The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. markelis

    markelis Forum Resident

    Location:
    Miami Beach FL
    Same here. First time listening, now on about the 10th spin through over the past two weeks, totally digging it!
     
  2. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Yes, that is the very same one. I was just watching it in fact, and Ray was giggling as he was getting wiped down by the makeup lady
    Yow.
    So a double negative bothers you? And didn't know it was considered an American thing.
    inquiring minds...
     
  3. Luckless Pedestrian

    Luckless Pedestrian Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Hampshire, USA
    The lyrics to Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues are some of Ray’s best seems to me. It’s late but some things I enjoy are, well the audacity of title, to approach the subject as a blues; the way the typical sense of ‘we can’t lose’ is turned on it’s head as it’s rhymed with blues - we can’t lose … the blues! The starting of the verse with ‘Apparently,’ - which creates this sense the song is a casual, personal conversation with the listener; the general wordiness reinforces this, draws us in, we can sympathize with the condition of the protagonist - we suffer the same injuries but are fortunate enough to be able to bear them, most of the time. Only Ray and The Kinks can make Paranoia fun! And Phobias too, later on…
     
  4. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Yes good call, I believe Mr Davies Senior passed shortly after in 1975.
     
  5. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Excuse me, i am reminded that i have left my potatoes on the motorway!
     
  6. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    I also at one point didn't have anything after 1972 except a best of compilation but i changed that many years ago and in 2021 thanks to Mark and all you good folk here I sure dabbled further!
     
  7. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Is it just me or does anybody else think that 20th Century Man is ripe for Billy Bragg to cover?
     
  8. GarySteel

    GarySteel Bastard of old

    Location:
    Molde, Norway
    OFF TOPIC AND/OR WAY AHEAD OF MY TIME, with apologies to @mark winstanley :D

    The whole gig is on this great box set:

    The Kinks - The Kinks At The BBC - Radio & TV Sessions And Concerts: 1964-1994

    The version of "Life Goes On" from that is my favorite thing by the Kinks ever. Dave Davies for the win:



    Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.
     
  9. Scottsol

    Scottsol Forum Resident

    Location:
    Evanston, IL
    Were those stolen potatoes?
     
  10. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    No but the unreal reality is they were heated excessively due to the maximum consumption of my uncle & son's alcohol so iam in disgrace this holiday!
     
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  11. WHMusical

    WHMusical Chameleon Comedian Corinthian & Caricature

    And hear, come the People in Gray To Take You Away....
    [​IMG]

    :whistle:
     
  12. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Holiday.

    stereo mix (2:37), recorded Aug-Sep 1971 at Morgan Studios, Willesden, London

    Holiday,
    Oh what a lovely day today,
    I'm oh so glad they sent me away,
    To have a little holiday today, holiday.
    Holiday,
    And I'm just standing on the end of a pier,
    Hoping and dreaming you were here,
    To share my little holiday.

    Lookin' in the sky for a gap in the clouds,
    Sometimes I think that sun ain't never coming out,
    But I'd rather be here than in that dirty old town,
    I had to leave the city cos it nearly brought me down.

    Oh holiday, oh what a lovely day today,
    I think I'll get down on my little ol' knees and pray, thank you Lord,
    Thank heaven for that holiday today, holiday.
    I'm leaving insecurity behind me,
    The environmental pressures got me down,
    I don't need no sedatives to pull me round,
    I don't need no sleeping pills to help me sleep sound.

    Oh holiday,
    Oh what a lovely day today,
    I think I'll get down on my little ol' knees and pray,
    That's what I'll do,
    Thank heaven for that holiday.

    Lying on the beach with my back burned rare,
    The salt gets in my blisters and the sand gets in my hair,
    And the sea's an open sewer,
    But I really couldn't care,
    I'm breathing through my mouth so I don't have to sniff the air.

    Oh holiday,
    Oh what a lovely day today,
    I'm so glad they sent me away,
    To have a little holiday.

    Written by: Ray Davies
    Published by: Davray Music Ltd.

    This is such a very cool song, it feels like a composite of a folk-blues, with a slight hint of music hall, the piano accordion seems to give it a slight Parisienne kind of feel in places too.

    We have had the 20th Century Man struggling to come to terms with the modern world, and then his mind snaps as he falls into paranoia and Schizophrenic tendencies, which results in him requiring a little holiday.

    I think it is quite important to note in the first verse that “They sent me away” …. Although a lot of folks don’t like the sound of this album, I really like it and I get the feeling that some of the less usual sounds are a direct result of how Ray wanted to present these songs. The vocal here has a very small room sound to it…. Is this supposed to give us the impression that our 20th Century Man is locked in a special room, and the beach and the sand are his imaginings? I don’t know, but it is an interesting amalgamation of lyrics and sound.

    I’m standing at the end of the pier hoping and wishing you were here, to share my little holiday … I guess we assume this is a girlfriend or something along those lines, but he could well be singing to his sanity there.
    There’s no gap in the clouds, it doesn’t seem the sun will ever break through. At least he isn’t in that dirty town, the city nearly brought him down……
    In this context it seems like brought me down is referring to a knockout blow he couldn’t get back up from, rather than just made him feel a bit sad.

    He’s thanking God and Heaven for this little holiday, leaving insecurities behind, even though the environmental pressure has got him down… He doesn’t need sedatives or sleeping pills.
    The whole framing of this song comes across as not being quite what it seems, particularly when we consider the way we got to this point.
    Is his environment where they have put him, feeding him sedatives and sleeping pills? I mean I have never been down the beach and thought to myself, I’m so glad I don’t need sedatives and sleeping pills.

    The last verse is also really very interesting. It mentions the fact that his back is burned rare from the sun and he is getting salt in his blisters and sand in his hair, and then we take a sharp left turn.
    The Sea’s an open sewer, but I really couldn’t care….
    And then my favourite line of the song
    I'm breathing through my mouth so I don't have to sniff the air.

    This is an unusual lyric, in that it suggests this is a vacation/holiday, but he has been sent here. We have all of these things that suggest he is at the beach, but then again who feeds you sedatives and sleeping pills at the beach. We also have these environment references, that could well be environmental statements, but they could just as easily be cryptic statements about the facility he is in….. At the end we get reminded again that he was sent away. This wasn’t the singer deciding he wanted to go to Blackpool, he was sent here.

    Anyway, I will be interested to read folks thoughts about these lyrics, because they aren’t quite what they first appear. When you get under the surface it seems like this is some kind of “special” holiday, not a vacation…..
    But anyway….

    Musically again we get some great swinging music…. Is this album the album with the most swing the Kinks ever laid down? Is that why some love it, and some struggle….

    I love the rolling acoustic guitar intro, and the piano coming in. It has this really old sound about it.
    Then we get that piano accordion section, and on the end of that we get the beat kick in, and the Kinks are swinging it big time again. If there is any real difference between this album and the albums that came before for me, it’s that these guys could really swing, and that is rarely, if ever, present prior to this album.

    I understand that this may not be how folks want to hear these songs, but the thing is here …. Well lets backtrack….
    There were some little discussions about the Kinks sixties sound, and how a major studio and a George Martin like audio school teacher could actually have hindered what was a charming sound that the band got in their sixties period, and I am a bit six of one, half a dozen of the other on that one …. I’m mainly in it for the songs……
    Here though….. this claustrophobic sound frames the psychologically unbalanced nature of the tracks … so far, in some ways, this album is akin to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of the Moon in terms of its looking at the human mind and its frailties, and direct mental illness …. And although if this were Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On, I would think the sound doesn’t suit the songs…. On here this claustrophobic, old timey sound, for me at least, works as backing up the content…. In the same way that Rembrandt’s colour choices are part of his appeal, or Monet’s colour choices are part of his … the sound here is in support of the themes to me.
    Don’t get me wrong, I would still love this album if it was recorded with all the (contemporary) best equipment, and produced clean and neat, but to me the sounds he has gone for here have as much artistic merit as the songs (and to me that’s a lot)….

    Anyway, for me so far, we have 3 for 3, and I reckon this is sitting together really nicely.

     
  13. Scottsol

    Scottsol Forum Resident

    Location:
    Evanston, IL
    Where might that motorway have been?
     
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  14. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Where the foods are the worst in the world!
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2021
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  15. Scottsol

    Scottsol Forum Resident

    Location:
    Evanston, IL
    So they were hot!
     
  16. Scottsol

    Scottsol Forum Resident

    Location:
    Evanston, IL
    That’s strange. I would have laid odds it was somewhere east of the Texas panhandle.
     
  17. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Now you're cooking!
     
  18. GarySteel

    GarySteel Bastard of old

    Location:
    Molde, Norway
    In a few days we'll have 12 for 12. I've listened to the SACD three times since yesterday.

    The production and sound on this record is nothing short of spectacular IMO and the best one they ever had. Or maybe it is just my ears. It is also the first Kinks album that doesn't sound (that most dreaded term) 'dated'. Compared to the muddier sounding '60's records it is a revelation. Not that I don't love 'em all or that I'd want the earlier stuff, at least before Powerman, to sound like this. But it is a thing of rare beauty to me.

    As for the writing: the usual great stuff, mate.
     
  19. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    No someplace north of the Brisbane boiler plate!
     
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  20. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

  21. ajsmith

    ajsmith Senior Member

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Live 1973, from the same BBC In Concert show as ASPB as posted yesterday was:
     
  22. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    My take on this part of the lyrics is that he needed the sleeping pills to sleep when he was in the city. Now that he’s on holiday at the beach…he doesn’t.
    Edit: which, I see now, is similar to what you’re saying!
     
  23. ajsmith

    ajsmith Senior Member

    Location:
    Glasgow
    It has to be mentioned upfront the huge melodic debt this would seem to owe to Dylan’s ‘Peggy Day’ from 2 years earlier. However, I strongly suspect that both songs are likely to be based on something else even earlier, probably first half of the 20th cen. at least. If anyone has any ideas, would love to hear em!
     
  24. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    This is my favorite line, too. It turns out the holiday beach isn’t all that idyllic! (And it’s worse than ‘Holiday In Waikiki’ , which also painted a picture of it not being all that wonderful.)
     
  25. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    I’ve always been reminded of Tiny Tim, so, yes, early 20th century. But I don’t know any specific titles.
     

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