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Source: Japan 24-Bit Remaster
Dave Davies' "album that never was" sadly must remain so, but what we have here is as close a proximity to it as the tape vault allows us.
The (brief) story is as follows:- 'Death Of A Clown', a track originally cut for the Kinks' 1967 album 'Something Else' was picked off as a likely opening for Dave Davies' solo career. Dave, lead guitarist, occasional vocalist and younger brother to the group's undisputed guiding light Ray, was hoping to try a direction for himself, and at first, it seemed as if his wish was feasible. 'Death Of A Clown' was a smash hit, Dave was duly seen on 'Top Of The Pops', but later events led him on a somewhat more erratic path.
'Suzannah's Still Alive' appeared in November that year, but for some inexplicable reason, it failed to crack the top 20, and Dave's solo stardom faltered. Nonetheless, all during 1968 rumour and counter rumour of an impending Dave solo album were spread and a cheeky title, 'A Hole In the Sock Of' evolved although that name was also given to other unfinished Kinks' projects. All that did appear was 'Lincoln County', another fabulous song, which was issued in August and backed by 'There Is No Life Without Love'.
Then, in January 1969, 'Hold My Hand' c/w 'Creepin' Jean', a brilliant double-header, led off what was to have been a definite release for the l.p., but the continuing commercial failure of Dave's singles doubtlessly killed off the project. It should also be noted that the Kinks themselves were struggling to sell records, and two innovative albums, 'The Village Green Preservation Society' and 'Arthur' were released to barely a murmur. These factors also conspired to doom Dave's solo ambitions.
At least twelve tracks were cut for the album, but over a long-ish period of time, probably at the tail end of Kinks' sessions. Many, such as 'The Shoemaker's Daughter' and 'Crying' are now completely lost, if indeed they were ever completed, and thus assembled here are all that can still be traced. Eight sides, of course, come from those solo singles, two of which, 'Funny Face' and 'Love Me Till The Sun Shines' also appeared on 'Something Else' alongside 'Death Of A Clown'. The remaining five, however, were recorded specifically for Dave Davies' releases and all could well have been on the final solo album.
The other two tracks, 'This Man He Weeps Tonight' and 'Mindless Child Of Motherhood', later appeared on the flip of two Kinks' singles, 'Drivin" and 'ShangriLa' respectively. While the first of these was definitely scheduled for Dave's album, there's some doubt about the origins of 'Mindless'. However, its recording date and Dave's pre-eminence on it suggests that it would have been included.
Although this is not the record as it was intended, 'The Album That Never Was' gives some indication of what the finished piece may have been, as well ac collecting together ten prime Dave Davies performances.
A Hole in the Sock of Dave Davies refers to an unreleased album of solo material by Dave Davies, lead guitarist and co-founder of British rock band The Kinks. Apparently the album was, at least for a time, intended to be released under the name Lincoln County, however, numerous names have been applied to it, including The Album That Never Was.
In July 1967, Dave Davies readied his first solo single, credited entirely under his name (although co-written by his brother and fellow Kinks member Ray Davies), entitled "Death of a Clown". In the past, as a member of The Kinks, Dave Davies had only released his own compositions on B-sides and as part of larger LPs. The Kinks' record label sensed potential sales in a solo release from the overlooked Davies, and issued "Death of a Clown" as his debut. Although credited to Davies, it was technically a Kinks recording, as his backing band was, in fact, The Kinks.
Upon release, "Death of a Clown" unexpectedly rose to number two on the UK Singles Chart. Wanting to profit off the new buzz that was suddenly surrounding Davies, a solo LP was scheduled for release some time in 1968 or 1969.
A follow-up single, "Susannah's Still Alive", was released in November 1967. However, it only reached number 20 on Melody Maker. The release of the solo album was held back, and it was decided to wait and see how another single would fare. As anticipation grew for the release of the new LP, fans nicknamed it A Hole in the Sock Of. The name was based on a remark Ray Davies had made to a reporter during an interview about the title of Dave's forthcoming solo album and was, although meant ironically, taken serious. The title was a send up possibly to the Beatles ambitious "A Day in the Life" or Traffic's "Hole In My Shoe".
"Lincoln County" was chosen as the next single but failed to chart. With subsequent singles meeting the same result, a combination of Davies' own disinterest in continuing and Pye's decision to stop killed off any hopes of an album.
In a 1999 interview, Davies stated that:
I was quite surprised when management and the record company wanted me to make an album. I thought it was quite daunting. There were a couple of tunes I liked - 'Suzannah's Still Alive,' 'Lincoln County' - but it had to feel right, and it didn't feel right. I did a few songs in a demo studio and I knocked out three or four songs, and one of them was 'Creeping Jean,' and I started to get very depressed about the whole idea. One of the last songs I recorded then was 'I'm Crying,' so you can tell what frame of mind I was in.
Technically work began on the project after the unexpected success of "Death Of A Clown". Initially, proposed material included blues numbers by Leadbelly and Big Bill Broonzy in addition to original material; ultimately, lack of both original material and interest delayed further work on an LP until the very end of 1968, when four new songs were recorded at Polydor Studios in London. Work was to have completed early in 1969, but was delayed at least partly when Dave Davies fractured a finger. Much of the unissued material seems to have been recorded in June 1969, just after completion of recordings for Arthur (with John Dalton, not Pete Quaife, on bass). Two titles ("This Man He Weeps Tonight" and "Mindless Child of Motherhood"), both released as B-sides of Kinks singles were recorded as part of the Arthur sessions, but ultimately not included on that LP's final track selection.
Reprise files imply that Reprise received tapes of this album, under the title Lincoln County, in July 1969 while it was still considered for release by the band. By September of that year the decision was made not to release the album. Throughout 1970, reports of a reworked version with new material were discussed; the possibility of issuing Dave's LP as the second half of a 2-LP set was raised, but by the close of that year all talk of the LP's release had ceased. Oddly, tapes of this LP were not officially logged into Reprise's official master tape log until 1972, as part of their contractual settlement after The Kinks moved to RCA. Short of the existence of this acetate in their vaults, there is no other indication that Reprise ever seriously considered this LP for release in its entirety. All songs were mixed (in the case of "Susannah's Still Alive", remixed) in stereo for this release. The track listing given here is per Doug Hinman.
01. Death Of A Clown stereo mix (3:12), recorded Jun 1967 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
02. Love Me Till The Sun Shines mono mix (3:15), recorded early-to-mid 1967 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
03. Susannah's Still Alive mono mix (2:21), recorded Aug 1967 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
04. Funny Face mono mix (2:17), recorded Jun 1967 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
05. Lincoln County mono mix (3:11), recorded Mar 1968 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
06. There Is No Life Without Love mono mix (2:00), recorded probably Jan 1968 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
07. Hold My Hand mono mix (3:18), recorded Dec 1968 at Polydor Studios, London
08. Creepin' Jean mono mix (3:13), recorded Dec 1968 at Polydor Studios, London
09. Mindless Child Of Motherhood mono mix (3:13), recorded May 1969 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
10. This Man He Weeps Tonight mono mix (2:41), recorded May-Jun 1969 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
11.Come on Now
12.Wonder Where My Baby Is Tonight
13.I Am Free
14.What's in Store for Me
15.I'm Not Like Everybody Else
17.You're Lookin' Fine
20.Mr. Shoemaker's Daughter