The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    The mono mix of "This Man..." is definitely the best for me, with that added acoustic guitar.

    I still think it's a bit overshadowed by "Mindless Child...", but that may be just due to the one immediately following the other on the "Well Respected Men" compilation.
     
  2. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    This Man He Weeps Tonight
    Today may be the first time I heard this song, to the best of my memory.
    Really enjoyable! Not as familiar with the Byrds, but will bow to others' better knowledge that this has more than a small resemblance to that band's sound.
    I assume those are Rasa's "ooohs" in the background. As always, she just adds a special something to the band's songs.

    I have always heard of this song, but have never gotten around to listening to it, so am grateful to this thread for that!
     
  3. Toad of the Short Forest

    Toad of the Short Forest Forum Resident

    Location:
    90220 Compton
    Unfortunately I've been much to busy lately to keep up with this thread as often as I would like to, so I'll do my best to cover all grounds in this post.

    And am looking forward to Arthur! It may not have Something Else's atmosphere or VGPS' songwriting, but it's so expertly performed and fun I think it's probably the album I've been listening to the most of theirs lately.


    Where Did My Spring Go?

    Like VGPS' All of My Friends Were There and People Take Pictures, WDMSG has a weird bouncy rhythm to it that few other bands tried to attempt. The vocal delivery is pretty impressive too. The end bit and particularly the tripled "where did my energy go" line is great. I love how it otherwise would be a really sad song about aging but when he just lists off everything like that it's almost comical. Like a man literally falling apart... wonderful balance of humor and seriousness.


    When We Turn Off the Living Room Light

    Until recently I was working as a DJ at my university's radio station where I would usually play 60s/70s prog/psych and I got a request for this song once by a caller. Probably the first and last time that will ever happen! Nevertheless I was delighted because I enjoy this song a lot. I do agree with everyone (particularly Martyj's expertly phrased response) that the song could probably do without the controversial line in question, but I still enjoy it nonetheless.


    Could It Be You're Getting Older [demo]


    I must apologize again that I haven't had time to scroll through all of the posts here, so I am not sure if this song was discussed or not. For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, only a fraction of this song was performed as part of the "home demos medley" on the VGPS box set. I found one bootleg a while ago that aimed to recreate a fictious Kinks album released between VGPS and Arthur. Naturally it collected many of the Great Lost Kinks album tracks and singles that I already have, but this song in particular made for a nice inclusion. The version I heard did some editing to extend the song, and I do find myself listening to it often. The song is performed on the piano unaccompanied. It's very lofi, and I think with the delivery and everything it actually fits the song better... it reminds me of a scratchy old music hall disc.


    Happy Lena (Have You Seen Her) [demo]

    Another unique song from the home demos medley. Kinda simple and not as engaging as "Could It Be...". I think it would have benefited from a full band arrangement and probably would be pretty decent in that form.


    This Man He Weeps Tonight

    Killer Dave song! Next to Strangers and Death of a Clown it's probably my favorite song of his. Love the chorus, love the punchy guitars and his calm detached delivery on the verses. Perfection all around. I know it doesn't fit the theme of Arthur, but this is one of the few instances where I think Ray should have allowed some democracy in the studio because it would have made a perfect fit for Arthur. Same with Mindless Child of Motherhood, which in my opinion is just as good.

    Actually I think it kind of does fit the theme of Arthur... I'll leave in my original comment to show my hesitancy, but the weeping man could represent Arthur himself or something. I mean Young and Innocent Days, Mr. Churchill Says, Yes Sir..., all these songs about the war, This Man recontextualized to be about the austerity period that followed would be very fitting thematically. Ray really should have allowed it on, it deserved to be much more than just a B side!
     
  4. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    Hey, well done, we didn't cover either of those tunes on the thread. Happy Lena is a joke, really, doing with Mexican cantinas music (or Ray's idea of it) what Monica did about Caribbean cabaret stuff, but in a very throwaway jokey style. But the other one is pretty strong, sung by Ray like he believes in it, in the spur of inspiration, with cool chord changes and some real inventive melodic twists. The website you're referring to has made a nice job with its concept : compiling an unreleased Kinks record from early 1969. He called it "Where Was Spring?" (even though he didn't include the Where Was Spring tunes). It's a little heavy on Dave tracks, (but that only makes it the right moment for us to mention it here) and it must be said that his edit of (Could it be) You're Getting Older almost works as a satisfying song. In this paragraph, you have all the key words to get a chance to listen to it.
    It gives me the opportunity to stress out the fact that the "Home Demo Medleys" of the big Kinks boxes are some of the most frustrating things I heard in my life (matched only by the "The Wall" Waters demo snippets). I don't understand why they decided against giving us the real deal. I'm a sucker for those crappy sounding tapes, where you can actually hear the chore of the song, what the songwriter got excited about in the first place, before he really got to work and flesh his ideas out. I'd always hoped we'd eventually get a whole lot of those Ray little solo performances but he ultimately decided against it, probably because they are not "proper" demos (as in Pete Townshend demos) but more "compositional tapes" (as in The Lost Lennon Tapes). So frustrating… But the worst is this :
    That's outrageous !!! Who the hell this Ray Davies guy thinks he is to make that kind of decision without referring to us?!?
     
  5. FJFP

    FJFP Host for the 'Mixology' Mix Differences Podcast

    [​IMG]

    On a nicer note, Dave shared this photo from today.
     
  6. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    Nice one. You just beat me to it. I was signing in to post this photo. Good to see them hanging out and having a pint
     
  7. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    I thought he said they were getting tea ?
     
  8. Martyj

    Martyj Who dares to wake me from my slumber? -- Mr. Flash

    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    Why a Ray song would be on an album meant to showcase Dave's songs has been puzzling me for over three decades. I'll have more thoughts (actually, more of a hair-brained, unverified theory) when we get to this one in a week or so.
     
  9. FJFP

    FJFP Host for the 'Mixology' Mix Differences Podcast

    Maybe he meant the meal, and they went to the pub afterwards...? Anything is possible!
     
  10. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    Afternoon tea can quickly turn into late afternoon pints. :cheers:
     
  11. idleracer

    idleracer Forum Resident

    Location:
    California
    :kilroy: I haven't heard this yet, but something that has been appearing on bootlegs for eons is this medley of early Jagger & Richards demos, which sounds exactly like what you're describing. Of course, I've heard the finished products of most of these, but four of them have only appeared in this truncated form:

     
  12. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    This photo made me so happy. It was taken by Ray's partner, Karen.
    Good to see the boys sharing in a pint.
     
  13. skisdlimit

    skisdlimit Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bellevue, WA
    Wow, that's great, and thanks for sharing! :wave:

    I don't know whether these were ever seriously considered or simply came long after the fact, but here are some alternate covers for Village Green:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Mostly, I'm just glad that the belated recognition for this fine album has occurred during those two brothers' lifetimes. I'll raise a glass tonight in tribute, as I kind of feel like I know them both, particularly Ray given I myself have about a 3-years younger brother, and can sympathize. :winkgrin::laugh:
    :cheers:
     
  14. jethrowup

    jethrowup Forum Resident

    Location:
    United States
    Nice covers. I think the first one at least is a fan cover though.
     
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  15. Scottsol

    Scottsol Forum Resident

    Location:
    Evanston, IL
    I’m not that fond of the first unofficial cover. It has no steepled church, and while the village greens of Ray’s youth would have had automobiles and roof mounted TV antennas, his reveries would not.
     
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  16. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scotland
    Is the second cover the European/Swedish 12-track version cover?
     
  17. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    IIRC i think the French Shangrila Cardboard Flipback 7" P/s had She's Bought A Hat Like Princess Marina on the B Side.
    Seems even rarer than i had thought and yep should never have sold that sucker!
     
  18. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Yes. The box set includes a vinyl replica of this issue alongside the mono/stereo vinyl of the 15 track album in a gatefold.
     
  19. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    According to Ray in the Record Collector VGPS retrospective, 'Happy Lena' was a song he wrote as a pre-fame youngster and has carried with him all his life, so I'd say it was more than a joke to him, as slight as it sounds on the demo. If it had been fleshed out as a full band song, I could totally hear Lena as another VGPS denizen, and the Mexican style (great spot btw) would give another flavour to the already varied banquet of cosmopolitan styles on the 1968 LP.

    I agree 'Could Be You're Getting Old' is a really fantastic song sketch, demonstrating Ray's effortless mastery at this stage that such an obscure, written to order piece still oozes quality. Apparently it was written about the British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge, who had been a more radical figure in his younger years but had taken to denouncing the youth of the swinging sixties as he grew older and more reactionary. Malcolm Muggeridge - Wikipedia
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2021
  20. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scotland
    I thought it looked familiar :winkgrin: In which case, that one can be considered a genuine VGPS album cover!
     
  21. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    James Marshall Hendrix.
     
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  22. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    I thought it might have been a picture of the White Album?
     
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  23. LX200GPS

    LX200GPS Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    This Man could only have been selected for Arthur providing one of the other tracks had been omitted. I'm pretty certain that album ran longer than 45 minutes - I remember that from my taping days. But I do agree that it is a fantastic song.
     
  24. LX200GPS

    LX200GPS Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    I thought they were meeting up for tea?

    EDIT: I see Fortuleo beat me to it.
     
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  25. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Mindless Child Of Motherhood.

    mono reduction of stereo mix (3:10), recorded May 1969 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London

    I've been traveling a long time,
    To be just where you are.
    In dreams I have seen you,
    But you are so very far.

    How long must I travel on,
    To be just where you are?
    How long must I travel on,
    To be just where you are?

    I was your friend,
    I was a fool,
    I feel for you, though we're far apart.
    I see your face,
    Lost without trace,
    I see your mind, just an empty space.

    Mindless child of motherhood,
    You have lost the thing that's good.
    Mindless child of motherhood,
    You have lost the thing that's good.

    I know that it's not fair,
    To bare a bastard son,
    But why do you hide there,
    When we could have shared a love?

    How long must I travel on,
    To be just where you are?
    How long must I travel on,
    To be just where you are?

    I was your friend,
    I was a fool,
    I feel for you, though we're far apart.
    I see your face,
    Lost without trace,
    I see your mind, just an empty space.

    Mindless child of motherhood,
    You have lost the thing that's good.
    Mindless child of motherhood,
    You have lost the thing that's good.

    To me.

    Written by: Dave Davies
    Published by: Dabe/Carlin Music Corp.

    This song opens up brilliantly with a a sort of laid back intro that is highlighted by a wonderful melodic bassline, augmented nicely by the piano, and what in another decade would be the galloping Iron Maiden rhythm guitar.
    We get a double hit, and a light build up into the vocals.
    As we have noted Dave's vocals have come along in leaps and bounds, and his delivery here is really pretty great.

    Lyrically we have a pretty direct reference to Sue and their tragic relationship.
    The opening vocals are somewhat withdrawn and we gradually build the intensity. The pre-chorus is excellent, and the melodic structure is really wonderful. Again we get a somewhat Byrdsy guitar motif.
    When we get into the chorus we have Rasa, I would presume, on backing vocals. The layering of the backing vocals on here is really interesting, because they are almost subliminal, until the chorus, when the pop a bit more. This is acyually really well mixed, and it has the effect of intensifying the impact of the song.

    I'm not altogether sure what Mindless child Of Motherhood means, but it sounds great in the delivery.

    The instrumental sections after each chorus are wonderful, they ring out like Christmas bells or something.
    There are some great rhythmic and melodic things going on in this track, and there is great use of dynamics.
    The arrangement is really excellent also.

    For me the first two tracks are both strong enough to be singles.

     

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