God bless the BBC for dusting off its rock archives and releasing them all on CD. This latest batch of goodies is a collection of performances by the Kinks, which were recorded for various BBC radio programs during the band's creative peak. The thirty-five tracks take a broad sweep across the band's history up until the release of Sleepwalker in 1977: The early breakout hits — "You Really Got Me," "All Day and All of the Night," "Tired of Waiting for You" — are chrome-wheeled and fuel-injected, while sublime Ray Davies cultural manifestoes like "Waterloo Sunset" and "The Village Green Preservation Society" rumble with drummer Mick Avory's four-square furor. For initiates, this is an excellent primer; for supplicants who have endured the band's desultory live albums in recent years, it's an embarrassment of riches.
From The Archives Issue 860: January 18, 2001