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Picture Book (6CD) [Box set, Original recording remastered]

The Kinks Audio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
Price: £49.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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The Kinks were formed by brothers Ray and Dave Davies in their hometown of Muswell Hill, North London. The brothers began playing skiffle and rock and roll, recruiting Peter Quaife to play bass with them. By the summer of 1963, as The Ravens, they'd recruited drummer Mickey Willet. Eventually their demo tape reached American record producer Shel Talmy who helped the band land a contract ... Read more in Amazon's The Kinks Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (8 Dec 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 6
  • Format: Box set, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sanctuary
  • ASIN: B001GJ5WHU
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 82,644 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Product Description

BBC Review

It's a story oft told, but it bears repeating. The tale of how two brothers from North London, after taking their first steps into popular music during the beat boom, were joined by Pete Quaife and Mick Avory to become the Kinks. How older brother Ray Davies aided by Dave's proto-metal guitar rapidly progressed from writing brilliant brutish rave-up-style hits to exquisite vignettes of the tiny wheels and cogs that kept English lower middle class society ticking along in the post-war years. And how, after inter-sibling fighting (often on stage), numerous breakdowns, forays into country rock (on the wonderful Muswell Hillbillies album), Vaudevillian musical theatre and concept albums they finally found fame in the States and lost their souls to stadium rock. Picture Book has it all.

In pretty much chronological order this huge box tells the story again. Brian Matthew's introduction on disc one describing them as part of the 'shaggy set'' may hold true for about half of that cd, but by See My Friend, with its sexual ambivalence and raga-influenced lilt it becomes clear how quickly Ray was developing as a writer. From this point on the subject matter became satirical (Sunny Afternoon, Dedicated Follower Of Fashion: here in a rare mix) and increasingly obsessed with the trivia of daily life including daytrips (Drivin'), the changing seasons (Autumn Almanac) or suburbia (Shangri-La) as well as the death of imperialism (Victoria, Arthur). And this isn't to mention cross-dressing (Lola) or just plain old romanticism (Waterloo Sunset, Days).

While the brothers' onstage sparring might well have led to them getting their US work permits refused at the crucial point at which their peers were conquering that most lucrative of markets, it also ensured that Ray could really get to grips with his number one muse - England. Now hailed as their zenith, ...Are The Village Green Preservation Society sold squat on its release in 1968; its parochial slant (as well as a rather sub-standard production job) putting it out of step with the times. No matter, anything from these sessions (and albums on both sides) is ace. Despite increasing anguish surrounding creative pressure and marital strife (leading to his suicide attempt in the early 70s) Ray always remained both nostalgic and affectionate in his view of the world which gave birth to him, even when it came in the voguish garb of downhome Americana on the aforementioned ...Hillbillies album. The selection from the hefty (some would say bloated) Preservation Act albums is judicious in removing flab and cherry-picking the very best cuts, though little can rescue the last two cds-worth of slicker, USA-centric college rock. Still, Come Dancing remains a gem in any guise.

While Picture Book unashamedly addresses all the highs and lows, it's perplexing to work out who this 6 cd set is aimed at. For Kinks kompletists the smattering of demos, BBC sessions alternative mixes, early rarities (by their Bo Weevils incarnation) or live versions seems somewhat thin on the ground, and for the novice or day tripper surely a greatest hits collection and maybe a copy of Village Green would suffice, avoiding the dodgy (if commercially successful) arena rock of their post Pye/RCA years and the fascinating, if rudimentary, rhythm and blues of the early 60s. Yet Picture Book holds a wealth of songwriting treasures. On the cusp of a reconciliation between Ray and Dave it's a timely reminder of one of the greatest bands, not just of the 60s but of any period. --Chris Jones

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Product Description

deluxe 6cd box-ean 600753130490

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extensive Kinks Box 13 Aug 2010
Format:Audio CD
This 6 CDs boxset covers the whole career of the Kinks from late 1963 till their last studio recordings around 1996 - quite overwhelming. Containing a lot of rarities and quite a few previously unreleased recordings, the compilers obviously had to leave out several great songs that will be missed by various fans.

I think generally that the compilers have done a good job having chosen to put special focus on the most exciting periods in the group's career.

CD 1. Covers the earliest period and the first three albums. A lot of rare and previously unreleased tracks are to be found on this CD. A lot of these rarities a very strong and among those I would like to bring forward the rocking "Time Will Tell" and the two fine ballads "I Go to Sleep" and "This Strange Effect". The early hit-singles are logical choices, and they are all included. This has left less space for album tracks. From the first album only "Stop Your Sobbing", from Kinda Kinks only "Come on Now" ( with false starts ), from Kinks Kontroversy "Where Have All The God Times Gone", "Ring the Bells (great early ballad), "I'm on an Island" and "Milk Cow Blues" ( odd and poor choice ). This CD as a whole actually works quite well, and it clearly demonstrates the great development the band and Ray Davies as a songwriter went through these years.

CD 2. Like the first CD this has a lot of big hits, but fewer rarities. This leaves room for more albums tracks from the three excellent albums "Face to Face" (3), "Something Else"(3) and "The Vilage Green Preservation Society"(3). This was a particularly fertile period in the band's career, and especially the outtakes from VGPS are outstanding - all these were also on the deluxe version of the album.

CD 3.
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56 of 64 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite perfect! 13 Dec 2008
Format:Audio CD
With the release of this box set I can only think of The Rolling Stones and Neil Young of major 60's / 70's bands and artists who are without some sort of comprehensive box set either featuring a mixture of their best stuff and rarities, or in cases such as The Jam, Cream, CCR, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Genesis, etc, complete box sets of virtually everything they've ever done. Bands such as Deep Purple, Yes, ELP, The Doors, and The Band have actually had more than one box set over the years as the history of classic rock becomes ever longer and is treated with correspondingly increased reverence. It seems rather bizarre now to think that this music was once thought of as disposal pap and you couldn't find books about it for love nor money. Now bookshop, music shop and library shelves groan under the pressure of scholarly rock music tomes and weighty box sets of the music as rock is revered in the same way classical music once was.

So we come to the Kinks, perhaps (apart from the Stones) the last major band not to have had this kind of box set. It seems odd that it's taken so long when their great contemporaries the Who released their box set getting on for fifteen years ago. There are of course three Kinks box sets available of their complete album releases respectively on Pye, RCA and Arista. However in the case of the Pye box the bonus tracks included on the individual releases are missing, which means that many of their great non album singles aren't included! This is therefore the first Kinks box set to span their entire career on various labels and actually going beyond the Arista years right up to the end. It also includes a full booklet, although the albums included in the complete boxes all had excellent, detailed liner notes.
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36 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
There have been many, many Kinks compilations over the years but 'Picture Book' is different. Presented in a solid box format are 6 CDs and one excellent booklet which together cover the history of one of this country's finest rock bands. Indeed, The Kinks invented rock music with 'You Really Got Me' in 1964. There was nothing like this song before they came along. It was truly a revolution. So, when you listen to Oasis or David Bowie or Coldplay, this is where it started.
'Picture Book' is Ray Davies' musical autobiography of his band from 1964 through to the mid nineties. Everything you need is here plus a good number of previously unreleased tracks. In all, there are a staggering 138 songs here! All their hits, all their great album tracks plus a couple of dozen previously unheard tracks.
What is important here is how this band changed styles and influenced so many other artists over the years, how they invented garage band music ('I need you'), wrote about sunny afternoons, dedicated followers of fashion, village greens and transvestites ('Lola') right across to their American period on Arista and Sony.
All this essentially from a small handful of musicians and two amazing brothers. Ray may have been the lyrical and musical genius but we should never forget the edgy guitar sounds provided by Dave Davies.
If Ray had only written 'Waterloo Sunset' he would have gone down in music history. But what he and his band have contributed to rock music is basically incredible. And don't forget he wrote 'You Really Got Me' at the age of 19. How many kids out there have any chance of achieving one hundredth of that? Genius is rare, genius is Ray Davies.
What this 6 CD box set does is confirm their achievements in one place.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Fantastic! A great retrospective for any Kinks fan
Simply Fantastic!

A great retrospective for any Kinks fan.

Though many of the bonus tracks and rarities have found the light of day through the fantastic... Read more
Published 28 days ago by ReGorLaTroy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very good
Published 2 months ago by Roger Isaksen
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have
Glad there are CD's because LP would be worn. Many beautiful songs. If you like the Kinks a must have.
Published 20 months ago by Loek
4.0 out of 5 stars Box set worth buying
I've been a Kinks fan since the 70's, and never thought there would ever be a decent box set, mainly because of the number of record labels they have been on. Read more
Published on 29 July 2011 by Mike Stansfield
4.0 out of 5 stars Best band ever
If you don't want to buy all their albums this is just the best alternative for the best band ever. I finally bought it on Amazon after a long search in Belgium shops. Read more
Published on 24 May 2011 by Johann
4.0 out of 5 stars This is the reason why this band is one of the bests ever !!
I do agree that this 6 CDs boxset covers the whole career of the Kinks from late 1963 till their last studio recordings around 1996, contains a lot of "rarities", some very "deep... Read more
Published on 19 Mar 2011 by Luile
4.0 out of 5 stars What we need is a Kinks A's & Bs
This set is fine no complaints here.
Howefer what we really need is a True Best Of comprising of all their A's & B's in chronological order, because most B sides are only... Read more
Published on 10 April 2009 by The Definitive Article
4.0 out of 5 stars whatever happened to dandy?
Picture Book6y

the day after i got the set i put it into my six cd hanger in my car and have experienced the joy of hits for two weeks, some of them with profound... Read more
Published on 9 Mar 2009 by hans
5.0 out of 5 stars Picture Book - The Kinks
A truly enjoyable listen and insight to a group that I had never really taken any notice of until I met my boyfriend. Read more
Published on 9 Mar 2009 by Sam
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost Their Best
Amazon UK had this delivered to my Phoenix address promptly.

This is a great anthology of Kink's material for those New Kink's fans and old fans that want to update... Read more
Published on 4 Feb 2009 by bigbird737
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