A host of songs the Kinks recorded for various BBC shows will be released March 20 on Sanctuary’s two-disc set “BBC Sessions 1964-1977.” The album collects 31 classic Kinks tracks, and a pair of blues covers.
While, sadly, tapes of all of the band’s visits to the U.K. broadcasting giant do not exist, what has been unearthed loosely charts the development of one of rock’s most creative bands. Recorded at various studios and theaters, and remastered by Kinks leader Ray Davies and Andy Pearce, most of the material on “BBC Sessions” was recorded in one take, with minimal overdubbing, capturing the essence of the band’s live persona.
Among the highlights of disc one are a trio of songs — “Days,” “Waterloo Sunset,” and “Love Me Till The Sun Shines” — recorded in 1968 for the “Top Gear” show. Each features the full band with the addition of session pianist Nicky Hopkins (Rolling Stones, Beatles, the Who) on mellotron and organ. The first disc also includes a cover of Bo Diddley’s “Cadillac” recorded in 1964 and a run through of Sleepy John Estes’ “Milk Cow Blues” from the following year.
Disc two leads off with the Dave Davies-penned and sung track “Mindless Child Of Motherhood” from the band’s 1969 concept album “Arthur Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire.” Other second disc gems are”Did You See His Name?” a song written and recorded for the BBC show “At The Eleventh Hour”; and “Get Back In Line,” from 1970’s “Lola Vs. The Powerman & The Money-Go-Round, Part One” and recorded at a 1977 Christmas Eve show at the Rainbow Theatre in London.