A criminally underrated masterpiece from The Kinks "Kinks Kontroversy" seemed like just another Kinks album when it was released but songwriter Ray Davies had continued to develop his craft with this album which is (with the exception of the opening track "Milk Cow Blues") the first Kinks album filled completely with Davies originals.
This deluxe reissue does a terrific job of bringing the album its just due; remastered by Andrew Sandoval and Dan Hersch (who worked on the deluxe "Village Green")the two disc set may on the surface seem like the least generous of the reissues to date; we get the original mono album on disc one (I'm assuming the stereo masters are missing as this is the only one of the first three albums NOT to include both or they are so badly damaged that they can't be used)making for a relatively short first CD. All 12 songs on the first disc have punch and sound quite good--they may be a bit louder than the original CD pressing but (to me)it's clear that as usual Sandoval and Hersch did their research and found the best possible tapes for this reissue.
Disc two has the songs from singles and EP's on it. The 1998 CD reissue only had four bonus tracks. This edition quadruples the original bonus tracks and puts them all on the second disc. We get all four from the previous edition plus a more recently discovered alternate take of "Mr Reporter" with Ray's lead vocal on it, the outtake "Time Will Tell", a demo "All Night Stand", five BBC session songs (along with brief interviews with the late Pete Quaife and with Ray)and "And I Will Love You" a previously unreleased EP track.
Also included are alternate takes for "Dedicated Follower of Fashion", "I'm Not Like Everybody Else" as well as the original mono single versions of each of those songs. "Sittin on My Sofa" is carried over from the previous edition.
We also get a deluxe booklet with photos, info on each track as well as sleeve notes discussing the making of the album (and also why drummer Mick Avory doesn't appear on most of it)with splenty of quotes sprinkled throughout from Ray and Dave's separate books.
The packaging is quite nice although it looks like the digipak accordian style sleeve has the hard plastic exterior that most of the deluxe editions have had in the past, this one doesn't--it's a style in the same style that seals the packging.
on May 28, 2011
Kinks Kontroversy was recorded in the latter half of 1965 in the wake of the band inciting riots in Copenhagen, getting banned from touring in America, and their drummer almost killing their lead guitarist on stage in Cardiff; a busy several months by any measure! The album finds the Kinks just barely a year in the public eye, but already starting the move away from their original formula of hard rock boy-girl songs to a more introspective, diverse approach. This deluxe reissue provides the original album on disc one, followed by another fine collection of singles, b-sides, out-takes, and BBC recordings on disc two. The sound quality, as with all of the deluxe reissues, is the best ever released on CD; in some cases it is quite remarkable.
Disc one is highlighted by some of the best songs recorded to date by the Kinks (Milk Cow Blues, Till the End of the Day, The World Keeps Going 'Round, I'm On an Island, Where Have All the Good Times Gone?), along with more pedestrian efforts that belie the still breakneck pace of Kinks album recording (this time done over two full weeks!). Milk Cow Blues celebrates the end of an era for the Kinks, as it is the last blues cover (or any cover) on a Kinks album. It's also one of the last times we get to enjoy an unfettered Pete Quaife bass run during the rave-up at the end of the song. Dave Davies' singing and guitar playing are spectacular, and the piano play of Nicky Hopkins, though a little distracting, is to become a staple for the next several years on Kinks records. I never get tired of listening to this recording - it is raw, thrilling, and a high point for the Kinks, their true arrival as a blues band just as they are exiting the genre.
Till the End of the Day is a lesser-known classic Kinks song, just waiting to be revived by some movie or commercial. It is another farewell for the Kinks to an established sound, the hard-rock single that they invented. Dave's guitar solo is much more disciplined but no-less exciting, and the lyrics are far and away the Kinks happiest and most optimistic to date. There is always the chance that Ray Davies is being sarcastic as he sings how happy he is, especially in the wake of the group's recent tribulations and he being on the verge of a famous nervous breakdown, but I'll go with the happy.
The first three songs of side two of the original album are huge leaps forward for Ray as a song-writer and chart the way for many later efforts. The opening lines of "The World Keeps Going 'Round" are among Ray's best philosophizing:
You worry 'bout the sun. What's the use of worrying 'bout the big old sun?
You worry 'bout the rain. The rain keeps falling just the same.
You worry when the one you need has found somebody new.
But the world keeps going 'round...You just can't stop it.
I'm On an Island is an impossibly snappy number about isolation that looks ahead to Apeman, Supersonic Rocket Ship, and Come Dancing. Where Have All the Good Times Gone? is an astonishing song for someone of age 21 to have written. Together with Well Respected Man and Dedicated Follower of Fashion, this is the moment that Ray began separating himself from the rest of the songwriting pack.
I won't spend as much time on disc two, other than to say it is indispensable and:
Dedicated Follower of Fashion leads things off and has a wonderful alternate version also included.
I'm Not Like Everybody Else is just as powerful as Where Have All the Good Times Gone?, and we are treated to an alternate version where Dave whispers, sneers, and screams his way through the lyric.
Time Will Tell is given it's best mix ever (far superior to past bootleg versions and the release on the Kinks recent boxed set). It could have been and still should be a single - why not release it now with And I Will Love You as the B side? These two songs have been rescued from the dead and deserve to be heard.
Finally, there is a nastiness and weariness emerging in Ray Davies' writing now, best exemplified by Mr Reporter and All Night Stand that is truly uncomfortable. You can well-believe Ray is on the verge of a nervous breakdown listening to these songs.
All in all, Kinks Kontroversy surely shows the Kinks at a crossroads, beginning their move away from a very successful but difficult first year as a hard-rock band to what many consider to be their golden period from 1966-1971. It is a fascinating listen and a must for anyone who wonders how the Kinks were ever so good. I can hardly wait for the next set of re-releases!
on May 22, 2011
The Kinks' classic 1965 album "The Kink Kontroversy" has now also been released in a deluxe edition. The original mono album comprises CD 1 while CD 2 is an exciting mix of singles, demos, outtakes and BBC liverecordings.
The original album ought not require a detailed presentation, one can only affirm that it is one of the most important early Kinks albums; not least because of strong songs like "To the End of The Day", "I'm on an Island, "Where Have All The Good Times Gone" and "Ring the Bells"
The same raw unpolished sound that characterizes the album is present on the contemporary single-tracks "Dedicated Follwer of Fashion," "Sitting On My Sofa" and "I'm Not Like Everubody Else" - all three well-known Kinks classics which are all included on CD 2 .
"Mr. Reporter" was at a certain point considered for Dave Davies never released solo album, but here you have a fine version with Ray Davies as lead singer.
Alternative versions of "Dedicated Follwer of Fashion" and "I'm Not Like Everybody Else" are found too - especially the former is very interesting.
"Time Will Tell" is a nice out-take, which probably never got the final touch - could easily have fitted the original album.
"And I Will Love You" is an unreleased EP number, which also sounds a little unfinished and sonically more would fit into "Kinda Kinks"
"All Night Stand" is a demo of a fine little song that was never used for any release.
Second half of the CD are BBC liverecordings, of which two have not been previously released.
All in all a nice release, where the sound is definitely better than on most previously issued CD versions of the album.
on June 4, 2011
This was the 3rd Kinks LP in the UK and they're just about to tear the shackles of strictly R&B (almost) to becoming one of the greatest pop bands ever. The sound is much improved from the '01 versions and making them all 2-CD sets is nice, too. The next 3 that are coming (Face to Face, Something Else and Arthur) really shine both lyrically and musically. If you have to pick 1 of the current batch, make it this one. Granted, no All Day/All Nite, or You Really Got Me, but what is here more than makes up for that.
on June 8, 2011
Another great job from Andrew Sandoval & crew. Great mono remaster of "Kontroversy" which is a nice upgrade from a weak stereo lp I have. Much like "Kinda", the Kinks were rushed into the studio to bang out an lp in a matter of days or inside a week. The result is very good for all the limitations imposed on them by thier so called management & Pye records. Why "Kontroversy"?...Mick Avery was on "leave" due to almost killing guitarist Dave Davies on stage with his hi hat pedal. Enter Pye session man Clem Catini on skins & they pounded out a stunning & hard edged selection of tunes for the most part. This would be the last & greatest in thier riff heavy "beat" era music & also gives a little glimpse as to what was to come in thier spectacular Face to Face lp in early 66. The sound is remastered mono & is the way the Kinks should be heard. This one like Kinda, has lots of Kool photos & bonus trax of "non lp" Pye demos & "great lost" stuff that is finally seeing its official release. If your a Kink fan, you will love this but not the "imported price tag".
on April 21, 2007
You may be familiar with 'Till the End of the Day' and 'Where Have All the Good Times Gone', but this album has so much more to offer than just those two singles. THE KINK KONTROVERSY is listenable all the way through and contains many jewels. It is also the first installment of what is widely regarded as the classic Kink era (ending with Arthur or Lola, I suppose). I prefer this edition over the USA pressing, because it matches nicely with all the other superbly remastered UK editions of the classic Kinks CDs.
on February 8, 2015
This 50th anniversary reissue series is, IMHO, the definitive vinyl versions of these classic Pye era Kinks albums. Which also happen to be their best ever artistically. Grab 'em while you can! Win/win/ win. Vinyl is still the best way to hear The Kinks I believe.
Comparable for the most part to 'The Beatles in MONO' set, these reissues are top notch even if not completely authentic packaging wise (LP labels are reissue, not original). No liner notes nor booklet. Just the goods. And the goods are great!
This particular LP is important as a transitional piece - next release would be 'Face to Face' - the first of the Kinks Golden Era. 'Kontroversy' is an enjoyable listen on its own, 4 stars in that regard. But because of the reproduction and importance, it is really 4.5 stars. Gotta hold back the extra half for the rest of the essential Kinks LP reissues. That would be everything from 'Face to Face' through to 'Lola vs. Powerman'. These ARE the Kinks Golden Era for me. And the best of the best remains 'Village Green Preservation Society'. Which oddly, is not part of this series!? In any event, get 'em while they are hot and available!
on January 22, 2015
Aside from having all Kinks lps back in the 60's, I now own a few cds of those albums and this album is no exception. I have always loved the song "Milk Cow Blues" which leads off the disc. Another single that appears on this two disc set is Till the End of the Day, a really fantastic song. Aside from the original mono lp version on disc one is a collection of singles as & bs on disc two. This collection of singles contains one of my favourite tunes I'm Not Like Everybody Else. That song is one HELL of a great song and I think you will all agree with me on that one. Also on disc two are 16 tracks of BBC Sessions which features Till the End of the Day, Well Respected Man and Milk Cow Blues. So, to sum it all up this is a great deluxe edition from The Kinks!
on February 22, 2015
Always one of my favorite Kinks albums, I was glad to see Kinks Kontroversy made available in Deluxe 2 CD format. I own the original Castle/sanctuary CD reissue, but this set has VASTLY improved sound. While I cannot be sure they didn't use some compression for this release, the latest deluxe CD set seems to retain the dynamics that were present in the original Pye vinyl but completely lost in the horrible, tinny Castle/Sanctuary CD issue. This is definitely the one to get!