The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. Steve E.

    Steve E. Doc Wurly and Chief Lathe Troll

    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    Pictures in the Sand -- I chatted about this one earlier in the thread when we were talking about "People Take Pictures of Each Other", as a song that lyrically fits in with 3 others from VGPS:

    I just realized that this track uses a very similar (or the same) organ sound to that found on "Monica". Could be a coincidence, but could be evidence that they came from the same block of studio time.

    Lovely, lovely song. As with "Til Death Us Do Part," I wonder why Ray held back its rerelease until the "Anthology" and recent super deluxe VGPS.

    Perhaps the fast-paced "If I didn't have a dime part" feels a little quickly written, but maybe that's just because it's quickly performed. I love the whole thing, nonetheless.
  2. Fischman

    Fischman RockMonster, ClassicalMaster, and JazzMeister

    New Mexico
    It's really astonishing how much of the Kinks I hear in much more contemporary music. I don't know if all these artists are actually directly inspired by the Kinks, or if it's just residual influence unconsciously passing through a couple of generations of musicians, but it's definitely there. About a decade ago, when my oldest daughter was in her late teens and was really getting into music, she'd play things for me and I'd think.... wow! There's some serious Kinks in there! (Cage the Elephant was one of her faves). I really started to get a feel for just how influential this seemingly neglected band really was. I don't think even most musicologists really get it.

    Interestingly, one day I was playing some Kinks and she really took to it. She ended up being a big fan, especially of the '66 - '70 period. That in itself was enlightening. I came to the Kinks in '81, so my indoctrination was the arena rock era and I had to grow back into the klassic era. But for someone coming to an already komplete katalog, it was natural to immediately gravitate to that period. It just further reinforced to me just how special Face to Face through Lola really was.

    A couple years later, my daughter was taking a music appreciation class at university, and she did her term paper on..... the Kinks and their influence, pointing out their myriad tendrils of influence right up through the music of her generation. It was brilliant (and earned top marks)!
  3. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    I have two daughters in college and my wish would be for them to grab onto the Kinks wholeheartedly. But can't push them too much or they'll go the opposite way just to tick me off. LOL. My oldest (whose name is Victoria(hmmm,where'd we find that name??), but goes by Tori) did have small posters of the Kinks, Beatles and Bowie on her freshman dorm wall, so I'll take it!
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    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Salem, MA
    I just can imagine Ray, dressed up just like my avatar, performing this song against a cheap backdrop of a beach w/the sun & it's rays coming out, surrounded by chorus girls who are scantily clad in bloomers in an East End music hall circa 1890-1930, w/the members of the Drones Club* cheering him on.

    *the Drones Club was the private club that Bertie Wooster & his friends belonged to in the novels of P.G. Wodehouse, which I recommend very much to those Avids who haven't had the pleasure yet.

    Here's a little ditty by Blur to continued the old music hall tradition:

    I don't think it could replace "Holiday" for reasons that will have to wait until we discuss that album.
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  5. Brian Kelly

    Brian Kelly 1964-73 rock's best decade

    Pictures In The Sand
    Another song with a bit of an old time vaudeville sound. Good, but not elite.
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    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Salem, MA
    My niece attended Oxford University & came out w/a doctorate in medieval history. She's a big fan of Wodehouse & watches all the Brit shows from the Acorn website. She also likes the Beatles. You think that she would make a great Kinks fan, but sadly, despite my subtle efforts ("You'll like the Kinks because 1. They're English & 2. They're old"), she showed no interest at all.
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  7. Steve E.

    Steve E. Doc Wurly and Chief Lathe Troll

    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    I'd known of this, but never heard it before. Fascinating! It's the same performance, but it sounds different because the somewhat clammed-up/heavy-handed piano track is very high in the mix. Is that Ray or Nicky? Seems restrained for Nicky, but impressively pro if Ray. (I think it's whoever is playing piano on "Death of a Clown", so probably Nicky.)

    The piano is sketching out every crucial aspect of the arrangement, sort of banging away. What's interesting here, when comparing to the finished version, is how light they were able to make the track sound, by overdubbing this and then fading out the original skeleton.

    A couple points that have been nagging at me:

    "Did you see his name"
    --Had anyone been able to hear that line as "His employer was absolved of blame" without consulting the lyric transcription? I'd always heard it as something like:

    "His employer went and saw his name"

    (And in my mind it was "his unemployer", which I like even better but doesn't seem to be the case.)

    I've tried to make my own double album length expansion of GLKA that includes every stray single and unreleased track spanning from "Dead End Street"/"This is where I belong" through 1969, including Dave Davies singles and all of GLKA as sequenced (so, "The way love used to be", too.). It simply will not fit on an 80 minute CD. Not even close. Too much good stuff.
  8. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    Perhaps along side of these songs, but definitely not replacing! Both are magnificent songs and among the best tunes on those albums!
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  9. Michael Streett

    Michael Streett Senior Member

    Florence, SC
    Interesting that this video of the Instrumental Backing Track is in mono. Obviously from a record or boot of a record. A mono mix of just the Instrumental Backing Track has never been officially released.
    The version of the Instrumental Backing Track on the Super Deluxe Box Set is a stereo mix. As mentioned by others it originally appeared on that Dead End Street comp on the bonus 10”. That version fades early whereas the big box has some pre-song chatter and what sounds like a natural conclusion when the bass stops.
    No stereo mix of this track has ever turned up with the lead vocal and additional overdubs as in the mono mix.
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  10. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    Pictures In The Sand

    I love the guitar and the way it glides along like a song that Chet Atkins could have covered on one of his 100 instrumental albums. It also sounds reminiscent of Beatle George playing his best Chet influenced guitar. The organ sound bubbling under the surface is another delightful touch. The part from 1:23-1:33 reminds me of some other song, but it is not coming to me, even though I have replayed this section 20 times! This is yet another song that any other band would have loved to put on an album. I'd say it's even good enough to make any of the top albums of the day. It's the sort of song that has a McCartney playfulness that would be at home on any late Beatles album or on his homespun album Ram. I also think it would work on TKATVGPS, but I am also in agreement that all these songs could have just been another album. How many favorite bonus songs can one person have? What an incredible period of songwriting for Raymond Douglas Davies!
  11. idleracer

    idleracer Forum Resident

    :kilroy: For obvious reasons, the first time I heard this, I immediately thought of The Lovin Spoonful's "You're A Big Boy Now," except that you can actually here the bass in "Pictures In The Sand." It always conjures up images of a vaudvillian gentleman with a hat & cane, doing a tap dancing routine. Another first-rate tune that would not have worked within the context of the Village Green album at all. I've always pictured the fictitious village green as being located somewhere deep in the middle of rural England and nowhere near the ocean. There's a river, railroad tracks, a cheshire cat sitting on a tree branch and a church with a clock in the steeple, but sand? Naw.

  12. donstemple

    donstemple Member of the Club

    Maplewood, NJ
    Pictures In The Sand

    Yet another new song for me! What a treasure chest this is… I don’t think this is as strong as some of the other bonus tracks, but it is certainly lovely. I particularly like the harmonica that comes in during the coda. Dave’s noodling guitar is great. Ray’s vocals are sublime. I like the analogy that whatever you draw in the sand will eventually get washed away. Hendrix actually released his version of this idea with “Castles in the Sand”. Here, Ray is on an island, and since he’s got nowhere to run, he’s drawing his pictures to someone who isn’t there.

    It’s a shame these songs weren’t released as an additional Kinks album from 1968.
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  13. zipp

    zipp Forum Resident


    I agree with those who say that this song is not as simple as it seems at first hearing.

    From the very outset when Ray sings "I'm gonna name a rendezvous" it sounds a bit strange.

    He then mentions messages. Are the pictures the messages? Or are the messages a separate issue? Things he can't bring himself to say like the "I love you true" suggested by the backing chorus.

    In any case he also tells us he's wasting his time even though these pictures and messages are a daily obsession. Just a minute, Ray, this is England. You're not going to tell me you go to the beach every day.

    Which leads us to think the pictures and messages may be the songs he writes. And that this song is one of those pictures.

    So we now have a picture in a picture and echoing messages.

    And it's all futile because the most straightforward line in the song tells us " I could never draw my love. It's so very hard to do."

    So what do you do? You get some mates along and have a bit of a singsong. They turn into the lead singers and Ray becomes the back-up with a few de-bum-de-bums for good measure.

    Musically fun. Ray's delivery is amusing too. "And think of things I'd like to SAAY to you", "Writing messages to you-OO" and most of all the intentional tumbling/stumbling lines starting with"If I didn't have a dime...".

    As so very often, out of something deceivingly simple, Ray creates magic.
  14. joejo

    joejo Well-Known Member

    Hmm, a 4 track mono EP with Lavender Hill... I had not thought to compile something like this previously.
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  15. Steve E.

    Steve E. Doc Wurly and Chief Lathe Troll

    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    It's sort of odd that "Lavender Hill" didn't make the B-side of "Autumn Almanac," no?
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  16. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I reckon Ray was holding stuff aside, waiting to decide what he wanted on the album. I reckon Lavender Hill was definitely on the short list
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  17. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    Pictures in the Sand

    It's interesting that this may be a song written for Ray's young daughter. I just don't see it. BUT I do know that Ray is pretty stealthy about stuff, so who knows?!
    I'm finishing up my vacation and I'm on an island (I' so this is a nice ending to it. I wish I drew more pictures in the sand, I can say that much.
    Great song. Jaunty and fun. And Ray, as he often does, has fun with his annunciation. Not sure what you would call it here, but it gets your attention. I just close my eyes and my head bobs back and forth to the rhythm. I may even kick a few rocks as I stroll along the beach and do a little jig.
  18. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    Nice catch! I am old enough to remember the very first Sesame Street episode in 69. LOL. But yes, remember this song. mind...blown!
  19. markelis

    markelis Forum Resident

    Miami Beach FL
    Lavender Hill: Lovely one, this! How one can’t see this as a perfect fit for TKATVGPS is beyond. I mean what could be more small village provincial then taking a walk up a beautiful hill to pass the time (because you live in a small village and so what else is there even to do?). To me, a great fit musically too. If not, well, heck of a stand alone song nonetheless.

    Pictures in the Sand: Another good one. Nice and quick pace, gets you rocking along in no time, with the whole thing being pretty darn sing-along-able to boot. I like the instrumental track posted above as well. This will make my play list for sure.
  20. Pawnmower

    Pawnmower Senior Member

    Dearborn, MI
    I hope I'm not bothering anyone by constantly playing catch-up. I was keeping up fine until Kelvin Hall and then life just seemed to get busy.

    "Till Death Us Do Part" - Many of us group this and "Pictures in the Sand" together. The mysterious tracks that show up on the 1973 Great Lost Kinks Album, which gets pulled, and then they are passed up for every remaster and box set until 2014's Anthology. And it's not for a lack of quality at all. I think of this song as a bit of a mix between "Wonderboy" and "Winchester Cathedral." The la-la-la's.. the horn that mimics the vocal melody. A very nice ditty, innit. "If I were king,
    I'd tell my army to change the world / Then I'd be someone like you want me to be."

    "Pictures in the Sand" - "Sittin' by the sea / sippin' at my tea." I really like the music on this one. The nice guitar licks, another la-la-la sing-along chorus. I think it's super faint harmonica that shows up in the last 30 seconds maybe? The lyrics might be his simpliest since "Mr. Songbird." It doesn't seem to say much, it's just a simple reflection stretched out to 2:45. I come back to it for the backing.

    "Lavender Hill" - It does start off a little "Sunny Afternoon." I have nothing against this track, it just doesn't do much to stand out to me among the others. I do enjoy references to tea and there's another one here! Like Waterloo or Berkeley Mews, people outside the UK probably don't get the references. "I wanna walk you up Lavender Hill." OK cool, why, what is special about it? It just fails to connect. Starting to wonder what happened to Dave. He hasn't had a lead vocal in a while and he's not even doing solo's anymore. He's in the backing vocals from time to time, though.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2021
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  21. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Just pleased to have you here mate. Roll how you need to :righton:
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  22. zipp

    zipp Forum Resident

    I agree.

    Incidentally, the annunciation would certainly get my attention. That would mean Ray is talking to the Virgin Mary. I think you mean enunciation.

    And Ray is a specialist of it, though sometimes, funnily enough, we're not sure what he's saying.
  23. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Easy Come There You Went.

    backing track, 2018 stereo mix (2:23), recorded 29 Mar 1968 at Pye Studios No. 2, Marble Arch, London

    Written by: Ray Davies
    Published by: Carlin Music Group

    This is the first of three instrumentals, that I assume Ray didn't get around to writing lyrics for, or they didn't get around to recording the lyrics for. I should probably have put this with the other two, but at the time I was racing to get things organised and although I did hear this once before, I forgot it was an instrumental backing track .... so my apologies.

    There are still a few cool things about this though.
    We open with the little back and forth riff over the drums, and then we hit a chord and the piano and rhythm guitar kick in nicely.
    I like some of the little riffs the piano plays to. Just little arpeggios, but they work nicely here.

    I like later in the track how the mellotron swells and stabs to give us a slightly different atmosphere.

    As a little instrumental it has a fairly infectious beat, but it doesn't get too far, as it comes off as unfinished. I think this could have been a very good vocal track, depending on where Ray went with it.

  24. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    Yes, it could've been the big “instrumentals” day…
    Anyway, Easy Come, There You Went is a neat jam with excellent guitar, paving the way for some 1969 riff driven tracks (first and foremost Victoria, but also Arthur or even Plastic Man) and showcasing their default setting sound of that year. The difference from their early hits in that the riff is not based on power chords but played as a melody on one guitar string. This one has a Bo Diddley meets Booker T. flavor, with some excellent work by the rhythm section boys. I agree the strident mellotron assaults are a nice touch, and my favorite part has to be the low piano, that will become a central part of the band’s sound once John Gosling'd join, in 1970. I don’t know why but I’m always excited whenever I hear some good rocking low piano playing, one of the reasons I’m so big on what Benmont Tench’s doing on many Tom Petty records and/or Rick Rubin productions. All in all, a fun little number, nothing earth shattering either. I guess the title is a humorous commentary addressed to the track itself?
  25. FJFP

    FJFP Host for the 'Mixology' Mix Differences Podcast

    I think it's often been thought this track was considered as an instrumental in it's own right rather than just a warm up jam, due to the fact it got a mixdown in 1968 (in a mix we've not heard I believe), and has the mellotron overdubs. It works in the context of a double album, but I don't seek it out.

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