The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    Kurosawa also had a beautiful film called Dreams, and The Kinks gave us the song "Dreams" on the film soundtrack Percy. Yet another Kinks and Kurosawa connection! :)
     
  2. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Dont worry you're a Goodie there'll be no Zeki Thump!
    :hide:
     
  3. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Are both of you aware that Ray talks a bit in his first autobiography about his admiration for The Seven Samurai, a film he first saw at art college and that had a profound effect on his conception of the medium? So even this digression ties in!
     
  4. TeddyB

    TeddyB Senior Member

    Location:
    Hollywoodland
    So Brian, you’ve good taste in cinema as well. No surprise there!
     
  5. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Bright Lights.

    Time's running out just as fast as it can
    She's leaving me cold
    I don't understand
    Hearts beating hard on the edge of the floor
    Gotta kill this pain 'cause I can't take no more

    Bright Lights on a cold night
    If it feels good then it's alright

    Thinking about when we first met
    All these memories kill me
    Get them out of my head
    The flashing lights of the cities roar
    Make my mind a blurr
    Who's knocking on the door
    Nothing's for keeps
    Can't get no sleep
    My future is late
    Guess I'll find it next week

    Bright Lights on a cold night
    If it feels good then it's alright
    And she's out there in the spotlight

    See her up there in a New York fashion show
    See the freedom in her eyes
    Could've chose a better time
    For it all to go wrong

    Another night and my life is my own
    But it scares me half to death
    I turn on the TV, I see her favourite shows
    Oh I can't get her out of my head
    Out in the bars in the village with friends
    You can buy me a drink
    But please don't mention her name

    Bright Lights on a cold night
    If it fees good, then it's all right
    She's up there in the spotlight
    Now it's over and it's goodnight

    Bright Lights (x 3)

    See her up there in a New York fashion show
    See the freedom in her eyes
    Could've chose a better time
    For it all to go wrong

    Bright Lights on a cold night
    If it feels good then it's alright

    Bright Lights (x 2)

    Written by: Dave Davies
    Published by: Colgems-EMI Music Inc.

    The first thig that strikes me here is how very eighties pop this song is. It seems like it could well have come from a number of eighties synth pop bands, in its tone and style.... it does have that Dave twist though.

    With the opening verse we have a she's gone lyric, and as we go to the chorus, it seems like Dave's answer is to go and have a night on the town. Like the flashing charade of the party district will soften the blow. It seems like the way many go....

    The second verse seems like a more traditional Dave lyric as it wanders a little, but it retains enough focus to embellish the idea of having broken up with someone and gone to party on the town as an avoidance mechanism. So it makes sense in the context of the song.

    We get this little section that says he sees her up on the stage in a New York fashion show.... this sort of makes it more about Dave, than universal really, as I'm not really sure how many of us have dated New York fashion models, who I presume to be in the upper reaches of the modelling world, as New York was one of the hubs of the fashion world.

    Then we move into some pretty realistic scenarios.
    Another night and my life is my own....
    There is this strange thing that happens when you break up with someone after years of being together. All these learned feelings are disjointed. Just the fact that you are used to having someone sleep next to you, becomes this awkward thing... suddenly there is nobody there, and a part of your mind, or a reflexive action of the body tells you there is something wrong.

    It is weird and disconcerting..... and yes you see her favourite tv shows on, or you hear songs that drive another nail into your broken heart.... It is a really odd situation that would probably seem completely irrational to someone who hasn't been through that situation.

    So then we go back to hanging out in the bars with our friends... a sweet distraction.... but Don't! mention her name... I'm trying to forget. I am trying to retrain myself, I don't need to be derailed at this point.

    Without the New York fashion show section this is a very relatable lyric for anyone who has been there, and I can't say who has or hasn't, but it is a strange place to be...
    The New York fashion show makes it feels like this is a very specific and personal lyric... but I don't know enough about Dave's relationships to know who the lady would be, or if in fact he just threw that in there.

    Musically this is quite a bright sounding track in many ways, and I assume that is to marry off with the Bright Lights Big City theme.

    I think Dave does a good job of putting the guitars and synth together. We open up and it sounds like this is going to be a rocker, but the synth takes the wheel, and the bass and guitar essentially pump along with the drum machine? ... not sure it sounds like a drum machine at the start.

    The synth sound and arrangement sounds like it could be Ultravox or someone like that... and I was a fan of them, so that doesn't bother me.....

    The bass has that really twangy chunky sound.... almost like Hook from New Order.

    I actually like this. I think Dave takes the style and does Dave stuff with it and it works well. It isn't earth shattering, but I think it is a good synth pop track, with some guitar to crunch it up a bit.
    Dave gives us a nice very short lead break too.

    I reckon it works well.

     
  6. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Give Something Back.

    Give something back for all you've taken
    Give it right away
    Won't you give something back for all you've taken
    Love will come your way

    The lights shine on Broadway
    Living in a dream, yes you and I
    Living for today
    Never thinking much of anyone
    Think again

    Give something back for all you've taken
    Give it right away
    Won't you give something back, the earth it waits
    Shelter you each day
    Won't you give something back, the night so dark
    And days just slip away
    Oh, won't give something back and you will find
    That love will come your way

    Look through your window
    People in all lands, yes, you and I
    Rushing here and there
    Never thinking of the [?]
    Think again

    Give something back for all you've taken
    Give it right away
    Oh, won't you give something back, the night so dark
    And days just slip away
    Won't you give something back for all you've taken
    Love will find a way
    Won't you give something back, your heart it knows
    It never is too late

    Got to love sometime[?]
    This planet is a being, just like you and me
    Keep it turning, turning, turning
    So that we can be

    Give something back for all you've taken
    Give it right away
    Won't you give something back, the night's so dark
    And days just slip away
    Won't you give something back, the earth it waits
    Shelters you each day
    Won't you give something back

    Written by: Dave Davies
    Published by: Dabe Music

    We open with a really nice little acoustic guitar pattern, and it sounds really promising.

    I wish Dave had redone the vocal. the main problem I have with this one is Dave's vocal, it has a weird pinched nasally sound, or something, like he had a cold or something when he recorded it..... but it's a demo, so I understand how that works ...

    Lyrically this is a nice enough message. Essentially don't just be a taker... give something back sometime.
    In this context there is somewhat of an environmentalist perspective in the tilt of the lyrics, and that's fine, but as sweet as the perspective is, it isn't really taking me anywhere. There is a sweet sentiment, but no real meat in the sandwich, so to speak.
    Initially I thought this was a pay it forward type of theme, and that may have worked better, because that idea doesn't really require any directives, because if you care, you'll see the needs around you. they present themselves every day... From this perspective, I'm not sure exactly what I can give back, and particularly, right away?

    The song rolls along nicely but the chorus, which seems likely to have been the centre of this song, as in the first bit that came to Dave's mind, starts to get a little repetitive, and the song seems longer than it is. By the time we get to the change up, it feels like it should be the end, not the bridge, and the bridge works well.... Overall though, this is a borderline track for me.... Initially it starts off pretty good, but the vocal spoils what I may have gotten out of that, and then it just feels a bit long and stuck in a rut to my ears.

    I reckon this is a track that a re-write could do wonders with.

     
  7. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    The Kinks version of ‘Bright Lights’ is the penultimate track on the Cassette and CD versions of ‘UK Jive’, one of 2 songs Dave claims he had to have a fist fight with Ray in order to persuade him to grudgingly append onto the end of these formats as a compromise.
     
  8. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    "Bright Lights"

    This version sounds slow and sluggish compared to the version which ended up on UK Jive - I can't say that the song itself is one of my favourites, but I think that any track stuck at the end of that album is going to struggle. This also sounds a lot more 80s, and veers close to Miami Vice territory at times!

    "Give Something Back"

    Unlike yesterday's tracks, this is one of those Dave songs that would need several plays to assess, as it doesn't flow particularly well through the verse. The chorus becomes more infectious as it plays, but it does feel as though it's too long and needed a chorus or half-verse edited out somewhere. Also a bit of a nasally vocal, which stands out somewhat after the last few tracks we've covered having a more measured vocal.
     
  9. pyrrhicvictory

    pyrrhicvictory Forum Resident

    Location:
    Manhattan
    Give Something Back

    A song tailor-made for Earth Day, or even Live Aid, a bill on which Dave desperately wanted the Kinks to be included. The Fragile liner notes peg this one as from the early eighties (the guitar open crackles and pops same as it does on Mean Disposition) so both this and Charity could have made a relevant one-two punch at either benefit, not that Ray would ever allow even one Dave song in an abbreviated set, no matter it’s aptness. (What would mischievous Ray pencil in for such a set? Money Talks? Low Budget? Certainly not Skin and Bone) When the Kinks did play the 1992 Earth Day concert, Apeman was an eco-highlight. Give Something Back, along with No More Mysteries, makes two meaningful Dave songs we know virtually nothing about. Dave never performed them solo; could be he forgot about them both completely, as he’s never mentioned them in his books or anywhere else. It is a message song, and message received, loud and clear; one criticism is it leaves this listener feeling a little shortchanged in the lyrics department. Still a winner, though.

    Bright Lights

    A song about the vicissitudes of dating fashion models? This song was never going to be more than an average rocker, and eventually one of the weaker tracks on UK Jive. Filler, but catchy.



     
  10. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I must add that as I'm still getting used to UK Jive, I hadn't even noticed Bright Lights was on it.... but it explains why it sunk in so nicely, getting double peripheral listens lol
     
  11. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Bright Lights

    Dave has lost his lady again and no prizes for guessing he is not coping too well.
    The vocal funnily enough reminds me of a rough & rare one from his countryman Mitch Mitchell who overdubbed his in the 80's on the Jimi Hendrix Experience's Cat Talking To Me.
    Near the end of Dave's pleasant tune we kind of get a hint of part of the melody of Ha Ha Said The Clown.
     
  12. markelis

    markelis Forum Resident

    Location:
    Miami Beach FL
    Bright Lights: Once again our fearless leader has echoed my thoughts to a T. I like Bright Lights well enough, though I am guessing I will select the actual Kinks version for my playlist and probably drop the demo version. I do like the fact that it is quick and to the point (and, on the surface anyway, not about aliens), and the quick but flashy solo is a bonus.

    Give Something Back: As noted by Mark, nice little song that gets repetitive and goes on a bit too long. Maybe Smiler can whip up a two and half minute version for us?

    I have come to the conclusion that if I can sort through each Dave release and find a song or two I like to add in to my Kink's playlist, that will be sufficient for me. I don't envision I would make a "Dave" playlist, I think he needs to be sprinkled in amongst the Ray songs for maximum impact, he is a bit much to take on his own for lots of songs in a row. Like Keith Richards, a little goes a long way. I know, I know, everyone says the only real Stones albums since Tattoo You have been Keith's solo albums but I just don't agree. Dave without Ray (or Keith without Mick) is like peanut butter without jelly, a bite or two is good, after that you need something to balance it out. Needless to say, Avery and Dalton were the bread that held the sandwich together, and not just any ol' piece of bread, they were were like a loaf of ciabatta fresh from the oven (not sure what that means, just wanted to round out my poorly thought out analogy).
     
  13. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Give Something Back

    Vocally Mr Dave Davies sounds just like early Dave ...........Mason, even the phrasing, vocal hook and song/arrangement have some of his quirks!

    Personally iam thinking Vagabond Virgin from the self titled 2nd Traffic album.
    Oddly Dave inserts a little spoken section here, it's quirky but a Kwiet Kink as he didn't speak ever so loudly!
     
  14. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

  15. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    I’ve been basically taking another walkabout on these latest batch of Dave songs. I had new Venetian blinds installed in my room yesterday, and it was chaotic. Anyway, I would like to comment on that “Bright Lights” demo since it will be one of my favorite songs on UK Jive. The demo itself is pretty good, although lacking in guitars, and is just a draft or two from completion in its final form.
     
  16. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    Give Something Back is fine, it had potential, good hook, but in demo form, it's too repetitive and runs out of steam rather quickly.

    Another proto-Midge Ure ultra eighties sounding song, this Bright Lights demo will be "rocked up" for its UK Jive inclusion (as a CD bonus track). I much prefer the style of the latter in general but somehow, the eighties romantic sheen was an integrate part of the song. It’s almost like Dave's made a When You Were a Child version and a Rock’n Roll Cities one of the same song… Great khorus, though. In both versions.

    I can't believe I've missed out on the Kurosawa conversation… A sublime movie of theirs that I think wasn't mentioned is Red Beard. Not a samurai film but a period piece nonetheless, it has one extraordinary fight scene (bare hands, just judo and aikido moves, as the guy refuses to attack anyone) and Mifune's stellar. As for Red Sun ? I'm afraid Frenchman Alain Delon is the weak link in it… I think the next best Mifune film for kids should be Hell in the Pacific, the John Boorman (yes, him again) parable about two soldiers, one Japanese (Mifune), one American (Lee Marvin), who are stuck with one another on a little island trying to survive (and keep the other one prisoner) as the war is coming to an end.

    On the car on our way up to Calgary yesterday (wild west trip over), we had a heated conversation with the kids about the "most famous Japanese persons in the world". I was saying that for my generation, Kurosawa and Mifune would be the biggest Japanese names. They were pushing for some anime or video games creators (Eichiro Oda, the "One Piece" guy in particular), it was a genuine "generation gap" moment. We settled on Miyazaki as the best compromise (king of animation and self confessed Kurosawa disciple). But I still maintained that the overall most famous Japanese person of the 20th century was probably Yoko Ono, even more so than Hirohito himself. They said I was being my usual pop obsessive self. But I believe I have a good case for that one…
     
  17. donl

    donl Forum Resident

    Location:
    NY
  18. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    Location:
    France
    Thanks for the Mifune tip!

    I have fond memories of Redbeard but should watch it again to remember what it's about.
     
  19. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    :D I don’t think so. I tend to doubt whether Yoko Ono is much more than a blip on the radar in Japan. But an interesting car conversation!

    For samurai film buffs: Director: Yoji Yamada. His Samurai Trilogy (The Twilight Samurai, The Hidden Blade and Love and Honor)

    Excellent, excellent, excellent. Anyone who hasn’t seen these should run out and do so.

    Note: this entire film discussion digression can be traced directly to @DISKOJOE and his viewing of Le Mans. Just thought I’d point it out! :D
     
  20. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Of course! It says so right in the first sentence.
     
  21. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    Location:
    France
    We have seen another trilogy, from the 50s, about Miyamoto Musashi, with Toshiro Mifune. First movie was good, the other 2 not so much. Beautiful colors in Eastmancolor (?). Not as good as the Eiji Yoshikawa novel, by far.

    Great to know that Ray was influenced by Seven Samurai. Toshiro Mifune plays one of the Seven, a buffoon-like fighter who hides a terrible secret: he comes from a peasant family. He's the bridge between those 2 incredibly distant worlds who end up fighting together for the village. Maybe Ray saw himself as a modern version of this character, as a working-class-born hero who sang his way to the fringes of Rock royalty, where he kept his stance as both a voice of the people and a critic of their weaknesses.
     
  22. donstemple

    donstemple Member of the Club

    Location:
    Maplewood, NJ
    Bright Lights / Give Something Back

    Honestly, not really a fan of either of these. I've listened a few times. The best part of Give Something Back is the first 3 seconds... Neither song really goes anywhere for me.

    The only line among the two songs that is somewhat interesting is this one:

    My future is late
    Guess I'll find it next week

    Like you are really stuck in a rut, and you hope to move forward at some point, but you just can't right now. Bright Lights does have a rather relatable lyric, and recalls No More Looking Back, with all the reminders of her everywhere, and imagining her face everywhere you look. But that was an epic song. This, is not.
     
  23. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    Blame it on me, why don’t you, Avid Zeki :laugh:, It’s especially ironic since
    I never seen any of those movies you guys are going on about :laugh:
     
  24. Brian x

    Brian x half-animate bean

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Bright Lights/Give Something Back

    Just talking a bit of business here for the opportunity to go free form... it feels like DD is evolving as a singer & songwriter, & the last 4 songs here are generally more tightly structured and certainly better sung than most of the stuff off the last couple of DD albums we explored. I really like this version of his voice, the voice I recognize from Strangers, like a slightly thinner, more plaintive, emotionally naive version of Ray's. But as he disciplines himself melodically -- which is good! -- he's also exposing a certain weakness & predictability as a pop songwriter. And since his lyrics generally lack the scope, precision & poetry of his brother's, it's hard for me to love any of these songs.


    Assuming a tenuous konnection between the Kinks and Kurosawa and kids....

    My dad (Japanese ethnically, born in Seattle) literally snuck me into an art house theater in DC to see 7 Samurai (rated for 13 and over) when I was 9. Ambivalent as he may have been about his Japanese heritage, he considered Kurosawa an absolutely essential part of a young man's education.

    Re Miyazaki: Totoro, Ponyo, and Spirited Away always seem to be on one or another screen in our house, since they're pretty much the only movies the 60 year old, the 36 year old, the 13 year old, the 6 year old, and the almost-3 year old all love equally. (Kinks konnection: The cat in Kiki's Delivery Service is clearly Phenomenal).
     
  25. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    "Bright Lights"

    I think I prefer this version over the heavier rock version on UK Jive, but I'm not entirely thrilled with either. Dave has been compared to Rod Stewart a few times in the past, and this song sounds like it could have been a hit if Rod covered it. Maybe Dave and Rod should have recorded a duet and made a video of them both "Dancing in the Streets". :)

    "Give Something Back"

    I almost mentioned Dave's nasally voice on one of yesterday's songs. It's also present on this song. It does sound like he has a cold, but I think this is just the way Dave sounds during this period. I'm with @mark winstanley that this could have been a good tune with a little more work and a better vocal. I'm picking up a little 80s McCartney vibe.

    What is the deal with all of these songs? They were meant to be a Dave solo album, but never got released? Sounds like he had a pretty decent album in the works.

    I could go on and on about Japanese films. I have never seen a Miyazaki film and know nothing about him. I'm not sure I like Japanese animation, but maybe I should check it out. If someone mentioned him, I wouldn't have known who they were talking about. I'm out of the loop when it comes to more current films, but if someone mentioned Akira Kurosawa, Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Kenji Mizoguchi, Tatsuya Nakadai, or Kaneto Shindo, my ears would perk up. Hard to say who the most famous is these days.
     

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