The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    But Mark in your formative years in Australia you were still subject to a lot of influences from Great Britain (not to mention your parents) that no doubt helped inform who you were!
     
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  2. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    I would imagine many patriots took fighting for their country when required as a given and possible death part of the contract albeit believing it also came with glory in the name of the Empire!
     
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  3. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    I remember the quote that Ray said to the Turtles: "All that I can offer you is failure"
    Turtle Soup is a great album & I highly recommend it to my fellow Avids.
     
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  4. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    And they hired him after he made that declaration?! (I’m unfamiliar with the album.)
     
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  5. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    This is why I'm interested in hearing from the Avids of the Aussie persuasion how Arthur resonates with them. Avid All Down the Line (by the way belated props on the Brian Jones avatar) has your family been in Australia for a while? Our Leader's situation is rather interesting to me going from the UK to Australia to the US.

    Yes, that's true. I think what I was trying to say was that the love that the protagonist of the song gave to the Empire was not reciprocated back equally.
     
  6. A well respected man

    A well respected man Some Mother's Son

    Location:
    Madrid, Spain
    The Musswell Hillbillies cover always reminded me of Morrison Hotel's inside gatefold photo, released one year earlier. It has the same idea you so well described of the band "blending in" but standing out at the same time.

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  7. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    Yes, they did. The Turtles were big fans of the Kinks from the beginning & they especially liked the VGPS album.
     
  8. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    I’m assuming Ray said what he did with a big smile on his face, then.
     
  9. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Yes plus at their age they must have hoped to have not been conscripted!
     
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  10. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    No, they volunteered to continue the fight against the Nazis w/the RAF
     
  11. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    The Kinks 1969 US tour, and the 65 debacle.

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    1965

    As we all know The Kinks received a terribly disappointing ban from touring the US in 1965. It is one of those blessing/curse situations, because there is a strong possibility the band would have gone in a completely different direction had Ray been writing with a US audience in mind. Obviously they may well have still done the same material, but it does seem unlikely, because Ray stated that in light of the band it gave him cause to reflect and explore British themes.

    As for the ban.... well it's a bit of a joke really.
    The initial tour was a bit of a fiasco. It appears that the band didn't really get much in the way of promotion by Betty Kaye, and the early shows had really poor ticket sales, which led to the band not getting paid.
    In retaliation for this nonsense the band played a shortened set in Reno, and in Sacramento, to a near empty crowd, the band tortured the crowd with and extended You Really Got me, that lasted most of the show.
    Things deteriorated when the band decided they would cancel their San Francisco show if they weren't paid in advance, and at this point Kaye fired back at the band by filing a formal complaint with the American Federation of Musicians. The Union had the power to withhold work permits for British Musicians if they misbehaved on stage or refused to perform without good reason .... and this is what happened essentially.

    There would be one final low point on the tour which occurred backstage before their appearance on The Dick Cavett Show on August 2nd. Ray Davies would recall the incident vividly in his autobiography: “Some guy who said he worked for the TV company walked up and accused us of being late. Then he started making anti-British comments. Things like ‘Just because the Beatles did it, every mop-topped, spotty-faced limey juvenile thinks he can come over here and make a career for himself. You’re just a bunch of Commie wimps’.”
    Davies continued: “When the Russians take over Britain, don’t expect us to come over and save you this time. The Kinks, huh? Well, once I file my report on you guys, you’ll never work in the U.S.A. again. You’re gonna find out just how powerful America is, you limey bastard!’ The rest is a blur. However, I do recall being pushed and swinging a punch and being punched back.”

    The Kinks found themselves on the receiving end of a four-year ban from touring in the States sanctioned by the American Federation of Musicians. The banning severely hampered the band’s career across the pond as once they were allowed to tour again tastes had drastically changed.
    Ray Davies vented in 2014: “That ridiculous ban took away the best years of the Kinks’ career when the original band was performing at its peak.” By the time the group was allowed to return in 1969, “the Woodstock generation had arrived and the Kinks were almost forgotten.”

    “The reason we got banned was a mixture of bad agency, bad management, bad luck, and bad behaviour,” Davies explained at a book signing last year. “So we deserved everything we got. But it got lifted four years later. We literally signed a confession -- it was a confessional. We didn’t even read it.”

    -------------------------------------------------------------
    So a four year ban stopped the guys from performing in the US, and in many ways it severely impacted their ability to make money and sell records in the biggest market in the world.
    Of course the upside of this, is it led to Ray deciding to explore British and to some extent European music, and his writing blossomed into the masterclass that we have been looking at.
    It is hard to imagine the Kinks without Waterloo Sunset, The Village Green and the Music Hall and Folk flavours the coloured their 65-69 material.

    The massive effect on the band's material, so far as sales go in the US, is quite profound. One needs to remember that back in the days before music videos and the internet, touring was the way to get folks to remember you exist, and also to make an impression that would lead to folks wanting to go out and buy your music. Even as a teen in the eighties, if I went and saw a band that impressed me, I would generally go out and buy their music, or in most cases, more of their music..... I wasn't really a music video kind of kid. I obviously saw them, but it wasn't where my heart was at. Also in Australia we didn't have MTV (and looking back now at what MTV was like, I can say "Thank God") We did have some music shows in the TV, and aside from Australia's longstanding ABC show Countdown, there were mainly shows that showed concerts and such, and I loved those and watched them avidly.

    So the Kinks charting graph in the US for the albums looks like this.

    64 - Kinks - 29
    65 - Kinda Kinks - 60
    65 - Kontroversy - 95
    66 - Face To Face - 135
    67 - Something Else By - 153
    68 The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society - ___
    69 - Arthur (or the decline and fall of the British Empire - 105

    So we see the debut charting very well, and the steady decline of numbers as the bands albums got better and better. It reaches the point where Village Green failed to even chart, which in itself is rather remarkable, and I suppose it didn't set the world on fire anywhere, but even in the UK where for some bizarre reason the Kinks numbers were falling it charted at 47.
    We see that the Kinks prime period of album releases in the sixties is a very disappointing return for some of the best music recorded in the sixties.

    The compilation The Kinks Greatest Hits did pretty well though, charting at number 9 in 1966, and going gold, but this more than likely signalled to the US public that it was all over for the band, and the Greatest Hits was some kind of end for the band.

    The charting graph for the singles looks something like this

    1964
    You Really Got Me - 7
    All Day And All Of The Night - 7

    1965
    Tired Of Waiting For You - 6
    Set Me Free - 23
    Who'll Be The Next In Line - 34
    A Well Respected Man - 13
    Till The End Of The Day - 50

    1966
    Dedicated Follower Of Fashion - 36
    Sunny Afternoon - 14
    Dead End Street - 73

    1967
    Mister Pleasant - 80

    Then we get a big blank, until, surprise surprise, Victoria, essentially released on I believe the first day of the US tour in October 1969

    1969
    Victoria - 62

    The fading charting of the albums and singles really reflected the band's inability to tour, and in light of the band's inability to tour, the radio dropped off more and more, so even radio exposure virtually disappeared, and so far the the US was concerned The Kinks disappeared into the long dark winter of the soul.
    There were people who were seen as Kinks Kultists, that stayed in touch as much as they could. Apparently they could find scraps of information in Crawdaddy, and the hardcore fans imported albums and such to hear, just in case they weren't released at all.
    No tours, no radio play, no TV appearances, and virtually no promotion.

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    1969

    Ray Davies travelled to Los Angeles in April 1969 to help negotiate an end to the American Federation of Musicians' ban on the group, opening up an opportunity for them to return to touring in the US. The group's management quickly made plans for a North American tour, to help restore their standing in the US pop music scene. The tour was generally unsuccessful, as the group struggled to find cooperative promoters and interested audiences; many of the scheduled concert dates were cancelled. The band did, however, manage to play a few major venues such as the Fillmore East and Whisky a Go Go.

    I early 1969, apparently there were rumours on radio stations that The Kinks had disbanded, and it seems to be linked to the news that Pete Quaife had left the band, so things had gone from dire to all over in the minds of many.......

    Again you have to remember that this is well before the internet and easy access to information, even if often the internet info is incorrect or a bit dodgy, at least it gives you some idea that something is going on, and US fans were left high and dry, apparently many thinking the band had come to and end.

    But ... in late 1969 a tour was confirmed, and Paul Williams wrote a review of the Village Green album, and The Kinks US record label Reprise came up with an elaborate promotion scheme to try and get the band's name back in the mouths of the US music world.
    This came in a 12"x12" box sent out to radio stations and reviewers nationwide, and in an unprecedented move, Reprise also offered the package to the general public for the cost of just two bucks postage.
    The box contained
    - A Union Jack mini flag
    - A God Save The Kinks Postcard
    - A bag of green grass from the Daviesland Village Green (apparently some thought this may have had other uses ... :) )
    but mainly it contained and eighteen track sampler record called

    Then Now And Inbetween


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    Early Chunky Medley 3:21
    A1a Louie Louie
    A1b You Really Got Me
    A1c I Need You
    A1d Till The End Of The Day-
    A2 A Well Respected Man 2:38
    A3 Dedicated Follower Of Fashion 2:59
    A4 Dandy 2:08
    A5 Sunny Afternoon 3:33

    B1 David Watts 1:52
    B2 End Of The Season 2:05
    B3 Sitting By The Riverside 1:31
    B4 Death Of A Clown 2:25
    B5 The Village Green Preservation Society 2:45
    B6 Last Of The Steam-Powered Trains 1:22
    B7 Big Sky 2:12
    B8 Berkeley Mews 2:34
    B9 Days 2:50
    B10 Waterloo Sunset 3:15


    Apparently Reprise got a little carried away with the unusual promotion for the band with a series of bizarre publicity maneuvers. They leaked fake news stories about tax evasion, loitering, impersonating police officers and apparently lots of other tasteless made up allegations, until Ray finally said "Enough!"

    The Kinks arrived in the US for a seven week tour in October 1969, playing theatres, colleges and clubs, in an attempt to resuscitate their US profile and career. They wanted to do a two week warm up in Canada, but that was scrapped, and they also wanted to get together a horn section for the Arthur material, but that didn't happen either.
    From a touring perspective it didn't help the band that they hadn't really been doing much in the way of touring in the UK and Europe either.

    The guys played at Bill Graham's Fillmore East on the weekend of the 16 and 17 of October

    Ray Davies
    "We played with Spirit and the Bonzo Dog Band at the Fillmore East. The Bonzo's were about to break up, it was one of their last gigs. I saw a punc up backstage bewteen Legs Larry Smith and Viv Stanshall. There was a real anger there, but it was comical"

    Mick Avory
    "We were almost as perplexed with the Bonzo's as the audience were. There road manager was a bloke called Fred Viking, and while we stood in the wings, Fred was tearing around opening boxes and taking robots out and all sorts of theatrical props"

    Dave Davies
    " It was exciting going back to America, but in some ways I was disappointed, because when we first went in '65, the kids were screaming and got excited.
    Now in 69it was the Vietnam era and you were playing to audience smoking dope and sitting down. They just wanted to get out of it, they didn't want to be reminded of anything.
    So it was a strange time to go back, bit the audiences were loyal, if they were fans of yours they stuck with you.

    There was somewhat of a crisis two weeks into the tour. While in Chicago, and playing with The Who, after the show Dave severely cut his hand by smashing a Holiday Inn exit sign. At this point in time the tour only had weekend shows, and Dave was out of action, so the Davies boys went home for a handful of days.
    The morale of the band was really low and there was talk of cutting their losses, and they even considered ending the band.

    The tour continued in Detroit on November 7 and 8 at the Grande Ballroom. They played in support of Joe Cocker and the Grease Band, Grand Funk Railroad and The James Gang.
    The mood was still pretty grim due to the combination of mismatched billings, apathetic audiences, and the long stretches between weekend shows..... and then there was Dave and his misadventures ....

    The band stuck it out and got to the West Coast and played a four gig stint at The Whisky A Go Go, November 20-23.
    Pete Senoff reviewed the show in Music Now - "So many fans showed up on opening night that there wasn't any room. The only major surprise of the evening was that Dave Davies did the majority of the singing. Ray seemed content to play rhythm guitar and contribute occasional verses."

    Ray Davies
    " We had to do two sets a night at the Whisky and I had to give my voice a rest. We were in that period of extended solos, so the band would jam on that instrumental part of Mr Churchill Says.
    Elvis was rumoured to be coming to one of the shows. He was in a booth with a pretty woman and a couple of his guys. We didn't meet him, but we were told Elvis was in the building."

    As the tour started to near its end, the band really started to fire on all cylinders. They played the Fillmore West with Taj Mahal and Sha Na Na. they also played a club gig in Toronto.

    The final gig of the tour was at a place called Ugano's Club in New York City. Danny Goldberg reviewed the show enthusiastically in Record World
    "At the beginning (the Fillmore East) the band had been friendly and good, but unspectacular as it adjusted to the country. Then reports spread of great concerts......
    The Kinks are simply one of the best, most distinctive rock groups in the world......
    The Evening (at Ugano's) was an event. The Kinks, as never before, are exciting and relevant rock artists. Bravo!"

    So it seems so often like the Kinks self sabotage to some degree.... and I do understand that.... but when they get passed the self conscious mentality, and they apply themselves they are a great live band, and the road to rebuilding their career in the US was essentially at the start of its journey.

    Typically with The Kinks, and particularly Ray's following of his own muse or whatever we want to call it, the band would get themselves back on the boards and into the hearts and minds of the US, and then wander away into the somewhat Broadway/Showtune/Concept albums, but then again return to the rock that the US knows them for .... and seems to somewhat demand.
    So the guys renewed the lost connection of the US, and that was going to work for a couple of years .... but we're getting to all of that soon enough.

    ---------------------------------------

    For the record, I got most of this information from various websites, and the Arthur book in the box set... Sorry there is no links or references for it all.... it took me a couple of hours to knock it all into hopefully coherent shape

    Cheers
    Mark


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    Last edited: Aug 29, 2021
  12. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Yea, definitely. Apparently I was in fights just about everyday of Primary School ... so I have been told, and I believe a lot of it was over the wrestling with identity over being English or Australian lol
     
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  13. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Just brilliant and it also brings one closer to Dave!
     
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  14. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    Very good summary, Dear Leader. However, the TV show where the dust off w/Ray occurred wasn't The Dick Cavett Show but Where the Action Is, a Dick Clark production, on July 2, 1965, according to Doug Hinman's All Day and All of the Night.

    Also there were also other circumstances in that '65 US Tour. Co-manager Larry Page accompanied them to the States, but left them before the tour ended in order to represent Sonny & Cher in the UK, which was the basis of one of the many lawsuits the Kinks were embroiled in the late 1960s. The Kinks themselves really didn't act too well, especially Ray, who just married Rasa & missed her.
     
  15. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Location:
    Murrumbateman
    Excellent research work Mark. I didn't know about that Reprise compilation album but I like what they did with it. It's amazing what you can fit on a single LP - well, on Side B at least - when most of the songs are short. That 1969 tour sounds like an ordeal but there must have been enough positives for them to return again in 1970. I have bootlegs from the Fillmores East and West locked up in a packing box - I need to dig them out to remind myself what the band was like on that tour.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2021
  16. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Location:
    Murrumbateman
    Polish and Czech fighter pilots played a crucial role in the Battle of Britain. Their own countries had fallen to the Nazis and they were desperate to fight back - and they did so with distinction.
     
  17. malco49

    malco49 Forum Resident

    arthur makes more sense in context of the entire kinks discography or at least the part that is considered their "peak"which for me goes from "face to face" to "muswell hillbillies". maybe even up to "showbiz" ( if it was released as a solo studio lp) , but i am getting ahead of the thread!
     
  18. joejo

    joejo Well-Known Member

    Location:
    toronto
    This is exactly and precisely not just you.
     
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  19. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    It is completely bizarre to me too.
    Nutshelled
    My folks moved to Australia in 1974, when they felt that work and all that kind of stuff was problematic in England.
    At the time we lived in a place called Skelmersdale, in Lancashire. I don't really have childhood memories ... I don't know why. Most of what I recall are things people have told me, rather than memories.
    Apparently we got out just in time. From what I have been told Skelmersdale became somewhat of a slum ... I don't know if that's true, that is just what I was told.

    Being the Pommie kid in seventies Australia resulted in confrontations with kids and adults lol. There was a lot of backlash over several things, and when we got there the most recent would have been Gough Whitlam, the Prime Minister being removed by the Queen due to a supply block... I believe in the US it would be a filibuster, but don't quote me on that.

    I love Australia and certainly became very Australian. I played Australian Rules Football for about ten years and won all sorts of trophies. My back packed up when I was about 16/17, and my last year was awful, I couldn't run properly. I eventually fixed it myself and played a couple of years of amateurs when I was thirty.
    I started playing guitar and writing songs when I was about fourteen, which was very handy when my football career prospects ended lol
    I started playing in bands when I was about 17. I had started working in the bank when I was 15, and developed a very strong drinking habit. Hospitalised in a coma (apparently) when I was about 18.

    The move to the US was the last thing on my mind, and it still seems somewhat surreal.
    In about 2007, my wife of about eighteen years just took off for no apparent reason, and it crushed me. I really didn't expect it, and I barely hung on to be honest. I'm much more internally fragile than my gruff exterior lets on lol
    In another one of life's odd twists, in the early 2000's I discovered Christ (yea I know, about as popular as poop in a swimming pool around here, but that's how it goes) I had never been in a church or anything even remotely similar, and we aren't allowed to talk about it around here, but it was a pretty profound experience in itself.
    I was never going to go to church, but I ended up going, and ended up being the music leader. This led to playing music at youth camps, which was a blast.
    After my wife left, as I say, I was pretty messed up. I managed to make it to the 2008 youth camp, though I really wrestled with the idea, I had been pretty much locked away smoking copious amounts of weed for a year, and only doing things I felt I needed to.
    A pastor from Birmingham Alabama that I had become friends with saw the state I was in and asked if I would like to head over to America and hang out at his place. I had money in the bank from selling the house, and I jumped on a plane about two weeks later.
    It was a hoot.
    He actually lived in Phoenix Arizona, and I went and played music at his church after travelling for about forty hours on the plane (two eleven hour flights and a nine hour stop over in Tokyo, and I think about 4 hours from Seattle to Phoenix), after being awake the whole day before it took off (I learned I don't sleep on planes lol). The next day we went to Ohio and I played some music there. I think I got about five hours sleep in about 6 days lol.
    When I got home I was stone broke, and I got a job and sold my nice car I bought when the wife took off. This gave me enough money to go back to the US in 2009, and I toured the country doing youth camps. In Flagstaff Arizona, Erie Pennsylvania, Wise Virginia and Haysi Virginia, and Birmingham in Alabama. It was also a hoot, and also a month with virtually no sleep lol.... (We actually drove from Phoenix to Birmingham, and it was really cool to me to see all the town signposts made famous in songs along what was essentially route 66, or I40 these days I guess.)

    Anyway, when I got back home, a lady who I had mutual friends with, started chatting with me on the internet. She came over to Australia in early 2010, and we decided to get engaged. She was going to come to Australia, but her mum was diagnosed with cancer, so we started making arrangements for me to move to the USA .... immigrating is a terribly annoying process. It took about a year, lots of paperwork, my first flight/visit to Sydney (to answer three questions that I had answered on paper for every department of the US government that exists I think) and somewhere in July 2011 I arrived in Little Rock Arkansas....

    That's a really expurgated version of how I happened to live in these three great countries. Sorry if its boring.

    Sorry for interrupting the Kinks folks, I just got asked a couple of times, and it is a weird story

    Back to the issue at hand :righton:
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2021
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  20. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Does this federation still have the clout it did back then (assuming it’s still in existence)? This was pretty petty stuff. (I waited at least 90 minutes for Rick Danko and Paul Butterfield to show up at a concert and they didn’t get banned.)

    :D

    Very funny comment.

    Thanks, Mark. And you just whipped this all together on your off-day!
     
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  21. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    It seemed relevant, and I was just hanging out, and I'm loving this thread :)
     
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  22. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    You’ve broken precedent twice now. (Not the Thread Federation...but I’m keeping track! :D )
     
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  23. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    LOL, look, I am just a very bad man :)
     
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  24. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Oh yes, it is definitely what "You" can do for your country!
    My father arrived in Australia in 1950 and was of Romanian decent, my mother was born here in 1931 and her parents had emigrated from Liverpool in 1920.
    Interestingly her father put up his age to fight in WWI for England & put down his age in WWII to fight for his adopted Australia.
    He returned home with 5 medals and passed away in 1970.
     
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  25. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    That's an honourable man right there.
    As much as we all hate the idea of war, it is an unfortunate necessity in the world we live in, no matter how folks try to spin it.
     
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