The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. LX200GPS

    LX200GPS Forum Resident

    Young And Innocent Days

    Like the earlier Drivin' this track could happily live on any Kinks album but unlike the single there's nothing upbeat or jaunty about this song. The singer seems to be recalling those happier times ("They were great, so great") when life was long and problems didn't exist.

    I don't know if many here would be familiar with the poem, later a song, "Down By The Salley Gardens" by Yeats, but I see similarities here. "She bid me take life easy as the grass grows on the weir. But I being young and foolish and now am full of tears".

    One of the Kinks greatest.

    Last edited: Sep 8, 2021
  2. FJFP

    FJFP Host for the 'Mixology' Mix Differences Podcast

    Maybe something just hasn’t clicked with me with this track, but I’ve never been too sold on this track. I understand what is lovely about it, and I appreciate the harmony greatly, but to me it feels so much longer than it’s relatively short running time exists for, and I certainly never mentally come back to it. The comparatively throwaway Nothing To Say tomorrow appears in my head far more often.

    I plan on spinning this LP again tomorrow, so I might have suddenly changed my tune (and honestly, I hope so!).
  3. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    Young and Innocent Days
    This is a lovely song. The music is so damned pretty. And just love when the boys are singing together.
    But this is the first song on the album that I can't gush about. It's good, but it's a second tier Kinks song for me.
  4. seanw

    seanw Forum Resident

    Nice change of pace, sitting in between the more uptempo She's Bought a Hat... and Nothing to Say. Very delicate song.
  5. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    First time hearing this. I don't know much about Zappa, but may have to check him out in the near future. But I think "Marina" is a better song easily though.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2021
  6. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    I’m with you.
  7. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Zappa is certainly an acquired taste.
    I love Zappa, but I think his seventies albums are my favourites.
    One Size Fits All is probably a good one to dip the toe in the water with.
  8. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    Thanks for the tip.
    I know Ray & Dave really liked Zappa (or at least some of it...60s stuff perhaps).
  9. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    We're only on it for the money is probably the most accessible 60's Zappa album.
    Wondergirl and Adam9 like this.
  10. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Yes me too so it is very easy to fall well behind and frustrating no end.
    @mark winstanley can anything be done?
    croquetlawns and mark winstanley like this.
  11. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Get on any music forum thread, search The Kinks, and it comes up about seven threads down.
    Not sure what else
  12. jethrotoe

    jethrotoe Forum Resident

    United States
    I did not know this! Interesting!
    mark winstanley likes this.

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Salem, MA
    I know that at least Dave said so in his autobiography Kink.
  14. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    I don’t hear Zappa in anything we’ve discussed to date. I’m not a Zappa fan so I suppose it’s possible that I’m in denial! Or completely ignorant. :D
  15. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Before I left Aus, I had just about all Zappa's albums from when he was alive.
    There are some subtle things i hear that could well be Zappa influenced, but certainly nothing that makes me think "that's directly from Zappa"
    But I loved the guy, and I never did anything particularly Zappaesque
  16. StevenTounsand

    StevenTounsand Waxidermy Refugee

    Austin, TX
    I’ve been hearing Zappa motifs in some of Preservation Act I recently…
  17. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    Not really, but Zappa had so many different styles. They probably share a love of doo-wop, rock n roll, and classical music. Here is a little baroque sounding piece by Zappa from 1969 with a harpsichord. This is from Burnt Weeny Sandwich and is one of his easier albums. I say it's one of his best. I'm a fan, but not of all of his music. I do love most of the 60s records but they are an acquired taste.

  18. jethrotoe

    jethrotoe Forum Resident

    United States
    I don’t either! One of the reasons I was surprised to learn this. I do hear some of the Byrds and Lovin’ Spoonful though.

    I guess “Jack the Idiot Dunce” could be a bit Zappa-ish.
    mark winstanley, Zeki and DISKOJOE like this.
  19. jethrotoe

    jethrotoe Forum Resident

    United States
    Haven’t heard that one before. Sounds a bit like “Helga.”
  20. StevenTounsand

    StevenTounsand Waxidermy Refugee

    Austin, TX

    Definitely hear some Zappa in this^^^
  21. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    There is also the connection that Ray Davies produced The Turtles, and Flo and Eddie went on to sing with Zappa for a short while.
  22. markelis

    markelis Forum Resident

    Miami Beach FL
    Princess Marina: My initial reaction to this was “enough with the music hall stuff already Ray!”, but ya know, he won me over like always. Great build up into the more rocking middle section, complete with a rip snortin’ Dave solo that is completely out of place and yet, of course, completely fits just perfectly, and then the full on drum solo that just melts your face. If all music hall sounds like this, sign me up! (I know it doesn’t, but if it did!)

    Young and Innocent Days: Just a beautiful ballad that really highlights the way Ray and Dave’s voices mesh together. What is it about brothers and the way they play together? Chris and Rich Robinson of the Crowes have that same telepathic gift of mutual hatred and undeniable synchronicity. They can’t stand each other and yet can’t play with anyone else to the same effect. Gorgeous long slow acoustic guitar work towards the end and lovely interwoven vocals throughout. I like this one a lot too. In fact, I like side 2 better than side one. I know that puts me in the minority, but I never mind being the outlier.
  23. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Well you know Chuck Berry wouldn't step on a stage until paid in advance!
  24. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Nothing To Say.

    stereo mix (3:07), recorded May-Jun 1969 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London

    Remember walking with you by my side
    You were my Papa and I was your pride
    Now I've got children and I'm going grey
    No time for talking I got nothin' to say

    Those Sunday dinners that we had at home
    Now I've got a house and I've got friends of my own
    We can't do tomorrow what we did yesterday
    It's best that we're going our separate ways, OK

    How is your rheumatism (nothing to say)
    How are your chillblains (nothing to say)
    How's Aunty Mabel (nothing to say)
    So far Papa, I got nothin' to say, OK

    Those happy days we spent together
    We thought our world would never change
    How the days go by
    And things will never be the same

    You keep pretending that everything's fine
    So you make small talk to help pass the time
    But all the words that you spit from your face
    Add up to nothin' you got nothin' to say

    How are those noisy neighbors next door
    I'll have to go soon 'cos I'm getting bored
    I gotta be home early to see a good play
    So far Papa, I got nothin' to say

    How is your life insurance (nothing to say)
    How is your trade union (nothing to say)
    How is your Independence (nothing to say)
    So for Papa, I got nothin' to say

    Written by: Ray Davies

    Published by: Hill & Range Songs BMI

    With this track we move back to Ray writing a musical contradiction to his lyrics…. Perhaps.

    This would appear to be Derek and Arthur, so far as I can tell. Ronnie is Arthur’s deceased son Eddie’s child, so as contentious as Ronnie apparently is, it seems like this is Derek.
    Essentially it seems like Derek is tired of Arthur’s ways. Derek has his own life now and is about to jump on a boat to Australia, and all this seems a little unnecessary really.

    How much would it have hurt for Derek to keep his mouth shut, smile, tell everyone he loves them, get on the boat and slip away with some dignity. It seems though, that Derek feels the need to tell Arthur that he is tired of him. Yes, they once were very close, and life was fine, but now Derek appears to have lost all respect for Arthur, based on the lyrics here.

    I guess there is a stage most of us go through where we internally question our parents’ lives. I know there was a time in my life where I didn’t understand my dad, and how he was tied into this system and didn’t live his own life in a way that seemed free, to me, but the thing is, he was responsible for my mum, my sister and me, so he worked and worked, and in his spare time he read, listened to music and played guitar. By the time I got into my mid to late twenties I had the utmost respect for my dad, because I could see the reality behind the life lived, and although it is neat to be a rebel in your teens and early twenties, by the time you are married, or building a family, that sort of selfish stuff is destructive to the lives of those you love.

    The first two verses reflect on the past in the first half, and counterpoint them with the present in the second half.
    I remember walking with you, and I was your pride.
    Now I’ve got children and I’m getting older, I just don’t have anything to say to you.
    It almost seems like Derek is blaming Arthur for where Derek’s life is at.
    I remember Sunday dinners, but I have my own life, it’s best we go our separate ways.

    Derek asks about a few of Arthur’s ailments and Aunt Mabel, and again restates that he just has nothing to say to Arthur.
    Look, it can be tough sometimes with some older people, they’re lonely, and many list their problems in order to get some attention via sympathy, and I am not sure if that is what Arthur did, but Derek’s cutting comments seem to suggest it may be. It’s very easy when you’re younger to be oblivious to other people’s problems, but reality will strike you down at some point, and you will likely find yourself in the same position following the cycle.

    We hit the bridge and Derek looks back at those happy days, recalling how he thought they would never change, and now states that things will never be the same.

    The next verse shows somewhat where Derek’s logic is going wrong for me.
    You keep pretending everything is fine, making small talk to fill in time….
    But everything you say adds up to nothing. He is calling his father an empty person….

    Things get even worse from that point …
    How are those noisy neighbors next door
    I'll have to go soon 'cos I'm getting bored
    I gotta be home early to see a good play
    So far Papa, I got nothin' to say
    This, from my perspective at least, is probably one of the most self-involved and heartless lines in a song I can easily remember. I’d probably punch the boy in the face to be honest.

    Then we get the lines about Life Insurance, The Trade Union and Independence … and the independence seems to be sarcastically linked to Arthur’s choice of life.
    Perhaps Arthur should have thrown this little ingrate into the streets when he was 5, and left him to pick himself up by the britches.

    The only thing that I don’t understand about these lyrics, unless I missed something big here, and wandered down the garden path, is if Derek is about to get on the boat, why is he talking of going home and watching a play.
    Is it just a way of sharpening the insult?
    Did the lads have a few too many at the pub?
    Is Derek struggling with saying goodbye and just burning down the whole town in order to make it feel easier?

    Lyrically this is a very strange song, from my perspective. Surprisingly there are times I have nothing to say, and they are normally with the people I am the most comfortable with. I have generally found that with the people I am most comfortable with, I don’t feel the need to fill up the gaps with words. It’s like there is an understanding that words aren’t necessary at this point. That isn’t what appears to be going on here….

    We know that Eddie, Arthur’s brother died at the Somme, but we don’t know if Arthur was in the war, I don’t think.
    We know Arthur’s son Eddie died in Korea.
    We know Arthur somewhat switched off and lived a life that was dedicated to doing his job and paying his bills, looking after Derek, and Rose…. And perhaps even Ronnie. It’s all a bit vague from that perspective.
    What this does say to me though, is it seems like it was Derek that sang Brainwashed at Arthur. This would seem like the final conflict. Derek resents Arthur’s life and wants him to know it.

    This is a really difficult song to like lyrically, because I just want to punch Derek in the face for talking to his dad like that…

    This is one of the few songs on the album that seems to be totally about the characters in the story, rather than an historic look at England. Unless there was a break down of the family unit in England that I am not aware of. So to some degree lyrically it is a side step from what generally comes across as the main story to me.

    But musically, this is a lot of fun…. Ah yes, those Ray contrasts….

    We open with a bouncy piano, and again we have Dave throwing in some lead licks and adding some nice texture. When the second verse starts we get a nice "ahhhh" backing vocal.
    When we get to the "How is your rheumatism?" section we get the backing vocalists singing the "Nothing To Say" section, and that works really well.

    The rhythm guitar is a really nice dense distorted guitar. We have a nice horn arrangement in the background.

    I also like the linking riff, which has the grunty guitar and horns working together.

    The bridge has a somewhat melancholy sound to it. We have the backing vocals move into an "ooooo" and it again suits perfectly. With a cool little guitar lick and a modulation through the chords we get back into the verse section.

    We break down into this really good section with Dave playing some nice lead, the horns rolling a sweet little riff, the backing vocals running with some "la la la's"
    This takes us into the "How's Your Life Insurance?" section and the backing vocals. The song works its way into a series of layers and then ends on a held chord.

    So this song is really interesting from many angles. I love the music. It is probably a little more simplistic than most of the songs on the album, but I really like it. As straight forward as the chords are, the arrangement is excellent. I think we get some Rasa in the backing vocals choir, and that adds a familiar and enjoyable texture.
    We get a horn arrangement that I really like.
    We get Dave doing some cool lead licks.

    The only part of this track that I don't love, is the lyrics. To some degree they seem to take us out of the story a little, and they are a pretty savage attack on Arthur at a point where it seems redundant to even go there. I guess we needed a way to come out of the main body of the story, but I'm not sure whether this was the right angle or not.
    To some degree I suppose we have had compassionate Ray on the last few tunes, and perhaps he needed to reassert the acerbic side of his writing.

    Again this is one where I am probably going to be looking forward to reading what everyone thinks the lyrics are directly relating to. Did I miss something in the story up to this point? Again it may come down to me having viewed this album more as a concept album about England, more than a play about Arthur's family, in England.

    I love the song, I feel it is just the type of musical feel needed at this point of the album, but the lyrics annoy me a little..... and maybe that was the point.

    Anyway, Avids, Kinky warriors, explorers of the mind, give us the low down of what Derek's angle is here

  25. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

Share This Page