With Dave Davies playing some gigs tonight just up the road from me, I thought it was time to look at an album that could have been.
The Kinks have had a long career, but in terms of unreleased albums, there is not a lot to choose from. There was ‘Four More Respected Gentlemen’ which was compiled by the the bands American Record label purely for the US market. There was also the twelve song version of ‘The Village Green Preservation Society’ album that did come out in certain European markets. There was even talk of that album being released as a double and The Reconstructor has done a sterling job putting that together over at their site http://the-reconstructor.blogspot.com/2018/08/the-kinks-village-green-preservation.html.
However, one that does get a lot of mention is the lost album by Dave Davies. Before 1967, Dave Davies had written songs which had either been album tracks or related to single B-Sides. However, Pye Records saw potential in releasing a Dave Davies song as a solo single so they pulled ‘Death of a Clown’ from the ‘Something Else by the Kinks’ album and it reached number 3 in the UK charts. Sensing that there could be money to made, Pye set Davies the task of having an album ready to be released in either 1968 or 1969. A second single in the form of ‘Susannah’s Still Alive’ came out late in 1967 and reached number 20 in the UK chart so the album release date was pushed back to see how the next single would fare. That would be ‘Lincoln County’ which failed to dent the charts. ‘Hold My Hand’ was released in January 1969 but this also failed to make any inroads into the charts so the solo album was dropped with some of the songs being used as B-Sides to Kinks singles. Dave Davies himself has said that even though he liked some of the songs he produced, his heart was not fully in the project so his lack of interest also helped to kill off the project.
What if those two later singles had been more successful, and if Davies had been more committed to the project. Enough material was recorded to fill up an album. The release of the ‘Hidden Treasures’ in 2011 testifies to that. With this what-if, I was looking to present a cohesive album that would have been released in the early months of 1969. That means that neither of the singles from 1967 would be used on it. ‘Death of a Clown’ had already been released on a Kinks album and ‘Susannah’s Still Alive’ would have sounded out of date by that time. We would also have to assume that none of the songs would have been released as Kinks B-Sides*.
If the album had come out, it would have been at a time when bands were either becoming more heavy (Led Zeppelin) or getting more rootsy, especially after they had digested The Band’s ‘Music From Big Pink’. Davies’ album would have seemed as though it was from a different age and would most probably been his equivalent of ‘The Village Green Preservation Society’ and been appreciated after the event. The album though was not released but at least we can now appreciate the music that it would have contained.
- Mindless Child Of Motherhood
- Lincoln County
- Hold My Hand
- Thee’s No Life Without Love
- Do You Wish To Be A Man?
- Are Your Ready
- Creeping Jean
- This Man He Weeps Tonight
- Groovy Movies
- Mr. Shoemaker’s Daughter
- Mr. Reporter (Alt. Mix)
*I have complied this compilation using stereo mixes only. By 1969, few albums were released in mono. Mono mixes tended to be saved for single releases because AM radio was still the main format in which broadcasters would transmit pop music, especially in the UK at that time.
The from cover was adapted from the LP, ‘The Album That Never Was’ that was an early attempt compile a solo Dave Davies record from this 60s sessions. That album was originally released in 1987.