The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Soon enough, I'm sure
     
  2. abzach

    abzach Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sweden
    The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society

    Excellent album, although IMO a bit overrated. Would have loved it as a double.
     
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  3. donstemple

    donstemple Member of the Club

    Location:
    Maplewood, NJ
    Johnny Thunder

    Johnny’s a rebel now that Suzy left him to live with her mother.

    a great song, and I love it, but by far my least favorite of the opening four tracks. But that’s mostly because the first three songs are just that great.

    Lyrically, it does seem a bit out of place with the rest of the album, but that sort of makes sense because Johnny himself doesn’t really fit in with those who are in the village. They want to get through to him, but it’s no use. Johnny is as Johnny does, and nothings gonna change that. Walter may have changed, but Johnny hasn’t.

    musically, it has that some cohesive sound that permeates throughout the album and Mick’s drumming again gives it a bit of a harder edge and propels the song forward, while also providing and then releasing some of the musical tension of the song.

    Ray’s vocals are strong and I can see him raising his fist to the air as he almost screams “goes on fighting!”

    was this ever in any of their live sets?
     
  4. Toad of the Short Forest

    Toad of the Short Forest Forum Resident

    Location:
    90220 Compton
    Johnny Thunder

    What I find so impressive about Ray's compositional ability (particularly during the classic era) is his ability to have several great hooks in a song. Most songs put all of the power behind the chorus, but Johnny Thunder has an equally great verse and chorus section.

    I love the horns too. When I think of an album like Sgt. Pepper or Pet Sounds, I immediately think of all of the crazy arrangements and orchestral flourishes. With VGPS, I always think of it as the traditional four-piece rock ensemble. But nearly every track has some sort of orchestral embellishment or a mellotron or something else that ties it together perfectly. The arrangements are never really in your face, but you'd miss them if they weren't there.
     
  5. WHMusical

    WHMusical Chameleon Comedian Corinthian & Caricature

    I concur.

    Some Kinks Klassics on here--the title track especially, but I hear lots of fluff too.

    I prefer the Kinks records on either side of it, and think they are stronger.

    YMMV.

    God Save The Kinks!



    Cheers,
    :cheers:
     
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  6. Pawnmower

    Pawnmower Senior Member

    Location:
    Dearborn, MI
    One man's fluff is another man's cloud nine.
    And clouds are thought of as fluffy, so...
     
  7. WHMusical

    WHMusical Chameleon Comedian Corinthian & Caricature

    Big Sky Loves You and This Kinks Klassic!:frog:


    cheers,
    :cheers:
     
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  8. Steve E.

    Steve E. Doc Wurly and Chief Lathe Troll

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    Here's the original stereo mix. weird, lopsided, tinny, with seemingly super-oversaturated tape distortion. But I think it's definitive. There are remixes because this is one where the multitracks existed. They sound "better" but they lack the magic of this mix.

    I do not hear horns. Ahh, maybe there are mellotron horns?

    I love the little "bah bop bop bop" section. This is the sort of thing I mean by "gratuitous hooks." I might agree that some earlier songs are structurally more complex (there is no "Autumn Almanac" here), but I do feel he pulls out all the stops with the hook-sections in some of these songs.

     
  9. Steve E.

    Steve E. Doc Wurly and Chief Lathe Troll

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    Sweet Helena Duran? DuRaine? ("of the rain"?)



    Some transcriptions have it as "Til then" or "in bed".

    On the original recording it sounds like "Dumaine."
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2021
  10. Steve E.

    Steve E. Doc Wurly and Chief Lathe Troll

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    Here it's Durant!, eh, maybe Duran, again.

     
  11. Adam9

    Adam9 Senior Member

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Sweet Helena Dupree (or whatever her name is) sounds to me like a woman who one would never associate with Johnny Thunder but they are secret lovers or at least sweet on each other.
    Why secret? Helena's friends and parents would probably not approve of her and Johnny as a couple.
    It sort of reminds me of Marlon Brando's and Eva Marie Saint's relationship in the film "On The Waterfront". (Ray has mentioned this film as influencing one if his songs so it is possible it was an influence on "Johnny Thunder" as well).
    The film "The Wild One" (Brando again) finds Johnny attracted to the sheriff's daughter, an establishment figure who on the surface would have no truck with him.
    Ray's economical writing does not tell us anything about her so we are left to guess which increases the song's mystery (and appeal).
    Apologies if someone posted something similar already but there certainly have been a lot of posts about this tune and I may have missed it.
     
  12. It’s not my favorite but I think it earns every bit the kudos and deserves them. Again, it comes down to expectations and whether you are judging the album or it’s reputation that you’ve heard over the years. Each can be independent of the other.
     
  13. This is one of the few where I like the remix better than the original. The mastering, on the other hand for the remix…not so much.
     
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  14. seanw

    seanw Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Johnny Thunder is one that doesn't grab me, and as it's the same for the next song, this marks the start of a relatively low point in proceedings for me.

    Listening to it as I'm typing, it's the 'la-la-la-la-las' that I don't like. They detract and drag down the song. Are they not melodic enough? Too ordinary, too obvious? I don't know, all I know is they don't hit the spot for me.

    I do like the 'ba-ba-ba' section, and pretty much everything else in the song. Minus the 'las' and it would easily rank alongside the first three tracks.
     
  15. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    Johnny Thunder

    Good call on the opening being very similar to the Eddie Cochran song. I also never picked up on how much this song would have suited The Who. They should have done this song!
    I always suspected that the New York Dolls guitarist took his stage name from this song, but I don't know if he has ever said so. Some sites say he took the name from a comic book character. I guess his name could have been inspired by both. It's a great name for a rock n roller. It would have been cool to see Johnny and Ray perform this song in the late 70s together. However, the follow up song on Preservation is even more suited to The New York Dolls. I wonder what Ray thought about this Johnny Thunders and The New York Dolls? "One of The Survivors" would sound right at home on the New York Dolls debut. Both Preservation Act 1 and New York Dolls were released in 1973. I find that very interesting.

    I think "Johnny Thunder" is a solid album track, but it can't help but suffer a bit on an album of 13 other nearly perfect songs. This is the point in the album that drops a little in quality. The next song drops slightly more, but we will get to that tomorrow. I still really like this song and the follow up, but they are nonetheless the two weakest songs on one of the greatest albums ever. I think we can cut them slack, turn it up, and sing along.
     
  16. Fischman

    Fischman RockMonster, ClassicalMaster, and JazzMeister

    Location:
    New Mexico
    I noted the apparent disconnect between subject matter and the music and after reflection, was able to posit an explanation that makes good sense, at least to me.

    You have noted an apparent disconnect between the subject matter and the theme of the album as a whole. I suspect most of us have thought the same thing.

    After more reflection, I believe I can posit a reasonable explanation for this as well.

    While the greaser may not be an integral part of the Village Green environment specifically, he is of a time and archetype fading into the past, just like the Village Green. In American terms, this is The Fonz or James Dean. As suburban sprawl and the urbanity that accompanies it consume more and more of the countryside, both in terms of space and culture, we see the refuge of the rebel loner eroding away. Hence the nostalgic look here

    Its really a rather delicious irony.... that we end up discussing whether this character, who for all intents and purposes doesn't belong, can in any way belong on this album. The more I think about that, the more I think he does.

    Either that or Ray just had another song he wanted to shoehorn into the album. But given the level of thought put into everything else about this album, I'm giving Ray the benefit of a doubt here.
     
  17. Vagabone

    Vagabone Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Oh, I was purely referring to the music. I don't think I'd want the lyrics to be too idyllic- need some grit in the oyster and all that.
     
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  18. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    According to Hinman, it was briefly in the live set in the first half of 1973 (when they were reviving a lot of VGPS stuff), that’s the only reference to the Kinks doing it live I can see, though of course it could always have sneaked in in undocumented shows. As posted above, Ray has done it a fair amount in his solo years.
     
  19. Scottsol

    Scottsol Forum Resident

    Location:
    Evanston, IL
    These clearly off base lyrics were probably “invented” once and then reposted by non critical thinkers.
     
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  20. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    The opening of this song very much reminds me of Bowie's "Queen Bitch" (an absolute favorite tune of mine by anyone).
     
  21. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Johnny Thunder
    "Hey, Johnny, what are you rebelling against?"
    Replies Brando with a world-weary sigh, "What've you got?"

    -quote from The Wild One
    I may need more tissues for this one. Why does this song make me feel so melancholic? But also empowered? Today this song is hitting me as pure perfection. Every single note, word and instrument that you hear. *chef's kiss*

    Johnny is, I'm guessing, 'fighting' everyone in the town...he doesn't want to become like Walter perhaps...he doesn't want his individuality taken away. But what is he losing in doing so - he's a loner, but is he lonely? Seems like Johnny is almost a god...feeding on water and lightning to sustain himself. He's not like you or me.

    And this song has always made me think of the Who. As we may have said before, no wonder there is mutual respect between Townshend and Ray.

    To think there are people out there who don't know this song. That's as sad as this song.
     
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  22. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Congrats to you!:hugs:
     
  23. Scottsol

    Scottsol Forum Resident

    Location:
    Evanston, IL
    To which Johnny Rotten replied, “I don’t know what I want but I know how to get it.”
     
  24. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    After giving my take on Johnny Thunder, I've read everyone's thoughts thus far and am surprised that it's not as well-received. I feel like we're in the meat of this album. Side one is glorious, IMO.
    oh well...it's all good. Even wrong opinions are welcome. LOL
     
  25. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I was too
     
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