The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. ajsmith

    ajsmith Senior Member

    I can definitely hear BBS performed as a Travelling Wilburys song, (good spot btw!) I just can’t imagine Ray being comfortable working in that kind of democratic, laid back, egos left in the lobby way at all.. it’s just not him at all imo.
  2. donstemple

    donstemple Member of the Club

    Maplewood, NJ
    Definitely not in this reality and our current universe!
  3. LX200GPS

    LX200GPS Forum Resident

    Somewhere Else
    The Black Album

    I saw this album only once in a record store in 1971. Picked it up and looked at the track listing before quickly placing it back in the rack. Why didn't it sell well? I'm not sure but as a potential buyer, and someone who was just starting out collecting Kinks stuff, I can tell you why I didn't bother parting with hard earned cash for this record. You see, I already had the Golden Hour compilation and the Lola Hallmark album so there wasn't enough 'new' stuff on this record to tempt me. I was already a canny shopper at such a young age. For those people who owned a few of the Marble Arch records then the same reasons for not buying it must surely apply - most of this material had already been regurgitated.

    I never saw the album after that and rarely hear about it now apart from it seems to be a favourite among the sound freaks who attest to the high quality mastering. When Kronikles came around I didn't hesitate to buy for the simple reason it offered me something new. But we will get on to that. I do like the cover of the Black Album.
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  4. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    Ray is definitely not built to be in a band like the Traveling Willburys. He's a control freak...or at least that's what I've gathered from reading lots about him. But that's cool. The world is made up of all kinds and Ray is his own man.
  5. LX200GPS

    LX200GPS Forum Resident

    Somewhere Else
    I was trying to work out when I would have seen The Long Distance Piano Player. Impossible for me to have seen it when first broadcast in 1970 because I was living in Ireland then and BBC television wasn't available to those living on the east coast unless you had an extra aerial on the roof and we didn't have one. Apparently, it was repeated in April 1972, according to this site, in an edited form. Anyway, I liked it but that may only have been because Ray was the star.

    Play for Today: The Long Distance Piano Player
  6. Sear

    Sear Dad rocker

    Tarragona (Spain)
    Wonderful series Blackadder! I'm a Rowan Atkinson fan. British sitcoms were the best! The Young Ones, Fawlty towers..
  7. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    Count me in on Rowan/Blackadder. It's one of the things that my future husband and I bonded on. brilliant.
    FJFP, Sear, All Down The Line and 4 others like this.

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Salem, MA
    I recently found the complete set for $1.00 while thrifting. There were lots of scratches, but it was playable & I enjoyed it.

    One of my fave rave Britcoms is Black Books w/Dylan Moran. It's set in a used book store, which you never have here in the States. It's like a bizarro version of Seinfeld. Another one is The Good Neighbors/The Good Line, which I remembered from the 70s & now have on DVD.
  9. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    Never heard of this. Will have to check it out.
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  10. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    If you like Black Books, check out the IT Crowd by the same writer- it’s extremely funny! OK , back to the Kinks.
    side3, Steve62, FJFP and 2 others like this.
  11. Invisible Man

    Invisible Man Forum Resident

    Lemon Grove
    Really enjoying the thread. I laughed, I cried, I rolled my eyes. :righton: Lots of interesting information to be gleaned about the well as silent films and other topics.

    Been lurking in this thread since I stumbled across it sometime in April. It moves so fast and I've been so busy I was always several weeks behind until now. Just created an account so I could comment. Tempted to go back to the 1960s catalogue and make some remarks but don't want to drag it back so I'll be looking forward to the 1970s Kinks. There are several records I haven't heard from the upcoming phase so it should be entertaining. All I have from the 1970s is Preservation (both acts) and then Sleepwalker, Misfits, and Low Budget. I used to have Lola but it has disappeared on me. Maybe your discussion and a re-listen via YouTube will inspire me to buy another copy (on vinyl--I only buy vinyl).

    Anyway, probably won't say much since I don't know much about the 1970s Kinks except what I read in Johnny Rogan's Ray Davies biography, but I'll be lurking! Keep up the great insights and conversation!
    Steve62, Smiler, Paul Mazz and 8 others like this.
  12. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Could Ray be Shirty Wilbury?
  13. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Replace the r with a t and that’s how the other Wilbury’s would have ended up referring to him…
  14. jethrotoe

    jethrotoe Forum Resident

    United States
    I don't think so because the song is about Dave's girlfriend who had become pregnant when they were teenagers. I think the "good thing" she lost to him was her love for him or her personality/sense of fun. He sees her as this zombified mother now who won't let him see his child.
  15. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    You my good sir are clearly the Invisible Man!
  16. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Hi folks,

    I figure everyone is ready to head on into the The Lola album, so onward and upward.

    Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One
    Studio album by
    the Kinks
    27 November 1970
    Recorded April–May and August–September 1970
    Studio Morgan Studios, Willesden, London
    Genre Rock
    Length 40:25
    Label Pye (UK), Reprise (US)
    Producer Ray Davies

    Produced by: Ray Davies
    Release date: 27 Nov, 1970
    Record label & catalog #: Pye NSPL 18359
    Country: UK
    Format: 12" vinyl LP (album), 33 1/3 RPM
    Release type: Regular release

    Side 1
    1. The Contenders stereo mix (2:42), recorded 18 Aug 1970 at Morgan Studios (1), Willesden, London
    2. Strangers stereo mix (3:16), recorded 25 Aug 1970 at Morgan Studios (1), Willesden, London
    3. Denmark Street stereo mix (1:59), recorded 22 Sep 1970 at Morgan Studios (1), Willesden, London
    4. Get Back In Line stereo mix (3:01), recorded 11 Sep 1970 at Morgan Studios (1), Willesden, London
    5. Lola stereo "Coca Cola" mix (3:58), recorded 9, 10 May 1970 at Morgan Studios (1), Willesden, London
    6. Top Of The Pops stereo mix (3:36), recorded Sep 1970 at Morgan Studios (1), Willesden, London
    7. The Moneygoround stereo mix (1:42), recorded 28 Aug 1970 at Morgan Studios (1), Willesden, London

    Side 2
    1. This Time Tomorrow stereo mix (3:20), recorded 19 Aug 1970 at Morgan Studios (1), Willesden, London
    2. A Long Way From Home stereo mix (2:25), recorded 11 Sep 1970 at Morgan Studios (1), Willesden, London
    3. Rats stereo mix (2:38), recorded 20 Aug 1970 at Morgan Studios (1), Willesden, London
    4. Apeman stereo mix (3:51), recorded 27 Oct 1970 at Morgan Studios (1), Willesden, London
    5. Powerman stereo mix (4:15), recorded 6, 7 May 1970 at Morgan Studios (1), Willesden, London
    6. Got To Be Free stereo mix (2:57), recorded 26 Aug 1970 at Morgan Studios (1), Willesden, London

    This is a really interesting album. I actually had never really considered it a concept album, and thought the guys were just playing around with the song titles from the album to make a title that sounded like a concept album. I also never understood where part 2 went.

    Having had a little downtime this week I had a closer look at the lyrics, because I had honestly never really looked at them before, and sure enough we have a theme and concept here, and it interestingly seems somewhat autobiographical. To some degree it seems like Ray was actually writing about the problems he had been having with and in the music industry.

    During the sixties Ray had been caught in publishing drama, and tied up in legal issues over it all. When we tie this into the sixties touring ban, the constant struggle with Pye over the way the band's albums and singles came together, and various other issues, we start to see where the idea for the Lola album comes from, and now I have seen it, it seems odd I never really noticed it before..... but we'll get into the songs and lyrics as we go along, and it will probably make more sense at the end than the beginning.

    As was typical in the sixties, The Kinks had originally signed to a contract that was heavily weighted in favour of the record company, their management were essentially a couple of young guys with no experience in the industry, and with Ray and Dave being teenagers, their parents had to countersign their contract.
    Although the band had sold a ton of product, they essentially hadn't really been earning a great deal of it, because of the way contracts and such were set up.

    Grenville Collins and Robert Wace were the management team, and when they realised they were a little out of their depth in knowledge of the music industry, they allied with Denmark Productions run by former fifties pop singer Larry Page ... this company was on Denmark Street.....
    This dynamic caused tensions anyway, and when the 65 US tour went down the way it did, Larry Page disconnected himself from it all. Ray signed a new publishing contract with Freddie Bienstock and Belinda Music, but the offshoot was that Ray and the band were tied up in litigation issues from 65.... From a management perspective Page was sorted out in the court of appeal in 68, but the publishing issues weren't sorted out until October of 1970, in an out of court settlement... when you balance off all this stuff with the album, it all starts to make sense where this came from and where it is all going.

    So Lola Versus Powerman And The Moneygoround is the Kinks first album of the seventies, and if you want to think about how odd the Kinks career really is, in light of what we have just looked at, it was considered a comeback album!
    The band had gone for a second, post ban, tour of the US, and had been struck with some similar problems to the first, with cancelled shows and health issues, and in between the 69 and 70 tours Ray had written many of the songs for this album.

    The band had gotten together in April/May of 1970 at Morgan Studios to start recording, and we actually see only two of the songs on the album came from that time period. The bulk of the tracks were recorded in August and September, and Apeman came together in October. so it was a fairly drawn out process.
    As an interesting side note Morgan Studios was part-owned by Barry Morgan, who at the time was the drummer for Blue Mink.
    The guys liked the studio and the engineer, and although the sessions were long, a lot of that was getting used to the new studio. Ray also noted that the studio had a booming bottom end sound, and they worked with that also.

    Another interesting thing around this time was that Ray bought himself a couple of new guitars, a Martin Acoustic and a National resonator guitar ... For those unfamiliar a National resonator guitar is a metal bodied guitar often incorrectly called Dobro guitar, which is essentially just a brand of resonator guitar.
    Unlike a regular acoustic guitar which uses a sound hole to amplify the strings a resonator had the set up pictured above, and the flying saucer looking bit is like a metal speaker cone type thing, which resonates and amplifies the sound.
    Unless folks are big blues fans, most are probably mainly familiar with the resonator from Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler, who seemed to reintroduce the general public to the guitar via the song Romeo and Juliet, and of course it is pictured on the cover of the Brothers In Arms album.
    Ray said
    "I remember going into a music store on Shaftesbury Avenue in London when we were about to make 'Lola'. I said, 'I want to get a really good guitar sound on this record. I want a Martin.' And in the corner they had this old 1938 dobro [resonator guitar, in this case a National Steel] that I bought for £150. I put them together on 'Lola' which is what makes that clangy sound: the combination of the Martin and the dobro with heavy compression."

    Anyway I suppose that's all sideline info, but it's interesting to me. This one hits home a little as while I was in the process of getting my finances together to come to the US, I had to sell off all my fancy guitars, a nice Gretsch Chet Atkins, Ibanez Prestige, Telecaster deluxe and a bunch of others, but the special guitar was an early thirties National Duolian, and I had long conversations with my dad about it, because it was his that he had given me. He had swapped it for a Hofner when he was younger... anyway, that's just how things go I guess...

    This album is really very good, and we see the continuing transition of the band. We get some more Americana influence and the band in general return to a more rootsy rock sound.
    the guys had explored all sorts of music during the sixties, and will continue to do so, but at this point in their career, there is a feel of returning to their roots, and taking that in a different direction.

    Also I must add that John Gosling joined the band as the keyboard player in May 1970. He was initially hired for the upcoming US tour, but it ended up becoming a permanent position.

    Also very interestingly, Christmas 1969, Ray was in the Clissold Arms, Fortis Green, draining a Guinness with his dad. Ray had been talking about how the band seemed to be starting from scratch, and contemplating the workload required to do what they needed to and his dad piped up "If you're going to tour so much you need one thing, a world hit, son. Write another world hit.".... it's funny, because that seems like just straight up logic, but when we consider how good Ray's writing was, and we have just witnessed all that, it seems like writing a hit was easier said than done. Yet as we know now, with the benefit of hindsight, Ray was up to the task, and although we will talk about the song later, it can't be avoided that Lola is a large part of the reason that this album is known so well these days. "Write a hit son", and he did!

    Lola was released as a single on June 12 1970 and it charted well all over the world.
    UK - 2
    US - 9
    Germany - 2
    Australia - 4
    Canada - 2
    Ireland - 1
    Netherlands - 1
    New Zealand - 1
    and so after a fairly dry period, the Kinks were back in business, and there was no lingering doubt about whether the band were Contenders or not. Anyway, we'll get into the song when it comes around on our journey, but it is an important part of how this album got into the spotlight, while the previous two masterpieces were virtually ignored.

    A lot of what made the album what it was, was the fact that Ray and Dave felt like the business was taking over, and Ray was disillusioned about all the management, publishing and other issues, that really had nothing to do with the music, but are an unfortunate part of the business. Moneygoround and Powerman were among the earliest songs written for the album, and really highlight where Ray was going with this album, and the album could well have disappeared in a manner similar to the previous two, if not for that fateful conversation with his dad. Thankfully for some of us who missed out on the sixties, Lola put The Kinks back on the map, and the journey continued.

    For me the album was a latecomer to my collection, and I bought it with the other earlier albums in the early 2000's. It was actually a very accessible album for me, and I liked it right away. The general rock feel, and direct nature of the album was instantly appealing, but this will be the first time I have really dug any deeper than just listening to the album in a somewhat disconnected way. So I am really intrigued as to where this one will sit when we have been through it.
    I know I like it and it is a very good album, but a deep dive here is going to give me a better focus on it, and I look forward to reading everyone's thought about it.

    So please give us your thoughts and feelings about Lola Versus Powerman And The Moneygoround. You know the deal.

    Tomorrow morning we will look at the first track, as long as everyone remembered that I said I would probably post this today :)
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2021
  17. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

  18. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    For the huge fan, we have this little number here :)
  19. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

  20. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

  21. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Sorry, a bit rusty this morning. Not much sleep over the last week, and big long drive yesterday, but I know you guys will beat that into shape for me.
    I didn't want to hold us up any longer :righton:
  22. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Too many mint juleps!
  23. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    As with all three of the Kinks Super Deluxe sets so far, Lola is really nicely put together and presented, and I am hoping we soon get some news on Muswell Hillbillies
  24. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Long Island Tea :)
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  25. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Lola album overview: Finally, an album cover that I like. I think this one is a perfect fit for 1970.

    Of course, I’ve been familiar with the massively successful Lola single but, yes, yet again I find myself confessing to not having listened to this album until the early part of this year (just a few months prior to the startup of this thread).
    And, as usual, I am baffled by my ignorance as this album would have been something I eagerly embraced in a real-time 1970. My older brother had left home by then...but I don’t think he would have gravitated to The Kinks, or maybe, more realistically, have been aware of them. The next time I saw him he was into John Mayall, Allman Brothers and the early Steve Miller Band. So, no, I doubt I would have inherited anything from that source.

    Anyway, this is another Kinks album that has the potential for causing chaos to my finely tuned top 100 albums list and my quest to leave the 70s behind. It’s that good.

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