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

    My dad has essentially the same CD, with an alternate cover, which was also my intro! The Kinks - The Complete Collection

    I remember him mentioning this track a while back as one of his favourite Kinks tracks, which given he's never truly 'got' them, is a fascinating insight.
  2. Fischman

    Fischman RockMonster, ClassicalMaster, and JazzMeister

    New Mexico

    End of the Season

    Summer Love is an especially common theme in th US. With most schools and universities having a summer break aligned with the three summer months, young people have a long period of freedom... combine that with generally favorable weather, and romance blossoms.

    Unlike the American model though, where its generally known going in that these things are strictly temporary, here we have a glimmer of hope for revitalization next time summer comes around.

    Reading other commentary on this song, I had my "Duh!" moment for this album. This song truly is something else.... as is every other song on the album. There is such variety on this album... across styles, genres, moods, forms of expression.... yes indeed; somehow each and every song is truly yet something else by the Kinks.
  3. Fischman

    Fischman RockMonster, ClassicalMaster, and JazzMeister

    New Mexico
    A typical American take on Summer Love from REO Speedwagon:

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  4. LX200GPS

    LX200GPS Forum Resident

    Somewhere Else
    Yes, so much variety here. The Kinks sound like no other band on this album. Hell, they don't even sound like The Kinks on this album. :laugh:

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Salem, MA
    Again, there are plenty of good insights & observations on "End of the Season", a song that may have been earmarked for Face to Face, judging from the bird calls in the beginning (maybe it could have been a better closer for that album than "I'll Remember"). To me, it's the story of a poor (emotionally) upper class gent who misses his love who's doing the Med cruise thing & can't wait to have her back home.

    Besides Noel Coward, this song reminds me of P.G. Wodehouse, the English humorist who wrote 90+ books & whose most famous creation was the duo of Jeeves & Wooster. I started getting into him around the same time I got into the Kinks. Not too many people know about this, but Wodehouse was also involved in music theatre in the early 1900s & was responsible, along w/Jemone Kern & others, in developing the Broadway musical in its classical form. I can imagine Wodehouse writing something like "End of the Season" for a musical. I also that Wodehouse & Ray had some things in common, such as a determination in their writing & living in the US for periods of time & writing for the US market (that would be later for Ray).

    Finally, I would like to point out one quality of Ray's songs that other posters have alluded to, namely, their "sing a long" ability. I remember reading how Ray was serenaded at his local pub w/his own songs during the Christmas season.
  6. sharedon

    sharedon Forum Zonophone

    Boomer OK
    I think the birds on End... we're also used by Pink Floyd!
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  7. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Correction: in April 66 he was still a couple of months short of his 22nd birthday.
  8. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Maybe they then passed the tape on to Jon Anderson for use on "Close To The Edge"??
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  9. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Side note (and a testament to how impactful Kinksian Studies have been for me): today’s early morning, and incessant, ear worm. Harry Rag! Can’t get it out of my head.
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  10. Scottsol

    Scottsol Forum Resident

    Evanston, IL
    End of the Season

    Like many great works of art, this song is about a lot more than intended or claimed by the creator. Sport, love, weather, politics, society…. The underpinning might even be the traumatic event Ray experienced when he was three years old, as described in X-Ray. His season as the prince of the household ended with the birth of brother Dave.

    The work may also considered a meta-song as it represents the end of the Kink’s season of singing about toffs.
  11. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    And to add onto my own ear worm. Harry Rag segues into Mountain’s ‘Nantucket Sleighride’! In my mind.

    Apologies for the interlude.
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  12. Adam9

    Adam9 Русский военный корабль, иди на хуй.

    Toronto, Canada
    Noel Coward was actually best known as a playwright, with some of them musicals, which continue to be popular to this day.

    Reportedly he liked "Dedicated Follower of Fashion" (probably because of its Cowardian wit).
  13. Martyj

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

    Maryland, USA
    Thanks for writing this.

    I was a teenage comedy and showbiz history fan before I ever started listening to the Kinks. Once I finally heard the “Something Else” album I recognized Ray doing this song in a voice (partly) that parodied English screen and radio crooners of the 30’s and 40’s, and therefore assumed it to be about the end of the theatrical season, especially with the line “close of play.” Then I started reading in several places that it was—as you point out—the end of the sporting season. You are right: it is among his most specific English centric lyric and, being an American unfamiliar with both Cricket and Rugby, all these references sailed right over my head. But I’ve always wondered how it all fits together, and you’ve detailed it nicely, so thanks again.

    BTW, almost everything I know about Cricket is from the song on Preservation Act I. I’m still waiting for Ray to write a song about Rugby…or maybe he has and I just don’t recognize it.
  14. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    After the numerous references to Noel Coward I listened to parts of ‘Mad Dogs and Englishmen’ and ‘The Stately Homes of England.’ The latter includes a line about cricket.

    I shouldn’t be surprised by the number of thread participants who toss out Coward’s name like old friends...but I am! Astonishing how much folks here know about music.
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  15. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line The Under Asst East Coast White Label Promo Man

    Yes it works perfectly as a closer even if they miscast and didn't place it there!
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  16. Audiobernd

    Audiobernd Forum Resident

    For those who dismiss my theory, that "Funny Face" is a nod to the Small Faces: Listen " to "Itchycoo Park" and right after to "Funny Face". :)
  17. Zack

    Zack Senior Member

    Easton, MD
    Thanks to everyone (especially @mark winstanley) for all the insightful comments on these Something Else tracks. I've been too busy at work to contribute much. As a Kinks devotee since college, I have always held this album in very high esteem, but still I don't think I appreciated the incredible musical variety and extraordinary depth of composition by the very young Ray and still-younger Dave on this record as much as I should have, thanks to this thread. This is quite possibly the band's pinnacle. The good news, of course, is that several more fantastic records are to follow. I will reserve judgement about pinnacles till we get through those. :righton:
  18. Steve E.

    Steve E. Doc Wurly and Chief Lathe Troll

    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    "Now Labour's in, I have no place to go." For decades, I've thought that was "Dawn labors in," which I thought was fantastically poetic. Rats!
  19. donstemple

    donstemple Member of the Club

    Maplewood, NJ
    End of the Season
    This was yet another song on this album that took me several listens to really get. The first few listens, I just got this old-timey vaudeville type crooning song that I expect to hear out of an old Victrola. I see Ray as essentially giving zero f*cks and just going all-in on this persona, and I am here for it. It's hard to catch some of the words, and I don't think the detailed lyrics are the main point of this, although I am happy to learn about the subtle hints to cricket and rugby and the like. It's certainly another feeling and atmosphere song to me. Again, to me, it starts off with a foreboding homage to Rainy Day in June, before shifting to the main melody (perhaps more the style than melody) that sounds like what Paul McCartney was going for with Honey Pie in 1968, but I certainly prefer End of the Season.

    Regarding when and how this was written, I don't see it fitting in that well with Face to Face (even though it has some sound effects and I even mentioned a similar mood to Rainy Day in June in the intro). I don't know, it just seems to fit exactly where it is on Something Else. It fits the album cover again, just like the Sybilla and Priscilla did on Two Sisters. I think this should have been the album closer, it's just perfect for it.

    ^^^ This is where I am at. I think Waterloo Sunset is almost too good to be on any album. I don't know the story, but it seems like they probably tacked it on the end because it was such a good song. I don't think it'd fit being the 2nd to last song either. Perhaps it would fit maybe 75-80% through the album, to represent sunset? It seems out of place to me, but I don't see Waterloo Sunset fitting on Face to Face or holding it back for VGPS either, obviously. To me, it's like how the Beach Boys stuck Good Vibrations onto Smiley Smile. Yeah no, just let that be a standalone single.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2021
  20. zipp

    zipp Forum Resident


    I see this very much as a follow-up to Sunny Afternoon, but rather less-easily accessible and thus less effective.

    Having suffered from Mr. Wilson's Labour party tax freeze ("now Labour's in"), our favourite aristocrat is bemoaning the fact that all the female birds/chicks have flown off to sunnier climes leaving him completely aimless ("My reason's gone").

    Basically, he's depressed and the only thing to give him hope is to adopt a stiff upper lip and find refuge in upper class sporting activities. The cricket season is at an end, so his choice is rugby union (and certainly not the lower-classs rugby league).

    Unfortunately this involves writhing around in muddy scrums. If he still had enough money and his stately home he could have gone hunting or play polo, but his options are now somewhat restricted.

    The girlfriend in Greece is a stroke of genius and gives us the best line in the song: "Though you are hot, forget me not".

    And she's probably hot in more ways than one, which should make our man even more depressed.

    Musically, this is not my cup of tea. A very clever song but not a great one.
  21. Steve E.

    Steve E. Doc Wurly and Chief Lathe Troll

    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    Are they on the "wildlife" version of the Beatles' "Across the Universe"?

    The bells from "Big Black Smoke" appear on this David Gilmour song from "Atom Heart Mother.": "Fat Old Sun." There's an obvious association with "Lazy Old Sun" in the title.
    This article mentions "Waterloo Sunset" as THE song Gilmour wishes he had written, and says of "Fat Old Sun":

    Gilmour has spoken about this track on a number of occasions, with it making his first pick when he appeared on BBC’s Desert Island Discs in 2003 and it is the blissful ‘Waterloo Sunset’ by The Kinks. “On a lovely warm beach, to listen to this in ‘somewhere else’ sunset, and missing London would be a wonderful moment,” Gilmour shared with Uncut Magazine in 2015.

    He also shared The Kinks played a part in inspiring ‘Fat Old Sun‘ from Pink Floyd’s 1970 album Atom Heart Mother. “I remember,” he disclosed, “thinking at the time, ‘What have I ripped this off? I’m sure it’s by the Kinks or someone’ But since whenever it was – 1968, ’69 – no one has ever yet said, ‘It’s exactly like this.’ it’s a nice lyric, I’m very happy with that.”

    At the premiere of his new DVD Remember That Night – Live At The Royal Albert Hall, Gilmour spoke again about the special place that the song has in his heart, revealing, “for me, the perfect pop song is ‘Waterloo Sunset’ by the Kinks. I would have loved to have written that.”

    The one song Pink Floyd's David Gilmour wishes he had written

  22. idleracer

    idleracer Forum Resident

    :D I don't think I've ever heard the word "prologue" used to describe this section of any given song before. I prefer to call it a "preamble." Having a four line opening rhyming phrase like that was de riguéur in the pre-rock era, then all but vanished in the late 1950s. GOFFIN & KING brought it back with a vengeance in 1961 with these immortal words:

    My tears have fallen
    'Cause you've taken her away
    And though it really hurts me so
    There's something that I've gotta say...

    Needless to say, Lennon & McCartney took note and BAD TO ME opens in a very similar manner, as does Lou Christie's THE GYPSY CRIED. Off-hand, "End Of The Season" is the only Ray Davies tune I can think of that utilizes this gimmick.

    :kilroy: This is the only thing on this album that has anything in common with "Their Satanic Majesties Request," which also closes with the lead vocalist singing with a highly stylized exaggerated upper-crust accent. Everything about this tune is magnificent. The song is in the key of G, and I love that bridge ("You're On A Yacht...") which begins on a very unexpected Cmaj7 chord. I can't help but think that this must've influenced Harry Nilsson when he was composing "Maybe," which has a lot in common with it musically, although the Nilsson tune is at a much slower tempo.

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  23. bvb1123

    bvb1123 Rock and Roll Martian

    Cincinnati Ohio
    Getting ready to come home (for now). After I'm home I will try to catch up if no one minds. This being my favorite Kinks' album i have much to say. Be back in a little while to start my reviews. Thanks for being patient with me.
  24. Steve E.

    Steve E. Doc Wurly and Chief Lathe Troll

    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    I'm jumping ahead a few months to Jan 14, 1968, but this seems like a great moment to share these interviews with Dave and Ray. This footage slays me. Apologies if I missed that it has already been posted.

    Here's what I wrote when I posted it to Facebook a few months ago:

    I'm struck by Dave's sweetness, and the sense that Ray is grasping at profound experiential truths that he can't (at the time) coherently put into conventional all. He's smart, and articulately inarticulate. At 3:07 on, he knows exactly what he wants to say -- he can see it precisely -- and his sentences aren't capturing all of it. Songs gave him the means to stretch meaning along that nearly invisible spider's web between words and music. It's my ideal of how it should work. His later work typically got more articulate, more literal, and not coincidentally ... less transcendent. But oh, this moment.

    I hope not to start a flame war with my last statement here, and I may find myself changing my mind as this thread progresses. There are mid-70's albums I have never heard.

  25. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Looking forward to it mate.

    You have plenty of time.
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