When I started writing about The Kinks for this project, I was a little bit confused. I looked at The Kinks Greatest Hits and The Live Kinks, and wondered: could those really have been the only early Kinks records that I owned back in college? I was certain I must have had something else, because I knew more Kinks songs than those.
It turns out, there was something else, and that something else was this: Golden Hour of the Kinks, a compilation probably issued in 1971. Golden Hour was a budget record label owned by Pye Records, The Kinks’ early label, that put out all kinds of “Golden Hour of” collections of artists like The Searchers, Donovan, Joan Baez, even Benny Hill. Like some budget labels, it comes with a particularly thin cover, really just linerboard, but a highly glossy one. Very oddly, my copy seems to have been an edition released in Portugal — the collection was also released in the UK (where it charted at #21), Germany, Austria, and South Africa. It wasn’t released in the US, and this leaves me wondering where I got it. Was this a cast-off I found at Desert Shore or, more likely, did I somehow spring for an import at Record Theatre? I can’t tell at this remove but the condition it’s in points to the latter.
So, apparently I haven’t played this one in quite a while, because I kinda forgot it existed, but it sure must have seen some mileage back in the college days. This fills in some serious gaps in early Kinks (while replicating much of the 1964 Greatest Hits). It’s this album that introduced me to the original version of the absolutely sublime “Days” (which I first knew from a beautiful Flo & Eddie cover), the anthemic “Victoria,” “Set Me Free,” and “Where Have All The Good Times Gone.”
So, note to 20-year-old self: I should have bought more Kinks. All of it. This album should have been that sign.