Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by mark winstanley, Apr 4, 2021.
Will do my darnedest.
Yay!! Your name doesn't suggest male or female so thanks for 'outing' yourself. LOL
I note the best Black Sabbath guru/collector in the world, Linda, is also on this forum.
That was intentional! I originally didn't put it in my profile, but seeing how few women seem to be here I changed that!
Aw, thanks! In my 50+ years, i found it's very difficult to find ladies who want to geek out on music. that's why you'll often find me with the 'boys'.
It's all good.
I was just asking the question as I was curious. As I said earlier, hard to tell from some names if someone is female/male/fill in the blank.
its a mixed up, muddled up, shook up forum
Hello! Great to know there are three of us, @Wondergirl !
Edit: not that 'we' are really any different from the men and we're all here for the same reasons after all - to nerd about music!
I’ve fallen behind so I’d better make it brief:
This song is loud, hard and a bit too dirty. I like it.
This song is wistful, soft and a bit too shimmering. I like it too.
I guess I just really like this album, whatever the style of song.
noooooow, back to the show...
Gush as much as you like mate
I understand why some would want to remain somewhat ambiguous/anonymous lol
Probably of no interest to most, but as a big Elvis Presley fan, I have been keeping an ear out for a song Elvis could have done....
Stylistically this could have easily fit into the Fun In Acapulco soundtrack, which is quite heavily based in Latin rhythms and stylings .... and it almost works, but I feel a lot of Ray's tracks are a little too idiosyncratic for many folks to successfully sing them. Perhaps "Days" seems like the most suitable up to this point.
I didn't quite realize that "Monica" may have been about a prostitute when I first heard it. I was only 15 at the time. To me, it sounded like a song about a snotty, stuck up young woman that the narrator was fond of for some reason. In his book X-Ray, Ray talked about how he was into the women in his art school who gave off a whiff of sophistication, like dressing in leotards & listening to Juliette Greco. He wrote a song about it called "Art School Lover" in Storytellers. I think that his experiences w/this type of women were also the basis of "Monica". It's a pleasant little song w/its calypso vibes.
Wicked Annabella - A real oddity, 60s Entwistle-esque. Miles from the sunny reminiscences of most of the record. Qute consciously written a little like a fairy tale or bit of folklore, in some ways a companion piece to Phenomenal Cat.
While Annabella is nominally "wicked", what is curious is that this just seems to be how she is perceived by the locals. A person who is (a) a lady and (b) lives alone on the margins, and who is therefore probably (c) a witch.
So she's a riff on an archetype. Weirdly I think the song seems quite fond of her. While I've never detected even a glimmer of sexuality in the lyric, I suppose the archetype is usually either sexless or a sort of sexual carnivore, who will ravish you and eat you/steal your soul afterwards. (Two examples in rock music spring to mind, Jethro Tull's "Witch's Promise" and Genesis' "The Lady Lies".. I think.)
But I don't hear that sexual predator in here, even if that was the inspiration. As with "All of my friends.." knowing the literal background doesn't necessarily enhance a song for me. If it ain't there (in the lyric), it ain't there.. although sometimes it can clarify things I suppose.
In the doco Dave says he likes the bridge so much that live he always does it twice!
Now there is sex in here, but (maybe I'm repressed, haha..) it is both overt, and entirely out of the question. I love this lyric. I can see Monica quite clearly. She is quite simply beautiful, but impossibly so. She is young but infinitely wise. She reveals nothing, laughs at all the men who try it on, has heard it all before. She can dance a jaw dropping salsa, or strip a motorbike engine in thirty seconds. At the bar men in linen suits lament their faded dreams over gin and tonics, swear they will mend their ways and dare each other to feed her a line. By midnight someone will have declared their lifelong devotion to her (I shall die..) but Monica's just too cool to care.
I just love this song, and this Latin/Calypso side of The Kinks that crops up sometimes. A little treasure on the LP this.
Indeed. I think Ray is smart enough not to restrict his lyrics, and keep us guessing, or rather, imagining.
There's nothing weak about it in an absolute sense. I can see that some may find it weak relative to the other astoundingly good songs that make up this album. And some people just don't cotton to calypso.
Personally, I do love the song, although the lady of the night imagery is a little off putting.
I find the sequencing curious. Of 15 cuts, we have two portraits of women of dubious character (although we understand that there may be reason for Annabella's wickedness, and Monica's status is rather vague and open to interpretation) stacked together here right before the finale. I don't quite get that so if anyone has insight in that regard, I'm all ears.
I can see Elvis doing "Monica". As I said before, both Ray & Elvis shared the same publishing company, so Ray had an "In" to get his songs to Elvis, especially since Elvis didn't usually do songs from other publishing companies. From what I read, I believe Ray did submit a song or two around the time of Roustabout, but nothing came out of it.
Save the best til last?
While this album is chock full of astonishingly good songs I think the most astonishing thing about it is how it crosses and incorporates so many styles yet remains so consistent.
Hard to pick a weak link, or to single out a favorite for me. Even if I could, on any given day, it could change.
While we do get to see the seamy side of the Village Green, most of us seem to gravitate to the positive associations of nostalgia presented on this album. That in mind it would seem we should sprinkle these characters along the way and sequence something like Sitting by the Riverside nearer the end.
But then, as much as we love nostalgia, it's not always just rainbows and butterflies, and as much as we love hearing the buoyant tunes on this album, neither is it fully enamored at the past..... as we shall discuss further when we hit the next, last tune that serves as the album's capstone.
Another decent song, but not among the elite on this album
I had always assumed this would be one of those songs chosen as a weakest link or a song that is merely forgotten about. On a 15 song album the last songs can tend to get overlooked. How many beautiful melodies are already swirling around in your head before we even get to "Monica"? I would say this is the song that has gone way up in appreciation for me throughout the years. It took me awhile to latch onto it, but now I am fully hooked. There are some wonderful lines in this song. "You take the sunshine, I'll take the nightly shadows". I love that lyric and the way he sings it! Is this yet another favorite song on the album? Yes, I'm afraid it is!
Another fantastic song that deserves its moment to shine under the lamp light. As we near the end of the album, I am even more fully convinced that this is one of the most impressive albums of all time.
As previously mentioned, before I owned the VGPS album I had Golden Hour Vol 3, which contains every track from VGPS except "Monica". So when I finally got the album, this was the only track that was new to me, and I found it underwhelming. As for now - it's OK, but I consider it the most disposable and negligible track on the album - which is pretty much the job description of "penultimate track on an album" anyway.
The Kinks' interpretation of music hall/vaudeville is without a doubt my favorite style they've attempted. And while I certainly didn't come to the album to hear music hall when I first listened years ago, I certainly stayed for it. The Kinks, and the Beatles etc. have led me to discover original music hall from the turn of the century and over the past year or so especially I've really been diving into it. I agree though, that The Idle Race's debut has more songs in this vein than VGPS... though the Kinks had many songs from this era that didn't end up on the album (Where Did My Spring Go, Till Death Us Do Part, When I Turn off the Living Room Light). It's cool finding someone else who enjoys the style as much as I do.
I liked that The Kinks 'modernized' their sound for the album's heavy rock track. Not that they would have considered putting a throwaway on here, but it seems like it would have been really easy for them to revive their early proto-punk mod stuff for one more song, or to simply put an old one (like She's Got Everything). Not much really sounds like this one at the time (I've heard it called 'proto-grunge'), so much like their take on psychedelia with Lazy Old Sun, they were able to make their attempts at different genres unique. I like Wicked Annabella quite a lot, and it always gets me thinking how great a whole album by them in that style would sound. I love the nursery-rhyme lyrics too. I know it can be plainly interpreted about a romance/encounter with Annabella, but it's a lot more exciting when you take the lyrics literally.
This one always pops into my head for some reason. It's not really even the best melody or song on the album, but I always think of that riff. Love the "I I should die if I..." section too. I agree that it sounds out of place, but as I mentioned with other posts, the whole album is supposed to be diverse ... and 1968 was absolutely the time to do that sort of thing. I certainly don't mind calypso (I believe that's what this song is), but I'm not at all familiar with it. I think that bands you like playing styles you're unfamiliar with is a good thing generally because it can lead you to discover new music. As I mention above, I would never have listened to Charles Coborn or Florrie Forde if I didn't first like the Kinks. Maybe I'll start listening to calypso now.
Monica's greatest value, IMO, is that it--much like No Return on Something Else-- offers a stark, stylistically textural diversity to the LP. But it is the one song above all others on VGPS that could comfortably exist outside it’s context on this album. It’s hard to image Walter, Riverside, Animal Farm or Picture book, etc. fitting in better elsewhere in the Kinks oeuvre than on VGPS. But Monica…I could see that one on Something Else or possibly even Face to Face. For that reason, I also consider it the album’s most disposable track. That’s not a knock on this fine song, but were it swapped out of this line-up I don’t think it would affect the overall “feel” of the album one bit. I find that less true of any other track on VGPS.
How many of us know someone named Monica, and when you think of her you think of this song? I do. I suppose that would be true for Lola, too. But alas…in my 60 years I have yet to meet someone named Lola. But the Monica married to a college pal is among my oldest and dearest friends.
Separate names with a comma.