The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. Steve E.

    Steve E. Doc Wurly and Chief Lathe Troll

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    Earlier performance of the song, quite different. Beautiful backing vocals, different key, putting the vocals at a lower pitch, alternate lyrics "Wish I was taking you out, under the starry skies/moon above," and nice Nicky Hopkins piano, harmonium. In spite of all the nice traits, the final version is clearly superior (IMO).

     
  2. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Yea live album :righton:
     
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  3. Steve E.

    Steve E. Doc Wurly and Chief Lathe Troll

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    Geez.... Since I like the mono"Afternoon Tea" so much, I'm looking around for original mono pressings of this album. I've just learned it was never released in mono in the US, except for a bad-sounding promo. And the prices for UK mono copies.... owwch.
     
  4. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    I really like this version, too.
     
  5. idleracer

    idleracer Forum Resident

    Location:
    California
    :kilroy: For me, it's impossible to discuss this track and the two tracks that follow it without discussing the magic of shuffle rhythms in general. Shuffles really rose to prominence on both Revolver ("I'm Only Sleeping," "Good Day Sunshine," "I Want To Tell You" and "Got To Get You Into My Life") and Sgt. Pepper ("With A Little Help From My Friends," "Getting Better," "Fixing A Hole," "Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite," not to mention "Penny Lane"). The Kinks had tested those waters on the previous album with "Little Miss Queen Of Darkness," and now they've got three of them in a row on this one. It was a meter that was extremely prevalent in the sunshine pop of 1967 that for some reason, managed to almost completely disappear in 1968. Note that the only shuffle that managed to emerge from the "Village Green" sessions was "Mr. Songbird" and the only one on "Arthur" is "Driving."

    :kilroy: To me, this has always sounded like the three great Odessey & Oracle shuffles morphed into one song. "Care Of Cell 44," "I Want Her She Wants Me," and "This Will Be Our Year" all feature different types of descending bass lines, and all three of them manage to get utilized in "Afternoon Tea." I love the sheer Britishness of the track. I can easily visualize the "small cafe" with a few outdoor chairs and tables with umbrellas where they would sit and drink tea, under overcast British skies. It suggests somebody strolling down the street at a brisk pace while he's wistfully reminiscing. Perhaps even occasionally skipping. This might be due to the subliminal effect of it having the same meter and tempo as "We're Off To See The Wizard."

    :kilroy: Of course, the greatest Kinks shuffle of them all would materialize on the next A-side.
     
  6. FJFP

    FJFP Host for the 'Mixology' Mix Differences Podcast

    I take it you didn’t acquire The Mono Collection LP set?
     
  7. Adam9

    Adam9 Senior Member

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    If you come across a mono Canadian Pye for sale, don't buy it. It's a fold down except for "Death Of A Clown".

    I was one who didn't buy the Mono Collection LP set because I had just bought the first 4 albums in mono with the same mastering before the box set came out. I didn't want to buy those 4 all over again and I wasn't interested in the mono Arthur and Kelvin Hall. I already had the 2 LP black album (original pressing).
    Fortunately, I found a seller on these forums who was selling Something Else and Village Green Preservation Society from that set.
     
  8. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I certainly don't need it, but I was looking at that mono box, and now between 450-1000 dollars I guess I won't be getting it lol
    I never even heard about it in 2016.... but I wasn't on this forum then either.
     
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  9. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Afternoon Tea
    The lyrics "'cause I like you, girl", for me, are what centers this song for me. This ain't no "You Really Got Me". This is a mature, maybe non-sexual relationship - a pleasant diversion, an intellectual affair? Even if he's still thinking about her at night, he isn't deranged to be with her "all day and all of the night". There's a song on the Lola album where the singer points out that their girl eases his mind as well...keeps him on an even keel even though other crazy stuff may be going down.
    Dave's cool guitar sound saves it from being too syrupy. And love the bass line and, of course, Rasa's vocals add another layer (as usual).
    This song isn't meant to burn the house down...but it's lovely and pleasant.
     
  10. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    I think I know what you're talking about. Just read about this in Dave's book. :D
     
  11. Audiobernd

    Audiobernd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austria
    I agree. Also this song is a testament to Ray's capalities of conjuring up images and his abilities of "journalistic" writing, as well als the bands power to sonically create pictures in your head. I recently saw a documentary about Muswell Hill in London, and they showed footage from the 60ies and in once scene ther were a few nice british ladies sitting in a tea shop sipping on their afternoon tea, and that tea shop looked EXACTLY as I always imagined it when I heard "Afternoon Tea".
     
  12. Audiobernd

    Audiobernd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austria
    I know I am doing this wrong, as it is supposed to be song by song, but please show me mercy, as I am new here and I missed too many great songs already. And forgive me grammar mistakes and typos, English is not my first language,

    „David Watts“. One of Rays earliest Songs that deals with sexual ambiguity. The Protagonist is torn beween destain for the oh so perfect David Watts and a strange attraction towards him. At the end, the listener is left to wonder if the Singer wants to be LIKE David Watts or to be WITH David Watts. Musically, from the tape effect in the beginning on, we see why some have called „Something Else“ The Kink's Sgt. Pepper's. Psychdelia is on board, and why would'nt it be in 1967? The hard driving beat turns the song into a rebellious rocker and it is no surprise that The Jam covered it nearly 1:1.

    „Death Of a Clown“. Obviousely Dave's Moment to shine and an evergreen to boot. Hard to find a Pub around the globe where people will not join into the refrain even today. The run down circus with the suicidal Clown is a wonderfull metaphor for the disillusion young people suffer when they see there is neither a „Shining City on the Hill“ nor a really Great Britain, but only people fighting each other for getting to run a stupid Circus.

    „Two Sisters“. Really a Song about Ray and Dave with Ray being the married Priscilla and Dave the partying Sybilla, this has not aged well lyrically. Musically it still is captivating as ever, but of course it came under attack by some progressives, who saw it as hooray for the traditional role for women as housewifes. But maybe, just maybe, and Ray's tendency for irony beside, there is another dimension to this song? Who from the rock' n roll circus troop ever before or after sung about the work women do in the house? Okay, Maybe Queen, but Ray here actually says that raising children and keeping a house in order is work too, and in some cases more rewarding than other work, albeit not payed,

    „No Return“. A delightful jazzy little Diddle and always a pleasure to hear.

    „Harry Rag“. A pretty obvious song about Mary Jane. But as far as I know the first one which not blatantly endorses it, but warns that there IS a tiny chance you can get psychologically hooked on Weed.

    „Tin Soldier Man“. Like so many of Rays songs, this has an unforgettable melody and an unusual timing. When I was a Kid, this was my favourite Kinks-Song, which speaks to Rays Ability to also write Songs children too can enjoy.

    „Situation Vacant“. Another classical Ray-Story-Song. A young couples' happy life gets uprooted by the ambitions of the husbands mother in law. Note the very end: „Little mama's satisfied“. It was the plan of that woman all along to destroy her daughters marriage, maybe so that this daughter can get back to her, under her thumb. And she does indeed move back in with the posessive scheming witch. Musically it rocks and rolls along nicely, with a sweet little psychdelic coda.

    "Love Me Till The Sun Shines": In my humble opinion this is Dave's own take on what Bob Dylan said in „All I Really Want To Do“, but Dave twists it a bit, brings in a sexual aspect, but still it has a pretty liberal message: We love each other, I am not superiour to you, nor are you to me, and I want you as a lover, not as a housemaid. It can also be seen as the topical counterpoint to Ray's „Two Sisters“.

    „Lazy Old Sun“. As many have pointed out here before me, this is a surprisingly heavy psych track with chord progressions and harmonics reminiscent of what Syd Barretts Pink Floyd did approximately at the same time. But this not pure acid driven gloom and doom, it has moments of majestic optimism.

    „Afternoon Tea“. Many Interpretations postet before mine are right. In fact, all are right, because this is one of Ray's more open themed songs. For me, I still remember when I first heard it at age 12, and I happened to have my frist real crush on a girl, and so for me this song became a soundtrack to my own dream of sitting with that girl in a coffee shop (as we did not have tea shops here) and just enjoy her company, just be near to her. There is an air of innocence about it, which is accentuated by the simnple but very effective stomping rhythm and a melody what changes from mundane to dreamy without effort.

    „Funny Face“. I cannot help but see Dave's third song on the Album as an hommage to the Faces. It is musically similar to what Ronnie Lane and Steve Mariott did at the time, and can it be a coincidance that the lyrics say „Funny Face, she's all right“?

    „End Of The Season“. What a magical poetic song about tourism hot spots after the tourists have gone away! I happend to be in Venice during the Lockdown of 2020 and when I walked beside the empty canals, I kept humming this tune. Musically it is as english as you can get. Songs like this were sung in the english music halls in the 20ies.

    „Waterloo Sunset“. What to say about this that has not been said already? Waterloo Sunset, God Only Knows, Strawberry Fields Forever and Penny Lane are the four best Popsongs ever written.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2021
  13. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Welcome, Audiobernd! thanks for your contribution.

    I've more than once ALMOST wrote about the fact that the Kinks are very accessible to kids. I was introduced to them in the 10-15 year old range and they stuck out from the other popular music at the time. I was afraid people would think that I meant the Kinks were 'simplistic' and that's not at all the case. But I don't have the words to describe it. Their music was so varied, so that may be part of it. Like Tin Soldier Man...it's a marching song, in part. Maybe something you may find in other children's tunes(examples I can't think of at this moment). Like I recall loving the Doors "Alabama Song(Whiskey Bar)" as a kid...it was all about the music. Circus music. But it is so not a children's song. so confusing, huh?
     
  14. Audiobernd

    Audiobernd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austria
    The appeal to kids is also very apparent with The Beatles. And I do not think it necessarily has to do with simplicity, but with the catchiness of the tunes. I also somehow think this is one of the reasons why so much music of the 60ies still finds new audiances today. The Melodies were just so memorable, and many Kids love to sing or hum or whistle. And as for the Kinks: I still can remember first hearing "Dandy". Loved it at once, and I must have been even younbger than ten when I stumbled upon it in an uncles record collection.
     
  15. Martyj

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

    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    Thanks for posting this. You are obviously much more educated in music than I am, so I’m glad you’ve expanded my view on what constitutes a shuffle in music. My previous narrow understanding would not have recognized any of the songs you cite here as shuffles. It was my belief from earlier knowledge that the only shuffle the Kinks ever recorded was their cover of “Naggin’ Woman,” which directly applied to a dance style used when doing the line stroll. Apparently not, though. I do recognize the commonality of all those songs you mentioned. I hear a similar beat, I suppose, now that you point them out. But maybe I’m using the term ‘beat’ wrong. More like a "swing." Something you can swing your arm to and snap ones fingers. Anyway, thanks again.
     
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  16. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Location:
    Murrumbateman
    Yep - welcome on board Audiobernd. You make some good points - some of which I agree with, others not quite.
    I don't think there was any support here for Harry Rag concerning any weed other than tobacco. Had Dave written it I might be persuaded :D
    Your observation on Funny Face reminded me that I had a strong Ronnie Lane feeling on another Kinks song recently - I can't remember which one though, which is a tad disappointing... It's not a big surprise though - Ronnie was a storyteller whose English folk songs sometimes remind me of Ray Davies.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2021
  17. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Location:
    Murrumbateman
    We are straying off topic here but I regularly played Village Green Preservation Society when I drove my daughter to primary school and I'm pleased to say 15 years later it is still one of her favourite albums - songs like Phenomenal Cat and Wicked Annabella are irresistible to kids. Ironically, Ray wrote the tune for Tin Soldier Man to please his father - the original lyrics can be heard on a Something Else bonus track called Sand on My Shoes.
     
  18. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    You caught up...and sped past us!

    One comment re: your take on Harry Rag. I don’t think it’s so obvious that it’s a reference to weed. In fact, I’m highly skeptical. Tom’s old ma isn’t going to be smoking dope. But a cigarette? Yes.
     
  19. zipp

    zipp Forum Resident

    You wildly over-interpret several songs:

    David Watts - There's no sexual ambiguity here. Ray hates David Watts.

    Two Sisters - Ray doesn't comment on work in the house per se. He just says you put up with it for your children. This is an extremely common attitude.

    Harry Rag - is about cigarettes. Nothing to do with cannabis.

    Funny Face - The Faces didn't exist when this song was made so it couldn't be about them.

    End Of The Season - Has nothing to do with tourism. You'll maybe find out what it's about when we discuss it.
     
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  20. Audiobernd

    Audiobernd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austria
    "And I wish I could be like David Watts" - sounds like hate to you?

    About Two Sisters - you could be right

    Harry Rag, in 1967, is surely about more than ciggies

    I ment the Small faces of course, my bad.

    End of the Season literally talks about a place that is buzzing with tourists in summer, but now that the summer season has ended, is desertet.

    BUT: I do not say I am right, I post my opinion and I am gladly accepting other views.
     
  21. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    A bit late in the day for some, but Pete Quaife passed away 11 years ago on this day, 23 June 2010.
    RIP to an original
     
  22. Adam9

    Adam9 Senior Member

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    It's hate and envy for David Watts that the singer has. I think sexual attraction is a stretch.

    Harry Rag is Cockney rhyming slang for fag which is slang for a cigarette. Notbing in the song suggests anything but tobacco.

    Interesting theory about the Small Faces but the song doesn't suggest anything about the band to me.

    End of the Season - summer and the singer's love are gone. She's "on an island in Greece" while he's stuck in a dreary English winter.
    I can understand that after seeing a tourist hotspot in Venice deserted in the off-season you might be thinking of that.
    BTW, I was in Venice in the off-season a few years ago and it was very nice without a lot of tourists like me. :D

    Anyway, like others, I'd like to welcome you and thank you for your well-written contributions.
     
  23. Adam9

    Adam9 Senior Member

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Yes, thanks for posting this.
    I got to meet him once when he lived in Belleville and came to Toronto to sell his art on T-shirts at a record show.
     
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  24. Pawnmower

    Pawnmower Senior Member

    Location:
    Dearborn, MI
    "Lazy Old Sun" - I think of this and "End of the Season" as being the Kinks most psychedelic tracks. I can't imagine this song with any different kind of treatment, say stripped down acoustic, or otherwise. The production carries much of this. There's some spooky stuff in here. The horn during "sunny ray, shine my way," the ominous bass on the word "sun" in "kiss me with one ray of light from your lazy old sun," and those ghostly backing vocals after "you make the night disappear." That shaker plays a prominent role throughout. This is truly a Kinks track that sounds like no other.

    "Afternoon Tea" - I love all Ray's tea songs and this one is no exception! What a catchy chorus -- man this song sticks in your head! "You take as long as you like, cause I like you girl." Always love "ba-ba-ba's." Such a cool song.

    I don't feel I'm doing any of these songs justice -- I shudder to think how my VGPS reviews will fail to live up to the love I have for that album.
     
  25. Scottsol

    Scottsol Forum Resident

    Location:
    Evanston, IL
    David Watts
    I see a lot of over analysis here. Sometimes the obvious is all there is. The most negative emotion we can attribute to the narrator is some envy and a little bit of cheekiness when discussing all of the girls in the neighborhood. Hate, disdain and attraction may be in the minds of some listeners but are not part of the lyrics.

    Harry Rag
    By the mid sixties there was some use of harry rag in Britain as a code for a reefer, but it still was primarily rhyming slang for a tobacco cigarette. Moreover, nothing Ray has written, mentioned in interviews or included in his live performances gives any indication that the song is about anything other than tobacco.

    End of the Season
    Like many good songs, End of the Season has a number non-exclusive interpretations ranging from climate to romance to politics. But the only tourist in the song is the narrator’s putative lover who is yachting in Greece to avoid the impending dreariness in not so jolly England.
     
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