This is where our little Kinks retrospective starts to get more interesting. Although The Kink Kontroversy does open with a blues cover (Milk Cow Blues, sung by Dave Davies), the rest of the album is much more in the mould of later Kinks, with the emphasis on Ray Davies’ thoughtful and witty songwriting rather than the raw sound of earlier singles – although that is in evidence here too, on the aforementioned Milk Cow Blues and single Till The End Of The Day.
There is plenty of variety in the dozen tracks originally presented on the album, from slower numbers Ring The Bells and I Am Free to the calypso-rock I’m On An Island and B-side turned classic Where Have All The Good Times Gone all standing above some of the other tracks.
Kontroversy is in many ways the first proper Kinks album; this is where the sound really came into its own and Ray’s quirky songwriting talent is starting to really show.
The bonus CD gives you the usual clutch of live recordings, rare tracks and singles, in this case including two versions each of I’m Not Like Everybody Else and the brilliant Dedicated Follower Of Fashion.
Stand-out tracks: I’m On An Island is probably the clearest hint of the direction the Kinks would take from here on and is a different sound from anything else on the album. Of the bonus tracks, Dedicated Follower Of Fashion is a classic, and the alternate take included is a nice, um, alternate take on a well known song. Both are Ray Davies songs of the sort we will become accustomed to over the next few albums…