The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    I had no idea. (And I regret pushing play! Listened through “you better be groovy...tonight!”)
     
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  2. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    Speaking of Bobby Rydell:

     
  3. Michael Streett

    Michael Streett Senior Member

    Location:
    Florence, SC
    Mono mix of Good Luck Charm is exclusive to this. Stereo mix only The Anthology box set from 2014.
     
  4. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Location:
    Murrumbateman
    OK, but I don’t want to hear anything negative about the dog’s bollocks - which is still in everyday use in these parts :D
     
  5. jethrotoe

    jethrotoe Forum Resident

    Location:
    United States
    “Rat’s a*s” over here.
     
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  6. jethrotoe

    jethrotoe Forum Resident

    Location:
    United States
    Yeah, looks like he mostly played a P-bass.

    Photo of him playing one in the studio (?) here. Looks to be from 1969, based on his haircut: John Dalton | Equipboard
     
  7. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Groovy Movies
    I've long heard of this song, but somehow I have not heard it until right now.
    I really like this. Just a fun song! Dave's vocals are perfect. I guess Ray thought this song more appropriate to Dave's range?
    But looking at the lyrics, there's is no one but Ray who could have written this ...movies and havana cigars. Please!

    Wish I knew what the lyrics in the middle bit were.
     
  8. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Ray wrote this. there is no controversy here.
    :D
     
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  9. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    That's weird.... I'm sure I didn't say that lol
    But I am old and tired
     
  10. jethrotoe

    jethrotoe Forum Resident

    Location:
    United States
    Just listened again. I have no idea what he says..."I go down to De la Reduza, and in time I'll feel like a king"? or "I go down to De la Reduza, any time I feel like a king"?

    I always assumed he said "I'll go down to find a producer" but listening to it now, it really sounds like he is saying something like "De la Reduza."
     
  11. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    LOL I just hit "reply" and the machine did its own thang. Spoooky movies.
     
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  12. seanw

    seanw Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    I'll go down to [place name].
    Any time I'd feel like break,
    I'd take a long vacation to Saint-Tropez
    And think of all the money I'd make
    By making...
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2021
  13. TeddyB

    TeddyB Senior Member

    Location:
    Hollywoodland
    I have always considered that Ray may have had tongue planted firmly in cheek when he wrote (and rhymed) Groovy Movies, poking fun at the sixties hipster directors who took vacations in Saint Tropez. To say perhaps they weren’t as hip and “groovy” as they may have thought, assigning to them an adjective that was already then reaching its sell-by date.
     
  14. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    I think that Ray got inspiration for two songs when he went to Cannes to participate in a conference. I know that he said that he wrote "Big Sky" there. Perhaps he also wrote "Groovy Movies" there also. Also Ray is a bit of a cigar aficionado, as my avatar shows.
     
  15. donstemple

    donstemple Member of the Club

    Location:
    Maplewood, NJ
    He likes the big, black smoke.
     
  16. Fischman

    Fischman RockMonster, ClassicalMaster, and JazzMeister

    Location:
    New Mexico
    Groovy Movies

    With such a title, you could expect something really fun... or a completely hollow bit of pointless fluff.

    Happy to say this is definitely the former. I dig it without complaint. It's also further evidence that the group could do any style they choose. Even after all the variety we've been treated to so far, this is still something else by the Kinks.... and once again, they nailed it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2021
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  17. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    Yep. This is it, except we don't know what the place is. It sounds like De La Ratuzo to me. He mentions people falling over backwards to go to dinner with him in the line before it. I bet it's a restaurant name. Someone needs to ask Dave!
     
  18. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    "Plastic Man"

    [​IMG]
    Single by the Kinks
    B-side
    "King Kong"
    Released 28 March 1969
    Recorded March 1969
    Studio Pye (No. 2), London
    Length 3:04
    Label Pye (7N 17724)[1]
    Songwriter(s) Ray Davies
    Producer(s) Ray Davies

    mono mix (3:00), recorded Mar 1969 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London

    A man lives at the corner of the street,
    And his neighbors think he's helpful and he's sweet,
    'Cause he never swears and he always shakes you by the hand,
    But no one knows he really is a plastic man.

    He's got plastic heart, plastic teeth and toes,
    (Yeah, he's plastic man)
    He's got plastic knees and a perfect plastic nose.
    (Yeah, he's plastic man)
    He's got plastic lips that hide his plastic teeth and gums,
    And plastic legs that reach up to his plastic bum.
    (Plastic bum)

    Plastic man got no brain,
    Plastic man don't feel no pain,
    Plastic people look the same,
    Yeah, yeah, yeah.

    Kick his shin or tread on his face,
    Pull his nose all over the place,
    He can't disfigure, or disgrace,
    Plastic man (plastic man).

    He's got plastic flowers growing up the walls,
    He eats plastic food with a plastic knife and fork,
    He likes plastic cups and saucers 'cause they never break,
    And he likes to lick his gravy off a plastic plate.

    Plastic man got no brain,
    Plastic man don't feel no pain,
    Plastic people look the same,
    Yeah, yeah, yeah.

    Kick his shin or tread on his face,
    Pull his nose all over the place,
    He can't disfigure, or disgrace,
    Plastic man (plastic man).

    He's got a plastic wife who wears a plastic mac,
    (Yeah, he's plastic man)
    And his children wanna be plastic like their dad,
    (Yeah, he's plastic man)
    He's got a phony smile that makes you think he understands,
    But no one ever gets the truth from plastic man (plastic man)

    Plastic man (plastic man).

    Written by: Ray Davies
    Published by: Davray Music/Carlin Music Corp.

    There is an interesting history to this track.
    Apparently this and its b-side were the last songs to be recorded with Pete Quaife. Also this single was released within days of recording it.
    After what was seen as a terrible 1968, with two failed singles, follow by a failed album ...... and I know that seems difficult to believe from where we sit, but this was the mentality ..... the band apparently wrote and recorded this particularly song in search of a hit..... The reason I say apparently is because these guys knew the BBC ... they were there all the time, and it was no mystery that the BBC was famous for banning songs..... Well in this song Ray used the word bum, and so true to form the BBC refused to play the song.... so the chances of this song doing particularly well were very slim.
    The song was initially not released in the US, and appeared first on the Great Lost Kinks Album.
    The song actually reached number 31 on the UK chart, and that was seen as a failure .... it is always odd to me that a newer band would have been thrilled with a 31 chart position, but if you've ever been higher, you can't go lower.

    Anyway, this ends up being a failed single in the minds of the record company, and/or band...... but in some ways it seems like Ray somewhat sabotaged the song to begin with .... but I'll let you guys speculate on that.

    Shortly after this song was released, Quaife quit the group, and John Dalton came in as his replacement.
    In 1998 Quaife stated that Plastic Man was his least favourite song that he recorded with the band .... and that seems somewhat extreme, but who knows what factors contributed to that opinion.

    In so many ways this song seems like a flashback ... To some degree it seems like a self parody. We have the guys moving back to a style that seems to be a pre-Something Else type track, and that would make sense, as that seems to be when the band's singles were really firing. Probably the only problem with that was that Ray's writing style had changed, and perhaps he feels a little like he is trying to recapture that beautiful balance between comical and satirical, and maybe for many he didn't quite reach the aim of the song and style .....

    This is another track that makes me wonder if Ray was listening to Frank Zappa. Thematically we have similarities with Zappa's 1967 track Plastic People, which was a statement against conformity and the materialistic culture ... in fact even Ray's direction in the song seems more biting than the earlier songs in some ways ... Zappa has a line in his song that really shows where Zappa was coming from "Go home/and check yourself/you think we're singing 'bout someone else?" ... and this was fairly typical of Zappa, he would challenge and taunt, and almost antagonise his fans..... Ray doesn't quite go that far, but this is quite a harsh lyric in many ways.
    From my perspective, everyone is conforming, whether to the norms, or anti-conformity ... they are both forms of conformity, a way of aligning, or showing allegiances, which are both forms of conformity.... but anyway.

    Again here, Ray is shooting directly at conformity, however one actually interprets that. So Plastic Man has no brain, feels no pain, and plastic people all look the same. We get a verse that speaks of trying to disfigure Plastic Man "kick his shin or tread on his face" .... It is hard to believe that Ray was really looking for a hit single with these lyrics ..... When you consider that the conformists being targeted are also the band's audience. Work a day Johnny's that do what they have to do to get through life and not end up on the Dead End Street, or are in fact are trying to get off that Dead End Street ... So really it seems like Ray was playing at trying to write a hit single, but sabotaging it, and voicing a harsh opinion that essentially was attacking the people who would likely be the market aimed for to buy the thing lol

    It may sound like I don't like this song, but that's not particularly true, I actually do like this song, I just think that lyrically it is a little naive and misdirected.

    Musically this track is really a lot of fun. We have a hybrid rock song and show tune, or music hall if you like. I think the opening guitar riff, that recurs through the song is a really good hook, and the bouncy feel and delivery works really well.
    We get some nice rhythmic accents, and they also give the track a really appealing kind of feel. We get some very cool harmonies and Ray's vocal draws on his ability to sing as a character, and particularly the opening, he is in character vocal overload.

    I reckon this is a very good song in so many ways, but lyrically it comes from inside a bubble, because everyone is conforming to or with something, so essentially we are all plastic men and women from that perspective. If everyone was living bohemian lifestyles and writing songs, there would be nobody to consume them lol, and generally directly attacking your audience isn't the best way to get their love, or dollars .....

     
  19. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

  20. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Here is a Beat Club video from 1969

    and I believe we see John Dalton playing with the band here

     
  21. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    "Plastic Man"

    Some might have said that "Mr Pleasant" was a step too far down the satirical character study route - well, "Plastic Man" takes that to a whole new level! It's broad and cartoonish and, on the surface, an unashamed attempt to get back into the singles chart. But never mind, because it is a whole heap of fun, and a perfectly constructed pop song. The backing vocals verge on annoying at times, and "plastic bum" might sound a bit cringeworthy these days, but bear in mind that the mention of "bum" would have been risqué in a late-60s sitcom. We also get a brief debut of "Shouty Ray", later to be heard on the 80s albums.

    The thing that stood out for me most, though, while listening this morning - Blur are all over this track. It's virtually the template for much of Parklife.
     
  22. Vagabone

    Vagabone Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Plastic Man

    I actually hate this song. Definitely the worst Kinks a-side of the '60s. This was on the Kinks UK hits collection my dad had and the only song I really didn't like on it. (Strangely, I think it was misattributed to Dave Davies on that cassette edition).

    This is a lyrical self parody ("Mr Pleasant", "Tin Soldier Man") and the music takes the worst elements of "Dedicated Follower of Fashion" and "Death of a Clown" and runs with them. One-note music-hall "patter song" elements and babyish high pitched nursery-rhyme elements.

    It's possible I would have more time for this song if it was another obscure recently unearthed out-take. But no, they went out there and released it as a 45 as if it was the best they could do. And it's enshrined in pop history as one of their UK "hits".

    Only their worst songs- "Charmless Man", "Dan Abnormal" et al.
     
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  23. Vagabone

    Vagabone Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Oops, I forgot their pre-"You Really Got Me" flops. Apart from them, I mean.
     
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  24. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    Great intro, @mark winstanley, a lot of excellent context and I see we already get some kontroversy about the song's quality (or lack of) ! Almost a year after Days, this is the final Kinks non album single of the sixties and the last with the original line up. So this has to be an epochal/pivotal release, a farewell, a closure, and as such, I reckon it's a little underwhelming. But what a fine performance it is ! Ray’s phrasing and “voices” are priceless, with his most aggressive parts in years. Ahah, "Shouty Ray" ! This is a great observation @ARL, as it may be one rare Kinks song on which we can actually hear both 60's and 80's Ray singing styles. I love the backing vocals, the call and response hooks, and also the paa-paa-paaa brass parts sung in high voices, like they’re emulating (or mocking?) Lady Madonna. The band is on fire, the rhythm section is insane, I don’t know if Pete knew he was leaving, but he's doing it in style. And Mick… well, let’s just say listening to his playing this morning was a good tribute to the instrument, in a moment when we certainly need it.
     
  25. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    I was about to say that 'Dan Abnormal' seems to me to be pretty blatantly playing directly off this track. The 'altogether now!' at the climax in particular really seems like an intentional reference.

    (have to admit I love both songs though...:hide:

     

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