Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by mark winstanley, Apr 4, 2021.
Well, we'll get to Arista/MCA/Columbia when we get to them...but in a nutshell, I like the Pye/RCA era because the band was explorative and taking chances. Once they got into the later years they were content with following formulas for about 3/4 of their output. Or put it another way, I would be more upset if I never got to hear these "There Is No Life Without Love" kinds of Pye-era obscure b-sides, leftovers and outtakes that wound up on later anthologies/reissues than I would be if the Kinks never cut another record after 1980. (And I like post 1980's Kinks--my comment is how much I love the Pye/RCA stuff)
I hear what you’re saying but that’s a big step backward in quality from Forever Changes. (I only know FC, Da Capo and For Sail.)
It’s only 8 seconds longer than Why Don’t We Do it in the Road. We’re critiquing this song as if Ray slotted it in the middle of VGPS. It was just a B-side.
Aargh it’s getting worse - I’ve never heard of them either.
Out Here was recorded at the same time as Four Sail. Most of the best tracks were chosen by the label to use on Four Sail. The 17 leftovers make up the double album Out Here. There are plenty of fantastic tunes worth hearing if you liked Four Sail. Not quite as strong, but another solid albums worth of tunes.
THERE IS NO LIFE WITHOUT LOVE
There's an important word at the beginning and it's missing from the posted lyrics.
"This is a story of my true love ... gone."
So, it's clear from the outset that we have a lover's complaint on our hands.
It's easy now to understand the singer's problem. Without his girl's love he's got no sunshine, no sleep, no rest and no life.
Throw in a rather twee conceit. His true love has truly gone and it's truly true that he's nothing to live for.
This leads to two rather unintentionally comical lines:
"There is no life without sunshine" - well yes there is actually. Life goes on even when it rains.
"There is no rest without sleeping" - well yes there is actually. You can have a rest without going to sleep.
And yet ... I really like this whimsical piece for its vocals and light instrumental touches. Its undemanding nature is in fact its key asset.
I don't think it suits a B-side. I would have seen it more as an album track, possibly with its sudden unexpected ending to round off the first side.
It would then subliminally be telling you to get up and turn the record over to see if this guy gets his girl and his life back on the second side.
Knowing Ray and Dave he probably won't, but you can always hope.
I’m saying it may would have worked better on an album than as a B-Side. It seems incomplete to be on a single, but I am just sharing my opinion.
Oh. I misunderstood then. Sorry bout that.
Unremarkable by Kinks standards but solid. More than solid enough to be a keeper for sure
There is No Life Without Love
Now this may be the very first song on this thread that does absolutely nothing for me. Had this actually been an album cut, I would think of it as the very essence of "filler."
No problem! All good, I could have been clearer!
Good catch! So much for my idea that the recipient of these words would be smiling and blushing. I guess not!
There is No Life Without Love
this feels like a joke. Where is this from? Sorry if I missed that.
This is the first song so far (including early covers) where I'm like NOOOOOOOOOOO! Let's just shoot this 'song' into space and not think about it again.
Jumping on the Days bandwagon.A tough choice but it is my number one favorite Ray Davies composition. It grew in status as a backdrop to my divorce about a dozen years ago. The Choral version still can bring me to tears. Thank you for the Days, Ray. My ex and I are still in good relationship as we have moved on. Thanks everyone for this wonderful thread that has brought great depth to my appreciation of The Kinks.
First off, Vashti Bunyan, who was a descendant of John Bunyan, the author of Pilgrim's Progress, was groomed by Andrew Loog Oldham to be the UK version of Francoise Hardy, which didn't work out despite doing songs by Jagger/Richards. She "dropped off" in true 60s fashion, to join a gypsy caravan. In 1970 she released an album called Just Another Diamond Day, which is considered a masterpiece of UK Folk even though it was ignored on release. She later released albums in the 1990s & 2000s.
As for Dick & DeeDee, they were friends from school that got into a music career in the early 1960s. Their biggest hit was "The Mountain's High" in 1961, although they had additional hits & appeared in TV shows & movies through the mid-60s. Here's a clip of them performing several of their hits on Dick Clark's American Bandstand:
NOTICE: No Wikipedia was used in this reply. We now return to our regular Kinks thread
I like the country feel of it, but it is pretty average (2.5/5)
There Is No Life Without Love
Pretty good. Solid song (3.5/5)
Count me in the Trudy camp. In fact, I'll likely forget having been corrected and continue singing it wwong
Working on catching up...
"Days" - This gem is up there with "Waterloo Sunset" for me. A wonderful song. While "Wonderboy" dealt with the birth of his son, "Days" seems to be about someone who died, or left his life in some way. Only the "you took my life" part threw me, so that's probably involving a failed relationship. Regardless, this song is just great in every way. Love the sentiment, the chorus, and how the drums pick up as the song goes on. A really great ending to this one. Another reminder of "Wonderboy" is in the bridge: "I wish today could be tomorrow, the night is dark, it just brings sorrow." "Wonderboy" mentions "Day is as light as your brightest dreams, night is as dark as you feel it ought to be." Two singles in a row referring to dark nights. I hear you, Brother Ray, I hear you there.
"She's Got Everything" - We already reviewed this one, but I wanted to mention it again because if you're not counting live material (Kelvin Hall), this is the 100th song released by the Kinks. On to song #101...
"Lincoln County" - A very wordy country song, but another one of Dave's very catchy choruses. Interesting that in a song about finding girls and drinking beer, he throws in something about how his mom won't wear the scarf he bought. I think that's hilarious. But yeah, I won't say it's forgettable because I do recall that chorus often, but it's not super essential.
"There's No Life Without Love" - That guitar noodling away in the left channel is super annoying. I don't care much for this one at all. @ARL said "I think this track is going to challenge even the most erudite of our contributors to come up with much to say!" You got me there! I just played it and yeah, it's not a good showcase for what Dave can do. It could really use some fleshing out, but then it would be longer and who wants that? Really not much of a song.
I love the little sniff/inhale at the beginning of the track too. Always a deep curio for me.
This is worth watching for the second song Thou Shalt Not Steal written by John D Loudermilk. Apparently it's Dick who does all the high falsettos which is fun to watch.
Can someone remind me why we're talking about Dick and DeeDee?
The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society
Studio album by
Released 22 November 1968 (UK)
January 1969 (US)
Recorded November 1966 – October 1968
Studio Pye Studios, London
Genre Rock pop folk rock baroque pop
Label Pye (UK) Reprise (US)
Producer Ray Davies
The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society is the sixth studio album by the English rock group the Kinks, released in November 1968. It was the last album by the original quartet (Ray Davies, Dave Davies, Pete Quaife, Mick Avory), as bassist Quaife left the group in early 1969. A collection of vignettes of English life, Village Green was assembled from songs written and recorded over the previous two years.
The album failed to chart upon its initial release, and Ray Davies has called it "the most successful ever flop." In 2020, the album was ranked number 384 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, and it was described by Uncut in 2014 as a "brilliantly observed concept album". In 2018, the album earned a gold disc for reaching sales of 100,000 copies. It was voted number 141 in Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums 3rd Edition (2000).
Ray Davies – lead vocals, guitar, keyboards, harmonica, Mellotron
Dave Davies – lead guitar, backing vocals, lead vocals on "Wicked Annabella"
Pete Quaife – bass, backup vocals
Mick Avory – drums, percussion
Nicky Hopkins – keyboards, Mellotron
Rasa Davies – backing vocals
1. The Village Green Preservation Society stereo mix (2:46), recorded Aug 1968 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
2. Do You Remember Walter? stereo mix, 15-track version (2:23), recorded Apr 1968 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
3. Picture Book stereo mix (2:34), recorded Apr 1968 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
4. Johnny Thunder stereo mix (2:29), recorded Apr 1968 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
5. Last of the Steam-Powered Trains stereo mix (4:03), recorded Oct 1968 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
6. Big Sky stereo mix (2:50), recorded Sep-Oct 1968 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
7. Sitting By The Riverside stereo mix (2:22), recorded Jul 1968 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
1. Animal Farm stereo mix (3:00), recorded Apr 1968 at Pye Studios (No. 1), London
2. Village Green stereo mix (2:08), recorded 25 Nov, 1966 (string overdubs Feb 1967) at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
3. Starstruck stereo mix, 15-track VGPS version (2:20), recorded Jul 1968 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
4. Phenomenal Cat stereo mix (2:36), recorded early to mid 1968 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
5. All Of My Friends Were There stereo mix (2:23), recorded Jul 1968 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
6. Wicked Annabella stereo mix, 15-track VGPS version (2:40), recorded Jul 1968 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
7. Monica stereo mix (2:13), recorded probably May 1968 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
8. People Take Pictures of Each Other stereo mix, 15-track VGPS version (2:11), recorded Jul 1968 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London
This album could have been released in so many forms .... I Believe initially there was talk of it coming out as
Four More Respected Gentlemen.
"She's Got Everything"
Which I believe even got to the stage of a test pressing.
There was an original 12 track European version of the album
"The Village Green Preservation Society"
"Do You Remember Walter?"
"People Take Pictures Of Each Other"
and I think this is the one that appears in the Village Green big box ... it's a good listen too.
When one speaks of the great overlooked albums of all time, this has to come in somewhere near the top ..... It finally sold 100,000 copies in 2018 ... fifty years later..... That is completely unfathomable to me.
I actually feel these days, that this should have been a double album. To me there is certainly enough excellent material to make this one of the best double albums of the rock era....
I came to this album, funnily enough via one of those best albums of all time lists ... I don't remember what magazine it was in, but I'm pretty sure it was a magazine.
Obviously I had heard the Kinks singles, the main ones at least, and I had One For The Road and Low Budget ..... So funnily enough this was more than likely my third Kinks album, and the first time I heard any album from the band's sixties era ....
Ok, now I know I'm supposed to say that as soon as I heard this album that I instantly heard classic all over it, and was stunned by the songs and the blah blah blah ...... but that isn't how it happened for me....
To be honest when I first heard it, I was a little underwhelmed, and I thought, pretty much "wow, this is a weird album" .... because it is a pretty weird album, but I also think that as you let it seep in under your skin, that is actually what makes it such a great album. Over the years this album grew on me, and grew on me and it became for a long time my favourite Kinks album ...
I could certainly see now, following the timeline, that folks that came to this in real time, rather than historically, could very well have been instantly hit by it, and seen classic from day one..... but that wasn't my experience.
The thing that kept me on this album was the title track. I loved the title track from the first time I heard it. I think it captures everything that I think Ray was trying to do with this album, and it kind of works like an overture..... So that first track that we will look at tomorrow is among my favourite tracks of all time, and it got me to listen to this album, probably more than I otherwise would have. There are a few others that grabbed me, but we'll get to that as we go through the songs .... and this is going to be quite a long look at the album, because with the big box, there is a lot to look at ....
For the record, if you have been thinking about the big box, and haven't pulled the trigger..... it really is a magnificent piece of work .... I am not a record guy any more.... I am one of those heathens that prefers cd's, and listens to records for nostalgia.... but these records restored my faith that they still know how to cut records in the modern era. I listened to all three in a row, and enjoyed them all greatly, Good sound, clean sound.....
I suppose I should have read through all the books and such and shared a pointed essay about all the things about this album.... but frankly
1 - that's not really how I roll
2 - we have plenty of people on the thread who have well ingrained knowledge of these things
3 - this is an emotional, rather than technical journey for me.
When this album broke through to me, it did so in a big way. The diversity here is quite astonishing, and probably one of the factors that can make it take a couple of listens. The romanticism of the songs, and the feel is so thick you could cut it with a knife. I think there is just something about this album that once it has got you, it becomes part of you ..... and oddly enough for me at least, I just about yearn to be in this place, that is part fact and part fiction. It is somewhat based in reality, but also somewhat filtered through Ray's idealised reality .... and it connects with me on every level.
It was essentially this album that got me to buy all the bands major releases when the reissues came out in the early 2000's, and even then I bought the RCA and Arista albums first..... I enjoyed all the albums, but for a lot of them, this thread is my first real coherent look at them ..... It's weird to me, it is like for these Kinks albums, you need to actually dive into them head first, and when you do, it is like the smoked glass becomes clear, and you suddenly hear all the things that didn't quite come through when you had those cursory listens. To me this is a sign of a great band. Many band's have immediately catchy songs, and you can put on an album and it can sit in the background while you make the Tuna casserole and do the dishes, and it can do what albums do. These Kinks albums respond better to a real, focused listen, and The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society is most certainly one of those.....
I guess this is more of a thematic album to me, rather than a full blown concept album .... It is an idea.... It is about a place, part real, part imagined, but totally engrossing once it gets under your skin .....
I hope that isn't just waffling BS ... this is one of my favourite Kinks albums, and I think it is an essential album for any music lover to get, but I think it needs to be recommended, with somewhat of a disclaimer, or rules of engagement warning. A cursory listen to this is just not going to cut it, and you will never get under the skin of the album.... you may like it, but you won't feel it. You need to walk into the Village Green and sit down on a park bench and soak up Ray's town and the people in it....
Anyway, I am really looking forward to reading all your posts regarding this album....
You know the deal - When did you first hear it? What did you think? Do you feel the same about it? all that kind of stuff.....
I'm looking forward to our experts giving us the minutiae, and I am really looking forward to reading your hearts here ..... So have at it
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