One of the highlights of the set is their 19-song, 1977 Christmas concert from the famous Rainbow Theatre, which appears in both audio and video format. It catches the band during the middle part of their career as songs like “Sleepwalker,” “Death Of A Clown,” “Slum Kids,” “Celluloid Heroes,” and “Alcohol” share space with many of their big hits.
The newest material was from a 1994 session recorded at the Maida Vale Studio. “Phobia,” “Over The Edge,” “Wall Of Fire,” and a revisiting of “Till The End Of The Day” find The Kinks in late-career hard rock mode. “Phobia” is about as hard as The Kinks ever rocked as Dave Davies just takes off with his guitar solos.
The several dozen video tracks create a chronicle of the band as The Kinks and their music mature before your eyes. While many of their well-known hits are presented several times, it is the deeper cuts that really make the disc worthwhile. Songs such as “Virgin Soldiers” (1972), “Muswell Hillbillies" (1971), "Village Green Preservation Society” (1973), and “Scattered” (1993) are examples of the band presenting some of their more sophisticated material live. They even crank up a version of “Good Golly Miss Molly.
The Kinks are sometimes an overlooked band from the British Invasion era, but their catalogue of material is just about the equal of most of their contemporaries. The Kinks at the BBC is an essential release in the band’s long history as it resurrects dozens of long unavailable tracks.