The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Ha ha!
    Well i likely flunked that test as i probably own 1000 CD's and likely near to 100 of them are CD-R's anyhow however I do have more on vinyl discs.
  2. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Some lovely sentiments expressed there and as for any factory workings they segue nicely to the next Kinks album.
  3. TeddyB

    TeddyB Senior Member

    @DISKOJOE Ha! In all our endless chats about music I've never had a "favourite song" (or album) sort with Mick but I can reconfirm what a Kinks aficionado he is and that, though he has become pretty grumpy about box sets in general, he was very pleased to get the Lola one from me for Christmas when it was released. It makes absolute sense that he'd have had a Pye budget Kinks record, considering how many more of those were to be found in stores than "actual" Kinks albums and that it wasn't common knowledge then for a kid to know the difference.
  4. Brian Kelly

    Brian Kelly 1964-73 rock's best decade

    Summer's Gone
    I only have a vague recollection of this song from when the album came out. It's a decent song. Not in the league of Do It Again or Living On A Thin Line, but it is a contender for the 3rd best song for sure.
  5. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    I fell behind a few days while I was on a short camping trip. I'm doing my best to read through all of the comments and catch up!

    "Too Hot"- Of course the "Sugar Sugar" similarities have already been mentioned. That song forever lives in my memory as the tune I sang to my first childhood crush. An older girl who I met on a family vacation. It was my first summer of love, even though I was much too young to even have a girlfriend. Her name was Chrissie and every time I hear "Sugar Sugar" it brings me back to a lake in upper Michigan where I met the girl of my dreams, at the age of ten. :laugh:

    This is a fun song that for some reason also brings to mind "The Future's So Bright" by Timbuk 3. I will have to listen to that song again, but something in "Too Hot" made me want to find my shades. This is nothing major, but it's better than the last couple of songs. Side two is starting to pick up.

    "Missing Persons"- I have to admit these last few songs are having a hard time sticking with me. I could never recall what they sounded like until recently. This is one that sneaks up on you. It took a walk in the park and listening on headphones for it to come alive. I'm still not sure if it's a great song, but it's always nice to hear Ray sing a piano ballad.

    "Summer's Gone"- I can hear Hall and Oates doing this song. Especially when Ray sings "Summer's gone" and goes high. I dressed up one year as Oates for Halloween (my friend was Hall). Back then we mostly laughed at them. They were an easy target, but they also had a few great songs. I once saw Oates at an art museum in LA. It was the years without a mustache, but I still recognized him. I wanted so badly to talk to him and get a photo, but I decided to leave him alone. He probably wouldn't go for that sort of thing. I feared that if I asked him for a photo he would have said "No can do".

    Add a touch of The Beach Boys and some Dylan style vocals, and you have a song to play while you roller skate down the beach boardwalk.
    Such a brilliant song.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2022
  6. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Going Solo.

    stereo mix, Word Of Mouth mix (3:20), recorded Jun-Jul 1983 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London

    She left a message after the tone,
    I hear it over and over on the answer phone.
    No one can find her, address unknown.
    She just decided to go out and make it alone.

    Solo, solo,
    My little child is going solo.
    Solo, solo,
    My little child is going solo.

    I feel like crying, I'm in a rage.
    I can't understand why she just ran away.
    What made it happen, guess we'll never know.
    She just decided to go out and make it solo.
    Solo, solo, solo, solo, solo.

    We work like dogs all of our lives,
    Like millions of other husbands and wives.
    Sent her through college, didn't care what we spent.
    Think of how we feel,
    She didn't say, she didn't ask, she just went.

    Solo, solo,
    My little child, you're going solo.
    It's like a pattern, it's like a crime,
    We see it happen time after time.
    You raise your children, you watch them grow,
    Then one day it's good-bye, they've decided they're going solo.
    Solo, solo, solo, solo, solo.

    The toys are forgotten, now it appears,
    You've let them down after all of these years.
    Sacrificed all, now there's nothing to show,
    Ungrateful youth, decided you're going solo.

    Solo, solo,
    My little child, you're going solo.
    Solo, solo,
    Ungrateful youth, you're going solo.

    The obligations, all of the ties,
    Have got to be broken so you can survive.
    Just because they gave you life, they can't stop if you grow,
    Now they can't hold you back 'cause you're going solo.

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

    With this song we have the exploration of the child coming of age, and leaving home.
    Ray has explored this theme before and better.

    We essentially have the She's Leaving Home idea presented in a moderate kind of pop/rock track.

    Lyrically we explore the idea from a father's perspective of his daughter leaving a message that she is gone, and then explore the father's feelings about this.
    There are some unusually awkward lyrics and rhymes that are on the cusp of just not working.

    The song is well crafted, but it doesn't have that Ray emotive touch I am used to ... it's just kind of there.

    Much like Summer's Gone, I'm struggling to find anything particularly interesting to say about this track, it's ok, but it isn't particularly special. Moderate tempo, moderate theme, moderate sound.... I don't like the drums, or the sound of them....
    It ends up being a disappointing way to finish the album for me, and really I'd probably let the album finish with the excellent Missing Persons.

  7. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Word Of Mouth.

    I like this album well enough, but this is possibly the first album where I am feeling they ran out of good material.... The good material is great, and I'd rank it up there with anything the band has done, but here I'm feeling like there is filler for the first time, I think...
    Whereas on prior albums there may have been songs I didn't absolutely love, they still felt like they had something to offer... on here there are a few songs that just feel a bit meh, okay then...

    Do It Again
    Good Day
    Living On A Thin Line
    Sold Me Out
    Massive Reductions
    Too Hot
    Missing Persons

    Word Of Mouth is pretty decent

    But the last two tracks are just kind of there for me... I don't hate them or anything, but they just don't really have anything that particularly grabs me ....

    I guess I'd probably put some tracks off Return to Waterloo on here to strengthen it...
    but of course that would derail the Return to Waterloo project ...

    It's an awkward one for me, because of course Ray obviously wanted to do his movie, and that probably required a soundtrack, but it sort of feels like Word Of Mouth wasn't as strong as it could have been, because Ray was distracted by the Return To Waterloo project... perhaps....

    I'm guessing I'm an outlier here, because although we have only just started the album on the thread in real time, it seems most folks are pretty happy with this album...

    For me I love the majority of the songs, but there are a few that don't seem to connect with me, and whether that is merely being slightly less familiar with them or not, I'm not sure. I think I listened to the album enough for it to connect.... the title track isn't really a problem, but the last two tracks just kind of fall away, and give the album a lesser feel than it actually has.....

    Anyway, that's about all I have

    I'll probably revisit my thoughts about this when we have been through Return To Waterloo, and see where we end up.
  8. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    Half-baked song, disappointing closer etc. There are holes in the sound, begging for some wizard guitar player to add his magic, there’s some good Ray & Davies harmony singing but it can’t compare to the Ray & Dave blend we all love so much. For all its surface poppy style, the song seems stalled, inert, almost lifeless, an obsessive ruminative sketch of a tune, with no development, no release, no point, really, even if we've got to admit it does convey the sentiment of the parent left-behind in a state of stupor quite convincingly. You’re in the father’s mind (or the mother’s) and you try to make sense of your empty nest feelings, but what are you going to do? Soloooo, so low… The Come Dancing/Too Hot synths are back, playing a bar band latin riff, the handclaps are fine, I don’t mind the E-Street drums and when you watch the film, it comes across as a nice little slice of pop. But as a Ray Davies song, it’s really not up to scratch. And as a Kinks album closer, well, it's really hard to understand what Ray had on his mind, ending the LP with a song that would pop up again two months later as the second track on another (solo) record. It’s such a weird choice, even more so because the two punch Missing Persons/Summer’s Gone would’ve made for a much better ending, with many layers of meaning, about Chrissie, Dave, Mick, his children etc. Now that I think of it, I guess he must've enjoyed how this whole thing read on the back cover. Missing Persons/Summer's Gone/Going Solo : some people are missing, the good days are gone, so I'm going solo… He probably couldn’t resist hitting the nail on the head with the dramatic effect of having the last song of a Kinks record announcing his new celibate and the (tentative) start of his solo career.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2022
  9. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

  10. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    "Going Solo"

    I like this one a lot. It doesn't bother me that this one has been plucked out of Return To Waterloo, because it just sounds every bit a classic Kinks tune in its construction and arrangement. It may not actually be a Klassic, but sounds enough like one to be one of those probably second-tier tracks which are an unexpected delight. In other words it's another preview of what we are going to get with the next album. The verse gives us both a look back at "Tired Of Waiting" and a look forward to "How Are You". Ray delves into his arsenal of voices to bring us the story from both sides (although bits of it are sung by the parents in the film), we get a verse, chorus and multiple bridges throughout the song in the usual Kinks style. I can't say that I have any nit-picks with this track - except that the version linked in the video has an unnecessary extended ending that's not on my version of the CD.
  11. Rockford & Roll

    Rockford & Roll Forum Resident

    Midway, KY
    Some nice surprises for me with "Missing Persons" and "Summer's Gone". They both seem a tad overloaded musically but the lyrics and Ray's vocals carry the day.
  12. stewedandkeefed

    stewedandkeefed Came Ashore In The Dead Of The Night

    "Going Solo" - Wow. Now this is pretty Eighties from the outset. Love the wordplay here with solo and "so low" swimming around in my head. As a song, I think "Going Solo" is a pretty good one. Ray, like most songwriters who have a long career, by this stage had developed his basic songwriting chops to the point where he could craft a song about pretty well anything. And musically, I'm not supposed to like this due to its Eighties vibe but I actually enjoyed it quite a bit.
  13. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    "Summer's Gone" and "Going Solo" are quite similar, upbeat and bright (musically) and very 80s. Overall this album is pretty pleasant and listenable, if not especially strong in terms of songwriting,
  14. stewedandkeefed

    stewedandkeefed Came Ashore In The Dead Of The Night

    Word Of Mouth - I prefer the two albums that came before it, but I found it more interesting than I remembered it to be mainly because paying attention to each song in this thread made me realize what a great writer Ray is. Not that these songs are all klassics but I appreciate Ray's skill and craft. Also, "Do It Again" is a great song and recording!

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Salem, MA
    “Going Solo”: An adequate enough closer for me. The only problem for me is the lyrics which imply on one hand that kids are ungrateful in leaving the nest and on the other that kids have to leave in order to live their lives. It’s sort of confusing if you don’t know that this song is part of Return to Waterloo. Otherwise, it has enough good hooks for each to enjoy it musically.

    As for Word of Mouth the album, it’s a very solid album to me, one of the best of the Arista Years. The standout song from the album, the one that resonates w/a large audience is surprisingly a Dave song, namely “Living On A Thin Line”. The failure to properly exploit its potential at the time of its release is one of the Kinks’ greatest blunders in a career full of them.
  16. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Word Of Mouth

    It doesn't help this album that it's apparently been assembled from at least three different sources - Ray's post-"Come Dancing" poppier Kinks, Dave's solo wanderings and bits of Return To Waterloo. Maybe Ray just wasn't ready to make the Kinks album he wanted only a year after the last one. There are too many differences in sound and production between the tracks for it to hang together as a great album, but it has enough decent songs to make it a worthwhile listen. I feel that this album wants to be the album that Think Visual is, and several of the tracks are pointing in that direction. But as we will find out, I had owned Think Visual for two years before even hearing Word Of Mouth, and the latter could only sound like an anticlimax in comparison.
  17. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Being the last album on Arista, the last album containing any contemporary charting or later sleeper hits, the last album with tracks recorded with Mick while he was still a member of the band, and perhaps most to the point, the latest album to have included in a digital reissue programme and thus now be widely accessible on download and streaming platforms (Columbia material aside), ‘Word Of Mouth’ has come to the modern Kinks fan to appear like a last outpost of canonical Kinks work beyond which ‘here be monsters’. A solid, even 20 year kareer 1964-1984… and then there’s those other 12 years and 5 albums with the other drummer that we don’t talk about.

    Even the first track and final charting single ‘Do It Again’ with its circular, Ouroboros theme, has a ‘this is where we came in’ quality esp with Ray leaving Mick on the platform in the video, exactly 20 years after he joined. 1984 was also a year where the first Kinks retrospectives started appearing, with 3 books (Savages, Rogans and Mendelssohns) and the first video biography. With all this is play, this has always felt like a definite full stop to The Kinks career proper to me: the last 12 years, while there are good some songs in there, largely lack direction and purpose, cultural currency, and the original drummer and thus something essential. It always seems like it’s a postscript: still The Kinks, but with a few caveats and stuck in this kind of post relevance purgatory. I know many here won’t agree but that’s the strong impression I’ve always had: open to having it challenged in the pages to come though!
  18. Michael Streett

    Michael Streett Senior Member

    Florence, SC
    @ARL mentioning this gives me my opening to explain what happened here.

    There were two different edits of "Going Solo" issued at the time that has caused some confusion and the 1999 Velvel CD reissue of Word Of Mouth has confounded that and screwed things up so I'll try to clarify it here.

    The version of the song in the video already posted above was the full length version that later appeared on the Return To Waterloo soundtrack LP. The original version of "Going Solo" released worldwide on the Word Of Mouth album turned out to be an edit of this.

    When Velvel reissued their CD of Word Of Mouth in 1999 they got these edits mixed up and included the longer RTW version on their WOM CD. Normally I don't count or consider edits if they are the same mix and just simply have sections cut out, but in this case it's warranted as the shorter edit version is what was first released on the original album. It was quite jarring to me when I first heard the Velvel CD of this even though I already knew the longer RTW version as well. Context is everything.
    This shorter edit is also what was released on B-Side of the “Summer’s Gone” single complete with crossfade in tact at the start.

    The longer RTW version has the extra coda at the end as in the video above that was cut from the shorter version. The edit occurs at the 3:10-3:46 mark in that video between the syllables of the word "solo". Careful listening of the vocals and the organ provide the proof of where the actual edit occurs. The mix between the two versions is the same however, outside of the crossfade from the previous track on WOM.
    "So" (edit) "Lo".

    Going Solo (Original Album Edit)

    Last edited: Jun 25, 2022
  19. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    I can’t help but loving this album despite its obvious flaws and shortcomings because it’s the first happy upbeat sounding Kinks LP in ages and it hosts the triumphant return of Ray’s higher smiling voice on most tracks. I’ve just listened all the way through to wrap things up and get my mind off the song-by-song discipline and there’s indeed a real joyful almost liberated/liberating feel to it all, despite almost every song having sad (or grim) undertones. Ray obviously had a very energetic “break-up album” in him at the time but it overlapped with the Return to Waterloo “fractured mind” concept, and by mixing things up well… he kind of got mixed up.

    It’s a weird beast to say the least. It has the most Dave in years… and the least Dave ever! Talk about a paradox. I’ve read a lot of comments about the wrong choices of singles but I think part of the issue is that every Ray song was written as a potential hit, probably the direct result of having had a big one on the previous LP. Due to the odds & sods origins of its tracks and its two extremely different line ups, it’s hardly consistent or “substantial” but it’s a pretty cool listen, it has a certain spark to it that is unique in the band’s eighties output. As I’m writing these words, Going Solo’s playing and I’m tempted to come back on what I’ve written earlier about it being a bad closer. In the flow, it works well and the conclusive Ray & Ray (+ Jim ?) harmony, very McCartney, is great. About @ajsmith's theory that it’s the conclusion of the “main” Kinks body of work… it may be historically or culturally true, but emotionally, it doesn’t work like that for me at all. Think Visual was the first post 76 Kinks LP I got (and loved!), so I could never see it as an afterthought and it’s still a big part of my Kinks passion and my own Kinks universe. But ok, I get it, farewell to Mick, Arista and the hits… I understand where you’re coming from, my @ajfriend, and you're probably right : the rest is not History.
  20. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    There’s still time for the post-Arista stuff to get re discovered and be more integrated into the story: all it would take would be for the next series of ‘Stranger Things’ to use ‘When You Were A Child’ or something and suddenly a lot of people would be interested in owning the rights to the MCA albums…
  21. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    ‘Going Solo’:
    The obnoxious drums permeate everything about this faceless number, a song that could be anyone really. I’d say this is a by-the-numbers pop ditty, one that I’m not interested in.

    Lyrics? Interesting, I suppose, but I’m still not interested. If that makes any sense! Ha!.

    The count: 7-2-2 with 3 songs making the The Kinks - Phase III playlist (pasted below):

    The Kinks Phase III Playlist:

    Life On The Road
    Father Christmas
    A Rock’n’Roll Fantasy
    Live Life
    Out of the Wardrobe
    (Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman
    National Health
    Little Bit Of Emotion
    Nuclear Love (Demo; Low Budget era)
    Hidden Quality (Low Budget era)
    Around The Dial
    Better Things
    Come Dancing
    Heart Of Gold
    Long Distance (State Of Confusion b——-side)
    Do It Again
    Living On A Thin Line
    Summer’s Gone
    —-19 songs/78 minutes—
  22. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    ‘Word Of Mouth’ the album: I was so pleasantly surprised by this when I first listened to it all the way through that my thought was that it must be at the top of the Arista pack. Of course, this is how I felt with ‘Give The People What They Want.’ It’s only after the deep dive that things get sorted out.
    Both of the fore mentioned albums have stellar first sides. It’s in the second side that I have my issues.

    I rank ‘Misfits,’ ‘Word Of Mouth’ and ‘Low Budget’ at the top of Arista. Possibly in that order. ‘Low Budget’ (if I include demos, which I do) has the most playlist tracks with 5. ‘Misfits’ has 4, and ‘Mouth’ 3. But I need to consider each song, individually, and weigh it accordingly.
  23. pyrrhicvictory

    pyrrhicvictory Forum Resident

    Going Solo

    There is debate about who first said, ‘If you love someone, set them free,’ (no, Sting) or words to that effect. It’s a circumstance many of us will confront, and hopefully, as will the narrator of this song, find a path towards acceptance. Yeats, the master locator of sorrow inside of love, tells us, A pity beyond all telling is hid in the heart of love. Yet we keep seeking this unconditional love, it’s promise and it’s validation, regardless of it’s risk/rewards values. It’s all part of the circle of life, G-d’s roundabout, and it’s all we can do to steer our own car safely, never mind others’. ‘Summer’s Gone’ hinted at the exit signs, but now she is gone, and there is no one else to take her place.
    It’s a minor song (no pun intended) but, like a prized witness, says what it has to, clearly and concisely. I do like the false ending and what comes after. This song was played over the P.A. post-concert at the Meadowlands show I attended, and even then I found that odd. In hindsight, I realize Ray was already plugging Return to Waterloo.
  24. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Going Solo
    Here's another upbeat-sounding tune which I think makes a good closer for this album. It's hard for me to listen to it without thinking of the Return to Waterloo segment featuring the same song. But it does make a good stand-alone song. Ray is telling a familiar story here (She's Leaving Home) and ticks all the right boxes in his lyrics. I don't find anything in the music to complain about - if this sounds "too eighties" I might revise upwards my opinion of eighties music. I think this is a very solid late-career album that has held up well over the years. Very few pop/rock artists who hit their creative peak around in the first five or ten albums of their career were still releasing a good album number 21. Credit to Ray and Dave.
  25. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Going Solo

    What is dad's problem?
    His daughter has finished college and he can't comprehend and respect she needs to leave the nest.
    No doubt it was different in pop's day and he never considered not to kow tow to his folks at a similar stage in his life.
    The title unfortunately reminds me of an annoying repetitive song by Jason Derulo that I had to dj a bit too often, judging on the content perhaps he should have stayed home longer?
    As for our protagonists daughter let her be unless her name is Leia Organa and you know her intentions!

    The song itself is quite harmless though non descript and a weak closer, if summer hadn't left it's truly gone now along with his daughter.

    Edit: True to his word at this point Ray went.......Solo!

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