I’ve been so spoiled by a slew of recent live albums, with full, restored sound from well-recorded concerts of the ’60s – particularly those recorded at the Fillmore — that I started to wonder if my general impression of live albums from the ’60s was just plain incorrect. Where did I get the idea that ’60s live music was a muddy mess of barely mic’d instruments, overdriven vocals and too much crowd noise?
Right here, baby: The Live Kinks. Sold everywhere else as “Live At Kelvin Hall,” this was released in the US in 1967, to resounding indifference. it’s now reported that the producer tried to sweeten the poor original tapes with some session work that is evident to anyone giving this a close listen. But no one gives this a close listen. It’s just not good. Have I played this two dozen times in the 40 years I’ve owned it? Barely. I’m sure the band was in fine form, it’s just that you can’t hear it.
And yet, I’ve kept it all these years. I mean, it’s The Kinks.