The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Senior Member

    In this clip, they are tuned down a half step. There are no tabs or youtube covers that show it played the way The Kinks do on the clip. I think all of the tabs I saw and clips of covers are played incorrectly and the tabs are wrong.

  2. Safeway 2

    Safeway 2 Forum Resident

    Manzanillo Mexico.
    Great to see you participating as always Bear.
  3. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Senior Member

    Hey! Great to see you around. I did not know what I was getting into with breaking that song down. o_O
  4. Pawnmower

    Pawnmower Senior Member

    Dearborn, MI
    "Autumn Almanac"

    I wanted to love this song before I even heard it. Just dug that title! Then it ends up being fab. I don't rank favorites or anything like that, but something tells me if I did, this is clearly a top 10, or top 5 Kinks track for me. It's clearly the best song to ever mention roast beef. Am I right? Can we agree on that?

    Tea and toasted, buttered currant buns
    Can't compensate for lack of sun,
    Because the summer's all gone

    I just love everything about this.. The way it makes me feel.. I remember my life when it entered my world. The la-la-la-la's.. the horn that comes in when discussing Blackpool.. the "this is my street" section.. what a production!

    Oooooohhh! My autumn almini-ack! We get la la's and ba ba's? Count me in!
  5. Geoff738

    Geoff738 Forum Resident

    I just want to keep replaying this. I’ll never get tired of it.
  6. donstemple

    donstemple Member of the Club

    Maplewood, NJ
    I have probably listened to it 15 times today?
  7. Scottsol

    Scottsol Forum Resident

    Evanston, IL
    What about that Christmas song, you know, “Beef joint roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose.”
    mark winstanley likes this.
  8. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Its main contender would surely be The Jam's "A Town Called Malice"?

    "A whole street's belief in Sunday's roast beef, gets dashed against the Co-Op"
    side3, Wondergirl, FJFP and 1 other person like this.
  9. GarySteel

    GarySteel Bastard of old

    Molde, Norway
    Absolute klassic. Another one of those fifty or sixty tracks in my top 5 Kinks tracks ever.

    Don't know if it's the best song that mention 'roast beef', but at least it is in pole position when it comes to armagnac :D

    Final chorus:

    La-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
    Oh, my autumn Armagnac
    Yes, yes, yes, it's my autumn almanac
    La-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
    Oh, my autumn almanac
    Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes
  10. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    I think it goes beyond believing and many (including on this thread) simply know it is!
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  11. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Sunny Afternoon

    Compilation album by
    the Kinks
    17 November 1967
    Genre Rock
    Length --:--
    Label Marble Arch MAL 716 (UK)
    Astor Records (USA)

    Sunny Afternoon is the second UK budget-priced compilation album by British rock group the Kinks released in 1967. The album consists of some of the most popular singles and B-sides released by the Kinks from 1965 and 1966. It also includes a cover of "Louie Louie", originally from the 1964 Kinksize Session EP and the track "Such A Shame" from the 1965 Kwyet Kinks EP.

    Released two months after the classic studio album Something Else by the Kinks, which itself only managed 2 weeks on the UK charts peaking at #35, this budget compilation sold much better, spending 11 weeks on the chart and reaching #9.

    The album was issued on CD in 2001 as part of the Marble Arch Years boxed set.

    Side 1
    "Sunny Afternoon"
    2. "I Need You"
    3. "See My Friends"
    4. "Big Black Smoke"
    5. "Louie Louie"
    Side 2
    1. "Dedicated Follower of Fashion"
    2. "Sittin' On My Sofa"
    3. "Such A Shame"
    4. "I'm Not Like Everybody Else"
    5. "Dead End Street"
    This is such an odd kind of compile .... It is like the Kinks had Tom Parker for a manager, because this reminds me of the Elvis Camden albums... budget releases that seem to have little rhyme or reason in the way they are put together. Just shorter album with random songs ....
    We get some great tracks here, as we have seen going through, and then for reasons known only to the management team.... or record company, we get Louie Louie thrown in at the end of side one.....

    Anyway, I think it still works in context with what it is, but it somewhat doesn't make much sense to me in 2021, with a new album out, and singles doing very well..... It sort of seems like an exercise in self sabotage in some aspects.
  12. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    "Susannah's Still Alive"

    Single by Dave Davies
    "Funny Face"
    Released 24 November 1967
    Genre Pop
    Length 2:22
    Label Pye Records
    Songwriter(s) Dave Davies
    Producer(s) Ray Davies

    "Susannah's Still Alive" is a song by Dave Davies, released for his second solo single. The recording featured all of the Kinks' members as his backing band. It was a hit (peaking at #20 in the UK)[1] but it did not live up to the expectations of Davies' last single "Death of a Clown", which was a Top 5 hit.[1] It failed to chart in the US, but was a significant success in Europe, reaching #10 in the Netherlands, #27 in Germany, #18 in Belgium and #18 in Sweden.[1] Although it was never featured on an LP, its B-side "Funny Face" was included on the Kinks' 1967 album Something Else by the Kinks.

    Although all original UK singles used the spelling Suzanah, in many other countries and on later compilation albums Suzannah or Susannah was used.


    • This song finds Kinks lead guitarist Dave Davies singing about an old woman consumed by memories of a former lover. It was written about the love of his life, Sue Sheehan, who became pregnant by Dave when he was 16. When Mrs. Davies and Sue's parents were told the news, they both plotted against the two teens, telling each child that the other had fallen out of love. Sue was sent away and Dave's longing for her inspired many of his compositions. The couple finally was reconciled in 1993 when Dave met his daughter, Tracey, for the first time.
    • Despite featuring all of The Kinks, this single was credited solely to the band's lead guitarist and vocalist Dave Davies. Unlike his debut solo single, "Death of a Clown," which he penned with his brother Ray, Dave wrote this on his own.
    • The song was a commercial success in Europe, reaching the top 20 in a number of countries including Holland, Belgium Sweden and the UK. However, it failed to chart in the US.

    stereo mix (2:21), recorded probably Aug 1967 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London

    Oh, Suzannah's bedraggled but she
    Still wears the locket 'round her neck.
    She's got a picture on the table
    Of a man who is young and able.

    Oh, Suzannah's gonna cry,
    Oh, Suzannah's still alive.
    Whiskey or gin, that's alright,
    When there's nothing in her bed at night
    She sleeps with the covers down,
    Hopin' that somebody gets in.
    Doesn't matter what she does,
    She knows that she can't win.
    Oh, Suzannah's gonna cry.

    She's got a (doll/dog?) with one eye,
    That always cries when she gets some sleep
    She's waiting for a soldier to come home,
    But she'll cry and never die.

    Oh, Suzannah's gonna cry,
    Oh, Suzannah's still alive.
    Whiskey or gin, that's alright,
    When there's nothing in her bed at night
    She sleeps with the covers down,
    Hopin' that somebody gets in.
    Doesn't matter what she does,
    She knows that she can't win.
    Oh, Suzannah's still alive.

    Oh, Suzannah's gonna cry,
    Oh, Suzannah's still alive.
    Oh, Suzannah's still alive.

    Written by: Dave Davies
    Published by: ?

    Lyrics for "Susannah's Still Alive"

    We open with an ascending and descending riff, that reflects a blues type riff, and is used as an accent point during the song.

    The b-side here was Funny Face, and again it works as a thematic single. These two songs seem to be so obviously written about Sue, yet have slightly cryptic messages, which is likely due to Dave being in a relationship at the time, and very few folks are comfortable with the idea of their partner singing love songs to other people .... and although both these songs have stories in them, they are essentially love songs hidden in the layers.

    I actually wonder if Sue ever heard these tracks and what did she think about them, and was she aware of them being about her ... it seems like she would....

    It seems the line She's got a picture on the table of a man who is young and able is a self reference, perhaps wishful thinking that she still loved Dave, and putting himself in the story as a sort of therapy.
    Suzannah is portrayed as lonely, and waiting for someone to come and share her life with her ... but then we get the line that she is waiting for a soldier to come home.
    To some degree the lyrics are seemingly a little inconsistent so far as the story goes, but I think they work in context of a pop song.

    I like the feel and delivery of this track, and I think it shows a certain consistency in Dave's writing. We have the chords of turnaround format for the music, using the I, IV, V and VI (relative minor), but the relative minor only comes in during the chorus.
    It is also interesting that the verses are really quite short and the chorus is quite long.

    I think this is a very enjoyable song, but it is probably somewhat eclipsed by Ray's more pointed writing. Dave writes a good song, but seems to find it harder to put down a more coherent lyric .... but essentially in pop and rock music that is more normal than unusual, and when your brother is the main writer, and one of the best lyricists in the pop/rock world it is probably hard to be in a position where comparison is going to happen.

    Last edited: Jun 29, 2021
  13. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    the stereo mix

  14. tables_turning

    tables_turning In The Groove

    Mid Atlantic, USA
    ...or that Pye as a label didn't care a lot about the Kinks much past how their last release sold. Did they look at the not-so-great sales numbers for Something Else and think "Well, that went badly; let's put out the obligatory compilation album and get whatever we can while we can"?

    (Then again, wasn't that the business mindset of a lot of record companies in the 1960s?)

    Well, it's business after all, I know -- but still, you could've at least pretended to care...
  15. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Autumn Almanac

    An amazing discovery by Ray, it seems the reverse tracking device helped create a unique new melodic part of the song and likely had a big say in providing it's title.
    Kind of glad to find this out and confirm Ray was only a "totally brilliant" composer and not an actual godlike one!

    I have always been captivated by this song and it's gorgeous careening melody, so much so that i too never fully appreciated it's complexity of structure and part as others have also stated.
    (Edit: More evidence of Ray's composing genius to write something that sounds so effortless, evocative and melodic though at the same time is actuality at the same time deceptively very complex!)

    Love the mono version the best perhaps as i am used to the 45, however i do feel the effect used at the close of the stereo version is a good one i am not wholly convinced it best suits this song.

    N.b. Is it only me or does anyone feel Ray garbles up (deliberately or otherwise) the Autumn Almanac title line at least once in the piece?
    (Edit: Explained above to be about liquor)

    Thinking further after having read many superb posts on this song i am absolutely convinced that if Paul McCartney had written this gem it would have attained a far higher standing in the pop world and beyond and I couldn't imagine for a moment that he wouldn't have been very proud to have created it, yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes!
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2021
  16. Vagabone

    Vagabone Forum Resident

    Susannah's Still Alive

    A number of different musical elements, most memorably that riff, juggled very successfully. I always like to hear an accordion.

    On the greatest hits comp I first heard it on, it felt a slight drop in quality after "Waterloo Sunset" and "Autumn Almanac", but not too drastic a drop.

    I never gave the lyrics much attention but Dave always sound fully invested in what he was singing about.
  17. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    At least the cover is great!
  18. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    "Sunny Afternoon" - the compilation

    This is one that I picked up in the mid-80s, and it was useful at the time as it gave me four b-sides that I didn't previously have (this was before the Well Respected Men double appeared). As a singles comp, eight of the tracks make sense, "Such A Shame" kind of makes sense as it was the only Kwyet Kinks track that wasn't on the previous Marble Arch comp, but "Louie Louie" doesn't belong in this company. I tried playing this recently thinking that it should have good sound quality, but was disappointed by the amount of sibilance (having largely eradicated it from most other albums with my current cartridge) - maybe it just needs a good clean? The cover photo is great. I suppose it made Pye some money as it had decent sales, but didn't do much in terms of selling The Kinks' wonderful 1967 output.

    "Susannah's Still Alive"

    I've kind of neglected this track over the years - it's on the "Spotlight" comp, which was the first one I owned, but I haven't played that for years, and it wasn't on the Well Respected Men comp. It was on The Album That Never Was - I forgot I owned that and wondered why I never play it - then remembered that the CD has a glitch on it. Anyway, having reacquainted myself with this track over the weekend - it's fine, if unspectacular. The chorus is catchy and memorable, although the verse had slipped out of my memory over the years. I'd never have deciphered the lyrics in the verse without reading them here (still sounds like Dave's talking about a budgie in the first verse). I've always heard it as "wears nothing in her bed at night". I don't think it's up to the standard of the singles credited to The Kinks in this period - but then what is??
  19. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Would you get Mrs Hatmakers (lazy old) Son?
    mark winstanley likes this.
  20. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Lol I thought exactly the same thing
  21. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    This intro/riff is a little nugget in itself. It does have a blues lineage but it's also a pop carousel confection. Placed at the beginning and at the end of each verse, it serves as a defining hook and anchor to the whole song, while marking the unstoppable passing of time and underlining the mad obsessiveness of the lyrics. It's such a tormented track! Dave was 20 years old at the time and the TV footage of him lip syncing the song with a big open smile on his face, like it’s a happy tune, is almost disturbing for me as I hear so much intensity in his delivery. The driving beat and energetic chorus could be misleading, but there’s nothing celebratory in this track, only rage, frustration, anger and dark humor. But really dark ! This footage is so strange, I see him smile all through it, but to my ears, he sounds pissed off and belligerent.
  22. ajsmith

    ajsmith Senior Member

    Best Club mime. Once again the only contemporary surviving perf blah blah blah.
    For this single, Dave had moved on from the Death Of A Clown image and had switched to leathers:
    EDIT: Goddammit! Outgunned!

  23. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Susannah’s Still Alive: this is the last song off of Something Else (probably Deluxe) that I had put on my playlist during my pre-thread perusal. The opening lyrics, “Oh, Susannah...” mirrors the lyrics of the Stephen Foster tune of the same name but, while Foster asks her not to cry, Dave declares that Susannah’s “gonna cry.” I think it’s pretty clever.

    Song #34 on my Kinks playlist.
    Edit: !!! I’m not ranking the songs. That’s just the total number to this point.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2021
  24. ajsmith

    ajsmith Senior Member


    The compilation isn’t totally random, in that other than the title track it’s all songs that hadn’t appeared on LP before. That was definitely intentional.
  25. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Sunny Afternoon compilation
    This sold well in the run up to Christmas 1967 (UK top 10). Ray expressed his approval at the time about low-price albums being good for the fans. But as Mark noted, this compilation doesn't make any sense from a timing and career progression perspective. Johnny Rogan says "that November the pound was devalued by 14.3% and it might be said that the Kinks' reputation as an albums band was devalued by a similar amount...[and] ... it was a worrying development that it eclipsed memories of the more important Something Else."

    Suzanah's Still Alive
    I first heard this on Kink Kronikles, where it was sequenced perfectly after Polly and Big Black Smoke and just before She's Got Everything. It has a big sound and catchy chorus and Dave's committed delivery compensates for the darkness in his lyrics. A good example of a Dave the Rave rocker: not his best I think but still a good song.

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