The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. markelis

    markelis Forum Resident

    Location:
    Miami Beach FL
    Don’t Forget to Dance: Yep, just like with Come Dancing, I hated this in my youth. I suppose at this point I don’t need to waste the ink to explain why (Maiden!!!).

    … And yet, unsurprisingly, I like it now. No point in elaborating here either, our fearless leader, Fortuleo and others have already done a great job of explaining why this is actually a great song, despite the synths (I never hated on the synths anyway, my formative musical years really were (along with the late 60s and the 70s, thanks to my grandmother) the 80s so the synths were just there, there was nothing to argue about, you just had to accept them) and despite the absence for the most part of Dave (although he gets a great spot where, rather than a solo per se, he does some very interesting chiming guitar work from 2:36 to 2:47).

    I won’t spend much time dissecting the lyrics, they are great, but I love the lines
    “You walk down the street
    And all the young punks whistle at you.
    A nice bit of old,
    Just goes to show what you can achieve
    with the right attitude.
    As you pass them by
    They whisper their remarks one to another,
    And you give them the eye
    Even though you know that you could be their mother.”

    Just such a great real life vignette!

    This song makes the playlist now, and it’s good enough that I’ll take the extended version, thank you! The more time I get with the Kinks the merrier!

    Also, I like the live version as well. Thanks for posting that. It’s been said many times in this thread, but I think it’s worth pausing for a moment to again note what a great live band The Kinks were. I don’t always “prefer“ the live versions, but they are generally different and equally exceptional if not outright better. What a great band!

    Off topic but it equal importance: Covid sucks, I’ve had it two times, if not more. I was an early adopter, I had a client from china visit me in NYC in late January 2020. I was already hearing about what was going on in China since I do business there and have a lot of connections over there. I tried to wiggle out of the meeting, but was guilted into going. The chairman of the company was coughing and sneezing all over us all night. A week later, the fiancé and I were absolutely sick as dogs. My point: feel better wondergirl, it’s no fun.

    As one final side, now every time Don’t Forget to Dance plays, I notice that when I sing along I sing along in the voice of Count Chocula. I have no idea why, but I suggest you try it. You may find it’s kind of fun!

     
  2. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Haven't watched the 'Don't Forget To Dance' video in an age and I remembered little of it as it always felt like the 'boring' one on the Come Dancing With The Kinks VHS (I know, I know: I'm not proud!).. I'd forgotten or had never clocked in the first place that the 'flashback' scene midway through seems to be intended to be a recreation of one of the high class deb balls the proto Kinks outfits would play at 20 years previously, with a band playing (is it the Kinks members themselves or different guys?) in red hunting coats. (which I don't think, to be totally anal about it they actually started wearing until mid 1964!).
     
  3. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Location:
    Murrumbateman
    Property
    I’ve always liked this song. It’s sentimental, almost too much, but done so well. I guess Ray was so practiced at divorces by this stage that he didn’t have to dig too deep for the lyrics. I especially love the verse about the “useless souvenirs that gathered dust but outlasted us.”

    Don’t Forget to Dance
    Another sentimental song - this time a character portrait. He may have borrowed a bit from Misfits, but why not. I’ve been listening to Handel lately and he did it regularly to good effect. Again, I like this song thought not as much as Property. I think Ray is in good form on this album.
     
  4. fspringer

    fspringer Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York City
    Don't Forget to Dance: One of the key songs for me at the time, but I don't feel as connected now. I know Ray has stated this is about Chrissie Hynde, or at the least the lines about the young punks whistling at "a nice bit of old." Some of the guitar work really puts me off - in the intro and that horrible easy-listening sound that you can hear at the beginning and various accents throughout. Roseanne Cash's "Blue Moon with Heartache" from slightly earlier is marred by this (that descending riff after the intro) while it doesn't ruin the song. I think I was nuts over this at the time because it reminded me of "Misfits." I recall the band starting a ballad at the concert back in 1983 and thinking they were going to do that song, but not quite. I've always been a little weirded out with the "you do the thing you love the best" line with the matching/ascending synth riff that follows. I'm not sure which came first?

    Once again, you can hear Dave's background vocals greatly helping the cause. I think it must be very hard to get vocal harmonies like that without blood relations - sisters and brothers. Think of all the brother band/harmony vocal combinations throughout pop/rock history. Then again, harmonies like this were part of doo wop, with unrelated vocalists. And Billy Hinsche and Toni Tennille probably made good money in the 70s adding Beach Boy harmonies to many other songs.
     
  5. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Don't Forget To Dance

    Don't Forget To Dance is well......about dancing yes but it is also about much else besides.
    I feel Ray put a lot of time, effort and personal investment into the lyrics, music, arrangement and video for both Come Dancing and this bookend song.
    I considered it could well be about an elder sister of Ray's (were any divorced, seperate or widowed by 1983?) however poignantly @Fortuleo went further by profering it may be whilst thinking of Gwen's ghost so therefore Ray touchingly considering a path she may have travelled had she lived.
    On the one hand the song evokes and is about sadness, resignation, loneliness, memories, ageing and may even touch on depression but then into the bargain Ray introduces understanding, sympathy, self determination, confidence, positivity, libido and even yes some dancing and close at that!
    I am in solidarity with @pyrrhicvictory in personally feeling this is the best of the "dance" songs on this album.
    I love the sea of sighs that heavenly ascend mid song as if raising the spirit and the way Ray sings "Don't forget to dance, don't forget to smile" makes me think of someone saying to somebody else close to them to stop and smell the roses as they are always there waiting if you remove the blinkers, lift your head from morose introspection or cast your eyes from that mirror!
    I find that quite generous of spirit and sentimentality as it is exactly what my late mother would say to me and keep reminding me to do in my lowest times.
    So truly a beautiful song that betrays a resurrection of spirit (whether it's come from inside or a friend I can't say) that carries a wink of acknowledgement to herself (not just the punks) and is not totally dismissive either though it is not accompanied by invitation.
    I think by and large the synths suit the song and @mark winstanley describes their use well going from scene setting descending, gentle and sadly fragile openings into ascending lines announcing potential unlimited possibility and a renewal of life's joy once forgotten and thought irreteivable.
    Don't forget to dance, indeed!
     
  6. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Yes Michael and I thank you for it too.
    I had not seen this in years so i had forgotten the look given was not so accepting but then again in the video the girl in question didn't look all that old to me.

    Another video observation i had was that when they go to an upstairs ballroom we see the Kinks in the red riding jackets of yesteryear and the gailey dancing throng in fancy dress and it has me thinking of the band's early shows at debutante balls!
     
  7. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Snap!
     
  8. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Apologies in advance for my nerding here, but it was Rene Davies, not Gwen who died young while out dancing.
     
  9. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    I suppose given that they had built the set for the Come Dancing video, and had all the actors and costumes there, it made sense to make two videos for the price of one!
     
  10. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Yer right Ray should've by Lord, erm book-im Davo!
     
  11. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    Location:
    France
    Well, our leader @mark winstanley has anticipated my opinion on this song and given the blueprint to my reaction to this whole album. A song is words and music, and to me many of the musical vessels on this album are too light for the lyrical goods they carry.

    As a matter of fact, I'm not even sure I really like the words [EDIT: the words to Don't Forget To Dance]. I sense a form of condescension. But maybe I'm only having a bad digestion.

    I have to say that I'm a terrible dancer, and never liked dancing. I have no spontaneity whatsoever. It's better now. But as a child and a young man I hated the injunction to dance. Add the 80s sound, the music that is reminiscent of Misfits (a song that does nothing to me)... This song is my kryptonite.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2022
  12. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    I'm thinking doing so is a cereal offence!
     
  13. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Great minds, we were both thinking deb balls!
     
  14. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    You crossed the tape 1st my friend!
     
    DISKOJOE, ajsmith and mark winstanley like this.
  15. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Thanks, I was so caught up trying to think and remember all i wanted to type up I was a bit concerned I may well have muddled up the names which I am sorry to learn I had indeed!
     
    DISKOJOE, ajsmith and mark winstanley like this.
  16. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    I'll pardon your French, you're just late to dance!
     
  17. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Don’t Forget To Dance: I don’t think I was aware of this song in real-time but, if I think back, it seems to fit in with the sophisticated Bryan Ferry and the ‘Let’s Dance’ era of David Bowie. So it wasn’t an outlier (plus, there was quite a variety in those early MTV days: Stevie Ray Vaughn’s throwback blues rock, The Stray Cats 50s sound, the hair bands, Bryan Ferry and ilk…a mishmash).

    It makes me extremely skeptical of Ray’s Clive-Davis-didn’t-want-‘Come-Dancing’-to-be-a-hit story. Because, obviously, the label was putting money and muscle behind it. And they tried to piggyback with this one. (But it’s a funny story!)

    This doesn’t do it for me in a Kinky sort of way, but it’s fine. Doesn’t make the Top 100, but that’s okay.
     
  18. fspringer

    fspringer Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York City
    My go-to tracks from that era are "Absolute Beginners" by Bowie and "Slave to Love" by Bryan Ferry - so hooked into that time and place, my youth, etc. Also closely aligned with synth pop ballads of the time. I have a playlist called Spaceage Lovesongs (after the Flock of Seagulls track) that really explores that genre!
     
  19. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    "Don't Forget To Dance": A poignant and bittersweet song on many levels, one of them being the fact that it was the last Kinks single to make the Top 40, making it up to #29 (their next single stalled on the doorway at #41, but that's another story). I always felt that it was sort of a sequel to "Come Dancing", w/the main character being the same person a few years down the road. It could be another affectionate tribute by Ray to his sisters, who, as I stated before, virtually raised him and Dave. The video seems like a sequel, w/Ray as the slicked up spiv with a heart of gold, looking like Vincent Price.

    Speaking of Ray and Vincent Price, I've been going through the Creem Magazine Archives the past few days and I saw an interesting tidbit in the April 1974 issue. It seems that Ray wrote Vincent Price a fan letter and that there were plans for Vincent Price to do an album of recitations, w/Ray doing the music, which didn't pan out. There was another mention of Ray in Lisa Robinson's Eleganza column in which she proclaimed Ray to be the most elegant rock star after Bryan Ferry.
     
  20. pantofis

    pantofis Senior Member

    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    "Don't forget to dance"

    I love everything about that track. First of all, coming right after Property, it feels so right, because I so wanted that mood to continue, and here it does. It's even more elegant and classy in its typical early 80'es still analog sheen. This one makes me think more of cocktail bars and decadent dance halls where smoking was still allowed.
    The way this is arranged and sung, even at the recording stage everyone must have recognized this will become a hit. As with most of the tracks on this album, there's a confidence that was missing on the last couple of records.
    The video is another breathtaking short film that brilliantly captures the clash between the nightlife and the daylight reality. To have a clip of this depth is unthinkable today.
     
  21. Michael Streett

    Michael Streett Senior Member

    Location:
    Florence, SC
    This is where the reverb starts to be toned back, especially the drums.

    3. Don’t Forget To Dance (US 7” Single Mix) – Same shorter edit as the album/UK 7” but a different mix. 6 bar intro. This mix has less reverb than the album/12” (Hinman’s book has this backwards). Drums are dry plus different instrument placements and relative volumes. Fades slightly. Only released on the US 7”. The 4:15 listed on the label (and repeated in Hinman’s book) is incorrect.

    4. Don’t Forget To Dance (US 7” Single Mix) (Alternate Version) - Released on the 1986 (but not the 2000 re-release) Arista Come Dancing With The Kinks compilation CD/LP. Same mix and edit as the US 7” but does not fade.

    Number 4 here:

     
  22. Michael Streett

    Michael Streett Senior Member

    Location:
    Florence, SC
    5. Don’t Forget To Dance (Australia 7” Single Mix) – Similar to the US 7” single (same shorter edit and instrument placements) but a different mix. 6 bar intro. Drums are very dry (drier than US 7”). Fades slightly. Only released on the Australia 7”. No CD release.
    (Yes, Australia got their own mix.)


     
  23. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    I was actually thinking of mentioning Bowie in regards to this era of The Kinks but couldn't think of a convincing way to make a full argument.. something about both acts having big, unprecedented commercial peaks in 1983 hits centered around the word 'Dance' or 'Dancing' but then a drop off after.. I know Bowie's drop off was way more gradual but there's something there, about how both acts (both of whom had missed out on the late 60s bandwagon, albeit in very different ways) eventually reaching a critical mass that couldn't sustain around the same time... maybe there's something there, or maybe it's just twaddle.
     
  24. Paul Mazz

    Paul Mazz Forum Resident

    Don't Forget to Dance

    As usual, I don't have much to add, that hasn't already been better said by others than I ever could have. There have been so many good points made about this song, that I don't have the energy to go back and reference each one. This certainly surpasses Come Dancing for me. Great melancholy song, but with a hopeful, encouraging message for the person he is singing to. It's interesting to me that sometimes specific names and places help to make a song relatable, as in all the characters and places that seem to populate, mostly, Ray's earlier songs. In other songs the non-specificity makes the song more universal and relatable. I like that there is a backstory to the woman in the song, but the specifics are left up to the listener's imagination, and that Ray gets at some basic human emotions.
     
  25. Brian x

    Brian x half-animate bean

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Don't Forget to Dance

    Agreed with @The late man that the music doesn't match the intensity of the lyric, but I like to think of it [the music] as taking a step back to make room for the words.

    And though agreed with @Fischman and others that this is an excellent bookend to Come Dancing, I'm down with the sequencing, because Property eases us into this vulnerable, introspective place -- like RD is opening the door to a deeper level of intimacy.

    It does recall Misfits, not only melodically, but in the way RD uses his *natural* voice to come close & reassure us.

    When I was like 8, I'd listen to the end of Goodnight on the headphones, & feel like Ringo was whispering to me -- & when RD sings Don't forget to dance/no no no don't forget to smile, there's a similar feeling of personal emotional connection.

    Not much else to add to what @mark winstanley and @Fortuleo & others have written, though I'd be remiss if I didn't call out the "friends" bit of the song -- I believe the theory was that RD's lyrics about friends generally serve as a measure of his distance from his past -- and

    ...all of your friends are either married, vanished
    Or just left alone
    But that's no reason to just stop living
    That's no excuse to just give in to a sad and lonely heart

    Is very mature, not pining after old friends or wondering what they'd think of you now or looking for them where they'll never be again but accepting that they're gone & that life goes on.
     

Share This Page

molar-endocrine