The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. Ex-Fed

    Ex-Fed Not Fed Ex

    Location:
    New York State
    What always struck me about the song is the moment of release, "That's the way that I want it to stay...." Ray switches to sing the harmony line, while Dave in the background now sings the primary melody. What a lovely musical switch-off, echoing the gender fluidity of the narrative.
     
  2. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Dec 1, 2020. Hmm, interesting. Thank you for going to the trouble of copy/pasting. Much appreciated.
     
  3. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Location:
    Murrumbateman
    One of my favourites!
     
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  4. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    A Kute Kinks Kwirk!
     
  5. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Yes.
    And....the Artist
    And....their Sensibility
    And....their Creativity
    And....their Naievity
    And....their Sanity
    Less so....their Sexuality
     
  6. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    "Lola"

    I never realized how much of a theme runs through this album. Just when you think you are a Kinks expert, you all show up! I loved reading everyones insight into this song.

    It's a classic for many reasons already stated. It's also a song that I think has had sufficient praise and acclaim. Now the rest of the world needs to catch up on the hundreds of other Kinks classics. The Kinks were always ahead of the curve. What a perfect song to start the 70s with. Finally the world was ready to hear the Kinks! The lyrical content was probably lost on many people because it's such a catchy tune. I wonder how this song would be remembered if it was just another buried album track? Would we be trying to figure out why it wasn't a hit? Ray must have known those opening chords were radio gold. You are instantly hooked into the song. How perfect is that intro? The brothers are no longer strangers to the recording studio. Ray and Dave sound beautiful together and they are clearly invested in making this song a hit. They nailed it!
     
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  7. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    I've never seen heard this cover or seen that video before and the bit warning Luke that killing Darth Vader would leave him unemployed had me in hysterics!
     
  8. kw21925

    kw21925 Lieutenant-Corporal; Gazpacho Police

    :tiphat:
     
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  9. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    So two or is it three overdubs & then two transatlantic flights to get Ray's beverage right?
    Of course Ray would have to make the same urgent flight yet again late in 1970 to overdub one word, her it's enough to want to make you want to sit in a tree and eat bananas all day ....and half of the night!
     
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  10. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Good call, this songs got me resetting my 7" GPS!
     
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  11. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Had the Beeb been given an advance lyric sheet?
     
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  12. Scottsol

    Scottsol Forum Resident

    Location:
    Evanston, IL
    Yes, but thanks to J J Abrams it wasn’t true.
     
  13. mwheelerk

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

    Location:
    Gilbert Arizona
    I posted some questions about early Kinks album earlier in the thread. I have been streaming four of them and I have decided to add all four to my library. The first added was The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society.
     
  14. Purple Jim

    Purple Jim Senior Member

    Location:
    Bretagne
    Lola
    What to say about this classic? At the time it just jumped out of the radio/TV and grabbed you. Just everyone loved it right away. It felt like they'd been gone for years (since Waterloo Sunset) but boy, were they back. The long chanting fade out is rather like the closing of Hey Jude.
     
  15. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Top Of The Pops

    stereo mix (3:36), recorded Sep 1970 at Morgan Studios (1), Willesden, London

    I've just come in at Number 25
    I'm oh so happy, so glad to be alive
    And everybody says it's going to get to the top
    Life is so easy when your record's hot.

    Go tell my mamma and my sister too
    To press my trousers and polish my shoes
    I might even end up a rock-and-roll god
    It might turn into a steady job.

    And my agent said to me: "Son, I always told you so."
    Now my record's number 11 on the BBC
    But number seven on the N.M.E.
    Now the Melody Maker want to interview me
    And ask my view on politics and theories on religion.

    Now my record's up to number 3
    And a woman recognized me and started to scream
    This all seems like a crazy dream
    I've been invited to a dinner with a prominent queen
    And now I've got friends that I never knew I had before.

    It's strange how people want you when you record's high
    'Cos when it drops down they just pass you by
    Now my agent just called me and said it me:
    "Son your record's just got to Number One."

    Written by: Ray Davies
    Published by: Noma Music, Inc. – BMI


    So lets quickly have a look where we are.
    The band has formed, and they are unified and know that together they can do it, but apart they can’t.
    We have dealt with the business types on Denmark Street and suffered the pain of rejection waiting for our chance to shine.
    We’ve written a song, based on a real-life experience we had.

    The song opens with a drum roll and a Brian Matthew impersonator (?) announcing that we’re on Top Of The Pops.

    Here is a link for those wanting to check out more about the actual show Top of the Pops - Wikipedia . We have touched on it several times, but I am sure there may be some folks that don’t know that much about it. This was a real show and generally had bands miming to their latest singles, in a pre-MTV world. Much like Countdown in Australia.

    Lyrically we get a few linking clues here, and some shrewd breaking down of the flow chart for these things.
    We get the first verse announcing that things are looking good and the record is starting to move, and also the hangers on are saying it will go all the way.
    We move into the second verse and we have Ray asking his mum if she can get some of his clothes ready. Obviously for the foreseen appearances. We also get the daydreaming… this could be a steady job, I might end up a rock and roll god.
    We get a sort of bridge and we get mentions of the BBC, NME and Melody Maker, and how they have different chart positions and Melody Maker want an interview.
    The line My Agent said “I Always Told You So”, reminds me of Floyd’s Have a Cigar in its angle here.
    It’s really interesting that Ray says that they’ll ask him on his views of politics and Religion, and I can’t help feeling that Ray is taking the piss out of that whole scenario.

    The next verse is really very interesting. The record is at number three, and women are recognizing the singer and screaming.
    But here is the really interesting line “I've been invited to a dinner with a prominent queen” … now this could of course be QEII, but I feel pretty confident that Ray would refer to her as The Queen, even in this guise, not as a prominent queen.
    This of course gives us our tie in with Lola, and pretty much confirms what the guys said yesterday, this was the hit song. There doesn’t seem to be any logical reason why a prominent queen would be asking our guy out to dinner, unless Lola was the song we’re talking about here. That also perhaps removes any doubts about what Ray was inferring in Lola. To be honest, I don’t think I have ever considered Lola to be anything but a song about a heterosexual guy falling for a transvestite, but I can certainly understand why folks see some ambiguity.

    He has moved into the jet set, the hip crowd, whatever label we want to give it. He has friends he never knew he had before (which is phrased in such a way that it may not be a good thing)
    The final section gives us the pearl of wisdom how it’s funny how everyone loves you when your record is high, cause when it isn’t they just pass you by.
    Then we get the announcement that the record is number one.

    Then in a funny voice we get Ray saying “and you know what this means? This means you can earn some real money”, which obviously will lead us directly into the next track’s theme. There is no ambiguity there, but will it turn out the way our young hopeful expects? ….

    Musically this is a hoot, and it starts off with some big dumb rock chords, and that’s not an insult, I love big dumb rock chords
    Oddly enough it is a sort of inversion of Louie Louie that brings us into the song, and I don’t think that’s accidental.
    We get Ray giving us an almost ironic vocal, and for me it suits what he’s going for here perfectly.
    The chords pound along with just the guitar and a sort of drop beat with some nice fills on the drums.
    At the end of the first verse we get a nice linking riff, and the bass and keys kick in.
    There is an organ, but I can’t help feeling there is a harpsichord or something somewhat doubling the guitar, and it works really nicely to fatten out the sound without changing the feel.

    Then we get the change up, and it works beautifully, even though it is really short.
    We get this descending line and the this great staccato punch from everyone, and then we bash back into the verse.

    The last riff has Ray singing the “And ask my view on politics and theories on religion”, line over it. And then we get a held chord, and a guitar riff over the hats, with various people making statements, like they are crowding our guy, looking to get some of that fame juice for themselves.
    This section is held for a fair run and it is about building tension, while also thickening up and the organ squeals and then we break back into the verse.

    This is a really good rock song, and it has enough little bits and pieces to keep folks interested.
    We end with the organ and the Announcement from Ray.

    For me, this is a lesser track, but it is a good album track, and it feeds the narrative beautifully. It also manages to tie up some loose edges on its journey, and bring the narrative more into focus.

     
  16. Vagabone

    Vagabone Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Top of the Pops
    Agreeable riffy rocker. I really like the machine-gun guitar attacks at the end of each verse. This is almost like if they had never had a radical shift in direction since "You Really Got Me". Although it's nowhere near the same level of that song.

    Yes, I'm finally convinced of the "'Lola' is the fictional band's hit" theory.
     
  17. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    A pretty neat collage promo film was made for this song for the 1972 BBC special The Kinks At The Rainbow : and this was later re-used on a 1973 edition of the Top Of The Pops show itself. Fair warning: It's somewhat marred by the (understandable in the context of the time and what little the larger population knew back then) inclusion of images of serial TOTP presenter Jimmy Savile, now better known as one of the UK most prolific serial sex offenders and worse. :(

     
  18. John DeAngelis

    John DeAngelis Senior Member

    Location:
    New York, NY
    Apologies if this was already mentioned, but my research shows that the 45 of"Tired of Waiting" was released before "Ticket To Ride" was. However, "Set Me Free" was recorded about a week after "Ticket To Ride" was released and that one has a similar drum bit.
     
  19. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    "Top Of The Pops"

    This is the point where the proto-hard rock of "You Really Got Me" morphs into actual 70s hard rock. The opening verse (before the bass comes in) isn't that far away from something like "All Right Now", and that opening riff is hardly a million miles away from how Rainbow would open "Since You Been Gone".

    It's a great rocker though - Dave is in his element here, both in the hard riffing and the more layered riffs of the instrumental middle section. Ray is also in his element, satirising how the music biz treats you when you're the flavour of the month, and foreshadowing how you'll get treated when your 15 minutes is up. The rest of the band are also on fine rocking form as well.

    The bit which I thought may come across as a bit problematic these days is the ending - "you know what this means? This means you can earn some REAL money" - which Ray does as a stereotypical impersonation of a stereotypical Jewish agent/showbiz impresario. (Also, Ray expecting his mum and his sister to press his trousers and polish his shoes!!)
     
  20. Snoddywilko

    Snoddywilko Forum Resident

    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Lola is simply a great song, arrangement, performance, recording, & production.

    Also, it’s one of the first songs I ever sang live - as a teenager at a Chicago high-school battle of the bands in 1992 - & it went down a storm.

    Love it & never get tired of it, no matter how over-played it might be.

    Top-drawer Kinks…in fact, top-drawer song in the entire history of popular music.
     
  21. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    I'm pretty sure we’ll get a nice bit of kontroversy about that one today. Or will I be that guy ? It’s obviously a neat piece of early seventies rock, with nice power chords riff, the likes of which are always welcome in our thread’s kontext. To me though, it’s a little forced, far less explosive than most heavy rock done around that time by other big artists. This could never be said of the likes of You Really Got Me, All Day and All of the Night, I Need You, Till’ the End of the Day etc. all of which could easily stand proud alongside any Who/Deep/Black/Zep releases of 1970, as far as excitement and sheer power are concerned.

    Top of the Pops
    is the first song on the record (maybe the only one for me) that needs its narrative context to be 100% convincing, a bit like some Soap Opera/Schoolboys in Disgrace tracks that often get criticized as “novelty” for that very reason (sometimes unfairly). I like the “life is so easy when your record’s hot” line, in which I hear some kind of Hendrix tribute, and of course, I enjoy the tongue in cheek references to the Louie Louie riff and to Wilson Picket’s “Na Nanananaa” chant, reproduced on the guitar in the instrumental. It’s a cool song, and a pivotal one on the LP, but I can’t help but enjoy it a lot less than the song that precedes it (obviously) and the crazy little vaudeville nugget that comes just after. But that’s for Monday’s discussion, where I’ll be passionately on the praising side, a much more agreeable position !
     
  22. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scotland
    TOTPs is one of my favourite songs about the music business - it manages to be insightful and funny, while still rocking!
     
  23. LX200GPS

    LX200GPS Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    Subscribe to read | Financial Times

    In this piece about the song Dave says the band would have probably broken up if Lola flopped. Never really thought about that before.

    Nice picture. That has to be Ray's Bentley we discussed earlier in the thread?

    Also, it says news of the BBC ban came just days before the scheduled release. If that was correct then surely thousands of singles would already have left the pressing plant?

    I think what you say about a lyric sheet may well have some merit. Upon reading the lyrics the suits would have red-flagged it necessitating Ray flying back to drop in the edit before the single rolled off the production line.

    Is the box set missing the longer stereo Lola? It doesn't seem to be listed on superdeluxeedition.com. Is this correct?
     
  24. Purple Jim

    Purple Jim Senior Member

    Location:
    Bretagne
    Top Of The Pops
    A twist on the Louie Louie riff and a funny song. The central part with the repeating cycle really needed a guitar solo.
     
  25. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    I must admit I've recently grown quite fond of Ray's 2020 remix of this song as included on the Lola box (can't find it on Youtube: the 2020 remaster there is just the original mix) where he has the end of each verse line echoed and the press dialogue in the middle brought up so you can hear it more clearly and also discern that there were originally more voices that were mixed out of the 1970 version.

    According to Ray in his first autobiography, the 'shot of a lifetime' bit is a direct quote from a photographer while snapping the Kinks backstage at Top Of The Pops in January 1967 ( they were promoting 'Dead End Street') a promotional duty during which Ray remembers being suddenly distracted by the live broadcast on a nearby TV monitor of Donald Campbell's tragic death while attempting the water speed record:

     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2021

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