The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I became musically obsessed lol particularly after my back packed in and I had to stop playing Aussie rules football.
    I never did too much theory though, definitely more of an ear player.
    At one stage I was trying to teach myself all sorts of instruments lol
  2. jethrotoe

    jethrotoe Forum Resident

    United States
    I like “Lavender Hill,” but I mostly included it on SE because a) “End of the Season” was recorded during F2F b) “End of the Season” makes a good closer and c) I didn’t know what else to put on SE other than “Act Nice and Gentle,” which I don’t think would work well on the album/screams b-side.
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  3. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    a clip from one of the articles that @DISKOJOE posted. Anyone know anything about it? Cutting room floor kind of thing?
    ajsmith, DISKOJOE, jethrotoe and 2 others like this.
  4. Fischman

    Fischman RockMonster, ClassicalMaster, and JazzMeister

    New Mexico
    Today in Kinks history:

    Something Else By The Kinks is released on this day in 1967. Described at the time by Melody maker as a 'gallery of brilliant musical portraits' and 'one of the albums of the year'.
  5. jethrotoe

    jethrotoe Forum Resident

    United States
    Hinman mentions this in his book and was pretty adamant it was never recorded but he doesn’t explain why it wasn’t recorded or why he thinks it wasn’t recorded.

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Salem, MA
    That sounds a lot like Ray, who wanted to be a (soccer) football player until he injured his back while playing & felt that he was going to be a hunchback like a gardener in his neighborhood. It's in X-Ray, which I do recommend to my fellow Avids who haven't read it, just for the fact that Ray himself wrote & isn't a "as told to"
    rock bio.

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Salem, MA
    Probably because Pete had a reputation for telling tall tales.
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  8. donstemple

    donstemple Member of the Club

    Maplewood, NJ
    “End of the Season” just *sounds* more like Something Else than Face to Face, to my ears. Even if it was recorded during FtF. It seems firmly planted on Something Else to me. That album has two closers and I think I am ok with that because they are both so good.

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Salem, MA
    You can see the actual review if you go down 18 places in the MM articles that I dug up.
  10. InStepWithTheStars

    InStepWithTheStars It's a miracle, let it alter you

    North Carolina
    Muswell Hillbillies – 2014 CD/DVD edition by Sony/Legacy, lovely-sounding

    Arthur – 1987 PRT/TELDEC 8.26677 ZR is basically perfect, or Castle Classics CLACD 162, which is basically the same as the PRT/TELDEC except the channels are swapped (but it's much cheaper)

    Face To Face – Victor Japan VICP-60997. It's not perfect, rather hard and nasally-sounding, but it's by far the best version of the superior mono mix. The PRT is the stereo mix (which is basically mono, but with random elements hard-panned, some reverb to give the illusion of depth, and a few missing overdubs) and that CD has awful EQ.

    If you want to go further... For the two 1965 albums and Village Green, the PRT and Castle Classics (CLACD) editions are all basically the same (and very good). If you want the (inferior) stereo mix of Kinks, don't buy PRT/TELDEC 8.26670 ZR as it's a shoddy transfer. There's no one good CD of Something Else, you'll need at least two CDs to piece together a coherent version of the album (PRT/TELDEC 8.26674 ZR is the best of a bad lot). Lola probably sounds best on the UK PRT, CDMP 8836, but it's missing the "Top Of The Pops" drumroll intro. Allegedly the 1998 remaster sounds very good despite its alarming DR database numbers (I have heard neither). Everybody's In Showbiz on Sony/Legacy is stunning, and for the rest you'd probably just want to grab the earliest available CDs.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2021
  11. fluxkit

    fluxkit Man-Machine

    It's the best Kinks' album for me. I think of it as the sweet spot between their earlier singles period and the more storytelling concept albums to come.
  12. mwheelerk

    mwheelerk If you don't mind it doesn't matter

    Gilbert Arizona
    Thank you very much. The Castle Classic is what I had my eye on put had little knowledge of them except decent readings for DR.
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  13. InStepWithTheStars

    InStepWithTheStars It's a miracle, let it alter you

    North Carolina
    For the most part, the Castle Classics CDs (CLACD 1##) are the same as the West German PRT/TELDEC releases, but all of them except the 1965 albums and Village Green have swapped stereo channels. Kinks is an exception, being based on the superior UK PRT CD, but again with swapped channels. Lola lacks the drum-roll intro of "Top Of The Pops" and the count-in to "The Contenders" on the Castle and the German PRT/TELDEC Lola. And both the TELDEC and Castle of Something Else use badly-edited remixes of "Tin Soldier Man" and "Situation Vacant". Sadly, there's nothing easy about Kinks Kompakt Disks! But if you want good-sounding CDs cheap, the Castle Classics discs from 1989 are a good choice (NOT the Castle Communications ones from 1998, the ones with bonus tracks – those are usually awful).
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  14. mwheelerk

    mwheelerk If you don't mind it doesn't matter

    Gilbert Arizona
    Sorry, I think I got myself confused a little bit. Which had the channels swapped, Castle or PRT/Teldec? Which are cheaper, Castle or PRT/Teldec. This is just me being tired after a long day.
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  15. InStepWithTheStars

    InStepWithTheStars It's a miracle, let it alter you

    North Carolina
    The PRT/TELDEC discs have the correct channel orientation, but are more expensive. The Castle Classics (CLACD) are much cheaper and much more common, but the channels are reversed on most albums.
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  16. jethrotoe

    jethrotoe Forum Resident

    United States
    All good points and I can’t say I disagree with you.

    I just don’t know what would make a good closer to F2F if “I’ll Remember” was removed.
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  17. jethrotoe

    jethrotoe Forum Resident

    United States
    Yeah, I was wondering if that’s what was going on here myself…that Pete just made it up.
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  18. idleracer

    idleracer Forum Resident

    :kilroy: Thank you for this. It inspired me to check out the parent website (HERE). This is going to make for some fascinating reading about 1960s music in general as it happened in real time.
  19. mwheelerk

    mwheelerk If you don't mind it doesn't matter

    Gilbert Arizona
    Thanks again and I'm kind of chuckling at myself as I don't really know these albums so what difference would it make to me which channels are which.
    mark winstanley likes this.
  20. idleracer

    idleracer Forum Resident

    :kilroy: From this point on, I'm not going to be commenting on every single song. Only a few key songs. The fact is, there are many from the 1970s onward that never made much of an impression on me, and I probably wouldn't have much to say about them. We are now beginning the phase where, following the trend popularized by Joni Mitchell and Elton John, the group begins including lyrics in the inner gatefold. This makes sense, as the songs are generally going to be crammed with a lot more lyrics than before.
  21. donstemple

    donstemple Member of the Club

    Maplewood, NJ
    Hmm, maybe have Fancy close it out.
  22. jethrotoe

    jethrotoe Forum Resident

    United States
    I was thinking that too. I like that idea.

    Also, a great song.
  23. jethrotoe

    jethrotoe Forum Resident

    United States
    Replace “Fancy” with the Ray-led “Mr. Reporter” and move “Fancy” to the end of the album maybe!
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  24. skisdlimit

    skisdlimit Forum Resident

    Bellevue, WA
    As a relative latecomer myself to their U.K. albums proper, having only purchased these just this year, here is my take on what has been discussed so far:

    Kinks (1964)
    I mentioned elsewhere that I almost didn't buy this one but for its being included in an eBay lot with the other early titles up to and including Face to Face on red vinyl (from 2014/15, I think). While "You Really Got Me" is the obvious stand out, and quite possibly the Kinks' most important song, the rest of this album proved to be a much stronger listen than I had expected, even if I cannot objectively rank it among their very best. Certainly, it's hardly any worse than debuts from the other big British Invasion bands as has been noted, and I particularly liked their Slim Harpo cover, "Got Love If You Want It" (which closed the album nicely).

    Kinda Kinks (1965)
    I was only really familiar with "Tired of Waiting" (and maybe "Come On Now") before I gave this one a full listen. I agree with previous comments that their second album definitely showed where they were going (for me especially it was that third track "Nothin' in the World Can Stop Me Worryin' About That Girl" plus the pensive "So Long" and another strong closer "Something Better Beginning"), which was a general improvement overall from the debut. Also probably not among their finest efforts, but a significant enough part of the history that I regard it as being essential, and am glad that this along with these other early U.K. titles are more readily available than in times past.

    The Kink Kontroversy (1965)
    Per another thread here, this could well be the Kinks' most underrated album, largely because it tends to get overshadowed by the truly great releases immediately following it, but I think more because of its name that it too often gets lumped in with the similarly titled first two, and ultimately dismissed as being one of the band's lesser early releases where I think it might be better regarded as their first "mature" effort sort of like the Beatles' Rubber Soul, to which I'd say this favorably compares. As with Kinda Kinks, the band clearly showed growth here, sometimes by leaps and bounds, which for me would mostly be songs such as "Ring the Bells," Dave's "I Am Free," and "The World Keeps Going Round"; that of course is hardly to dismiss the rest, as I also greatly enjoy the awesome rocker "Till The End Of The Day" plus their oft covered "Where Have All The Good Times Gone" and the very fun singalongs like "I'm On An Island" and "It's Too Late" (all of it, really). Here is the thread I alluded to:
    The Kinks Albums; Best, Worst, Overrated, Underrated

    Face To Face (1966)
    I could make a case for this being the Kinks album most "in tune" with its times; in other words, almost everything about it screams mid-60's swinging London to me, from its mildly psychedelic cover (that looks like a deranged John Cleese on there to me! :nyah:) to the bright-ish Carnaby Street sound of the songs themselves, including the "Dedicated Follower of Fashion" single from around this time. My favorites here are probably "Rainy Day in June" (still sounds a lot like Neil Young to me or at least how he would eventually sound), "Fancy" (I'd say this gives off a surreal vibe akin to what Bad Company did years later), "Dandy" (a cousin to the hit single mentioned above), and of course "Sunny Afternoon" (another great singalong). I think this album compares favorably to the Beatles' contemporaneous release from '66, Revolver, which I also enjoy and for which I believe Ray Davies wrote a fairly apt summary/critique for at its time of release.

    Live At Kelvin Hall (1967)
    Well, I don't have much to say about this one, except that I don't own it, and have no plans to do so in the foreseeable future. I do think that its energy is infectious, particularly the part where they actually play the "Batman" theme. :cool:

    Something Else (1967)
    I've been saying throughout this forum that the Beatles and Kinks were/are much more of an apples-to-apples type of band comparison than the more apples-to-oranges Beatles vs. Stones narrative ever was. A shame then, that John Lennon was apparently less than kind toward Ray Davies, but I have a feeling that had he lived, even Lennon would eventually have come around to publicly recognizing how great a band the Kinks truly were. Here though, it is a bit tricky to compare this set to Sgt. Pepper because it is so different from that album, and in retrospect pretty much everything else in '67, hence its title I suppose. So many strong tracks here, not a dud in the bunch really, such that I can well understand why many folks could pick this as being their best overall. Mighty tough to single out individual favorites when you have incredible songs like "Waterloo Sunset" and "David Watts" to choose from, so I'll simply share my experience in selecting which version I decided to purchase: I already had about half the album in mono on various comps, so the stereo won out for that cool organ bit in "Situation Vacant" and specifically, the original German Pye edition for the fuzz guitar part in "Afternoon Tea" which I believe turned up as a bonus on the deluxe edition.

    Village Green (1968)
    This was right about where I joined the discussion, so I'll keep my comments here brief. I think if I could only keep one Kinks non-comp album that this would be the one, preferably in mono. I guess we'll never know if this could have competed with either The White Album or Electric Ladyland had it been released as a double, but as The Great Lost Kinks Album and to an extent A Hole in the Sock of Dave Davies (or The Album That Never Was, or Hidden Treasures) shows, the material was certainly there.

    Arthur (1969)
    The posts upthread on this album have been absolutely top notch, so much so that I am seriously having to re-evaluate my thoughts not just on the music, but also my (very) basic knowledge of the history being presented. I intend to keep giving this one more time, and expect it along with all the rest will continue to grow on me.
  25. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    The Kinks In The Sixties – The Songs

    How to go about this…. Hmmm ….

    The Kinks were a much more ahead of the game band than most seem to realise. I didn’t realise how far ahead of the crowd the band were until we started doing this thread, and it certainly changes the perspective.
    As far as singles go, the band was extremely successful, and early on Ray was focused on writing great singles for the band. At some point, around the time of Face To Face he realized that albums were the wave of the future and he jumped on early and strongly, and all this really meant was the albums would have more variety of tracks, and the quality overall became a lot higher, because Ray was really getting the hang of this writing songs thing.

    When we look at the singles that Ray wrote in the sixties, it becomes apparent that Ray was one of the premier writers of the era. The band exploded onto the scene with their third single, which was something very new, and it did a lot to shape the future of Rock music.


    You Really Got Me isn’t my favourite Kinks song, but in some regards it is the song that kept the band important in the US market, when the ban reduced The Kinks ability to interact with the US audience. All Day And All Of The Night is a very different song, but cut from the same cloth, and although the band followed up with singles that had that sound and feel, Ray wasn’t satisfied with being a one trick pony, and he stepped outside of that to try his hand at other stuff.


    The fifth single Tired Of Waiting For You, shows that Ray was quite willing to try things a little different and it is another successful single.

    By the time we get to the eighth single, we have Ray introducing something very new to the commercial western market and See My Friends may not be the biggest single of all time, but surely it is one of the most influential. In one fell swoop Ray introduces the idea of World Music, and also preempts the Beatles move into Indian raga stylings, and I find it hard to believe that George didn’t hear this song. Lennon and McCartney would certainly have heard it, as it is part of a musician’s job to be aware of what the competition is doing.

    When we get to the tenth single, we have Ray trying the Dylanesque folk styling, and very successfully with Well Respected Man. To some degree this is where I see Dylan as being so important to the rock and roll music industry, because regardless of anything else he did, he really brought home the idea that lyrics that were something other than cars and girls were marketable, and we see the growth of the music industry greatly from that point on.


    The band’s Twelfth single moves things in slightly another direction again, and we get the introduction of the Music Hall elements that are the Kinks sixties signature to some degree. They attracted a lot of fans, but also turned many away, who don’t see it as rock music. Dedicated Follower of Fashion certainly brings the band into a new space, that seems ultimately their own

    Essentially from Well Respected Man (1965) up to probably Days (1968) the Kinks had an enviable run of singles, and they did extremely well in the singles market and charts. 1966 went on to have Sunny Afternoon, Dandy, and the poignant Dead End Street, and these weren’t just your regular run of the mill pop hits. As we have seen the complexities sneaking into the Kinks music are really very good, but they are also subtle, whereby it is almost hard to notice, unless you really look hard, and this is the mark of a great writer. Writing technical music is a skill, writing technical music that doesn’t instantly sound technical is a very special gift to be treasured.


    We see Dave come to the party with a hit single in Death Of A Clown, and as we saw suddenly there was a push to get Dave to write a solo album and be another vessel for single sales for the shortsighted Pye label. So we get a series of Dave singles as the band and Ray start focusing on albums. Ray obviously is still writing singles, but Dave is getting just as many released at this point.


    The band releases some great songs as singles, but essentially it seems like the market has started to move away from the band for some reason. The two albums released in 68 and 69 are critically acclaimed and as we have now heard, are among the best albums of the sixties, and as we also saw the songs themselves are great songs, but for some reason the band started to slide away from the singles sales that they had been so connected to earlier on. Obviously to some degree Ray shows he could still do it if he wanted to in 1970, but we’ll get to that soon.

    So this was the Kinks Golden Age according to most, and it is not hard to see why. The band were making wonderful albums, and releasing wonderful singles, and they were having great success with the singles and getting critical acclaim for the albums, but the band were always on the move to try something new. Arthur signaled that to anyone who was paying attention, and we see where that all goes in the coming weeks following my vacation (sorry it just seems so sweet to say that, it has seemed like a very long twelve months )

    So in light of not really knowing what else to say, I’m going to do something that is somewhat pointless, but always gives me pleasure. I’m going to put together my idea of a Kinks Greatest songs of the sixties, or anthology, or whatever. I don’t do playlists, I listen to albums, but for some reason I have always enjoyed putting together ideas for compilation albums… I guess it is an illness

    Disc one

    You Really got Me 2:13
    So Mystifying 2:58
    Stop Your Sobbing 2:06
    All Day and All Of The Night 2:23
    Tired Of Waiting For You 2:31
    Nothin In This World Can Stop Me Worrying About That Girl 2:44
    Everybody’s Gonna Be Happy 2:16
    See My Friends 2:46
    I Go To Sleep 2:42
    Well Respected Man 2:43
    Set Me Free 2:12
    Something Better Beginning 2:26
    Milk Cow Blues 3:44
    Till The End Of The Day 2:21
    I Am Free 2:32
    Where Have All The Good Times Gone 2:53
    The World Keeps Going Round 2:36
    Dedicated Follower Of Fashion 3:04
    I’m Not Like Everybody Else 3:30
    Dead End Street 3:24

    Disc two

    Sunny Afternoon 3:36
    Most Exclusive Residence For Sale 2:48
    Dandy 2:12
    Too Much On My Mind 2:28
    Rainy Day In June 3:10
    Fancy 2:30
    Big Black Smoke 2:35
    Rosie Won’t You Please Come Home 2:34
    Mr Pleasant 3:01
    Autumn Almanac 3:05
    David Watts 2:32
    Death Of A Clown 3:04
    Two Sisters 2:01
    Lazy Old Sun 2:48
    Suzannah’s Still Alive 2:22
    Wonderboy 2:49
    Lincoln County 3:12
    She’s Got Everything 3:11
    Kink Kong 3:26
    Days 2:56

    Disc three
    Village Green Preservation Society 2:45
    Picture Book 2:34
    Big Sky 2:49
    Animal Farm 2:57
    Mr Songbird 2:27
    Wicked Annabella 2:40
    Monica 2:13
    Village Green 2:08
    Johnny Thunder 2:28
    Starstruck 2:18
    Victoria 3:40
    Mindless Child Of Motherhood:16
    Creeping Jean 3:19
    Yes Sir No Sir 3:46
    Some Mothers Son 3:25
    Brainwashed 2:34
    Mr Churchill Says 4:42
    This Man He Weeps Tonight 2:42
    Shangri La 5:20
    Arthur 5:27

    I'm sure I probably missed out many songs that could have fitted in, and there is certainly room to fit more songs in, but they are probably my pick of the songs.... Bearing in mind that I could easily just put the whole of the albums from Face To Face through Arthur on here :)

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