Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by mark winstanley, Apr 4, 2021.
Do you recall the Fortitude Valley cinema name or it's location or decor?
No I have not though I might if I see a link though I am very lazy with these things unless I had specific titles in mind.
In 1983 i was 14 going on 15 and following on from buying my first Stones LP's the previous year i bought a slew of them in 1983 including of course Undercover upon its release.
I likely bought my final Kiss album either Creatures Of The Night or The Elder plus
A Status Quo best of though had gone off new ACDC a touch.
Was reading about Cream & Eric Clapton which would explode the following year into a lifelong fandom.
I had an older sister that was spinning lots of records by artists such as Mental As Anything, Skyhooks, Cyndi Lauper, Goanna, The Rocky Horror Picture Show Soundtrack, New Order & especially David Bowie & The Police!
And yes i was aware of Come Dancing and thought it was pretty good for a latterday comeback hit.
I think I was born singing, so I rarely even count that lol... My parents have a reel to reel of me singing a reasonably convincing Heartbreak Hotel at 5 years old lol... they reckon I was whistling before I could talk too lol
"State of Confusion"
Single by The Kinks
from the album State of Confusion
B-side "Labour of Love"
Released December 1983
Recorded March 1983 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London
Genre Pop rock
Songwriter(s) Ray Davies
Producer(s) Ray Davies
stereo mix, recorded Mar 1983 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London
Interestingly this song was released as a single in Europe, but it did not chart.... In the US it was not released as a single and it went to 26 on the Mainstream Rock Chart.... I'm not sure how that happens, I can only assume folks were importing the single? Let me know folks.
Woke up in a panic,
Like somebody fired a gun
I wish I could be dreaming,
But the nightmare's just begun.
There's flooding in the basement,
There's water all around.
There's woodworm in the attic
And the ceiling just fell down.
I'm in a state (state)
Of confusion (whooooh).
I'm in a state (state)
Of confusion (whooooh).
All the dirty dishes
Are still in the kitchen sink.
The tumble dryer's broken,
Now the telly's on the blink.
My girlfriend's packed her bags
And moved out to another town.
She couldn't stand the boredom
When the video broke down.
Don't know why I feel so bad.
Is it the weather, or am I going mad?
Don't know why I feel this way.
I don't know whether I'm coming or I'm going,
Can't cover up 'cause it's obviously showing.
It's a state (state)
Of confusion (whooooh).
We're in a state (state)
Of confusion (whooooh).
I don't know whether I'm coming or I'm going.
Should feel happy, should feel glad.
I'm alive and it can't be bad,
But back on planet Earth they shatter the illusion,
The world's going 'round in a state of confusion.
Standing on an island
In the middle of the road.
Traffic either side of me,
Which way will I go?
I should've stayed at home,
I should have never come outside.
Now I wish I never tried
To cross the other side.
I'm in a state (state)
State of confusion (whooooh).
It's a state (state)
Of confusion (whooooh).
Lyin' awake in a cold, cold sweat,
Am I overdrawn, am I going in debt?
It gets worse, the older that you get.
No escape from the state of confusion I'm in.
State of confusion I'm in.
Written by: Ray Davies
Published by: Davray Music Ltd.
I Woke Up In A Panic, Like Someone Fired A Gun. I Wish I Could Be Dreaming, But The Nightmare's Just Begun.
I don't know if anyone has ever had this kind of thing before, but as a terrible sleeper I have, and it's horrid lol
Now, I'm probably going to go off on a tangent here, but it was the thing that came to mind when I started thinking about these lyrics.
I am not a dream guy, but I have read and watched people talk about these kinds of things, and there is something quite interesting in these lyrics.
Sleeping, waking up, we're not dreaming, it's a nightmare.... In dreams, according to the dream interpreters I have heard talk about this kind of thing. The House is generally a representation of you... like a sort of metaphor ... like when we talk about keeping our house in order in a self referential manner.
So we have all these scenarios in the lyric that refer to things being broken in the House, and whether we are looking at just a straight lyric, or the idea that the house is a representation of Ray himself, or in fact if Ray is using it as a reference to the house that we all live in, the world, it adds up to the same thing, the place is a mess and falling to pieces.
In the song, the character's house is falling to pieces.
In Ray's life his relationship with his brother is still in turmoil, and he finds it hard to maintain a relationship with women he clearly seems to love and respect... that is a house falling apart of another kind.
In the world ... well we all know what a mess the world's in ...
From the basement flooding to the woodworm in the ceiling, we have disrepair and trouble from top to bottom, and that is where Ray starts us off. Everything from the bottom to the top is messed up.
State Of Confusion...
Confusion is an interesting term to use in itself.
- lack of understanding, uncertainty
- the state of being bewildered or uncertain about something...
It seems to give the lyric a tilt towards this not necessarily being about the items themselves. If the basement is flooded, I'm not confused, I'm pissed off, and I need to pump the water out and fix the problem that caused it, it isn't really confusing.
So I'm leaning towards this being a series of metaphors about the way Ray, or the character is feeling about the world around him, or internally. Using a dreamlike terminology to paint the picture.
The dirty dishes are still in the sink... that isn't confusing, you wash them, throw them out, or put up with dirty dishes.... Is this a sort of dirty laundry type of reference.... the skeletons in the closet are messing with my head, and causing me to not be able to keep my thoughts together?
The tumble dryer is broken and the tv has crapped out.
These are all things inside the top to bottom of the house... that are also falling to pieces.
His girlfriend has taken off because the video broke down. She was too bored to stay.
It seems like a video being broken is probably not reasonable grounds for separation lol....
We then have the pre-chorus, or bridge lyric come in, and it has this desperate pleading tone to it. A cry for help...
Don't know why I feel so bad .... well it isn't the weather, unless it is that seasonal affect disorder again.
I don't know what's going on with me, whether I'm coming or going...
"Can't cover up 'cause it's obviously showing."
I reckon this is an important line. I think it points to the fact that this has nothing to do with the house .... no, it's never the house ....
This is an inner turmoil, and the house references are just pictorial references to how it feels inside. Is this a realisation that bi-polar, or some other form of mental health issue is at play, and his life is being controlled by it, and hence he is in this state of confusion of what he is supposed to do.
Whereas in the US it seems every man and his dog has a therapist, and I mean that literally, because I was stunned that I found out that people had their pets in therapy ... Though having lived here for nearly eleven years now, it really isn't that surprising.
In the motherland, unless things have changed dramatically, and also in Australia, unless it has changed dramatically (and I can only speak from a working class perspective here, as that's pretty much all I have ever been), the idea of going to see someone about this kind of thing is not something that most people will, or at least would have done.
When I was a teen I actually went to see a shrink, because I seriously wanted to just off myself ... I only went once... I like to deal with things myself, but I wanted to see if someone had some magic answer I was missing. So I self medicated for the next ... I don't know, thirty plus years, and grew comfortable in my own skin. It isn't surprising to me now, that this was my favourite song off the album back then, and it must have been somewhat subliminal in its message, because I have never thought about any of this until today.
The internal psychological pipes of this person, whether Ray, a character, or the world in general, are bursting, and causing a form of serotonin syndrome...
Another interesting picture
I'm standing on an island ...
Trying to be isolated ..."I'm On An Island" ... "I want to sail away to a distant shore and make like an apeman" ... "I'm a twentieth century man but I don't wanna be here" ... "I'm too terrified to walk out of my own front door" (Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues) ..."But I don't want to live a lie in an artificial world." (Artificial Man) ... "I'm away, far away, far away in a foreign land" ...
and so it goes...
But here Ray is on an Island and the world has closed in around him. The traffic is either side of him zooming by and he is scared to move, and "Now I wish I never tried To cross the other side"
Then we are suddenly, it seems, back in bed, from the way the lyric is set up....
"Lyin' awake in a cold, cold sweat,"
Again an implication of possibly dreaming, which takes us back to the house being a picture of the person.
Then the really interesting line that brings all sorts of things to my mind
"It gets worse, the older that you get."
While we have been enjoying Ray's music, has he been simply screaming out for help, while we all smile at these great songs?
Did shouty Ray seem like a way of perhaps getting our attention?
Does Ray feel like that person in the dream, who was screaming for help but no sound was coming out?
This lyric has caused me to pause and think today....
Perhaps I am way off target, but I can only go with what comes to mind, and that is what this lyric brought to mind today.....
Even the video is interesting in portraying Ray as a kind of performing monkey in the band context.... It is surrounded by some funny little sight gags and variations on the lyrical theme.... and it is interesting that they chose different things to the lyrics, perhaps budget, but perhaps also it is something more than that.
We open with those stabbing guitar chords, and I like the sound and feel of them personally.
When the riff guitar comes in, that sounds really good to me too.
The scream of insanity adds to the feel of being psychologically distressed.
I don't know how anyone else feels about it, but I really like the floating synth line, like a melancholy, ethereal force floating through the track, which is essentially a fairly straight rock track.
The guitar in the right channel is fierce.
The guitar in the left channel is steady and crisp.
Is this another picture of bi-polar, or perhaps the broad gap between the perception of him and the reality?
The bass and drums are solid and steady.
I enjoy the music to this track, it isn't exploding any boundaries in music, but it fits with the song beautifully.
Ray's vocal is excellent and again suits the song perfectly.
This is a great opening track, and maybe I completely missed the mark with the lyrics, but I can only see what I can see, and it has raised this song quite a lot in my perspective, because I think to some degree I just looked it as a sort of melancholy, comical everything is going wrong today kind of song, but it seems like so much more than that on closer inspection.
A Live Version
Of course, there’s a London Calling element to the opening angst-inducing guitar riff. Well, perhaps riff’s not the word, but it’s the only one I could think of. Ray probably thought he was allowed to do it because the Clash song itself referenced Dead End Street, and I can’t help but thinking there’s a little hidden message there, a kind of indirect self-reference. A mental state of confusion and a dead end street are close concepts, especially since the «state » we’re talking about is also the political one, as the rest of the LP will show. It’s a very eighties song, not too heavy, more in a loud melodic style, with some great synth work (which I much prefer to the piano, here), at least two bridges, a lot of chords and key changes, and quite a sophisticated structure that seems a little more labored (of love?) this time around, compared to the seamless brilliance of Around the Dial which it clearly tries to emulate. But it doesn’t have the same grabbing power, despite Ray singing it with a lot of conviction, not so much "shouty" as hammering the song's message and mindset with little subtlety. I love the video, complete with kustomary Kinks self-derision but when he clenches his fists in the beginning, I don’t know if he’s ridiculing it or really meaning it. When I listen to the song, I definitely hear a singer clenching his fists and meaning it, which is not very Ray Davies to me. All in all, the song is at the same time extremely catchy and a bit meh. Let’s say "mehmorable", then, I guess.
Oct 1963 - Nov 1966 - Kinks get a haircut
Apr 1967 - Feb 1970
1965 Never Say Yes
1965 Who'll Be The Next In Line tv
1966 Trouble In Madrid
Lincoln County promo video
Nov 1970 - Jun 1976
Lola, Percy and the Apeman.... 1974
Ray Interview with Studs Terkel 1969
The Kinks Move To Arista Records
Feb 1977 Sleepwalker
Life On The Road - OGWT 77 - ITV 78
Mr Big Man
Sleepwalker - Mike Douglas - OGWT - Supersonic - SNL - Outtake
Juke Box Music - single - OGWT
Stormy Sky - OGWT 77
Full Moon - live 77 - Ray live
Life Goes On - OGWT 77
Prince Of The Punks
On The Outside - remix
Kinks Live Feb 1977
Ray acoustic Apr 77
Kinks Old Grey Whistle Test show 77
Kinks Live Dec 1977
Christmas Concert 1977
The Pressures Of The Road
Nov 1977 Father Christmas - video - live 1977 - tv promo - Dave live
May 1978 Misfits
Misfits - tv 1978
Hay Fever - live?
Rock And Roll Fantasy- the hotel room - live Paris 1978
In A Foreign Land
Live Life - US version - UK tv
Out Of The Wardrobe
Trust Your Heart - live 1979
1978 The Misfit Record EP
Lola live in the hotel room
UK tv 1978
The Misfits Tour
Live in Paris 1978
Sept. 1978 20 Golden Greats
Jul 1979 Low Budget
Catch Me Now I'm Falling - remix - alt mix - The Late Man, Sea Cows In Love Mix
Pressure - live 1983
Superman (ext. mix) - single/album mix - ext fan mix - video - straight mix 12"
Low Budget - Extended mix - Live 89 - Ray Live
In A Space
A Little Bit Of Emotion
A Gallon Of Gas - Live in 1982 - Full US single version - Alt mix
Maybe I Love You
Stolen Away Your Heart
Mike Konopka Restores the Kinks for the Velvel Reissues
The Low Budget interview
Aug 1974 Live At Cobo Hall
Ray On Wonderworld
Ray on the Stones
Compilations part 1
The Kinks (France 78)
Dave Davies - AFL1-3603
Where Do You Come From
Doing The Best For You
Nothing More To Lose
The World Is Changing Hands
See The Beast
Imaginations Real - Dave live
In You I Believe
June 1980 One For The Road - The Concert Video - The 1979 Setlists - Cover analysis - album review
Opening/Hardway - Hardway video
Catch Me Now I'm Falling - video
Where Have All the Good Times Gone - video
Lola - video
Pressure - video
All Day And All Of The Night - video
20th Century Man
Prince Of The Punks
Stop Your Sobbing
Low Budget - video
Attitude - video
Superman - video
Till The End Of The Day
Celluloid Heroes - video
You Really Got Me - video
Victoria - video
Slum Kids 79 live
July 1980 The Live EP - Promo EP
1980 Waterloo Sunset EP
Live at the Palladium 1980
1981 The Kinks - What's It All About?
Jul 1981 Dave Davies Glamour
Is This The Only Way?
World Of Our Own
1981 Chorus Girls
Aug 1981 Give The People What They Want
Around The Dial - live 1982 - extended intro
Give The People What They Want - video - extra verse
Killer's Eyes - live 1982
Predictable - video
Add It Up - live 1982
Destroyer - tv show - YRGM/Destroyer Don Lane Show -ext mix? - vimeo
Yo-Yo - live 1982 - Tokyo 1982
Back To Front - live 1982
Art Lover - live 1982 - alt version - SNL 1981
A Little Bit Of Abuse
Better Things - Kast-Off Kinks, with Ray - single - live - TOTP 94
b-side Massive Reductions
Compilations part 2 1981/82
Ray And Chrissie Postcard From London
Rockpalast concert 1982
Ray On Wonderworld
1983 Dave Davies - Chosen People
Mean Disposition - video
Love Gets You - video - live
Take One More Chance
Matter Of Decision
Is It Any Wonder
One Night With You b-side - live
June 1983 State Of Confusion
State Of Confusion - live
State Of Confusion tour
You Really Got Me reissue
State Of Confusion EP
Live In Frankfurt in 1984
Kinks live TOTP 1994
Dave Creeping Jean live 2004
2005 Thanksgiving Day Ray live on Conan Obrien
Oct 2018 Dave Davies - Decade - interview
If You Are Leaving (71)
Cradle To The Grace (73)
Midnight Sun (73)
Mystic Woman (73)
The Journey (73)
Web Of Time (75)
Mr Moon (75) - Why
Give You All My Love (78)
Within Each Day (78)
Same Old Blues (78)
This Precious Time (78)
Rob Kopp has made his 1999 Kinks discography 'Down All The days Till 1992'
US Chart Stats
The Music Industry Machine
Pete Quaife - interview - Kast Off Kinks - I Could See It In Your Eyes - Dead End Street
Rasa Didzpetris Davies
"State Of Confusion"
An excellent opener. The difference in the sound from GTPWTW is immediately evident, as this is more fully-rounded - the guitars and synths come across confidently rather than sounding uncertain as to where they are going. The drums are not so much in your face, but Mick is still driving things along nicely.
The song is well-structured, with enough changes to keep you interested throughout - which is just as well, as it's another one of those songs with a lot of lyrics to fit in. The first change comes after the second verse, where you would expect the chorus to be. Another change after the second chorus with the "I don't know whether I'm coming or going" section, which doesn't reappear anywhere else, and then into the soaring "should feel happy..." section, which really picks things up.
The "Back on Planet Earth" lyric makes me wonder if this is supposed to be the same character from "Cliches of the World", after their alien dream. Maybe this is also a reference to the issues that Dave was going through at the time? The "Standing on an island..." lyric brings to mind "I'm On An Island", but of course on this occasion it's just a traffic island!
The lyrics have often made me think that actually what Ray is listing is just a series of misfortunes rather than confusion, but it could work if considered a metaphor for Ray's state of mind, as Mark has suggested.
Overall, I don't think it would go on many people's Kinks Klassic lists, but as an opening track to this album in 1983, it's pretty much just what you want.
State of Confusion - I don't recall hearing this song before or seeing the video. As I look at that first Kinks show I saw, it was the second song up in the evening. It's a good album opener and the first thing that popped into my head as the song begins is The Clash. I enjoyed Mark's analysis of the lyrics.Dreams and nightmares are fascinating stuff and I always have the tendency to try and figure out what sparked them. The video is clever and I like that Ray was enjoying the medium and having fun with it. All n' all, not too shabby a song.
Kinks Kompilations 1983.
Susannah's Still Alive
There Is No Life Without Love
She's Got Everything
This Is Where I Belong
Hold My Hand
Mindless Child Of Motherhood
This Man He Weeps Tonight
Shapes Of things To Come.
You Really Got Me
All Day And All Of The Night
Till The End Of The Day
Set Me Free
Tired Of Waiting For You
You Really Got Me
You Really Got Me 2:13
I Need You 2:21
Till The End Of The Day 2:18
Come On Now 1:45
Long Tall Sally 2:11
Beautiful Delilah 2:01
Everybody's Gonna Be Happy 2:35
Things Are Getting Better 1:53
All Day And All Of The Night 2:20
Stop Your Sobbing 2:07
Don't Ever Change 2:25
David Watts 2:37
You Still Want Me 1:59
Wonder Where My Baby Is Tonight 2:00
Don't You Fret 2:42
Just Can't Go To Sleep 1:59
A Well Respected Man 2:11
I'm Not Like Everybody Else 3:24
Tired Of Waiting For You 2:30
Candy From Mr Dandy.
Dedicated Follower Of Fashion
Dead End Street
Death Of A Clown
Everybody's Gonna Be Happy
A Well Respected Man
See My Friends
The Singles 64-70.
A1 Long Tall Sally
A2 You Still Want Me
A3 You Really Got Me
A4 All The Day And All Of The Night
A5 Tired Of Waiting For You
A6 Everybody's Gonna Be Happy
A7 Set Me Free
A8 See My Friend
B1 Till The End Of The Day
B2 Dedicated Follower Of Fashion
B3 Sunny Afternoon
B4 Dead End Street
B5 Waterloo Sunset
B6 Death Of A Clown
C1 Autumn Almanac
C2 Susannah's Still Alive
C3 Wonder Boy
C4 Lincoln County
C6 Hold My Hand
C7 Plastic Man
D2 Shangri La
More Kinks On Pye.
A1 You Do Something To Me 2:24
A2 It's All Right 2:35
A3 Louie Louie 2:55
A4 I Gotta Go Now 2:51
A5 I've Got That Feeling 2:41
A6 I Gotta Move 2:23
A7 Who'll Be The Next In Line 2:00
A8 Set Me Free 2:11
A9 See My Friend 2:43
A10 Never Met A Girl Like You Before 2:02
B1 Dedicated Follower Of Fashion 3:00
B2 Sitting On My Sofa 3:01
B3 Wait Till The Summer Comes Along 2:05
B4 Such A Shame 2:16
B5 Dead End Street 3:20
B6 Big Black Smoke 2:28
B7 Act Nice And Gentle 2:38
B8 Autumn Almanac 3:09
B9 Mr. Pleasant 2:56
El Disco De Oro De Los Kinks Vol. 2.
A1 El Hombre Mono 3:50
A2 Hombre Poderoso 4:15
A3 Monica 2:08
A4 La Sociedad De Village Green 2:38
A5 Dejame Libre 2:05
A6 La Reina De La Obscuridad 3:06
A7 Sentado A La Orilla Del Rio 2:15
B1 Tarde De Verano 3:25
B2 El Productor 2:37
B3 Louie Louie 2:50
B4 Te Necesito 2:19
B5 Lola 3:58
B6 Tengo Que Ser Libre 2:54
B7 El Blues De La Vaca 3:30
State of Confusion
The sole cause of man’s unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his room. - Pascal
I should’ve stayed at home
I should have never come outside
Now I wish I never tried
To cross the other side
Ray told MTV’s Mark Goodman that the new album was nearly finished but the guy from ‘Low Budget’ needed a song so he wrote this number. It’s safe to assume Ray is ‘the guy’ singing songs like ‘Pressure’, ‘Misfits’, and ‘Low Budget’; I mean, obviously it’s him singing, I’m saying the character in these songs is based on himself. Ray has always had difficulty navigating this world, even as a rock star.
It appears something made Ray focus harder on getting his ideas across on this album. He hasn’t shown this level of care and discipline on a set of lyrics since Muswell Hillbillies. Could be he had more time to write, or found new creative inspiration upon becoming a father again, or maybe there was a sense of competitiveness with Chrissie. Whatever the reason, one can’t argue with the results, at least lyric-wise.
This song, yes, it’s a little clumsy, somewhat muddled; naturally, better live. It does contain some moments of magic, though, chiefly in the last thirty seconds: the power chord Dave hits as Ray sings ‘Now I wake’...Ray’s world-weary ‘Am I overdrawn, am I going into debt’...the knock-out realization ‘It gets worse the older that you get’...and the final two shouts of ‘State of Confusion I’m in’ with Dave’s top note inflection on ‘of.’ I don’t know, I always listen for that.
The video is a comedy of errors, with Ray now playing Mr. Mishap, and doing so to perfection. His pink suit featured here is the one he was wearing when he broke his kneecap on stage in early ‘84. On Later, with Greg Kinnear, Ray recounted how he begged those attending him ‘not to cut’ the suit pants. Twenty years after that stage accident, almost to the day, Ray lay in a New Orleans gutter after getting shot in the leg, and what does he implore of the first responders?, ‘Don’t cut the trousers.’ Thrift, or love of inanimate objects?
I'm not sure which Youtube version of the video Mark posted above as it's showing as not available in the UK for me. Here's a version that should be viewable for UK residents:
State Of Confusion (song):
The first opening track that I can remember yawning to. Ho hum, yeah, probably a single…but in the state-of-mediocrity vein, not the caliber of material I’ve come to expect from The Kinks. And, after putting over 100 tracks onto three playlists, that’s not my fault.
This is what I call workmanlike; could be anyone, really. Which is just the opposite of the ‘I’m Not Like Anybody Else’ standards that I still expect.
On rewatching the video, I noted it opens with Ray standing arms and legs outstretched and spinning around, which I found reminiscent of his concept for the Lola Vs Powerman sleeve as derived from Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man.
Gawd, that video looks so washed out. Most of their 80s promos do. I dearly wish Ray would go back and remaster them all so they didn't look so musty and beige and 80s VHS. The Kinks Youtube channel did put out a decent upgrade of the 'Father Christmas' video a few years ago, so there is a precendent for doing so.
Totally agree that this bit elevates this track to another level in the last moment: not that it's a weak track before btw, in fact I greatly enjoy the songs various different melodic sections, and it's kind of slightly contrived but still endearing and authentically Kinks mash up of stadium era Clash with a self deprecating comedy of errors lyric.. but that culmination on the 'lying awake in a cold cold sweat..' line.. you really feel the weight of the years and fears that bear down on Ray in his darkest moments there.. there's a weariness there behind the 'oops it's all a bit of a disaster today eh readers?' laugh it off tone of the rest of lyric that seems to say 'seriously, how much longer can I keep doing this'? Gets me every time, and raises the song up from a decent potboiler to essential for me.
'Shape Of Things To Come' (the hell? what was the thinking behind that title? was there any?) looks like truly one pointless release, although that is a pretty cool sleeve photo of the Kinks on the Top Of The Pops set in 1966. I'm gonna take an educated guess and say they're probably playing 'Dedicated Follower Of Fashion' there.
One thing I omitted to mention - Ray loses a mark for the pronunciation of "escape" as "excape" at the end!
Some of those compilations are mind-boggling.
Kwack Kinks actually has Ray and Dave in a 7-7 tie before Ray wins it with a last-gasp "Berkeley Mews".
The Shape Of Things To Come - what does that title even refer to? It's not a Kinks song title, and it's a collection of old songs!
You Really Got Me - what on earth is that cover meant to be about?
Candy From Mr Dandy - a vague reference to "Dandy", which isn't on the disc, a photo of a line-up which didn't play on any of those tracks
More Kinks On Pie - well, I think we've covered this bizarre title before...
The 'You Really Got Me' comp album sleeve shows a guy being interrogated by some heavies, so I've always presumed it was meant to be a sideways, lateral interpretation of the phrase 'You Really Got Me' .. as in 'you guys have got me trapped and cornered here' as opposed to 'I'm amourously obsessed with you girl' as in the original song. Kinda kute I guess, but I'm not convinced it justified setting up a photo shoot to visualise it. It sort of reminds me of 'You Really Got Me''s brief appearance in the 'War' section of the Chris Morris comedy show 'The Day Today' where it's used (alongside various other inappropriately appropriate pop songs) to darkly satirical effect over footage of infantry warfare.
State of Confusion: It now sounds like a continuation of the dark themes put forth on Give the People. Given it was the title track, this also emphasized the song's importance. I thought it was great from the moment I heard it. Barring "Cliches of the World" this was it for that foreboding sense put forth on the previous album. Oddly, despite being a huge Clash fan, I didn't pay much attention to the "London Calling" connection at the time as "State of Confusion" may have had a similar intro, but that's where it ended. This is "new wave" Kinks, particularly with the Steve Naive-esque organ. It was a bit of a conundrum to have The Kinks reference new wave sounds and production styles ... when they were partially responsible for creating these influences with their work in the early/mid 60s. The next song presents that issue in spades!
I've seen Greg Kihn mentioned a few times, and this song really has that similar sound, like "Jeopardy." "867-5309" by Tommy Tutone comes to mind, too. There's probably a good playlist to be made of tracks like this!
In 1983 I was 12 and was not buying any albums. I guess I started buying those at age 15-16, and it was all Beatles CDs.
As for my favorite 1983 albums, I guess there was none for quite a long time. Costello's Punch The Clock, McCartney's Pipes of Peace, Pink Floyd's The Final Cut, Genesis's self-titled, Tony Banks' The Fugitive, Yes's 90125, Billy Joel's An Innocent Man, The Police's Synchronicity were all albums by artists I liked but who disappointed me with their 1983 release. I have favourably reassessed most of these (yes, even Pipes of Peace) since. I still have to give 90125 and The Final Cut another chance.
As I already stated, I have an existential problem with 80s sound. It is associated with misfitness to me, as I was an introvert and contemporary music was a door to inclusion within the group, or groups. A knobless door as far as I was concerned. Which means, I can appreciate average 1970s music, but 1980s music has to be really good for me to overcome this teenage trauma!
State of Confusion
I like the lyrics, this whole "everything is going down the drain" feeling. "Tout part en couilles", we say in French, which means litterally "everything is going away into [slang word for testicles]".
The song's atmosphere is akin to the feeling expressed by my favorite Stones song, "Let It Loose", with rage and fear on top. The fear of going crazy. A very fierce song.
But I really hate the guitar sound. I much prefer the general sound on Give The People What They Want. And as I already said, I don't like the way Ray sings this at all. And I've made my peace with most 70s and 80s synth sound, but this is a bit too much for me. I guess this is the nadir of the Kinks sound-wise for me.
The Clash reference is easier to swallow than next album's Stones rip-off.
Mark's write-up and the other positive comments do help me connect to this song. My main criticism is, with such lyrics you would have expected a more chaotic musical structure, with key changes all over the place making the listener lose his grounding. Not necessarily something very complex. I'm thinking about Bowie's Time, for instance. I guess Ray was not into musical experimentation anymore.
I don't remember the name but it was on a road running up the city edge of the Valley (maybe Ann St) and the city side of that street. I have a weird recollection it was a narrow, outdoor venue.
State of Confusion (the song)
A serviceable opener that comes in at 17 out of 23 on the Martyj rankings of studio LP openers, based on 50/50 objective criteria/personal preference.
Arthur — Victoria
Something Else — David Watts
Muswell Hillbillies — 20th Century Man
VGPS - Village Green Preservation Society
Word of Mouth — Do It Again
Give the People What They Want - Around the Dial
Misfits - Misfits
Everybody’s in Showbiz — Here Comes Another Day
Kontroversy — Milk Cow Blues
Think Visual - Working at the Factory
Preservation 1 — Morning/Daylight
Face to Face — Party Line
Sleepwalker - Life on the Road
Schoolboys in Disgrace — Schooldays
Soap Opera — Starmaker
Low Budget — Attitude
State of Confusion - State of Confusion
Phobia — Opening/Wall of Fire
Kinda Kinks — Look For Me Baby
Lola V. Powerman — The Contenders
Kinks — Beautiful Delilah
Preservation 2 — Introduction to Solution
U.K. Jive — Aggravation
Its pluses are the moving parts—shifting melodies and tempo variances that keep it interesting.
Its minuses is that it is afflicted with one of the least desirable characteristics of the the Arista era: a repetitive, largely melody-free shouty chorus, seemingly designed for on-stage fist-pumping arena rock posturing than for being in service of the song. It’s an arena rock cliche that seems beneath the band.
This negative outweighs the positive, IMO. The result is the State of Confusion album has the unique distinction of having its opening and closing tracks being my two least favorite songs. I’ll save my grenades for Bernadette when we get there, but will acknowledge I don’t outright hate either song. Its just that for me the bread of the sandwich that is the SOC album is less enticing than the tastier meats that lay between the two ends.
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