The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. CheshireCat

    CheshireCat Forum Resident

    I found the 3LP Showbiz LP quite easily and reasonably priced, but Muswell Hillbillies doesn't appear to have made it across to the UK in the same way. A shame, as I really like some of the bonus tracks (Lavender Lane, Nobody's Fool). I'll keep looking! I'll get by in the meantime with the original 1971 Lp, the CD with two bonus tracks and the deluxe 3 disc version...
    WHMusical, Fischman and Fortuleo like this.
  2. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    I knew about Lennon of course, but what did Mick do to warrant the FBI’s attention? I thought Street Fighting Man was the start and end of his revolutionary period.
  3. Fischman

    Fischman RockMonster, ClassicalMaster, and JazzMeister

    New Mexico
    Good example.

    And the horns positively rock on The Who's 5:15!
    Yes, horns can most definitely rock.

    That said, expecting horns to fit with this song in a rock kind of way is missing the musical point as this is not a rock song. These horns are absolutely perfect for the Dixieland jazz/blues that this song is.
  4. LX200GPS

    LX200GPS Forum Resident

    Somewhere Else
    Unfortunately, I've never heard it. For me it was Muswell Hillbillies and the RCA Dynaflex sometime in 1972 or early 1973. Had that until the cd era arrived.
  5. stewedandkeefed

    stewedandkeefed Came Ashore In The Dead Of The Night

    I think "Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues" is what they call ragged but right. I, too, hear the sounds of New Orleans in this song and that the horns are essential to achieving that. I also see the connection of the second song to the first. "20th Century Man" describes the overall context while "Acute" is a little more detailed. Who writes songs about acute schizophrenia (or a bit later, anorexia nervosa)? Ray Davies does. Great songwriters (like great poets) draw attention to what might otherwise go unnoticed. Ray Davies' songwriting is exceptional in this respect. Musically, I love it because as a Stones fan, I love things that sound like they might fall apart at any moment but never quite do.

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Salem, MA
    "Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues" continues on from the opening song to tell of someone who is a victim of modern society w/a background of a bit of New Orleans trad jazz. As always, the insights of Our Headmaster & Fortuelo on this song are excellent, especially the Headmaster's w/his experience in dealing w/someone that was affected. The various comparisons to Dylan that the other Avids have made was quite interesting since I really didn't notice them before. I have no problems w/The Mike Cotton Sound on this album at all. On this song, the horns seem to mock the complaints of the narrator. Also, no one has mentioned how much of Ray's songs have a certain "sing a long" ability to them, especially some of the songs on this album.
  7. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Spot on
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  8. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Exactly. I was going to write a long discourse on horns in rock…and you have saved me from my wayward ways! Because it would have missed the point entirely.
  9. markelis

    markelis Forum Resident

    Miami Beach FL
    Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues: This one grew on me a lot. Initially, I didn’t care for it too much, as I really don’t typically care for “shambolic“ blues songs (as others have referred to it’s here). I actually had meant to mention in my initial comments on the album, and others have now strongly hinted at it, that this album overall reminds me a lot of exile on Main Street by the stones, with the many different musical styles and the drunken, bar room sounding instrumentation. This song in particular immediately evokes exile (although I am aware that this was released in advance of exile and therefore wonder why all of the plaudits heaped on exile were not similarly applied to this album. Ultimately, although it’s a bit of a messy sounding blues song, Ray’s melodies, catchy chorus and colorful lyrics pull it together in a very pleasing way. Not one of my top favorites on the album, but then at this point I find all the songs on this album to be good and eminently listenable and this one definitely falls into that category for me.
  10. side3

    side3 Younger Than Yesterday

    Tulsa, OK
    Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues

    This is one I really like. Other posters have pointed out the New Orleans Jazz Band connection. If you have ever walked down Bourbon Street, you can hear the jazz coming out of many of the clubs. This song would not be out of place. I really like the horns in this context. Great track, helped in my opinion by a nice Dave harmony on the chorus.
  11. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    What country/s was the dynaflex?
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  12. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    If you carefully reread my post i haven't categorically stated it to be true, believed possible is plausible but if you are interested i will investigate further and PM you.
    mark winstanley likes this.
  13. John Porcellino

    John Porcellino Forum Resident

    Beloit, WI
    I've been meaning to hop on this thread for quite some time, but was intimidated by trying to catch up. I'll leap in here with Muswell, which is my favorite Kinks LP, and, perhaps heresy, but to my ears their most consistent. There's a cohesion and unity to the album that I love, even though the songs are quite varied. I love the darkness leavened with humor. It's a serious album underneath, despite the tongue in cheek feel.

    20th Century Man and Schizophrenia both get perfect scores from me, as will every tune on the album.
  14. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    No heresy calls from me. I’ve just nominated you as a deacon!
  15. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Welcome aboard
  16. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Deacon Blue(s) :)
  17. markelis

    markelis Forum Resident

    Miami Beach FL
    I typically do not like horns. …but then I prefer hard rock in most cases. Horns on an Iron Maiden or Def Leppard song would be the kiss of death IMO. As I recall Mark W., you participated in the UFO thread, and as soon as UFO tried introducing horns into their songs, the majority of the participants on that thread we’re immediately turned off (including me). With all that said, I have found the Stones And the kinks use of horns to be quite tasty. I even have an incredible extended live version of Move to the City by Guns N’ Roses in which they bring horns into the mix and it’s a perfect fit (very stonesy in fact, very much like the end of Can’t You Hear Me Knocking, if anybody wants to try to search it out).

    To be clear, I don’t dislike horns in general. As a big fan of Prince, Earth Wind and Fire and the like, I love horns in R&B and funk music. I guess for me, horns work well in rock and roll songs, but seldom work in harder, heavier music. In this case, I am kind of digging Ray’s use of the horns on this album.
  18. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    Such a perfect way to put it !
    I love how some new recruits come reinforce us, just as I was fearing some might jump ship. That's a big relief!

    Incredibly, just two months after Muswell Hillbillies, Paul Simon released his first post Simon & Garfunkel record, a masterpiece in its own right, which contains the second best "Paranoia Blues" I know, titled… well, you guessed it, Paranoia Blues ! It features some more tongue in cheek paranoia lyrics (less "acute" than Ray's, in my opinion), some fabulous slide acoustic guitar (played by Stefan Grossman) and even a little bit of horns ! Not dixieland/New Orleans horns, but it's still an incredible coincidence, as in both songs the instrumental backing becomes synonymous to some strident mental disorder, on the verge of collapse.
  19. ajsmith

    ajsmith Senior Member

    I always liked that line ‘even my old dad, lost some of the best friends he ever had’… maybe I’m miles out, but it always seemed to me like Ray was directly sharing a bit of personal family history there… it really hits home to me with a kind of conversational, mask off honesty that the rest of the song doesn’t quite have or at least occludes with a more universal lyric, and is all the more affecting for appearing in that context.
  20. abzach

    abzach Forum Resident

    Muswell Hillbillies - amazing album!
  21. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    So many posts already! What time do I have to get up around here? Doe anyone ever sleep? :) I must be one of the only ones on the US West Coast.

    "Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues"

    This song only gets better as time goes on. The live version also adds to its appeal. I must have heard this song for the first time when I was working at a psychiatric hospital so it instantly resonated with me. Ray takes a serious issue and makes it amusing and lighthearted. I love his delivery of the lyrics and the rag tag New Orleans flavored blues music is the perfect accompaniment. I like the Basement Tapes reference that @Fortuleo made. I can hear that band of basement musicians playing this song. On the line "I'm lost on the river, the river of no return" you can even hear a trace of a Dylan drawl. There is no way that this song will not put a smile on my face every time I hear it. I love this song. I think The Kinks are onto something with this "Hillbilly" music.
  22. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    I’m taking a peek at next album. First time ever and already found myself bursting out laughing. There’s at least one hilarious song.

    Back to Muswell.
  23. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    How amazing is this performance? One of the greatest concerts on YouTube.
  24. Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues

    Basil Fawlty once accused his friend Rog of possessing a "sledgehammer wit," and I'm afraid Ray could be accused of the same here. There's nothing unique or moving or eloquent in these lyrics, and not much that's funny, for which I could forgive all. When I bought Kink Kronikles, I listened to "Victoria" and "Village Green Preservation Society" on side one and was sold. What if I had pulled out Muswell Hillbillies by mistake? I'd have listened to "20th Century Man" and "Acute" and...then what? It's all okay, I suppose. Competent enough. Chugging guitars, melodies that don't quite deserve to be called melodies, satire out of a high school newspaper. These are not my transcendent Kinks. Would I have even bought another of their albums? Hard to say. I certainly wouldn't be logged onto a celebratory message board fifty years later.

    Not this board anyway. Maybe some Simon & Garfunkel board, delighting in the longer fade on the Japanese mono "So Long Frank Lloyd Wright."
  25. donstemple

    donstemple Member of the Club

    Maplewood, NJ
    Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues

    I think the thing with this song, plus the opener, and a lot of this album is... if you have never heard it before, it does not sound Kinky. And I can understand that if this album is new to you. But having known this for nearly 15 years, it DOES sound like the Kinks, because it HAS BEEN the Kinks for 15 years (for me). I love the looseness of the New Orleans Jazz / Mike Cotton Sound addition to the Kinks sound here. This is just a perfect way of describing it:

    The horns have this freedom that you wonder if Ray gave them some ideas of what he wanted, and just allowed the Brass to do their thing. Perhaps not completely improvised, but the kind of improv that we (in the states) may see on an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Let's call it, structured improv? There are some guardrails, but the music is pushing against both sides as it weaves down the road.

    I love some of those lead guitar licks throughout by Dave. Some of them do sound rather Keith Richards-esque, and that may be part of the '70-'71 Stones comparison too. And let's not overlook John Dalton, who seems to have some solid bass runs in this song too.

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