The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    Here's that Monty Python sketch:

     
  2. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Location:
    Murrumbateman
    If pitches to the body were legal in baseball, and a batter was accidentally hit in the groin, and he managed to still get to first base….
     
  3. ampmods

    ampmods Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston, MA, USA
    It is interesting that Ray decided to do a little Marc Bolan at times and I definitely agree you can hear it on "King Kong" (although the best example is probably "Mirror of Love").

    The early Tyrannosaurus Rex stuff is great btw and you should definitely check it out Mark. And I can hear a lot of Ray Davies in the melodies of Marc Bolan at times. It's like Marc was doing an acoustic rock version of mid-60s Kinks but instead of being obsessed with a changing England or class, he was obsessed with Hobbits, mystical beasts and also cars. :)

    A short set of suggested songs as a primer: "Mustang Ford," "Stacy Grove," "Debora," "Salamanda Palaganda," "Chariots of Silk," "Graceful Fat Sheba"
     
  4. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Yes just translating baseball to cricket as @Martyj had suggested for those so (geographically?) inclined.
     
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  5. seanw

    seanw Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Cracking song, but deserving of a b-side for its poor-quality recording. I don't care if it was an artistic decision on Ray's part to go for a lo-fi sound, it really detracts from what could be a classic Kinks' rocker that would otherwise get a lot more rotation from me.

    Where is the 2020 stereo mix from? I'd only ever heard KK in mono before and while that stereo version retains a lot of the lo-fi-ness, it's a nice enough alternative. Is it fan made?
     
  6. donstemple

    donstemple Member of the Club

    Location:
    Maplewood, NJ
    If you get hit in the groin, generally your chances of getting to 2nd base are greatly diminished. And it's a sign you should have stopped when rounding first.
     
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  7. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Since we’re leaving the Quaife era behind after today, I thought I'd post a few bits of later PQ ephemera (I appreciate Mark already posted the primary tribute post a week or so back, but here's a few bits of ancillary material to mark the end of this era).

    Pete only rejoined The Kinks at a bona fide show once in 1981 in Canada where they got him up to play (sigh) 'Little Queenie for an encore. Here's a photo of the reunited 4 piece from that evening, pretty cool to see them all back together in the stadium era:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  8. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Canadian TV interview from 1988, mainly about his later career as a graphic artist, though we do get to see him strumming along on 'Lola' oddly.

     
  9. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Pete's only appearance with The Kast Off Kinks in 2004 at a fan meet in Utrecht Holland. Again the song choice is disappointing (Louie Louie) but it's cool to see the 60s Kinks rhythm section play together one last time in the 21st Century. He also reads from his novel/quasi-autobiography 'Veritas'. I so nearly went to this event as I figured (correctly as it turned out) that it would be my only chance to see Pete live, but I couldn't get the accommodation to work out.

     
  10. Martyj

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

    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    Retrospectively it is indeed puzzling, and the comments in the thread this morning (so far) seem in universal agreement.

    I’ll throw out a guess why Pye thought “Plastic Man” the preferred A-side. It goes back to “Sunny Afternoon.” The legacy of a Number One single has long legs, and record executives love nothing more than playing the safe bet by chasing a previous success. Just as Ray was pressured for three years to keep repeating the stop-and-go power chord formula of “You Really Got Me,” by 1969 the suits around Pye were likely associating The Kinks with their last Number One, the going-on-four-year old “Sunny Afternoon” with it’s toe-tapping, finger-snapping, singalong bounce. Hence, the retro-feel of the quasi-Vaudeville “Plastic Man,” rather than the forward-looking “King Kong,” was easier to market with a “here’s the new single from the band who gave you the number 1 hit “Sunny Afternoon” mantra.

    I doesn’t make a lot of sense to me either, since the heavier sound of something like “King Kong” was riding higher in the charts than vaudeville-rock circa Spring, 1969. But Pye was playing brand-association games. I work around marketing people. I’ve observed how they operate 1990 through 2020, and I’m guessing they weren’t that much different in the 1960’s. This “lets find the next Sunny Afternoon” mindset is re-enforced with their selection of “Drivin’” as the next single to preview the upcoming Arthur LP; it is the one track from that disc that is most closely evocative to the feel of “Sunny Afternoon.”

    Anyway, as for today’s song: both it and “Can’t Stop the Music” from Soap Opera sound like they were recorded differently than anything else the Kinks ever did. I’m not an expert in these things so I can’t speak to why—and I may be wrong. But both sound like it’s all coming out of an AM radio in a Plymouth dashboard. That’s not a knock; actually I like the textural diversity it provides within the Kinks overall catalog.

    I first heard “King Kong” on Kink Kronikles back in the day. Glam Rock was under-marketed in the U.S. in the 70’s, so like most American’s all I knew of Marc Bolan/T-Rex was “Bang a Gong.” Yeah, I did pick up on a similarity to the sound, but at the time did not know who preceded who. Plus, the “Sunshine of Your Love” riff was noted. It took me a while to warm up to this one. I like it okay, but place it no higher than the middle of preferred Kinks tracks. I’m possibly alone in this thread in liking “Plastic Man” better, although I don’t disagree that they should have been flipped A and B sides.

    Lyrically, it’s “Powerman” in a monkey suit, isn’t it? It anticipates that track by a year. I group this, “Apeman,” and Percy’s “Animals in the Zoo” as a roughly contemporary Kink’s-monkey trilogy that makes reference to bombs. John Mendelssohn once astutely observed that the very-prolific Ray during this period often composed songs with a lyrical twin or triplet. I’m straining to remember if Ray ever wrote another song with a monkey after getting this trio out of his system. Maybe he did, but I’m drawing a blank. But he does return to the bomb in later lyrics in the 80’s.

    Anyway, this has been a soft week at work (i.e. no work at all) so I’ve had more time to give to this forum than normal. But tomorrow I’m heading off for a no-electronic-devices vacation so I regret I’ll miss most of the Arthur discussions. It is my favorite Kinks LP, a tough choice over Village Green and Muswell.
     
  11. CheshireCat

    CheshireCat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cheshire
    Can add nothing more to this write up. Should have been the 'A' Side. Feels like the band is moving into the '70s with this one.
     
  12. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    "Both sound like it's all coming out of an AM radio in a Plymouth dashboard...."

    For those Avids who are not car people, Plymouth was a division of the Chrysler Corporation from 1929-2002. The first car my father ever owned after emigrating to the US from Poland was a 1968 Plymouth Barracuda.

    Avid Martyj, have a great vacation. Also, please forgive me for stepping out of the topic, but I'm currently reading a bio of WC Fields titled The Man on the Flying Trapeze. Have you ever read it?
     
  13. Adam9

    Adam9 Senior Member

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    I was fortunate enough to have witnessed that. Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto.
     
  14. Martyj

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

    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    Oh yes. From where I'm sitting now at my computer I can see it on my bookcase. The author, Simon Louvish, specializes in classic comedy and has also done bios on Marx Brothers, Laurel & Hardy, and Mack Sennett, all of which I can also see on my shelves. Apparently he did one on Chaplin, too, but I didn't buy that one.

    Re: the Fields bio, an even better one was written by James Curtis. I'd recommend that over the Louvish one, but they're both good.
     
  15. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I honestly don't know.
    There's no saying the year is even right.
     
  16. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    I’m laughing because by sheer coincidence I just found out yesterday that the boarding school property, in the western outskirts of Tokyo that I attended as a kid, was purchased for a “newer” Plymouth station wagon (I’m guessing 1950 model) and a 16mm film projector. About five acres.
     
  17. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    Thank you for your answer. I'm up to 1914 when he finished touring the world as a tramp juggler. I've learned a lot already. The only WC Fields DVD that I have is Million Dollar Legs from 1932, where he plays a king of a country of gifted athletes that participates in the 1932 LA Olympic Games.
     
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  18. Martyj

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

    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    It's a supporting part in that film. You need to see some of his starring vehicles, like "It's a Gift," or "You Can't Cheat An Honest Man." But with Fields, the parts are better than the whole, IMO, although "The Bank Dick," as a whole, is pretty solid.

    Lest anyone thinks this is irrelevant to a Kinks thread, W.C. Fields is depicted on the cover of "Everybody's in Showbiz." So there.
     
  19. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    I have seen some of his films before. I know I saw the one that has Shemp Howard in it. It's just that I first saw Million Dollar Legs back in the early 80s in college on a Late Late Show & never saw the ending & I always wanted to. It took me 30 yrs.
     
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  20. Martyj

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

    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    I must have missed Mark's tribute, but if today be the appropriate day to sum up Pete Qauife:

    I’ve never quite been able to put a finger on him. His overall obscurity in the pantheon of rock stars—likely owing to his 7 year(?) tenure in a band that lasted 30—keeps him off most peoples short list of great bassists. I know Entwistle rated him highly, but that’s the only peer accolade I am aware of. Maybe there are others? The fact that he was of service during the band’s most relevant era—which merited induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame—perhaps skews his importance, as the Kinks proved over their long career that bass players could be swapped out without so much as a hiccup. All the bassists the band had were good enough to get the job done, which was all that was asked of them. I honestly think the presence or absence of Rasa’s voice had a greater affect on the band more than whoever was playing bass.

    Still, it must be said: Pete looked the part better than anyone save Ray or Dave. There was just something about the way the camera captured the man, or the way he made eye contact with the camera lens. He had that special It factor that facilitates celebrity. I never quite picked that up from Nobby or Jim Rodford. It’s to the man’s credit that he took control of assessing his goals in life when confronted with what it would mean continuing life as a public figure.

    As for his exit from the band, the great shame is that he apparently had songwriting leanings that were never given an airing. At the very least Ray and Dave should have thrown him a Bill Wyman-like bone. The results couldn’t have hurt a future round up of unused tracks that found life on Kronikles, The Great Lost Kinks Album or later day re-issue bonus cuts.
     
  21. jethrotoe

    jethrotoe Forum Resident

    Location:
    United States
    They did that with “Anytime” the next year too, which is a fabulous song that was intended to be the b-side of “Apeman” but instead Ray didn’t release it till 2014.
     
  22. donstemple

    donstemple Member of the Club

    Location:
    Maplewood, NJ
    King Kong

    This is what I was going to point out! This is like a prototype for "Powerman" in theme and overall rockness, too. I think it should have been the A Side, and I agree it seems a bit ahead of its time, rather than "Plastic Man" which was a couple years past it's time.

    I love "King Kong" and never really heard T. Rex in it, but that's probably because I am not really familiar with anything T. Rex other than "Bang a Gong". Shame on me, apparently. But I guess I do hear some of that early glam/heavy rock in it. It's certainly one of the hardest/heavier rock songs that I have heard from the Kinks. I love the cowbell. I love contrasting beauty of "la la, la la la" against the harder tone of the guitar. Love the guitar solo, just sorta grinding metal slowly off in the distance. My only gripe is the forced rhyme of "ten feet long" instead of more logical non-rhyme "ten feet tall" so it rhymes with "kong".

    My favorite line/part is:
    "Little man's weak and big man's strong,
    Everyone wants to be King Kong, oh yeah"

    It's a very Kinkian thing apparently, to simplify some lyrics and get rid of articles like "a" or "the". I'm thinking "Big Sky too big to cry, Big Sky too high to see..."

    Great song.
     
  23. jethrotoe

    jethrotoe Forum Resident

    Location:
    United States
    I like King Kong quite a bit. The worst part is a mix (so I’m excited to hear that 2020 remix).

    I agree with others here that this should have been an a-side instead of “Plastic Man.” I can also hear Bolan in this (or rather, I can hear The Kinks in Bolan, I doubt Ray was influenced by him this early).

    It’s indeed a notable song because it a) is one of the last songs Kinks songs featuring Pete Quaife on bass and b) it foreshadows the 70s. On the latter point, this song is sometimes compared to “Apeman” (I think even in the Kinks Kronikles liner notes)—too much monkey business, I guess. To me, it’s much more similar to another Lola track—“Powerman.” Thematically, “King Kong” and “Powerman” are extremely similar—a big, powerful man disregarding us peons in his quest for more power. King Kong has a hydrogen bomb, Powerman wants to conquer the world. I guess every Ray song does have a twin, after all.

    Nice solo from Dave here. Nice cowbell from Mick. Fun backing vocals from Rasa (?).
     
  24. Adam9

    Adam9 Senior Member

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    A Barracuda, eh? Pretty cool!

    The first new car my father ever bought was a 1963 Plymouth Savoy with a slant 6 engine and a pushbutton automatic transmission. I heard many great tunes on the AM radio's dashboard speaker.
     
  25. jethrotoe

    jethrotoe Forum Resident

    Location:
    United States
    Supposedly Pete Quaife was Clapton’s first choice for Cream bassist. From Wiki:

    “Thomas Kitts writes that in early 1966, Eric Clapton invited Quaife to join a band that would eventually become Cream.”

    I agree about songwriting. There’s an interview from early 1969 where Dave said that Pete was writing songs. It’s strange they never recorded any of them, but The Kinks were definitely the Ray show by then. Pete also quit The Kinks, but then asked Ray to write a single for Mapleoak, so maybe he wasn’t too confident in his own songwriting abilities.
     

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