The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Well I know butchers is to look but as for apples and whistles mam you have me in the dark!
  2. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    "Oh Stanley!"
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  3. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Butcher's Hook - look
    Apples & Pears - stairs
    Whistle & Flute - suit
  4. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

  5. LX200GPS

    LX200GPS Forum Resident

    When questioned about the budget releases, Ray's frugality seems to have blinded him to any deeper implications. "I must say I'm pleased at all the low price albums coming onto the market - and that goes for the other Kinks, too. Hope the trend goes on and I think it will. It means a lot of good 'buys' for the fans".

    So there you have it. The Kinks were quite happy with PYE releasing the el cheapo product.
  6. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Face to Face

    Studio album by
    The Kinks
    28 October 1966 (UK)
    7 December 1966 (US)
    Recorded 23 October 1965 – 21 June 1966
    Studio Pye Studios, London
    Genre Baroque pop[1] garage pop[2]
    Length 38:32[3]
    Label Pye (UK) Reprise (US)
    Producer Shel Talmy

    Additional musicians
    • John Dalton – bass guitar on "Little Miss Queen of Darkness", "Dead End Street" and "Big Black Smoke"
    • Nicky Hopkinskeyboards, piano, harmonium on "Sunny Afternoon"
    • Rasa Davies – backing vocals on "Sunny Afternoon", "Session Man" and "Rainy Day in June"[3]

    Side 1
    1. Party Line mono mix (2:32), recorded Apr 1966 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
    2. Rosy Won't You Please Come Home mono mix (2:30), recorded May 1966 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
    3. Dandy mono mix (2:08), recorded probably Jan 1966 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
    4. Too Much On My Mind mono mix (2:25), recorded Apr 1966 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
    5. Session Man mono mix (2:15), recorded May 1966 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
    6. Rainy Day In June mono mix (3:12), recorded May 1966 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
    7. House In The Country mono mix (2:59), recorded Apr-May 1966 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London

    Side 2
    1. Holiday In Waikiki mono mix (2:47), recorded May 1966 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
    2. Most Exclusive Residence For Sale mono mix (2:49), recorded Apr 1966 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
    3. Fancy mono mix (2:27), recorded 14 May, 1966 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
    4. Little Miss Queen Of Darkness mono mix (3:13), recorded 21 Jun, 1966 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
    5. You're Looking Fine mono mix (2:43), recorded 29 or 30 Dec, 1965 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
    6. Sunny Afternoon mono mix (3:31), recorded 13 May, 1966 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
    7. I'll Remember mono mix (2:25), recorded Oct 1965 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London

    Liner Notes:
    It has been said by mercenary - minded persons that upon setting out along life's road the bread, the filthy lucre of W. Shakespeare of highly regarded memory would seem to be the thing to go for.
    So if you accept the opinion of these aforesaid persons in the spirit in which it is given and get cracking you get the loot.

    So what next?

    So far on your passage through this vale of tears you have been a hick, a nothing and an unheralded nobody. To be a well respected man must be your next aim, and with the loot in your pocket and the wicked world being what it is,

    You become a well respected personage ere you know it.

    Then comes dedication to the dictates of fashion. The Carnaby Street. The striped natty suiting. Touches of velvet upon the collar. Touches of lace upon the underwear.

    And of course ties of polka dot and Persian--originated Paisley pattern.

    Next? Country house, yacht, powered by sail and/or steam, with the motor car in lurid colour and with white walls to its wheels smiling in the golden gravel drive.

    Ladies of course. Ladies with long legs and little bosom, hair the colour of corn, very mini, very skinny dresses. Status symbol ladies with rich dark sheen in the depths of the skin.

    Dwindling in the end to one lady, one Special who gets in among the soul.

    The trouble being that the perfect woman becomes a bore, like having venus de Milo constantly upon one's hands.

    So angry words are spoken, and she of golden hair and mini skirt, half woman, half thighs leaves. With car. Back to ma and pa. With tales of drunkeness and cruelty.

    As if this is not enough, fate flings its last custard pie.

    The taxman cometh.

    And you are left with the glass of ice cold beer, and the sun on the uplands with dappled shadows and all, which is much better, as the poet has it than a poke up the nostril with a burnt stick.

    (Now read on).

    Raymond Douglas Davies, a musician, not forgetting David, his hith and kin.

    Peter Quaife, bass guitar who once wrote a story about an embarrasing affliction from which Rays grandfather suffered for over forty years.

    And Michael Avory, drummer and the possessor of four shoes, two for each foot,

    have continued the story. And stories parallel to his sad one.

    About the frustration of the telephone, About rainy days and sunny days, about sessions men and dark ladies, about P.V.C. grass skirts in Waikiki, about memories, and dandies, and most of all about the breadwinner who was in the beginning, who lost all, sold his most exclusive residence, and passes into the bosom of his fathers.

    Frank Smyth, Autumn 1966

    Year 1966
    Billboard 135
    Cash Box 57
    Record World 47

    According to official charts
    Face To Face reached number 12 on the UK album chart, and was only on the chart for 11 weeks......
    This is one of the anomalies of charts to me .... which is why I have never really paid much attention to charts in relation to how good an album is...
    The debut peaked at 3, with 25 weeks in the chart
    Kinda Kinks peaked at 3 with 15 weeks in
    Kontroversy peaked at 9 with 12 weeks in
    Well Respected Kinks peaked at 5 with 31 weeks in.....

    So Face To Face failed to reach the chart position of any of the previous releases, and was in the chart for less time ......

    To me those figures just don't reflect the quality of the albums or songs at all .... not even close.

    This is, to me a huge leap forward by the band. When I listen to this album, it starts off well and just keeps getting better and better. Towards the very end of the album it somewhat drops off slightly, but it has been so brilliant up to that point, that any perceived drop off is negligible.

    The band has approached this album as an album. This isn't just a collection of songs. The time in music, and the industry, was starting a serious shift towards the album being king, and not just a batch of songs for the music obsessed.
    We have some sound effects used to add a little dramatic flair, and most work really well, some not quite so well, but they give the album a feel, and a life, making it lean toward being somewhat cinematic, even if not quite reaching that lofty perch for 1966.
    Also we have Ray's writing striving ever forward. We get much less of the beat group feel, and the album isn't just an album to dance to at a party, The band had grown beyond these things.
    We have some sharp comedic things in this album, that give it a personality all its own, again rather than just being a bunch of new songs.

    We have some of the more recent songwriting styles refined and moved forward. We have some totally new things that Ray hadn't put before us yet ... and we have very little of the Beat group sound ... I think the best bands were moving quickly away from the beat group feel and sound, and branching out into new areas .... certainly here the Kinks are doing the here.

    At this point in time Ray was 22. He is still a young man, and had been writing for essentially two years, and in the last six months he had had a quite serious break down ... but the songs here are seemingly well beyond his years, and put forward a certain world weariness and a certain kind of beyond his years thinking, that to me at least make these tracks stand out even more.
    Dave is 19 ... He is still a teenager ... Dave is not generally credited with any of the songs on this album, but it is contended that he co-wrote Party Line, and one of the early pressing of the album has a Ray and Dave credit.

    Another thing that can't be overlooked here is the turmoil in the band's life at this time.
    We have Ray just coming out of a breakdown.
    We have Peter Quaife injured and wanting to quit, and in fact doing so for a while.
    We have the band in contractual and legal battles and and at the same time having an ongoing hectic touring schedule.

    The odds were stacked against this being a great album, and yet it manages to be quite brilliant, and generally the best bands manage to stand up in these kinds of conditions, and the Kinks here, stand up, and kick out, in my opinion.
    The album was critically well received, but essentially it must have been a slightly disappointing reception from the public.... but sometimes a band moves faster than its audience, and to me that is the situation we have here ... the band has matured faster than the .... I guess ... teenybopper audience that the early beat groups generally appealed to.

    For me this album is a long way ahead of Kontroversy, even though I have grown to love Kontroversy, particularly after our deep dive, and the last few weeks of hammering this album has revealed just how great this album is to me. I have no little doubts, or reservations about this album at all.

    This is another of the Kinks albums that I came to later on, and it didn't immediately strike me as a classic album to be honest, it took a few listens to creep under my skin, and generally they are the albums that generally end up being favourites.
    Don't get me wrong, this album probably isn't perfect, but it is satisfying on a level that makes it an essential Kinks album for me, and again, and more importantly, we have a lot of forward movement in the bands abilities, and the writing and the structuring of an album..... This is a big leap in my opinion and an essential Kinks album.

    For the record the release of this album was held up for several months due to contractual issues, and Ray was also in conflict with Pye over the cover art.

    I actually like the cover, but I am guessing not everyone does.

    So please give us your thoughts and feelings about Face To Face ...
    When did you first hear it?
    What did you thin about it?
    Has your opinion on the album changed at all over the years?
    Just let us know your heart regarding this album, and we'll hit the first couple of songs in the morning....

  7. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

  8. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

  9. LX200GPS

    LX200GPS Forum Resident

    Another quote from Ray about the record company: "PYE records was a great company for us at the time. I made Sunny Afternoon at ten in the morning, finished cutting it at one o clock, took it up to the MD played it to him and he said, 'What do you want?' I said, 'Get it out in two weeks'. I don't think I could have done that at any other company but PYE at that time".

    The single was released just a few days past the two weeks.
  10. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    I think this LP has always been treated a bit unfairly, compared to the next two. Maybe it doesn't sound enough like 66 ? Anyway, it's the first LP of only originals Ray Davies songs ! We get FOURTEEN of them ! No other songwriter could do that all by himself back in 66, except for Mister BoB. 14 Ray Davies tunes in one go, that in itself makes it a landmark for me.
    Last edited: May 28, 2021
  11. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Definitely, and it really should be taken into account that, generally, Ray was on his own.
    Most other bands had at least one more writer
  12. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    I love Face To Face. It's the first album I bought for myself at age 16 (I know that seems revoltingly uber-cool for a first album, so painfully hip it's actually pretty uncool but I was cautious late starter as a music fan and The Beatles and Kinks were the first groups I latched onto) back in 1996 when I'd been listening to my parents Ultimate Kinks tape on repeat for months and knew I just had to have more of that 1966 Dedicated/Sunny Afternoon/Dead End Street sound and that CD seemed like the best bet timeline wise. It didn't disappoint, and it's still a firm favourite, sounding as fresh and exciting to me with the potential of what an album, what pop music could be ever since. I'm not into owning multiple copies of albums, but I make an exception for this one, and have also acquired the 1998 CD, the 2011 deluxe, and an 80s (?) vinyl.

    Now, being the first non-comp album by ANYONE I ever bought for myself, I probably have a different take on this from a lot of people who just acquired it as album number 1256 in their classic rock collection. I've later discovered that many people don't think this record is all that, that it pales in comparison to VGPS, that there's too much repetitive lyric orientated 'filler' (PHAH! I say) on it, that it's weak compared to what The Beatles were doing on Revolver (I could write a screed offering a riposte to that, but now isn't the time), and I get that, acquired as just another album rather than the Rosetta Stone it was to me, someone else could see this as a so-so effort. BUT I don't think it's just the fact it was my personal entry point to classic rock that makes this album buzz with such pure creative excitement. I think there is something more objectively 'there' in the leap Ray made forward with this album, that's maybe occluded a bit by the fact that it's full potential was compromised by PYE, and that since it hasn't been fetishized as a must have, eulogized over item the same way VGPS has been.

    Firstly, here's the thing: Ray conceived this as a concept album in MID 1966! And most of it was recorded then! We are talking Pet Sounds levels of ahead of the curve here! Now, it wasn't a story concept album, (even if 3 songs on it do seem to tell different chapters in the same life) or even a theme one like VGPS, but (as far as I understand it, as I say there's not nearly enough hard info available on this era) as a suite of songs linked by sound affects. The final album (and associated outtakes) contains a lot of the residual evidence of this concept, but it's only about half of what the album was meant to be: for whatever reason, PYE got cold feet about their long players being used for any kind of artistry and asked Ray to dumb it down a little into just another collection of songs, hence why the sound effects trail off as the album goes on (a bit like how the radio jingles peter out as The Who Sell Out proceeds) and any conceptual flow and shape Ray might have intended the record to have is largely lost. They also held back it's release by several months. Can you imagine if the record as originally conceived, properly promoted Pet Sounds style as a Statement, had dropped mid 1966??

    There are tons of outtakes/mysterious alternate titles from this era, all arcanely obscure compared to the now well known VGPS additional tracks.. 'Sir Jasper', 'Fallen Idol', 'Girl Who Goes To Discotheques', 'You Aren't What You Were', 'Yes Man', 'Everybody Wants To Be A Personality'.. what did they sound like, do they exist, and what part were they meant to play in the original Face To Face? My mind goes there a lot but even among Kinks fandom there doesn't seem to be that much curiosity about this era and Ray's first thwarted concept album.

    Despite the above grumbling about wehat might have been, it's STILL a fantastic album, the imo holds it's own with anything put out by their peers that year, and surpasses them in some ways, but I've rambled enough.. I could talk about this record all day.. will save the rest of my wittering for the individual tracks.
    Last edited: May 28, 2021
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  13. Martyj

    Martyj Who dares to wake me from my slumber? -- Mr. Flash

    Maryland, USA
    Face to Face

    My initial purchase of this on vinyl has the title on the cover twice, with the inclusion of the month’s old Sunny Afternoon being given prominent billing; I assume this is a US only issue on the Reprise label? This is the first of a string of LP’s where I can easily make a simple blanket “I love everything about it” and leave it at that. Sure, maybe “You’re Looking Fine” and “I’ll Remember” sound like they belong on earlier LP’s, but that’s just nitpicking, because they are great tracks as well.

    The Kinks 30 year career sees a series of paradigm shifts and this LP is the first one. Ray’s writing dispenses with the classic boy/girl relationship themes that characterize the majority of the tracks on the first three LPs. He has given himself over to writing in first and third person vignettes which, in their details, are universally relatable despite many of them having a specific English context. More obviously, the back-and-forth power chords have been retired (for now) in favor of experimenting with diverse textures (such as baroque pop). It’s in small measures here; they are still basically a two-guitar, bass and drum ensemble, but the expanded use of keyboards began filling in the sound. Certainly they had been used prior on random tracks, and the band was still 5 years away from officially supplementing their membership with a full-time piano man, but it’s with Face to Face when keyboards become an expected presence rather than an occasional visitor. (As near as I can tell, only 3 of the original 14 track LP lack keyboards—but I could be miscounting)

    There is a more significant paradigm shift with Face to Face: despite marketing efforts that still emphasized a quartet of youth-appeal individuals, it is the point where the Kinks essentially stop being Ray, Dave, Pete, and Mick and become what it remains evermore: Ray Davies…and the rest. (that previous sentence reads best with the “Gilligan’s Island” theme in mind). With this debut of a disc containing no studio cover versions, Dave becomes the George Harrison of the band; the token vocal here, the random original song there, but most functionally as the lead guitarist and vocal harmonizer. It had been headed that direction since the first LP, where Dave, who created the band, essentially alternated frontman duties with his brother—especially on stage—but with every new release that position grew less and less….until we arrive at Face to Face where it seems to be nailed down permanently. Going forward, when the idea of giving Dave added weight is considered it is in terms of breaking him off into a parallel solo career. The Kinks are now emphatically Ray’s band.

    This is perhaps illustrated no place better with the cover art, a noted departure from previous albums in that it was decided no picture of the band was necessary. According to the Kinks chapter in Nicholas Shaffer’s “The British Invasion,” purportedly quoting a contemporary NME article, Ray actually created the butterfly artwork for the cover. (I’ve seen this claim nowhere else) In Ray’s 1980’s interviews with Jon Savage for the band’s official bio, he claims to have been against the eventual colorfully soft cover, that he wanted it “black and strong.” I don’t know which is true—Rays makes a lot of claims in the moment that muddy the waters of reality, or perhaps Shaffer is mistaken in that the art Ray created was rejected, but erroneously credits the butterflies to him. Regardless, the fact that even the covers are now under Ray Davies purview as much as a record companies’ art department show that the man’s success up to this point has earned him near-complete auteur consideration. One can’t imagine, for example, Pete Quaife—someone with genuine graphic art leanings—being allowed to argue cover design with the record company. Nor Dave or Mick. It’s Ray’s band now in every respect. That’s the great paradigm shift of Face to Face…and it’s only a matter of time until he is allowed to Produce.
  14. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Mark in your 4th paragraph you say that this is a huge leap forward for the band.
    It was I believe very fitting that you later came back to that point without over thinking things.

    I think that Face To Face is full of craft, melody, nuance, New sounscapes and far less beat combo sounding moments so it is to me quite the departure.
    It seems to have caught some fans by surprise who perhaps are spinning their old 45's, Greatest Hits or Kontroversy?
    Fan in late '66 buys Face To Face takes it home and plays it...."Hello, who is that singing please?"
    They are Face To Face with the Kinks sure but at a new dawn of creativity, concept, confidence and vision!

    I think I first heard it at least 20 years ago and at the time also read of it's high standing in the Kinks pantheon of great albums.
    My first impression was that whilst I didn't think it was quite at the level of Something Else, The Village Green Preservation Society or Arthur. It was however part of this group and an advance on from the R&B combo that were pretty mediocre at cover material, great at original rockers on 45's and more recently impressively improving with Lyric writing, Vocal delivery & well just overall Melodic Songcraft!
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  15. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    N.b. Aftermath from April 1966 has 14 original Jagger/Richard compositions.
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  16. Martyj

    Martyj Who dares to wake me from my slumber? -- Mr. Flash

    Maryland, USA
    Upon polishing the lyrics, this one became "Little Miss Queen of Darkness"
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  17. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Excellent info mate...
    Not knowing these things, I had seriously wondered about it, because it very much seems like the idea was there to do that.

    Record companies are so annoying.
    Delaying an album, particularly in the mid sixties was a stupid move, that reshapes perceptions and realities.

    I find comparisons with other bands, at this point redundant really. The Kinks were definitely their own band, and comparing what they were doing with anyone else seems to be an exercise in futility..... because no matter what anybody else was doing, the Kinks had their own thing going on ..... and this is a fargin brilliant album.
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  18. Martyj

    Martyj Who dares to wake me from my slumber? -- Mr. Flash

    Maryland, USA
    Resurfaces a few years later, with different words of course, as "Plastic Man"
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  19. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    I had heard that, but I do wonder how different the original was 3 years earlier. Indeed 'Girl Who Goes To Discotheques' may just have been a working title for 'Little Miss' and there were no actual differences in the recording/song from what appeared on the album, though we don't know for sure. 'Sir Jasper' we have some lyrics for so it's probably a separate song that didn't appear anywhere else. The others, I have no idea.
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  20. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Face To Face

    Again, my copy is a 1980 reissue on the grey Pye label, bought in 1986. I listened to it most recently a couple of weeks ago, and my impressions are these, as compared to the previous album:
    - It sounds like it was written as an album rather than a disjointed collection of tracks.
    - It sounds better, i.e. it's recorded and mixed better, played better, with much greater clarity than before, and that really comes over on some of the tracks on side one. Not all of side two is up to the same level sound quality wise - notably a couple of tracks come from much earlier sessions, but side one is great to listen to. It should be, given that the run-off groove on my copy is the narrowest I've ever seen - barely wide enough to get the matrix number in. Plenty of space for those grooves with music on.
    - The songs are more sophisticated, the lyrics are more involving, amusing, thought-provoking etc. There's a whole new level of depth here to these songs.
    - Side One might be one of the very best Kinks album sides of all.

    In short - the only thing that really separates this album from the next two is the lack of stereo, but it still sounds pretty good in mono.
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  21. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    They're Not Like Anybody Else. :D
  22. Vagabone

    Vagabone Forum Resident

    I agree that it's a big step forward in production, lyrics, concept, cover design, all these things... but I still don't like many of the songs. I started off only liking three of them! Then gradually over years of occasionally giving the album a chance, I'm now up to six (that's from glancing at the titles- it might be one or two more than that). Hopefully in many years' time I will eventually like them all. My difficulty is mostly not with the lyrics but the melodies.

    So for me it's a lesser album between the less ambitious but extremely consistent Kontroversy, and Something Else which is my favourite Kinks LP of all.

    Post reply:hide:
  23. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Get out from under the chair lol
    You're allowed to have your own opinion :)
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  24. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    I’ve been puzzled by my ignorance and lack of awareness of The Kinks and, quite frankly, was stunned when I listened to Face To album that is firmly in my wheelhouse. I’ve quickly placed seven tracks on my ‘fast track to playlist’ status. I was familiar with (and liked) Sunny Afternoon but that is it. Everything else is wondrous manna from heaven (?!).

    I asked my childhood friend, friends for 55/56 years now, if he has any recollection of any of his elder siblings with Kinks albums. No. And I don’t, either. Singles, yes, but not albums. Older classmates? Nope, no albums (and I have a pretty good memory when it comes to seeing album covers or hearing music). Anyway, I’m just baffled how this album could have escaped my notice.

    I guess the good part is that I have something to be delighted about!
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  25. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    I’ve looked and looked for a definition of ‘hith.’ Anyone?
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