The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. FJFP

    FJFP Host for the 'Mixology' Mix Differences Podcast

    I’ve already covered Something Else and Butterfly (and with all those mixes, it was a hefty one), but as I’ve just picked up that Donovan album it’s very tempting! I love seeing the globs of albums from the various periods of time, and it’s fascinating to see just how different Something Else was from... well... any of these! These posts are indeed greatly appreciated.
  2. bvb1123

    bvb1123 Rock and Roll Martian

    Cincinnati Ohio
    Something Else By The Kinks - I've been waiting to talk about this album, mulling over what I wanted to say exactly. This is my All-Time favorite Kinks' album. I love the entire thing, I've only had it a few years but it's made a huge impression. I have the deluxe 2CD set so the extra tracks do figure in it a bit but I'm sure even without them this would still be my #1 Kinks' album. My favorite Kinks' song is also on this album too, "Love Me Till The Sun Shines". I'll talk more about that when it pops up later. To me, and a lot of other people it seems, this is the second in The original Kinks' magnificent 7 (or 8, depending on the person) album run that I think is where the majority of their legacy arises. I love other albums as well as those but the band was really firing on all cylinders during this time. Something Else By is definitely by far my favorite and I at the very least really like every song on the album. Ok, that's enough.
  3. Paul Mazz

    Paul Mazz Senior Member

    I’m not really sure when I first heard Something Else, but probably in the late 70s. Prior to picking up the Sanctuary 2011 cd, I had a copy on cassette, taped from either my brother’s or a friend’s record. I’d listened to it innumerable times in the car when my car had a cassette deck. I probably had not heard it for 10 years or more when I bought the cd in 2011. In any event, it is one of my favorite, if not my favorite, Kinks albums. I usually break it out in autumn to hear End of the Season, but I always listen to the whole album.

    Something Else always musically had a dream-like quality for me. In listening to it again today, besides the overall sound of the album, with Rasa’s ethereal background vocals, a number of the songs are about “dreaming” in the broader sense of dreaming of being someone else, or dreaming of someone not present. The narrator of David Watts dreams of being him; Two Sisters Percilla at first dreams of having her sister’s life; the narrator of No Return dreams of first love; the narrator of Afternoon Tea is dreaming of his missed Donna; Dave is dreaming of the dying love he can’t see in Funny Face; and Ray is thinking of a love who has left, and dreaming of the ended summer in End of the Season.

    Something Else may not contain my favorite Kinks song, though it sure has some great ones, but I think I may love it the most as a complete album. Just something about the ineffable feel it has for me.
  4. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    Something Else
    I've long known many of the songs on the album from over the years. But it's only been in preparation for the Something Else exploration we're about to undertake that I have been listening to the album in its entirety and getting to know the lesser or unknown songs to me. Bottom line: this is an outstanding album. So good that I'm considering if I like it more than Village Green(which I didn't think was possible). I'm not saying that will be the ultimate outcome, but that's how good it is. Like Village Green, there isn't a stinker song on the album. There's some songs I like a tiny bit less on Something Else, but it may be more of a case that some are newer to my ears.

    I'm getting ready for my brains to explode with delight. bring it on! :laugh:
  5. zipp

    zipp Forum Resident

    Tempting but unfortunately wrong.

    The English crown coin dates from 1526. The name changed to the British crown in 1707. During the 19th and 20th centuries the crown declined from being a real means of exchange to being a coin rarely spent and minted for commemorative purposes only.

    The crown was indeed worth five shillings which meant it was worth 25p when decimilisation began (I don't know where your 60p comes from). This is easy to calculate because it was worth a quarter of one pound (twenty shillings or 100 new pence).

    The coin in use in the sixties and before was "a half crown" known commonly as "half a crown". It was worth two shillings and sixpence. This coin was of a reasonable size and extremely common.

    So, you see, Dave would not have had a crown coin in his pocket to "break up" even if he'd wanted to.

    Incidentally, to "break up" a coin is an expression that doesn't exist. Go into a shop in England and ask "Can you break up this coin for me?" and be prepared for a blank stare.

    So what is the crown Dave is referring to?

    In my opinion, it's the crown of fame and notoriety that he's wearing and is becoming a burden. He wants people to help him get rid of it by drinking to his health. And the only way to get his health back is to get rid of the clown.

    So, amusingly, we have to drink to the death of the clown and to Dave's health all at the same time.
  6. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Something Else marks out its own distinctive ground compared to the other releases of 1967. I find this individuality a big attraction. The Ultimate Music Guide to The Kinks (a thick magazine-style publication by Uncut Magazine - highly recommended) includes an excerpt from Melody Maker's review of Something Else on September 9, 1967, which I like:

    "Comic lunacy by the brothers Davies, Peter Quaife and Mick Avory, mixed with pathos and gentle understanding into a gallery of brilliant musical portraits. Here are stories of tin soldiers, clowns, sisters and head prefects. The Kinks are not terribly fashionable at this given moment in time, but the material that Ray Davies feeds them reveals a depth of thought that commands respect.... You might find Something Else is one of the best albums of the year."
  7. Martyj

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

    Maryland, USA
    Something Else by The Kinks

    1967 finds The Kinks grappling with a post “The Kink Kontrovery" identity crisis, to wit: with the band in 1966 no longer defined as power-chord laden purveyors of danceable records, how do they continue forward with the “Face to Face” template of Ray-Davies-and-His-Backing-Group while at the same time not marginalizing the undeniable talent that is Dave? After all, the young man’s unfortunate lot is to be a capable songwriter in a band that already contains a Lennon/McCartney level talent.

    The solution was to test the waters of releasing Dave’s material with the band under the guise of a parallel solo career. That it got off to such a great start—Death of a Clown! Number 3 with a bullet!!—was probably enough for Pye (and possibly Ray?) to consider…hmmm, maybe the kid’s stuff does have a place along side his older brother? Thus, we have “Something Else,” unique in the band’s catalog as containing the highest ratio—23%—of Dave Davies material.

    Was the strategy for his increased presence here to bolster the marketing potential of his upcoming second “solo” single? Who knows? That a Dave solo career didn’t pan out (reasons why to come) at this stage didn’t seem to overly concern the man. I suspect the added workload wasn’t as appealing as the parties, pills, and p*ssy he seemingly had a preference for. And the Kinks moving forward as Ray’s playground didn’t hurt the band, either.

    But, anyway, that’s always been my big take away from “Something Else by The Kinks:” more Dave songs than normal. And all three are good ones. I love this whole album.

    I’ll agree with something idleracer said: the sequencing might have been improved. While I wouldn’t delete a minute from this disc, I feel like “Tin Soldier Man” and “Harry Rag”--both evocative of traditional English melodies--would have benefited not being side by side. I would have put one on side A, the other on B.

    One other thing: this album, including the attendant period non-LP singles contained on deluxe re-issues, contain fade-outs that are among my most favorite of any ever done by The Kinks. Freaky fade outs were their contribution to contemporary psychedelia.
  8. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Dave Marsh wrote something similar about John Entwistle having the misfortune “of being a good songwriter in a band with a great one.” (Paraphrasing from memory. “Misfortune” may not have been the word used, either. I just didn’t want to use the exact phrase you did...even though Marsh may have!)
  9. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    ^^Yes! This one has gotten my attention recently. Very psychedelic and other-wordly. Can't wait to get there.
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  10. TeddyB

    TeddyB Senior Member

    Interesting take, and quite possibly valid. I had always figured Dave was using an anachronism in citing the crown coin, as the entire circus framing of the song feels anachronistic, and that he was coining (ha ha) an artistic phrase with "break up". I don't know what I was thinking when I typed 60p. It was late.
  11. Past Masters

    Past Masters Beatles Fanthologist

    Well I have been making my way through these pages (not reading ALL posts mind you) and am just finishing up the first album.

    At this rate I doubt I will catch up before you reach the 70s, but I’m enjoying myself nonetheless...

    It seems there is a planned format to this thread, so I must ask, is it still alright to join in and post my thoughts about the albums that have already gone by? Or should I wait until I am caught up and that way I’ll only be commenting on the same songs as everyone else?
  12. Paul Mazz

    Paul Mazz Senior Member

    Not that anyone will care, but it was driving me nuts when I found out that the two people I might have taped a copy from said they didn’t own it on vinyl. Turns out I accidentally left it off a spreadsheet of my records. I’m the one of the three of us that bought it on vinyl, and still have it. Doh!
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  13. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter


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  14. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    For the record
    I think the wiki header I posted says Ray and Shel played production roles here....
    I assumed that meant earlier recordings may have been Shel, but from what I am finding looking deeper, it seems to be a Ray production all round... if any of the brains trust here would like to address this, that'd be cool
  15. Aftermath

    Aftermath Senior Member

    Something Else
    Thanks to this thread, I decided to buy a copy of this album for the first time a couple of weeks ago, and it is indeed something else, because I have never heard anything like it. There were several "whoa!" moments where I just stared at the turntable while the album was playing.

    Seems like the departure from their early sound is almost complete here. They've tapped into quite a few song forms that I'm largely unfamiliar with. I agree with others who have said this album takes some effort to get into but rewards repeated listenings. The production sounds relatively simple to my ears, but the originality and power of the songs shine right through that.
  16. Martyj

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

    Maryland, USA
    This is just a wild guess, but it's possible Shel was contractually assigned by Pye to produce the album whether they used him or not...and they didn't. Perhaps giving him credit on the on the printed album was part of the contract? I work in publishing and over my career I've known of contributors who are contractually guaranteed to be on the masthead, even though it has been years since their work was used. In one extreme case we found out a name on the masthead had actually been dead for a while!
  17. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I guess that's why by the time we get to the deluxe, his name appears to have been removed?
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  18. Pawnmower

    Pawnmower Senior Member

    Dearborn, MI
    I'd love to hear about those whoa moments when they come up.
  19. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    I realise I’m being hugely anally retentive here, but technically the CD and Cassette editions of 1989’s UK Jive’ trumps even this ratio by including 3 Dave songs out of 12: a whopping 25%.

    Now, I’ll admit that this is slightly tempered with the facts that he only gets 1 on the vinyl, and that even on the CD and tape Dave’s 3 songs are sequestered to the last 3 tracks on the album, and that he apparently had to have a fist fight with Ray (!!!) to get the extra 2 songs onto the other formats, so unlike the seamless peppering throughout Something Else, this represents Ray begrudgingly allowing his brother his own bonus EP following on at a safe distance from the latest RDD opus.

    There’s also the opinion held by most fans that UK Jive is a significantly inferior work to Somethung Else. But FWIW, on a technicality, it holds the ‘crown’ for largest ratio of Dave songs on a Kinks album. Talk about a Pyrrhic victory!
  20. Safeway 2

    Safeway 2 Forum Resident

    Manzanillo Mexico.
    I've always said that if The Kinks were counting on album covers to sell their records they would go broke. I'm not hating on their covers but talking as far as the general public goes. As a fan I love their covers but to look at them from a non-fans point of view they likely find most of them lacking pizazz. Again this is not my point of view, just an average listener. They're not exactly Sgt. Peppers, Roger Dean or Hipgnosis territory as it should be because "they are not like everyone else."
  21. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Yep, Face to Face is probably the best of the 1960s.
  22. Scottsol

    Scottsol Forum Resident

    Evanston, IL
    Of course , if the Kinks had counted on the actual sales of Something Else and VGPS they would have gone broke anyway.
  23. Scottsol

    Scottsol Forum Resident

    Evanston, IL
    Perhaps, but the one Kinks album where the cover art influenced my purchase was Arthur, my first Kinks purchase.*

    * My later FtF cutout purchase was influenced by the cover, but not the cover art. It was Reprise’s addition of “ Including SUNNY AFTERNOON”.
  24. SCOTT1234

    SCOTT1234 Forum Resident

    It was my comment on Face to Face that you took exception to, but it wasn't a threadcrap and I didn't say it was twice as good as Something Else. I just said I preferred Face to Face.
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  25. FJFP

    FJFP Host for the 'Mixology' Mix Differences Podcast

    Honestly, I love that these two are back to back, but I can see how this would irk as much as it would work.

    I'd never noticed this, but you're quite right! David Watts, Death of a Clown, Lazy Old Sun, Autumn Almanac, Waterloo Sunset, End of The Season - the list goes on!

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