Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by mark winstanley, Apr 4, 2021.
It’s also on the 3rd disc of the Arthur box.
I was just listening to a rebroadcast of an American Top 40 from this time in 1978 & guess what song debuted at #37? It was "Rock & Roll Fantasy". Casey Kasam expressed surprise that it was the first time that the Kinks made AT40 in 8 yrs. since "Lola". He"s now playing a song called "Just What I Needed", that's now at #34, by a new Boston group called the Cars that I predict will be a great success
Oh yes, wow, how right you all are ! I never paid too much attention to this version. What was I thinking? I put it again just now, yawning in advance because I've always found Ray's take repetitive, with not much of a melody and really going nowhere… But the key change made me stand like a pointer dog before I started stamping my feet because of the drive and energy level added by the horns and their contagious impact on Mick's drumming and even Dave's singing as the track progresses. Still not much of a song, but 100 times better as a record and listening experience.
That's the difference between a level headed fan and a blind fanatic. I know lots of ardent Young fans.... and some of his greatest devotees freely admit he's got an absolutely crap voice; they love him for other reasons but that doesn't mean they don't have ears.
That protagonist in particular song could be Neil himself:
"And sing a song in a shaky voice
That was real as the day was long"
How perfectly descriptive as he delivers that song in his usual shaky voice.... nasal and entirely incapable of holding pitch. That he does it "vigorously" only means that its vigorously bad. Whether or not his voice is "real" is entirely in the ear of the beholder. But "real" can't hide flaws, it's just that for some, the realness outweighs the flaws or limitations. So it is for me with Davies.... I love the songs so much and think he is so adaptable in his mood that he brings additional life to his songs. But I have the intellectual honesty to not say he's got some great singing voice: I love him for other reasons.
I was responding to your view that:
“When people talk about Dylan and Young being two of the best, it's usually more based on their songwriting than the actual delivery.”
I don’t think this is true at all. And I’m being intellectually honest (!) as I make my declaration.
(I’m not saying that Neil Young or Bob Dylan warble like birds. But I am saying that many legions of fans respond to their respective ‘delivery.’ And there’s enough of these lovers of the nasal and off-pitch raw vocals that these two chaps have muddled along just fine for a half a century.)
I’m Crying: two thumbs up in this one. I wonder if somebody provided a link to it earlier (I checked the index and, nope, not officially) because it seemed familiar, as if I’d heard it on this thread. But anyway, I remain a sucker for the raw and rambunctious. A good song.
"I'm crying" is probably in my top 5 Dave Davies songs...hmm... Do I have 7 Dave Davies songs in my top 5 yet? Let's see, how would that look?
1. This Man He Weeps Tonight
2. Strangers (live 1970 boot version)
3. Love me till the sun shines (1968 BBC version)
4. Lincoln County
5. I'm Crying
Yep, makes the cut, with Creeping Jean just below.
I had this on that bootleg cassette I mentioned recently, and it was the song I found to be most mysteriously and criminally unreleased. Hey, again, I rarely care about the lyrics in Dave's songs. It's all about delivery and rockin' out. This one's funky, feels like a 1967 outtake, with a truly fantastic delivery. I agree, a bit of Hendrix ("Foxy Lady" riff-type, but lighter), maybe a little Beatles, too, in the backing vocals and drums. (I always thinking of Lennon's "I'm Crying" from "I am the Walrus," even though the music isn't the same.)
It may be the song that made me a Dave fan.
Now, the boot version was tinny, hissy, tape-saturated, and it suited the song. In a perfect world, the 10th generation sonic mess of the boot would have been the A-side to Creeping Jean, with spilled wine, dust and scratches deliberately added to the grooves of each copy for additional authenticity.
Crank it up, this "mastering" is the real version:
A thought. Kudos to the Kinks for having the vision and confidence from the beginning to find room for both Dave's and Ray's voices, and I don't mean just their literal vocal cord instruments. It's a strange combo. In the Beatles, you can kind of see how the three songwriters balance each other out and create a coherent story together. In the Kinks, Dave's songs tend to feel like a different band, operating from separate parts of the brain altogether. It feels like it shouldn't work at all, and it's impressive (and mysterious) that it does. Their talents may complement, but they barely overlap. Dave's songs never feel like Ray Jr (even when singing Ray's songs). He's his own guy.
not only my favorite kinks lp , but my favorite album by anyone of all time! i have been posting a bit here and there during this thread but thought i would wait until the kinks entered by musical consciousness , and it was around 1971 or so with muswell hillbillies. of course i was familiar with the hits up until then ( i imagine).
Who is in the picture on the cover of that album?
Muswell Hillbillies? It's the band itself in the middle of the pub. Dave is wearing a beard.
Speaking of Dave, " I'm Crying" is another good song exposing Dave's innermost feelings & as Avid Steve E said, maybe should have been released low fi & hissy. "Mr. Reporter" is the second go round w/Dave doing the vocal w/a bit of horns (Mike Cotton Band?). It seems that both Ray & Dave saw something in this song but not enough to release it in either version, perhaps not to antagonize the press.
I was responding to the view that:
"I know that Bob Dylan and Neil Young get a lot of ridicule for their vocals, but that is also the reason why they are considered two of the best."
Now there may be people who respond to their voices, but specifically when lauded for being "two of the best," it's not the voice that's getting them that recognition (aside from a few outlier individuals). Young and/or Dylan frequently show up on greatest songwriter lists, either as prepared by individual critics or as aggregates of fan inputs. Not so with greatest vocalists lists. On the other hand, they both show up frequently on worst vocalist lists! Clearly, it's not the vocals that are putting them in any kind of "best" category.
It’s a package deal! Songwriting and vocals (and guitar for Neil). If you come over I’ll keep the two off the playlist. It’ll be Kinks only.
Don't forget about their harmonicas!
And I do love some of those guitar fills. Almost a Jefferson Airplane feel to them... same with the organ. Makes for an interesting mix with the vocals. Cool song.
"I'm Crying" - love this song, which was one of the main reasons I purchased Hidden Treasures. On first listen, possibly via that horribly bootlegged version (I can't remember where I originally heard it), I thought this sounded a bit like "The Flesh Failures (Let the Sunshine In)" from Hair, especially that opening bass line (these could make for an interesting mashup!):
"Mr. Reporter" - both versions work for me; while I agree with above posts that this song sounds more finished with the horns, in general I prefer Ray's vocals (or maybe it's just the reverb!):
“I’m Crying” is good. Not great. Not excellent. But it’s a good song. The opening guitar is great and like Mark said, is reminiscent of Hendrix. I think the real strength of this song is the arrangement. Nice bass. Cool organ. Excellent backing vocals (that rise in the backing vocals “cry-IIIIIngggg” is wonderful). Fantastic guitar. I also like how Dave’s vocal performance varies from straight singing to wailing to shouting. I like the rhythm here too…one, two, THREE, one, two, THREE. This one has definitely grown on me. I think it’s one of the better Dave songs.
“Mr. Reporter”…I have this on the 1998 Sanctuary reissue of Face to Face (it shouldn’t be on there, they should have had the 1966 version with Ray on vocals). I used to really like it. I’m indifferent about it now. This is one of the songs that sounds like it was recorded during Arthur, but supposedly Quaife is on this. The best part of the song isn’t even The Kinks, it’s the horns. Well, I guess Mick’s drumming toward the end too. He does some great fills. Lyrics are kind of funny, typical Ray. I guess I like this song.
I heard the Ray version long after the Dave version. As others have said, this version is better. It’s more fleshed out, with the horns and all. As I said above, I also think Mick’s drumming is great here too (and not so much in the ‘66 version).
Very true, and a superb post. I think what you notice is even more remarkable because, unlike the Beatles, there was only one genius in the Kinks. I'm not saying this to diminish Dave's talents or input, on the contrary : there was only one genius, yes, but he was lucid enough, right from the beginning, to know he needed his brother by his side, because of his skills, his attitude, his sound, his charisma, his voice, his nature, and the dynamics between them. And symmetrically, Dave was lucid enough not to ever try to take over the band's leadership, even when he disagreed with his brother's follies and became a prolific writer himself. That's the beauty of the Kinks, and it goes back to You Really Got Me being written by Ray on the piano but coming alive on Dave's guitar. Even during his more outrageous narcissistic endeavors, it seems Ray never forgot he had to give room to Dave's voice and nurture it, because there could be no Kinks without developing Dave's writing, singing, presence and personal fulfillment.
Good call. Now I just want to discuss these two phenomenal songs! This does bounce along with some similarities, but doesn't quite reach the heights of the two songs you mentioned. This is a new song for me, but it's already getting better the more I listen to it. It almost starts out like another song that is reminiscent of Badfinger. I think it's mostly in Dave's vocal in certain parts. Then it turns into something else and enters some Small Faces territory. Dave is on fire vocally and on his trusty axe! Add a sweet bass line, groovy organ, and smashing drums and we have a lost Kinks classic. I am now starting to think maybe Dave should have had a solo album, but I would still rather have had many of these unreleased songs compiled on another Kinks album.
I never picked up Hidden Treasures, so a couple of these tracks are new to me - particularly I’m Crying. I’m finding the more I listen to I’m Crying, the more I like it.
The part of the song with the lyrics:
Do you think that he's so glad[?],
Do you think he loves you so?
Do you think that he'd be mad,
If you never come on home?
I assume that would be the bridge? Sounds a lot like a recycling of the beginning of “Got My Feet on the Ground.”
The poor guy had a lot of good songs and only had a total of 4 songs recorded by The Kinks in the 70s (and 2 of those were on one album). Maybe if he had something released in 1969, he would have been more confident to release a second solo album in the 70s (like the material recently released on Decade) or vouch for more of his material to be on Kinks albums. High concept/theatrical albums aside, why doesn’t he have anything on Muswell Hillbillies (“Climb Your Wall” would’ve fit well…he certainly could do the sort of folk/country/blues stuff like on MH, as we have seen on Hidden Treasures) or Sleepwalker?
That being said, Lincoln County/Hole in the Sock Of was recorded over too long of a period, in my opinion, and the material varies dramatically in sound, arrangement, approach, and quality. If it was released in 1969 with the material on Hidden Treasures, it would have been an awful album with great songs. Can you imagine how a Dave solo album with material as varied as “Mindless Child of Motherhood” and “Are You Ready?” and “Groovy Movies” would have been received? It would have been compared mercilessly to Village Green, Arthur, and Lola, all of which are super cohesive and focused albums. I could see it being compared to a lesser Kinks release like Percy, which probably wouldn’t do much for Dave’s self-confidence or career. Maybe it’s best it wasn’t released, at least as is.
I agree. As it is, all of these songs don't really add up to a cohesive album. They would have been better served on a Kinks album, but even then I don't know where they would fit. They simply had too much great material. Even Ray had great songs that never made the cut. I'm not familiar with "Climb Your Wall". I guess I will learn more about these songs when they come up. I'm not crazy about a lot of the material on Decade. I am guessing we will be covering those songs later so I will get a closer listen to them. Maybe he could have released a couple of EPs? One in a folk style and one garage rock EP. As good as a few of the songs are, it sure must have been hard to be the brother of Ray and compete with the material he was writing at the time.
I’m not crazy about Decade either, but I could see some of that material being popular in the mid-late 70s.
I feel that certain songs, like one of today’s selections, “Mr. Reporter,” could have fit on Arthur, at least sound-wise, but not fit with the Arthur concept/storyline, which was super tight.
I feel that another couple of songs could have fit on Village Green (more on that when we get to those particular tracks in the coming days).
But I think, like you said, a Dave solo EP of some of this material may have been best. I’m particularly thinking an EP containing “Hold My Hand,” “I’m Crying,” “Do You Wish To Be A Man?” “Are You Ready?” and perhaps “Creeping Jean” could have worked well.
Alternately, an EP with “Mr. Reporter,” “Mr. Shoemaker’s Daughter,” and “Groovy Movies” could have worked, but 2 of those are Ray songs. I guess “Creeping Jean” could have fleshed it out a bit.
Side note: “Climb Your Wall” isn’t on Hidden Treasures. It was released on Unfinished Business, but it dates to this general time period, or maybe a bit later (1969-1970).