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2011 release, the first ever compilation of Dave's work for the Kinks. Hidden Treasures combines all his great work for the band as well as his highly under-rated solo material. Features artwork by award winning designer Phil Smee and notes by Kinks fan club's Russell Smith. The album contains a complete selection of well know Davies compositions as well as rare mono and alternative takes from Dave's career with the band and on his own and hopes to remind the listener of the great work done by the man.
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Love it. Had this been released in 1969, I've no doubt it would've been a cult classic and been acknowledged by many respectable artists over the years.
So Ray wrote "Mr. Reporter," but Dave wrote "I'm Crying" and "Mr. Shoemaker's Daughter"....so there. Just a trove of great melodies. Even "Lincoln County" (never one of my favorites) sounds excellent in this newly unearthed '69 acetate mix. And Dave sings his heart out on this stuff ~ aching vocals on "Are You Ready Girl" and the first two (Dave) songs just mentioned. "Creeping Jean," of course, completely rocks.
Plus we finally have reliable recording info for these songs, too, and learn there really was a finished acetate (well, don't ask Dave's opinion on that) submitted in '69. And that Pete Quaife plays on all but one of the songs (Dalton on "Mindless Child" only). Maybe it was common knowledge (?), but I never realized, either, it was Rasa Davies singing the dreamy falsetto on "Death of a Clown." A generous and photo-filled liner note booklet that downloading just can't buy.
The entirely different, leaner take of "Hold My Hand" is a treat (if a less sweet entreaty than the single). The alt mix of "Mr. Reporter" features a slightly extended fadeout jam, for what it's worth. Some of the additional mixes may seem (as on the first Arthur reissue) like a bit of overkill, but after all these lost years too much of everything is just enough.
My only (very minor) complaint is the running order of the '69 tracklist.... Placing similar-tempoed songs back to back ~ "Do You Wish To Be a Man" & "Are You Ready" ; "Shoemaker's Daughter" & "Mr. Reporter" (which both sing, "Hey, Mr.....") ~ seems like lazy presentation given the available variety of material. Individually, these tunes shine so brightly.
Let's all drink to Hidden Treasures! (after toasting the dearly departed clown, of course.)
What you get are Dave's solo sides from the period between 1966-69. Later Dave solo projects would appear in the 70's and 80's, but that "great lost Dave Davies album" that Kinks fans longed for is here at last. Too bad it wasn't released 40 years ago, but I'm glad to have it. I hesitate to give this five stars, because that seems to undermine the idea that only the best should receive the highest rating. It's always an emotional decision, and since anticipation has been high for many years, I get the high ratings. But, in truth, I've heard nearly all of these songs, and over half of them can be found on various Kinks reissues, as well as compilations such as Kink Kronikles. If all the songs were on the same level as "Death" and "Susannah's" it would indeed get five stars, but the quality of the songs, while certainly good, is not consistently great. "Face to Face" or "Village Green" are five star classics, and unless you believe this collection of songs is at that level, then four stars is a fair rating. Maybe 4 & 1/2. If you are a casual Kinks fan, you don't need this, but otherwise, it's awfully nice to finally have Dave's compositions all in one place.
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