Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by mark winstanley, Apr 4, 2021.
I know we have a couple of Elvis fans, and some all round music fans... so these were my, no spoiler, thoughts
So I just got back, sorted the dogs out and fed them and all that stuff..
Elvis - the Baz Luhrmann movie ... in my opinion. I'll try to avoid spoilers...
Brilliantly conceived and executed.
At the beginning I was a little perturbed, because I think it starts as if it is going in a direction that it doesn't....
The way we move between eras is smooth and it makes sense.
The heart of the matter, remains the heart of the matter.
We do skip over a few things, but I think the context of those things is not lost.
We do have some alterations to reality, but I think all through, the essence of the story, and the reality of the life and the man stays true.
I think, for me at least, a new perspective on the Vegas years comes through... and it is even more sad than I have previously felt it was....
I think the ending, and the closing are done brilliantly....
I don't think I gave anything away there, but I think that expresses my feelings on the movie.
I thought all the actors played great parts, particularly Butler and Hanks.
I have no bad feelings about the movie at all.
Like I say, I think it was brilliantly conceived and executed
I'm off to see it tomorrow - I'm looking forward to it!
Agree with everything you said. I wish I had caught your Elvis thread when you did it. I started reading through, and will definitely go back to it when I have the time. The only Elvis I ever owned was the Sun session stuff. The History of Rock in 500 Songs podcast got me to listen to Elvis is Back!, which is pretty great. I never would have guessed that I’d get interested in Elvis after all these years. I don’t want to say any more about the movie than you did, as I like seeing movies going in with only enough information to let me know that it might appeal to me.
No worries Mark i think you are bill-oddie normal!
Don't really know but a great idea and if push came to shove i would put my Johnny Ca$h on it!
One is discovering how demanding new parenting can be!
Edit: The rest are no doubt on occasion sitting down to a hearty serving of Pye!
I read an article in the paper where it criticised the fact that the dark side of his personality was ignored.
I don't think that's true, but the press has been bashing him for over four decades now, so there's no reason to expect them to stop now
Return to Waterloo
Studio album by
Released 1 July 1985
Producer Ray Davies
Return to Waterloo is the debut solo album by Kinks' leader and chief songwriter Ray Davies. Three of the tracks on the album release were also available in near-identical form on The Kinks' 1984 release Word of Mouth. All of The Kinks appear on the album with the exception of Dave Davies. According to Ray Davies, Dave Davies refused to perform on the album. He later said, "Dave refused to play and so it had to be 'Ray Davies and members of the Kinks'. If he had worked with me on it, it would have been a great record, but he let me down."
An hour-long musical film, Return to Waterloo, was also written and directed by Davies, wherein instead of dialogue, the story is told through music and lyrics. The film features Tim Roth, Kenneth Colley, Valerie Holliman, Dominique Barnes, and (briefly) Ray Davies himself. One song which appears in the film but not on the soundtrack is "Ladder of Success".
The wiki info is going to be better than anything I've got... I saw the movie for the first time the other week when we were talking about it, and I don't have the album.
Ray Davies – vocals, guitar, piano, synthesizer, sound effects
Ian Gibbons – keyboards, drum and percussion programming, backing vocals
Louisa Davies – vocals
Valerie Hollerman – spoken word
Jim Rodford – bass guitar, backing vocals
Mick Avory – drums
Robert Henrit – drums, percussion
John O'Donnell – percussion
All tracks composed by Ray Davies.
"Return to Waterloo" (4:40)
"Going Solo" (3:55)
"Missing Persons" (2:53)
"Sold Me Out" (3:19)
"Lonely Hearts" (3:05)
"Not Far Away" (4:23)
"Voices in the Dark (End Title)" (4:22)
Tracks 3, 4 and 5 had been previously featured on the Kinks' 1984 album Word of Mouth in minimally different takes/mixes.
Return to Waterloo
Directed by Ray Davies
Written by Ray Davies
Produced by Dennis Woolf
Cinematography Roger Deakins
Edited by David Mingay
RCA Video Productions
Distributed by Channel 4
(United Kingdom TV)
2 November 1984 (United Kingdom)
17 May 1985 (United States)
Country United Kingdom
Sally Anne Field ... Girl Punk
Dominique Barnes ... Traveler's Daughter
Joan Blackman ... Mother
Kenneth Colley ... The Traveller
Sheila Collings ... Middle-Aged Lady
Michael Cule ... Businessman
Ray Davies ... Subway Singer
Timothy Davies ... Father, Horsley Station
Myrtle Devenish ... Blind Lady
Roy Evans ... Mortuary Assistant
Michael Fish ... Himself
Gretchen Franklin ... Woman on train
Christopher Godwin ... Businessman
Valerie Holliman ... Traveler's Wife
Nat Jackley ... Old Soldier
Neil Landor ... Newscaster
Lizzie McKenzie ... Middle-Aged Lady
Allan Mitchell ... Headmaster
Claire Parker ... Walkman Girl
Teresa Pattison ... Aerobics Teacher
Aaron Probyn ... Small Boy Traveller
Claire Rayner ... Herself
Wanda Rokicki ... Schoolteacher / Girl with Long Fair Hair
Betty Romaine ... Old Lady
Tim Roth ... Boy Punk
Mike Smart ... Young punk
Wally Thomas ... Old Soldier
Sue Vanner ... Sexy Girl
Hywel Williams-Ellis ... Young Businessman
The movie was intended for television, and was shown as such on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom on 4 November 1984. In the United States of America, the film was picked up by New Line Cinema and released theatrically on 17 May 1985, premiering at the Waverly in New York City
The soundtrack was provided by members of The Kinks, who released an album Return to Waterloo in connection with it albeit without lead guitarist Dave Davies who refused to participate, hence the album being credited solely to Ray Davies. The film's cinematographer, Roger Deakins, would receive great acclaim in British and American film working with the Coen brothers and Sam Mendes.
I really don't have much I can say about this at this stage, as I am pretty unfamiliar with it, but for those who want more than I have to give, here is a 26 minute promo that MTV did
Return to Waterloo/Extended Dynamic Soundtrack.
This is just for a bit of fun really.
I am assuming this is a fan made version of the album, with the basic premise being that this captures the entire soundtrack in the way they think it should have been. The reasoning? The soundtrack we got is somewhat truncated and they decided to create their own full soundtrack from available sources.
What do we have here?
1 Return to Waterloo - from cd
2 Ladder Of Success - from dvd
3 Going Solo - from cd
4 Missing Person - from cd
5 Sold Me Out - from Word Of Mouth
6 Lonely Hearts - from dvd
7 The Good Times Are Gone - from dvd
8 Not Far Away - from cd
9 Expectations - from cd
10 Return to Waterloo - from Songs Of Ray Davies Waterloo Sunset
11 Voices In The Dark - from Songs Of Ray Davies Waterloo Sunset
It runs for 46:13, produced, enhanced and mixed by Henny Stahli
Obviously we are going to go through the songs, and they are all available in one form or another, but this little soundtrack that Henny put together could be helpful for some folks.
Here again is the movie, for everyone's reference.
As we have folks falling a little behind again, tomorrow I'll have a day off posting, to hopefully give some folks a chance to catch up, and also give folks unfamiliar a chance to watch the movie, and/or listen to that soundtrack compilation, and then we should be in a better position to assess this project.
Hope everyone is cool with that.
I have the Return To Waterloo album on cassette but I have not played it in years. I forgot there was overlap with Word Of Mouth. Generally, I have limited interest in the solo careers of members of the iconic bands I grew up with. I am probably drawn towards Pete Townshend's and Ronnie Wood's early solo albums and not much else. Return To Waterloo is an interesting curiosity to me but not one I have spent much time with.
I have Return To Waterloo on DVD but I’ve never owned (or even seen in real life) the LP. Even though it technically is Ray Davies solo debut, it isn’t really ‘Ray Davies solo debut’ with all that entails, more a kompromised Kinks project that was only released under his name circumstantially.
I’ll try to get to my thoughts on the movie later today but for now I’ll just say that’s yet another disappointing album cover. Just Ray and the tunnel motif would have worked well but the prominence given to the two punks who aren’t really major characters seems inexplicable: with the two large male/female faces it makes it seem like it’s gonna be a relationship drama or something.
Ditto the bit in bold - and the whole post really!
I watched it a few weeks ago - can't remember when the previous time I watched it would have been, probably 20 years earlier when I got the DVD. The strangest thing about it for me is the punks on the train - portrayed in a way you might have seen in a UK comedy or drama series of the time, created by someone who had never come across a punk in their life. You might have expected something a little more authentic and a little less cartoon-like from Ray Davies.
And at last Ray Davies became a film director ! It was bound to happen, it was always in the cards, always (too much!) on his mind. He’d written soundtracks/songtracks, screenplays, teleplays, envisioned concert films and documentaries, conceptualized videos, wrote albums as potential films, songs as potential scenes, created musicals for theater as the next best thing, quoted films and film stars in his songs, and I’m not even talking about Cliches of the World. He had to get behind the camera one day.
And so it was Return to Waterloo. One hour. For TV. But done as a feature. In a way, it’s the Waterloo Sunset guy going out and engaging with the real world. Well, not engaging, really, but wandering outside… He was this reclusive person, living fantasies through his observation of the every day people from his window. This time, he's not at home but in the train. There’s no sunset or sun anywhere in sight, just the British suburb lines grimness. And we’re entering his mind where reality, memories, fantasies, other people’s lives (pun intended!) and his own become one.
These are modern filmmaker’s tricks. Perhaps the most lauded precedent in that area would be Tarkovsky’s The Mirror (released in 1975), in which a sick guy (the director itself) navigates through present, past, dreams etc. His mother and his ex-wife are portrayed by the same actress, himself as a child and his son by the same actor (a recent film shamelessly inspired by The Mirror was the latest Matrix installment). Other famous films creating this sort of cognitive spider web would be Bob Fosse's All That Jazz (1979) or George Roy Hill's Slaughterhouse Five (1972) which had more historical ambitions. I must say, given the quality of those references, Ray does a pretty good job. We’re lost in the guy’s fractured mind, and we acutely feel his disconnection, his fears, angst, loneliness, ideas, even his humor, the wandering of his thoughts and feelings during a simple daily train journey. Maybe he has a wife and daughter, or a lover, maybe not, maybe he had them years ago, or some of them, we’ll never know for sure, it’s not that important, he’s a figure of loneliness and existential crisis. Just look at the song titles : missing persons, expectations, lonely hearts, voices in the dark, going solo… And all this personal turmoil is surrounded by social and economical pressure: ladder or success, sold me out, the good days are gone. The songs work perfectly, the actors are all remarkable, especially the main guy, Ken Colley, all silent expressions. I agree the punks are caricatures, but they are supposed to awful caricatures since it's what the older passengers see in them. Tim Roth is a born star, very close to what he did that same 1984 year in Stephen Frears’ The Hit. All in all, it’s a great kurio, in which I wouldn't be surprised Julien Temple and his teams had a (helping) hand.
And some of the songs are… stellar.
Return To Waterloo
I have the soundtrack on LP, but compared to the movie it's strangely cold and uninteresting.
The songs as seen in the movie benefit tremendously from the pictures. In fact, they have a synergy and any attempt to have the songs separate appears to fail every time. Still the absence of "Ladder Of Success" is a head-scratcher as it's a rather short LP anyway.
There is something startling to have the cast singing in the film, but I always find that whenever an actor decides to sing in a movie. It takes a lot of goodwill to take it in and take it seriously. But that's how I like these songs performed best, with the chalky voiced old men, the shrieking old lady, the angry punks, the slimy businessmen.
Musically I find "Return To Waterloo" to be the most successful venture of Ray Davies in the eighties. Both the hard rockers and the ballads find their natural home. The concept of the film/album is a lot more mature and ultimately more successful than either Preservation and Soap Opera. It actually strikes me as a way more sober, thoughtful, raw and way more effective version of Soap Opera.
The film is actually quite brilliant. We have the Traveller who is played by the actor who played a commander reporting to Darth Vader in Empire Strikes Back where we expect him to be strangulated any second. He has that very calm, yet multi layered facial expression and he gives such a fulfilling performance in Return To Waterloo, it's breathtaking. Within a glance he can be sweet, cold, apathetic and charming again.
I must admit when I watched it the first time, I started out taking it for a poor man's The Wall, but it's actually just as deep a movie and message.
It's no huge surprise the film wasn't a big success, given its dark and ambiguous content. To this day the flashback scenes of the traveller of his daughter give me uncomfortable creeps, yet the director never stays in the unpleasant mode for too long. The whole play on the viewer of is this a dream, a fantasy or a somber study is fantastic.
The fact that this film received a rather low-key release on DVD along with Julien Temple's brilliant Kinks videos makes it one of my most cherished music DVDs.
I just wanted to make a quick response, and won’t discuss this movie further in this thread. Anyone can criticize what a filmmaker decides to emphasize in a 2 hour plus biopic. It’s not a documentary.
Thanks Mark for the review. I've been wondering whether to go and you've swung it for me. While I'm not a big Elvis fan he was my late brother's favourite singer so I have a soft spot for him.
Thanks @DISKOJOE , I believe I've found a good used on Amazon. Good idea on Discogs as well. I appreciate your thoughtfulness!
His attempts at punk music were always pretty inauthentic and cartoonist.
Yes. Many are set up on Amazon. It's been a fun way to buy used CDs and maybe help them out as well.
I watched Waterloo a few years back during my initial dive into the katalogue, only scattered images remain in my head; look forward to watching it again after reading your interesting posts this morning.
Kenneth Colley is an excellent actor, brilliant in "Pennies From Heaven".
Return to Waterloo
I bought the LP when it came out and played it a lot. The overlap with Word of Mouth never bothered me. He left some of his best songs for the soundtrack, as I think we'll discover. The movie itself didn't stick in my memory so I got a bit of a surprise when I watched it again a couple of weeks ago. At some points I thought I knew what was happening but at others I felt confused. Thankfully, on this thread we have some deeper thinkers than me who have shed a lot of light on what I thought I saw. Thanks @Fortuleo and @pantofis.
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