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The Kinks
Writing Credits:

This DVD contains some of the Kinks finest moments and is full of rarely seen performances from the sixties right through to the nineties and also contains comments from the various members of the band including Ray Davies, Dave Davies and Mick Avory.

Some of the performances featured here include "You Really Got Me", "'Til The End Of The Day", "Waterloo Sunset", "Days", "Celluloid Heroes" and many more including the Dave Davies hit single "Death Of A Clown". Footage comes from live concerts and television performances in America, the UK, Germany and Japan.

Rated NR

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
English Monaural
Not Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime:88 min.
Price: $18.95
Release Date: 5/18/2010

• None


Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


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The Kinks: You Really Got Me - The Story Of The Kinks (2010)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 4, 2010)

If you look up “underrated rock band”, you’ll undoubtedly find a picture of the Kinks. While they endured pretty well over the decades – and enjoyed a nice resurgence in the late 70s/early 80s – they don’t remain as well-remembered as peers like the Beatles, the Stones and the Who. This is a shame, as the Kinks definitely deserve mention when the discussion turns to the greatest rock bands of all-time.

For a look at their career, we head to a documentary called You Really Got Me: The Story of the Kinks. This mixes archival footage with narration. I expected some interview tidbits but almost none appear; we hear a smattering of quick soundbites from Ray Davies, Dave Davies and Mick Avory and that’s it. The narrator gives us a general timeline/discography but the focus remains on the music.

Sort of. While not an authorized biography, Story boasts a ton of Kinks songs. We hear part or all of 29 songs across the show, and these offer a good representation of the band’s material.

I should stress the “part” element, though, as the majority of the tunes just offered snippets. We got complete – or almost complete – performances of these six songs: “’Til the End of the Day”, “I’m A Lover Not a Fighter”, “Milk Cow Blues”, “(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman”, “Well Respected Man”, and “You Really Got Me”. If you already own One for the Road, you’ll have this disc’s versions of many songs; the takes on “You Really Got Me”, “Celluloid Heroes”, “Superman”, “Catch Me Now I’m Falling”, “Victoria”, “Hard Way”, “Low Budget”, “Attitude” and “Pressure” all emanate from that show. (There’s also a second performance of “You Really Got Me” that runs under the end credits; it comes from the 1960s TV show.)

The disc also throws in almost full music videos for “Predictable”, “Come Dancing”, “State of Confusion” and “Do It Again”. The One for the Road songs are nearly complete, but they often get interrupted by narration or other cuts.

As do all the other songs, though those don’t come close to being seen in their entirety, and that’s part of what makes Story a frustrating experience for fans. The disc boasts tons of footage that will appeal to Kinks buffs but barely lets us see this stuff. There are proto-music videos from the Sixties and live performances from the Sixties through Eighties that exist just to tease us.

To add insult to injury, most of the songs that appear in full or nearly complete versions can be found elsewhere. There’s the One for the Road DVD, and the videos can be located on the Come Dancing DVD. I’m not sure from where the Sixties TV performances of “Milk Cow”, “End of the Day”, “Lover Not a Fighter”, “You Really Got Me” and “Well Respected Man” emanate, but I suspect they come from another available source.

If not, they’re the only thing about Story that makes it appeal to fans. Anyone who knows anything about the Kinks won’t need the historical overview, and the documentary tells the tale in a horribly disjointed manner. It leaps from one era to another without the slightest hint of logic; one minute we’ll be in the Sixties, but then we’ll jump to the Eighties and then back to the Seventies. The program runs in a virtually incoherent manner.

It also makes a moderate number of mistakes and repeats itself in odd ways. For instance, we learn that “Sunny Afternoon” was the biggest hit of 1966 in the UK – and then hear it again literally a minute later! The same thing happens further down the road when we’re told about the band’s departure from Arista. The editor did an awful job; it’s bad enough that there’s no logic to the narrative, but the fact that the program repeats information in such an awkward way is absurd.

The show’s clumsiness even connected to its aspect ratio. Early on, it jumped around from 1.33:1 to 1.78:1 before it settled on the latter. This was “fake widescreen” that simply cropped 1.33:1 images, and it’s done so clumsily that we actually see the aspect ratio change in the middle of a few shots. The image expands and contracts before our eyes!

All of these factors leave The Story of the Kinks as a complete mess of a documentary. It gives us a historical narrative marred by mistakes and a lack of clarity along with incomplete performances and many strange choices. It’s a disaster and a disappointment.

The DVD Grades: Picture D/ Audio D/ Bonus F

You Really Got Me: The Story of the Kinks appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this single-sided, single-layered DVD; the image has NOT been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. That aspect ratio clearly provided “fake widescreen”; the program took 1.33:1 material and cropped it.

Why? I have no idea. I could better understand this decision if the DVD offered anamorphic enhancement, but it didn’t. That made the “widescreen” – with bars on all four sides – an “adding insult to injury” situation.

Not that the documentary would look especially good anyway, as its mishmash of sources usually provided mediocre to poor visuals. The entire program featured archival elements, and some of these seemed decent to good. In particular, the TV performances of “Til the End of the Day”, “I’m A Lover Not a Fighter” and “Milk Cow Blues” held up well; they weren’t stunning, but they were more attractive than anything else here.

The rest of the show was pretty ugly. Sharpness varied but tended to be soft and fuzzy. Various examples of jagged edges cropped up in still photos, and the picture often took on a blocky, gauzy look. Colors were dull and drab, while blacks seemed lifeless and shadows appeared too dark. Given the use of so many archival bits, I was willing to cut Story a lot of slack, but the ugly visuals and the stupid aspect ratio choices left me with no option other than to give the picture a low grade.

Audio quality didn’t work any better than the visuals. I credited this one as monaural although a few stereo snippets crept through at times. For instance, when the show featured a studio version of “All Day and All of the Night”, it was in stereo, and “Do It Again” offered some stereo imaging as well.

That was a rarity, though, as the vast majority of the show stayed focused on the front center channel. Problems created distractions here, though. Due to glitches, the videos for “Predictable”, “Come Dancing”, “State of Confusion” and “Do It Again” ended up mainly in the front right channel, while “Catch Me Now I’m Falling” had moments that ping-ponged across the front.

It didn’t help that the music simply didn’t sound very good. Some songs came across with decent fidelity, but bass tended to be rather boomy and indistinct.

Highs varied but were usually somewhat muddy. The One for the Road clips weren’t bad, but they seemed fairly flat. Other segments suffered from notable distortion and crackling. The narration seemed fine; those lines showed some of the boominess from the bass, but they were intelligible.

Other problems appeared. Volume level fluctuated randomly, so bad spikes occurred. Occasional segments suffered from a lot of hiss due to the use of poor source material; it’s clear some snippets were taken from Nth generation tapes. Given the age and sources on display here, I didn’t expect greatness, but I still thought this was a flawed soundtrack.

If you hope to get some nice bonus materials – like more complete performances – you’ll leave disappointed. Story comes with absolutely no supplements.

A sloppy excuse for a documentary, You Really Got Me: The Story of the Kinks won’t satisfy longtime fans or those new to the band. It does a poor job of telling the group’s history, and it lacks enough unique performance material to allow established Kinks buffs to enjoy it. Picture and audio are simply terrible, and the set lacks any extras. This could’ve been a good overview of the Kinks’ career, but instead it’s an unwatchable disaster.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1.2 Stars Number of Votes: 5
0 3:
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