glka(Please welcome new AD contributor Brendan McGrath.  Brendan helms one of my absolute favorite music blogs, the rising storm, and will be pulling from his collection, waxing on obscure and classic LPs. I couldn’t be more excited to have him on board – AD)

Issued by Reprise in 1973, and not to be confused with several boots bearing the same name, The Great Lost Kinks Album may not be a legitimate release, but it is one of my favorite Kinks albums. Even though I know it’s wrong (Ray Davies knew nothing about it and moved to legally stop production of the record), I can’t help but fall for its charms.

Supposedly, the bulk of Great Lost was intended for a 1969 release entitled Four More Respected Gentlemen. The liner notes for the LP are hard to trust, however, since the ‘kronikler‘ spends most of his time deriding the touring behavior of the ’73 Kinks and complaining about the songs on Muswell Hillbillies (by my account, a fine record in every regard). Pretty much all of this material (tracks that didn’t make the cut for Face to Face, Something Else, and Village Green Preservation Society) is available now as bonus material on the essential 2004 Kinks reissues (mostly on the 3CD VGPS package).

The track order on Great Lost Kinks feels like the real thing, and affords that rare pleasure rabid fans are always hunting down: the unreleased masterpiece. Great Lost is to Kinks fans what Smile bootlegs are to Brian Wilson devotees, maybe not a masterpiece, but it’s that extra dip in the Golden Age once you’ve already exhausted the best of their discography. Considering its release date, this was the first chance anybody got at hearing these buried gems, making Great Lost a considerable prize to collectors. If you do find this record out in the wild, pick it up immediately. The bizarre neon cover may have you believe this is a less than stellar 1980s outing or some mediocre compilation (hopefully your record dealer falls for this), but it truly sounds like that great, fabled record that never was.

There are no skippable tracks, but for me, “Til Death Do Us Part” is one of the perfect Kinks songs, a humble, laid-back march that sounds sweetly traditional. “There Is No Life Without Love” is a sleeper Kinks klassic with its subdued and gorgeous groove. I won’t go on. I’ll save the rest for that lucky day you find this for yourself. If you need to hear the tracks before then, get working on your Kinks reissues, they’re all out there somewhere. words/ b. mcgrath

MP3: The Kinks :: Til Death Do Us Part
MP3: The Kinks :: There’s No Life Without Love

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10 Responses to “The Great Lost Kinks Album”

  1. Congrats Brendan. Great gig. (And great album too.)

  2. This stuff is really great. I ended up having to listen to both the mp3’s posted several times over. It has a very strong Beatles feel, although not in a copied way. Thanks for posting guys!!

  3. I concur, great gig Brendan – great fit! Love these tunes.

  4. always happy to learn more about the kinks. thanks & welcome, b.

  5. Great stuff, keep em coming.

  6. I’ve always felt the Kinks are unfairly overlooked in the pantheon of great British bands. Ray Davies is such a great chronicler of the trials and tribulations (and the joys) of the everyman.

    While I think their late 60s/early70s output is their best, even later period albums like “Low Budget” and “State of Confusion” are well worth checking out. Thanks for these. Much appreciated.

  7. “Plastic Man” is another great track on this album.

  8. […] and now, once a week, classic gems recommended by yours truly. So far we’ve pulled out some lost Kinks and Margo’s lovely Take a Picture. So check it out and stay tuned for some of our favorite […]

  9. Wow, I had this album in college and I’ve been searching forever for “Till Death Do Us Part”, one of my all time favorite Kinks songs. Had no idea it was so controversial. Excellent report.

  10. I remember how blown away I was when I finally obtained a decent copy of this in the early CD trading daze (gawd bless cassettes, some of us thought we had died and gone to heaven when that whole scene got up and running, but…). A close childhood friend of mine who was no doubt THE Kinks freak in my subdivision had passed way a year or two earlier. I shed a tear listening and knowing how much he would have LOVED this record. Never mind all the B.S., these boys were special at this point. Muswell is a classic record…yes??

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