The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Excellent. Just finished watching. And the very, very end...nice.

    Well, I’ve watched so many pub scenes that I’m now finishing up a Black Butte porter!
     
  2. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    In trying to summarise the song and the history attached, it was a bit of a rush.
    I mainly referenced that era, because it was suddenly all over television, and also the explosion of tabloids due to the popularity of Diana...

    Certainly there have been many issues involving members of the royal families ... just like most families lol ... for centuries
     
  3. zipp

    zipp Forum Resident

    Diana has now been asimilated into the royal saga. Her death is seen as a tragic accident brought about while escaping those nasty people from the press.

    Prince Charles is in no way held responsible despite having a mistress at the time and thus causing his wife much mental distress.

    Again I must point out that for the monarchy this is nothing new.

    And, funnily enough, future 'Queen' Camilla is, in fact, a descendant of one of Edward VII's many mistresses, Alice Keppel.

    Alice did not stop Edward becoming king, just as Diana won't stop Charles becoming king one day.
     
  4. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Yea I know... I'd be more concerned about Andrew....
     
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  5. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Both these pieces are superbly written.
     
  6. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    King Kong

    Sorry i am now 10 pages behind following Tuesday's dreadfully upsetting news from London.

    First heard on my 1998 Arthur CD.
    Yes got to Marc Bolan vocal instantly but don't know when Marc sounded like then so surmised Ray may have part invented the style?
    A thrillingly crazed, silly (& serious) track!
    Lo-fi, overcrowded and claustrophobic i often wondered about a Stereo mix and having heard it's interesting recent creation I like it but prefer the nutso Mono original by about 10 feet long!

    Edit: Oh yeah definitely picked up on the early 70' glam and hard rock vibe as we enter a favourite Kinks period of mine where they really sound like a contemporary rock act in the recording studio!
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2021
  7. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Fey Ray had to stand on something!
     
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  8. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    In 1974 you probably got a better reception than Tony Greig!
     
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  9. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    You know If you tell kids that know they won't believe you!
     
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  10. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    That's a.... Goodie!
     
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  11. TeddyB

    TeddyB Senior Member

    Location:
    Hollywoodland
    @ajsmith thank you so much for this. I bought Arthur on the first day of release in the U.S. when I was a tween, and loved Victoria from the first placement of needle on vinyl. Until you pointed this out, I never noticed the obvious influence of Canned Heat (and by extension Henry Thomas) on the song.

    On the other hand, Victoria sounds nothing like T. Rex. It’s entirely possible that Marc invented that story, as he was wont to, concerning Ray’s use of vibrato. Ray rummaged through the closet of music hall influences like a bull in a china shop, so why isn’t it possible he hit on using vibrato. Or maybe he was influenced by Tiny Tim. Incidentally, I love T. Rex.

    Victoria is the Kinks’ greatest opening number on the greatest Kinks album. I may be in the minority, but I think every song on this record is wonderful, and yet it still adds up to more than its parts. It rocks harder than any Kinks record in years (hear Dave howling joy in the background on “Victoria”), but has beautiful melodies like “Young and Innocent Day”. It is recorded better than any previous Kinks album. I even like the extended jams, giving us a hint of what the Kinks might have sounded like if they’d been touring the U.S. Of course the great Nicky Hopkins is missed, but his absence opens an opportunity for another transition in the band’s sound, mainly with the guitar. Dave has always been a special guitarist, but it’s this and the next two albums he really comes into his own.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2021
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  12. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Ok but you don't know him so well plus it's rumoured he's emigrating so be back by 9 p.m!
     
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  13. CheshireCat

    CheshireCat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cheshire
    Arthur (or the decline and fall of the British Empire)
    This is sometimes my favourite Kinks album (other times its 'Face To Face', 'Lola vs...' or other albums through to and including 'Phobia). 'Arthur' feels like a proper album, and seems to be better recorded than previous albums. I like the social commentary aspect of The Kinks, and this is well in evidence on this album. Shangri-la is amongst the groups finest songs, Young And Innocent Days is beautiful too. The eloquent commentary of lives lost to war in Some Mothers Son cuts at the heart strings. She's Bought A Hat Like Princess Marina is fun, and a lightening of the mood.

    There is great work from Mick on drums, particularly noticeable on this album, the harmonies are top notch. Everyone is firing on full cylinders here. Typically for The Kinks, the first single release (Drivin') was probably the weakest choice they could have gone for. There again, other than the other two singles, I don't know which other I'd pull out for single promotion.

    My first copy was the 'Castle Communications' issue, which I probably got in about 1990, but have since added re-issue after reissue, up to and including the most-recent Super Deluxe Edition. I'm not sure what to make of the new recordings on there.

    Wasn't there a low-key radio play at the time of the Super Deluxe, or am I mixing up with the one-man-play of Lola vs Powerman?
     
  14. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Yeah there was, on BBC Radio 4. I didn’t like it much, though I was in a minority on that.
     
  15. TeddyB

    TeddyB Senior Member

    Location:
    Hollywoodland
    Oh, and the new mix of Victoria on the SDE is a nice alternate listen. Nice to hear Ray’s doubled lead vocal in the second verse. The two new mixes Ray did himself for the release are even more interesting, very rich sounding, especially a much altered Shangri-La, with big sounding acoustic intro, updated sound stage, some possibly repetitive or inessential vocals being removed leaving space for more instrumental sections
     
  16. Vagabone

    Vagabone Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Days aside, you could argue #33 was a smasheroonie for the Kinks too, by that stage, when you look at the recent form of Kinks and Dave Davies singles.

    Victoria

    This is a truly amazing song. It works on two levels- as a standalone single and as a great introduction to an extended musical narrative.

    As a single- this is their biggest and best rock single since "Till The End of the Day". Huge singalong (or yell-along) chorus, great riffs, infectious rhythm. It takes a style (is it called bluegrass? The Canned Heat style, anyway) and does it brilliantly, with fantastic and varied guitar work throughout. On the family Kinks hit singles comp this washed the taste of "Plastic Man" away and prepared the ground for "Lola". Taken in isolation, without knowledge of the album, as I suppose was (and still is) the case with most people who heard this song, it sounds like a jolly send-up of
    forelock-tugging revence for royalty,
    Victorian values generally
    imperial pride
    and the misplaced optimism that the British Empire would live forever.
    Though with a sense of affection for what is being satirised, as otherss have said.

    In the context of the album it takes on even more nuance and qualities. The different vocal style Ray affects in the verses- I originally assumed was all about picking a vocal style that he thought went with the musical genre. Only when you hear the album, and hear the same accent on the next song, mixed with other accents, that you realise Ray is playing different parts in a play. It's a remarkable voice really- a hybrid of American twang, because that's what the music insists upon, and laid back suave crooner style, because that's how the character would sound. It opens the album of a vision of the sub-titular British Empire at its absolute height. It's all downhill from here. But it establishes the mindset that leads to everything that happens through the generations on the album/TV show.

    Deservedly one of the Kinks' best known songs. Or if it isn't, it ought to be.
     
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  17. Vagabone

    Vagabone Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Just in case anyone skim-read my post and took this to mean the album goes downhill from here, that's not what I meant. Plenty of great stuff to come!
     
  18. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Wow so on US radio circa 1980 the Kinks barely existed pre 1970!
    No wonder I hear all these stories on the forum of US fans coming to the band via Arista albums and not even always coming to like the Pye 1966-'69 era which at first, from my vantage point really shocked me!
    Part of this seemed to me that their greater nuances and Englishness was deliberately negated for a foreign market which commercially worked but artistically I felt a compromise but that is a story for upthread.
     
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  19. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Anyone know if any of these recordings exist or circulate?
     
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  20. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Well for one thing any young and innocent days would be short lived following the introduction of Bo Derek!
     
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  21. FJFP

    FJFP Host for the 'Mixology' Mix Differences Podcast

    Just to echo everything said here already, Victoria is an incredible song, and fantastic opening track, and a song that is the epitome of an uptempo banger. Rock n Roll perfection.
     
  22. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    I just realised it's an Englishman not accustomed or aclimatised to the Australian summer sun & heat submerging himself underwater and still needing his brolley to further protect himself from sunny Rays!
     
  23. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Probably worth mentioning at this juncture while it’s still roughly era-appropriate that just before the recording of Arthur, Ray was summoned to the West Coast of America by The Turtles to produce what turned out to be their final original LP, ‘Turtle Soup’.

    This assignment came about because Flo and Eddie and co. had been deeply impressed by the VGPS album. It marked the first time Ray produced another artist, something he’d do more of in the 70s and beyond, esp after Konk opened. Full album here:
     
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  24. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Superb post!
     
  25. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    I’ve always thought the cover of Muswell Hillbillies was brilliant and would be iconic if the album was better known (it is iconic for me !). Everything about it is fabulous, really. The inside/outside effect ; the gatefold composition, with three of our guys (both Davies bros. included) relegated to the back cover ; how the band blends in but also stands out dramatically from the pub crowd ; how the framing gives the pub a distant air of saloon or diner ; how all of this creates both a sense of localism and a window to another world, much like the unassuming album’s center(and master)piece Oklahoma USA. Many posts have expressed regrets that most of the Kink’s art works don’t give the proper “color” to the music. But in this case, music and art are a perfect match, in perfect synch. The musical content sounds like the natural extension of its presentation, which is quite the rare thing in pop, and makes it the most satisfying package in the Kinks’ career in my opinion.
     

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