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

    :) yep.....
    Half the time the references I use over here leave everybody scratching their heads, but they seem to find them entertaining :)
    The wife still tries to correct my pronunciation lol, but I tell her it's the English language, and I was born in England, so it's "all a y'all" that's wrong :)
     
  2. Vagabone

    Vagabone Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    I wonder if it's a coincidence that both "There Is A New World Opening Up For Me" and "What's In Store For Me" both sound like lyrics from Joe Meek's "I Hear a New World".

    I hear a new world
    I hear a new world (I hear a new world)
    Calling me, calling me (calling me)
    So strange, I'm sorry (so strange, I'm sorry)
    So strange, I'm sorry
    Haunting me, haunting me (haunting me)
    How can I tell them? (how can I tell them?)
    How can I tell them?
    What's in store for me? (what's in store for me?)
    What's in store for me?
    I hear a new world (I hear a new world)
    I hear a new world
    Calling me, calling me (calling me)
     
  3. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Dedicated Follower Of Fashion.

    Label: Pye Records ‎– DV 14500 P, Vogue Schallplatten ‎– DV 14500 P
    Format: Vinyl, 7", 45 RPM, Single
    Country: Germany
    Released: Mar 1966
    Genre: Rock
    Style: Beat, Mod

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    mono mix (2:59), recorded 7 Feb, 1966 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London

    Firstly, it is really interesting to me that the US and UK sleeves have no pictures, but the smaller European countries do .... that seems odd to me....

    Anyway
    We get Ray's chordal intro again. It's like Ray likes to announce that a song is about to start, and it is very effective. So we get a C C F F C C F F C, and for me, as soon as I hear this, I know what song is starting.

    They seek him here, they seek him there,
    His clothes are loud, but never square.
    It will make or break him so he's got to buy the best,
    'Cause he's a dedicated follower of fashion.

    And when he does his little rounds,
    'Round the boutiques of London Town,
    Eagerly pursuing all the latest fads and trends,
    'Cause he's a dedicated follower of fashion.

    Oh yes he is (oh yes he is), oh yes he is (oh yes he is).
    He thinks he is a flower to be looked at,
    And when he pulls his frilly nylon panties right up tight,
    He feels a dedicated follower of fashion.

    Oh yes he is (oh yes he is), oh yes he is (oh yes he is).
    There's one thing that he loves and that is flattery.
    One week he's in polka-dots, the next week he is in stripes.
    'Cause he's a dedicated follower of fashion.

    They seek him here, they seek him there,
    In Regent Street and Leicester Square.
    Everywhere the Carnabetian army marches on,
    Each one an dedicated follower of fashion.

    Oh yes he is (oh yes he is), oh yes he is (oh yes he is).
    His world is built 'round discoteques and parties.
    This pleasure-seeking individual always looks his best
    'Cause he's a dedicated follower of fashion.

    Oh yes he is (oh yes he is), oh yes he is (oh yes he is).
    He flits from shop to shop just like a butterfly.
    In matters of the cloth he is as fickle as can be,
    'Cause he's a dedicated follower of fashion.
    He's a dedicated follower of fashion.
    He's a dedicated follower of fashion.

    Written by: Ray Davies
    Published by: Davray Music/Carlin Music Corp.

    Ray has this beautiful ability to sort of poke fun at at people, or groups of people with a gentle spirit. To my ears at least, even if the lyric seems pointed, the delivery is a sort of gentle "nah, I'm just messing with you mate" kind of delivery.
    It generally doesn't seem to be harsh, or mean spirited.... kind of like a friend that is just giving you a bit of a razz.
    We start with the Scarlett Pimpernel reference ...
    The next line I have obviously always misheard .... I always thought it was "His clothes are loud but never swear" which I thought was terribly clever ... anyway, it's still a good line.

    The description of the type involved here is very accurate, and it is still, if not more prominent these days.... in fact it seems more and more that men are caught in the fashion trap ... by that statement you know I am about as fashionable as dog poop on the shoe :)
    I finally see what one of the words is, and it is exactly what I thought, and it finally makes sense ..."Carnabetian army" ... and I assume this is a reference to Carnaby street, which was likely the fashion central station in London.

    I think the lyrics to this are brilliant, for the reasons above.

    We also get this newly primed and confident Ray, who delivers the lyrics with such a brilliant piece of acting/singing that I find it hard to believe that everyone in the world doesn't love this song.
    I suppose musically this is a fairly straight forward affair, but this song is so bursting with personality that it just doesn't matter. The electric guitar adds some really cool accents and I just love this whole package

    We have this bouncy, jaunty track that has a bit of punch, and for me just puts this track on any classic album collection of the era. This should be on every Kinks best of, and it should be on any representative sixties album.

    A fantastic song




     
    Last edited: May 21, 2021
  4. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Sitting On My Sofa

    mono mix (3:03), recorded 29, 30 Dec, 1965 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London

    All alone, sitting on my sofa,
    Oh, oh, oh, sitting on my sofa,
    Sipping at my soda,
    Sitting on my sofa.

    All alone, sitting on my sofa,
    Oh, oh, oh, sitting on my sofa,
    Sipping at my soda,
    Sitting on my sofa.

    You got all your friends,
    I got a TV set.
    You got your cars,
    And this boy's never had anything.

    Now I'm stuck here, sitting on my sofa,
    Oh, oh, oh, sitting on my sofa,
    Sipping at my soda,
    Sitting on my sofa.

    You got all your friends,
    I got a TV set.
    You got your cars,
    And this boy's never had anything.

    Now I'm stuck here, sitting on my sofa,
    All alone, sitting on my sofa,
    Sipping at my soda,
    Sitting on my sofa.

    Oh, oh, oh, sitting on my sofa,
    Oh...

    Written by: Ray Davies
    Published by: Davray Music/Carlin Music Corp.

    We get a reworking of a pretty standard R&B type riff, and I love it.

    I suppose this song is fairly slight in the lyrical department, but that just doesn't make any difference to me. I love this track, it is just such a cool groove, and the whole thing just works for me.

    I imagine it is just a track they threw together to be honest, but it just grabs me, and I have nothing bad to say about it.
    The riff works well. the little pauses and accents work really well. The piano is banging away beautifully.
    The lead break is great, it isn't overstated, and that held note into the feedback, and then the added crunch just works perfectly for me.

    I guess this is a lower tier Kinks track, but I love it. With the groove and the delivery and all its little quirks it just makes itself essential to me.


     
  5. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scotland
    Another brilliant single where the b-side is the quality of many bands' a-sides.

    As for the a-side, one of many Kinks songs with genuinely funny lyrics.
     
  6. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    Another fascinating concept single, both songs working as little short-films vignettes. While listening, you actually see both characters, the one that Ray observes/mocks (the fashionist) and the one he impersonates/empathizes with (on the sofa). The guy on the sofa is surrounded by the circular claustrophobic riff. it's almost like the riff and groove manage to create a paradoxical sense of inertia. I like it (don’t love it) and appreciate it for what it is: quite an effective b-side, with a much meatier sound than for instance, yesterday's tracks.

    The A-Side, of course, is a much more famous record. The opening guitar chords mimicking bells chiming are iconic in their own right, even though it’s well documented that Ray was terribly dissatisfied with them. While listening to this track, you can picture the guy walking the streets, entering the shops and parties in regalia, it’s all very vivid images, thanks to the bouncing feel of the music and Ray’s spectacular acting/singing. As a song, though, I find it less successful than A Well Respected Man, of which it replicates the template, because the comedy/camp satire is really over the top this time and veers too much away from Ray’s pop sensibility. It obviously works, but it doesn’t have the melodic or harmonic grace of a Mr Pleasant, for instance. Then again, of course, I perfectly understand that not having grace is precisely what this song is about…

    For those who wanted to talk about “operas” so bad last night, I’d say Preservation/Soap/Schoolboys were less designed as “operas” than wannabe Broadway/West End rock productions, or Ray’s own idea of what Broadway/West End rock productions could/should be. And I think as early as 1966, Dedicated Follower of Fashion is the first step in that direction: it is best appreciated if you picture it as a number from a musical. Whenever I think of it in that way, it’s immensely entertaining, like an Eric Idle interlude in a Monty Python show or film.
     
  7. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Dedicated Follower Of Fashion alternate recording

    This is listed as an alternate recording, and it sounds a little odd compared to the more well known version. It has a sort of harsh sound, more like a live in the studio version, than an alternate version.
    I certainly think it still works, it's a great song, but this sounds like a live track and the subtleties are missing in many ways.
    You even here Ray move his mouth away from the mic.
    There are some really nice little piano parts in there though
    It's certainly worth a listen, but it doesn't usurp the originally released version.

     
  8. Martyj

    Martyj Who dares to wake me from my slumber? -- Mr. Flash

    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    (I’m traveling this weekend. I wrote this the night prior. Sorry if I’m being redundant with someone else’s earlier comments.)

    Dedicated Follower of Fashion

    An all-around triumph where Ray builds off of the folkish-Music Hall leanings of “Well Respected Man.” Here Ray takes his place as rock and roll’s greatest proponent of Vaudeville-Rock.

    McCartney tried it (he and George Martin referred to it as “rooty-tooty” music); Herman’s Hermits had hits with it; the Small Faces did it quite well. And there were others, too. Harry Nilsson and Queen among them. Hell, even the Stones tried it—once. But looking back on this mostly by-gone sub-genre of 60’s/early 70’s pop, no one did it better—or understood it better—than Ray Davies, lover of theatrical tradition.

    The call and response trick (“Oh Yes it is- - Oh Yes it is”) is a characteristically familiar trait of British Music Hall Pantomimes (Disclosure: I’ve never even been to England, but to those who make note of my Stan Laurel avatar, I’m a fan/student of British Music Hall comedy history). The tradition goes back to the early 1900’s. So, too, were such songs then used to satirically spoof contemporary times. Clearly, this is Ray’s inspiration.

    Unlike earlier 60’s nostalgic appropriations of Music Hall (a.k.a vaudeville to U.S. audiences) which were used for no other reason than to provide a musical texture or to pay homage to a style (I’m thinking of things like Joe Brown’s stuff or Herman’s Hermit’s revivals of George Formby-type things) Ray recognized the tradition of giving the music a contemporary currency. By specifically targeting Carnaby fashions he makes the song up-to-the-minute topical. Topicality in Top 40 music was coming into vogue in the mid 60’s (think Dylan) but nobody had thought yet to convey it through vaudeville-esque arrangements.

    That the Kinks today are not as widely celebrated for pioneering this as they are for the way “You Really Got Me” lead to heavy metal/punk is probably because Vaudeville Rock largely died out by the early-to-mid 70’s. (Ray’s continued use of it in something like “Mirror of Love” basically went unnoticed by anyone other than hard core Kinks fans.) But for those handful of years when it was in vogue, man, what an impact can be be traced in the wake of the Kinks one-two Well Respected Man/Dedicated Follower of Fashion punch. Not just pop hits like Peter and Gordon’s “Lady Godiva” or Mungo Jerry’s “In the Summertime”, but unlikely places where the influence is less obvious. Do you think Dylan’s “Rainy Day Woman #12 & 35” would have been arranged around that loopy brass horn vamp without Ray opening this door? Or the old-timey piano treatment given The Doors “People Are Strange?” I’m not suggesting those songs wouldn’t have existed anyway, but they possibly would have lacked the Vaudeville-esque embellishments.

    (Side tangent: baroque pop is celebrated these days, but it too had a short shelf life over roughly the same years. Why has vaudeville rock not earned a similar recognition?)

    “Dedicated Follower of Fashion” is a major Kinks song that is sometime only remembered as being just one of their catchy 60’s hits. I think it deserves wider recognition for its impact on contemporary 60’s bands and songwriters.

    Sitting on My Sofa

    It’s got a groove and I like it. It comes across as a 12-bar studio jam with made-up-on-the-spot lyrics thrown on top. When the Beatles did this kind of thing, it resulted in “Birthday.” With the Kinks we get…this.

    I dock it points for the lazy rhyming of sofa with soda; that’s the kind of thing a 10 year old kid would do. I get it: it’s a song about wasting a lonely evening at home while there is a world of fun outside. Come ‘on, Ray. We know you can knock lyrics out of the park. Why the non-effort on this one? Maybe he’s saving his energy when he revisits the basic idea a year later on the wonderfully poetic “Waterloo Sunset”

    But, hey, it’s a cool riff. A badass riff. A very jazz riff-like melody. It’s hard to get out of the head—and I mean that in a good way. Nicky Hopkins deserves lots of credit for holding everything together, and it’s recorded just right. I love the sound, if not the song—I don’t know how else to describe it.
     
  9. Martyj

    Martyj Who dares to wake me from my slumber? -- Mr. Flash

    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    100% agreed. The "opera" designation began with the press. Ray always thought in terms of "musicals"
     
  10. Martyj

    Martyj Who dares to wake me from my slumber? -- Mr. Flash

    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    Nice observation. It never seemed to me the Kinks gave much thought at all to the lyrics of Sitting on My Sofa, but your take actually gives the whole song the weight it always seemed to lack.
     
  11. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Spot on
     
    pablo fanques and FJFP like this.
  12. FJFP

    FJFP Host for the 'Mixology' Mix Differences Podcast

    Here's a few more live in studio takes for good measure!

     
  13. Endicott

    Endicott Forum Resident

    Dedicated Follower of Fashion -- to me this has always been sort of a companion piece to "Well Respected Man". But it's even better. Ray's vocal is anything but a stodgy recitation here; he liberally sneers at and mocks his hapless target throughout, culminating in his sarcastic "he is as fickle as can be" at the end. The melody is sharper than that of its predecessor, and Dave's guitar is given plenty of room to roar... and it does just that, starting with the power chord outburst that opens the song. This is one of the Kinks' greatest records to my ears, combining everything that made this band so special... biting social satire, instrumental ferocity, and an outstanding melody. A perfect record. When I got my first new speakers in the late 1980s, this was the first song I played on them.

    Sittin' On My Sofa --- a cool little jam, with Nicky's piano dominating. As tad overlong, seeing that it's basically the same riff throughout, but a nice subtle dig at the British class system underneath the racket. A worthy B side to the magnum opus on the other end.
     
  14. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    The bridge from Kontroversy to Face to Face begins here:

    "Dedicated Follower Of Fashion" is an obvious classic, and I've got little to say about it which won't be said better by others. It's the full Kinks package here, brilliant lyrics with Ray giving them the outrageous performance they deserve over a solid musical backing of crunchy guitars and drums. If it wasn't for the power chord opening and closing, Ray would be singing from the first note to the last without pause.

    "Sitting On My Sofa" is something else entirely. I see the riff has already been described as "circular", and there's not really any other word to describe it. The track grinds along very pleasingly, with Nicky Hopkins again elevating it with his piano. The solo works perfectly, and although you wouldn't really describe it as a great song, it is the stuff of which classic B-sides are made.
     
  15. Orino

    Orino Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Terrific stuff about Music Hall there, I too am a slight aficionado. Why did it go so out of fashion in rock? A lot of prog rock retained an edge of its characterful approach to stories - Genesis, Jethro Tull perhaps. Even the Sex Pistols had a clear lineage back to it, in performance/visual terms. But basically I think it just became uncool. That's why the Rolling Stones barely went near it. The Who did away with it after Tommy (Uncle Ernie and all the character songs have an edge of it - Townshend was embarassed that Pinball Wizard lyrically felt like a hokey old Music Hall number). Post Beatles, McCartney kept a bit of it in his solo stuff, which Lennon of course would never go near. Queen, definitely.. but basically, if a band does any Vaudevillian stuff in the 70s, they are just Not Cool. Then there's the influence of the NME, (and I think Rolling Stone) which got unbelievably po faced about anything not seen as "real". (I also partially blame "The Good Old Days", which was a 70s TV staple in the UK and anything reminiscent of that would likely put off most young pop fans.)

    Rock (and being Cool) are often taken very, very seriously, once you start to combine music with anything Theatre/performance derived, some people start to panic and worry what their mates will think..
     
  16. Paul Mazz

    Paul Mazz Forum Resident

    Just wanted to point out a lyric I always misheard. I always heard the flattery in “There’s one thing that he loves and that is flattery,” as fluttering. Probably the butterfly reference later in the song.
     
  17. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Dedicated Follower Of Fashion

    I read an interview with Ray where he was speaking somewhat specifically about the character that influenced his lyrics (here) and also further generally about how he often would tackle taking someone down with his prose in song.

    Clearly the written lyric betrays a self centred fashionista that can't help himself but to slavishly look and act the part to keep face (& pace) with the faces of his upwardly mobile trendy circle clique, but oh boy the delivery is everything!

    Ray's singing/acting is fascinating aside from just merely brilliant.
    In turn ironic, sarcastic, sardonic, droll, dead-pan, sung-spoken, vaudevillian influence acted & with a vouyer's eagle eye for detail.

    While I believe the real life character in question likely disgusted Ray, he spoke somewhat of having greater effect with his lyric (and therefore a songs resonance in general) by choosing not to focus and display strong anger, feeling no doubt that by adopting a different and measured observational approach that it may do him more favours.

    Excellent song, lyric especially but even better was to come on a later afternoon with Ray's marriage of music & lyric!
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2021
  18. Fischman

    Fischman RockMonster, ClassicalMaster, and JazzMeister

    Location:
    New Mexico
    Dedicated Follower Of Fashion
    What @Endicott said. A possibly even better companion piece to Well Respected Man. An ultimate Kinks Klassic to be sure.

    Sitting On My Sofa
    Throwaway filler. But pretty interesting filler, if such a thing is possible.
     
  19. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    You’re probably right. There’s a sizeable segment of Forum members who shy away (I’m being charitable!) from it.

    I don’t think it’s uncool anymore, though. Or maybe I think that because I’m a huge fan of The Decemberists.
     
  20. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Yeah, I think there's a lot of crap album covers as well. Like Low Budget...it's like it's a cover of for an 80s hair band? Schoolboys in Disgrace - argh. Luckily I overlook that and go for the music within.
     
    Aftermath, Fischman, Smiler and 3 others like this.
  21. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Lots of good posts about this topic this morning.

    I think the uncool factor, and the threat to machismo of being a little camp, numbered the days of the vaudeville/music hall panto's....

    But having said that, the Kinks were the masters of the style, from my knowledge. I am not sure I heard many other bands in the sixties carry it off particularly well.
    Queen in the seventies is another story. They carried it off very well, and it leads me to wonder if the Kinks were influential in that.... it is not something i had ever considered before, but it seems very likely.
     
  22. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    First the bad news about 'Dedicated Follower of Fashion' visuals wise: this is the only major Kinks hit of the 60s for which there is NO SURVIVING CONTEMPORARY PERFORMANCE FOOTAGE AT ALL! Particularly disappointing because while the song remained a regular in their setlists for the rest of the career, latterly it was always turned into an abbreviated, acoustic led audience participation singalong, with imo little of the punch or character of the original record.

    But here's the good news: this is the first time a PROMO FILM was made for a Kinks song, the only slight qualification being that the group themselves aren't in it (despite what some half remembered references to this item in certain biographies will tell you), but it's a pretty fun literal interpretation of the lyrics, even if the star doesn't really look the part. Directed by John Crome and first appeared in the 1966 BBC TV magazine show 'A Whole Scene Going On'

     
    Last edited: May 21, 2021
  23. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    For comparison, here's the earliest surviving footage of The Kinks performing the song live, from the 1973 BBC TV show In Concert, by which point it had already mutated into it's ultimate tubthumbing 'now just all the ladies' style incarnation. It's less a performance of a song than a trademark all round entertainers 'bit' really.

     
  24. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    This difference between The Kinks music hall stuff and most of their contemporaries is that when The Kinks did it, they weren't trying on a style for a bit of light relief, they meant it. I've always thought that when done right, music hall and vaudeville can be as emotionally affecting as any other form of popular music, and Ray Davies esp was steeped in the idiom: it was, to quite intentionally invoke another more credible popular genre of the time, in his very soul.
     
  25. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Can't let today pass without posting the press advert cartoon for 'DFOF'.. drawn by Ray himself!

    [​IMG]
     

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