In a recording career that spanned over 30 years, The Kinks created a huge catalogue of records. 24 studio albums, 6 E.P.s and 78 singles, as well as a mass of live and compilation albums, are clearly a huge body of work.
Most people will be familiar with the big hits and best known albums, but there is a wealth of lesser known hidden gems from The Kinks discography.
Here are my picks of these hidden gems – one album and one single.
Album – Phobia
The last Kinks studio album was released in 1993. It failed to chart in the UK and charted at only 166 in the US. This I find a travesty because not only is this my personal favourite Kinks album, but I think it’s as fine a rock album as you’re ever likely to hear. The listener is treated to no less than 16 tracks, with a 17th bonus track, Did Ya, on some formats, in some territories. It’s one of those albums that if you didn’t know better, you’d swear it was a greatest hits package. There are so many great songs. Wall Of Fire, Drift Away, Still Searching, Over The Edge, The Informer and Hatred – these were all good enough to have been singles. As it was, Scattered (UK / Europe only) and Only A Dream (UK only) were the singles. Scattered was the pick of the bunch – a truly fantastic record.
Single – Sweet Lady Genevieve
This track, from the Preservation Act 1 album, was released in the UK only in 1973. It failed to chart. It is a beautifully uplifting ballad with a strong 4/4 beat but with lots of 2/4 bars thrown in. It’s the song of a tramp, yearning for the love that he lost, and all because he went and blew it. My favourite lines are those of the first verse: –
“Once under a scarlet sky, I told you never ending lies,
But they were the words of a drunken vagabond
Who knew very well he would break your heart before long
Oh forgive me Genevieve”
This really is the lost Ray Davies masterpiece and Kinks Classic.
There are many other hidden gems in The Kinks catalogue and you may have your own favourites, but if you have a listen to my recommendations I’m sure you’ll agree that despite their lack of “hit status” these were both utterly fabulous records.