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Picks and Pans Review: Unfinished Business

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Dave Davies (Velvel/Meta Media)

His big brother and Kinks mate, Ray Davies, is regarded by many older rock fans as the finest 1960s British rock tunesmith this side of Lennon and McCartney. So it is not surprising that Dave, 53, who played raucous lead guitar but generally let his more theatrical brother take the bows, has been seen as the London-based band’s more earthy Everyman during their 36-year career. So underappreciated is Dave that even the fierce, screaming guitar solo he invented for the Kinks’ first hit, 1964’s “You Really Got Me,” was long rumored to have been the contribution of Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page. Now, on the heels of his first U.S. solo tour, Davies the Younger has compiled this double CD of old Kinks tunes from decades past, plus songs from three of his own solo albums. While much of this hard-rocking fare is likely to enthrall longtime Kinks fans the most, some tunes, including “You Don’t Know My Name,” “Suzannah’s Still Alive” and new versions of such gems as “Strangers” and his own Kinks hit “Death of a Clown,” prove that Dave is a talented composer in his own right and not simply a power-chord cruncher relegated to his brother’s shadow.

Bottom Line: Kinks sibling hogs the spotlight, for once, and loudly