The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by mark winstanley, Apr 4, 2021.

  1. donstemple

    donstemple Member of the Club

    Maplewood, NJ
    Apologies for the little step-back, but just wanted to share this acoustic cover of Better Things that showed up on my YouTube recommendations today. Turns it into a bit more melancholy, but the essence of the song is there and I think works in this alternate take. This does put it more in the Days territory, but one thing I just noticed watching this version is the following line:

    "The past is gone, it's all been said"

    Maybe I am reading too much into that, but it seems to me to be a self-reference to "the past is gone, that's a fact" from No More Looking Back. "The past is gone" has literally all been said...

    Last edited: May 24, 2022
  2. donstemple

    donstemple Member of the Club

    Maplewood, NJ
    Freedom Lies
    Another pretty good song. Just a touch of synth. A good vocal by Dave. The additional guitar backing the 2nd verse is a nice add. The chorus is repetitive, but catchy and interesting with that bend up on "lies". The bridge is a nice change-up, and the lead guitar over the 2nd half of the song is not overdone.

    Matter of Decision
    Pretty generic rock that seems of it's era, for sure. Nothing too special about this one, really. A decent riff. Moving on.

    Is It Any Wonder
    Pretty easy listening, very 80s, but with a bass line that sounds like it could be from the Sleepwalker era. I get Alan Parsons Project Eye in the Sky vibes during the outro of this song...

    Again, I am much preferring this album to the last two Dave albums we covered.
  3. CheshireCat

    CheshireCat Forum Resident

    Freedom Lies
    Some nice guitar work, and a good vocal from Dave in the verses. I wish he'd worked out a more interesting and catchy chorus than just repeating 'Freedom Lies'. Better than I remember it.
    Matter Of Decision
    Can't remember this one at all. Better listen again. Ah, not for me, this shouty angry Dave.
    Is It Any Wonder
    I like relaxed Dave, and this one has a nice melody and vocals throughout. Seemingly going against the grain, but this is a favourite of mine on the album. It's on my 2CD Dave compilation. The added female vocals add another nice texture.
  4. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    "Freedom Lies"- Oh boy. Not a style of music I enjoy. The 80s ballad that sounds like a mullet blowing in the wind, and like it could be on a soundtrack to a Patrick Swayze movie.

    "Matter Of Decision"- It's not something I love, but I can get behind the aggressive guitar attack. Dave begins the song going for his best Steve Marriott. I'm not crazy about Dave attempting a Steve style vocal, but the other vocal parts are good. Mellow Dave in his Cockney accent is something he sounds more comfortable with. The type of vocal he would bring to his great song on Word Of Mouth. I much prefer new wave Dave over the 80s balladeer or yelper.

    "Is It Any Wonder" - This falls too much into the same category as "Freedom Lies". Not for me.
    Last edited: May 24, 2022
  5. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    "Freedom lies" reminds me of "Freedom fries", at the time of the Iraq invasion.

    This "French Fries" expression is curious for us. We identify fries with Belgium here. Should be Belgian Fries.

    Like Tintin and Jacques Brel, some of the best French exports are in fact Belgian.

    Not a very interesting comment, I'm afraid.

    I like most of these Dave songs but I don't have anything clever or useful to say about them. True Story, Take One More Chance, Is It Any Wonder are my favorites for the time being.
  6. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    Love Gets You
    From the start this sounds a bit like Paul McCartney. Just a bit. There are a few times where Dave's voice is a bit hard to take, but overall, a good outing.

    True Story
    "[People will listen to you] I'm just a poor fool" - not touching that lyric with a 8 foot pole. LOL
    Putting lyrics and beliefs aside, this song sounds pretty good. Very atmospheric sounding. If I came upon this, I would not likely go out of my way to skip...but will that chance ever happen?

    Take One More Chance
    This is a good one. I think someone said earlier that this could be a Kinks song and I agree. Like the violins too.

    It's so good that Dave had these songs in him. I wasn't looking forward to listening...and though I doubt I'll run out and buy this album, I do think he's done a good job with it. Go Dave!
  7. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    In England and Australia they're chips...
    The US always has to be a bit different lol
  8. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    In Japan, it’s just “potato.” McDonald’s uses both “fry potato” and “potato.” Mos Burger uses “potato.” I just checked menu’s for accuracy!
  9. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    In addition to studying up on the fried potato vernacular, I have been studiously listening and forming initial thoughts on the upcoming two primary albums. One, I will say, I’m dismissive of. The other? Holds possibilities.
  10. Paul Mazz

    Paul Mazz Forum Resident

    That’s funny, I had the exact opposite experience, I can’t tolerate most US rap and hip hop that I’ve heard, but find I like the sound of rap in French. In searching for songs that mention Paris, this one caught my ear. Granted I have no idea what he’s referencing, even after reading an English translation of the lyrics. I have no idea if this is any good or not within its genre, just liked the sound.

    I’m with you in having nothing useful to say about the Dave songs, other than I’m still liking this album of his better than the first two.

  11. LX200GPS

    LX200GPS Forum Resident

    Give The People What They Want

    My thoughts on this album are as follows: I think there are some terrific tracks here but the theme of the album is rather depressing. The feeling is not helped by the harsh claustrophobic sound and the optimistic Better Things is not enough to rescue it. I have the alternate versions of Better Things and Art Lover and in my mind these versions are superior to those on the album. Why these alternate versions never appeared on any of the subsequent GTPWTW release is very strange - the single version of Better Things has never appeared on cd anywhere, not even on The Singles Collection. Crazy!

    If I feel like listening to a Kinks album then GTPWTW would be the last I would choose which is a shame because, as I stated previously, there are some great songs here but I just cannot cope with that awful sound. For that reason none of the album tracks appear on my Kinks Greatest playlist. However, Art Lover from the Singles Collection does and Better Things, had it also appeared on this album would have also found its way on to my playlist.
  12. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Fire Burning.

    stereo mix (2:54), recorded Jun-Jul 1983 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London

    See your face everywhere,
    Giving you all my life,
    All I own is for you.

    There's a fire, a fire burning in my heart,
    Can't deny it, a fire burning in my heart for you.
    A fire burning in my heart.

    It only goes to show,
    The world is full of miracles,
    I thought I'd never know.

    Touch my soul with your light,
    Freeing me of all doubt,
    Of all fear, here in me.

    There's a fire, a fire burning in my heart,
    Can't deny it, a fire burning in my heart for you.

    Fire, a fire burning in my heart,
    A fire burning in my heart for you.

    There's a fire, a fire burning in my heart.

    Written by: Dave Davies
    Published by: Dabe Music, Ltd.

    I like the intro, with the clucky guitar, and the ascending synth tones underneath....

    Then we change up into this uptempo kind of pop/rock song.

    Lyrically it is another vague love song of sorts .... and I am wondering if these are love songs to the aliens or something.

    I don't think any of us would doubt Dave's passion, but even though it is the main focus of the lyrics here, I'm not exactly sure what that passion is directed to in this song.

    This perhaps might be a grower, but it seems a little erratic... It almost seems like he had a chorus he liked, and jammed some things together to build a song around it.

    It's ok, but it doesn't do much for me.

  13. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Chosen People.

    stereo mix (3:25), recorded Jun-Jul 1983 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London

    Glory is on our way[?]
    Worship the sun, Great Spirit.
    Born of the mother earth,
    Seek for the true white brother.

    We are the chosen people, give back our sacred land.
    We are the four grandfathers, a destiny for man.

    It is written in our prophecy,
    (It is written in our prophecy)
    That we shall find the true white brother,
    (We shall find the true white brother)
    Who will help us, joined together, to build humanity.

    There is a place for everyone.

    We are the chosen people, give back our holy land.
    We are the ever forest, we are Great Spirit's hand.

    She will call us soon,
    She will shake her body,
    Bringing your land to ruin.
    Why will the world not hear us?

    We are most ancient teachers, we know Great Spirit's plan.
    We learned by nature's secrets, the inner side of man.

    We are the chosen people, give back our sacred land.
    We are the four grandfathers, a destiny for man.

    Written by: Dave Davies
    Published by: Dabe Music, Ltd.

    This is an odd little song.... Again we have these interesting sections, that maybe don't fit together too smoothly...

    This is a somewhat bizarre lyric to me....
    I am assuming Dave is singing to the aliens again here...
    I have no idea what the true white brother is supposed to be.
    This may well be Dave's worst lyric so far for me.... It doesn't seem to make much sense, and it contains, I assume, unintentional .... connotations .... that I don't like.

    I like the opening of the song musically. I like the feel and the chords, and the change into the first chorus is pretty cool.

    I don't like the spoken section, it sounds corny as all get out to me.

    .... at this stage it feels like this album started out promisingly and then just went .... somewhere else.

  14. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Cold Winter.

    stereo mix (4:34), recorded Jun-Jul 1983 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London

    I've seen you, cold winter,
    I know you, cold winter.
    You showed me no mercy,
    Still I shan't forget[?] the warning.

    You'll never know how it feels to be loved.

    I know you, cold winter,
    You broke my heart, cold winter.

    I missed you, warm summer,
    Never thought I'd see you, cold summer.

    You'll never know how it feels to be loved.

    I thank you, cold winter,
    Never leave that game[?] to life's story.
    You healed me, cold winter,
    You taught me how to face the morning.

    Written by: Dave Davies
    Published by: Dabe Music, Ltd.

    We close out the album with a slower ballad type song.

    Again lyrically I'm not particularly sure what Dave is going for here. I'm not sure if this is in relation to the cold hearted girl? in Is It Any Wonder, or if Dave is suffering from some kind of seasonal affect disorder himself.

    I get the feeling that Dve was going for something quite grand here, and he sort of gets close.
    I really like the minor to major shifts, and the big outro has its moments, but I'm not finding myself being drawn in or convinced by it.

    It kind of seems like Dave was attempting a sort of progish middle section, but it feels a little tacked on....

    To some degree, this drives home the point further for me, that Dave could have some much better albums here in the early eighties with a co-writer of some description, tightening the ideas a bit more.

    The outro starts to get a sort of grand sound about it, and then slides into a flanger effect and changes chords and reverberates into the distance.

    Ex-Fed, CheshireCat, markelis and 9 others like this.
  15. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Chosen People

    It feels out of line to give too much of a statement about this album, as I had much less time with it, than anything on the thread so far. I had never heard anything on it before we started it, and I feel, like a lot of these albums, that a few more listens could have given it the breakthrough it needed.

    I actually quite like this album, but much like everyone else at the moment, I have had a series of inconveniences that distracted me from being able to give it full attention.

    Even as I was relistening during posting the songs I could feel a closer relationship to some of the songs than the posts may suggest, and I reckon it would be close to or better than AFL1 in my mind as a Dave album. Though at the moment I would have to say AFL1 is my favourite of these albums.

    I like that Dave relaxed a bit on the delivery with this album, and wasn't afraid to put some more mellow, thoughtful tracks on here, even if I don't necessarily always understand those thoughts.

    This comes across as a pretty strong album, even if a little unusual, but Dave had his experiences, whatever they may have been, and it is hard to get a handle on the perspective when those experiences are so foreign to me, and Dave is often so oblique in his rendering of a story via song.

    So I think this is a pretty solid addition to Dave's solo output.

    It seems odd that this is just his third album, when we consider the amount of Dave material we have covered since the mid to late sixties.
  16. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    Well, uh... The first few seconds are OK, but then it gets me almost craving for US rap again.
  17. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    "Fire Burning"

    One of the least consequential tracks on the album, but I rather like this one as it's one of the few with any remaining traces of the new wave leanings that we heard on Glamour. The intro, the verse and the chorus are all good, but feel as though they've been forced together into the same song against their will. Nice touch after the first chorus with vocals over the reprise of the intro creating a bridge of sorts. It's very much nothing special but also very listenable.
  18. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    "Chosen People"

    I think the opening line is "Warriors all are we". This starts really well, with an intriguing verse and a smooth transition into an anthemic chorus. But, oh, those lyrics! "Why will the world not hear us?" - erm, maybe because you're going on about a "true white brother" :eek: and "the four grandfathers". This sounds like the stuff of cults. The spoken word section takes it into new areas of daft. I rather like the guitar on the outro, but it's way too late to save this from oblivion.
  19. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    "Cold Winter"

    It's an attempt at an epic closer, and it almost gets there, but doesn't quite convince. The synths at the start sound a little cheesy these days, and I don't think that the strings add the level of grandiosity that it's looking for. The chorus is good, and Dave sings it with the required amount of passion, but there isn't much else in the song other than instrumental sections that tend towards pomposity. I like the ending, but overall the track leaves me a little unfulfilled - and it has an unenviable task to begin with in following the previous track!
  20. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Jacky Ickx.......if Mr Le Mans was ever claimed by France that is!
  21. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    Fire Burning does nothing for me, past the intriguing synth driven intro. It’s both generic and disjointed, like Dave’s worst songs. Chosen People is in essence an XTC/Squeeze tune (talking music, here…), which is a great change of pace, except the chorus is terribly weak. Nice almost horrific echo effect on the drums during the conclusive guitar solo.

    Cold Winter is an expansive hybrid between power ballad, moody synth experiment and symphonic baroque pop, it works as a grand finale, and the lyrics are good, economical but evocative, they do fit with the music and benefit from a passionate Dave vocal (pleonasm!). I won't say anything about the title cut's lyrics, except there's something genuinely naïve in Dave, no pretense or ******** whatsoever in this guy, even when he's talking complete nonsense. It’s quite disarming.
  22. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    I was a bit young to remember... It's a name I heard a lot as a kid without identifying him. I never knew this nickname of his. I'm generation Alain Prost.

    I don't know if the French claimed him. Actually I thought he was Swiss or something. I realise I thought the same about Eddy Merckx, who was also Belgian.
  23. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Did you put in an order or have you chosen one?
  24. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Chosen People

    I haven't listened to this album as much as I could have over the years - although I had listened enough for most of the tracks to sound familiar when I returned to it recently for the first time in a number of years. My initial assessment of it years ago may have been a little unfair. At least half these tracks are very decent pop/rock efforts, tighter and shorter than before, and some could have even slipped onto Kinks albums in different circumstances. Bob Henrit once again gives the songs a solid foundation. The problem is that the remaining tracks are somewhat offputting, and it's the offputting tracks that tend to stick in my mind more, leaving an unfairly negative impression of the album overall. I'd say that if you have a chance of grabbing a copy for a reasonable price then go for it. I still feel that Glamour is the strongest overall of the three albums.
  25. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    I think you are really onto something as he could be singing any banal or misogynistic tripe but it actually sounds articulate and sophisticated to my non Francais speaking personage!

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