With this release on his own See For Miles label (still available on CD with the second cover), expert archive album compiler Colin Miles unearthed some gems along with long-unseen "A" and "B" sides. Of most interest to collectors is side one, containing ten cuts spanning Kidd's career making their first appearance anywhere. Five of these are from the "album that never was" in April 1964. It is not clear when the planned album was actually abandoned but "A Little Bit Of Soap" for one appears here incomplete, although instructions were made to edit a suitable ending on. These were carried out for the "Complete" double-CD in 1992 resulting in the song appearing in a finished condition for the first time. Also notable is "Right String Baby, But The Wrong Yo-Yo" complete with a miscue and the comments from all concerned have been edited on as an intro. The others from those sessions are "I Know", Buddy Holly's "Oh Boy" and the remarkable "Where Are You" which is completely different in style and was the only one granted overdubs.
Other revelations include a smouldering take of Willie Dixon's "I Just Want To Make Love To You" (a full three years before the Rolling Stones), Roger Cook & Roger Greenaway's "This Golden Ring" which the more refined Fortunes took into the top twenty in 1966. Kidd also gives his rich voice a good workout on Otis Redding's "Can't Turn You Loose", a track that indicated a possible avenue for Kidd, had he lived. Of the others "I Hate Getting Up In The Morning" pertains to be the flipside of Kidd's penultimate single featuring session musicians but is actually the unreleased first version featuring the Pirates, and the original "Send For That Girl", a clearer and punchier mix than the one on the single, which had featured overdubs by the Harry Robinson Orchestra. The rest of the previously released tracks make their first UK album appearance making "Rarities" an absolute must for fans, especially as the "Complete" twin-CD collection was not available for too long.
A few years later it was re-issued with a different cover (which is the one still used for the current CD). As usual by now all tracks were in their original mono format and comprehensive sleeve notes were by Roger Dopson, the last paragraph which states:
"So there we have it - this album MAY finally close the book on Kidd's recorded output - but don't bank on it. Conversation with various ex-Pirates suggest that EMI must still be hanging on to a few odds and ends and the BBC have still got most of the old "Saturday Clubs" in the can - Hopefully it won't take another 17 years to get THESE released."
Indeed not, as the next See For Miles release ("The Classic And Rare") threw up a few surprises with a bit more to follow in the comprehensive EMI "Complete" double CD in 1992.
STOP PRESS 2005: It wasn't 17 years (nearer 22 actually) but "Johnny Kidd at the BBC" saw a release, even if the CD label appears to be unusual (Blakey Records, BLCD518....!). The recordings contained are in mono off the "Saturday Club" recordings and sound pretty good considering the source. Apparently, recordings were made of Kidd & co from after 1961, but in one instance I heard about, a tape containing some of these precious gems was accidentally left on the the tape recorder when sold it on by its owner.....