The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. LX200GPS

    LX200GPS Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    Willesden Green was included because it was a song about a "place".

    Side 1 of the album was all about places. I haven't read the notes for many years now but I think that was mentioned.
     
  2. Paul Mazz

    Paul Mazz Senior Member

    I was going to post about how much I love Kink Kronikles, and link it to my other favorite compilation Fairport Chronicles. You beat me to it and summarized what makes them such great compilations much better than I would have.

    While I love it, I don’t find myself reaching for Kronikles that much these days, playing the regular albums when I’m in the mood for the Kinks, as all the Kinks albums I have on cd from the first to Preservation are great for me to listen to as albums. I do still fairly often play Fairport Chronicles, which I have a needle drop of, as I find it to be a better listening experience than any of the individual albums. Too bad that comp was never released on cd.
     
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  3. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Ahhh cheers.
    I got about halfway through the line notes.... I will finish them.... but they must be among the longest liner notes ever included on an album (prior to the modern day booklets and books)
     
  4. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    John Mendelsohn was also the original drummer in Sparks (back in the late 60s when they were called Halfnelson) although he REALLY doesn’t like to talk about it these days, finding the association embarrassing and that groups own brand of Anglophilia bogus and twee. I couldn’t agree less, but hey I wasn’t there! Apparently he can be heard bashing the tubs on some of the tracks on this (fantastic) demo album they made in ‘69:
     
  5. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    I’ve got to go back and concentrate on the first half. I was skimming and didn’t realize that this was some serious reading until quite a bit of the way through.
     
  6. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    Location:
    France
    I'm surprised at Mendelsohn's harshness on the band's live performances. Either he's a poser or the Kinks progressed a lot in one year. The March 1972 concert that can be heard on the next LP does not match his description. Actually I thought they played better live than in the studio. I have a theory (yes!) that their studio output often sounds approximative because they didn't have enough studio time to get it right. When you listen to The Beatles' alternate takes, you realise they really needed those dozens of takes before canning the right version. The Kinks were probably not allowed the same amount of time. So they would have found themselves in this frustrating situation where you work hard on a track, record it with all the right intentions there but not necessarily well expressed, and find yourself afterwards on the road finally mastering the song and having second thoughts about the recording.
     
  7. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    From the other things I've read, he did seem a little harsh lol

    I don't really feel the studio recordings are poor at all.... it seems more like they bring more energy to the live recordings, and so it gives them a little more punch.
     
  8. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Some of his observations of their live performances may be firsthand but others are per outside reporting:
    “Reports from several cities had it that the group appeared to be only just capable of remaining upright while on stage.”

    And then the ‘Rock’ magazine report of a drunken Ray falling over the amps when Dave moved out of the way.

    I don’t think this piece, written as promotional material for the album, can possibly be considered as a “poser” piece.
     
  9. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Good song! (The first one. Didn’t listen further)
     
  10. LX200GPS

    LX200GPS Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    I attempted to read the album notes on the Bakerloo Line (London Underground) on my way home after buying the record. For those who are unaware, the Bakeloo Line wasn't the smoothest Line back then by any means. I read about six lines of the notes before I realised it was a complete waste of time and gave up.

    For Kinks fans back then this album was a Godsend. The fact that it didn't have all the hits was good because these were already available on other compilations and this album was an opportunity to hear, for the first time, many other tracks unavailable at the time. Another thing in its favour was that the quality didn't suffer because they squished 10 tracks per side like our friends at Pye were fond of doing.

    The cardboard sleeve was also high quality as it was very thick/robust. And, of course, those famous album notes. All in all a great package for the fans back then. I bought GLKA simply because Kronikles was so good. On track selection alone Kronikles was the best compilation album available. Much better than the often talked about Black album - though I have to admit I never bought that one.

    The cd of Kronikles leaves a lot to be desired in terms of sound quality but these days compilation albums just don't carry the same weight as they did before the advent of streaming. I have my own Kronikles playlist with the same tracks and same running order but using the higher quality tracks available to us now.
     
  11. side3

    side3 Younger Than Yesterday

    Location:
    Tulsa, OK
    Kinks Kronikles

    This was really my gateway into The Kinks. the first Kinks album I owned. I think it is excellent. I can't think of one that is better. A great balance of hits, b-sides and rarities.
     
  12. LX200GPS

    LX200GPS Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    The Kinks came in for a lot of criticism for their live performances back then. They were drunk a lot of the time, cancelled lots of shows, and to some, disrespected their wonderful songs.
     
  13. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    I first heard The Kink Kronkiles via a library copy & then I believe a friend gave me a copy shortly afterwards. When I started getting into the Kinks, I think I was getting into all their periods at once. Anyway, The Kinks Kronikles is one of those great compiliations & it's too bad that our foreign Avids didn't have the opportunity to purchase it cheaply.

    John Mendolshon's were pretty classic, unlike his liner notes in the GLKA, which were like a lover scorned. Avid Ajsmith is right that his 1984 Kinks book (which I bought in 1984) is basically how he loved them to 1970 & how crappy they were afterwards. He also had a hybrid book/CD about him that came out on Rhino in the 1990s called I, Carumba, which was an interesting read.

    Also, the reason why Kronkiles doesn't have any pre-Sunny Afternoon stuff on it is because there was a Greatest Hits that was released in 1966 on Reprise that had all the early hits (& was their only gold record until 1979). Their contracts w/both Pye & Reprise were also renegotiated in 1966, w/the help of Allen Klein, who thankfully wasn't interested in the Kinks as he was w/the Beatles & Stones.
     
  14. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    Yes, John Mendelsohn was a lucky bastard. He tells the story about how he drove Ray around LA when the Kinks came back in 1969 & Ray gave him the orange tie that he was wearing.
     
  15. Pawnmower

    Pawnmower Senior Member

    Location:
    Dearborn, MI
    Other songs about places: "Village Green" & "Animal Farm"

    Weird selection.
     
  16. Scottsol

    Scottsol Forum Resident

    Location:
    Evanston, IL
    This was the second Kinks album I ever purchased, and I adored it; but the sound was not good at all.
     
  17. Adam9

    Adam9 Senior Member

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Dave Marsh didn't write the Kinks entry. Marsh was just one of the contributors to the book I believe.




    Not if you think about the other tracks included on the "places" side. 3 of them were unavailable in the U.S. while The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society was.
     
  18. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Marsh and Swenson were the co-editors. They also wrote some of the reviews (though had a multitude of other reviewers, as well). I wish I still had my copy of the first one. Well-thumbed. I loved that reference guide.
     
  19. CheshireCat

    CheshireCat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cheshire
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  20. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    I would hope that our Showbiz discussion is going to be more accurate than that!
     
  21. donstemple

    donstemple Member of the Club

    Location:
    Maplewood, NJ
    The Kink Kronikles

    I never really knew much about this. My love for the Kinks started with a few 1966 hits, and then expanded into their early hits and the albums through Muswell Hillbillies. What this thread has shown is there were so many hidden gems between these years that never made it onto albums. This does seem like a fantastic well thought-out playlist with the theme of "Here are songs that I want people to hear, and I'm going to try to group some together into a theme, and damn the chronological order". That seems like a pretty unique compilation mission statement!

    But wow, because of this thread, now knowing how great songs like Berkeley Mews, This is Where I Belong, God's Children, Polly, Susannah's Still Alive, and Big Black Smoke are, along with Waterloo Sunset, Dead End Street, Autumn Almanac, Sunny Afternoon, Lola and Days, this could very well have been called "Kinks Klassics & Deep Kuts". But I am fine with Kronikles because well, it replaces not one but two c's with k's.

    My only suggestion would be perhaps Moments instead of God's Children, if I had to pick one from Percy. And perhaps Lavender Hill instead of Willesden Green for a different place I'd rather hear about.
     
  22. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Location:
    Murrumbateman
    Yes, that and the Beatles other "secret weapon" - bouncing ideas off each another and being prepared to take on those ideas to improve the song. In one of the previews of Peter Jackson's Get Back, George is struggling with the lyrics for Something and John advises " Just say whatever comes into your head - 'attracts me like a cauliflower'- till the word comes to you." Ray was such a control freak we can't imagine him ever asking or taking advice on how to finish his songs. That said, I can't see how Ray's best sixties songs could have been improved by a committee - even one including John and Paul!

    The are liner notes and there are liner notes - Mendelssohn's are gold standard and a great advertisement for the beauty of big vinyl records over tiny CD packaging.

    I forgot to mention this in my comments yesterday. The SQ is indeed a bit muddy - especially on the CD version - suggesting the record company didn't put in as much effort as Mendelssohn. Good news though - Kronikles was reissued last year for Record Store Day (on red vinyl) and the new version sounds much cleaner.
     
  23. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Just going over the detail I missed this a.m.:
    And this is the opening sentence! The reader is dropped in the middle of a (seemingly) ongoing conversation.

    !!! The second sentence. Reprise, which these liner notes are for, is the abandoned party, right?

    Perfect fodder for a forum thread.

    I have no idea what this refers to.

    I knew Ray didn’t know how to drive…but a non-working phonograph? Off with his head!

    I’ve seen this in a number of artists. Jeff Tweedy of Wilco went through an in-the-audience’s face phase. Hated ‘em and seemed to respond positively when jeered and taunted.
     
  24. Adam9

    Adam9 Senior Member

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Yes, Reprise.

    The gappy grin was Ray's gap in his teeth which he refused to get fixed.
     
  25. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    "Miniver Cheevy in droopy white socks and a gappy grin .."

    Miniver Cheevy - Wikipedia

    Miniver Cheevy

    Miniver Cheevy, child of scorn,
    Grew lean while he assailed the seasons;
    He wept that he was ever born,
    And he had reasons.

    Miniver loved the days of old
    When swords were bright and steeds were prancing;
    The vision of a warrior bold
    Would set him dancing.

    Miniver sighed for what was not,
    And dreamed, and rested from his labors;
    He dreamed of Thebes and Camelot,
    And Priam's neighbors.

    Miniver mourned the ripe renown
    That made so many a name so fragrant;
    He mourned Romance, now on the town,
    And Art, a vagrant.

    Miniver loved the Medici,
    Albeit he had never seen one;
    He would have sinned incessantly
    Could he have been one.

    Miniver cursed the commonplace
    And eyed a khaki suit with loathing;
    He missed the medieval grace
    Of iron clothing.

    Miniver scorned the gold he sought,
    But sore annoyed was he without it;
    Miniver thought, and thought, and thought,
    And thought about it.

    Miniver Cheevy, born too late,
    Scratched his head and kept on thinking;
    Miniver coughed, and called it fate,
    And kept on drinking.
     

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