The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

  2. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    State Of Confusion

    This is another one that I sampled by borrowing from a library, although in this case it was a public library rather than the university record library, and it was the cassette version. Can't remember whether this was while I was at university or a bit later. Anyway, I thought it was OK, although I didn't actually own a copy until buying the CD in 1995. I was disappointed that the CD version did not include the two extra tracks that had been on the cassette.

    Imagine if you were someone who knew The Kinks from the 60s, but lost touch with them after 1970. Then in 1983 this single "Come Dancing" appears in the charts and on Top of the Pops, and you think "hey, The Kinks are back and they sound just like I remember!". So you go to buy this album on the strength of this single, expecting more of the same, and what you get instead is three shouty hard rock tracks straight off the bat. If you get past these then you are rewarded with some songs later in the album that sound like something you might expect from The Kinks, but there is something of a disconnect between the singles and the album (kind of like the first Pretenders album).

    Whereas my opinions on Low Budget and Give The People What They Want have fluctuated a bit over the years, that's not really been the case with State of Confusion. I've always considered it a solid collection of lively, enjoyable 80s contemporary rock/pop songs. It's not as regular a listen as Think Visual, but it never disappoints me when I do listen, and it came across particularly well when I played it last week. It doesn't have the demo feel and rough sound of GTPWTW, being a much more rounded production, and the lyrics aren't so relentlessly bleak (at least not beyond a personal level). I really don't have a problem with this album and would rate it as one of the top two Arista albums.
     
  3. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scotland
    My main issue with the cover is that's it's too similar to the one from the previous album, leading me to a state of confusion over which album is which!
     
  4. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Unfortunately the elaborate write up section doesn't seem available for me to post...

    [​IMG]
     
  5. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    The strange thing about the cover is the title appearing twice, for no apparent reason!
     
  6. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    For the record, this single was a reissue just before the album was released

    You Really Got Me.

    This track was reissued on a 12" maxi single, with the original 64 version.

    Produced by: Shel Talmy, Ray Davies
    Release date: 30 Sep, 1983
    Record label & catalog #: PRT KDL1
    Country: UK
    Format: 12" vinyl single, 45 RPM
    Release type: Compilation

    Tracks:
    A side
    1. You Really Got Me mono mix (2:13), recorded mid-Jul 1964 at IBC Studios, London
    2. All Day And All Of The Night mono mix (2:20), recorded 24 Sep, 1964 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London

    B side
    1. Medley:
    You Really Got Me mono mix, edited as part of medley, recorded mid-Jul 1964 at IBC Studios, London
    All Day And All Of The Night mono mix, edited as part of medley, recorded 24 Sep, 1964 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
    2. Misty Water stereo mix, new (1983) mix (3:20), recorded May, 1968 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London

    Also a 7" single

    Produced by: Shel Talmy, Ray Davies
    Release date: 30 Sep, 1983
    Record label & catalog #: PRT KD1
    Country: UK
    Format: 7" vinyl maxi-single, 45 RPM
    Release type: Compilation

    Tracks:
    A side
    1. You Really Got Me mono mix (2:13), recorded mid-Jul 1964 at IBC Studios, London

    B side
    1. Medley:
    You Really Got Me mono mix, edited as part of medley, recorded mid-Jul 1964 at IBC Studios, London
    All Day And All Of The Night mono mix, edited as part of medley, recorded 24 Sep, 1964 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
    2. Misty Water stereo mix, new (1983) mix (3:20), recorded May, 1968 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scotland
    Yep, that also adds to the state of confusion! :D
     
  8. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    How/why did "Misty Water" end up on this disc?? And if it had been released in the UK by this stage, why did it not end up on the "Well Respected Men" compilation??

    Very appropriate for State Of Confusion day!
     
  9. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

  10. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    The cassette cover includes the title of the album for a third time, incase we'd missed it!

    I like this message on the tape:
    One side of this programme is of longer duration than the other. To preserve the continuity of the recorded music, please play fully each side of the tape.

    Got that, people? No skipsies. You are ordered to play the whole thing, start to finish.
     
  11. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

  12. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

  13. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    I've never heard this album or anything the Kinks did from here on in - apart from "Come Dancing".
     
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  14. stewedandkeefed

    stewedandkeefed Came Ashore In The Dead Of The Night

    State Of Confusion is a record I have known since its release. Of course, it contains the hit "Come Dancing" which also had a popular video shown on MTV. I always liked "Come Dancing" because it was such a song I later realized captured a key Kinks theme - looking back on a bygone era with fondness and almost painful nostalgia. In a world obsessed with modernity, it was interesting to find a band that had a certain amount of ambivalence about modernity and prized, instead, the traditions of the past. The rest of the album was not as distinctive as that single but had a few songs I would become familiar with from listening to the Kinks live show circa 1983. "Bernadette" was a Dave vocal I could get behind and the title track was good in concert.
     
  15. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Forget "Shouty Ray" now he's morphed into "Running Ray" which may be a throwback to his school sporting prowess, let's ask David what?
     
  16. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Is that to avoid the tape spool getting into a state of contusion?
     
  17. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Here is a bit of an update from my UK Record Collectors Kinks Singles Guide.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  18. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    Location:
    France
    Ok, so, this is Mordor after all. Just a little further away than I thought. I don't think I ever listened to this album in full before the last months. I never was aware of "Come Dancing" before this year. I had heard about it a lot, and when I first listened to it, I expected to think "Oh, OK, it's that one". But no, it doesn't ring a bell at all. And I don't find it particularly interesting.

    As for the rest, I first had a "oh, it's not that bad" reaction, owing to my very low expectations. But I'm bugged by what I think is an atrocious sound. The guitars sound especially awful. And on several songs, Ray tries to sing like... I don't know what he's trying to do or who he is emulating here, but it doesn't work for me.

    Most of all, I think most of the songwriting is below previous Ray standards. Even multi-part songs rely on individual sections that are a bit too generic. There is a global "B-side" feeling to most of the songs.

    Looking back on the last few albums, I feel like the famous frog (which is appropriate of course) in a pan full of slowly warming water, and I'm on the verge of waking up, yelling "what is this crap I've grown accustomed to?..."

    There's still a chance I get a better opinion of at least some of the tunes. The title song has something, I actually like at least parts of the 2nd one; I think Iliked Heart of Gold too, even if I can't remember how it goes right now; I love Lucille so I don't see why I wouldn't be fond of Bernadette; and I really enjoy the 2 cassette-exclusive tracks, especially "Noise". So all hope is not lost. But a large chunk of it is, I'm afraid. To me, we've entered the 80s, the Time of Mediocrity for 60s dinosaurs. But then I'm one who thinks Press To Play is the most successful attempt by any of said dinosaurs to adapt to the sound of that dreaded decade.
     
  19. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    'Misty Water' was on the B-Side of this Sept reissue of 'You Really Got Me' (which actually charted in the UK at #47, probably in part due to their contemporary chart resurgence at home with 'Come Dancing' ) because it was the trailer single for the 1983 UK PRT comp 'Dead End Street: The Kinks Greatest Hits' which in it's original form is a VERY interesting release, as alongside the usual Pye hits it included a bonus 6 track 10" EP where the Pye outtake vaults were raided, and comprised:


    Side 1 of bonus 10-inch
    1. Misty Water stereo mix, new (1983) mix (3:20), recorded May, 1968 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
    2. Pictures In The Sand stereo mix, backing track only (no vocals) (2:48), recorded May 1968 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
    3. Spotty Grotty Anna mono mix, recorded spring/summer 1968 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London

    Side 2 of bonus 10-inch
    1. Groovy Movies stereo mix, new (1983) mix (2:50), recorded May-Jun 1969 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
    2. Time Will Tell mono mix (2:34), recorded probably 14 Apr, 1965 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
    3. Rosemary Rose mono mix (1:43), recorded Jun 1967 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London

    So you will observe here that 4 Great Lost Kinks songs made their UK debut here (one in a different stereo instrumental version) plus two entirely 'new' outtakes! The inclusion of 'Misty Water' on the B-side of the YRGM reissue was presumably to give a taste of the bonus disc. I have no idea what happened here, that for this one and only time in the otherwise archivally constipated 1971-1997 period someone at the UK Pye/PRT/Castle offices was able to get their hand into the secret stash and pull out the special forbidden candy from Mr Dandy, albeit briefly, as inevitably...

    ...within a month or so though, Ray got wind of this and had the comp withdraw and re-issued in early 1984 with a much less interesting replacement bonus disc of 'Kinks mod anthems' or similar ('David Watts' plus some early covers AFAIR, all familiar from the regular discography)... but it remains that legit copies of the original 1983 version were still available in the UK for a few months. I've seen a real one in the wild just ONCE, and thereby hangs a tale which I will keep for later in this thread. Incidentally the YRGM single reissue was never withdrawn so while still an oversight it's interesting to think 'Misty Water' did get a full UK release as the B-side of a charting single!

    I should also note while I'm wearing my King Killjoy Kink Nerd crown that I have to add @mark winstanley was incorrect when he said that this single (and by extension the comp album it promoted) came out in advance of State Of Confusion: SoC was issued in summer 1983 whereas the YRGM re-issue single was Sept 1983, and the parent album October. I presume they were likely issued in response in an attempt by PRT to capitalise on The Kinks recent return to the UK charts.

    I would actually suggest that this release (while no-where near as totemic as The Great Lost Kinks album) might deserve a day of discussion itself, due to the significance of it's unique (at the time) content.

    More details here: The Kinks - The Kinks Greatest Hits - Dead End Street
    The Kinks' Greatest Hits - Dead End Street

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2022
  20. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    State Of Confusion Preliminary Thoughts:

    I have been primed (prepared?) by my participation in this thread discussion, since who now knows how far back, to expect a crushing disappointment; to witness The Kinks diving off of a cliff.

    This was supposed to happen for certain when we discussed the musical theater/concept albums (and considering there were several of those, it’s not like there wasn’t ample opportunity). But it didn’t, not for me. I didn’t fall off the bandwagon; there was no weeping and gnashing of teeth in the Zeki household. Sure, I didn’t care much for Soap Opera…but that was due to the subject matter, not the music. Initially, too, I will admit I shied away from the 50’s music portions of Schoolboys In Disgrace…but it is true that I find myself humming, quite frequently (!), ‘Schooldays.” In sum, I wasn’t crushed. Not yet.

    Then it was “just wait until we hit the Arista Years.” The thing is that The Kinks seem to always pick a good lead-off track. And that keeps me from thinking, “Aha! Now we’ve reached the end. This is intolerable.” (Well, of course there were those god-awful Sleepwalker tracks, deep in the album, that still give me nightmares but I have banished them from my waking hours). Yes, I do rank our last album, ‘Give The People What They Want’, at the bottom of the heap but I don’t find myself thinking “uh oh” until I hit the second side. Then…uh oh. But, thankfully, followed by a last-minute “phew.”

    And now we have ‘State Of Confusion’ and all I can think of is I think this might be it for me. This might be the one I was being warned about. Admittedly, I’ve only listened to it twice so far but both times have been a chore (unlike…I’ll just say it, its successor is the one that I’m happily listening to on repeat). My method is to give it a listen all the way through and to mark songs I like. Usually, I come up with five or so (during the Arista Years).This time around I only have two that I think merit further attention; one being the hit.

    So that’s my current ornery state of mind as we begin our State Of Confusion discussion.

    Album Cover: don’t like it.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2022
  21. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Yea, I was running late this morning, and didn't chickety check myself, so I wrecked myself lol
     
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  22. fspringer

    fspringer Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York City
    State of Confusion: Good to be back after another Dave solo album sojourn! At the time, this was my favorite of the 80s Arista period. Over time, Word of Mouth has grown for me into a better album, or at least a few tracks resonate more and have moved along with me. I still think highly of SoC. It continued that new sound and feel hinted at in Low Budget and launched fully on Give the People. Why am I haunted by the thought that they now all "sounded the same" much like a Journey or Styx album? There's a lot of truth in that, but there's also truth in the level of songwriting being far above those other AOR bands thanks to Ray's talent. It wasn't just product. (In my mind, nor was Styx or Journey, but they didn't have anyone who could write lyrics on this level.) It contains one of the best singles The Kinks ever put out, and a video that perfectly told the story in the song.

    Format issue: after buying the vinyl album, I felt forced to buy the cassette to get the bonus tracks, which weren't on the album. (Nor apparently the CD, which I had no idea was out at the time. I wouldn't buy my first CD player until 1989 as I was incensed over how vinyl was being phased out, first to cassettes then CDs. I eventually came to love CDs and recognize them as my favorite physical format that I threw down with completely until MP3 files rolled in.) One of the bonus tracks became one of my favorite Kinks tracks, while the other sort of came and went.

    Live: the internet tells me, Stabler Arena, Bethlehem, PA, May 20, 1983. This time, I was a concert vet, knew the drill with the hard partying in the parking lot, the pot cloud hovering over the audience inside, that slightly dangerous feeling that anything could happen. Something did happen here. The opening act that night was INXS, still a very new and not well-known band in the U.S. Radio had been playing "Don't Change" which I thought was a fantastic new wave song (still do). I was excited to see these guys open for The Kinks, thought it was a good pairing of a new, much younger act to the semi-new wave image The Kinks were going for. INXS got through their set, but barely. They were nearly booed off the stage by what felt like an audience of rednecks. They weren't, though ... weren't these open-minded Kinks fans like me? Apparently not. I don't know what it was about them, but it hit the crowd in the wrong way. At one point, there was some young construction type guy, you could almost envision the yellow safety helmet on his head, shirtless, running down the aisle to the front of the stage, and whipping double middle fingers at Michael Hutchence while yelling out some decidely homophobic slurs. Hutchence went ballistic and leaped off the stage ... into the arms of a few beefy security staff long before these two could ever discuss their issues. It got sorted out quickly, but I wish I could hear a recording of the version of "Don't Change" that followed as the band was on fire before exiting the stage. I'd never seen an act get bum-rushed like that before, and really haven't since, despite many numerous opening acts being ignored at best and booed at worst. (The next worse for me was seeing The Replacements get treated like some faceless, meaningless opening act at an Elvis Costello concert in Madison Square Garden. A bad night for me. Elvis was the size of a house, had a chest-length beard and was crooning way too hard that night.)

    In any event, another good vibe surrounds this album, and I'll be glad to recall the individual tracks.
     
  23. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    Yes, that’s what I’ve always thought, too. One big hit. One stunning masterpiece. And a number of really good songs – even one of the greatest Kinks outtakes. I’m still not 100% sure where I stand on a couple of the heavier tracks though, and I expect our daily exercise will help me setting this straight with myself. But the slower more melodic tunes are all top notch. I think Art Lover must’ve triggered something in Ray, reacquainting him with this more melodic tuneful muse of his that he’d mostly shied away from since the beginning of the “arena” years. It’s funny how the Kinks got their biggest albums sales with Low Budget, reclaiming their scepter of heavy rock inventors, and then their biggest hit in almost fifteen years with a throwback to their vaudeville vein. Up-thread, we did get a lot of “kinksian or not kinksian” debates and of course concluded that the band is equally defined by both styles and can’t be reduced to either one of them. This LP’s the reunification one. Both sides of the koin are equally represented, which was announced by Better Things, clearly a crucial track because of its quality but also its history: left off Low Budget and then placed as the closing song on Give the People What They Want, a truly pivotal song in the canon. As for the cover… I’m definitely not in the artwork lover camp this time!
     
  24. pyrrhicvictory

    pyrrhicvictory Forum Resident

    Location:
    Manhattan
    State of Confusion

    My first Kinks purchase in ‘real time’, though not quite on time. I didn’t know of a new album until I started hearing ‘Come Dancing’ on the radio, so I wasn’t in the queue on the day, probably a couple weeks later. A lasting image I have of Summer ‘83 is me, on the family love seat, with my headphones plugged into the Panasonic stereo system (which I still have, and use!) while my parents watched NBC Nightly News. Pouring over the album cover and sleeve, searching for clues, trying to glean any knowledge at all from the three photos as to how these guys would be in real life. How would they comport themselves, what might they say? The world was so much more mysterious then, you had to really work for your edification. I got, even then, the snark in that thought-bubble picture sleeve, Mick and Dave in disagreement, new hands Jim and Ian with no say, and Ray in silent indecision. The band on the front going in different directions, underscoring the realism of the title, or maybe only pantomiming without their instruments. Ray would later joke about this cover’s location being the same as the previous album, calling it ‘his own sort of minimalist art.’ Was he syphoning some of the art direction money by getting things done on the cheap? The redundancy of the title, and ugliness of the faux spray paint, is the work of amateurs. And no Kink should ever be in a track suit (no matter how spiffy) for a photo shoot. Did they even tell Mick?
    As December neared, my parents asked me what I might like for my birthday (on the 6th) and Christmas. When I asked for the cassette version, up went the hue and cry from the parental units, ‘You have that already!’ Yes, but this has two extra tracks on it and then I can listen to it anytime when you get me the Walk-Man I’m going to ask you for next! ‘Why can’t you wait to get home to listen to music, like everyone else?’, was their uncomprehending reply. These items weren’t particularly exorbitant requests, but like most families in the early eighties, we were on a low budget. This seemed like redundancy to them. They gave in though, realizing even then how important music was beginning to mean to their introverted son. The Kinks were now with me at all times.

    A few words, on what I consider to be a pivotal time in Kinks history:
    Clive Davis, the old master, was right all along. ‘Come Dancing’ and State of Confusion divided the Kinks newfound, younger audience, while casual music fans, counted on to make up the numbers, are already fickle by nature. Pop aficionados expecting an albums worth of ‘Come Dancing’s’ were sure to be disappointed. The hard-rocker teens the Kinks courted with the previous lp would take one listen to the mature stylings of State of Confusion and feel jilted. Or if they were introduced to the new album by way of ‘Come Dancing’, would think ‘if that’s what they sound like now, we’ll pass.’ Hell hath no fury like a person scorned! Many that bought it and didn’t care for it showed their displeasure by not buying the next one. Spare a thought for Word of Mouth. A solid album with one near-hit and one non-single that was a missed opportunity. The band played many dates in support of it, including a prestigious Saturday Night Live appearance, usually good for a bump in sales. How all of that computes into a record charting 45 places lower than the last is very odd. In my opinion, State of Confusion confused Kinks fans and the record-buying public at large. It didn’t help that the Kinks had a string of cancelled concerts due to Dave’s ‘illness’, you know, that rare medical condition (albumus non-chartus). Thus began the next, and final, irreversible slide in Kinks popularity. None of this, however, has had any effect on my personal feelings about State of Confusion.





     
  25. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Perhaps you'll soften to it as we go through....
    As I say, I never used to love this album, but particularly since going through the songs.... on side one at least, I have become quite fond of it, but I have lyrical connection to the songs, and that may be the difference
     

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