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Released - June 11, 2002 on Sanctuary Records. Produced by Shel Talmy and Ray Davies

Ray Davies - Lead and Backing Vocals, Rhythm Guitars, Keyboards
Dave Davies - Lead Guitars, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals on self penned songs
Mick Avory - Drums and Percussion
Peter Quaife - Bass on all tracks up to 1969
John Dalton -  Bass on tracks from 1969 till 1978
Jim Rodford - Bass on tracks from 1979 to 1984
Ian Gibbons - Keyboards on tracks from 1983 & 1984

Nicky Hopkins
- Piano on ""Sunny Afternoon" and "Death of a Clown"
Jon Lord
- Piano on "You Really Got Me"
Rasa Davies - Backing Vocals on "Death of a Clown"
John Beecham, Dave Jones & Mike Cotton - Brass on "Supersonic Rocket Ship"

All song written by Ray Davies, except * written by Dave Davies





Disc: 1
You Really Got Me 1964 10.0
All Day and All of the Night 1964 10.0
Tired of Waiting for You 1965 10.0
Everybody's Gonna Be Happy 1965   6.8
Set Me Free 1965   8.0
See My Friends 1965   6.6
Till the End of the Day 1965   8.7
Dedicated Follower of Fashion 1965 10.0
Sunny Afternoon 1966 10.0
Dead End Street 1966   7.0
Waterloo Sunset  1966   8.0
Death of a Clown * 1967   8.0
Autumn Almanac 1967   7.3
Susannah's Still Alive * 1967   7.0
Wonderboy 1967   6.6
Days 1968   6.7
Plastic Man  1969   9.4
Victoria 1970   8.0
Lola 1970 10.0
Apeman 1970 10.0
Supersonic Rocket Ship 1972   8.1
Better Things  1981   7.4
Come Dancing  1983 10.0
Don't Forget to Dance 1983   7.0
Disc: 2       
David Watts 1967   7.0
Stop Your Sobbing 1964 10.0
Dandy 1966   9.5
Mr. Pleasant  1967   8.1
I Gotta Move          1964   7.5
Who'll Be the Next in Line 1965   8.5
I Need You 1964   7.2
Where Have All the Good Times Gone 1965   6.7
Sittin' on My Sofa 1966   7.3
A Well Respected Man 1966 10.0
I'm Not Like Everybody Else 1966   7.1
Love Me Till the Sun Shines *      1967   6.9
She's Got Everything 1968   7.8
Starstruck  1968   6.6
Shangri-La  1969   7.0
God's Children  1971   7.8
Celluloid Heroes 1972 10.0
(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman 1979   9.3
Do It Again 1984   9.2
Living on a Thin Line 1984   6.9
Ave. - 8.35


The Kinks Ultimate Collection is one fine and very long album, with 44 tracks on two CD disks. Besides most of their greatest hits (of course, like most greatest hits packages, not all of their hits show up here, I do wish that "Low Budget" and "Sleepwalker" had been included), this LP also contains many of their hit single's B sides, too.

The album kicks off with two of their earliest and greatest songs, "You Really Got Me" and "All Day and All of the Night". Rock and Heavy Metal fans can argue all they want too on which rock song was the first Metal song - but don't let anybody fool you, there is no question that these two were. Not only were Ray Davies' lead vocals wild enough on these songs, but up to this point in time - and it was only 1964 after all, nobody ever played a guitar riff in the Metal style that Ray's brother Dave did on these two tracks. It would be a complete about-face when they released their third single, the very mellow, but still great, "Tired of Waiting for You".

Another early great one The Kinks put out, showing up on their first self titled album, was "Stop Your Sobbing", a song that many would overlook until years later when Ray's future lover, Chrissie Hynde, covered and had a hit with it on The Pretenders debut album in 1979.  That would not be the only other early hit cover of a Davies song for another band, as Herman's Hermits had a top five US hit with "Dandy" in 1965, a song about a backdoor man, with Herman's Hermits' version sounding almost the exact same as the one The Kinks recorded.

"A Well Respected Man" is another 1960s number that was a big hit in the States for The Kinks. Ray wrote this one about the clean-cut types who he would watch go off to work everyday. Ray let it be known years later that he wasn't really trying to be supportive of such people, as that wasn't the kind of life he was into, but wrote the song as he saw such a lifestyle as being more of a joke. He didn't think it would make for such a fine song either, not until after the band recorded it.

My own all time favorite Kinks' song came out in 1970, that being "Apeman". What a fantastic little tune about a city dweller who wanted to give up on the human race and just live in the jungle like a ape-man. Around the same time this song was released, The Kinks biggest - and perhaps their greatest song ever (if not their most popular) also came out, "Lola". Weird how so many listeners never really paid attention to the song's lyrics, as I can remember explaining this song to a few friends, a good ten years after it came out, about the fact that Lola was a transvestite. I always got a kick out of the lyric "I'm not dumb but I can't understand why she walks like a woman and talks like a man...", to me, any guy that can't, would be a dummy!

Perhaps the best written song found in this collection is "Celluloid Heroes", written about the Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame and the stars who's stars are on the sidewalk there. But overall, there are many great songs found on this one, and even many of the B songs, most of which I gave a lower rating to, are still good numbers. I must admit that two or three of the B songs I didn't remember ever hearing in the past, but this US import LP is worth every penny!

- Keno 2005

To listen to some soundclips from ULTIMATE COLLECTION or to purchase it click on: Kinks - Ultimate Collection

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