Classic Rock n Roll Web Site
GREATEST HITS ALBUM REVIEW
THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION
Released - June 11, 2002 on Sanctuary Records. Produced by Shel Talmy and Ray Davies
Ray Davies - Lead and Backing Vocals, Rhythm
All song written by Ray Davies, except * written by Dave Davies
|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|
|Dead End Street||1966||7.0|
|Death of a Clown *||1967||8.0|
|Susannah's Still Alive *||1967||7.0|
|Supersonic Rocket Ship||1972||8.1|
|Don't Forget to Dance||1983||7.0|
|Stop Your Sobbing||1964||10.0|
|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|
|(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman||1979||9.3|
|Do It Again||1984||9.2|
|Living on a Thin Line||1984||6.9|
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
Return to Rock Album's Reviews