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SOMETHING SPECIAL FROM THE KINKS,
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This review is from: Something Else (Deluxe Edition) (Audio CD)
Released in the autumn of 1967, SOMETHING ELSE BY THE KINKS came across as a kind of polar opposite to The Beatles' SGT. PEPPER - and it was all the better for it. Whereas The Rolling Stones would attract criticism for appearing to slavishly ape PEPPER's psychedelic edge with their soon-to-be-released THEIR SATANIC MAJESTIES REQUEST, The Kinks were perfectly content to plough their own furrow with this delightful album which celebrated the ordinary and the humdrum with both wit and pathos. In the superb booklet accompanying this Deluxe release, Ray Davies thinks that in retrospect the public may not have been quite ready for it - as SOMETHING ELSE's unjustly poor chart showing will testify - but Davies and his fellow Kinks stuck with it, going on to produce the ensuing masterpieces VILLAGE GREEN PRESERVATION SOCIETY and ARTHUR.
On to this particular edition; well, like all the others in this Kinks Deluxe Edition range, SOMETHING ELSE BY THE KINKS is yet another well-researched and thoughtfully packaged set. The mono mix is suitably beefy, but the stereo mix is a real treat, offering a nice balance of sound and some notable differences with its mono equivalent, such as the more prominent organ during the close of 'Situation Vacant'. Overall, though, the stereo mix makes it sound as though The Kinks were working with a much higher recording budget than they were actually able to during their years at Pye Records, and it blesses SOMETHING ELSE BY THE KINKS with the kind of polish associated with The Beatles' albums.
The bonus material is once again a mixture of the familiar (the 'Autumn Almanac' single and fine b-sides like 'Mr. Pleasant') to the curious (the oddly presented German stereo mix of 'Afternoon Tea' and 'Sand In My Shoes', the tune of which was later used for 'Tin Soldier Man'). Once again, the so-hip-he's-square Brian Matthew adds his enthusiastic voice to a clutch of BBC session tracks, although the performance of 'Autumn Almanac' included here sounds rather like the band singing live to the original single's backing track instead of giving a full live performance.
SOMETHING ELSE BY THE KINKS captured the band at the crest of a wave (What better way to end an album than with 'Waterloo Sunset'?) and this enriching Deluxe Edition cements the album's status as a cornerstone of their catalogue.