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
    Speaking of Stan Corwyn & his fellow geniuses at the WB/Reprise Records publicity department, how could I forget their efforts in pushing the Kinks in the VGPS era that consisted of the promo album Then, Now and Inbetween, which was a compliation album which had a medley of their early hits which was exclusive to that album. All you had to do was send two bucks after answering their ad which probably appeared in Rolling Stone & other such "underground" rags & not only did you get the album, but you also got a "God Save the Kinks" button/badge & a bag of grass that allegedly came from "the Village Green". Don't get excited, the grass was just ordinary grass, not pot. Suffice to say, original complete copies of this package now go for big bucks.
  2. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    I've been into town this afternoon and picked up a copy of the new Record Collector special edition on The Kinks.

    Looks pretty good from a quick glance through - a full page review on every studio album up to and including Low Budget, and the remaining six albums dealt with in a double-page spread. Seems to be quite positive about the 70s albums and beyond (except of course Think Visual). Plenty of other stuff in it as well. (£8.95)
  3. FJFP

    FJFP Host for the 'Mixology' Mix Differences Podcast

    That medley - is it just an edit piece of a few early cuts, or a new recording?
  4. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Didn’t know it was a canard until this thread...Once winter hits I’ll be able to decide for myself!

    The heresy makes me shudder. :D

    This is, to put it bluntly, awful.
  5. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Vs 34 for me. (I might steal your idea of breaking the playlist up into eras. I did that with Uriah Heep but that was due to an obvious (different lead vocalist) change. I’ll have to think about it. My Drive-by Truckers list is 97 songs long (over 7 hours) and I like putting it on shuffle and listening to stuff from the entire discography. So? Will consider).
    mark winstanley likes this.
  6. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Fairly sure it’s just an edit.
    mark winstanley likes this.
  7. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    I thought a canard was one of those things that are "on the wall" in Soap Opera!
  8. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    haw're quackin' us up!

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Salem, MA
    According to Doug Hinman's Kinks discography (look ma, no Wikipedia!), the "Early Chunky Medley", which kicks off the album, consists of edits of "Louie Louie, "YRGM", "I Need You" & "Till the End of the Day". "Berkeley Mews" made its first appearance on an album & several of the songs are "abridged"

    Here's further information on the album from Kinda

    Then, Now And Inbetween
  10. Steve E.

    Steve E. Doc Wurly and Chief Lathe Troll

    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    I'm noticing, a little late, that a couple of songs in this section of thread have some really strange time signature shifts, or atypical phrase lengths. "Did you see his name" is one of them.


    4/4 (x 3 measures)| 6/4 (x 1 measure)
    6/4 (3 measures)
    4/4 ( x4)
    2/4 (x 1)
    4/4 (x2)

    And so on.

    "Mr. Songbird" has a strangely metered section when the da-da-da's come in, at 1:45. It can be counted as a slow 7/4 or a very fast series of measures flipping from groups of 4 and 3 eighth notes.

    These sections always work pretty well, and don't draw much attention to themselves. Ray seemed to have a fluid and intuitive sense of rhythm that deviated from standard 4/4 when it suited him. Much like 1966-on John Lennon.

    Last edited: Aug 8, 2021
  11. donstemple

    donstemple Member of the Club

    Maplewood, NJ
    I am building my dedicated Kinks playlist as we go through this thread, and I listened to it on shuffle last week and it’s crazy how different they sound between 64/65 and 67/68. Then between yesterday and today, I was listening to it sequentially and there is a STARK difference between Face to Face and anything that came before it. To me, that is the first delineation marker. It was like night and day.
  12. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Yes I sold my '66 red vinyl copy.
    N.b. Lyric Sheet included
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  13. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    I had thought the entire set of items was only handed out to DJ's or the press?
    Either way i had a sealed copy of the promo LP (Then, Now And Inbetween) and stupidly traded it!!!
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2021
  14. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    When I Turn Off The Living Room Light.

    mono mix (2:17), recorded 4 Feb, 1969 at BBC's Riverside Sound Studios, Hammersmith, London

    Who cares if you're Jewish,
    And your breath smells of garlic,
    And your nose is a shiny red light.
    To me you are gorgeous,
    And everything's right,
    When I turn off the living room light.

    Your clothes are old-fashioned,
    Your knuckles are bony,
    Your hair looks a terrible sight.
    But I don't have to see you,
    The way that you are,
    When I turn off the living room light.
    When I turn off the living room light.
    I don't have to see you,
    The way that you are,
    When I turn off the living room light.

    Well it's not that you are ugly,
    And I'm not being cruel,
    It helps me to relax, dear,
    It helps to keep me cool.
    Now I am not intending,
    To make you feel ashamed,
    What's wrong in me pretending?
    'Cause you can't help being plain.

    Your nose may be bulbous,
    Your face may be spotty,
    Your skin may be wrinkled and tight.
    But I don't want to see you,
    The way that you are,
    So I turn off the living room light.

    We don't feel so ugly,
    We don't feel so draggy,
    We don't feel so twisted up tight.
    And we don't feel as ugly as we really are,
    When we turn off the living room light.
    When we turn off the living room light.
    We don't feel as ugly as we really are,
    When we turn off the living room light.

    Written by: Ray Davies
    Published by: ?

    This song is pretty funny.
    Again this is one I haven't had a chance to get around to listening to before.
    This starts off as a really old timey kind of song .... Almost like a parody type song.

    Although the lyrics may seem quite harsh, it strikes me that we all turn off the living room light in one way or another, whether metaphorically, or literally. No matter how much we love the person we are with, none of us are perfect, and sometimes the spotlight, again literally or metaphorically tends to make our internal and external flaws stand out.
    Of course this song was written for this tv show that we have been told about (well, me at least. As I had never heard of it before) So to some degree I guess there was a context for the song there?

    In some ways this is another list song I guess, with a series of less than appealing features being listed, but they don't feel directed in a mean way.... it seems more of a reality thing to me, and the point is driven home in the last verse, when we get the whole context that WE don't feel as ugly as we really are, when we turn off the living room light.

    This song reminds me of a Frank Zappa quote that always made me smile
    “I have an important message to deliver to all the cute people all over the world. If you're out there and you're cute, maybe you're beautiful. I just want to tell you somethin' — there's more of us ugly m.....f...ers than you are, hey-y, so watch out.”
    Which was just an adlib line from a live track labelled Dance Contest...
    Anyway, I digress.....

    Anyway, I actually like this quite a bit. I don't see it fitting on a Kinks album really, because although it is a character song, it is pretty obviously tongue in cheek, and purpose written, rather than being tied to one of Ray's theme's.
    A fun little one off, that I am pleased is on the big bix.

  15. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    Kontroversy ? We’d need to see the song in its original TV context to get the whole picture (obviously) but as a Jew myself, I’ll admit I raise an eyebrow every time I hear the opening line. And then, charmed by the delightful first melodic phrases, I always decide that it’s not a big deal and that humor has to prevail. It’s another of Ray’s chorus-less tunes (verse/verse/bridge/verse/bridge structure), except this time it’s fair to say he’s been musically very lazy for the bridge. It moves along nicely enough but really doesn’t go anywhere, does it ? Being a TV show tune, I guess it had to work as a novelty number and not necessarily as a finely honed pop song. As @mark winstanley noted, though, the second bridge is lyrically interesting, switching to a “we” that not only includes the singer but all of us humans. Now of course, the real question is: why on earth would he sing about the living room and not the bedroom? It’s obviously down to some metric issues but it creates some kinky sex images in the listener’s mind. Because, it's a sex song, right ?? I've always heard it like that : we may be ugly, but we forget that in the dark when our impulses take over. All in all, this is far from being a great song, but it’s certainly memorable!
  16. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Interestingly I never even thought about it as a sex song.
    It kind of seems like a bit of a dig at vanity to me. It almost seems like Ray is just poking his tongue out at the idea that we are all beautiful people, with beautiful relationships.

    The living room part of the equation is really interesting, because for most people the living room is where they would spend the most time awake together..... these days, and probably for the last 4 or 5 decades, huddled around the tv and paying little attention to each other seems to be the norm...... occasionally passing comment, or from my experiences, asking what happened, or why someone did something lol.... I think I spend more time explaining shows than watching them lol.....

    It certainly could be a sex song, but it hadn't really struck me as one
  17. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Before I heard it, I remember reading reviews of 'When I Turn Off The Living Room Light' that identified it as a real stinker on the GLKA album mainly due to the lyric, and I guess it's somewhat harsh and off colour nature is always going to put a lot of people off. The opening 'Jewish' mentioned straight off the bat as a bad quality alongside all the physical defects listed in particular is understandably off putting to many, although the standard defence for that when this kontroversy comes up (and it does time and again whereever people discuss The Kinks) is always that the song was written in character for a TV show and so probably doesn't reflect RDD's own views: the problem with that being that the show doesn't exist and precious little is known about what context the song appeared in so it's hard to fully back this defence up.

    I've tried to add to general understanding of what Where Was Spring? was actually like as a show through posting the ancillary material upthread, though of course this still doesn't give us the exact context for how this song would have appeared. What I will say is that other than Ray's songs it appears to have been mainly a series of two hand dialogue sketches between Eleanor Bron and John Fortune playing a couple discussing the problems and vagaries of love, relationships, sex marriage etc.. and the fact that Bron is Jewish (although imo she was a beauty in her day and hardly embodied most of the rest of the characteristics listed!) is not irrelevant and is likely the reason Ray inserted this observation upfront.. ie given the format of the show, the song is likely meant to be sung from the POV of one of Fortune's character's and that character's own issues. So I do think it is indeed likely Ray tailored the reference to the show rather than it being a incidental line reflecting any prejudices he had. Still impossible to say for sure unless the show turns up.

    Regarding 'Bedroom' vs 'Living Room'.. in the home demo on the VGPS box you can hear Ray saying 'Bedroom'.. may have just been a scanning issue in the end that led to the change?
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2021
  18. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I couldn't find that version on youtube, and am yet to dive into the cd's in the box.

    I wonder if in context for the show "bedroom" was seen as a bit too forward for the times?
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2021
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  19. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Hope @mark winstanley doesn't mind too much if I add the other surviving 'Where Was Spring' song to the thread.. it only seems to survive as an off air recording of unknown provenance (does this mean someone may have audio taped a show at home?) but incredibly poor quality. The main thing that can be ascertained from the terrible audio about the song is that just as 'Where Did My Spring Go?' was a take on 'I Got Life', so 'Darling I Respect You' appears to be parodying Bobby Goldsboro's 1968 maudlin 'classic' Honey'...

    Darling I Respect You

    an attempt at deciphering the lyrics: corrections/additions welcome!

    you wanna know,
    and if I can't get you to ???????
    I think that I would go

    Cause Darling I Respect You, wooah yeah,
    Even though you treat me bad
    Even though you do neglect me
    And you think I am a drag

    I will ????? them all,

    take up body-building
    So that I could crawl

    And climb the mountains, swim the seas
    Get down on my bended knee
    To make you mine
    If you would love me all the time

    Cause Darling I Respect you,
    Even though you treat me bad,
    even though you do neglect me,
    and you think that I'm a drag

    Cause Darling I Respect You,
    Even though you are a slag (even though you are a slag)
  20. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Also interestingly, I didnt really see that as listing a bad quality.
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  21. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Yes. Highly offensive.
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  22. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Not at all mate. Cheers.
    I didn't even know this was available anywhere, but I did read somewhere that it was a parody of Honey.... sorry I can't remember where at the moment.
    ajsmith likes this.
  23. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    When I Turn Off The Living Room Light
    I was surprised to read somewhere that this song was a fan favourite in the US. I've never warmed to it that much. I don't think Ray is being cruel in the lyrics . Rather, he's laying it on thick - without the subtlety he typically employs - to meet the brief of the TV show which commissioned it. That said he leaves some ambiguity over what happens when the lights are out (TV would have demanded such) and I am in the sexy-time faction. When the lights are out, all bets are off and woo hoo. Or something like that: :hugs:
  24. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    When I Turn Off The Living Room Light

    I've not heard this before today. I don't want to comment on the lyrics - just that musically, and in the vocal delivery and melody it sounds very much on point for Arthur.
  25. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    The opening line is pretty offensive, but after that I always love it - it's guaranteed to make me smile.

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