The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    “Ray, we’ve got to do something about this. We’ve got a potential hit on our hands!”
  2. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    One minor question re: the video: why did they give ‘young Ray’ glasses? AFAIK Ray never wore them as a youngster, or indeed much in later years. (Shades in things like the ‘Days’ Pop Go The 60s clip aside). I know obviously the video isn’t meant to be a blow by blow forensic reenactment of events but even so it still seems a somewhat inexplicable addition.
  3. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Screw the critics Madness are great :)

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Salem, MA
    I kind of think of it being a tip of the hat to guitarist Hank Marvin of the Shadows, as well as the guitar playing w/the tennis racket. Here's a poem by Martin Newell called "I Hank Marvinned", which unfortunately is not recited by Mr. Newell but it's still good:

  5. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Probably cutesy factor
  6. TeddyB

    TeddyB Senior Member

    You have all covered Come Dancing so well I don’t have much to add. Fantastic song, performance, production. The kid playing air guitar to Dave’s Kinks power chords is a brilliant touch. I think it being a hit in America had a lot to do with the video being played so often on MTV. As for Clive’s mistaken advice on the accent, in 1983 on MTV it was hip to be British.
  7. Smiler

    Smiler Forum Resident

    Houston TX
    "Come Dancing "– I don’t specifically remember listening to this song back in the day, but it feels like it’s always been in the background: in the 80s on radio and MTV, and since then on any Kinks kareer kompilation or concert recordings. Yet I feel like I’ve never truly paid attention to it and I’ve come to more fully appreciate it in just the past few days. Then reading all your comments today greatly increased my awareness of the layers and richness in it, so thank you Avids, for all you share; there's so much I would have missed along the way without you.

    This time Ray’s clearly writing from a personal viewpoint: growing up in his family. It’s a good story that combines two of his favorite themes: a romantic past and the destruction of that past by the modern world. Musically it’s an interesting combination of synth pop with a hard rock break (and with some big band thrown in), reflecting those conflicting emotions about those themes. He goes from wistfully recalling childhood memories to expressing anguish about losing his childhood (“JUST DIED!” followed by the slashing guitars). As I get older I have that feeling more and more, not just from losing local landmarks but most recently from cleaning out and selling the house in which I grew up. There were still plenty of my toys etc. there, and combined with my Mom's passing, it really did feel like my childhood was finally irrevocably gone. Then @Mark Winstanley‘s thought that that line might be referring to the sudden death of Ray's sister gave me goose bumps – I think that is spot-on.

    In the end the grown up Davies boy writes a sweet love letter to his sister(s), inviting her to relive those happy times with him. All in all, a great piece of writing. Sentimental but never sappy.

    Though it wouldn’t make my Top 25 and I like the song slightly more than the recording, today I've been won over and bump it up to 5/5. The video is a delight also.
    Interesting tidbit...thanks for sharing that!

    P.S. My comments don't seem that long when they're in Word, but once posted they sure look lengthy!
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2022
  8. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    No need to censor yourself, or feel you have written too much or too little.... What comes out is what probably needed to come out. :righton:
  9. Smiler

    Smiler Forum Resident

    Houston TX
    That is a very generous take on it, thank you!
  10. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    Labour of Love

    Mr Cynical. I think Ray was in the last year of his relationship with Chrissie and from all reports it was a tumultuous union. Wonder what Chrissie thought of the lyrics at the time? Legend has it that they were "this close" to being wed. The story changes on what exactly happened, but it's probably for the best that he didn't go through with it.

    "Two headed transplant" - that's a bit inelegant.

    I'm hearing some 'showbiz' Ray vocals in this. and there are some funny moments in the song.

    The music is a mix of rock and a few dashes of country(could you do line dancing to this one?) with Dave sounding good, especially on the solo at the start. I mustn't have heard this song before today, because I think I would have remembered that bit.

    Another good song, but not Klassic, IMO
  11. Dylancat

    Dylancat Forum Resident

    Cincinnati, OH
    had Kinks File 2lp.
    Pink Cover, just the title, didn’t have that art
  12. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    Hadn't read your take yet, but it seems we focused in on 'inelegant'. :D
  13. Dylancat

    Dylancat Forum Resident

    Cincinnati, OH
    Had the Kinks file 2lp.
    My cover was just pink, no pictures, just title…
    Good assortment of songs though
  14. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Yea, I believe it came out with a few covers. I just picked the one I was looking at back in the day, mainly to be sure it was the right album lol
    All Down The Line and DISKOJOE like this.
  15. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    Thanks to this thread and the recommendations, I now look for Madness albums whenever I visit the local record shops. I still haven't found one yet, but would love to stumble upon a copy of The Rise & Fall.
  16. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Interesting to hear that as i sold this US single many years ago happy with the title on a CD.
  17. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    I've been wondering which song @Fortuleo was referring to here - I think that today's song could be a contender?
  18. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter


    stereo mix, recorded Feb-Mar 1983 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London

    My bags are packed, I guess it's time for me to go.
    I can't say where I'm headed, 'cause I just don't know.
    When I think of what I'll be losing,
    It's hard to move along,
    But it's harder just to stay here,
    Knowing that I don't belong.

    I'll be in touch, don't worry, I'll be calling you.
    I've got no plans, I'm not sure where I'm going to.
    It's hard to keep from crying,
    After all that we've been through.
    I've taken everything I need,
    Now all that's left belongs to you.

    You take the photographs, the ones of you and me,
    When we both posed and laughed to please the family.
    Nobody noticed then we wanted to be free,
    And now there's no more love,
    It's just the property.

    It's hard to keep from crying,
    After all that we've been through.

    Now that it's all over, now that you and I are free,
    Now there's nothing left except the bit of property.
    Started off with nothing, started off just you and me,
    Now that it's all over you can keep the property.

    And all the little gifts we thought we'd throw away,
    The useless souvenirs bought on a holiday.
    We put them on a shelf, now they're collecting dust.
    We never needed them, but they outlasted us.

    Written by: Ray Davies
    Published by: Davray Music Ltd.

    This is another beautiful track, and it is heartbreakingly sad.
    Whether a long term relationship break up, or a marriage come to an end, it really hits all the right notes, and conveys the message beautifully, but devastatingly at the same time.

    The first verse sets the picture up perfectly.
    It opens with a kind of leaving on a jet plane idea.... All my bags are packed and I'm ready to go....but the implication is, I don't want to.
    I don't want to go, because I know what I am losing, but I don't want to stay because "I'm not wanted" anymore... It is a horrible feeling. that feeling of being discarded like an old tshirt. Chucked in the trash like yesterday's paper. It leaves a hollow feeling that is hard to explain to someone who hasn't experienced it, and again Ray captures the feeling beautifully.

    The second verse is kind of like a hesitation... I'll be in touch at some point, but really you know that that isn't wanted, just leave, get out of here, I never want to see you again... Sometimes you know why, and sometimes you don't.... I never did.
    It's hard to keep from crying after all that we've been through, and then there is that overwhelming feeling of feeling like it's all been wasted time... you wasted a big chunk of your life on something that amounted to nothing.
    I have everything I need, and the rest is all yours.

    There is a subtle implication here that the things may have been more important than they should have been. As if the people were just the people moving the "all important" things around.

    The house isn't a home, it's just a property. Just a building that bears witness to the breaking of vows, or the loss of love, or however you want to look at it.

    But this section also has the implication that underneath the things, they had struggled to become one with each other, somehow longing to retain their freedom, and putting on a show for those around them.... certainly it is important in a relationship for each person to have a certain amount of "me-time" and a certain amount of freedom, but in the end if freedom is more important than the relationship, it is probably best not to enter in to begin with.

    We get this reminder of the "things" ... now it's all done there is just the property. We started with nothing, and now you keep that property, because I want to start again.... hanging onto the remains is of no value to me.

    Then the devastating last section
    "And all the little gifts we thought we'd throw away,
    The useless souvenirs bought on a holiday.
    We put them on a shelf, now they're collecting dust.
    We never needed them, but they outlasted us."
    This is what makes me think it is leaning towards the idea that the things became more important than the relationship... all this crap we accumulated that has no real value, particularly now that there isn't even a nostalgic value to it, because the core of what it represents doesn't exist anymore.... all the crap outlasted us.

    The music opens with this understandable, slightly dragging its feet, feel, and a melancholy emphasised by the repeated melody over the changing chord pattern underneath.
    Ray delivers the vocal in a sort of matter of fact way. Just enough melancholy to be believable, but with a kind of stoic resilience ... that stiff upper lip thing people talk about. It isn't just a British thing though, I don't think at least... Having been in three different countries it can be hard to know, sometimes.

    The bridge comes in beautifully, and the change up in the vocal and the melodic structure works really well to create a feeling of desperately trying to hold it together.
    We get a bit of that vocoder(?) effect that was popular in the early eighties (ELO Secret Messages coming to mind, whether rightly or wrongly)

    After a short interlude with a chordal passage with the synthetic sounds whispering like sad voices in the wind, we regain our composure to speak our final truth to the fact that our stuff outlasted us.

    We end with a moment to contemplate this as the music continues for a minute and then we shut up shop with a couple of guitar strums which is apt.

    This would be one of the songs that drifted straight past me when I was fourteen... I had never even had a girlfriend at that point, so the chances of me relating to this song were pretty slim.... On reflection now, this is a really solid track and Ray captures something special once again.

    So for me side one is pretty killer.
    Labour Of Love isn't a highlight, but it fits in thematically and isn't a burden to listen to.

  19. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I just noticed too.
    When Ray sings "My bags are packed, I guess it's time for me to go" notice the little tip of the hat to My Girl ... and the poignancy of it at that moment
  20. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I reckon you will probably love that album.
    Personally I think the first five are all great. The first couple lean into ska quite heavily, then afterwards the ska lightens up a little. I think Rise And Fall and Seven are the two peak albums. If you aren't against cd's the 2cd sets are excellent..... but I don't know if they are compressed or not, because I do 99% of my listening in the car
  21. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I have been too.... I think either this or Heart Of Gold
  22. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    First time I've heard this - I like it! The computer effects on the 'you keep the property' line remind me of Time-era ELO, which isn't a bad thing.
  23. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    Vocoder, eighties sound, eighties chords, eighties mood… but timeless song. It shouldn’t work for me, as I’ve always hated the eighties indie sound, but it’s here and there that Ray finds his mature voice. Whatever he was aiming at in Killer’s Eyes or Yo-Yo, he finds it here. Ah, I hoped to be the one highlighting the My Girl nod, but of course, @mark winstanley beat me to it. He's not Headmaster for nothing…
    When the big change occurs at the 1’’29 mark and Ray starts talk-singing with more assertive emphasis, his vocal lines doubling the riff’s melody with increased passion and emotion, I swear he’s not just Ray Davies the songwriter but Ray Davies himself. Every word counts and it’s mesmerizing. Two songs after Labour of Love, on the same subject, the change is stunning. How I love that build up, where he slightly raises his voice with a more urgent flow, but not in a power ballad kind of way, more because he’s taken by his own emotions, can’t control them anymore, his composure cracks, or just about, there's no wit shield to hide oneself behind. I see this hidden gem as a prequel to what’s probably the last of all Kinks undeniable masterpieces How Are You?. It's worth noting again Ray’s written many more break-up songs than love songs, but most of them work both ways. As we all know, he’s a “nothing lasts forever” type of guy, not a “forever and ever” person… And of all his break-up songs, Property is probably the crudest, the only one where he lets more than a bit of bitterness appear through the cracks. Usually they're very tender but here, not so much… This hurtful bitterness is in the “to please the family” bit (throwback to the picture songs of old?), the dusty objects that outlast love, despite the fact we never even needed them, and the terribly inert “property” concept. Not the "house", not even the empty rooms, something much more cutting and empty than that. This one’s as personal and powerful as anything Ray’s written in ages… Moments, perhaps ? And no warbling this time around. Such a beautiful side closer… But @ARL, this time tomorrow, I could be even more enthusiastic…
  24. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    One of the great @mark winstanley write ups today. Don’t think I can add anything to what him and @Fortuleo have written. Pretty frickin’ great song though eh?
  25. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Did you succeed?

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