The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    The ones hidden on Japanese Buddhist objects are Christian.
    Kakure Kirishitan - Wikipedia
  2. ThereOnceWasANote

    ThereOnceWasANote Forum Resident

    Cape May, NJ
    I've just listened to Video Shop again a couple times after it popped in my head. Ray does a great job acting here addressing the listener as if they just walked into the shop to check it out. Then the whole thing becomes like a piece from a musical with all the chorus and bg vocals plua its pretty funny and witty lyrically. I can now see its greatness. He would never write a song like this for the Kinks again and possibly not one as good, or at least realized. The only thing missing in the song maybe is a weather reference.
  3. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Oh absolutely but perhaps not exactly what our non boffin would be video shop owner was thinking when his penny dropped or indeed our gentle LP listeners themselves.
  4. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Mark you have a great memory for the live Oz happenings of 1986!

    As for the hi tech home recording I had a 3 in 1 Pioneer that I could record into and play with near Dave like distortion out of the state's speakers.
    For any clunky overdubbing attempts I would then transfer the cassette to my sister's portable tape deck with inbuilt mic and go from there.

    Music wise I never looked at the charts but was heavily exploring The Stones, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton and American Blues artists.

    It wasn't all ancient stuff though as i saw the Eurogliders in concert and enjoyed The Divinyls ,The Hoodoo Gurus & met up with in Perth & saw 3 solo shows by the late Triffid Dave McComb.
  5. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I was just putting songs down... vocals and acoustic. I wasn't really thinking about multi tracking at the point....

    Now when I got the Team 4 track a couple of years later, that was another thing altogether....
    I was bouncing tracks all over the place, damn it was fun. My drummer mate said of something I played to him one time, "Sounds like your going for your Exile On Mainstreet sound" lol... not that it was remotely like The Stones, it was just muddy :)
  6. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    In this day and age do people still have the humour for it and would their be righteous folk thinking threats or violence is in order?
    Great idea by the way!
    DISKOJOE likes this.
  7. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    By rights, any "righteous folk" wouldn't resort to that crap.... but in the current environment who would even notice
    All Down The Line and DISKOJOE like this.
  8. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    I have a memory of Icehouse also being there? At least at the show at Subiaco. Or maybe that was the Help concert. You have a good memory!
  9. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Nah mate I need to look stuff up... I remembered a fair bit, but not enough to be confident to post without checking lol
  10. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    Wow, Mr Paul Lennon, I do feel the transatlantic connection! Julian the Apostate is one of my favorite historical figures, though I never read Gore Vidal's rendition of his life. I put it on my list. I read some of Julian's own work, and a few biographies, and the title of my 2nd album is taken from Ammianus Marcellinus, one of our main sources for Julian's history. And I never thought about the economic and commercial side of the story! I love that conversation you had with your friend! I hope you'll be able to fulfill your movie project, I'll be the first to rush to the cinema to see it. Fascinating story.
  11. Brian x

    Brian x half-animate bean

    Los Angeles
    I think you'll like GV's novel; parts of it are written quite convincingly from the POV of the rhetorician Libanius.

    I love "Count Marcellinus" (as one of my late antique history professors called him) & never skip his digressions. Was your album called Res Gestae?
  12. Smiler

    Smiler Forum Resident

    Houston TX
    What an interesting group we have here, with a wide range of interests and knowledge and experiences... our French cousin in the Montana wind, screenplays about the Julian age, and an incredibly wide musical background all around. Sometimes I think it would be fun to all gather in one place, then I realize I'd likely be struck with social anxiety while everyone else had a wonderful time, so maybe the internet is the better gathering place for me!

    I keep slipping behind on the Kinks, while reading your posts quickly along the way. Quick takes:

    "Repetition" - I feel like we haven't heard this rhythm from the band before; the "Nobody Told Me" comparison is apt. As in "Predictable," Ray makes his point by...well, repetition. He makes his point so well that I cut a minute out of my edit. Musically, I like this much more than "Predictable" and I dig the Beach Boys chorus. 3/5; Smiler edit: 4/5

    "Welcome to Sleazy Town" - Again, this sleazy blues seems like a style I haven't heard from them before. Melodic chorus and lyrically interesting (even if it lifts from Genesis). 4/5

    "The Video Shop" - This album's prime offender of title over-repetition and going on too long. Melodic and strong lyrically, but by the end I didn’t want to hear the words “video shop” again for a long time. I made a 4 minute edit that works for me. Smiler edit: 3.5/5

    For me, side 1 is not a drop off in quality from the Arista years.

    Mark's post reminded me that my big musical event of 1986 was getting a Tascam 4-track recorder. I had been playing originals and covers with three friends for several years, and multi-tracking literally changed my life with its possibilities to explore my (amateur) passion. I still record original songs with two of the three after 40 years together, only now on ProTools. How lucky we musicians are to have such tools in the modern era, and how lucky I am to have longtime friends I can still write and record with.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2022
  13. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    I envy you having the 4 track and later more elaborate machines but this multitracking you refer to was positively less than Neanderthal in that I would first record a guitar track direct to the 3 in 1 (without background noise) & then play it back and add another guitar part whilst a blank tape ran on a little portable deck picking up mostly unwanted room noise/sound with the new guitar part and you would guess right if you thought the sound balance was a near lottery! (Laughs)
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2022
  14. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    No, though it would be a cool title for a concept album, whether used derisively to tell the tale of an accountant's day in 12 songs, or for a pretentious 4-side prog epic about a time-traveller seeking justice and enlightenment by journeying across world History.

    My album was entitled "La Pantomime des Bouffons", that is "Buffoons' Pantomime". It is taken from a short text from the Res Gestae that I had to study in my 3rd year (with the same teacher that taught us about Decius's persecutions). Ammianus was having a little decadence speech, in essence saying that everything was better in the past, implying (without saying it explicitly, I think) that all these bloody Christian revolutionaries had messed up with the traditional order, and that music had become grotesque and noisy. The guy sounded like an old guy from the 50s horrified by Rock'n'roll, only in the meantime the Christians had become the conservatives and the pagans, the revolutionaries. I loved the eternity of the sentiment and the irony of the situation.

    A few months ago I had to chase the Loeb translation of this text for an interview in a US webzine, but now I realize it doesn't convey the feeling as efficiently as the French version (probably because it is more precise and litteral?). And it gives "gesticulating actors" instead of "buffoons' pantomime". So I give you a free translation of the French text I used: "What’s going on? Even the last few houses that still cared about intelligence have been invaded by the tastes of pleasure, children of laziness. All you hear is voices singing, instruments ringing. Singers have replaced the philosophers, and pleasure masters take the place of the eloquence teacher. Libraries are being walled up like tombs. All that Art is doing nowadays is building water-organs, giant lyres, gigantic flutes and other music instruments, to play on stage along the buffoons’ pantomime".

    Ah, the Tascam 4-track recorder! My sister had one, and I inherited it after she passed away. It's still in my place. I use it to digitalize old tapes. I'm a bit nostalgic of the way it limited our choices, even if I enjoy the freedom allowed by today's incredible tools. Sometimes I think I'd like to try the 4-track again, or the old 8-track that we bought with my brother and that is taking dust somewhere. That is, if I can find the time to make music again some day.
  15. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    You wouldn't be on your own
  16. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Yea, the Tascam four track was great. It also made it much easier to put all those bs "backmasking" myths to death
  17. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    "Rock 'n' Roll Cities"

    Single by The Kinks
    from the album Think Visual
    "Welcome to Sleazy Town" (US)
    Released 17 November 1986
    Recorded January 1986 and June–August 1986 at Konk Studios, London
    Genre Rock
    Length 3:43
    Label MCA
    Songwriter(s) Dave Davies
    Producer(s) Ray Davies

    stereo mix, recorded Aug 1986 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London

    Rock 'n' roll cities, look out here we come
    From Buffalo to the Gulf of Mexico
    Rock 'n' roll cities, look out for our bus
    Does anybody know the way to Idaho?

    Well it's good to be back
    Had some trouble on the way
    I never thought we'd get here
    But we made it just the same
    The flight over was real rough
    So could you lead me to a beer
    I see the pretty girls getting younger
    Every year

    Rock 'n' roll cities, look out here we come
    From New York State to the Gulf of Mexico
    Rock 'n' roll cities, look out for our bus
    Does anybody know the way to Idaho?

    WCVR KONK, WSOS, are we still on that playlist?
    Well, it's anybody's guess
    But what does it matter when you're out on the town
    Rock 'n' roll cities, with a pizza to go
    Rock 'n' roll cities, Philadelphia P.A.
    I got my radio
    Promo for MTV

    What's next on the itinerary? Can anybody tell?
    What's the hotel like? Is there cable T.V. as well?
    Get up with a headache, fall asleep on the plane
    And we get there, start all over again

    Rock 'n' roll cities, look out we're coming through
    Kansas City, Fresno, San Diego
    Rock 'n' roll cities, look out here we come
    Richmond, Cleveland, Ohio, Nebraska, St. Paul
    Rock 'n' roll cities, look out here we come
    From Buffalo to the Gulf of Mexico
    Rock 'n' roll cities, watch out for our bus
    Does anybody know the way to Idaho?

    Flight 62 now leaving for Memphis stopping at Boston
    Washington D.C. with continuing service to Los Angeles
    Seattle, Portland... etc...

    Rock 'n' roll cities, look out here we come
    90 miles on Highway 61
    Rock 'n' roll ladies, watch out here we come
    Does anybody know the way to Madison?

    Rock 'n' roll cities look out here we come
    Rock 'n' roll cities

    Written by: Dave Davies
    Published by: EMI Music Publishing Ltd.

    Before I even heard this, we had some folks hinting they didn't like this track, and it isn't Prime A Grade (Kinks) Beef I guess, but I don't dislike it...

    In a turn of absolute weirdness, this track features Mick Avery on the drums, and Dave has said "I really liked Mick's drumming on Rock 'n' Roll Cities."
    Perhaps having finally won the silent war between the two guys, Dave was at peace with Mick.... who knows, but the whole thing is really bizarre to me.

    Rock and Roll Cities was released as the first single from the album in the US and Welcome to Sleazy Town was the b-side.

    Rolling Stone said
    "Rock 'n' Roll Cities", the first single from Think Visual, is anything but a gutsy statement. This utterly uninspired tour song — written by Dave Davies around a woefully tired riff — engages in the worst sort of rock hucksterism. He even resorts to spitting out the names of a few cities, "from Buffalo to the Gulf of Mexico." This is the sort of desperate, airplay-seeking number that only a radio programmer could love.
    Author Thomas Kitts said that the song "is a delightful spoof not only of touring but of touring songs as well."

    Ray Davies also had mixed feelings on the song, once stating, "When I first heard that song it made me sick. But then the next day I saw the humor in it."

    Now I seem to remember someone saying that Mick appeared on the song, because Dave was putting it down and Bob wasn't there, so Dave grabbed Mick from the office at Konk, and we have the final Kinks track with Mick on the drums as a result of this.
    The way things happen in Kinks world always seems a little bizarre.... it really does seem that there could be a terribly good bio-pic of the Kinks, that would be entertaining and artistic without too much.

    Lyrically, to me at least, I get the feeling that Dave was just having a bit of fun with this lyric.

    The first verse epitomises this, opening up like the frontman talking to the audience and then somewhat reflecting on the fact that the girls in the audience seem to be getting younger and younger. which is essentially just stating that "wow, I think I got old without even noticing"

    The second verse starts off with some station tags, and then the sarcastic/ironic? "are we still on that playlist"

    We get a bit of the old touring is difficult stuff, but for the most part it seems more like a good time song, than a moan about having to tour type song.
    We get a lot of cities named, and that feels somewhat like a checklist, but it doesn't bother me too much.

    Musically we are in that sort of seventies Status Quo type feel, but with an eighties sound.

    Dave is going to be in that range of vocal that annoys some folks at certain points, but it's a pretty good vocal really, and doesn't bother me too much.

    Not in my Klassic Kinks list, but a solid track that works on the album.

  18. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

  19. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    MTV segment with the video

  20. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    "Rock & Roll Cities"

    It's a Dave song...but it's not really like a Dave song as we've grown to know them! It's a straight-ahead bluesy rocker with no musical left turns at all. The lyrics are not an unfocused rant at governments and big business, nor a vague meandering treatise on peace, love and aliens, but a bog-standard tale of life on the road as a touring rock & roll band. The vocals are mostly sung/spoken in a comfortable lower register, only switching to stratospheric screaming to good effect when the song demands it. In essence, it's Dave doing a Ray song, but in his own way - much as we would get later on with "Fortis Green".

    To be honest, if this was on UK Jive, I'd probably disregard it, or list it as one of the problems with that album. But as it's on this album, which I really like, I'm happy to go with it. It doesn't really fit with the rest of the album, but as it's at the start of side two, it's as easily skipped on vinyl as it is on CD. I've never skipped it. I love the way that Dave screams "DOES ANYBODY KNOW THE WAY TO IDAHO-O-O-O??". It's been suggested that the lyrics are a spoof, and I've never really taken them too seriously. I just think this is a lot of big dumb fun, a bizarre interlude between two tracks that I love. If you combine the scores of Dave's two songs on this album, it's still a pretty healthy average.
  21. stewedandkeefed

    stewedandkeefed Came Ashore In The Dead Of The Night

    "Rock 'n' Roll Cities" - did any band write as many "life on the road" songs as the Kinks? None that I can think of. And that makes sense because the Kinks were a road band and the show was the thing. They struggled to fit into the marketplace in terms of recording and releasing records but the real area where they had success was the rock 'n' roll show they took out on the road.
    As a song, "Cities" is a bit predictable. Driving rock 'n' roll with some really chunky Dave guitar driving it all. From my point of view, what's not to like? Sure they are not breaking new ground but I don't care. It was written to be performed live not to reinvent the wheel musically. It is just fun rock 'n' roll.
  22. pyrrhicvictory

    pyrrhicvictory Forum Resident

    Rock ‘n’ Roll Cities

    Here comes yet another
    , touring song? Someone dug his road atlas out for this one; Fresno! (birthplace of George Thomas Seaver). K-ROCK in NYC played this one a lot, usually the version customized especially for their listenership (and DJ’s egos). In place of 900 miles on Highway 61 went on WXRK radio. Well, no sacrifice is too great for art. The latter may be the better line, anyway!

    The Kinks lead single for their new label may be a Dave Davies composition, but it’s still all about Ray. Ray’s gone AWOL, where ever is the boy? Ray, even in absentia, remains the star of the show. I, for one, wish Ray tapped Larry Page for a cameo. As I picture it, at the moment we spy the rotund ‘agent’ pounding out ‘Find Ray’ on his keyboard, Larry flounces in. We cut to black-and-white or Super-8 footage, and in a Julien Temple-like flashback, we’re back in ‘65 at the Hollywood Bowl, where Ray is still locked in his dressing room, refusing to go on. Page shows him (as in A Christmas Carol) the future without him; with a replacement (Paul W. would be ideal), or even worse, Dave now leading the band. Ray acquiesces, and Page delivers him (we are now back in color) to Konk, where Ray waltzes in, much to Dave’s amazement. What do you think, @Brian x?

    Lately, I’ve been listening to bootlegs from shows I went to on the Think Visual tour. On the second of two dates in Passaic (that sleazy town), they played ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Cities’ during a four-song encore set. This was the night Ray arrived late due to his interview on NBC, so band practice was cancelled. The following is, verbatim, what Ray said after they played the song:

    I see you haven’t rehearsed that one, either. See, give ‘em a day off in their hotel rooms and they get slack. Then in a blood-curdling voice, Now, I don’t allow anybody to get slaaack.(that final slack delivered ironically, suspended in air by its Mid-Western twang).
    I will say Dave did pull off an impressive, searing solo, but the band clearly hadn’t worked out an ending to the song.

    Both Passaic concerts were lackluster, two of the worst Kinks shows I’ve been to. A couple weeks later, they added a last minute show at the Beacon in NYC which would end the tour. This date, which I’ve also been re-listening to, was one of the best Kinks shows I’ve witnessed. Look at this run of songs in the encores:

    I Gotta Move
    Better Things
    Celluloid Heroes
    Dedicated Follower of Fashion
    Till the End of the Day
    Waterloo Sunset
    You Really Got Me

    (and, mind you, the last song of the main set was All Day and All of the Night)
    A Murderer’s Row to rival the ‘27 Yankees.

    That glorious night at the Beacon I’ve been replaying in my mind over the weekend also features Albert Finney, who was three or four rows up and to my right, dead center seats. I knew he was a veteran actor, but, with youth as my only defense, I had no clue of his mighty stature in film. Today, with a much greater appreciation of Mr. Finney’s body of work, I regret not realizing just who he was on that evening. I would have waited for him in the aisle (and he did stay for the entire concert) to shake the great man’s hand.

    Ray (and me, in overcoat, with outstretched hand) Capitol Theater Passaic March 4, 1987

    Dave leaving Beacon Theater NYC March 16, 1987

    Ray on stage March 3, 1987

    All pictures by my friend, the late Rafaela Filippi, who ran the Kinks Kontroversy Fan Club.
  23. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Fantastic post ^ by @pyrrhicvictory .

    Gotta get in here to be the first to note that that’s Marina Sirtis, best known as Star Trek TNG’s Deanna Troi, playing Dave’s wife* in the ‘R’NR Cities’ video. This would have been pretty much immediately before she got her career defining gig.

    *the idea of casting for someone’s screen wife can’t help but bring to mind the episode of Alan Partridge where he tells his PA ‘Get me a 40 year old stunner: and do use that word!’ when looking for a stand in spouse to appear in a corporate video.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2022
  24. Luckless Pedestrian

    Luckless Pedestrian Forum Resident

    New Hampshire, USA
    Great picture of Ray on stage! and is that one of the “big guys “ behind Dave?
  25. fspringer

    fspringer Forum Resident

    New York City
    Rock 'n' Roll Cities: I'm surprised Dave didn't list Hampton, Viriginia as one of the cities. Then again, perhaps the space aliens instructed him not to, lest they zap his genitalia once again with their inter-galactic/laser chastity belt.

    I haven't listened to this song in decades, and I'll return to this enlightened state shortly, but in general it gets a bad rap. It's a big, dumb rock song that makes me now realize what a work of art Huey Lewis and the News' "The Heart of Rock and Roll" truly was. I sincerely think Dave didn't understand that he listed states along with cities ... I might have done the same had I been touring the English countryside. In terms of lyrics, Dave has never been Wordsworth, and I'll take this over the endless mystical twaddle any day. He really bore down here and actually wrote a coherent lyric, even if the results are embarrassingly cliched. The lead single? This creative decision exemplifies why the whole album tanked, Ray and the band not being self-aware enough to understand this should have been buried deep on Side 2 and remained there. Maybe MCA pushed for this? If that's the case, Ray should have pushed back much harder, regardless of Dave's feelings. We'd soon have Ray's next road song, which was much better, but even that suggested a tank running low on gas.

    I recall listening to this in real time and thinking, "This sounds like the kind of song The Replacements would drunkenly fumble through and make-up joke lyrics as part of a rambling, disjointed set of 70s arena rock covers." At least the video was fun. Why is it that any time I see Ray charm a woman in one of their videos, I feel like I'm watching Jamie Gumb in an arm cast manipulating his latest kind-hearted victim into the back of a moving van?

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