Four More Respected Gentlemen
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Four More Respected Gentlemen (Reprise RS 6309) is an unreleased album by the British rock group The Kinks. Most of the songs were recorded in 1968, the year the album was assembled solely for the US market. This album would have been released in parallel with a Europe-only 12-song early version of The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society. Instead, manufacture of the 12-song album was stopped (where possible) and a 15-song version of The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society—combining the better parts of both albums and adding newly recorded songs—was released instead, in both the UK and USA.
Only acetates were made of Four More Respected Gentlemen; no test pressings or final pressings were ever manufactured, nor is there evidence that finalized cover artwork was ever completed either. Legend has it that prepared artwork was vetoed by Ray Davies, which may explain the delay between receipt of master tapes and preparation for release. When asked about the LP in an interview a few years later, Davies stated sarcastically with a straight face that the entire LP was about "table manners". Much of the unissued material formed part of the post-Reprise tenure contract fulfilling compilations, The Kink Kronikles and The Great Lost Kinks Album.
Another proposed LP in the Reprise master tape vault has been mistaken for Four More Respected Gentlemen in two separate articles by Greg Shaw. The first article was in the Boston-based rock tabloid "Fusion" (19 February 1971) and later, in more detail, in Shaw's own fanzine "Who Put The Bomp 7" (Summer 1971), distributed by Warner Brothers Records. To add to the confusion, however, Shaw erroneously reversed the information on the two unreleased LPs; what he referred to as an unfinished untitled LP was actually the real Four More Respected Gentlemen, and vice versa. These tapes were apparently received by Reprise at the same time as the initial but incomplete submission of the Arthur LP (3 July 1969), but their purpose is unclear, since they were not entered as official masters by Reprise until 1972, after the Kinks reluctantly agreed to Reprise's demand for another LP worth of material to replace the rejected Percy soundtrack LP. Certainly these titles were never intended as the 1968 Four More Respected Gentlemen LP, as many of these songs weren't even recorded until early 1969, after The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society was finally released.
Later Release on The Great Lost Kinks Album
It is possible that Reprise was holding these tapes, unofficially, as collateral in case the Kinks defaulted on future contractual fulfillment of new material. Reprise may have considered using the scrapped LP title and catalog number for a whole new version of Four More Respected Gentlemen as a backup LP for possible release in 1969/70, had the Kinks proven too slow in meeting their next LP submission date, though this is purely speculation. Ironically, it is these tracks which did evolve into The Great Lost Kinks Album. Accounting for the three tracks that were, by then, already used on 1972's The Kink Kronikles ("This Is Where I Belong", "King Kong" and "Berkeley Mews") and dropping the instrumental "Easy Come, There You Went", The Great Lost Kinks Album was created by replacing these four dropped songs and adding six others from a variety of sources at the company's disposal: an old non-LP B-side ("I'm Not Like Everybody Else"), a track from the unissued in the US Percy soundtrack LP ("The Way Love Used To Be"), three songs from the unissued Dave Davies solo LP ("Groovy Movies", "This Man He Weeps Tonight" and "There Is No Life Without Love") and an unused song from the original Four More Respected Gentlemen LP ("Misty Water"). "Mr. Songbird", also hailing from that LP, was already included in the track listing. Practically, what emerged was a Great Lost Kinks Album but not exactly the one alleged has presumed it was.
As sent to Reprise
All songs by Ray Davies
- Side A
- Side B
a Released on The Kink Kronikles (Reprise, 1972)
b Released on The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society (Pye, 1968/Reprise, 1969)
c Released on The Great Lost Kinks Album (Reprise, 1973)
When originally sent to Reprise, the album was also to include the following tracks:
- "Autumn Almanac"a
- "Did You See His Name"a
- "There Is No Life Without Love"c
- "Susannah's Still Alive"a
These songs, however, were pulled from the album before the final master was compiled.
- Schwann catalog, December 1968.
Links To Kinks
- Official Ray Davies Web Site
- The Official Ray Davies Forum - "The Old Grey Board"
- The Official Ray Davies Forum on YouTube