The Mono Collection packages the first 8 albums in glorious mono, including ‘Live At Kelvin Hall’. The set also includes the bonus double LP compilation ‘The Kinks’ (aka ‘The Black Album’).
PLUS a lavish hardcover 48-page book including never-before-seen photos and new interviews with Ray Davies, Dave Davies and Mick Avory.
With the recent renewed interest in analogue recordings on the vinyl format, these important Kinks albums have been collected together, as their original vintage 1960s equivalents continue to command major sums on the collectors’ market. From the garage guitar snarls of “You Really Got Me”, “All Day And All of The Night” and “I Need You”, the melodic mellotron swirls throughout “Autumn Almanac” and “Days” to the bold brass characterising “Victoria” and “Shangri-La”, the full spectrum of The Kinks In Mono is here to be enjoyed anew.
Brash, loud, quirky, reflective – are just some of the opposing adjectives that have been applied to The Kinks. While hailed as one of the great British singles bands of the 1960s, the superlative run of albums they released during those years chart a fascinating career trajectory – from young, white London boys emulating black Chicago R&B on their debut through to ambitious thematic works like ‘The Village Green Preservation Society’ and ‘Arthur’ that anticipated Ray Davies’ ambitions in film and theatre.
In between, ‘Kinda Kinks’ and ‘The Kink Kontroversy’ testify to the relentless, white heat pace of creativity that their record label Pye demanded in the mid ’60s (both were released within the year 1965). ‘Face To Face’ and ‘Something Else By The Kinks’ illustrate how Ray Davies was thinking beyond the traditional ’60s pop format, containing such evocative character vignettes as “Rosie Won’t You Please Come Home”, “Two Sisters” and “David Watts” (later a hit in its own right for The Jam). There was even room in the catalogue for a primitively recorded but excitingly executed audio vérité concert document (‘Live At Kelvin Hall’). The quality of the albums was further bolstered by the inclusion of such timeless Kinks hits as “You Really Got Me”, “Tired Of Waiting For You”, “Till The End Of The Day”, “Sunny Afternoon” and “Waterloo Sunset” as well as Dave Davies’ solo emergence with “Death Of A Clown” and “Susannah’s Still Alive”.
Throughout the 1970s and beyond these classic recordings were mainly available in stereo – sometimes rechannelled stereo which blunted their dynamism. This state of affairs overlooked a key thing – they were conceived with Mono in mind. Unlike America, until the late 1960s, stereo was considered something of a novelty in Britain. For the leading players in the British beat boom, all efforts were directed at perfecting recordings made to be heard on radiograms, Dansettes and tinny transistor speakers. “I wanted the tracks to sound how we would play them live,” Ray says of the Kinks’ early recordings. “I wrote lots of songs for a particular sound and production.”