The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. donstemple

    donstemple Member of the Club

    Maplewood, NJ
    It's been a lot, we've been through songs at least
    431 or more, or is it less? I can't be sure...
    Well, anyway...
  2. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    With @Zeki 's infallible committee certified playlists, I reckon he knows exactly how many songs we've done

    Edit: me? I wouldn't have a clue. As we've found out, I'm lucky if I know what day it is :)
  3. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    And I’m cracking an IPA. :D
  4. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Ha ha. No, I don’t. I was just jumping on @palisantrancho remark.
  5. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    That disappoints me slightly :)
  6. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    I think I'm obsessed, I see Kinks signs everywhere…

  7. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Interestingly those arrows seem to be the wrong way around
  8. sharedon

    sharedon Forum Zonophone

    But Big Sky too big to care! ;)

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Salem, MA
    Hey everybody, how’s the weather where you all are? It’s about the high 80s low 90s here in the Boston area, very hot. I also heard that Oxford, England is in the 90s, so our UK Avids, as well as the visiting Avid Wondergirl, are also feeling the heat.

    Also, here’s a piccy of Fortuleo that I found. He’s really getting in the spirit of the Old West :laugh::

  10. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Yes I did mention that song and infer it was on the keys which is the most blatant but not only place!
  11. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    Ah ah, how well you know me! I did think about it, but the melody is playing nicely with the borders of the structure, and it almost distracts me. And this kind of I-II-I-II thing (or is it IV-VI IV-V ?) is slower to get on my nerves than a I-V-I-V or I-IV-I-IV. And you're right, there are lyrical grounds to justify the repetitiveness.

    By the way, I admire your systematic resort to editing the songs. I do it, but rarely, and not as often as I would like. I'd love to hear your edits, notably the one you made for

    Natural Gift

    ...which indeed is a bit longish. I don't dislike this song at all. And I really like the melody to the chorus, it's quite inventive and catchy. I don't know what music game our Master is referring to. As for the lyrics, I'm a Dave Davies fan, so this is not going to scare me.

    I loved the orchestra hit back in the day. I used it all the time, to play dissonnant chords and melodies, and get spooky effects that I thought were great. Well, back in the day. It's cool when it first occurs in this song, then after a while it starts to lean a little bit on the heavy side.

    If this song had been on an 80s Lou Reed album it would have sounded almost like progressive rock compared to the rest; it would be hailed as a hidden gem and everybody would find the words perversely witty.
  12. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I like Lou Reed, but even if this was Bob Dylan, Mark Knopler, Billy Cobham, Stanley Clarke and Rachmaninov it wouldn't be a hidden gem in my world :)
  13. Smiler

    Smiler Forum Resident

    Houston TX
    I know some may consider editing another artist's work sacrilege, but I find it a way to listen to a song I would otherwise resent/not play due to its length and/or over-repetition.

    Natural Gift EDIT - Kinks | Smiler (This sounds unsatisfyingly incomplete but at least it doesn't annoy me. Though perhaps I overdid it..)

    Repetition EDIT - Kinks | Smiler

    The Video Shop EDIT - Kinks | Smiler

    How Are You EDIT - Kinks | Smiler
    Oh, I wish. I have spent hours and hours overdubbing to tapes transferred to ProTools (and trying EQ and compression to try to give some slight control over bass and drums), and it often doesn't quite work because of tape stretch or slightly variable recorder speeds. My time would have been much better spent getting proficient on an instrument!
    True. I like the way you express things!
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2022
  14. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    America looks good on him!
  15. ThereOnceWasANote

    ThereOnceWasANote Forum Resident

    Cape May, NJ
    That leaves a lot unsaid since there are about a zillion types. West Coast? Citra Hops? Hazy? Floral? Fruity? Dank? the IPA rabbit hole
  16. ThereOnceWasANote

    ThereOnceWasANote Forum Resident

    Cape May, NJ
    I'm amused how you flat out don't like a Kinks song and it turns out (surprisngly) to have all these supporters. I fear the opposite for the next song! LOL
  17. ThereOnceWasANote

    ThereOnceWasANote Forum Resident

    Cape May, NJ
    Think Visual

    Ray creates a new genre "show tune hard rock". I mean you can see this a scene in boardroom Ray as the CEO in a room full of people at a long desk. People dancing around singing different lyrics. People say that Ray was out of creativity? Really? This album is all over the map filled with creative flourishes in songs (sometimes too busy maybe but full of ideas lyrically, melodically and sonically too.

    It makes the Arista albums sound like a black and white movie. Once again Dave shines on here and the guitars acoustic and electric are darting all over the song like waterbugs skating on a lake or pond.

    Once again a tight, short punchy Kinks rocker with some unexpected twists and turns into the RCA era campy tea and theatre.

    You may not like Ray's creative choices on this album but you can't say he's phoning it in.

    The evolution of the Definite Maybe riff here as well.

    No Decision, No Decision
    Competition, Competition

    This and Natural Gift would've made for a good double A side single. They both seem to be wriiten as potential singles.

    Great variation in the songs on this album, especislly the run from Sleazy to this. The Kinks genre-hopping like a lily pad jumping ADHD frog.
  18. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Shouldn't that be pointing upwards?
  19. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    I like all your edits and don't hear anything awkward or jarring.
    Unrelated to them but over the start of Natural Gift I started loosely singing Let My Love Open The Door from the solo career of you know who!
    Smiler, DISKOJOE, markelis and 2 others like this.
  20. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    Cool edits !

    There is one bold move in the "Repetition" edit towards the end, but on the whole it works.

    I guess you can trim down Phobia to 40 minutes and no one will notice. How come songs doubled in length between the 60s and the 80s, while also becoming less memorable?

    Is the last song on the page yours ? I don't find it elsewhere (though I didn't search for long). It's cool.

    As Arch-Avid @DISKOJOE may have already said, Martin Newell and the Cleaners From Venus have long remained faithful to 4-track recording, and only stopped it to switch for an 8-track machine!
  21. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    oh well, these things happen :)
  22. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Killing Time.

    stereo mix, recorded Jun-Jul 1986 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London

    Everybody's going somewhere
    See how they stand in line
    All complaining their lives are unfair
    Too bad for them, too bad for mine

    (It's the killing time) From now till then
    (Killing time), Not knowing when

    They're watching me, I'm watching them
    Standing by the empty mine
    (Killing time)

    It's a killing time
    I know it well
    Killing time
    Until the bell
    Too late to change, too soon to tell
    And in between, the killing time
    (Killing time) Giving me hell

    Up above the stars still shine
    Through the poverty and grime
    Of the empty streets below
    Killing time, nowhere to go
    (Killing time)

    Tell me, brother what's the plan?
    Will I be a working man?
    And occupy my idle mind
    Or kill the time I knew so well
    (Killing time) Giving me hell

    Still I can smile at what I see
    Soap operas full of vanity
    So much wealth and property
    Side by side with petty crime

    Is that all life's meant to be?
    Commercials full of luxuries
    A man has one, a cat has nine
    And in between it's killing time
    (Killing time)

    It's a killing time
    I know it well
    Too late to change
    Too soon to tell

    Still I can smile at what I find
    Waiting round and killing time
    Bite the bullet
    Help me through it
    These lunatics will take my mind
    Why can't life be more sublime
    Than all of this waste and killing time

    Killing time
    I know it well
    It's the killing time

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

    It may seem really odd to you guys, I'm not sure, but I love the vocal here, and it really gets me into this song. The melodic arrangement actually reminds me of Neutral Milk Hotel, King Of Carrot Flowers... They are certainly not the same song, but there is something about it that brings that to mind.

    Lyrically Ray seems to be singing to the futility of our existence.

    "A man has one, a cat has nine
    And in between it's killing time"

    I think this is the key line in the song. We have one life, and in between our birth and death there is so much time wasted....
    It isn't necessarily the most direct Ray lyric, some of it is just wordplay, but I think overall he gets the message through pretty clearly.

    It doesn't matter whether we are talking about rich or poor, whether we look at the reportedly honest, or the reportedly criminal we all spend too much time doing futile things, with futile results, and our lives pass by like we are merely spectators in them.
    Circumstances leave us where we are in life. Some of them are self forged, and some of them are merely a time and a place, but do we do the best we can with the best we have? I don't know, I'll go on a long long waffle if I head down this track.

    The opening lines are brilliant

    Everybody's going somewhere
    See how they stand in line

    A perfect piece of sarcasm, but it's not mean or nasty, it is just an observational truth. Everybody is in a rush to go nowhere.
    We are all in a hurry to get somewhere.... but the irony is we end up in a queue, or a line if you prefer... whether queueing up in the peak hour traffic to get to and from work, or queueing up for tickets to that show/movie/play/nightclub?.... queueing up for a ride at the fair, queueing up to get the bargains at some astonishingly misrepresented sale, where there is one tv at a special price and the rest are pretty much normal, and people beat each other to death to get to that one tv, when they have seven at home already ....

    We lead bizarre lives...

    All complaining their lives are unfair
    Too bad for them, too bad for mine

    again this rings true in my world ... shades of this anyway. I'm not sure I have ever met anyone who thinks they get paid enough... It's unfair. I should be paid more to sit here and do as little as possible to get through the day. Killing time.
    Too Bad For Them, Too Bad For Mine
    It's too bad for them, because they are wasting time and energy, instead of living. Too bad for mine, because my life is no different. We are all in some sort of factory could be the underlying message in the cryptic way Ray sometimes puts things together.

    They're watching me, I'm watching them
    Standing by the empty mine

    So many people I have known through life have been too bothered about what "...." is doing, to just get on and live their own lives... It is easy to fall into this trap.
    Standing by the empty mine... there are no resources in this behaviour. there is nothing to get out of this empty mine. The wealth is in other places but we misunderstand where and what the wealth is, and end up killing time.

    We get the idea put forward that this wrestling with the idea of killing time is giving him hell. It can be hard to motivate ourselves to get up and on with something worthwhile....sometimes we are just unsure of what is a worthwhile way to spend our time. Sometimes we just throw up our hands and put on a record, or a cd, or watch a tv show that is essentially the same as a hundred others we've seen... but it occupies our mind for a while, and we convince ourselves it's therapeutic or relaxing ....
    Sometimes, probably more often than not, we have what seems to be no choice...

    I'm not sure this lyric is as direct as I would like it to be for this theme, but then again it is a difficult subject really.... because what is actually worthwhile, and how much of what should we be doing?...
    Life doesn't really come with an instruction manual, and there are a million distractions and diversions, and then we have a million different pieces of information that we are fed constantly, but only a handful of them are actually true... Life is like the most complex puzzle we are ever presented with, and it is probably not a bad question to ask... Are we just Killing time?

    This song is essentially written as a turnaround, and there is nothing groundbreaking about that, but I don't need all my music to be revolutionary, sometimes I just want a good melody and feel, and for me this song has a great melody and feel, and it ends up being among my favourites off the album.
    After what feels like a dead stop in proceedings with the previous two tracks, this song comes back in to redeem and actually lift the album greatly for me.

    There is nothing I don't like about this track really. the breezy feel, the sound, the backing vocals, Ray's vocal ... For me this is a corker of a track and .... it may well come under my category of Kinks Klassic

    Last edited: Jul 22, 2022
  23. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    ^ great write up. Nothing to add: this song passed me by on previous listens and I admit it's still not a huge favourite, BUT Mark's description really sells it, I mean I 'get' why the song would mean a lot to someone through it, it totally unpacks the weight this song carries.
  24. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    "Killing Time"

    I'm glad that Mark likes this one so much - a great analysis of it. However, to me this is the archetypal penultimate track on an album. The one that I find least memorable/most disposable and which is most likely to pass me by. It was used as the b-side for both the UK singles from the album - are there many other tracks which have been "double b-sided"?

    When I do actually pay attention to this one, I find it's pretty good. Seems a bit ragged in places with both Ray and the guitars hitting a bum note or chord on occasion (particularly on the word "change"). It's a circular structure which perhaps goes round a few times too many. There are some great lines in it, though.

    Back in the late 80s, we still had no precedent for what happened to rock bands when they got old. When do they stop? I was thinking that The Kinks were now in their forties, maybe the time when they'd call it a day was almost upon us - and if that was the case, then "why can't life be more sublime/than all of this waste and killing time" wouldn't have been a bad line for Ray to sign off with.

    In summary, I don't have a problem with this track, but it's not especially a standout on this album.
    Wondergirl, Brian x, Smiler and 17 others like this.
  25. stewedandkeefed

    stewedandkeefed Came Ashore In The Dead Of The Night

    "Killing Time" - a song everyone should be able to relate to in some way. First of all, "killing time" is a pretty interesting phrase in the English language to begin with and Ray uses that phrase effectively as the title of this song. From Ray's point of view, I am reminded by an interview with Charlie Watts where he described 25 years with the Rolling Stones as "five years of playing and twenty years of waiting about" and I think there may be some truth to that - rock n rollers on the road spend a lot of time just waiting for show time. The rest of us are usually killing time waiting for something we look forward to in our lives (eg. the weekend - turns out Loverboy were right). Agree with @mark winstanley that it has a breezy feel to it musically. I enjoy this song.

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