam. To make up for it though, the material that does connect easily blows away the best of anything they'd done to date. Remove the filler and this would be a perfect album.

While the debut was characterised by its relentless tough-guy pounding, "Kinda Kinks" combines both the visceral onslaught of their earlier material ("Look For Me Baby", "Come On Now") with a new-found thoughtful introspection ("Nothin in the world...", "So Long"). Both these qualities come together in one song and the records finest moment. "Tired Of Waiting For You" is a basic and primitive recording that has not dated one iota since its release all those generations ago. It's a recording that perfectly encapsulates the finest qualities of the Kinks by contrasting both crude, masculine guitar punch with dreamy femininity and delicacy.

The Kinks during this period were much stronger with the 45/EP formats and they are all here on this deluxe edition. Tracks 1 - 8 of disc 2 represent one of the most exhilarating musical sequences I've ever heard and one that pushes the tough/gentle qualities of the album even further. One of the great things about the Kinks is discovering hidden gems that are easily the equal of their more celebrated numbers. One such nugget is "Such A Shame", a moody and deceptively simple song that is perfectly crafted in its atmosphere of seething resentment and intensity. Speaking of resentment and intensity, "I Need You" is clearly THE most underappreciated record expressing these fine emotions. It is a proto-garage punker that is so crude, so basic and so threatening that it makes the Rationals cover a few years later seem more akin to Englebert Humberdink (and their rendition is one of the most ferocious garage-punk slabs you'll ever hear).

Musically, there's enough here in the way of the original LP, the EPs, 45s and demos to keep all Kinks obsessives, new and old alike, satisfied for perhaps several eternities. And like the other deluxe editions, the packaging and especially the SOUND is all first-rate.

So it's all here with this one - aggression, excitement, thoughtfulness and tenderness. Sometimes it really baffles me why these slabs of perfection don't get the accolades that they should. Although maybe that's a good thing when you think about the kind of "classic" records that DO get celebrated.
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on June 8, 2011
Nice job from Andrew Sandoval who handled the "Village Green" reissue of a few years ago. It is evident that he tracked down the best available masters on "Kinda" & the bonus stuff as well. I wanted to upgrade my crappy stereo copy that I have had for decades & this 2cd deluxe set is a massive improvement to say the least. It is also apparent the bonus tracks were given the same respect as the LP & it is wonderfull to now see the "Great Lost" & "Pye demos" getting proper mastering. This set is presented in mono they they were intended to be heard. I just wish the price wasnt so "deluxe". I look forward to Face to Face coming out later this month.
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on August 24, 2011
A good re-issue of this underrated album.

Some queries...

In the booklet, Mitch Mitchell is credited as: drums , possibly Disc 1: 12-14
Seems unlikely, and Disc 1 has only 12 tracks anyway.
Anyone have any comments on this?

"Got My Feet On the Ground" was credited to Ray only, didn't Dave co-write this?

"There is a New World Just Waiting For Me" sounds a bit different to the track that appeared on the "Picture Book" box set. The track on "Picture Book" was probably sped up a little. It sounds better than the same track here.
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on July 8, 2015
Following on the heels of their first album "Kinks" (UK) "You Really Got Me" (US), they knew that the followup was going to be hard to be up to par like the first. Again, living in the 60's, I had this album as well as all their others and loved everyone of them with the exception of Percy. This album had, like the first, a lot of great tunes. Let's start with the opening track entitled "Look For Me Baby". What a knockout this tune is, sort of a Liverpool meets Motown and is a great tune. Speaking of Motown, they do a great cover of Martha and the Vandellas "Dancing in the Street". Disc one is, by the way, the original mono album and there is no stereo version as it was only recorded in mono. If there is a stereo version it would be domestic and rechanneled for stereo electronically. On this disc is the single b side "Come On Now" and a mighty good tracking throughout the rest album. Disc two tracks one through eight are singles A and B sides, nine and ten are tracks from an EP tracks 11 through 16 are demos, tracks 17 and 18 are alternate versions of "See My Friends" and "Come On Now" and lastly tracks 19 through 23 are BBC Session tracks. So, there you have it all 35 tracks across two discs.A wealth of tunes of which most of them are penned by the master himself Ray Davies. A really super buy at a great price to boot! You will love this Kinks album in deluxe edition.
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on September 18, 2015
This is an excellent reissue, with the full mono album, plus 23 bonus tracks. Unfortunately, there is no stereo version to include. It includes many great singles that were not on the original British albums of the period, plus demo versions, alternative takes, and BBC appearances.
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on October 7, 2013
Superb Kinks album, the second coming off the heels of their self titled intro to the industry. Strong songwriting as Davies begins to come into his own as the defining British bardsman. The next album crystalizes that moniker among the household songwriting partnerships of Lennon/ McCartney, Jagger/Richards, Townshend and others. Davies already has style in prose very much established and his gift for recreating what he observes within his blue collar surroundings.
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on June 24, 2012
Since 1979. I have wanted this classic Kinks album. It was the third American Album released by the Kinks in 1965. It has "Set Me Free" on it and it is a great album to have. I remember going to my uncle's house to listen to this great album a chock full of great Kinks music. I really enjoyed listening to it. I would go into record store after record seeing if Reprise Records reissued it like they did its first two American Kinks albums along with the Kinks Greatest Hits in which I have as well as this one. It is a great album to own and lots of great listening on the record. On the back cover of the album it has the Kinks speaking out about themselves and the pictures of them in the classic long red hunting jackets, white ruffled shirts, black slacks and black boots. It is a great album I just looked high and low for and trying to fight off a math teacher who liked these guys as well as I did. Not bad for a guy who dug all that great music from the 1960's.
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on May 25, 2015
Great music,good delivery
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