Friday, 15 April 2011

The Kinks on 45 - The Pye Years

Like many other of their 60’s counterparts, The Kinks recorded quite a number of “new” songs for their single releases. Some of these singles, amongst the most brilliant and iconic recorded by anybody, never found a home on an original Kinks LP, and only made it on an album when the band began issuing Greatest Hits sets. In recent years, the band’s album back catalogue has been reissued, with many versions bolstered by extra tracks. Virtually everything the band issued on 45 - A side or B side - got hoovered up onto these re-releases, but there were odd exceptions.

Furthermore, so famous were some of these songs, that after the band left Pye at the start of the Seventies, many of them were later reissued by a variety of labels. It means that, if you can track down all the B-sides on CD, you then have - for certain singles - a choice of which version to buy. In this blog, I shall detail some of the places where the non-album material was later released, and shall also look at which songs were later reissued (or in the odd instance, which B-sides were issued) as singles post 1971. The band’s pre-1970 EP’s are excluded from the list, as getting them is quite easy (just buy “The EP Collection” boxset), but are mentioned where appropriate.

Long Tall Sally/I Took My Baby Home (Pye 7N 15611)
You Still Want Me/You Do Something To Me (Pye 7N 15636)

Once The Kinks had got a few hits under their belt, there started a steady stream of greatest hits collections. Many of them included “You Really Got Me” as the earliest recording, which would lead the uneducated to believe it had been their debut 45. It was not. This pair of singles marked the start of the band’s recording career, and both were spectacular flops. “I Took My Baby Home” later appeared on the band’s 1964 debut LP, “Kinks”, whilst the other three recordings remained exclusive to these singles in the UK for some years, until the “Yesteryear” EP from 1978 (Pye AMEP 1001) put all four songs onto a single disc.

A foreign EP, later made available in the UK in the “EP Collection 2” boxset, included the three rarities, and after 1997’s “The Singles Collection” became pretty much the first best-of to include “Sally” and “You Still Want Me”, all three of these tracks made it onto the expanded 1998 reissue of the debut album.

You Really Got Me/It’s Alright (Pye 7N 15673)

The band’s breakthrough moment, with one of the most famous guitar riffs of all time. “You Really Got Me” was lifted from “Kinks” and came backed with a new B-side, which later made it onto the expanded version of the album. Being such an iconic song, it’s no surprise that “You Really Got Me” has surfaced again on various “reissue” singles.

The first such re-release was 1971’s “Mini Monster” (Pye PMM100), a 4 track maxi single which came in a specially designed die cut sleeve. It included “YRGM”, “Set Me Free”, “Wonderboy” and “Long Tall Shorty”. In 1979, the track was reissued again as a more standard 7“ (Pye FBS1) and again in 1980 by a different label (RK RK1027). The most essential of all the releases was the 1983 release on the PRT label (PRT KD1) - this reissue came on a variety of different formats, and all included a bizarre medley of “YRGM” and “All Day And All Of The Night”, which remains unique to this single. The song was reissued again on the Old Gold label in 1984 on 7”, (Old Gold OG 9408), and then on 3” CD in 1988 (Old Gold OG 6102).

To celebrate it’s 40th anniversary, the single was reissued with the original B-side on 7” in 2004, housed in a Pye sleeve with a Pye label, but released by Sanctuary (Sanctuary SANSI 317). A CD single was also released, in a new picture sleeve with “Misty Water” as a second bonus track (Sanctuary SAND317).

All Day And All Of The Night/I Gotta Move (Pye 7N 15714)

Following the release of “Kinks”, the band released this stand alone 45, consisting of a pair of new songs. The a-side became another iconic Kinks moment, complete with another famous guitar riff, and both this and “You Really Got Me” became concert favourites right up until the end of the band’s career. Both sides of these two singles were later compiled on a UK EP, “Kinksize Hits”, presumably in an attempt to lure in people who liked the songs, but for some reason hadn’t bought them when they were first released. It is one of the UK EP‘s reissued inside the “EP Collection“ boxset. “All Day” and “I Gotta Move” were later added to the expanded “Kinks” reissue.

Although “All Day” turned up as a b-side on several “reissue” singles, it rarely appeared again as an A-side in it’s own right. It did appear as the lead track of a 1984 7” picture disc (PRT KINKP20) but that was about it.

Tired Of Waiting For You/Come On Now (Pye 7N 15759)

Slightly unusually for the band, but not for the last time, the Kinks next single release combined a pair of album tracks, as both of these songs were to be found on the band’s second LP, “Kinda Kinks”, released in 1965. “Tired Of Waiting For You” was reissued in 1983 (Pye FBS 15).

Ev’rybody’s Gonna Be Happy/Who’ll Be The Next In Line (Pye 7N 15813)
Set Me Free/I Need You (Pye 7N 15854)
See Me Friends/Never Met A Girl Like You Before (Pye 7N 15854)

The polar opposite of the “Tired Of Waiting” release, the Kinks followed it up with three singles that all consisted entirely of new material. All six of these songs were then added to an expanded CD edition of “Kinda Kinks” in 1998. “Set Me Free” and “See My Friends” were also included on a Swedish EP, “Drop In”, which later got a UK release in the “EP Collection 2” CD boxset.

Till The End Of The Day/Where Have All The Good Times Gone (Pye 7N 15981)

Another 45 using a pair of album tracks, both these songs came from the band’s superb third LP, “The Kink Kontroversy”. These two tracks opened a French EP of the same name released soon after, and this was later issued on CD in the UK on the “EP Collection 2” box. “Where Have All The Good Times Gone” later got an A-side billing when it was issued as a 45 in 1973 (Pye 7N 45313).

Dedicated Follower Of Fashion/Sittin’ On My Sofa (Pye 7N 17064)

Another stand alone 45, “DFOF” offered up a pair of new recordings. A later EP, “Dedicated Kinks”, included the A-side along with “Ev‘rybody‘s Gonna Be Happy“, “Set Me Free“ and “See My Friends“, and is available on CD courtesy of the “EP Collecion“ box. Both tracks from the original 45 appeared as bonuses on the 1998 reissue of “The Kink Kontroversy”.

“Dedicated Follower Of Fashion” was also the lead track on an EP of the same name in France, a UK reissue of which is in the “EP Collection 2” box. There have been four other reissues - in 1979 (Pye 7N 46102), 1981 (Old Gold OG 9140), 1986 (PRT 7P355) and 1988 (PRT PYS7).

Sunny Afternoon/I’m Not Like Everybody Else (Pye 7N 17125)

Another a-side battling it out in the “best Kinks song of all time” debate, “Sunny Afternoon” was lifted from the band’s 1966 “Face To Face” album, the latest in a stream of fairly faultless LP releases that would continue throughout the rest of the decade. The flipside, one of the band’s best, was a new recording not on the album, although it would later appear as an extra track on the 1998 reissue of “Face To Face”. “The EP Collection” boxset included a reissue of the “Kinks In Sweden” EP, upon which both tracks also appeared. “The EP Collection 2” boxset included another EP upon which these two songs appeared, called “En Un Tarde De Sol”.

The single was reissued in 1975 with “Sittin’ On My Sofa” on the b-side (Pye 7N 45482) and again in 1986 (Old Gold OG 9577). Another reissue, also with “Sofa” on the flip, appeared in the 80’s in a “Pineapple” picture sleeve (PRT PYS2).

Dead End Street/Big Black Smoke (Pye 7N 17222)

Another 45 consisting of a pair of non album tracks. Both were later added to the expanded “Face To Face”. Once again, the “EP Collection” boxset included a “Dead End Street” EP, which also included “Big Black Smoke“. Both tracks also appeared on the Spanish “Callejon Sin Salda” EP, which got it’s first UK release on the “EP Collection 2” CD box set.

Waterloo Sunset/Act Nice And Gentle (Pye 7N 17321)

If you are of the view that “You Really Got Me” is not the most famous Kinks song, then this one is probably your choice instead. Lifted from the sublime “Something Else By The Kinks” LP, it’s B-side was yet another non-album recording. “Waterloo Sunset” was later the lead track on “The Kinks” EP from 1980 (Pye FBEP 104).

The song was re-recorded in 1994 for the “To The Bone” album, and it was this version that was then issued as a CD Single (Konk KNKCD 2). The CD included three bonus tracks, the majority of which have never resurfaced since, so it is this version of “Sunset” that is of more interest than the original, as “Act Nice And Gentle” was later added as a bonus to the 1998 reissue of “Something Else”.

A French EP with the track as the lead song was later reissued on CD as part of the 1998 “EP Collection” boxset, which included “Act Nice And Gentle” plus two other extra tracks. In 2007, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the original single, this EP was released in it’s own right as a UK single, and was housed in the same picture sleeve (Castle CMWEP 1525).

Death Of A Clown/Love Me Til The Sun Shines (Pye 7N 17356)

In my last Kinks blog, I mentioned briefly the problematic start to Dave Davies’ solo career. “Death Of A Clown” was really a Kinks record, as all of the band played on the song - Ray included. One can only assume it was listed as a Dave Davies record as it was the first A-side the band released with Dave on lead, but certainly not the first Kinks tune overall.

The single was a huge success, which led to a second Dave Davies 45 early the following year (1968‘s “Susannah‘s Still Alive“), but plans to compile these songs and other material he had recorded onto a solo album stalled again and again, and it would not be until 1980 that Dave would actually get to release a solo album.

To add to the confusion, both sides of this masterpiece of a single were included on the latest Kinks album, “Something Else”, where they were simply listed as Kinks recordings. The “Dave Davies Hits” EP, issued sometime later, coupled this 45 with both sides of the “Susannah’s Still Alive” 7", and is in the “EP Collection” box.

The Mexican “Los Kinks Vol 9” EP included both this and the following Kinks 45, “Autumn Almanac”, on the second side of the disc, and a CD reissue of this is in the “EP Collection 2” boxset. There was also a reissue of “Death Of A Clown”/”Susannah’s Still Alive” in 1981 (Old Gold OG 9128).

Autumn Almanac/Mister Pleasant (Pye 7N 17400)
Susannah’s Still Alive/Funny Face (Pye 7N 17429)
Wonderboy/Polly (Pye 7N 17468)

Three more stand alone 45’s on the trot, with “Polly” and “Mr Pleasant” also being ‘new’ recordings. “Mr Pleasant” had in fact been taped a lot earlier, and had even been issued as an A-side single pressed in the UK but exported abroad, which explains why it was later added as a bonus track to the reissue of 1966‘s “Face To Face”, rather than the follow up “Something Else”. “Funny Face” was on “Something Else”, and formed one half of the second Dave Davies solo 45. “Almanac”, “Susannah”, “Wonderboy” and “Polly” are all on the 1998 reissue of “Something Else”.

Days/She’s Got Everything (Pye 7N 17573)

Although it later gained a deal of prominence via a Kirsty MacCall cover version, “Days” was actually a sizeable hit for The Kinks at the time of it’s original release. The same could not be said of the album the band released alongside it, the astonishing “The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society”, which was a flop upon release.

Work on “Village Green” was a bit of a drawn out affair, with much umm-ing and arr-ing over the track listing. In the end, a 12 track album was completed, including “Days”, and the masters sent off for pressing. But almost immediately, Ray changed his mind, and attempted to recall the tapes. It was too late, as copies were already in the shops in selected overseas territories. Ray successfully arranged for the album to be withdrawn, and unsold copies were sent back to Pye, whilst the remaining handful that remained in the hands of collectors became worth quite a few quid.

Ray had wanted “Village Green” to be a double, but Pye vetoed this on financial grounds, so a new 15 track edition was created. “Days” was taken off the new version, as was “Mr Songbird”, and five other tracks included instead - “Last Of The Steam Powered Trains”, “Big Sky”, “Sitting By The Riverisde”, “Animal Farm” and “All Of My Friends Were There”.

When “Village Green” was reissued in 1998, the decision was taken to give the fans VFM, by including a mono version of the 15 track album, and a stereo version of the 12 track album. The mono single version of “Days” was tagged onto the end as a bonus, but there wasn’t much space for anything else, so “She’s Got Everything” was left off - partly also because it was actually an old outtake, and pre-dated the entire “Village Green” recording sessions. It has found a home on the 2008 box set “Picture Book”. “The EP Collection 2” box includes a Mexican EP called “Los Kinks Vol 10”, of which “Days” is the lead track.

In 1997, “Days” was reissued as a four track CD EP, after being used in a Yellow Pages TV ad (When! WENX 1016). Both Yellow Pages and “Days” were (more or less) thirty years old by this point, which helped make the link less tenuous. For the CD, the original B-side was dropped in favour of three old hits, “You Really Got Me”, “Dead End Street” and “Lola”.

Lincoln County/There Is No Life Without Love (Pye 7N 17514)
Hold My Hand/Creeping Jean (Pye 7N 17678)
Plastic Man/King Kong (Pye 7N 17724)
Drivin’/Mindless Child Of Motherhood (Pye 7N 17776)

More exclusive material here. “Lincoln County” and “Hold My Hand” were the third and fourth Dave Davies singles, but flopped badly, and remain amongst the most obscure of all of The Kinks 60’s singles. US releases for both were never scheduled. Both sides of the “Lincoln County” 45 are on the expanded “Something Else”. Both sides of the “Hold My Hand” 45 turned up on a Dave Davies compilation album, “Anthology”, in 1998, which was split equally between "Dave solo" and "Dave With The Kinks" material.

“Plastic Man” and “King Kong” were new non-album recordings, whilst “Drivin’” was included on 1969’s “Arthur”, an album that has been much re-evaluated in recent years, and is now about to be the subject of a “deluxe” reissue. The single version, in mono, was a different mix to the stereo album version though. Both the mono mix, and “Mindless Child”, were included on the 1998 expanded version of “Arthur”, as were both sides of the “Plastic Man” single.

Shangri-La/This Man He Weeps Tonight (Pye 7N 17812)
Victoria/Mr Churchill Says (Pye 7N 17865)

Two singles from “Arthur”, both the same on 45 as on LP. “This Man” was a new B-side, but “Mr Churchill” was on the second side of the “Arthur” album. “Victoria” was never reissued, although a live version appeared on “The Kinks Live” EP from 1980 (Arista ARIST 360). “This Man” is also on the 1998 edition of “Arthur”.

Lola/Berkeley Mews (Pye 7N 17961)

Yet another hugely famous Kinks 45, “Lola” concerned itself with a man who fell for a transvestite and therefore, became quite a subversive hit record. Overfamiliarity has deadened it's effect over the years, but in the context of the album it appeared on, it still sounds intelligently brilliant. The original version made a reference to the drink “Coca Cola”, but for the single release, Ray had to re-record this part to avoid non-commercial stations like Radio 1 getting into potential “plugging of products” trouble. Little did he know then, that years later, the re-recorded line “Cherry Cola” would become the name of another drink itself!

The original “Coca Cola” version of “Lola” appeared on the cumbersomely titled “Lola Versus Powerman And The Moneyground Part One”, another album ripe for re-evaluation, and the 1998 reissue included the “Cherry Cola” mix as a bonus track. “Berkeley Mews”, dating from several years earlier, was thus not included on this reissue, but has since made it onto the 2004 triple-CD edition of “Village Green”, and the “Picture Book” box.

“Lola” was reissued on an EP called “Big Deal” in 1977 with “Sunny Afternoon”, “Waterloo Sunset” and “Dedicated Follower Of Fashion” (Pye BD 105), and on Old Gold in 1986 (Old Gold OG 9579). A live version of the track made the “State Of Confusion” EP the same decade (Arista ARIST 560).

Apeman/Rats (Pye 7N 45016)

Two tracks from “Lola”, the former was famous for it’s “does Ray swear or not?” line, “the air pollution is a-fogging up my eyes.” Re-recorded versions exist with the line sung 'more clearly'. It was the band’s last really big hit for some years, as they would sign to RCA a year or so later, and would suddenly start to struggle to hit the charts.

God’s Children/The Way Love Used To Be/Moments/Dreams (Pye 7N 8001)

The final “proper” Kinks single, before the reissues, this was a 4-track maxi single. Unlike the band’s 60’s EP’s, it was neither a collection of old hits, or totally new and exclusive songs, but was used to plug the band’s ninth studio LP, the “Percy” soundtrack. All four songs came from the album.

Three variants exist - a two track edition was pressed in the UK for overseas export, whilst the UK edition came in a “Percy” style picture sleeve. An Irish edition, housed in a Pye company sleeve, listed the instrumental mix of “Lola” from the same LP as track 4, but all copies played the same songs as the UK edition.

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