The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. Scottsol

    Scottsol Forum Resident

    Location:
    Evanston, IL
    Given that the sales of “Something Else” were much closer to “zero” than “a lot” it’s not that puzzling.
     
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  2. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    "Days"

    [​IMG]
    Single by the Kinks
    B-side
    "She's Got Everything"
    Released 28 June 1968
    Recorded 23, 27 May 1968
    Studio Pye, (No. 2), London
    Genre Folk rock
    Length 2:50
    Label Pye 7N 17573 (UK) Reprise 0762 (US)
    Songwriter(s) Ray Davies
    Producer(s) Ray Davies

    "Days" is a song by the Kinks, written by lead singer Ray Davies, released as a single in 1968. It also appeared on an early version of the album The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society (released only in continental Europe and New Zealand). It now appears as a bonus track of the remastered CD. On the original Pye 7N 17573 label, the name of the song is "Day's" due to a grammatical error.

    The song was an important single for Davies and the Kinks, coming in a year of declining commercial fortunes for the band. The song had been intended as an album track but after the relative failure of the previous single "Wonderboy" (which only reached No. 36 in the UK), "Days" was rushed out as a single with an old unreleased track "She's Got Everything" (recorded in February 1966 in the same session as "Dedicated Follower of Fashion") as the B-side. Billboard praised the single's "groovy rhythm" and "clever lyric."[1] It reached No. 12 on the UK chart,[2] but failed to chart in the U.S. This did not help future releases however as the next four Kinks singles failed to reach the top 30 (two of them failing to chart altogether) in the UK.

    • UK: No. 12
    • Bel: No. 17
    • Ger: No. 28
    • NL: No. 7
    • NZ: No. 11
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------wikipedia---------------------------------------------------------

    • "Days" was originally only intended to be a track on the 1968 concept album The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society, but after the commercial failure of the previous release "Wonderboy" it was rushed out as a single. The song peaked at #12 in the UK but failed to chart in the US.

      Fearing that the band's time was up following the failure of "Wonderboy," Ray Davies wrote this nostalgic song saying goodbye to his music career. He told Q magazine: "I didn't care anymore. So I thought, 'Say goodbye nicely,' and wrote 'Days.'"

      Ray Davies also had in mind his sister Rosie who had immigrated to Australia. "She left and said, 'Say goodbye, my loving brother,' and I said, 'Thank you for being my sister,'" he recalled to Rolling Stone. "So the song's for her, really, and her generation."
    • Ray Davies recalled the story of the song in an interview with Q magazine:

      "I started writing it in a hotel on tour. Strangely enough it was the rhythm I wanted to get first, the sustained chords. The actual tune came later. And then I wrote some of it in a phone-box while I was phoning somebody I shouldn't be phoning. The song wasn't about the person on the other end of the line. Well, not really. But I suppose it's the ultimate kiss-off, isn't it? 'Thank you for the days.'"
    • A cover by Kirsty MacColl reached #12 on the UK singles chart in 1989, equaling the chart position achieved by The Kinks.
    • The song soundtracked a 2011 UK commercial for the Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet.
    • "Days" is now thought of as one of Ray Davies' most popular songs. The Kinks frontman admitted in a 2010 YouTube clip that he didn't foresee what the track would eventually mean to people.

      "The song has grown in intensity over the years," he said. "I didn't think much about the song when I wrote it. Sometimes songs occur like that. You don't think about it, but it's built up quite a lot of mystique over the years. It certainly left me. It belongs to the world now."
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------songfacts---------------------------------------------------------------

    mono mix (2:52), recorded May 1968 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London

    Thank you for the days,
    Those endless days, those sacred days you gave me.
    I'm thinking of the days,
    I won't forget a single day, believe me.

    I bless the light,
    I bless the light that lights on you believe me.
    And though you're gone,
    You're with me every single day, believe me.

    Days I'll remember all my life,
    Days when you can't see wrong from right.
    You took my life,
    But then I knew that very soon you'd leave me,
    But it's all right,
    Now I'm not frightened of this world, believe me.

    I wish today could be tomorrow,
    The night is dark,
    It just brings sorrow, let it wait.

    Thank you for the days,
    Those endless days, those sacred days you gave me.
    I'm thinking of the days,
    I won't forget a single day, believe me.

    Days I'll remember all my life,
    Days when you can't see wrong from right.
    You took my life,
    But then I knew that very soon you'd leave me,
    But it's all right,
    Now I'm not frightened of this world, believe me.
    Days.

    Thank you for the days,
    Those endless days, those sacred days you gave me.
    I'm thinking of the days,
    I won't forget a single day, believe me.

    I bless the light,
    I bless the light that shines on you believe me.
    And though you're gone,
    You're with me every single day, believe me.
    Days.

    Written by: Ray Davies
    Published by: Davray Music/Carlin Music Corp.

    Lyrics for "Days" kindakinks.net

    So this is so interesting on so many levels. It seems like Ray was writing about a whole load of things with this song, based on his comments about the song over the years.

    It seems he wrote this for the album, but after Wonderboy's perceived failure, they rushed this out, and Ray says it was a reflection on his music career that he felt was now over... but also he was thinking of his sister in Australia, and with the intense nostalgia, sung in a beautiful balanced tone. We don't really hear the sarcastic, or comedic Ray here. We get a pretty sincere delivery that has a tenderness that we know Ray could put across when it suited him. It also has a sort of joy in it that is refreshing.

    The lyric is fairly straight forward, it is a joyous thank you .... how often are we actually thankful for the good things, the things that set our hearts right, rather than bemoaning the bad things... there is an accentuate the positive thing here that is comforting.

    Like life itself the music moves through a few different sections and has I think three key changes that move us through here smoothly and nicely and help give the song a certain intensity, even though we stay in a relaxed delivery.

    I can see how Ray was looking at the rhythm first because the speed and flow is beautiful, and the way he tied the melodic structure to it works beautiful, and then the lyrics and vocal are icing on the cake.

    I first heard this song on my Village Green 3cd in the early 2000's, and it has grown on me ever since.
    The acoustic that enters with a keyboard and drum strike, and then moves into this gentle verse. Then when we move into the chorus and the intensity raises up, and we get that key change. The bridge comes in with another key change that moves us back around to the verse beautifully. I think we have a mellotron in the background too.

    There is a rotational feel in the music, like a change of seasons, that seems to tie into the lyrics beautifully.

    Not sure I have that much to say here really, but this is a beautiful song and I think very deserving of charting well. Not quite a top ten track except for the Netherlands, but only just missing out.

     
  3. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    The stereo mix remastered in 2018

     
  4. zipp

    zipp Forum Resident

    The pronunciation of mama and papa in the song is English upper class and Ray relishes doing it. Pater and mater would be even better of course but there you're in the realms of the aristocracy.

    The working class could use mum and dad or ma and pa.

    Momma and poppa are never used in England.
     
  5. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Ray live at Glastonbury in 2010
    It seems like you can see how much this song means to him just in his facial expressions. It's a nice arrangement too.

     
  6. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    A top-10 Kinks song for me. I also rather like the cover version by Elvis Costello.
     
  7. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    There are 3 existing contemporary (or close to contemporary) video clips for ‘Days’, but only one is completely at large; with the other 2, only clips have been made available to the public. The full clip is from the BBC/German co production ‘Pop Goes The Sixties’ show, made in December 1969 to mark the end of the decade, featuring most of the big names in pop of the era.

    The Kinks very appropriately chose to perform ‘Days’ . As this is 18 months after the song was originally released, it features the ‘Arthur’ line up with John Dalton instead of Quaife:

     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2021
  8. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    "Days"

    After a brief diversion, it's back to top tier Kinks. "Days" is a track where maybe it is better to just listen to it. If you spend any time trying to look at or analyse the lyrics you realise just how gut-wrenching they are and how every goodbye you've ever said is encapsulated in them.

    It's an intensely moving track that builds and swells as it plays, but even so the production is understated, largely leaving the song to stand up on its own merits, with just the odd flourish of piano as embellishment. The tension that builds up during the track is released in the explosive ascending chromatic ending. You can't omit to mention Ray's fantastic harmony vocals.

    It's a simpler song than the previous two singles, but even here there is a non-repeated section in a strange place - "I wish today could be tomorrow...". It's just a brilliant track that temporarily reversed their sinking chart fortunes, but even so deserved a much higher chart position.
     
  9. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    The Kinks made a contemporary promo film for ‘Days’, apparently shot at an airport, however only a small snippet has ever surfaced in the 2010 Ray doc ‘Imaginary Man’. Presumably Ray has the full thing in his collection. Here’s an edit someone did of the 1969 clip with the segment from the 1968 promo inserted at the appropriate section in the song (about 2/3rds of the way through)

     
  10. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    Thank you for the days… Once again, there’s a very conscious structural twist at play : this “thank you for the days” opening is the verse, but when it comes back the second and (especially) third times, it has clearly become a powerful chorus, because of the key changes and the way the song never stop moving forward, with little one off melodic sections. At this point in our (beloved) thread, we’ve noticed it’s a trick (verse turned into chorus) Ray uses pretty often. It’s not a coincidence or a case of instinctive writing, it’s very deliberate and incredibly efficient.
    Anyway, structure aside, I can’t think of any better way to express romantic love in song. It’s most probably about an affair (Ray's admitted to it) but it also works as a farewell to a deceased friend or family, or a metaphorical goodbye to youth or innocence, or an artist's affectionate address to his audience. In which case, the decision to talk about “days” (instead of “years”) is even more touching, because "days" are those little time capsules nostalgia is certainly made of. Beyond all the satire and wit we've come to appreciate and expect from him, I hear Days as a deeply personal tune for Ray. It's such a lovely understated sentiment. And the way he sings it… Of course, I love this band. On this thread, we all do. But Days is the song that made me fall in love with Ray Davies, not only the writer or the musical genius, but the person.
     
  11. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    In 2018, Dr Who missing episodes collector Phillip Morris returned a 1968 edition of the Basil Brush show feat The Kinks performing ‘Days’ that he’d located in Africa during his quest to track down the missing instalments of the good Dr’s televised saga. It was shown once in full at an archive TV event, but only a snippet has made it out to the wider public via this news item:

     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2021
  12. Snoddywilko

    Snoddywilko Forum Resident

    Location:
    United Kingdom
    I read Ray’s X-Ray autobiography when it was published in the 90’s & recall him saying that the initial inspiration for this song came from being dumped over the telephone by an American woman he’d been having an affair with; she ended the call by saying “thank you for the days”

    Wonderful song; watching him perform it at that 2010 Glastonbury show was quite emotional.
     
  13. Safeway 2

    Safeway 2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Manzanillo Mexico.
    Been off the grid during my travels. Just a few thoughts on some of the songs Mark
    has posted and reviewed. Below is a quick rating of my the songs. "Almanac" comes in numero uno in my book hands down. I was surprised by all the comments on "Wonderboy" I had been aware of Rays disappointment in the publics response. To me, hit singles can go a lot of different directions including P.T. Barnum was right. I love "Wonderboy" and consider it a Kink's Klassic. "Days" a close third. I like both "Susannah" and "Polly" about dead even. Thanks Mark for the great work. Do you have a secretary or an assistant helping you out? You are doing some amazing and time consuming work!:tiphat::edthumbs:


    1) Autumn Almanac
    2) Wonderboy
    3) Days

    4) Susannah's Still Alive
    5) Polly
     
  14. donstemple

    donstemple Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maplewood, NJ
    Days

    I love this song. It’s such a straightforward, personal and touching song and delivery from Ray. It’s not a character study or a satirical attack or mocking. It’s just a lovely song, looking back and appreciating the times when those special someones made your days better.

    There is a calming repetition in not only the rather circular melody, but also of some key thematic words: days, light, believe me. It’s like he still feels like the person he’s singing to needs convincing.

    One other thought, although Ray doesn’t seem to mention it in the various quotes, I can also see this song as a sort of follow up to “Lazy Old Sun”. As if he’s thanking the sun for the days that bring light and gets rid of the night (which brings sorrow). Just another entry in what we have seen in Ray’s catalogue of metaphors using sun, clouds/rain, sunset, etc.
     
  15. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Kirsty MacColl revived ‘Days’ for a #12 hit in the UK in 1989: the exact same place it reached for The Kinks 21 years previously. Yet again, this cover from another led to Ray and The Kinks rediscovering the song and sticking it back in their live set after (unbelievably) barely touching it in the intervening 2 decades:

     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2021
  16. FJFP

    FJFP Host for the 'Mixology' Mix Differences Podcast

    I can confirm this EP did not sell well either. Never seen one once in my life.
     
  17. Martyj

    Martyj I come for the regatta, I stay for the arm sweat

    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    I don't have time to play today, but will chime in just long enough to point out that this thread is now 221 pages long, each page comprising somewhere between 15-20 posts. By the time this whole thread ends--by my quick mental calculations--it will reach in excess of 20,000 posts. I am willing to wager that your post here is the only one that will feature a talking fox puppet.
     
  18. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Lol no, merely a music addiction :)
    Cheers mate
     
  19. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I used to love Basil Brush "boom boom"
     
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  20. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    25 posts per page
     
  21. Adam9

    Adam9 Senior Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    Waterloo Sunset used to be my favourite Kinks song for the longest time but for the past few years it's slipped to second place behind Days.
    The conflicting emotions of gratitude and loss at the same time make it heartbreakingly bittersweet and that's what draws me in. Also I guess as I get older I reflect on the people in my life (and as I typed that I thought of In My Life with which it shares a theme somewhat) and the song resonates more with me. It's remarkable how Ray Davies wrote songs like this in his twenties
     
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  22. Steve E.

    Steve E. Doc Wurly and Chief Lathe Troll

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!!
     
  23. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Not a fan of Basil Brush? :)
     
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  24. Steve E.

    Steve E. Doc Wurly and Chief Lathe Troll

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    The TWO incomplete videos of them performing this in 1968 are devastating me.

    The stereo mix Mark posted above is from Kinks Kronikles. It's especially weird -- like a 1963 Beatles mix more than a 1968 mix. I wonder a bit if it was created for TV lipsynching. (I have similar suspicions about the vintage Autumn Almanac and Wonderboy stereo mixes; though, more likely with "Days" and "AA", they were just trying to do something interesting and full-sounding with limited options, given the channel allocations.)

    Andrew Sandoval did a nice remix for the Anthology. I wish he had tidied up the beginning and (especially) the end so it could be definitive, but what can ya do. I don't like that last Mellotron chord-- it was ducked out for a reason. I'm nonetheless glad it exists.

     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2021
  25. Vagabone

    Vagabone Forum Resident

    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    Days was a great favourite of my father, who used to sing it and play it all the time. He found it extremely moving. It also seems a great favourite of buskers and open-mic performers. And that pesky Kirsty MacColl version. Thus it is probably the Kinks song I have heard most in my life. I've got to be honest, I no longer even like the song and would be happy to never hear it again.

    I know theoretically it's great, but I've heard it enough. It's a victim of its own catchiness, because if you hear it once it'll be in your head for, um, days. It doesn't help that I find it a bit too sentimental, or that my wife actively hates it and will raise an emergency alarm if we accidentally hear the start of it on TV or on a playlist.

    I know this will probably be the majority view, but it still pains me somewhat to read it expressed that way. "Wonderboy" coupled with "Polly" is one of the Kinks' greatest two-sided 45s, following up from my favourite Kinks song "Autumn Almanac" and before that my favourite Kinks album "Something Else". Whatever the public thought, they were on a major career high as far as I'm concerned.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2021

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