Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by mark winstanley, Apr 4, 2021.
I believe the lower vocal is Pete?
EDIT: @ajsmith just pipped me to the post!
Like most of us here, I’ve praised the likes of Autumn Almanac (and Wonderboy) no end, marveling at their riches of melodies, moods, chords and different sections, vaunting their epic quality.
And then there’s the complete opposite : There Is No Life without Love, its circular melody based on three chords, almost no changes at all, just some little variations, with a haiku lyric, a bit like Neil Young’s Till the Morning Comes. And I must say I personnaly love it just as much.
Pete’s low octave harmony creates something spooky and otherworldly, it gives the song some gravitas and depth and makes it one of the most different sounding Kinks songs ever. I find the “oh-oh-oh-ooh-oh-ooh” chant utterly sublime and I love how the key phrase in the lyrics expands the title, making it “There Is No(thing in this) Life without (your) Love”.
I never tire of it, it’s short, repetitive, but haunting and atmospheric, both completely of its time and completely out of time. How many 90’s or 00’s lo-fi artists and bands would’ve killed for a tune like that?
Anyway, It’s definitely in my own top tier Dave led tunes. The fact that I discovered it on the mythical Great Lost Kinks Album when it was the holy Grail of Kinks items as far as I was concerned definitely adds to its mystery and aura for me.
As I said before, I heard "There Is No Life Without Love" years before the A-side since it made The Great Lost Kinks Album. I think that it sounds like a medieval-type ballad written for a Hollywood movie, like Kevin Costner's Robin Hood, superficially pretty, although judging from the lyrics & knowing what we know about Dave's personal life, it's the morose version of his feelings for his lost love. An OK to me song, but he's done better.
There is no Life Without Love
OK, I’m wondering where the Kinks are. I don’t think I’ve heard a Kinks song that sounds less like a Kinks song. I don’t dislike it at all. It’s different.
I’m not sure if it affects my enjoyment of the song or not, but according to Hinman this was recorded in the same March 1968 session as Wonderboy. Pete said he was cursing through Wonderboy so Lord knows what he was thinking when he was asked - or possibly forced - to sing this.
I dunno, I think this might one have been more up Pete’s alley, cos it’s a bit folkier and plaintive sounding. Wonderboy has that Ray Davies nursery rhyme quality that Pete disdained.
Well, I very much like "There's No Life Without Love". A mild curio compared to most Kinks recordings, sure, but also unassumingly simple and to the point. I always think of it as a Dave song. A fresh listen today (which I'm tending not to do to avoid over saturation) reveals it as rather slight in isolation. But I refer you to my Essential Extended "Something Else" CD, where (bar an alt "Lazy Old Sun") it concludes a set of bonus tracks that run as follows;
Act Nice and Gentle
Susannah's Still Alive
There's No Life Without Love
- and where it sits rather splendidly as quite a beautiful, serene little meditative coda, a moment of calm and zen-like clarity.
Or, if you prefer, where it quite konvincingly koncludes a kool kollection of klassic Kinks kuriosities.
meant to say not overly crowded!
The main memory for me attached to this single is when I was overjoyed to find it at a record stall in Coventry Market while I was at university there in 2015. I'd never seen it in the wild before, and always assumed it was rarer than it turned out to be looking online (though I've never come across another). For me, it's always been a bit of an odd one in the chronology, as I've never mentally been able to pair it with another Kinks period, floating between Something Else and Village Green - and the same applies to the next gap for the next Dave single (which I'm still yet to acquire).
Outside of this though, there's a lot to enjoy about both tracks. LC is an uptempo ruckuss, with the various elements about Dave's delivery that have already been highlighted being key examples of this. Amusingly, until yesterday, I always thought it was "Gonna lift the lid off, HOW!, drink some beer...", which, as a British person, makes a lot of sense to me in the "and how!" statement, but obviously Hell is correct. TINLWL is also deeply unqiue, and the fact that in the mono mix Dave's vocal is almost inaudible is quite amusing, making it more of a Pete Quaife solo record! Why the stereo mix was sped up, I have no idea, but that plinky guitar just gets comically thin. I'll have to crack this 45 out again now.
Exactly. Which is why I consider this otherwise marginalized, inconsequential entry in the Kink's cannon of more value than 80% of anything they did during the Arista years and beyond. I always like it when Ray and co. roll the dice and come up good. I like this track.
Like many else here, I first--and finally--encountered this on The Great Lost Kinks Album, the liner notes for which, written by John Mendelssohn, cite this having a virtual identical arrangement to "Sitting By the Riverside." I don't hear that at all. The same LP attributes authorship solely to Ray. I have some further thoughts on the muddied Ray/or Dave credits on many of Dave solo tracks from this era which I'll save for another time.
Once again, first (and second) time to hear this track. Initial impression? Inoffensive ditty. I suspect the recipient of the lyrics was smiling, blushing and thrilled but I can’t imagine this was anything more than strumming a guitar and repeating a couple of lines.
Edit: perhaps “sweet” is a better word than inoffensive.
Wow. That makes for a perfectly programmed album side, doesn't it?
I didn't get into "Act Nice and Gentle" when it came up, and it's been nagging at me ever since. It's a slight song, for sure, but it's also an archetypical Ray stance and statement -- an especially good example of how he set himself apart from what his contemporaries were doing. A little old-timey, and what a not-macho, not-sexy statement: "Hey, let's just be nice and normal," rendered in a nerdy variant of a Slim Harpo voice. This is around the time "Foxy Lady" woulda been released.
I like "There is no life without love" but I have nothing smart to say about it that hasn't otherwise been covered by others, better than I could have. Is that a high-register guitar part or a clavichord/clavinet/lightly-tapped-harpsichord in the mix?
GLKA gets the credits wrong all over the place, especially on the cover. It's a proofreading mess. The programming/sequencing is exquisite on that collection from a musical standpoint, and the packaging always has me wondering if it was a miraculous accident. But we'll get there in a few weeks, I suppose.
There's No Life Without Love
A beautiful song, not all that atypical when you take into account "There Is Nothing In This World...", "So Long" and "Wait Till The Summer Comes Along"
Will we? Do America only albums qualify for separate discussions?
They have so far, with the early US only albums all getting coverage on this thread. And we have to do Kronikles and GLKA, they loom so large in Kinks fandom!
There Is No Life Without Love
Probably their most obscure song (that got released at the time) from the classic era. It definitely sounds like B side material... not to say that I don't like it, but the co-lead vocal with Pete and the relative simplicity and brevity can't help but make it sound like an afterthought.
In fact, even though I never really cared for it when I first heard it (Lincoln County gripped me instantly), it's really grown on me now. I like the vocal blending a lot and the easygoing nature of it... and it actually is a bit more complex than it seems!
I am 99% sure that the high melodic line in question is a guitar played at double speed. I initially though it was a 12 string playing high notes, but I just went into Audacity and played my digital copy at half speed and it sounds very much like a 6 string playing normally.
And considering that there are alternate versions of the song that are slightly sped up, and Phenomenal Cat (which features obviously sped up vocals) was recorded around this time, I think it's very likely that the would have done this.
I've been posting all the albums, people discussing them is up to the posters
There's No Life Without Love
The second song off of the The Great Lost Kinks Album. I bought this album long ago at a record show and was amazed that there was yet another top quality Kinks album from the 60s featuring several songs I had never heard before. This is a short little beauty of a song. It has a bit of a church hymn vibe to it. I don't go to church, but might consider it if The Kinks were the choir. I can picture them all in robes singing this song to the congregation. God Save The Kinks!
I don't have a lot to say about this, except to make a slight correction. While it is certainly diatonic, the tune also includes vi and ii chords during those melismas on the words "Gone" and "No."
For the record, that song was originally recorded by Dick & Dee Dee. The flipside was an early version of "Blue Turns To Grey," both produced by Andrew Loog Oldham. When that single didn't take off, he then decided to have another go at it with the Vashti Bunyan version. It wasn't much of a hit either.
That makes a lot of sense. I agree it sounds like that. Pretty unusual in their output.
There's a song from Love's 1969 album "Out Here" that does this, around 1 minute in here. It's ridiculous. "You Are Something." One of my faves from that painfully uneven album.
There Is No Life Without Love
this just seems like a fragment, an incomplete song, to me. if you call this complete, it’s complete as “Why Don’t We Do it in the Road?” or “Maggie Mae” or “Wild Honey Pie” are complete for the Beatles, or how “Ding Dang” is complete for The Beach Boys.
it sounds nice but probably could have just been a 45-second album track to link other tracks together.
Well, today I learned they're not singing "Julie oh Julie..." Always wondered who Julie was and why Dave wrote this song so specifically to her. This thread keeps on givin'!
I have to say, I'm struggling with this perspective lol
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