The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    Things Getting Better is ok but for some reason, not very exciting, despite the early Kinks being pretty good at this kind of Bo pastiches and call & response things.

    I've Got That Feeling may be pretty rough around the edges but yeah, it is pretty fantastic, a bit like something the Zombies could've done on an early single or on their first LP. I especially love the bouncy syncopated piano and the constant changes in the double lead vocal approach (harmonizing then singing along in unison or singing slightly different parts/lyrics). But the best part is the "oh ye-eh-eh-eh-eah" ascending melody, it kills me every time, it even surprises me every time it happens within the song. What a superb hook.
  2. FJFP

    FJFP Host for the 'Mixology' Mix Differences Podcast

    Well do I have a version for you!

  3. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    I really like I've Got That Feeling - if memory serves, there's a decent cover version on the rather excellent Kinked! compilation CD.
    FJFP and mark winstanley like this.
  4. Steve E.

    Steve E. Doc Wurly and Chief Lathe Troll

    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    Around 20 seconds in, "I've Got That Feeling" references the first line of Chuck Berry's "I'm Talking About You," which is also the instrumental template for the Beatles' "I Saw Her Standing There." The Beatles covered it a lot at the Star Club, and it shows up in their BBC recordings.

  5. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    ‘I’ve Got That Feeling’ was originally recorded earlier in 1964 (before The Kinks had broken through) by the girl group The Orchids. From what I recall I think it was the first Ray Davies original to be officially published. They take it at a quicker clip than the moodier Kinks version. If ‘Louie Louie’ is the equivalent to ‘Long Tall Sally’ on the respective first original Kinks and Beatles EPs, then I guess ‘I’ve Got That Feeling’ is the equivalent of ‘I Call Your Name’ in terms of being the ‘Here’s our version of an original song first covered by someone else’ track.

  6. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Both of these tracks sound more like 1964 Kinks and relics from the debut album than the more individualistic style that Ray would begin developing on the next album.

    The most interesting thing about "I've Got That Feeling" is that the piano takes the instrumental solo rather than the expected guitar. Other than that it's a pleasant enough but unremarkable effort.

    "Things Are Getting Better" doesn't do a lot for me, but it's short enough not to matter.
  7. The Turning Year

    The Turning Year Lowering average scores since 2021

    London, UK
    Thanks, that's better! :)
    (I was waiting with bated breath for it to be worse...! :laugh: Still sussing out irony levels on this thread ;))
  8. Steve E.

    Steve E. Doc Wurly and Chief Lathe Troll

    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    That Troggs version seems to reference the twist the Kinks put in the lyrics.

    I posted the Fabulous Wailers' "original cover" earlier in the thread. I don't mean to derail this into a Louie Louie thread, but I think this dovetails in a couple ways. The Wailers started Etiquette records -- a funny name given that their aim was seemingly to put out the nastiest garage music the Northwest had to offer. Their greatest signing was the Sonics. Right around the same time the Kinks were recording YRGM, July 1964, the Sonics were recording their first single, "The Witch." It's a nutso garage song on the edge of chaos. It came out around October 1964 and was a massive local hit.

    The Sonics were an opening act for the Kinks on some of their early North American dates. While one would never mistake one band for the other, I do think they were kindred spirits in a punky, primitive way, at least pre-"Face to Face". Some of the Sonics' songs display riffage that may owe the Kinks' early hits a minor debt. (The Satan-themed "He's Waiting" comes to mind.)

    Ray Davies booked a reunited Sonics into his Meltdown Festival in 2011, and introduced them from the stage. Around 2015, the Sonics covered the Kinks "The Hard Way." Retro Man Blog: The Sonics Live Ray Davies' Meltdown Festival Southbank Centre London June 18th

    Their 1966 "Louie Louie" is one of the most extreme of the era. I heartily recommend their first two albums, "Here Are the Sonics" and "Boom." Their slightly later Jerden album doesn't represent them well at all--a mysterious sudden decline.

  9. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    For anyone curious about hearing more Orchids, here’s their appearance in the film ‘Just For You’ singing the festive (and pretty good) song ‘Mr Scrooge’ around a brazier in glorious full colour:

  10. Purple Jim

    Purple Jim Senior Member

    I Don't Need You Anymore
    Quite a fun garage band feel to this one. Sounds like The Sonics meet The Beatles. Hell, The Kinks meet The Beatles!

    Everybody's Gonna Be Happy - demo
    First time I've heard this. Ray beginning to develop his unique nonchalent style. Nice.

    Don't Ever Let Me Go
    I really like this despite the rehashing of the YRGM riff.

    Louie Louie
    I didn't know this back in the 60s. When I discovered it in the late 70s (on a Pickwick comp.) I was disappointed that it didn't have the Kinks' oomph of You Really Got Me/All Day And All The Night/I Need You. It's OK, just a little too loose.

    I Gotta Go Now
    Quite a weird song. Not great but I like Ray's vocal. It has that Kinks/Ray dreaminess to it.

    I've Got That Feeling
    This one isn't bad. Still a Merseyside feel in there but Ray's emerging imprint is felt again.

    Things Are Getting Better
    A nice Kinksy/Bo Diddley drive to this one.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2021
  11. Steve E.

    Steve E. Doc Wurly and Chief Lathe Troll

    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    Recently, I discovered another album that contained these tracks, and I keep waiting for a copy to show up where I can snatch it without prohibitive postage. An album confusingly called "The Kinks In Germany" simply combines this EP, in order, with the Kwyet Kinks EP, out of order, and fills it out with two 1965 singles. Pretty cool! It functions as an additional non-redundant 1965 album, kinda.

    A1 A Well Respected Man
    A2 Such A Shame
    A3 Wait Till The Summer Comes Along
    A4 Don't You Fret
    A5 I Need You
    A6 Set Me Free Little Girl [sic]
    B1 Louie Louie
    B2 I Gotta Go Now
    B3 I've Got That Feeling
    B4 Things Are Getting Better
    B5 A Girl Like You [sic]
    B6 See My Friends
  12. FJFP

    FJFP Host for the 'Mixology' Mix Differences Podcast

    There's a number of great comps like this all across Europe - Sweden did a similar one for the Hollies in '65 too:
  13. Endicott

    Endicott Forum Resident

    I've Got That Feeling -- As far as I'm concerned, this EP is a single with three B-sides. This is the A side. Ray's best ballad to date, occupying a space somewhere between doo-wop and Merseybeat. His singing is heartfelt, without the (already apparent) trademark bemused detachment that often showed up in his other songs. Love the piano and the song's subtle buildup. I really like this one.

    Things Are Getting Better -- Not a bad Bo Diddley knockoff, but to me the interesting thing about this song is the lyric -- everything about his life sucks, but his girlfriend is coming back to him and that overrides it all. He's not rich and he's not free, but he's got his gal and she's got him. Unlike on "Powerman", though, he's not being sarcastic here.
  14. Fischman

    Fischman RockMonster, ClassicalMaster, and JazzMeister

    New Mexico
    I've Got That Feeling
    Standard boy girl stuff, but the clever rhythm guitar gives it a cool momentum. Great choice to do the piano bridge vice guitar in this one. This easily could have been a throwaway, but they made it a keeper. Kudos.

    Things Are Getting Better
    Unlike the previous tune, this comes across as a generic rehash of an already worn out style. Pass.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2021
  15. Martyj

    Martyj Who dares to wake me from my slumber? -- Mr. Flash

    Maryland, USA
    I’ve got that feeling

    I group this one in the mediocre mush that separates Ray’s great early songs from the blatant learn-songwriting-as-you-go exercises that he was forced to put himself through in the early days of the band. Coming after where the band had advanced with “You Really Got Me” and “All Day and All the Night,” this is a regression.

    The only promise I see in this number is the repeat in the melody when Ray sings “….I love her, I lover her....” To my ears I detect just a teensy, tiny hint of Indian music phrasing, which will be explored more fully in the months ahead.

    Things Getting Better

    I’m a bit surprised no one has brought up the obvious thing about this song, which jumped out at me first time I heard it: that this is essentially the instrumental “Revenge” from their first LP re-recorded with lyrics slapped on top of it. Of course, instrumentals were a Top 40 fixture during this period so it makes sense Pye had wanted to test one with the band. But why let a good riff go to waste, especially when Ray’s voice and boy-needs-girl lyrics were starting to get recognition?

    “Revenge” is a bit more stark and savage. “Things Getting Better” dials it back a bit likely out of necessity to accommodate a vocal track, and rearranges the band’s signature stop-and-go power chording with an uptempo, rhythmically-driven variation and the tradition of Bo Diddley. It’s the best of 4 cuts on the EP, but like the EP as a whole it is overshadowed by the hit singles that came before and after.
  16. Martyj

    Martyj Who dares to wake me from my slumber? -- Mr. Flash

    Maryland, USA
    Thanks for this info. I had never heard of the Sonics. I'll have to check them out.
    Steve E. and mark winstanley like this.
  17. FJFP

    FJFP Host for the 'Mixology' Mix Differences Podcast

    So, I gave this EP another spin this afternoon. I've always been a fan of the UK EP sleeves of artists in the 60s, and often pick them up whenever they're cheap. With that said, I love this sleeve a lot - the font usage on the cover and the photo work really well together, and I wouldn't want to be without it. It certainly works better than the layout of Kwyet IMO.

    However, the music was again a challenge. Louie Louie was as I remembered, but I Gotta Go Now was even more asleep than I recalled. The bridge is definitely a nice turnaround, but everyone truly sounds utterly disinterested in their craft here. Side 2 was still where it was at, but the production definitely sounded rougher than I remembered.
  18. Pawnmower

    Pawnmower Senior Member

    Dearborn, MI
    "I've Got That Feeling" - This may be Ray's most complex creation yet. I can't help but think how great this would sound with George Martin involved and with the sound quality of an EMI Studios or something. I like this one a lot. I just wish the sound quality and performance were better. The piano solo made me think of George Martin too. Best song on the EP.

    "Things Are Getting Better" - I don't like the term but this feels like filler to me. We just saw what Ray could do with the last two originals and then they toss off one of these. It doesn't take much thought or many lyrics to come up with something like this. A style that's overdone and gives you no need to revisit.
  19. idleracer

    idleracer Forum Resident

    :edthumbs: There may be questions about who played drums on whatever early Kinks tracks, but there's sure no ambiguity about who's pounding the skins on this. Those snare rolls followed by those tom rolls after each phrase are Bobby Graham's signature move. This was released in March of 1964, which makes me ponder what might've come out before it that it contains elements of. That major7 melisma on the word "Know" kept popping up in a lot of different tunes during the Mersey era. I believe the origin was the bridge of "Please Please Me" (the words "My Heart").

    :kilroy: Upbeat tunes in minor keys were still extremely rare at this point. "Tell Him" by The Exciters might have gotten the ball rolling.
  20. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    "I've Got That Feeling"- Perhaps my favorite song so far. This is on every early Kinks compilation I have ever made. I agree with the comparisons to The Beatles and The Zombies. I love everything about this song. This is now a band that can easily compete with the best bands of the day. Ray gets an A!

    "Things Are Getting Better"- Not in the same league as the previous song. Most have already summed up my feelings about it. It does sound as if it was just a quick and easy song that didn't take much thought or effort. I don't dislike it, but it's a step back from the last two original songs.
  21. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus

    "I've Got That Feeling": yes, it's got a standard beat feel to it, but it's also got something magical about it: it's got a great melody that seems embued with emotion and the simple, cliched lyrics manage to get that melody across perfectly: there's a melancholy to the tune that enriches and gives depth to the simple pop message of the words. The song just sounds so damn sad.

    At the same time the performance is spirited and rocking, and ramshackle: a Kinks hallmark, for better or for worse: this is a rock band, for sure. Someone mentioned George Martin. There's no doubt he would have cleaned up the ragged harmonies and smoothed everything out, toned down the clanging high-hat or cymbal or whatever it is, and there probably would have been more dimension in the sound through the judicial use of some reverb....but it wouldn't be the Kinks, (or the Kinks plus session drummer), who make an artform out of jagged raggedness.

    "Things Getting Better"
    Is kind of ragged -- I'll be using this word a lot on this thread, I think -- soulful rhythm and blues. Kind of just a rote blues song and the raggedness actually kind of bugs me. The terrible mastering in the YouTube clip above doesn't help things: this hurts my ears. In the end, kudos for them for righting a bad-ass r&b song, but its not really my thing. NOt quite a toss-off, but no classic for sure. Goes well on my 64 playlist and does have a certain rocky charm in it's brevity.
  22. bvb1123

    bvb1123 Rock and Roll Martian

    Cincinnati Ohio
    "I've Got That Feeling" Ray is growing as a songwriter but he's still not above using lyrical tropes like the line "Let me tell you bout a girl I know" which is in so many early rock n roll songs. It's not a bad song, just not particularly good either.

    "Things Getting Better" I enjoy this one much more than the other. It's got a rockin' more Kinksian type rhythm and the lyrics, while not very deep, aren't as trite as "I've Got That Feeling" Both songs are decent early Kinks' material but I give the edge to "Things Getting Better".
    mark winstanley and FJFP like this.
  23. idleracer

    idleracer Forum Resident

    :kilroy: All this track proves is that The Who obviously weren't the only group that was fond of Jan & Dean's "Bucket T."
    mark winstanley likes this.
  24. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    Maybe I'm misinterpreting the final "storyline" lyric of Things Are Getting Better: But I don't mind now that you've packed. To me, here's an example of a Davies twist...everything is going along a certain way, but by the end of the song, things have changed unexpectedly. is that lyric saying that she's packing up and leaving him and things are getting better? That was my takeaway and one of the reasons I like Things Are Getting Better over I've Got That Feeling. I feel like this is an indication of what is to come in terms of lyrics. And I like the energy and, as always, the harmonica.
    But overall, they're both just ok songs. I can't get too excited.
  25. Williamson

    Williamson Forum Resident

    The EP is The Kinks in 2nd gear really. A lot more interesting stuff to come.

Share This Page