The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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


    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Salem, MA
    “Let Me Be”/“Stand Up Comic”: I didn’t have either version of the Dave song, although it’s getting to the point that I should find copies of Bug and Open Road. Ray’s song was #15 on my list and it’s one of my fave raves from Other People’s Lives.
  2. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    "queer" !
    Stand Up Comic
    is a bit of an question mark for me : on some listens, I'm awed by Ray's performance, his wit, his fabulous phrasing, and I get along for the fun. On others, I feel too much of a distance in the artsy-ness of the song's concept: a stand up number deconstructing the UK's stand up culture. The day I compiled my list, it was more of the latter, I thought "yeah, good track, one of the best on the OPL LP… yet a bit too much on the nose, perhaps". Sometimes, you feel the theory of the song more than the song itself. And so I didn't rank it… One of the surreal strength of the Kinks' output is that the songs never let me down, I can listen to Lola or, say, Think Visual (closer in style to SUC) hundreds of times, there's never a day when I'll like them less. With solo Ray, for some reason, my feelings vary greatly from one listen to the next. Anyway, I could tell this song would get its nod in this countdown, as it's obviously one of Ray's most spectacular solo tracks. But in the brother's battle of songs, Let Me Be's rocking reliability makes it a tie for today, as far as I'm concerned.
  3. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    With Dave at 1/7 and Ray 2/7 I'm starting to feel out of sync but the true test will come when we get to the top 10. Let Me Be is a good stomper from Dave. I preferred others from Bug but I'm glad to see it here. Stand Up Comic was on my list for a while but ended up at number 21. I like it and can understand why others like it too, but I didn't like it quite enough to put it in my top 20.
  4. Jasper Dailey

    Jasper Dailey Forum Resident

    Southeast US
    Neither song made my list today. Let Me Be was in consideration but I was already a little too Bug-heavy and didn't keep it around. That said, it does boogie along nicely (the driving bass line and some of the guitar licks make me think of Z.Z. Top) and it helps elevate Bug into Dave's best and most consistent album.

    Stand Up Comic was another unfortunate victim of my OPL snobbery. Listening today, I can only blame the dated sound; it's not even bad, it's just that that's the only accusation I can throw out. I guess I can also echo Fortuleo's point about the lyrics being "too clever by half", but I usually like it when Ray does that, so it's a half-hearted criticism at best. A very well performed track that I always enjoy listening to; I'm glad it made the list. Of course Ray's sprechsgesang is on point, but I also want to call out the chorus of Rays belting out the ...chorus, with falsetto Ray sneaking into the mix an octave above the lead. A relatively rare treat from his solo years.

    Anyway, Ray wins today, now leading 5-3.
  5. All Down The Line

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

    None for me today.

    Dave's track is ok but i don't particularly recall it the morning after.
    Ray's track is memorable but i don't enjoy the main voice or the folk it depicts despite a very creative arrangement.

    Can I call it a draw?
  6. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Let Me Be works better in the demo version.

    I like the lyric of Stand Up Comic, but the song is annoying.

    Dave wins today!
  7. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    ‘Let Me Be’: I have this at #7 on my Dave list and, to be perfectly frank, think I must have been nuts when I decided on that placement. Seven is way too high…and, again, honesty as the best policy (!), don’t even like the song as I listen right now. It got away from me!

    ‘Stand Up Comic’: Number 6 on the Ray list. Encapsulates the culture of vulgarity perfectly…and so, so clever. A toe-tapping, arm punching, sing-along.
  8. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    I thought this was another day where I came up empty, but "Let Me Be" snuck in at #20 on my Dave list. I'm only familiar with the Bug version. This is what I said when we covered it.
    Eight songs in and Ray has still not had a song entry on my top 20. I hate to say it, but I don't really like any of the Ray choices so far. I'm hoping Ray gains some momentum in the top ten. This is what I said about "Stand Up Comic" and my thoughts haven't changed. It was in response to @Rockford & Roll saying he could picture Austin Powers dancing to this song.
    Song #13 goes to Dave.

    Dave- 5
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2024
  9. CheshireCat

    CheshireCat Forum Resident

    'Let Me Be' and 'Stand Up Comic': I have neither in my top twenties, neither are favourites or make it into the top half of either 'Bug' or 'Other People's Lives' for me.

    Ray wins today, based on having seen him perform the song live in concert. Dave could have sung his in concert too when I was there, but I don't recall it. Which wouldn't help it's cause either way.
  10. Paul Mazz

    Paul Mazz Senior Member

    1 for 2 again. I think I'm falling way behind with my Ray picks, and I'm only confident of a couple moving forward. This seems much tougher to predict than the Kinks lists.

    Let Me Be was #5 on my list. It must have continued to grow on me. I'm not sure I would have pegged it as a top 5 Dave song when I wrote about it originally.
    Unknown Comic missed my list. I still feel the same way about this song. I like it when it comes up on the album, but wouldn't seek it out to play on its own.
  11. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    @Fortuleo - Dave Gilmour has a new album coming out, and for your list there is a song called Scattered on it
  12. donstemple

    donstemple Member of the Club

    Maplewood, NJ
    12- tie - Let Me Be (Fortis Green/Bug)
    Really thought I had ranked this, but turns out I didn't. I guess it would be top 25 then. Here's what I wrote originally, and I still have these same feelings:

    13 - Stand Up Comic (Other People's Lives)

    Unranked. Here's what I wrote originally...

    ....I think I'm actually a bit surprised this made the consensus list. But not totally, as Ray is in real showman's theatrical form on this -- which didn't happen very often in his solo output.

    Head to head, I'll give it to Dave today.

  13. Geoff738

    Geoff738 Forum Resident

    Just Ray for me today. Number 12. I get the ambivalence around it though. On another day I can see it not making my top twenty.
  14. TeddyB

    TeddyB Senior Member

    Well, I had both of these songs in my top ten(s). I had Let it Be Me as Number Five on my Dave list, without choosing between Fortis Green demo and Bug version. Each has their pros and cons. I had Stand Up Comic as Number Nine on my Ray list. I agree that it Ray who makes the song but, then again, why not? He’s the star. I think most of us agree that the backing on his solo albums misses the Kinks. But I still like his vaudeville style, just as I like his cool jazz style on Art School Babe. So today I like both of the group’s votes.
  15. StefanWq

    StefanWq Forum Resident

    Vallentuna, Sweden
    Let Me Be / Stand Up Comic

    I had neither song in my Top 20 lists, but both tracks are very good. "Let Me Be" has a sense of urgency about it, with great performances all around by Dave and his musicians. Very catchy song too.
    I like the theatrical and conversational feel of "Stand Up Comic" and the very vivid lyrics. I can easily imagine being in the audience at a club with the narrator (the stand up comic) on stage and how such an evening would be. It's like a blend of a fun novelty track and a rock track with a serious, political message. Great track, but ultimately just outside my Ray top 20.

    My score card so far:
    Ray: 3/8
    Dave: 4/8
  16. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Polls... obviously
  17. All Down The Line

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

  18. Paul Mazz

    Paul Mazz Senior Member

    I didn’t even notice. I hate re-reading some of my own posts, and seeing grammatical errors or misspellings. I used advise instead of advice recently, and I’m sure there are plenty more.
  19. Michael Streett

    Michael Streett Senior Member

    Florence, SC
    Let Me Be - Unranked.

    I thought I might have ranked this, but nope, didn't make it. It is relentless in its driving propulsive groove and probably would have worked well in concert though surprisingly it seems this was never performed live. The demo or the studio recording? I like both for different reasons. The demo is slower in tempo and has a synth bass burbling underneath it all which makes that version more funky and I may like the demo more for these reasons. However, the studio band version is faster with a bass guitar playing a straighter rock groove and, wait for it....real drums played by a real drummer which appeals to me for some unknown reason so I will gravitate to that version in the end. But glad to have both, even though it didn't trouble my list.

    Stand Up Comic - # 9 in my Ray list.

    I remember this track being somewhat divisive when we first covered it, but I've always liked it when listened to in the context and as part of the whole album. This doesn't work as well as a standalone isolated song and can get annoying if listened to too often. I can see how for some it may come across as Ray trying to show he is not taking himself too seriously all the time, but he may be a little too serious about it all with this particular approach and trying too hard. I remember commenting on how much I liked the drums here on this track and indeed all the tracks this particular set of studio guys performed on Other People's Lives, almost a tale of two bands for which songs I liked better when I took a step back and looked at it at the time (Ray basically used two different lineups of players for most of the album). So, the performance and the arrangement by Ray and the band here is ultimately what I like best about this recording more so than any lyrical social commentary. Other than the angles I remember taking the first time around and the things that always stick out to me about whatever song, I'm trying not to go back and reread anything I wrote about these songs initially and see if something new strikes me now and come up with a fresh angle but I'm running out of material tonight folks, so we'll see you all again next time.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2024
  20. All Down The Line

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

  21. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

  22. All Down The Line

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

    Applicable apologies accordionly as it was all French to me. :ignore:
  23. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    I mentioned that I was collecting our Sunday artist recommendations into an Apple playlist and here it is for anyone interested. I included every artist I could access on Apple Music. Sometimes the artist was there but albums were missing (eg Mr Diagonal/Daniel Barbelel, Sam Phillips) so I chose songs from what was available. I tried to stick to the songs we recommended but there may be one or two that are different. I think it’s a fun electronic souvenir of our little group.

    Not The Kinks: The freeform recommendations of the Kinks Avids by Stephen Moran on Apple Music
  24. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    Thanks for doing this!
  25. Someone-Else

    Someone-Else Forum Resident

    Let Me Be is another decent rockin' Dave tune that was on my radar but wasn't one of my picks. I like it well enough, but the competition on Bug crowded this one out.

    Stand Up Comic is a bit of a novelty song, but also seems so Ray ... or so many Rays (as others have already said). We've got ourselves a clever comedy of manners here - a character study performed by the subject/character, Ray's alter-ego, Max, using vulgarity to satirize a decline in modern manners and the level of public discourse to the lowest common denominator. All wrapped up and delivered as an energetic toe-tapper (per @Zeki ). I'm in! I had it at no. 18. Plus, in the couple of clips of live footage I've seen (like here), Ray seems to enjoy himself immensely performing this one.

    Dave: 2/8
    Ray 4/8

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