The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    ^^ IMHO, this is the definitive version of this song. I got hooked on this when it was released at the end of 2020. Totally obsessed with it. I listened to the album version and then to this just now, and there's no question that the boys nailed it on the latest version. Much clearer and more rockin'. Not muddled.

    This is my kind of heavy music. It's just drivin' here! but not slashin' like Rats, for instance.

    One of the top songs on the album without question.

    And not surprised that Ray leans on his partner to keep him going. I think he's heavily leaned on a relationship to keep him steady...no matter how difficult he can be. A good partner can help defeat Powerman. Hurrah.
     
  2. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    The various descriptions of this show have captivated me. It is a major part of Kinks lore and I'm sure we'll never know the full story. There's some that say that Ray was "mickey finn'ed" before the show. Who knows? It surely is a possibility. But I believe that the band went on to play the following gig in Rhode Island or Southern Mass. perhaps (sorry, not doing the research right now) and had a similar shambolic evening. So this may be part of the Kinks being a big mess.
    oy.
     
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  3. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Location:
    Murrumbateman
    It will be challenging to have a discussion of the Percy movie because the Steve Hoffman Forum censors words like *****, which comes up in the movie all the time. The word, that is. I guess we could just type in the **** ourselves when we mean that word that must not be seen.
     
  4. Scottsol

    Scottsol Forum Resident

    Location:
    Evanston, IL
    The problem with this mix is that it is only available with 21st Century mastering and the outrageous degree of dynamic compression/limiting that it normally entails.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2021
  5. Scottsol

    Scottsol Forum Resident

    Location:
    Evanston, IL
    I don’t see what you’re worrying about old cock. As I was saying to Willy, Dick and the little general the other day “If you’re going to putz around all day laying wood with the wrong tool you’re likely to prick your finger and have the members develop grave doubts about your manhood.”
     
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  6. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Me too and i've never owned Percy or memorised the song list!
     
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  7. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Location:
    Murrumbateman
    As they say these days, you win the internet today :laughup:
     
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  8. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Also difficult because the film was taken off YouTube recently :(
     
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  9. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    All good pointers in your rigid argument as we can hardly say the film's about a John Thomas transplant and using the real term might just get us slugged despite being one eyed cats.
    I wonder what Johnson & Johnson would have to say about this rollback?
     
  10. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Location:
    Murrumbateman
    For some reason I feel transported back in time to my classroom in grade eight when we were looking through the dictionary. :eek:
     
  11. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    This post does at least show that the band Cock Robin can be discussed on this forum without asterisks, which is more than I can say for some other forums.
     
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  12. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Got To Be Free.

    stereo mix (2:57), recorded 26 Aug 1970 at Morgan Studios (1), Willesden, London

    Hush little baby don't you cry
    Soon the sun is going to shine
    We're going to be free like the birds and the bees
    Running wild across the big country

    Got to be free to do what I want
    Walk if I want, talk if I want
    Got to be free to say what I want
    Make what I want and play what I want
    As free as the birds up in the sky
    As free as the bugs and the spiders and flies
    I don't know how but I'm gonna try
    I've just got to be free

    And it won't be long 'cos we are right
    And they are wrong
    We've got to get out of this world somehow
    We've got to be free, we've got to be free now

    Got to be free to laugh when I want
    Think what I want and cry if I like
    Got to be free to do what I want
    Say what I want and swear if I like
    As free as the sun and the moon in the sky
    As free as a flea or a proud butterfly
    I don't know how but I'm gonna try
    I've just got to be free

    Yeah, we've got to get out of this world somehow
    We've got to be free, we've got to be free now

    Got to be free to do what I want
    Walk if I want and talk if I want
    Got to be free to say what I want
    Make what I want and play what I want
    I've got to be proud and stand up straight
    And let people see I ain't nobody's slave
    I've got to be free before it's too late
    I've just got to be free
    Got to be free to do what I want
    Walk if I want, talk if I want

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

    So we come to the album closer, and it sounds like a preview of the Muswell Hillbillies album in some ways.

    This is a more uptempo version of the opening of Contenders, and it works to circle the album back to the start. It somewhat symbolises the idea of the music industry and business going around in circles and the perpetual circle of life.
    I think it's a really nice way of presenting the album, and it adds to the thematic flow really well.

    Lyrically this is pretty straight forward. It is an ode to being free at all costs. Throughout the course of the albums we have seen that chasing ones dreams generally involves placing yourself at the whim of someone who has more power than you, and there is a certain compromise that comes with that. Certainly I can understand Ray's perspective here, in light of the nonsense the band had been through during the sixties, as we have seen quite clearly through the thread so far.

    This is all based around the idea of doing what you want, and Ray uses a lot of nature references to try and get across this idea of freedom. Birds, Fleas, Spiders, the Moon etc etc. Freedom itself is such and interesting topic, because it doesn't really mean what many folks try to make out. There are always checks and balances to anyone's freedom, otherwise we have a state of anarchy, and as we know full well people aren't generally very reliable when it comes to behaving in a manner that is not going to impinge on someone else's freedom.... ahhh the technicalities of life.

    I really like the music here. The verses have a fairly straight kind of country rock feel, and the chord progression is on a more basic level, but the chorus kicks in with a really nice change up.
    Again we get all the guys just firing on all cylinders.

    The acoustic guitar strum opens us up, and I can't tell if we have the National resonator or the banjo playing along with it doing the arpeggios.... it's probably the banjo, but it has a similar sound to the National.
    Mick again gives us some great drums with some really well placed fills.
    John Gosling adds some really good piano, and John Dalton continues to show us his solid bass playing.

    Of course we saw this song at the end of The Long Distance Piano Player that @ajsmith was kind enough to show us through.

    I'm running late this morning and I'm not finding the words I want to, so I'm just going to say I really like this song as well, and it caps off the album really well.

     
  13. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    For me a closer look at Lola really lifts the album up in my estimation. I really don't see any drop in quality whatsoever. we do get a slight change in style, but not in such a way as to leave the band unrecognizable. We still have some music hall, some rock and we get a little tip of the hat to some countryish stylings as well. The band are just trying their hand at various styles and for me they make them all work really well.

    It is surprising to me that I never really spotted the theme here, because it holds together really well. I guess to some degree that there are a couple of songs that required a closer look to really solidify the theme, because on a fleeting listen one could be mistaken for thinking they aren't in the theme of the album.

    For me the band have hit the target from Kontroversy all the way through to this point, and that is quite a remarkable run of top class albums, and bearing in mind that for about the first half of that period the band were releasing singles that weren't part of the albums, and getting a lot of hits, it makes it even more remarkable. To me the band are every bit as solid as their Liverpool contemporaries, but sadly not as acclaimed, but such is life.
     
  14. Vagabone

    Vagabone Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Powerman
    Catchy rocking groove. The album heating up now but it's getting late.

    Got to be Free
    Fun bluegrass rave-up and of all the non-singles on the album, it sounds the most like it could have been a single.

    These two are among the better ones on the album but not enough to save the album for me after the disappointment of songs like "Rats" and "Denmark Street". This is by far their weakest album since Kinda Kinks IMHO.
     
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  15. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    Two records in a row, Ray decided to wrap things up with a proto-americana song. Why would he do that? I can’t get my head around it. Neither Arthur or Lola have any US theme whatsoever, or did I miss something? To be fair, here at least, we have a song about being “free”, and it’s probable Ray thought of the US as the “land of the free” (especially after being “released” from the ban) thus making the decision to dwell into country territory. But I don’t complain. They do it oh so well!

    Their take on country rock is incredibly modern, vital, forward looking. In many ways, from a 2021 perspective, a song like Got to Be Free sounds more influential (on the 70’s country rock sound and the whole 90’s americana scene) than under any clear influence I can think of. I don’t know that many precedents sounding like this before 1970, a piano-led fusion song with banjo, acoustic and electric guitars but no pedal steel, a big rocking rhythm section, peaks of power and valleys of acoustic calm. It’s more Band than Byrds, but it’s almost inventing a new style as it goes along. The way they come back to the "calm-before-storm" intro a few times to create dynamics is particularly seamless and impressive. I also love how Ray manages to wrap things up lyrically with little allusions to previous songs on the album (not least the “walk if I want / talk if I want” line that also means “walk how I want / talk how I want” because of Lola). It’s the last song on the record and now that we have a clear overview, it can’t be overstated how tight, inspired and proficient the band playing is throughout, especially on the last three songs, where they play fast, complex arrangements, with incredible ease and power.
     
  16. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scotland
    The intro of this is far too country for my liking, but I enjoy the track once it gets going!
     
  17. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Location:
    Murrumbateman
    Got to be Free
    Another fine song and a perfect closer to the album. I assume all the things Ray associates with freedom are things he felt he couldn’t experience at the time.
    I had not made that association before but it sounds spot on.
    I have exactly the same feeling. This album has gone up in my estimation since I’ve had the chance to experience it in this kind of detail.
    I’m a massive Beatles fan and feel the same way. I also think the Kriminal under appreciation of The Kinks made me like them even more.
     
  18. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    On the Kitchen Sink dialogues on the Lola box, Dave mentions how the 'gotta get out' refrain of this song reminds him of the Hank Williams song 'I'll Never Get Out Of This World Alive', suggesting it may have been a distant inspiration for this one. Though the two songs don't sound particularly melodically similar, I can definitely hear an echo of the Williams track in the yodelling rise on the word 'out' in both songs.

    On re listening to this dialogue on the box this morning, I'd forgotten that this exchange leads to the Davies bros briefly singing along on another Hank Williams song, 'My Son Calls Another Man Daddy' together and it made me suddenly consider the possibility that that if they never do anything else, that may technically end up being the last song recorded with both bros singing on it! :eek:

     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2021
  19. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I'm guessing you aren't a Muswell Hillbillies fan lol
     
  20. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    To try and represent the emergent progressive end of the pop scene, in the early 70s the show Top Of The Pops briefly had an album slot where bands could perform non single tracks, and in early 1971 The Kinks appeared on it performing the last two tracks from this LP, 'Powerman' and 'Got To Be Free'. It's missing of course and all we have are some photos inc this one:


    [​IMG]
     
  21. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scotland
    Afraid not, although I have the version with the bonus dvd. But I'll force myself to listen again for this thread - maybe it will click this time...
     
  22. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    "Got To Be Free"

    It's not the best track on the album, nor is it particularly a key track, but it doesn't matter as we've already had those. However, it has the kind of insistent circular structure which makes it an ideal closing track. I've never really thought of it is being country, or Americana - to me it's just continuing the general sound of this album, of trebly guitars plucked, picked and strummed, with a heavy rock overlay. Goes without saying that it's another fantastic performance from the whole band.

    As for the album - I did struggle with it a bit at first, as 70s heavy rock just wasn't my thing back in the 80s. But whereas the RCA albums were a one listen and "no thank you" back then, Lola had enough of the Kinks that I recognised to ensure I kept at it. It's only grown in stature with me over the years.
     
  23. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Got To Be Free: the country stylings of this song is perfect for the winding down of this album. And the need/desire/maybe even demand to be free fits right in to the era (it seems like every band had such a song). This is the second song in a row, by the way, in which Ray sings that he isn’t a slave.

    Lola the Album: I’d say this is now a run of seven stellar albums. Seven! Quite remarkable, really, with each album being different. ‘Lola’ is, if anything, back to being more mainstream (of the time) (and I say ‘back’ because the earliest albums, too, were easy to identify as early/mid 60s).
     
  24. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    I don't know what any of this means. LOL All I know it sounds good to me on my crappy headphones. :D
     
  25. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Pen!s...is this what we're talking about here?
     

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