The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Location:
    Murrumbateman
    But they struggled getting steady girlfriends in the TV show. With songs like “ The Most Beautiful Girl (in the Room)” I’m not surprised. Though Brett’s romance with a scary “Australian girl” gave them a good excuse to poke fun at Australians.
     
  2. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    I concur, in the 00's I would play it (& Harry Rag) for my little nephew to good response!
     
  3. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Hells Bells Mark don't put us back into that black!
     
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  4. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Ok so they had real trouble locating a runway!
     
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  5. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Location:
    Murrumbateman
    Plenty of flights but few were cleared for landing...
     
  6. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Yes as they weren't the things that were well lit!
     
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  7. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Helga.

    stereo mix (1:54), recorded 11 Oct 1970, mixed Nov 16-18, 1970 and Jan 1971 at Morgan Studios (1), Willesden, London

    Written by: Ray Davies
    Published by: Coronado Music

    Here we have Ray with a really nice piece of music that seems to be based in a Greek styling …. He just loves to stretch it out.

    I’m not going to guess at the instruments, as there seem to be essentially Greek sounding instruments, and some keys and possibly an acoustic guitar, and Mick drumming nicely again. The only Greek instrument I know the name of is the Bouzouki.
    This is nicely arranged,
    I suppose we get the slightly unusual addition of Ray with his bopdobadopbop’s as well.

    This isn’t particularly spectacular, but I like it, and I think it fits on the album nicely.

     
  8. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Willesden Green.

    stereo mix (2:23), recorded 11 Oct 1970, mixed Nov 16-18, 1970 and Jan 1971 at Morgan Studios (1), Willesden, London

    Well I tried to settle down Fulham Broadway
    And I tried to make my home in Golders Green
    But I gotta get that train
    And go back home again
    Oh how I miss the folks back home in Willesden Green

    You know, I tried, I really tried to settle in this big city
    And I always thought I could make it all on my very own
    But there's one thing that keeps calling me
    To that little, that little semi-detached
    That's the folks, yeah, the folks back home
    In Willesden Green

    Written by: Ray Davies
    Published by: Coronado Music

    So we come to the final actual song, and it ends up being a fifties rock and roll pastiche of sorts.

    The big surprise here is, as I think somebody mentioned earlier, John “Nobby” Dalton gets the honour of being the only non-Davies band member to get a lead vocal in a song.

    I get the impression that he is going for an Elvis thing, but ends up sounding a little more like Johnny Cash crossed with a bit of Ringo. I think he carries off the vocal well, but I am not sure if it is Dalton doing the spoken part or Ray? So I am guessing you guys will fill me in on that.

    ------------------------------------------------------

    From wiki

    Willesden (/ˈwɪlzdən/) is an area of North West London, situated 5 miles (8 km) northwest of Charing Cross. It is historically a parish in the county of Middlesex that was incorporated as the Municipal Borough of Willesden in 1933, and has formed part of the London Borough of Brent in Greater London since 1965.[1] Dollis Hill is also sometimes referred to as being part of Willesden.

    With its close proximity to affluent neighbourhoods Brondesbury Park, Queen's Park and Kensal Rise, the area surrounding Willesden Green station has seen increased gentrification in the past several years, with rapidly rising property prices. The Daily Telegraph called Willesden Green one of London's "new middle class" areas.[2][3] The area has a population of 44,295 as of 2011 including the Willesden Green, Dollis Hill and Dudden Hill wards. Willesden Green has one of the city's highest Irish populations, and is also strongly associated with Afro-Caribbeans and Latin Americans.[4]

    Willesden is mostly in the NW10 postcode district, but part of it is in the NW2 postcode district.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We open with the guys doing a sort of Jordanaires backing vocal, and it’s quite sweet, but I doubt the Jordanaires are too stressed about it.
    Lyrically we have a familiar theme for Ray, or a minor variation on one, with our singer having been around and trying different places around to live and be comfortable, but ends up returning home to the place he is more comfortable.

    We get some nice relaxed guitars, some cool piano, and pretty straight beat, and somewhat oddly a few sections of background yelling whoopin and a hollerin … and I am wondering if they had been listening to some of Elvis’s more recent recordings from the era, with occasional outbursts of enthusiasm.

    Again this is not prime Kinks in some ways, but it is a mildly humourous, lighthearted old style rock and roll song that gives me a bit of a smile as we slide out of the album.

     
  9. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    God’s Children (instrumental).

    short instrumental coda, stereo mix (0:28), recorded 11 Oct 1970, mixed Nov 16-18, 1970 and Jan 1971 at Morgan Studios (1), Willesden, London.

    This is like a tiny little coda to the album, with a relaxed and very short outro.
    We get the main melody from God’s Children, and it is all over.

    I think this was Ray’s way of trying to make this feel like an album, by reintroducing the introductory theme to close us out, and I think it works quite well….. It could possibly be a little longer and have a slow fade out. As it is, it is very much a tiny little piece of incidental music.

     
  10. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    So Percy is no doubt a slightly lesser album than the six stunning albums that came prior to it, but I don’t think by any means it is one to discount.
    For me we have three fantastic songs, two Really good songs, and we close on a fun little pastiche. Personally I don’t dislike the instrumentals, and a couple I actually like quite a lot…. There isn’t really anything that is screaming out for me to skip it, and I think for the most part the album hangs together well….
    Using the likely obvious comparison, as someone said earlier, if the vocal tracks had been on side one, and the incidental music side two, it would be in a similar boat to Yellow Submarine….. I actually think it works better like this…. Because rightly or wrongly I have only ever listened to side two of Yellow Submarine partially, once or twice….. such is the way of soundtrack albums in a traditional sense, for me.

    I don’t think one would really count this as a Kinks album proper in some ways, because it is obviously a soundtrack, but I think it is a decent enough soundtrack to get the occasional listen, and the songs that are on here are every bit as good as we are used to from the Kinks.

    Tomorrow morning we will have the You Really Got Me EP from 1971 for reference, and the intro to the marvelous Muswell Hillbillies, and I’m really looking forward to that one a lot, I love that album.
     
  11. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    Surprisingly, Helga is the only track of the whole Percy thing where it sounds Ray’s actually writing a score. And it’s beautiful, if derivative of whatever Ennio, Burt and others had been doing in the sixties, both in sounds and textures and in harmonies. As often with Ray, we get not one but two melodies (two themes) that seem to complete each other in a beautiful way. This Helga character is particularly devious in the film (if rather sexy), but the track is wonderful, a very nice little piece, with a superb bouzouki middle east sound (is it an actual bouzouki ? I thought if @Mark would not take a guess, I would !), playing what’s starting like “Jeux interdits” (Forbidden Game, a 1952 film) before turning into a neat piece of minor key baroque pop, similar in style to what the obscure UK band Nirvana was doing around that time.
     
  12. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    "Helga"

    This is a nice piece of music - and just about the right length. Like most of the instrumentals, it's pleasant for an occasional listen, but not a reason for me to dig out the CD.

    "Willesden Green"

    This actually sounds like what the premise of Muswell Hillbillies was supposed to be - i.e. a bad Country & Western band playing in the Archway Tavern. Perhaps the ultimate Kinks throwaway - difficult to imagine it fitting in anywhere else in the discography! I don't really have an opinion on it - it just kind of comes in and goes without establishing a reason for its existence.

    "God's Children (End)"

    Again, a nice, if inessential instrumental, and a good way to bookend the album.

    As I've said before, Percy is an album that I've played very little over the last 30 years. Five of the tracks certainly deserve to be played more often, the rest of it I can take or leave. That it turns out to be the coda to their Pye career just about sums up their Pye career!

    Better get on with polishing up my essay about Muswell Hillbillies...
     
  13. Ex-Fed

    Ex-Fed Not Fed Ex

    Location:
    New York State
    I first heard "Willesden Green" when I was 15, and had little idea of what a "semi-detached" was. Before the Internet, how could one find out such a thing? I don't picture my local Brooklyn library as having architectural dictionaries or anything that specialized in its collection. To even call it a collection grants it too much dignity. Anyway, he term rattled around in my head for years, and probably had something to do with my developing an interest in neighborhoods, urban streetscapes and historical architecture. Which brings me to where I am today: someone who listens to a lot of Kinks records.
     
  14. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    It won’t surprise anybody that the Kinks never did ‘Willesden Green’ live, but as The Kast Off Kinks when John Dalton was in the line up actually counted the original lead vocalist amongst their number, it was a neat and appropriate track to whip out. And Nobby really goes for it! Check this! Thankyuverymuch!

     
  15. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    More Willesden wittering:

    * my recent revelation that this track isn’t actually in the film has made me hear it in a different way. Suddenly it doesn’t sound like incidental music for a film and instead sounds like a dry run for the Hillbillies concept (as @ARL observed) that Ray chucked in as a bonus on the soundtrack.

    *the fact that Pete Quaifes replacement gets a lead vocal while Pete himself never did makes me a little sore. Even Mick got to sing lead on ‘Sir Jasper’ even if it was unreleased! The difference is I guess that both Nobby and Mick’s vox were employed as Ringo-style comic relief at Ray’s discretion, whereas anything Pete would potentially have sung lead on would have been a sincere artistic expression on his own part, and thus more of an infringement on Ray’s vision.

    * As John Mendelssohn observes in the Kronikles liner notes, the ‘that little semi detached’ line is brilliant comic timing. I remember that even made my parents chuckle when I had that one on in the car. Speaking of Kronikles, the fact that this track was selected (over several more fleshed out candidates on Percy) for a plum position on that influential comp likely means it’s better known by US fans that UK ones, where as penultimate track on ‘Percy’ it’s the obscurest track on their obscurest LP.
     
  16. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Helga: Reminiscent of the melody for Those Were the Days My Friends…we thought would never end. I like this little piece.

    Willesden Green: I’m not an Elvis fan but can tolerate this until the speaking part. Then I reach for the stop button.

    Final thoughts on Percy:
    In terms of a career move? A mistake. Why follow up the big hit single Lola with a film soundtrack? It stops the momentum. And who’s idea was this? Ray’s? Pye’s? I can’t really believe it was Pye’s, especially as this was the last album they got out of The Kinks. (Unless Pye didn’t know that The Kinks weren’t going to re-up their contract?)

    Why the split from Pye? Because of Percy? I know there appears to be a lack of marketing support from Pye, and unhappiness with Ray signing away a large percentage of the songwriting …but, as fans, we sure did strike the jackpot during the Pye Years.
     
  17. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    Willesden Green, I don't know about that one. I kind of enjoy it (especially the counterpoint singing in its latter half, during the "spoken" part) but I think it's completely out of place everywhere. It certainly would be out of place in the film (as it has nothing to do with it whatsoever), it's out of place on the soundtrack (since it's not in the film), it's out of place on a comp' like Kronikles (and on the first side of it !!!), it's out of place in the Kinks catalogue (as the only official released tune not sung by Ray or Dave). It's really the ultimate kurio. I think there must be a joke somewhere : another Kinks song about a place and "belonging" to that place, but the song itself not belonging anywhere.
     
  18. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Location:
    Murrumbateman
    Helga
    Probably the most polished instrumental on the album. Different - in a good way. Thumbs up from me.

    Willesden Green

    I've really enjoyed this song since I first heard it on Kinks Kronikles - oddly placed on Side 1 between Holiday in Waikiki and This Is Where I Belong.
    Why Willesden Green was selected as one of just a handful of songs from the Lola/Percy albums for that compilation is a mystery: the music doesn't sound like the Kinks and Ray's voice (as I thought it was) sounds very strange. The keeper for me is the sense of humour in the lyrics: all of the places mentioned are in a fairly small part of London and a semi-detached is the unlikeliest of causes of homesickness. It's a pastiche but I don't mind a witty pastiche done well.

    Percy - album summing up
    I find it is more difficult to detach the album from the movie than it was to detach percy from its owner in the movie! I'd prefer to listen to this album without thinking of the movie. But there are a few classy songs here that warrant more frequent plays than they've been getting in my life. I'll fix that by adding them to my Kinks playlist.
     
  19. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    I’ve added two songs from Percy onto mine. I figure this year’s combined independent-study and subsequent song-by-song thread has added 53 (!!!!) playlist tracks that I had no prior knowledge of. (Added to 20+ songs that I did, including most of Village Green).
     
  20. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    The two remaining instrumentals are pleasant but inconsquential in the greater scheme of things.

    As for "Willesden Green", I'm surprised that it made The Kink Kronikles despite the fact that there were many candidates, not just from Percy, but from the other albums. I do like this song as a loving pastiche of Elvis & country music in general. It almost seems like a taster for Muswell Hillbillies.

    Finally, the Percy soundtrack was the final Pye album by the Kinks. It was a bunch of good to great songs combined w/a bunch of instrumentals, all in the service of a movie that really didn't deserve these songs. I think the Kinks wasted some of the momentum they had w/"Lola" in doing this. Maybe the reason Ray did this in the first place was to get out of the Pye contract. It was a good thing for them to finally leave Pye Records, which had no major acts after 1971 & seemingly subsisted in repackaging its old acts over & over again. Percy was the final, charmingly flawed
    product of the Kinks' first phase & they entered the 1970s w/a clean sheet in so many ways.
     
  21. Fischman

    Fischman RockMonster, ClassicalMaster, and JazzMeister

    Location:
    New Mexico
    Helga
    Very solid bit of soundtrack music. I really like this.

    Willesden Green
    Not Kinks-ish, not my thing, and not gonna' be on any playlist. Not complaining though as it's been a long time since that happened.

    God's Children (End)
    Could have been a nice reprise had it been significantly linger.
     
  22. donstemple

    donstemple Member of the Club

    Location:
    Maplewood, NJ
    Helga
    Another of these "This is the Kinks?". I would have never guessed. It's a very nice piece of music. I can imagine this also being played in an episode of Breaking Bad or Better Call Saul.

    Willesden Green
    Definitely not Kinky in the slightest. I assume "that little semi-detached" could also be a Percy joke and indicate that this WAS written for the movie but they couldn't err, fit it in? Funnily enough, I *also* think this song could work as a featured song in an episode of Breaking Bad. It just has that sorta vibe to it, when compared to the other song choices that Vince Gilligan chose for that show.

    God's Children (End)
    This needs to be longer than just 0:34. Actually looks like its actually ends at just under :27. It certainly brings the "album" full circle. Don't really have anything else to say about it.

    Ending thoughts on the album Percy. Never heard it until this month. There are some beautiful songs on this, and I don't mind the instrumentals either. I don't really count this a full "proper" Kinks album, and in my mind, I still consider Muswell Hillbillies as directly following Lola vs the Moneygoround... , with this just being a side project in between. Looking forward to Muswell, as I do love that album as well.
     
  23. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Helga

    If the slow intro had violins it may well have sounded Godfatherish and if the back end had hit breakneck speed I would have hankered for some Norweigan Jarlsberg with John Cleese.
    Verdict: A fine soundtrack piece!
     
  24. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Willesdon Green

    A very new song for me of late and one that while not very Kinksian i think would be seen a little in that light had Ray Davies sung it.
    Speaking of Raymond Douglas i do not think he does the spoken word part either but he may well be the next voice we hear, G-ing up the band as they ride of into the sunset with the last-peez-of-Pye and no-more-Ray!
     
  25. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    God's Children Instrumental

    Pleasant Coda but really my fellow Kinksian's ive nothing to say, don't you know it.

    Q. Did the soundtrack approach charting anywhere in the world, just how was Percy's Progress?
     

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