The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. rockerreds

    rockerreds Senior Member

    You Really Got Me US mono was my first album, age 12. I was pleased with it, though I wondered who was playing the keyboards on "Bald Headed Woman". I loved the drumming but of course at the time I thought it was Mick rather than Bobby Graham. The album still holds up for me, despite it's being an obvious rush job, and I listen to it at least once a year. The guy who played my uncle in A Thousand Clowns and used to visit said "they are pretty good", another generation's perspective. "You Really Got Me" was the most incredible single I had heard at that point, only dethroned by "Satisfaction" a number of months later.
  2. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus

    Did Bobby Graham play drums in the album tracks too, or just the singles?
  3. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Unfortunately I am not well versed enough to have any idea who the session musicians were on any of the tracks that aren't noted.
    I posted that pick, because it is the closest I have found to a listing of who played what on the album
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  4. Pawnmower

    Pawnmower Senior Member

    Dearborn, MI
    According to the 2CD set, Bobby is on drums on tracks 1-7, 10, and 12.
  5. Martyj

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

    Maryland, USA
    That SNL was my first exposure, too. I was 18.

    I had YRGM on a 60's compilation album but had not paid attention to the artist, not knowing they were anything more than a one-hit wonder. When I saw a band performing it on TV my reaction was immediate, and kicked-started my curiosity about the group.
  6. YardByrd

    YardByrd rock n roll citizen in a hip hop world

    definitely not one of the stronger debuts from a Brit band from that time period, but it still has its charms... has to be mono, though...

    as for me, I came to the Kinks in the early '80s just as I entered my teen years... they were still a concert draw in the US at the time, which Europeans find ludicrous... my British barber is a huge Kinks fan and he's baffled every time I tell him of this phenomena... he is the same age as I am and his experience growing up in London in the '70s & '80s was one of the Kinks being off the radar... I on the other hand was attending Kinks shows in Springfield, MA at the Civic Center and at the Worcester Centrum in the early '80s to packed houses... I had a smattering of those late '70s and early '80s LPs at that time, but vastly preferred my Kinks Greatest Hits LP from '66 in mono (Reprise) that was a hand me down from my much older sister, who was a first gen fan!
  7. Pawnmower

    Pawnmower Senior Member

    Dearborn, MI
    Here is the SNL performance that's been mentioned..

    Last edited: Apr 10, 2021
  8. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    This is the closest I can find to a proper list of who played what
    The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

    I'm still trying to figure out what version of the album it is, but it gives us a rough idea of who did what... pretty accurate for the main album I would assume ... but who knows
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  9. idleracer

    idleracer Forum Resident

    :kilroy: In interviews, just about every British group of note who were around during this period describe their first album as being essentially a studio reproduction of their live act. The Kinks, The Stones, The Hollies and to a certain extent, The Beatles. If The Who had released a debut album at the tail end of 1964 instead of the tail end of 1965, I'm certain that it too would've consisted mostly of covers of American Rock 'n Rhythm & Blues.

    :kilroy: That being said, I'll just mention that the very first Kinks give-away tune was released at around this time, and (surprise), it was composed by Dave. While it may be of historical significance, truth be told, it's not very good. Essentially just "Walk Don't Run" with what sounds like extemporaneous lyrics added at the last moment:

    Shel Naylor / One Fine Day*

    *No relation to the (far superior) Goffin & King tune.
  10. Michael Streett

    Michael Streett Senior Member

    Florence, SC
    That would be Bald Headed Woman that has that Alternate Mix on the original US mono, now collected on the Deluxe set. Both Bald songs are pretty forgettable so glad they got these covers out of the way early!
  11. sharedon

    sharedon Forum Zonophone

    Johnny B. Great perhaps ought to have been listed with his real name, John Goodison.
    mark winstanley likes this.
  12. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    I think the covers stand out more on The Kinks’ first album because they are not very good, whereas The Beatles and The Stones produced consistently great covers. The Kinks (like their acolytes The Who) were a band that loved R&B but just weren’t that good at playing it.
  13. Adam9

    Adam9 Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    Yes, that's right. Even though not a great track, the US ditches the lousy double tracking and as a result sounds better.
    mark winstanley likes this.
  14. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I have to agree ... as much as I would like not to lol

    To me the real gold is listening to Ray develop as a writer, and the covers, are interesting(ish) side notes. What I am going to love about this thread is listening to the band emerge as its true self, as the albums and singles roll by.
    It really is a beautiful picture of development
  15. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    I wasn't even aware that there were stereo versions of the first four albums - all the reissues I've ever seen were mono only, but I suppose there may be more recent ones that I hadn't noticed.
  16. Fred1

    Fred1 Forum Resident

    Thanks for bringing this up. Shel Naylor's backing band consisted of Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and (possibly) Bobby Graham. The instrumental version of "One Fine Day" can be found on the LP/CD of the Larry Page Orchestra.
  17. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    There's no stereo mix of Kinda Kinks or Kontroversy. Just the debut album and Face to Face.
  18. Yawndave

    Yawndave Forum Resident

    Santa Clara CA
    Stop Your Sobbing...the song that won Chrissie Hynde's heart. In hindsight I wonder if Ray would consider that a good thing or a bad thing. :p
  19. Wildest cat from montana

    Wildest cat from montana Humble Reader

    ontario canada
    Minimum R&B?
  20. extravaganza

    extravaganza Forum Resident

    San Diego, CA USA
    This was one of the first Kinks albums I bought (back in the day when each album purchase was a carefully thought out “investment”). Probably like some others here, I was underwhelmed but still found enough to like.

    First disappointment - nothing else on this album sounded like YRGM. Of course, the band would remedy this problem in future releases, but I was naively hoping for at least a bit more of this stuff. Second surprise (not really disappointment) was how prominent Dave was. It took awhile to get use to his screeching and snarling vocals (which of course I now love and to be fair they improved over time - although they are pretty cool right here.)

    Although none of the non-Talmy covers surpass the originals, some are more successful than others. “Beautiful Delilah” is a nice opener, and a fine exemplar of British Beat Group R&B. Some fun volume pedal stuff going on as well. Likewise, the closer, “Got Love If You Want It” is pretty damn cool in my book. For years I assumed “So Mystifying” was a cover as well, and Ray demonstrates his early ability to effortlessly and convincingly write within different genres.

    “I Took My Baby Home” was an early favorite of mine. The song is no great shakes, I guess I am a pop fan and in that regard it kinda jumps out. For some reason when I listen to the vocal on this song now I think of Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon.

    “I Just Can’t Go To Sleep” is again somewhat slight, but works so much better than what Davies had to offer on the band’s second single. Everything fits together really nicely, it’s mid tempo but upbeat and catchy, with a pensive bridge. It sounds like a Kinks song. The same can be said for “Stop Your Sobbing”, which does every thing “Sleep” does only better. It took me years to notice the beautiful, almost subliminal wordless vocal leading out of the chorus (much more prominent but less effective on stereo mix).

    So yeah, this is an album with caveats. (I have not really talked about the Talmy tunes.). The same will be true about the next one as well. Still there is a lot that I love about this album and it has a treasured place in my kollection.
  21. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Don't forget guys, we'll be starting to go through the tracks on Monday.

    As it seems everyone is eager, I'll do two a day for the moment.
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  22. extravaganza

    extravaganza Forum Resident

    San Diego, CA USA
    Oops, yeah my bad. Duly noted. Guess I can still discuss the Talmy tracks after all.:nyah:
    mark winstanley likes this.
  23. Michael Streett

    Michael Streett Senior Member

    Florence, SC
    While I like the debut Kinks and take it for what it is, hindsight shows this was a case of the record company pressuring the band to record an LP before they were ready. Of course, all they wanted was a quick buck and this fad would fade just as fast as all the other fads faded. Guitar groups were on the way out was thinking, right?
    I think it’s obvious had the band been allowed to wait until early 1965 to record their debut giving Ray more time to work on
    original material, the results would have been far different.
    Remember The Who’s first album was supposed to be comprised of material recorded from their early ‘65 sessions which were cover heavy like the Kinks in Summer ‘64. That plan was scrapped and Pete had the opportunity to write more and better originals that were recorded in Fall ‘65 which resulted in a better debut for The Who.
    Hindsight’s 20/20 of course so it’s easy to criticize after the fact.
  24. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    "You've gotta get an album out, you owe it to the people, we're so happy we can hardly count"

    With Pye apparently struggling a little, and You Really Got Me getting some good chart action... from a business perspective, it's good sense...
    For a young band finding their feet, it can be a challenge to push you to the next level, or shatter you...

    I think they came through pretty well. Sure it isn't the best album ever, but they held their own.
    The upside is, anyone paying attention would see that the originals are the gold here, and looking forward to more to come
  25. Jon H.

    Jon H. Forum Resident

    Raleigh, NC USA
    Great thread idea @mark winstanley ! Your thread on The Who gave much, much enjoyment and I learned a thing or two, and I consider myself a pretty knowledgeable Who fan!

    Regarding the US Reprise Stereo LP, it is nicely recorded true stereo, except the title track which is rechanneled stereo with added reverb (a trend that would continue on the next five US “stereo” LPs, which were never released in true stereo). I disagree that it sounds like crap; double tracked vocals are hard panned and some of the music is presented as a stereo image with leakage. The really interesting thing is that Long Tall Shorty and So Mystifying have lead vocals panned from one channel to another, and I believe Cadillac has the harmonica solo panned from left to right. Variable pan pots on studio consoles were rare in 1964. Who came up with this idea? It’s also interesting to note that Shel Talmy was a producer who preferred to mix in mono. I’m not aware of ANY other stereo mixes by Shel released in the ‘60’s. Finally, I assumed that the stereo mix was unique to the US Reprise, but a fellow forum member (and a quick trip to Discogs) confirmed that UK Pye released the debut album in both mono and stereo issues. Not many other British bands got 2 mixes released in that era - The Beatles and maybe The Hollies were exceptions, IIRC. Stones, Animals, Yardbirds, Who, Pretty Things, Small Faces all had mono debut releases...thus the Kinks debut (in 1964) was an anomaly.

    I recommend the US stereo mix - it’s certainly not audiophile quality but the recording is pretty good for the era! And of course if you can find a stereo issue of the UK track lineup you get more true stereo songs! The UK stereo LP doesn’t have the added reverb on the title track; that technique seems to be something Reprise did. More on that subject as the thread progresses...

    Cheers - and: Karry On!
    (Kouldn’t resist...)

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