The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    Some twenty five years ago, I was having an ongoing dispute with this good friend of mine. He had/has great musical taste and knowledge (far exceeding mine in scope and diversity) and he was very much into new sounds, the whole Electro and Dance scene, while I was immersing myself in the resurgence of rock and pop (the alt. country scene, Elliott Smith, Eels, Grandaddy, Ron Sexsmith etc.). My perspective was that "rock music" had ceased to be the central art form it once was and that it was going to last, yes, but as a "niche" for traditionalists like me and that, consequently, its "History" was essentially over, it was not to "progress" anymore. You had to enjoy the genius of the Jayhawks or Elliott Smith without thinking too much about them reinventing the wheel or not. He was ADAMANT that in the contrary, this whole House/Dance thing (and what was called the "french touch") proved progress was still everywhere and that music was as vividly a part of everybody's life as ever.
    I think we were both right then. Of course, I'm still right now and he had to come around to it a few years down the line… :cool:

    This friendly controversy had roots in our teenage years : he'd been a fan of Indie and new wave when it happened in the eighties, while I was listening to the Beatles, Elton John, Pink Floyd and Supertramp. His two favorite bands were probably New Order and the Smith, the former I can appreciate, the latter I have an allergy of sorts to (something about the drums, the way they're played and recorded – oh, and something about Morrissey too). Long story short (I know it's long, sorry), we had a real aesthetic discord : he loved anything with a synthesizer while I leaned towards (acoustic) guitars, piano and mellotrons.
    Still, we had many passions in common, and the biggest one was the Kinks, which is easy to understand : all roads lead to Ray, Morrissey road as much as Tweedy road.

    He was the one introducing me to the 80 Days demos. He said "it's the best thing Ray did after the seventies". I was beyond excited so started to listen (the old cassette version). As soon as I heard the cheap synth everywhere, my world fell down. I thought "ah, so typical!" and was turned off. I probably didn't even listen to it all the way through. A direct result of the notion of "horizon of expectations": I didn't expect "the best Ray Davies" to sound that way at all. And at the same time, it was exactly the (bad) sound I expected from that eighties loving friend… This was not 80 Days, it was "80's days"… So I sat on this music for years. I would try to listen on and off, once every few years or so. Always thinking "the best thing Ray did after the seventies ? Yeah, right…". Had I found this bootleg by myself, I would've gone beyond the demo sound and adored it, but it was obliterated by our dogmatic conversations (one more proof that anything dogmatic is a dead end… boulevard :p), so I couldn't hear it for what it really was: indeed, some of the best material Ray'd written after the seventies !! A never ending well of beautiful melodies and whimsical musings, the direct follow up to VGPS and Arthur (and ultimately, the missing link between the latter and Americana).

    I only started to really appreciate it fully last fall. After I wrote a PM to @mark winstanley so that the thread wouldn't overlook these demos, I thought "I might as well listen seriously now" and sure enough, I was blown away… It tells you a lot about the ways of narcissism : now that it was my turn to introduce it to a friend (and a headmaster one at that!), suddenly I loved it! Anyway, it's a key part of the Ray Davies journey, its very existence casts UK Jive and the band's eighties dynamics under a very revealing light. I suspect this thread will see the first in depth study of this work ever, anywhere. All on board!
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2022 at 7:12 AM
  2. fspringer

    fspringer Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York City
    In all my years of collecting music (almost 50?), some weird things started happening in the digital age. First in the form of CD box sets, where artists took the liberty of opening the vaults and making rare tracks and demos available to fans. Then in the MP3 age, when the gates were thrown open, and fans could have access to nearly anything that had ever been recorded and leaked, either by the artists themselves or people who worked on those projects with an agenda (like the disgruntled Springsteen roadies who broke the dam on his Nebraska/Born in the USA era creative process). For fans who had been raised in that strict "artists and record company control everything" era that was the recording industry until then, it was a bonanza. And most of us gorged ourselves endlessly on that trough of aural delights, for many years. Having all this previously unheard/sometimes legendary material out in the open inspired artists to issue this material officially for the first time, and sometimes that was wonderful. I'm thinking of The Basement Tapes and Smile more than anything - Dylan, in particular, has taken full advantage of opening the vault door for his fans in a truly wonderful way.

    But I have to say, for the most part, things like this have become a "one and done" listening experience for me - all those demos for thousands of songs I know by heart. At first, it was a thrill to see these tracks listed on reissues and box sets. After a few years (early 00s?), it became routine. And sometimes it worked - usually for albums that had bad production (often in the 80s), and the far less produced demos sounded better (cough, Costello Goodbye Cruel World, cough).

    What I've learned with legendary projects like Ray's 80 Days demos? If Ray wanted this material out there, he would put it out there. Whether it's a painful episode for him to remember, putting years of work into a project that disappeared after six weeks, I don't know. He obviously put his heart and soul into this - and it vanished. When I first heard this on youtube a few years ago, I found it hard to listen to - I still do. The recording quality is obviously terrible and makes it difficult to judge the songs. I can clearly hear a few cool things that sound like classic Kinks. But mostly what I hear is songs that were demos to begin with, substandard recording, most likely dubbed onto cassette at some point, and copy of a copy of a copy found its way out.

    I'm worn out on this stuff - not Ray's fault. Just my experience hearing stuff like this over the past 30 years repeatedly. I used to be thrilled over the concept of bootlegs and holy grail recordings. I slowly realized I already had the grail in terms of the artist's recorded output. I'm already overwhelmed by the amount of officially released music I've heard and still need to hear. I also found, with friends, they didn't want to hear the cool, edgy Marc Bolan demos that I found on that huge bootleg series that came out in the 90s. They wanted to hear "Bang a Gong" in its pure form.

    So, that's my take on Ray's 80 Days project. At this point, I feel like an archeologist, up to his knees in fossils your average grade-school kid could find spelunking at a local shale quarry. Whatever impulse drove me to find the missing link when it began ... I found the missing link a few times over. And nothing was missing.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2022 at 7:19 AM
  3. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    The first impression that I got listening to the 80 Days demoes was that I heard something in Ray’s songs that I haven’t heard since the early 70s albums, a bit more melody perhaps. I think that is to be expected since songs for musical theatre have to be more tuneful than ones for mainstream rock, which the Kinks were now in. Our Headmaster is basically correct in his analysis of the situation. Avid Ajsmith was also correct in his opinion that the Kinks should have been put on ice for a few years. The Stones and The Who weren’t really active between 1986-89, while the Kinks were plugging away despite Ray’s 1985 rock music drought and his insistence on working on a movie and a Broadway show basically at the same time. It speaks volumes for Ray’s capacity for work, but it would have been better for him to concentrate on doing one thing well instead of three things at a time, where the potential quality would be diffused.
     
  4. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    “Bring on the rain….!” My toe’s a tapping.
     
  5. donstemple

    donstemple Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maplewood, NJ
    80 Days / Demos

    Like so many others here, I had no idea this even existed until it was mentioned here on the thread not too long ago. I listened to the whole thing once a few weeks ago, and more so over the last couple days. I really like it, these songs are growing on me and yes, these melodies and Ray's voices are right up there with the Preservation project. I hear snippets or of homages to Gods Children and several other songs throughout this set. At the start of one song, I hear just the first note of Schooldays. The more I listen, really the less these sound like demos. It's as if I am filling out the rest of how it would've sounded just based on our experience going through every single one of Ray's songs so far. But there's a lot there already. I'm super excited about this.

    Such an interesting chapter in the story of how he saw the band, the business, his artistry, and the like... Would this have been a Kinks project if John Gosling and John Dalton had stuck around? Is the only reason that we have Kinks albums in the 80s is because Ray suppressed his theatrical writing since 1976? It had to get out somehow, and I'm glad he found an outlet. A shame though that the show wasn't successful enough to live on past those 6 weeks.
     
  6. Brian x

    Brian x half-animate bean

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Helping in-laws move and ferrying kids here and there and a sudden onrush of work are keeping me off this thread, please assume my *likes* for all the posts over the last couple of days.

    Just a thought as I start listening to 80 Days (a revelation!) -- RD was so hard luck compared to his equally-talented, less-talented, and untalented contemporaries it almost seems like divine intervention... like the universe knew he'd only be able to handle so much fame & success, and wanted to keep him just a bit sidelined so he could keep releasing music without getting shot in the leg or contemplating suicide too often... sure he self-undermined at times & made some strategic mistakes, but there are just too many misses and near-misses and inexplicable twists of fate that kept him walking the line between total obscurity and rock-god status for decades...
     
  7. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    It's infuriating that this album never came out. Ray should at least clean it up for an official release! This could have been an extraordinary end to The Kinks. The Ray Davies tunesmith from the 60s and early 70s was still alive and well in 1988! He must have had some trepidation about bringing this project to The Kinks. The theatrical records were not very well received by the band or the critics. That can take the wind out of your sails. It's amazing that Ray had the determination to do it solo. The Kinks could have ended their career with an 80 Days tour across the world, and once again, Ray would have been considered too eccentric for the masses. Perfect!
     
  8. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    That would have been quite something
     
  9. Michael Streett

    Michael Streett Senior Member

    Location:
    Florence, SC
    This is pretty much where I'm at with this.

    While it is nice we have these and it's good to see Ray still had the ambition and skill to pursue a very different project like this, but this is not a lost unreleased album. We have a collection of rough sketch demos for actors in a play to hear and help them learn their parts. There's no indication it was ever planned as an album to be recorded later. This play was always based on a book and was never going to be based on an album like the Preservation or Soap Opera stage show projects were. He did say that if the play was a success, some of the material may have been recorded and released on the next band album, but of course that didn't happen for either aspect.

    I've had these for years and it's very hard to get past the demo instrumentation and drum machine drums and hear these as songs, so I've never listened to these very often. Plus it's unreleased for a reason, so it's not really part of the catalog. There's not a lot here that can be cleaned up and released officially in my book, so I don't ever see that happening, at least not in the form these songs are here. But I do like a lot of the melodies here, many remind me of past songs and there are quotes from old songs littered about and I can imagine something bigger and better. I can always listen to things like this and say if only they would have done this or wish the band had recorded these and done that and declare it a lost unreleased masterpiece if ...
    But I can do that with all the albums that were officially released too, so I don't really think in those terms very much.

    Maybe going through these with all the wordsmiths and lyrical analysts we have here will give me a greater appreciation of this project so I'll open the mind and focus on that aspect instead over the next couple of weeks. A fresh approach may be needed here for me, so that's the plan.
     
  10. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    It's really interesting to me, because generally I am not super enthused by leftovers and bits and pieces...
    If I get a box, it's because it has a 5.1 mix normally, and I rarely ever listen to the bits and pieces discs...

    One of the big eye openers for me has been just how much great unreleased material the Kinks have had... somewhat bewilderingly so.

    With this particular project, and I realise it is merely demos.....
    and perhaps you know? Was this really recorded in one day?
    ... but I actually really enjoy listening to it.
    There are some synth sounds that are a bit cheesy at times, but they don't seem to bother me that much.
    There are a few vocals that don't quite cut it, one layered section in particular, but again, it doesn't seem to bother me that much....

    I do think it plays better as an album.... and it is like, mainly excellent songs, with some very good link tracks...

    I don't know, this is one out of the box for me, and it will be in and around my higher end Kinks choices of albums to play, in spite of its shortcomings.

    I think that's why I'm so interested in what others will have to say about this, as we go through.
     
  11. markelis

    markelis Forum Resident

    Location:
    Miami Beach FL
    80 Days (The Demos): I have been digging this. As many of you may recall, my Kinks fandom sprung mostly from the early hits like YRGM and then the Arista era (I am a metal head at heart, although I am mellowing [finally] with age). The albums from Face to Face on forward all the way to Soap Opera were unknown to me, but due to this thread I fell in love with them and I am thrilled this thread made me focus on these albums. What a loss to have ignored them for so long, I denied myself so much listening pleasure. The Arista era still remains a favorite, but I am happy to see them shake things up yet again in this way (realizing it’s not the kinks, just Ray, but nonetheless). Early on, my thoughts were that I liked the first half of the songs and then it trailed off. Repeated listening though has made me realize that there is almost nothing on here that I do not enjoy. I’m pretty sure almost the entire set of demos will make my playlist for this era.
     
  12. Michael Streett

    Michael Streett Senior Member

    Location:
    Florence, SC
    That date comes from one of Hinman’s books but it belongs to an entry for a concert played in NY that day with the info on these demos below that with space between the entries and no date assigned to these sessions. The next entry on the next page is a TV appearance on Apr 3 back in England. If these demos were recorded in NY in March (“possibly” is the word Hinman uses), then it would be sometime during those last two weeks of March 1987 and over the course of several days is my guess.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2022 at 8:06 PM
  13. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    I spent my day today celebrating my friend Jimmy’s (Kinks fan extraordinaire) birthday by going record shopping in Gloucester and eating seafood in Essex. He told me that he had a friend in California that sent him newspaper clippings about 80 Days which he posted in his Kinks scrapbook. He also told me about a concert he attended in the early 70s at the Boston Orpheum which consisted of Larry Coryell, the New York Dolls and as headliner, Captain Beefheart!
     
  14. markelis

    markelis Forum Resident

    Location:
    Miami Beach FL
    I find it interesting that a number of people have commented on the quality of the sound. Certainly, you can tell they are demos, but I don’t think the sound is bad and frankly it all kind of holds together as though it was intended as an album. My only reason for popping back in on this was I thought I would mention that usually my fiancé is really sensitive to songs that sound like they are poorly recorded. I often do deep dives into other bands where I may be listening to demos and the like and she will generally give it a thumbs down due to the sound quality. Interestingly, I’ve been playing this a lot around the apartment and she loves it. No complaints whatsoever about the sound quality and she seems to be enjoying all of the songs. For whatever that’s worth.
     
  15. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I think there are maybe 1 or 2 songs that are slighter lesser, but most of it sounds good on my cd player
     
  16. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    I just put on "It Could Have Been Him" and my girlfriend said what's that? I told her it was the Ray Davies album I mentioned earlier today. She thought it sounded great and said it was cute. :)

    I think the sound quality issues depend on where you are listening to it. I don't know if I have the best quality copy out there, but it sounds ok. It would have been a great follow up to Return To Waterloo. I have only listened to this album twice, but I already think it's miles better than UK Jive or Phobia. It's kind of shocking how much the younger Ray comes through on these songs. I feel like this is the authentic Ray Davies, and all that shouting stadium rock Ray is what he thought he needed to do to keep the band afloat. Not that he doesn't have his moments on The Kinks albums, but this is his true masterpiece of the 80s. If Soap Opera and Preservation were more successful, this is the Ray we would have heard more of. I am thrilled that this album exists.
     
  17. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    This is interesting. I know that Morrissey is one of the most divisive characters in music, but I love his records. If you were not on board with The Smiths in the 80s, there is no chance you will come around to Morrissey. Either you can't stand his style or you think he is brilliant. Either way, he is certainly unique. It doesn't help that he became even more of a loathsome individual as he got older. He also contradicts himself all of the time. I'm not quite sure what his deal is, but he has written some gorgeous songs with The Smiths and in his solo career. I also have friends who can't stand him. There are not a lot of people left where you can talk about Morrissey and not end up in some kind of argument.
     
  18. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Yep, that's how I feel!
     
  19. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Sadly not officially.
     
  20. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Location:
    Murrumbateman
    80 Days / demos
    Others have already covered most of what I was going to say. I’m struck by how cohesive it sounds. Ray obviously put a lot of thought into the lyrics and the flow of the music. It’s Ray in his full-on theatrical mode - Gilbert and Sullivanish even. The main limitation is that - as is the nature of demos - he’s doing everything himself. So there’s no variety from the backing vocals or harmonies, the guitar and piano breaks are rudimentary and synths are everywhere. And there’s a drum machine. Yet, despite all that, I enjoyed it. When listening to the songs it’s good to imagine what Dave and the other Kinks could have added.
    With few exceptions (Dylan can still pull a rabbit out of an old hat) I’m with you. I’ve recently been going through about 10 CDs of Stones outtakes from the 70s so I can lend the best ones to a friend. But it’s been a hard slog - I’ve found no diamonds in the dust.
    I had the same experience with my wife the other night when I was listening to this instead of the football commentary. She even picked up a classical music lift that Ray used in one of the songs - Holst/Jupiter. Don’t worry - it was out of copyright :D
     
  21. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I think part of what makes this stand out, even in its demo form, is just what a contrast it is to the rest of the eighties stuff. It also doesn't hurt that many of us were taken by surprise by it too.
     
  22. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    Location:
    France
    Musicals

    I love musicals, though I mostly know them as movies. It's true that the French don't have a true tradition of the genre. My generation had the mythical "Starmania", alluded to by Avid @Fortuleo , with what I still think is great music and appalling though strangely efficient lyrics. I've never seen it live though. I've seen a number of musicals turned into movies, but very few theatrical ones. The only mainstream one I've attended to is Mamma Mia, the Abba musical. I loved it. Besides, I've seen a few small-scale musicals, some about corporate life, some of which had songs written by my father and were semi-amateur. My best memory is a musical circus that I took my elder son to see, back in the days when he was my only son, so at least 10 years ago. An incredible show by an independant company, with the guy on the piano playing very inventive original songs with incredible ease while the acrobats went choreographically through their numbers. I don't even remember their name, I had traced them on the internet a few years ago and they seemed to have been an ephemeral act from the late noughts. So much great music is created and disappears from the radar. Which leads us to...

    80 Days/ The Demos

    I had no notion of the existence of these demos, or even of the musical itself, until Fortuleo dropped his mention of "16 great songs" a few weeks ago. I checked on one of those alternate albums sites that we sometimes allude to on this forum, and it was there. I was really impressed at first listen, and also thought "wow, so the guy could still write this kind of stuff". The recording quality is somehow frustrating, because it's almost releasable but not quite. The way the vocals sound are what made me think "oh yes of course" when learning that "How Are You" preserved the demo vocal.

    I am ambivalent about the possibility of an 80s album drawn from this songs, though. Had it been recorded with the techniques of the time and the carefree approach of production characteristic of Ray, I'm not sure the songs would have gained that much, and probably would even have lost some charm in the process. Many of those would not sound that different from Think Visual and UK Jive. I'm looking forward to deep dive the different songs, but on first listens many of the tunes here are rather simpler than the late sixties of Preservation era compositions, though the intent is similar. So instead of sounding like a much better 80s Ray Davies alternative compared to UK Jive, a fully recorded "80 days" might well have appeared as a weaker rehash of the Kinks' theatrical years.

    All this I say only to be mean and contrarian, of course.

    But to end on a positive note, hearing these demos doesn't make me think that Ray should have focused more on 80 Days-type of songwriting and less on recording Arena-purposed albums. What it conjures up in me is "wow, what great creative years the 80s were for Ray after all". Because Think Visual, UK Jive and the rest are far from shameful, and all this adds up in my mind, they're not mutually exclusive.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2022 at 5:06 AM
  23. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    :righton:
     
  24. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Let It Be Written.

    stereo mix, recorded 16 Mar, 1987 at (possibly) Calliope Studios, New York

    Characters - Verne, Family and Publishers

    When I'm thinking of the pages still unwritten
    Staring at that empty page fills me with anger and with rage
    It gives me chills, it makes me age

    When I think of all the pages to be written
    I'll write the lines, contrive the plot
    I'll take the praise and all the knocks
    And every word and in each line is a creation that's all mine

    In 80 days 200 pages to be written
    Still they're saying
    (When will it be written?) I don't know
    (When will it be written?) I don't know
    (When will it be finished?) When it is done!

    Writing is my occupation, money is the motivation
    Must maintain my reputation, looking for some inspiration

    [From the musical, but not on the demo:]
    Another line, another tale, another chapter to unveil
    Another page, another book, but no one knows the toil it took
    [?]

    (When will it be written?)
    (Soon it will be written)
    (So let it be written, let it be done)

    Pressures from the left and right keeping me awake at night
    [?] finish it in time, the time has come for us to see some
    Oh let it be finished, let it be done

    All the knowledge ever learned, every peak and every plain
    Every action, every stage, starting in every age

    Nothing for another Frenchman, who then?
    I promised my publishers an even more horrifying creature
    Than a sea monster from 20,000 , more fantastic though
    Than the prehistoric reptiles in the centre of the earth
    But now I am faced to my greatest disputed challenge
    The most icy inscrutable creature known to science: an Englishman

    Now it's time to start the chain reaction
    Clear my mind, begin this new idea
    Treat the beast with great respect, entrap it with my intellect

    (When will you deliver?) I don't know
    (When will you deliver?) I don't know
    (When will it be written?) When it is done!

    (How can this be written?) I don't know
    (Yes, it must be written) I don't know
    (When will it be written?) When it is done!

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

    So this is the scene setter, Verne has been tasked with writing this play/novel/story in eighty days, and we have the pressure of the task at hand playing on the writer's mind. Based on the recent songs that Ray has been writing, we know that Ray can relate to this scenario of "working at the factory", pumping out product for the masses to consume, and keeping those pieces of coloured paper changing hands so everyone is happy.

    We open with what is essentially the anticipation. The empty pages taunting the writer, but it is this very challenge that drives the writer's pen.
    Then we move into the methodology, but also the self involvement needed to actually pull this off "And every word and in each line is a creation that's all mine"

    The chorus type section, whether actual, or in the writer's own head, is essentially the pressuring of when will this be written, with the I don't know replies.

    We move through a couple of sections that compound the pressure, and that this writer has a reputation, and it would be easy to fall from grace if the reputation isn't lived up to when this speed writing challenge is finished.

    Then with much humour, that raises the topic of the famed relationship between the English and the French over the centuries, we get this wonderful series of lines where we have the famed French writer speaking to the idea of writing about an Englishman.
    "I promised my publishers an even more horrifying creature
    Than a sea monster from 20,000 , more fantastic though
    Than the prehistoric reptiles in the centre of the earth
    But now I am faced to my greatest disputed challenge
    The most icy inscrutable creature known to science: an Englishman"

    This is a fantastic lyric from Ray that raises the competitive nature of the French and English and in a beautifully humourous way that may perhaps set the scene for the angle the story takes.
    So a beautiful irony? twist? here, with an Englishman writing about a Frenchman, who is writing about an Englishman... I love that already ....

    This works as a sort of prelude, and as the song moves towards the close, we get the signal that Jules is about to start writing, having developed the direction in his head.
    "Now it's time to start the chain reaction
    Clear my mind, begin this new idea
    Treat the beast with great respect, entrap it with my intellect"

    I'm guessing we have a few writers here, from the things I have read, but I love the description of this writing as a chain reaction, because from my perspective, that is exactly what it is like... something that someone that doesn't write will never understand, and the reason why disturbing someone when they are writing can result in a very negative experience, because when someone steps in to try and stop your train of thought, it isn't generally met with smiles and approval.

    Anyway lyrically this sets the scene beautifully, and we're off and racing.
    I think Ray captures this really well and it somewhat sets the tone for the slightly tongue in cheek manner that this project takes.

    Musically we open with the percussive typewriter, and the synchronised bass and kick drum with a keyboard playing an appealing repeated phrase.
    Then Ray comes in, and on this album Ray's vocals for the most part, are great. They are relaxed, and full of character, without the pressure of being thought of as master takes.... and I think that gives the vocals a great quality to them on here.... There are some vocals across the album that, for the released product, would probably have been redone, but nothing bad or anything like that.

    One of the other things here is the vocal phrasing, that again, across the course of the album is excellent, and when married with some of Ray's most interesting melodies for a while, it leads to being a great package.

    Now I'm going to say something here that may draw ire from the masses, because I gather this guy isn't too well liked in the world of music by many, due to one song that went gangbusters, but there are some sections on this album, and this song, that actually remind me of Chris DeBurgh's pre-fame material... In the phrasing and writing choices.... Barring the lyrical angle, I could hear this being from Spanish Train or Crusader from his earlier albums.

    We get nice acoustic strums at the start, that build into a sort of propulsive element in the song, and I think they work really well also.

    We do have a verse chorus type of structure, but it isn't quite that simple, with some nice deviations that really add some nice colour to the track.
    We also get some really effective major - minor changes that also work as nice subtle little colours adding to the song.

    This track is a little more straight than a lot of the album, but I think it works really well to ease us into the album, and set the scene, both musically and lyrically.....

     
  25. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    That sort of 'minor key version of the Needles and Pins riff' that underpins this song kinda puts me on edge, which I guess is appropriate for the pensive, anxious subject matter

    Part of the verse melody of this starting around 0.40 of this reminds me a lot of Jacques Brel's 'Jackie', known better ovah heah via the Scott Walker cover:

     

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