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While I did not find it strong enough to include on my list, it does have some interesting stories from people who haven’t been interviewed much—including some people interviewed for (like Betty Kronstad) and some not (like Vinny La Porta of the Tots, who backed Reed in concert for a while in the early 1970s). As business manager of both the Rolling Stones and the Beatles in the late 1960s and early 1970s (as well as numerous other British rock acts), Allen Klein played a controversial role in their careers.

I’ve read reports that no less than three other Reed biographies are on the way, and while more info on Lou is always welcome, you have to wonder how those are going to avoid overlapping with what’s already out there. Although he gained unprecedented concessions from record companies for his artists, he also sowed some discord within the Beatles and Rolling Stones through both his personal style and his financial practices.

And it’s a very long and thorough one, too, running about 750 pages, including loads of first-hand and off-the-beaten-track interview material with the Kinks and close associates.

Note that although Rogan wrote a previous Kinks biography that draws from many of the same interviews, there’s a more information here, including some re-interviews of subjects he spoke to the first time around.

It’s always frustrated me, as a writer and reader (and listener), that many print publications consider books and records yesterday’s news after just a few months.

Books from 2014 really aren’t that old, and – like music from before 2015, or any art regardless of its age – could and should be enjoyed at any time.

For this edition (if you look at it as a three-times-the-size expansion of his 1980s Kinks book), he tracked down some notable characters who’ve seldom or never spoken on the record, like pre-Avory drummers John Start and Mickey Willett, and Ray’s first wife Rasa, who sang on many of the Kinks’ ‘60s tracks.

That made him an unlikely icon of both the psychedelic/progressive era and the punk/new wave one, though his enthusiasm for the brand-new could be reckless and dismissive of music that wasn’t up-to-the-moment, even music that he’d championed not too many years before he moved on to other styles. Huge (about 750-page) biography about the man who founded and ran Sun Records, the label that’s most famous for launching Elvis Presley in 19.

Of special interest are comments on his married and family life by relatives and partners who have not often spoken on the record, particularly his first wife, Betty Kronstad, and his sister Bunny.

In line with many rock bios, the music Reed made got less interesting toward the end of his life, and Sounes thins out the coverage of his less essential efforts in appropriate fashion.

Note that the race, if you want to call it that, between this and the #2 pick below () for the #1 position was so close that the rankings could have easily been reversed, or declared a tie.

I went with the Denny bio as she’s been covered a lot less than Davies and the Kinks, making it ultimately of very slighter significance and value. Although this is titled like it’s a biography of the Kinks’ main singer and songwriter, Ray Davies, it’s more like a book about the Kinks themselves.

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