When heard about this release I was very thrilled. Finally all those great songs that never found their way onto the original album would see the light of day, in the right context on an official Kinks release.
The original album is here, both in the mono and stereo versions. These great songs have never sounded better;
Real excitement for me, though, comes with the extensive list of the bonus tracks and rarities.
Many of the well-known songs are in previously unreleased versions, and quite a few have never been released on CD or even vinyl before.
In early 1968 the Kinks had an album ready for the American market called "Four More Respected Gentlemen". The album was cancelled, and some of these songs were never released on an official Kinks album. Now they are here. Great songs like "Berkely Mews", "Mr Songbird", "Rosemary Rose", "Misty Water", "Did You See His Name" etc.
Some rarities come from TV-series, Dave Davies` unreleased album or singles; and a few are simply outtakes that have never been finished for release.
Most of these gems are of the same high standards as the original "Village Green" songs. It`s incredible how Ray Davies managed to write such an amount of great songs over such a short period of time, and that the Kinks managed to arrange and record them.
There is a fine informative booklet with recent interview-comments from the Kinks and notes to all the bonus tracks.
This is not meant as a negative comment, but there are still quite a few Kinks rarities that have not yet been released; some of them would have fitted in nicely on this release. Maybe some day there will be another Kinks deluxe edition, where songs like "Pictures in the Sand", "Till Death Do Us Part", "When I Turn Off the Living Room Light" and the unreleased Dave Davies songs would fit in.
Anyway, this is a timeless classic and a five star+ release!