The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    "Let It Be Written"

    I really like this - even in this demo form. The organ sound places me right back in the 70s, and this sounds as though it would have worked equally well as an opener to Preservation Act 2. The organ also brings to mind "Sleepless Night", and just to remind us that this is Ray Davies in the 80s, we have the pile-up of four four-syllable "-tion" word rhymes. Ultimately though, it's just a really good tune - the chorus in particular is irresistably catchy, Ray's vocal has a great spontaneous feel about it. If this is meant to be an appetiser for what is to come, then it totally works.
    The MEZ, Wondergirl, Steve62 and 18 others like this.
  2. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Oct 1963 - Nov 1966 -
    Apr 1967 - Feb 1970
    Nov 1970 - Jun 1976
    Feb 1977 - Dec 1983

    Starstruck promo video/ Days video/ Sunny Afternoon TOTP

    One For The Road - the lost videos

    Oh Tokyo live in 1982 - lyrics

    Album flow chart

    Live In Frankfurt in 1984

    Nov 1984 Word Of Mouth
    Do It Again - video - live 84 - live 87 - SNL - interview
    Word Of Mouth - SNL - live 84
    Good Day - live 84 - 12"
    Living On A Thin Line - live 84 - Dave 2001 - Sopranos
    Sold Me Out
    Massive Reductions
    Guilty - live 89
    Too Hot - single
    Missing Persons
    Summer's Gone - Full length
    Going Solo - original album edit

    The Dave songs up to this point

    Kompilations part 4 - 1984

    The Arista Years

    Kompilations Part 5 - 1985
    extras - 69, 73, 77
    Supersonic Rocketship alt mix
    Celluloid Heroes mono
    Moving Pictures alt mix


    Magazines - 2 - 3 - 4

    Jul 1985 Return To Waterloo - documentary - Fan Soundtrack - Movie
    Return To Waterloo - alternate - info - promo video
    Ladder Of Success - the late mix
    Going Solo

    Missing Persons
    Sold Me Out - original lp mix
    Lonely Hearts - album version
    The Good Times Are Gone/Not Far Away
    Return To Waterloo/Voices In The Dark - alt mix

    The Great Lost Kinks Movie -Village Voice 1985

    April 1986 Absolute Beginners/Quiet Life

    June 1986 Come Dancing With The Kinks

    Kompilations pt 6 - 1986

    Ray promoting Think Visual
    Musician Magazine
    Interview record
    EC Rocker Magazine
    Ray 86 Interview
    People Magazine
    Ray guest VJ

    Nov 1986 Think Visual
    Working At The Factory
    Lost And Found - video - live 87 - excerpt and questions
    Welcome to Sleazy Town - live 89 - Ray Interview with Sue
    Video Shop
    Rock And Roll Cities - Video - MTV
    How Are You? - video - tv 86 - video
    Think Visual - live - live 87
    Natural Gift
    Killing Time
    When You Were A Child

    Ray and Howard Stern

    1987 Kompiles - Hit Singles - The Kinks Are Well Respected Men

    Chicago 1987

    Pete Quaife interview

    Jan 1988 The Road - Setlists
    The Road - video - Ray on Letterman 88 - single edit
    Come Dancing
    Art Lover
    Cliches Of The World - video
    Think Visual
    Living On A Thin Line - video
    Lost And Found
    It (I Want It) - video
    Around The Dial
    Give The People What They Want
    You Really Got Me

    Apr 1988 Massey Hall

    Apr 1988 Milwaukee

    1988 80 Days (complete album)
    Around The World In Eighty Days
    80 Days the play - bootleg audio - review - L.A. Times
    80 Days demos
    Let It Be Written

    Kinks live TOTP 1994

    2001 Dave Davies Fragile
    Violet Dreams

    No More Mysteries
    Bright Lights
    Give Something Back
    Long Lonely Road

    Dave Creeping Jean live 2004

    2005 Thanksgiving Day Ray live on Conan Obrien

    2006 Dave - Too Much On My Mind

    2010 Come Dancing play

    Oct 2018 Dave Davies - Decade - interview
    If You Are Leaving (71)
    Cradle To The Grace (73)
    Midnight Sun (73)
    Mystic Woman (73)
    The Journey (73)
    Shadows (73)
    Web Of Time (75)
    Mr Moon (75) - Why
    Islands (78)
    Give You All My Love (78)
    Within Each Day (78)
    Same Old Blues (78)
    This Precious Time (78)

    2019 Kast Off Kinks with Ray

    2022 Celluloid Heroes

    Rob Kopp has made his 1999 Kinks discography 'Down All The days Till 1992'

    US Chart Stats
    The Music Industry Machine

    Mick Avory
    Pete Quaife - interview - Kast Off Kinks - I Could See It In Your Eyes - Dead End Street
    Rasa Didzpetris Davies
    John Dalton
    John Gosling
    Jim Rodford
    Ian Gibbons
    Andy Pyle
    Gordon Edwards
    Clive Davis

    Bob Henrit
  3. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    She was relieved it was not Metal for once ? :p
    MetaRay strikes again ! The (brilliant) part you've highlighted is the only moment in the song where the lyrics would be unequivocally sung by Jules Verne. But it is not in the demo, is it ? So as it stands, the demo could be Ray singing about having to write the musical – or anything else, for that matter. But let's say it's about the musical : it's like he's singing a song he wrote about having 80 days to write a play where a guy's singing a song about having 80 days to write a book about a guy having to travel around the world in 80 days. My head hurts, but it's a lot of fun !
    Indeed the chain reaction thing says a lot about the writing process. Also priceless is the "when will it be written ?/when it is done!" bit. This is so true… Whatever it is that you're writing… I'm writing this post right now, I don't expect the Thread participants to ask "when will it be delivered @Fortuleo ?", but my wife's waiting for me to go out, fuming by the door, asking me when I'll have this important work finished (I hide the computer screen…). When it's done, honey, when it's done… :love:

    My guess is Ray's also writing a song about writer’s block to conjure writer’s block (since we actually know he experienced it around that time – see Natural Gift comments). Brilliant stuff. The song ? It’s an introductory number full of pop hooks, the little keyboards gimmick is pretty generic (dozens of songs battle in my mind screaming "it's me, it's me", but they're so loud I can't narrow it down to one! (edit : Needles & Pins, yep. I do hear Jackie too. That's a lot of DeShannon nods for one post, @ajsmith !)) The somber reflective tone at the start's very much in the Return to Waterloo style, I could see subway Ray strumming this one away before it becomes more anxious, almost a panic attack. Intriguing scene setter, I love how the complete lyrics put the whole thing in this big imaginary world. The guy’s going to bring you along in a journey into his crazy mind where everything’s possible. I mean he’s Jules Verne, after all ! Or even better, he's Ray Davies! We can trust him/them, it'll be great… when it is done!
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2022
  4. Rockford & Roll

    Rockford & Roll Forum Resident

    Midway, KY
    I've never been a big fan of musicals. It took me years and years to finally appreciate The Sound of Music. And trying to turn rock n' roll into a play? Usually not my bag. I am intrigued by all of this and the idea that Ray was still working his more complex musical ideas out. In this era when so much comes out, it seems odd that this project never found an official release. I'm going to keep an open mind and listen to this project like I would a song cycle.

    Let It Be Written - So right out of the gate, I like this. The lyrics can be taken in the context of the play or in a confessional from a songwriter or artist. Musically, I thought of Al Stewart.
    The MEZ, Wondergirl, Steve62 and 16 others like this.
  5. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    For me the play is an interesting anomaly. Almost like the idea that Preservation, Soap Opera or Schoolboys could have been plays.
    I think it is pretty easy to just look at this as a theatrical album/rock opera, or whatever. It's very much like listening to one of the 68-74 albums for me.
  6. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    What a great start to the musical - great 'typewriter' opening, nice synths and lyrics that set the story up well. I've missed this side of Ray!
  7. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    ‘Let It Be Written’: there’s more than a feeling of melancholy in this tune but, despite the darkness, I really like this as a show opener/scene setter. (Yes, I get the Al Stewart reference.)

    I follow along with the lyrics so was disappointed that a big chunk wasn’t included in the demo…but that’s kind of what happens as a song is tweaked and shaped.

    As someone said, my overwhelming thought about this project is that it shows how Ray was just bursting with creativity during this period. (I recall thinking the same thing about Pete Townshend when ‘Scoop’ was released. Or Van Morrison’s ‘The Philosopher’s Stone’.)
    The MEZ, Wondergirl, Steve62 and 16 others like this.
  8. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    Today's harvest includes Chris DeBurgh as a 70s artist and the Scoop compilations, neither of which I knew existed. Food for my long hoped-for holiday from tomorrow night on.
  9. fspringer

    fspringer Forum Resident

    New York City
    The most familiar reference to me is from the movie The Stunt Man. If it sounds overly familiar to some, it was often used as a Million Dollar Movie theme that played while a local network announced the start of a movie on TV (often with early digital graphics of city skylines and klieg lights scanning the horizon). Going back to The Stunt Man, there is also a great "lost" Dusty Springfield song in that movie that derives from this theme, "Bits and Pieces."


    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Salem, MA
    "Let It Be Written": A nice beginning to the 80 Days demos, w/Jules Verne himself trying to bash out a book about traveling the world in 80 days within 80 days itself. I also like the way the typewriter is in the background as an ominous presence. I bet that Ray wrote this song on his own experiences.

    Also, Avid Zeki, I recently found a copy of The Philosopher's Stone in one of my thrifting expeditions for $1.99. It's a great album.
  11. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    I just listened to the show version. Of course the sound is so awful that you have to mentally reconstruct the actual number. But I must say Ray is really good at imagining show tunes. It works really good. The score writer didn't have to dig very deep to find the arrangement, everything was already here.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2022
  12. Fischman

    Fischman RockMonster, ClassicalMaster, and JazzMeister

    New Mexico
    First ever listen here.
    I find this strangely compelling.... captivating.
  13. markelis

    markelis Forum Resident

    Miami Beach FL
    Let It Be Written:

    Kicking in with the clacking of a typewriter and some icy keys, Ray’s story of a writer pressed to finish his work sounds like an analogy for his own writers block and the pressure created thereby. Driven largely by the synth and (presumably) Ray’s piano (after the clacking of typewriter keys), the music in nothing special and yet moves the song along nicely. I think this song is the first of many highlights.

    So whats the story here? I am writing this back on August 2nd. I have read nothing about this so I have no idea what the story is that Ray would be telling with these songs. I will write my thoughts on the story and we will see how I do.

    In this case, all I’ve got so far is a writer, maybe with writers block, facing a deadline and a lot of blanks pages. It becomes clear that the writer doesn’t even have an idea to start from yet. The writer is driven by the quest for money, and to protect and maintain the reputation (which suggests a long time and perhaps well known author). The pressure he is under is clear.

    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

    Anyway, its quite a fantastic sounding track for a demo, and a great kick off to this album that is not album.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2022
  14. Paul Mazz

    Paul Mazz Forum Resident

    Let it Be Written

    I really like this - maybe slightly more as the opener for the play, based on the description of the plot, than as a stand alone cut, though the more I hear it the more I like it as a song. (I haven’t listened to the whole demo album yet, and certainly didn’t listen to the play yet, though I may force myself to overcome the poor sound quality and do that at some point).

    Again, not having seen the play, Ray’s idea of making Verne a character seems like a great idea. Also, trimming out the specific Verne references for the “demo,” works well to make the song better as a stand alone song - making it more universally about writer’s block and creativity. It makes me wonder if he had intended to release it as a standalone song at some point. Let it Be Written also brought to mind a movie that used to be on television all the time when I was young (on the 4:30 movie for those in the NY metro area) The Agony and the Ecstasy. The Pope keeps asking Michelangelo when he will be finished painting the Sistine Chapel ceiling, with the response always being “when I’m finished.”

    Fortuleo’s comments had me laughing a couple of times. First about the whole meta-ness of the song, and then about his wife waiting to go out while he types, as I type, and am taking time away from helping my wife prepare for a house full of houseguests!
  15. CheshireCat

    CheshireCat Forum Resident

    I presume the CD we have, and the Youtube version is somewhat degraded from when it was recorded, having been passed around and copied from cassette to cassette to cassette to CD to Youtube. I'd take an officially released version in a heartbeat.
  16. markelis

    markelis Forum Resident

    Miami Beach FL
  17. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    @markelis ”There’s nothing like starting your day with some nice Megadeth!”
  18. markelis

    markelis Forum Resident

    Miami Beach FL
    Ha ha I am such an amateur at using this website! Somehow my post got embedded into what I was replying to (I now know how that happened). Anyway, I thought I would repost it correctly.

    Actually, she likes a surprisingly wide range of music (country, reggae, almost any type of pop and dance music, classical), which includes a fair share of metal. She was a big Metallica and A7X fan when I met her. I took her to an iron maiden concert about five years ago when we were living in Santa Monica and she loved it as well. She thought the music was “beautiful” and that Bruce Dickinson sang “like an opera singer”!

    That said, she actually thinks there’s a time and a place for metal. I, on the other hand, think metal is like orange juice, it’s not just for breakfast! There’s nothing like starting your day with some nice Megadeth!
  19. markelis

    markelis Forum Resident

    Miami Beach FL
    One last thought on this song: The first bunch of times that I listened to it, I really didn’t hear the transition between this song and the next song. To me they fit together so perfectly and seamlessly that they really should be heard together. I’ve taken both songs and joined them into one MP3 so that I can look at them (and listen to them) as one longer song.
  20. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Listening to the cd most of the album seems to flow beautifully, and without doing an in depth detective listen, I could have sworn some tracks were linked lol
  21. TeddyB

    TeddyB Senior Member

    What this song is about for me: to paraphrase William James, you can’t think your way into good writing, you write your way into good thinking. In simple terms, if you want to write, you have to write, and you have to start somewhere. My TV writing and producing mentor was famous for teaching seminars and he used to start his writing students out creating a single unassigned voice, speaking basically in a vacuum, have them add a second voice, and then “the form”, which could be a location, a plot idea, a character relationship. Not to say that I ever did any of that. Professionally, though, he might relate to “the form” as anything from the network to the day’s shooting schedule.

    In Ray’s case, or Verne’s, the form is obviously writing 80 Days. But that’s a bit outside in, in terms of writing. The best writing goes inside out, from the core or germ, which expands to the plot, which should bloom in tandem with the theme and character development. An adaptation such as 80 Days is a completely different animal.

    Of course, in the case of a song, you have the melody. Some songwriters start with that, others with some words. Back when I wrote songs, I wrote words and then handed them off, or put them to music myself, because I’m a word guy. This opening song would appear to have started with the words. Oh, and as for the song, I like it, though there are better ones to come.
  22. Brian x

    Brian x half-animate bean

    Los Angeles
    Let it be Written

    This gives me the lift I'm always looking for in Kinks songs, because from the beginning I'm completely with RD. There's nothing artificial, nothing even close to forced, nothing that makes me restrain myself a bit and wonder what his motivations were for writing it or whether or not he was fully emotionally committed.

    I played this for my (novelist/screenwriter) wife just now and she agreed: It is the perfect, perhaps the ultimate song about writing.

    I write because I love to write, I spent decades while my friends were practicing law and accounting and medicine writing for practically no reward because I love to write and can't imagine doing anything else. But I write for a living, now. I write to support my family. I write to maintain my reputation as a writer so I can keep writing. So I write on deadline, I write for huge faceless corporations, I write stuff I wouldn't ever consider writing if I didn't have to buy baby shoes and living room furniture and lawn care products.

    I get a gig -- we celebrate with dinner out -- my agent and manager and lawyer congratulate me -- I pay off the credit cards and breathe a huge sigh of relief -- and then I face the blank page. I check the calendar -- the producers are expecting a first draft in two months. A hundred to a hundred and twenty pages. People who have never lived, who I have to bring to life and confront with suffering and struggle and love, in worlds that never were and never will be until I invent them.

    (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!

    How? How? How? Suddenly, it seems impossible, unthinkable. Why didn't I go to law school? Why didn't I learn how to repair refrigerators? Why can't I be doing something that has a clear and comprehensible process -- start with a nut, a bolt, a hammer, a plug, put part A in slot B. Do I lead with my rational mind, do a scene-by-scene outline? Or do I start with a flash of lightning, a sudden inspiration, and let it lead me? And how can either take me anywhere, what was I thinking, how can I go on?

    This is like, my theme song. It's not only a window into Ray and his process, but a perfect reflection of what I go through practically every day. Amazing.


    I often wish that I had the musical ear, the sensitivity and nuance of a lot of the people who post here. But with these demos, I count it as an advantage. I come to the Kinks for Ray. I love Dave's harmonies, and sometimes he comes up with some bad ass guitar -- there's a bass line here and a harpsichord or horn bit there that sticks with me -- but really it's all about Ray. So the sound quality and instrumentation mean very little to me here. I can picture the Kinks version of this song, but it doesn't elevate or detract from the song's essence.


    My mother brought me up on "Mozart and musicals" and my playlists usually include sudden intrusions from Oklahoma! or Camelot or Jesus Christ Superstar -- Soap Opera is one of my favorite Kinks albums -- so no, no problem with musicals, and Ray clearly was born to write them, though he never had his breakthrough (or hasn't yet).
  23. donstemple

    donstemple Member of the Club

    Maplewood, NJ
    Let It Be Written

    When a Solution Comes... to writer's block. This is very Preservation Act 2, and with this start, I am all in on this project. There was *a lot* of thought that went into this first song of these demos. The typewriter as percussion, the layered vocals, the piano/guitar/synth(?). As mentioned, this is a song that (as performed here), can be really universal to any writer or easily applied to any artist. With the added lyrics from the musical, it ties in more directly to Jules Verne and the overall story.

    It can be seen a window in to see the pressures that Ray felt delivering the songs for all these albums we have discussed, and a window into Ray's creative process. "the chain reaction" that is not easily started. Try clearing your mind, yet also entrapping it with your intellect. I dare you to try. Ray seems like he had to fight different directions. Does he go where his heart wants to go? Or the rock songs he needs to write to sell more records for the label with the guys?

    The title of the track is "Let it be written", as if someone made him King, telling his army to change the world, ordering it to be so. A passive action for the ruler. It needs to be written. But that is not a passive action. You must deliver. When will you deliver? "When will it be written? When it is done!" What a line!
  24. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I think that is somewhat the feeling I have too.
    Don't get me wrong folks, I love Dave, Dave is like the basil pesto on the chicken, it makes it taste better, but it's Ray's songs, generally, that give me the fix I need from the Kinks...

    I'm not much of a writer, but it is something I have always enjoyed doing.
    I've laughingly tried to write books, written tons of songs, good, bad and indifferent, and it is just something I love doing.
    With Ray (and Roger Waters too for that matter) even when I don't agree with what they're saying, I enjoy the way they say it, in their writing.

    Again, don't get me wrong, I enjoy Dave's writing too, but Dave is a very different kind of writer.
  25. pyrrhicvictory

    pyrrhicvictory Forum Resident

    Sorry, Headmaster, for being so tardy with my submission. I’m upstate, just outside of Woodstock in a spot called Phoenicia, enjoying a big picnic with friends and...a dog ate my...well, not my paper; but a dog did eat my lettuce and tomato sandwich. I shan’t tarry again. Let it be Written throws off some serious Preservation vibes, possibly it’s Nobody Gives that’s calling to me? As for the typewriter, it may not be as melodious as the one’s on REM’s Exhuming McCarthy or the Replacements We’ll Inherit the Earth, but it does pre-date both. Now, I’m not one for musical theater, and certainly nothing from the past thirty years, with a couple exceptions, of course. I like serious-minded playwright’s, even when it’s a laugh; people like Beckett, Bennett, Pinter, Chekhov, Stoppard, you get the drift.
    Maybe this is neither the time or place, but all this talk of writing about writing has caused me to remember two neglected sets of lyrics from a play I was writing in 2006. The premise is a comedic love triangle between a young writer, his doting fiancée, and his muse. We only learn midway through that the muse is just that, not another (flesh and blood) woman. The pure, empathetic, and sure to be heartbroken fiancée wishes her beau loved her not only for her body, but equally for her mind. The calculating muse, of course wants the opposite, and hopes that if he invests every fiber of himself in her, she will metamorphose, or at the very least, mess up his marriage. Well, so I can say they’ve been read by someone, here goes nothing.

    Tools of the Trade

    Lead runs through my veins
    Ink beneath my wrists
    My eyes believe in science
    My g-d a pen in fist
    Living like a recluse
    Grants me monastic bliss
    I thank the tools of my trade
    For allowing me this

    My morning mirror
    Reflects the blank page
    Nothing ever comes clearer
    Though it fills with age
    It’s the barest of rooms
    Where I earn my wage
    Tools of the trade
    Spare animal from cage

    oh, can you ever understand
    A willfully misunderstood man

    Through the tools of the trade
    I’m free to denounce the call
    Of those soldiering the Middle East
    The workers on the Western Wall
    It’s safe inside the margins
    Free of love’s that rise and fall
    The tools of the trade
    Encourage only documentation of it all

    You will call on me again
    To water the seeds
    In hope that I bend
    To my Aphroditean needs
    When I find the coast is clear
    I’m so much happier in the weeds
    It’s so much to rationalize
    Tools of the trade indeed

    Deep inside the hollows
    Where energy is true
    Knotted through the infrastructure
    Forests of sinew
    The mind never mindful
    Of breath the soul withdrew
    The tools of the trade require
    I have no other life with you

    My body right here with you
    My mind torn in two
    Well what do you know

    Where ever I am, wish I were elsewhere
    Is all life unfair
    Well I hope so

    The muse refers to herself in third person, as a muse will, she being no shrinking violet. Here is her song.

    The muse
    Is amused
    At the hubris
    Of the artist

    Taking credit
    For the edit
    Of the sublime
    The subconscious

    The muse
    Gets abused
    Her fragile shell
    Her fleeting shadow

    Furnishing man
    With adoring fans
    The anonymous hell
    Of swelling the shallow

    The muse, confused
    Like all the great unwashed
    Would sooner strip nude
    F-ck, and get sloshed

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