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Sunday, June 9, 2019

The Kinks - "A Strange Effect" Vinyl, 7", 45 RPM, Unofficial Release, 2004 (Zönophone)

From around 1963 to 1973, Ray Davies never wrote a bad song or performance.  His genius at being consistently great in writing a song is a remarkable feat.   Which I know sounds overwhelming the man and his material, but for me, it is like I have a bullseye drawn on my heart, and Ray's music always hits that bullseye.  I pretty much have all the official Kinks releases of that decade or 10-years of music making, but recently at Disk Union in Tokyo, I purchased a bootleg E.P. just due that I love the song "A Strange Effect" which the only version I know of, is the Dave Barry recording.   These four songs on the E.P., are all studio recordings, and I suspect they were demos, that somehow never made it onto a Kinks album at that time for whatever mysterious reasons.  Finding these songs is like finding a new item in the ice cream department of your local grocery.  A unique flavor, but something favorite of yours as well. 

"A Strange Effect" is very typical Kinks, yet at the time it sounds a new direction for the artist and band.   It is not one of his observation songs, but a tune that is direct as "You Really Got Me," but done in a manner that is complex and many layers of feeling.  It has a hypnotic melody with an exquisite Ray vocal that sounds slippery, even drunk, yet his intelligence comes through in such a way that gives this song notice.   The other remarkable song on this E.P. is "I Go To Sleep," which is a beautiful ballad.  I have heard the version by The Pretenders, Cher, and Peggy Lee, all remarkable, but Ray's/Kinks version is of great delicate beauty.   I can imagine the classic era of Sandie Shaw covering this song due to her ability to sing intricate melodies, which seems simple but ain't. 

"Tell Me Now, So I'll Know" and "A Little Bit of Sunlight" are the other two songs (four altogether) and they too are missing Kinks gems that need to be in the spotlight.  A remarkable object of deep affection.  

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