The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. FJFP

    FJFP Host for the 'Mixology' Mix Differences Podcast

    The 52 minute Aftermath might have something to say about that! LPs were almost always shorter in the US - it's just the standard to do the 10/11 tracks compared with the UK 12/14, to make and sell more albums out of it. As always, $$$ wins!
  2. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus

    The Rolling Stones and Dylan had longer albums. But generally speaking, the longer the album, the worse the sound -- probably being super simplistic and I am not an expert!
  3. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    I'm more comfortable rating the LP as a whole after the song by song discussion. But I can say this : Kinda Kinks has ten Ray Davies originals, whereas Kinks had only five. That in itself already makes it twice as good in my book.
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  4. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Kinda Kinks - bought it in 1986 along with most of the other Pye albums. My copy is a 1980 reissue on the grey Pye label, but even this would be worth a lot more now than the £2.50 I paid for it back then. It could do with a deep clean though.

    I've always liked this album, despite the lukewarm reviews it gets and the fact that much of it was recorded in a hurry. The two covers are the worst tracks on the album, but elsewhere we have Ray's songwriting gradually developing its own character and quirkiness. Dave gets 4 lead vocals out of the 12 songs, which is a decent ratio.

    I listened to it a couple of weeks ago, and was struck by how the sound quality dramatically dips between "Dancing In The Street" and "Don't Ever Change" - looking at the recording dates I can see why, as the latter came from an earlier session. It could be said that "Tired Of Waiting" doesn't entirely belong sonically as that also came from a few months earlier, but it's good to have it anyway.

    Great pictures on the front and back covers - on the front Ray is the only one anywhere near a smile, while on the back he's lurking in the shadows. Unusual for an album of this vintage to have no sleeve notes - the only one of the first five Kinks albums to not have them?
  5. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Kinda Kinks - a big step up from the debut and an 'almost great' album.
  6. ajsmith

    ajsmith Senior Member

    That’s right: although as you see above the US version had liner notes (band member interviews) which appeared in the UK a year later on the reverse of the budget ‘Well Respected Kinks’ comp.
  7. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Indeed they are - I was looking at the notes on the US version and had the feeling I'd read them before somewhere!
  8. Wildest cat from montana

    Wildest cat from montana Humble Reader

    ontario canada
    But not quite. But we're getting there.
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  9. Filip1701

    Filip1701 Forum Resident

    A huge step up from the debut. Lots of great tracks. The worst ones, for me, are Dancing in the street (well, at least they can say they covered it 20 years before Jagger & Bowie), You shouldn't be sad and Naggin' woman. I like all the others. TOWFY, Something better beginning and Don't ever change are, in my opinion, among the best material they did in the mid 60s. I kinda described songs before we actually came to them, but oh well.
  10. Pawnmower

    Pawnmower Senior Member

    Dearborn, MI
    I'm a big fan of "Kinda Kinks." I have two copies: the 2CD set from 2014 and the Mono Collection vinyl box set from 2016. Over 20 years ago when I was starting to get into the Kinks, nobody I came in contact with ever told me to bother with the first couple albums. In fact, I was told to start around "Face to Face." Surprised was I when I first heard this one and how strong it is. At least half the album are solid deep cuts.. "Nothin' in the World," "Wonder Where My Baby is Tonight," "Don't Ever Change," "So Long," "You Shouldn't Be Sad," "Something Better Beginning," etc. This doesn't include, of course, both sides of the single we just discussed. If the other tracks aren't as strong they are still enjoyable. It's a real step up and a great spin. Deserves more recognition.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2021
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  11. Steve E.

    Steve E. Doc Wurly and Chief Lathe Troll

    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    Even in the early 80's, when I started buying records, you had to go to a specialty shop in the city to get an imported version of an album. I suspect that in 1965, the import market simply did not exist in shops that stocked records (which were often department stores, anyway). So Americans pretty much bought what they had access to.

    I can see the market-driven logic to "Kink-Size." In the UK, albums were ripoffs if they included singles ("You're making me buy this song twice?"), and in the US, albums were ripoffs if they did not. Some exec looked at the Kinks' recent UK releases and said "now wait a cotton-pickin' minute.... they've put out two recent hit singles and an EP since the last album, and only the later hit is on the album? We're gonna fix that." And it was smart, because, as you say, it became their second-best selling US 60's album. Of course, that left the remaining "Kinda Kinks" material waiting for future hit singles, and those turned out to be "Set Me Free" and "Ev'rybody's Gonna Be Happy", which were lesser hits.

    Even in the early 60's, Scully and Neumann record lathes had the ability to preview the loudness of the upcoming 2 seconds of music, and push the grooves closer together (reduce the groove spacing) for the quieter passages. This allowed longer running times. By the way, reducing bass content also allows more running time, which is why those "Golden Hour of the Kinks" records are so tinny-sounding.

    It is my understanding that the main reason US pop albums of the earlier 60's rarely had more than 11 songs had to do with some profit limitation on mechanical royalty rates, given the going standard price for record albums. Basically, above 11 songs, Capitol or Reprise started to make only a squillion dollars on a best selling album, instead of a bajillion. The standard mechanical rate per song back then was 2 cents. So, for an 11-song "You Really Got Me" album, Reprise would have to send the Kinks' publishing a reasonable 22 cents per album sold, while the UK 14-song debut would have cost the label an entirely unacceptable 28 cents.

    Standard mono records typically retailed for $1.99. So that was a potential difference between paying a band* 11% of gross, and 14%. (Stereo records were $2.99. I don't think the publishers got a higher rate on those.)

    *I'm not entirely clearly who got that mechanical royalty, actually. See "The Money-Go-round."
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2021
  12. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    I started my own deep dive into The Kinks several months ago but didn’t have the input and knowledge of this tremendous group of thread participants. Prior to my most recent look, I was a Village Green/Muswell Hillbillies guy. Pretty much entirely.

    But I found myself thrilled beginning with Something Else (a few albums to go yet from the thread discussion) so I guess that means it’s a possibility that I’ll become an earlier convert. We shall see! (But I couldn’t ask for a better Kinks guide/primer than what all of you are providing).
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  13. sharedon

    sharedon Forum Zonophone

    Boomer OK
    But that's Finnish?
  14. Martyj

    Martyj Who dares to wake me from my slumber? -- Mr. Flash

    Maryland, USA
    Like most America’s who started buying albums in the pre-compact disc age, I acquired the tracks spread across two LP’s, the US abridged version of “Kinda Kinks” and a later release “Kinks Kingdom,” which took leftover tracks from this and collected contemporaneous singles and EP’s, all of which are on the CD reissues. The Deluxe Sanctuary version with all those extra demos of unreleased songs is pretty awesome and shame on any Kinks fan who feels content only owning a greatest hits collection of the pre-1966 material. There’s some under-appreciated gems in this era.

    If I were to only assess the original 1965 12-track release, I actually listen to the 1964 debut album more. For all its faults with the covers, it actually raves more than this one. But that’s just my taste. “Kinda Kinks” by contrast is a quieter collection. That’s not to fault it—and, in fact, portends a direction the band will distinguish itself before too long.

    The “kinda” in the title is right. For the contemporary audience awaiting new releases, I imagine when this quieter LP, combined with the slower tempo single “Tired of Waiting” arrived in the early months of 1965, the reaction was likely “Hmm, this new Kinks stuff is kinda what I was expecting. It’s still great, but different…”
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2021
  15. Martyj

    Martyj Who dares to wake me from my slumber? -- Mr. Flash

    Maryland, USA
    This is true. And it was a way of acquiring a hit such as "All Day and All of the Night" on an album with other songs, which at that time was not an option in the UK.
  16. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I don't speak either. I was going from the tag it had
  17. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line The Under Asst East Coast White Label Promo Man

    Cool, your last sentence may have sent half the forum into meltdown!
  18. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Good info.
    Cheers mate
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  19. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Tired of Waiting For You: I don’t think I had any idea this was a Kinks song. I can recall hearing it on the radio as a kid and, as far as I can remember, hadn’t heard it since that time frame (of when I was 7 or so). A terrific song!
  20. Zack

    Zack Senior Member

    Easton, MD
    General comment in Kinda Kinks: I think it's a big step up despite the fact that it was really rushed by the record company. Four random comments.

    1. Got My Feet on the Ground has one of the greatest of Ray's opening lines ever: "I want a lot out of life, but I know my limitations." (Or is it young Dave?) Dave also seems to sing: "I don't need nobody else/All I need's a single chicken." (It's actually "ticket".)
    2. Again Dave: I find the idea that 17-year-old boy is singing about his old lady nagging him because she wants another man is hilarious.
    3. "There's Nothin' in this World to Stop Me Worryin' 'Bout That Girl" may have the most apostrophes in any pop song title ever (this stolen from Kink Kronikles author John Mendelssohn.)
    4. The emotions conveyed in Something Better Beginning are way more complex than your average pop song of 1964 and point the way forward lyrically for Ray.
  21. Zack

    Zack Senior Member

    Easton, MD
    Calumny! ;)

    Actually the song is set in Norway during the summer and the sun was still up at night. :bdance:
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  22. Pawnmower

    Pawnmower Senior Member

    Dearborn, MI
    To me, the gold of the album is side 2. Four of those tracks are quite introspective. I love how it ends with those three tunes.
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  23. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Apple Music has the 98/04 cd with bonus tracks. My initial run-through...and I’ve come out with eight (8!) playlisters. Maybe I’m getting carried away. :D
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  24. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    I like this album and all the bonus tracks more than most. I count at least 13 songs that would make my playlist! I will wait for the song by song to say anymore!
  25. wore to a frazzel

    wore to a frazzel Forum Resident

    Dala, Sweden
    It's Icelandic. I really like the photo montage by the way, in spite of the weird "haircuts".
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