Review of Doug Hinman's book All Day And All Of The Night: Day-by-day concerts, recordings and broadcasts, 1961-1996In 1994 when Doug Hinman published his telephone book-sized Kinks discography, titled The Kinks Part One: You Really Got Me: An Illustrated World Discography Of The Kinks, 1964-1993, he indicated that he planned a follow-up book concentrating on the Kinks' concert history. A "gigography", if you will. It has been 10 long years, but the wait is finally over, and it was worth it.
Compared to other bands like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, the amount of material on the Kinks, books or otherwise, is relatively small. It's a real treat for fans when something like Doug's All Day And All Of The Night: Day-by-day concerts, recordings and broadcasts, 1961-1996 comes along. The amount of research that Doug has done on this book (and his previous) is amazing.
The first thing to note about the new book is its size. Instead of publishing this book himself as he did with You Really Got Me, Doug managed to find a publisher willing to take on such a hefty project: Backbeat Books, a London-based publisher known for a wide variety of music books including many Rock 'n' Roll titles. With the amount of information Doug has collected, most publishers would balk at the size of the resulting book. I'm sure some compromises had to be made, but reading through it, I can't begin to think of what information might have been left out. At 352 8 1/2" x 11" pages, All Day And All Of The Night is at least two-thirds the size of You Really Got Me. That's pretty darn big.
One obvious difference between You Really Got Me and All Day And All Of The Night is readability. You Really Got Me contains a wealth of information -- release dates, catalog numbers, and track listings for Kinks LPs, singles, cassettes, 8-tracks, etc. from all over the world, as well has a lot of other interesting stuff -- but it's not something that you would pick up and read cover to cover (although I can think of a few fans that probably have). But it makes a wonderful reference book. I'm constantly thumbing through it to answer questions about albums or whatever that people e-mail me about at my web site, and I often find an interesting piece of information that Doug has included about a particular release that I had overlooked before.
All Day And All Of The Night, by contrast, is very readable. The material is presented in chronological order, and entries for each date are written in a style that is easy to read yet doesn't skimp on information. The information is more than just where they played on which night. There is also information on recording sessions and releases, television and radio broadcasts, scheduled appearances that were canceled (there were a lot of those), business and legal dealings... The list goes on and on. Set lists for concerts are only occasionally given, as a sample of what songs the band was playing at that particular period.
But us nerdy, "obsessed fan" types aren't left out. We can still use this book as a valuable reference tome by consulting the detailed indexes. There are four indexes: radio sessions, TV sessions, live show locations and a songs index. In the Live Show Locations index, you can look under United States, New York, Syracuse, and find that the Kinks played at the War Memorial Auditorium on January 8th, 1982. You turn to the appropriate page in the book and find out that Bryan Adams was the opening act. For this particular show (my first Kinks concert ever) there is no other information given, but you can find the set list for the show two days later and learn that for this tour they were including the as yet unreleased song "Bernadette" in the set. And five days later is when Dave Davies first experienced telepathic communications with beings that some may describe as aliens. You can also learn that this is the third leg of the Kinks' North American Give The People What They Want tour, and that it was booked to finance an upcoming tour to Australia.
If you have read Ray and Dave's autobiographies and the biography books by other authors and want something that will fill in any gaps in the facts that might be missing, as well has provide a good deal of entertaining reading for several weeks, then this book is for you. If you want a reference book where you can look up gig locations, recording sessions and radio & TV broadcasts, this is also the book for you (and buy Doug's other book, too).
-Dave Emlen, February 2004