2004 reissue of this 1968 jewel loaded with extras in the form of two extra discs featuring original stereo mixes, mono versions, demos, Euro editions, instrumentals BBC sessions and more. 71 tracks in all. Enjoy! Sanctuary.
Given the sad fate of this intimate 1968 album in its day, Ray Davies and The Kinks must have considered what rock's greatest poetic cipher mused on "Love Minus Zero": "There's no success like failure, and failure is no success at all."
In the midst of a year that bristled with such overtly ambitious, often revolutionary fare as The Beatles' White Album
, Hendrix's Electric Ladyland
and the Stones' Beggar's Banquet
, Ray Davies instead paused to reflect on the quaint charms still to be found in the quieter corners of his native England. Powered by an equally precious musical tack, Davies' wistful, impressionistic civic tapestry would be a resounding commercial failure (even as it set the stage for the following year's successful Arthur
), yet an album that would eventually come to share the same cherished place among Kinks faithful as Pet Sounds
and Love You
did among Brian Wilson fans. What other Kinks album could boast Ray delivering a song ("Big Sky") via impression of Burt Lancaster? Sanctuary UK has finally given the charming, if stubbornly out-of-its-time masterpiece its due. This three-disc retrospective includes new stereo and mono mixes of the album, deleted tracks from its original 12-song edition and more stunning outtakes, alternate mixes, often baroque backing tracks, instrumentals and period live cuts than any Preservationist could have hoped for. This is the sound of an artist having a well-deserved last laugh, in more ways than one; indeed, HP built a national TV adverting campaign around the album's infectious "Picture Book." --Jerry McCulley