The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    "Revenge" is great - short, sweet and energetic, and not far from the YRGM riff.

    "Too Much Monkey Business" - bit of a predictable choice, nice guitar solo (whoever may be playing it!). First time I've ever heard that faster version, and I agree that this one beats the album version by a country mile.

    "I've Been Driving On Bald Mountain" - the inferior of the "Bald" tracks, and it really wasn't a high bar. First time I've heard that stereo mix, and it sounds like Dave is singing from the next room (certainly at the start).
  2. FJFP

    FJFP Host for the 'Mixology' Mix Differences Podcast

    Your post gets an instant like for this alone.
  3. Endicott

    Endicott Forum Resident

    Revenge -- basically instrumental padding, but it comes and goes quickly, and it does feature the Kinks' usual gusto. The Housemartins' debut album features a similarly short, energetic harmonica-driven piece titled "Reverend's Revenge" -- it would be interesting if they had this one in mind as the prototype.

    Too Much Monkey Business -- guess I spoke too soon about the Kinks' newly creative choices in their covers. This one's competent enough, but it had already been done to death, and they weren't going to touch the Yardbirds' version anyway.

    I've Been Driving On Bald Mountain -- the least memorable track on the album. Probably should have been shaved off.

    Not a particularly distinguished Friday morning on this thread... :)
  4. Williamson

    Williamson Forum Resident

    I mentioned Dylan in connection to something, I always do. But yeah, His Bobness copped Subterranean Homesick Blues from this song, I seem to remember he freely admitted to it, which wasn't always the case. He didn't rip off The Kinks version though, Bob liked his Chuck Berry as much as anyone. Although the faster Kinks version sounds even more like the Dylan song.
  5. Williamson

    Williamson Forum Resident

    I don't agree that Too Much Monkey Business sounds like The Cramps. But I do salute you for mentioning them in a Kinks thread :)
  6. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    Revenge - fun instrumental if you just want to jam and not get bogged down with lyrics (oh those pesky things!). I'm digging it.
    @Endicott bringing up the Housemartins' tune...good catch. Now you have me wondering as well.

    Too Much Monkey Business - I think this is a fine song just on its own. I could picture the boys playing this at some of the posh parties they used to play in the early days. But then rock out to the alternate version at someone's house at 2am. Yeah, the alternate version is killer fun.

    I've Been Driving on Bald Mountain - I will not be getting up in the morning with this song randomly earworming in my head, so forgettable.
  7. Pawnmower

    Pawnmower Senior Member

    Dearborn, MI
    I see what you did there! Nice :cheers:
  8. Pawnmower

    Pawnmower Senior Member

    Dearborn, MI
    "Revenge" - 88 seconds of rollicking fun. Gives the album some variety. Tom Hanks featured this in his 'British Invasion' episode of the 2014 miniseries The Sixties.

    "Too Much Monkey Business" - Another Chuck Berry cover. Good backing track, but not very essential. As others have mentioned, this one was covered a lot in the early 60s.

    "I've Been Driving on Bald Mountain" - Meh. While being extremely similar to "Long Tall Shorty," it also seems to sound less like the Kinks than any other song on the album.
  9. Purple Jim

    Purple Jim Senior Member

    What a killer riff. Simplistic - yes. Repetative - yes. A great Kinks blaster.

    Too Much Monkey Business
    Love Chuck's song but I'm not bonkers on Ray's vocal here. Dave's frantic solos are fun and it's quite a tight cover.

    I've Been Driving On Bald Mountain
    A pretty weedy, annoying vocal from Dave. Sounds like amateur night. The mono mix is better but not enough to save it:

  10. Fischman

    Fischman RockMonster, ClassicalMaster, and JazzMeister

    New Mexico
    Yeah, definitely like this. As Mark said, a fine interlude. A sequence of 14 short, mostly straight ahead rock and roll tunes do need a little something to break things up and this does nicely.

    Too Much Monkey Business
    If not for Dave's solo, this would be very skippable. I didn't buy the album with You Really Got Me to hear 90% '50s rehash.

    I've Been Driving On Bald Mountain
    Definitely looking forward to the Kinks moving beyond aping American styles and developing their own style. When I hear tracks like this, I can't help but think "get us to Village Green!"
  11. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I've been rolling through the next 3 or 4 albums, and it develops nicely to the Village Crescendo... a couple are going to become more frequent choices than they were prior.
    It's a really nice development curve.
  12. the real pope ondine

    the real pope ondine Forum Resident

    Revenge: the harp was really a thing for most English rock bands of this era then they all dropped it around the same time. nice instrumental
    Monkey Business: kinda weak cover, a lot of bands and singers (Dion, Elvis in his own way) have done a better version of this one
    Bald Mountain: please get off Bald Mountain and Bald Women, lads!
  13. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    "Revenge"- Features a great guitar sound and is a short blast of energy. It could be improved with some lyrics, but I don't mind a quick instrumental and this one rocks.

    "Too Much Monkey Business"- This song kind of bores me in all of its versions. Maybe it's a case of it being covered so frequently? The sped up version is more interesting. Both versions have some pretty sweet lead guitar playing. I still prefer the original by the almighty Chuck over any cover.

    "I've Been Driving On Bald Mountain"- I'm coming up empty on what to say about this song. We could have used another strong Ray original in its place. I can take or leave "Bald Mountain". I am not going out of my way to hear it and it's over before I decide to reach for the skip button.
  14. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Unfortunately, you have to drive on Bald Mountain to get to the Village Green...
  15. Michael Streett

    Michael Streett Senior Member

    Florence, SC

    Here’s an earlier version of Revenge purportedly from late 1963 demo sessions.
    This is not on the Deluxe 2 CD or any official Kinks release to date, but it did get a commercial release back in 1993 on a Various Artists UK comp called Out Of This World - Instrumental Diamonds Volume 3. Probably an accident they got this version. I think I like the harmonica better on this one actually.
  16. wore to a frazzel

    wore to a frazzel Forum Resident

    Dala, Sweden
    One final thing about Too Much Monkey Business: even if both the official and the alternate version recorded by the Kinks are fine and Yardbirds rocks pretty hard on their famous live version from 1964, my favorite version is the one by the Liverbirds from 1965.

  17. ooan

    ooan Forum Resident

    More " near hardcore punk " than the Stones at that time ?
    mark winstanley likes this.
  18. ooan

    ooan Forum Resident

    I'm the Face ?
  19. zipp

    zipp Forum Resident


    Yeah, instrumentals tended be filler on sixties albums. This one isn't bad. It should have begun or ended the second side.

    They're singing "Aye Aye Yippee" in the background. Presumably just before "Coming round the (bald) mountain".

    Anyone know why this is called Revenge?


    Nobody has equalled Chuck Berry's own version. Most groups get the words wrong at some point, and the Kinks are no exception.


    Time to get a new car.

    And don't give the wheel to Dave.
  20. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    pablo fanques likes this.
  21. Williamson

    Williamson Forum Resident

    Thanks for posting. Great version, it swings :)
  22. Safeway 2

    Safeway 2 Forum Resident

    Manzanillo Mexico.
    Aaahh. Nice to be able to jump back on this monumental thread. Been buried in snow (no, not that kind) the last few days
    driving across the U.S. upper plains. I'm not going back in the thread to all that I missed the last few days but I eventually will sometime this week. So right now I'll throw in my two cents on the last three songs.
    "Revenge" Call me crazy but I love this cut! The YRGM type intro with that harmonica. Outstanding! The droning vocal in the
    background works well. A furious garage rock type instrumental, this seems to be the sound The Kinks were looking for at this particular time.
    "Too Much Monkey Business" As stated by the OP, seems like everyone had a bite of this apple. The Kinks version stands up well
    next to all the countless other versions. Fast, furious and a raving guitar solo at the close.
    "I've Been Driving On Bald Mountain" Call this old folk chestnut a guilty pleasure for me. I've always been a sucker for prison
    songs. The vocals are used to great effect as they slowly fade in as the song progresses and that faint ooohing in the back of the
    lead vocals that fade out at the end. Not for everyone, but I like it.
    Revisiting albums like this always give me even more of a greater appreciation of the artists work. And I already had The Kinks on Mt. Rushmore!
  23. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Yep. Musically the same, despite the dopey rewritten lyrics.
  24. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Stop Your Sobbing

    This is like the Kinks first sort of more mellow love song type track, and typically it is just a little different from the norm.
    Instead of the whole baby I love you type lyric, or even the I love her and she's gone away... We get the much more realistic idea of, hey I love you, but this crying all the time thing is intolerable.

    This song was quite famously covered by the Pretenders, fifteen years later in 1979, and was quite successful for them. It was actually the bands first single.
    Also quite famously, after the Pretenders had recorded this Ray and Chrissie Hynde became involved and even had a child together.

    There are a couple of different stories of where the idea of this song came from.
    One being that one of Ray's girlfriends was crying about the fact that the fame was going to drag Ray away. Also there is also a belief that it was written after a break up.
    At the end of the day I am just glad they wrote it.

    I first heard this on the One For The Road album, where we have a slightly different arrangement, but we'll look at that later.

    We come straight in with the vocal.

    It is time for you to stop all of your sobbing
    Yes it's time for you to stop all of your sobbing
    There's one thing that you gotta do
    To make me still want you

    Gotta stop sobbing now
    Yeah, stop it, stop it
    Gotta stop sobbing now

    It is time for you to laugh instead of crying
    Yes it's time for you to laugh so keep on trying
    There's one thing that you gotta do
    To make me still want you

    Gotta stop sobbing now
    Yeah, stop it, stop it
    Gotta stop sobbing now

    Each little tear that falls from your eye
    Makes, makes-a me want
    To take you in my arms and tell you to stop all your sobbing

    Yes it's time for you to stop all of your sobbing
    Yes it's time for you to stop all of your sobbing
    There's one thing that you gotta do
    To make me still want you

    Gotta stop sobbing now
    Yeah, stop it, stop it
    Gotta stop sobbing now
    Stop it, stop it
    Gotta stop sobbing now
    Sobbin' sobbin' sobbing

    The lyric is just a straight forward plea to stop crying all the time, because it makes it hard to enjoy anything when the person your with is constantly crying about everything.

    To some degree this is probably one of the first tracks the band recorded that started them in another direction. It isn't tied to the idea of a growling rock and roll/R&B band, it has that mellow edge, and although it still fits with the times, it is a fairly lonely track on this debut album.

    It surprises me that it wasn't a single at the time, because to the best of my knowledge, love songs have always been very popular. I guess the, what seems to me to be, very different perspective of the lyrics may have been considered not commercial.... I don't know.

    Anyway I have always liked this track.
    It was also covered by another Swedish group in 1966, Ola And The Janglers.

    The Quiet One, BZync, Rob6899 and 6 others like this.
  25. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Sobbing - a stone cold classic and arguably the best track on the album.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2021
    BZync, Orino, palisantrancho and 8 others like this.

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