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Dave Davies | Decade

The underappreciated Kinks guitarist unearths some buried treasure from the ’70s.

You think your brother makes life difficult? Be glad you’re not Dave Davies. The underappreciated Kinks guitarist had to spend decades toiling in the shadow of brother Ray, who dominated the band with his endless series of concept albums and rock operas in the ’60s and ’70s. That didn’t stop Dave from writing (and occasionally releasing) his own material. But it also virtually guaranteed that countless decent cuts fell by the wayside and slipped through the cracks. Back in 2011, Davies collected the best of his ’60s leftovers in the album Hidden Treasures. Now, he does the same for the ’70s with Decade, compiling 13 songs whose time in the spotlight is long overdue. But if you expect him to sound like a poor man’s Ray, think again. Between his ragged rasp, his aging hippie lyrics (“How can I love you when I’ve got no shoes on my feet?”) and his penchant for loose-limbed rock and earthy folk-blues, many of these cuts sound like outtakes from Rod Stewart and The Faces, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band or even Led Zeppelin at their rootsiest. Maybe that’s his problem — he was just in the wrong band the whole time.

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