This sloppily executed documentary isn't really the story of the Kinks but instead little more than a slapdash collage of performance clips of the esteemed band with a poorly done voiceover and a nominal attempt at shallow journalism. Then there are the inexplicably collided mélanges of various eras of the band interleaved for what one can only guess was attempted as 'an innovative approach'. It's got one thing going for it, though: a very cool cover, making the consumer imagine he's getting a much more professional product than is really the case.
That said, however, You Really Got Me is a bit of a treasure for Kinks fans, as much of the material here is unavailable elsewhere, early material raw and unmodified, old b&w and then modern color. For such a seminal band, the Kinks have been virtually ignored in rock film media and even such an odd one-off as this is valuable for that alone. On the other hand, I'm not sure what the point was, for instance, in running half of a great live version of Celluloid Heroes while showing nothing but endless footage of fans walking into auditoriums. Avant-garde, I guess. On the other hand, that faux pas is followed by a complete 6 minute version of Superman.
Snippets of interview footage dot the presentation, drawn from all over the calendar, as the narrator, absent for lengthy periods, suddenly populates the soundtrack more than he should once again. As well, he repeats himself more than once while bouncing back and forth in chronology (and, sweet Christ, was anyone paying attention to the recording levels on his mike?), for no reason that one can determine.
Still, in an artistically chaotic sense, there's a frantic, half-awake, half-asleep tempo to everything that's not entirely displeasing, though I'm guessing the group itself will not be terribly flattered or happy. MVD is distributing this, but I suggest one first go for the mother label's I Need That Record! (here), a killer semi-sleeper cult geek-fest for record collectors regarding the fall of the independent record shop, and Rare and Unseen (here), a feast of Rolling Stones visual paraphernalia.
In total, then, is this Kinks DVD worth buying? Yes, but only just barely and until something much better comes along. Besides, you get 18 full-length song performances and that's worth something—though, er, you're going to have to countenance phenomena like the very noticeable drop-out during Catch Me Now, I'm Falling and elsewhere. Sigh!, the things we put up for love of rock and roll.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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