Not quite the West End-Sunny Afternoon tie-in that it would appear, Sunny Afternoon: The Very Best Of The Kinks combines the original songs featured in Ray Davies’ hit jukebox musical, together with hand-picked tracks he feels fits the mood of the performance. The result is one of the few Best Ofs that offer more than the singles and truly encapsulates a band’s best bits. (Perhaps he’s been reading our The Rest Of feature?)
Alongside ‘You Really Got Me’, ‘All Day And All Of The Night’ and, naturally, ‘Sunny Afternoon’, ‘Denmark Street’ (a favourite of Bowie and Hendrix, describing the street that’s written hit after hit) and ‘This Time Tomorrow (describing the monotony of life on the road) sit comfortably; proof if it were ever needed of Ray Davies’ genius, whether on hit singles or as part of “concept album” tracks. ’Strange Effect’ (a bluesy ballad written for Dave Berry) and ‘I Go To Sleep’ (in demo form) bring worthy odds and ends into the mix, while interviews with the band give reference to scenes in the show.
Although there are a couple of obvious exceptions (‘Apeman’ and the Dave Davies’ penned ‘Strangers’ – still no love lost then…), and while there are no shortage of The Kinks’ compilations from the last few years, Sunny Afternoon offers the most detailed, in-depth look into Ray Davies’ beautifully warped musical mind, and the madness of the band’s heyday. It’s the unavoidable bridge between the casual listener/theatre goer and the Kinks collector.
Sunny Afternoon: The Very Best Of The Kinks is out now via Sanctuary Records.