The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. WHMusical

    WHMusical Chameleon Comedian Corinthian & Caricature

    I have five different vinyl pressings of Muswell Hillbillies on RCA Records. Tomorrow I plan to start the day with the 2 Lp Deluxe version with bonus sides.:righton:
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    Last edited: Oct 29, 2021
  2. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Yea, the sacd is the only version I have at the moment.
    I was really hoping we would get a Village Green type box for this album this year, but alas, it seems unlikely.
     
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  3. GarySteel

    GarySteel Bastard of old

    Location:
    Molde, Norway
    Yeah yeah, rub it in some more, will ya :D
     
  4. GarySteel

    GarySteel Bastard of old

    Location:
    Molde, Norway
    But it is a good one.

    As for a box set one can only hope. A period live set would be great (and shambolic I'd wager). But perhaps too close in period to the live disc on Showbiz?
     
  5. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Interestingly, The Kinks performed this 3 times for BBC TV inside a year for the ‘Old Grey Whistle Test’, the ‘Kinks At The Rainbow’ special (both early ‘72) and then for ‘In Concert’ (early ‘73). Unusual for an album track to get so much exposure on the telly, I’m guessing it was just an unintentional result of this working well as a live number.

    The Rainbow and In Concert versions are on the BBC box, whereas the OGWT video can only be found on one of the recent-ish Muswell deluxes. The In Concert version is the only one that appears to be at large on Youtube, and here it is:

     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2021
  6. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    It's excellent.
    My only disappointment with it was the lack of the surround mix noted on the back cover.

    With a box, I guess they could tie Muswell and Showbiz together?
    It seems these sets have gone well for them... I was stunned that Arthur sold out so quickly...
    I guess we'll just have to wait and see.... I'd really like the apparent surround mix to get released though.
     
  7. GarySteel

    GarySteel Bastard of old

    Location:
    Molde, Norway
    P.S. As I will have to go on Discogs or summat to grab a hold of this record sooner or later, is there any particular version you would recommend over the others? :)
     
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  8. WHMusical

    WHMusical Chameleon Comedian Corinthian & Caricature

  9. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    It looked like there was a John Peel version too, when I was looking through the youtube listings... is that one of the ones you listed?.... and is that the same as the BBC version?
     
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  10. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    Thanks for sharing the personal stories, @mark winstanley, they're always very moving and on point.
    I love everything about this song (I'm smiling as I write this, because I can see how almost all my posts in the next few weeks could start likewise). The tune is great, I could define it as “achingly funny”, if there was such a thing, the minor key melancholia and street fanfare march style being such a great combination. It’s the first of a new template of “music-hall trad jazz blues” that Ray will come back to quite often in the following couple of years, making good use of the brass players, on this album, on Show-biz and up to the great 1974 single Mirror of Love. Lyrics follow suit, of course, in customary playful Ray style (and I guess the "achingly funny" depiction also works for them). The mini barroom piano break at the 2’30’’ mark is the ultimate genius move (always before the Arista years, Ray's songs are almost never 100% straightforward musically), but I really love the whole thing, and especially the way Dave’s guitar occupies its own space on the left channel while being in a constant dialogue with the horns, playing off them with ease, feeling and grace. Same with Ray’s vocal melody, expertly mixed low (I'm one who loves when he does that). This fanfare blend is so infectious I would want to sing or whistle the parts of all the instruments. Of course, I understand how this departure can rub the sixties heavy rock and baroque pop fan the wrong way, but just try and listen beyond this stylistic veil, you'll find there’s something to this "new sound" that goes back to early 65/66/67 tunes like Don’t You Fret, Dead End Street or Tin Soldier Man/Sand on My Shoes, a kind of minor key blues inspiration, with music-hall inclinations and maybe a little beer drinking on top. When I discovered it (and some other Muswell Hillbillies tracks), I thought this song fulfilled a musical fantasy of mine : I've always loved the cover image of Dylan’s original Basement Tapes release (in 1975), with the Bob and the Band dressed as a kind of eccentric gypsy circus fanfare band. And though it predates it, Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues is like that art-work made into song and sound. After the epic groove of 20th Century Man show-stopping finale, I think this swinging tune's a perfect second track and mood setter, the real start of the Muswell Hillbillies shambolic, defiant yet defeated and bleakly colorful journey.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2021
  11. GarySteel

    GarySteel Bastard of old

    Location:
    Molde, Norway
    I don't have a 5.1 set up, so for me it doesn't matter anyway for me but I know that you are a fan of that. Well, this is plain false advertisement. Very strange. Good thing the record is pretty great on its own then :)

    I have Showbiz on some sort of special edition 3 lp but I think I could handle even more of it. So bring it on.
     
  12. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Brilliant observation.
     
  13. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    "Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues"

    Petty, I know, but my main annoyance with this one is Ray's pronunciation of "schizophrenia" - leaving out the "ee" syllable.

    Musically, this is more of a preview of the next album. The verse tune and the bluesy, brassy sound gets recycled on "Unreal Reality", while the solo piano fill idea gets re-used in "Maximum Consumption". Lyrically, again it's a preview of future themes that would crop up in "Destroyer" among others.

    Other than that, I don't have much of an opinion about this one. I would probably like it more if it wasn't for that pronunciation issue!
     
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  14. GarySteel

    GarySteel Bastard of old

    Location:
    Molde, Norway
    Cool! Duly noted. Thanks, man :)

    How is the 2 lp version, BTW? I see a few of those but it is more expensive than an original in good shape.
     
  15. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Ah no, that’s yet another BBC version as John Peel’s show was on the radio only, the versions I listed above were on TV. Here’s the Peel version:
     
  16. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scotland
    I love the title and the lyric, but after the strong opening song, this is where the album starts going off the rails for me. I think that @Fortuleo nails it when he described it (positively) as 'shambolic'. I'm not that keen on shambolic, and it results in the 'bad comedy songs' feel I mentioned for much of side 1 when we discussed the album overall.
    Apologies for sounding like a grump!
     
  17. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    It's all good mate. You have to call it like you see it.
     
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  18. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    It's interesting that some see this as comedic.
    Although I hear a little tongue in cheek, I don't hear it in a comedic way.
     
  19. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Good post all round, but particularly this thought captures my imagination... I definitely see and hear this.
     
  20. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Fantastic! I was hoping to see this performed in all its glory. I loved seeing Ray’s exaggerated widening of the eyes and other showman-like aspects of the performance. And the horn section…wow. All intertwined perfectly. Gosling on piano, Dave shouting out harmony vocals. Thank you so much for posting this.
     
  21. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    After reading about your personal experience/interactions, I guess I can see you’d hear the lyrics in a bit more serious manner.
     
  22. CheshireCat

    CheshireCat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cheshire
    Not keen on this one. It's the Mike Cotton Sound, who never do anything for me - I can't off the top of my head think of a single Kinks track they improve... I'd have preferred Nicky Hopkins tinkling away on something suitable instead.
     
  23. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    "I've got those good vibratioooooooons...."
    :D
     
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  24. GarySteel

    GarySteel Bastard of old

    Location:
    Molde, Norway
    This is pretty low level grump for the Hoffs, I'd say :D

    I can understand your point of view, totally. Personally I find that slop and shambolical grittiness OFTEN (but certainly not always) brings a certain charm that a more polished approach can lack. It feels more human and imtimate in a way and really suits these songs to my ears.

    Then again, I tend to love bad live recordings of Dylan slaughtering his own songs, the drugged out majesty of the Stones and Faces at their worst and the Replacements going at it so for me this isn't that ragged. I'm probably scarred for life and a lost case :D
     
  25. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    That's interesting.

    I know a stack of folks that hate horns in "rock" music, and in fact, when I was young, I was one of them.
    Do you generally like, or dislike horns in rock music?

    I'm wondering if that is the underlying issue for some folks?
     

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