The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    How/why did you grow up in public and secondly does your first stanza explain why you are called the late man?:)
     
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  2. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Mark i can empathise as on my 21st my best friend & his girlfriend "borrowed" my bed which i duly noted with my speech later in the night!
     
  3. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    So....if present you would want to go home?
     
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  4. Scottsol

    Scottsol Forum Resident

    Location:
    Evanston, IL
    The Banana Boat section would have been OK if it had been in context as a tasty tidbit in between two “real” songs. Instead it just jarringly pops out of nowhere as does the singalong fade-out of Lola.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2021
  5. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    I think that is a great line. Ray isn't big on wordplay in his lyrics, but that is almost Costello-esque in the subversion of the expected "tear stains" with "beer stains".
     
  6. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    Yes, the lyrics are clever.
     
  7. abzach

    abzach Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sweden
    No, to the toilette.
     
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  8. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    Location:
    France
    It's one of many explanations ! The main one has to do with the first stanza of a famous song, that I would like as an Epitaph (which is the title of the next song)
     
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  9. Scottsol

    Scottsol Forum Resident

    Location:
    Evanston, IL
    When I saw your response I shouted, “Yelp”.
     
  10. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Maximum Consumption.

    stereo mix (4:02), recorded May-Jun 1972 at Morgan Studios, Willesden, London

    I'll have some clam chowder, followed by beef steak on rye
    Pumpkin pie, whipped cream and coffee,
    I wanna green salad on the side,
    Don't forget the french fries,
    Pizza pie, garlic and anchovie.

    I keep burning up calories as fast as I keep putting them down,
    Eat food, put it in my mouth,
    Chew it up, swallow it down,

    I'll have two eggs, over light, home made apple pie
    Coleslaw as a side order.
    I gotta stay fit, stay alive, eat food to sustain a non-stop high-grade performer.

    The pace is continual, sure keeps running me down
    Don't you know that you gotta eat food,
    Don't you know that you gotta refuel.

    I'm a Maximum Consumption, super-grade performer.
    High powered machine,
    Go steady on my clutch, go easy on the hills
    And you'll get a lot of mileage out of me.
    I'm so easy to drive, and I'm an excellent ride,

    Excessive living sure keeps running me down
    You've got to learn to use the Maximum Juice
    That's how you get the maximum use.

    Life keeps using me, keeps on abusing me, mentally and physically.
    I gotta stay fit, stay alive, need fuel inside, eat food to survive

    Maximum Consumption sure keeps running me down
    Don't you know that you gotta eat food
    Don't you know that it's good for you.
    I'm a Maximum Consumption,
    Non-stop machine
    Total automation perpetual motion.

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

    I have to say when I first heard this song, it sort of slid straight passed me. I didn’t hate it, I just didn’t really notice it. Like so many of the songs in this catalog though it is another song that over time wears itself into your mind.

    I think to some extent I can easily enjoy these songs because I don’t take them all that seriously. I obviously could be wrong, but to me it sounds like Ray’s tongue is firmly planted in his cheek over the course of a lot of these songs. Although with his issues, schedule, writing responsibilities (and the high quality expected, due to the high quality produced) and pressure to perform the songs live, Ray doesn’t seem to be taking this all too seriously……. In fact a lot of the content here almost seems like it is a parody of the famous trials of touring talk
    This song for example is essentially about eating to keep the energy levels up for the days work ahead. Also, it could be seen, a little, as the spoiled celebrity getting their requirements fulfilled …. For example, like the backstage concert requirements I have heard about over the years – for our band to perform here, we need three hundred and twenty seven red M & M’s – that kind of thing.

    I also see sarcasm in the idea that these guys would eat all this…. The combinations sound like a belly ache to me, and although I was always someone that could eat an awful lot, when it came to music, I lived on coffee, cigarettes and weed to be honest, with the food finding a spot when I got some spare time. Obviously I don’t know about anyone else, but when you’re having a few beverages, you don’t want too much food, and particularly before a big gig, I wouldn’t eat at all….. the last thing you want when you are going on stage to perform is a belly full of food, particularly when you suffer from high grade stage fright lol….
    Also, when in the studio, eating becomes almost nonexistent, because you are focused on laying down tracks, getting sounds, mixing etc….. generally, you consume mass amounts of coffee, as you roll from 10 or 11 in the morning until probably 3 or 4 the next morning…. Indeed it is not unusual to walk outside and see the sun coming up… but obviously I can’t speak to other people’s experience, but that is how I always experienced it, and most folks I knew would concur.

    Anyway, to my mind, this is a hugely sarcastic song lyric, and it essentially just makes me chuckle a bit.

    Musically this is great. I read a lot of reports, reviews, that speak to this being a boozy album, and on this song I can actually hear that, which also adds to the sarcasm of the lyrics here, as when on a bender, we only ever ate at the shishkebab place at 2 or 3 in the morning…. A big Doner Kebab in the early hours was always an essential part of the evening.

    I like the slow staggered introduction. We drop into a really cool bass, drum and piano …. A kind of staggered groove, and the feel here draws me in instantly.
    As we move on, the arrangement builds, and we get some nice rock and roll guitar from Dave, and the horns again, add some great colour to this track.
    I also love the piano riff that is used as a sort of link, breakdown, at the end of those verse phrases.

    The drunken, disjointed groove of this song is very appealing to me. It is almost like an exercise in counterpoint.
    Dave’s backing vocals here remind me of some of the earlier Kinks stuff with Dave in that high register.
    We get some wandering slide guitar supported by the horns.
    Ray is throwing in some spoken vocals, and for me they also add to the sarcastic feel that the song gives me.

    This is an interesting song in that although one could take it seriously in the context of the artists as a machine, needs to keep eating a lot to provide the energy to go on, that just isn't how it works from my experiences and so I can only see it as really sarcastic and almost straight up making fun of the whole situation.
    Musically the guys have got it all together, but it feels like it could be a boozy jam that just happened to work .... and the album is off to a very good solid start in my world.

     
  11. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    Ahah, this is a blast. "I'm so easy to drive / and I'm an excellent ride", that's fantastic. And how he delivers it… The song starts like a loose mocking jam, slowly but surely building into one of the most realized arrangements for the horns augmented Kinks ever. Everyone is swinging, the syncopated rhythm section is a joy – the bass playing tuba notes in the beginning, I absolutely love that ((as I love @mark winstanley's "staggered groove" depiction of it). Gosling’s killing it on the piano, indulging himself with little Elton John licks, and Dave’s guitar holds everything together while at the same time decorating the room with fantastic creative strokes of colors. The slide solo could be from George’s Dark Horse LP (which in many musical ways can be seen as a lesser Everybody’s in Show-biz) but the best bits are his low rhythmic flourishes, that anchor the second part of the song. Well, I say “second part”, but I certainly didn’t bother to count, as there are a myriad of mini sections, stops and starts, surprising bits of melodies, unexpected twists and turns making this apparently slight song a phenomenal (if unassuming) pop confection, that also brings the best early 70’s Harry Nilsson to mind. It holds the same spot (second track) and the same function (slow swing comedy blues) as Acute Schizophrenia on Muswell Hillbillies, but I think it’s better, more fully realized, more fun, more entertaining (the key word of this whole record). When I put it on the turntable this morning, I just smiled the whole way through (without even paying attention to the lyrics), marveling at the brothers' vocal duet and at the exhilarating power of a band at the top of its game, still capable, 11 albums in, to throw away a jaunty comedy number like this one, and turn it effortlessly into a musical masterclass.
     
  12. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Location:
    Murrumbateman
    Here Comes Yet Another Day
    This is the first fast-tempo song with the horn section and I think this is a great way of using the horns without risking them dominating the music. The live version from Celluloid Heroes - The Kinks Greatest chews through this song in 2:40 versus 3:34 for the studio version. It's fast and exciting. Mick's drumming is excellent and Dave rolls off a nice short solo. A fine opening track - whether for this album or a live concert back in the day.

    Maximum Consumption
    In contrast to the tempo of the opener, this song just lurches along. I'd find the lack of action on the music side to be fine if the lyrics really grabbed me with their complexity, irony, pathos, or something else showing depth. Instead, it sounds like something Ray could have written on a napkin over whatever meal he had time to sit down to that day. I get that he might be sarcastic but it still doesn't grab me. This album is 1-0 so far for me.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2021
  13. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    "Maximum Consumption"

    Apart from the presence of the horns, I find it hard to believe that this isn't a late-70s Kinks track. Even the title sounds like it should be a track from an Arista album. The lyrics sit right between "National Health" and "Superman" among others, the way Ray sings "I'm so easy to drive..." - the future Kinks are very much on view here.

    I like this one a lot, even though it's one of the "inconsequential songs about food" subset of this album. The lyrics are a hoot - I have to smile when Ray sings about being a "high-grade performer" - and he totally sells the silly lyric with his vocals, helped of course by Dave supplying that inimitable octave-separated vocal blend. Ray giving a shout-out to Dave before his solo is totally in keeping with the song.

    It's nothing special, and it's not something that you would use to demonstrate the genius of The Kinks to a newbie, but I enjoy it. (I could cut and paste this for a lot of tracks from now on)

    When did we stop saying "pizza pie"?
     
  14. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    'Maximum Consumption'

    First of all, musically and arrangement wise this seems very rich to me: by this point the horns are fully integrated into the band sound and even if the song as written perhaps isn't the most complex pop composition, (tho it has it's moments) there's lots of variation in the instrumentation and in the ever changing vocal delivery that keep you on board: I'd go as far as to say that the wide selection 'tasty' bits of playing evoke a smorgasbord esqee deli sandwich of musical filling that provides the perfect compliment to the lyric.

    And as for that lyric.. well as I mentioned in my album write up, have the stakes(eaks) ever been lower in a Kinks song up to this point?! The list of tasty treats and such illuminating wisdom as 'don't you know that you've got to eat food' could be argued to plumb the depths of banality. On the other hand, maybe it's the perfect account of the banality of the nitty gritty of constant touring, as set up by the first track. The amount of musical and passion going into this account of the utterly quotidian almost reaches a proto-Weird Al Yankovic (of whom more in a few albums!) level of absurdity: I've often thought that the unspoken truth with Weird Al twisting popular songs to be about food is that 'isn't it odd that there are so many passionate heartfelt songs about love and sex, when in fact FOOD is as important to life as either, and in fact is MORE essential on a day to day basis? so arguably there's something guilelessly profound going on with this track on some level. Food for thought, anyway.

    This also puts me very much in mind of Zappa,(also a master of putting musical excellence into service of conveying the banal) esp on the line 'I'm so easy to drive, and I'm an excellent ri-ide' which you can just hear delivered with FZ';s trademark smirk. Dave's co lead vocal on some of the lines on this are very welcome. On the flipside, on the line 'Life keeps using me...' Ray has never sounded more like a Dalek!
     
  15. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    Appropriately enough, given the subject matter, I find this stodgy and indigestible. Musically I don't find it interesting, it's just not something I'd want to listen to. The lyrics meanwhile smack of someone who's run out of things to write about, a common reason bands resort to writing songs about being on the road, I mean there's three songs about food on this album!
     
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  16. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    Well, there you go. I'm not going to have much positive to say about this album until we reach the end of Side One!
     
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  17. markelis

    markelis Forum Resident

    Location:
    Miami Beach FL
    Maximum Consumption: “Dave Davies on lead guitar!” Need I say more? Well, yes, I do need to say more. A song in which Ray just rattles off lots of types of food, most of those which he mentions not my top choices when I am hungry, so it should not be a catchy song. Why then is it so catchy? Maybe because Ray seems incapable of writing a bad song at this point, it appears. Anyway it grooves along and Dave lets some nice guitar work fly and even though I think its all a bit silly lyrically, I am too busy bopping along to it to skip it. I’d call it a solid B song. It will make my playlist for the MH through Schoolboys era, but probably towards the end rather than the beginning.
     
  18. Ex-Fed

    Ex-Fed Not Fed Ex

    Location:
    New York State
    Just about the time cars stopped having clutches.
     
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  19. LX200GPS

    LX200GPS Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    The editing on the live disc is dreadful. Was this really the best they could do? Another Kinks live album I rarely listen to.
     
  20. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Maximum Consumption:
    I don’t care for the daily caloric-intake lyrics (at least after the first time, when it’s still amusing) but, for the second song in a row, I find the music to be pretty good. 2 for 2 on the use of horns, a shambolic lead vocal, nice guitar interlude, great piano and I like Dave’s backing vocals.

    After initially dismissing the lyrics, I will say I do like the “excessive living sure keeps running me down” line.
     
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  21. stewedandkeefed

    stewedandkeefed Came Ashore In The Dead Of The Night

    I understand why some would see "Maximum Consumption" as a throwaway buy I still like it. Yes it has the same instrumentation as much of other rock n roll being made at the time - including horns - but the Kinks still have a unique sound and they sound a bit different than everyone else. There is something a bit off kilter about it that makes it sound like a Kinks record. Ray also uses the automobile as metaphor long before Bruce Springsteen emerged!
     
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  22. malco49

    malco49 Forum Resident

    i still say pizza pie , but then again i drive a manual transmission automobile!
     
  23. LX200GPS

    LX200GPS Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    Maximum Consumption

    When listening to these lyrics you would be forgiven for casting doubt on the claim that Davies is a "very English" songwriter. I hadn't heard of most of the food on offer here when I first heard this song so long ago. And whenever I have found myself in restaurants since I always smile to myself whenever I find something on the menu that Ray has had to consume to keep his energy levels up. Have yet to see pumpkin pie anywhere and my local cafe does not yet offer clam chowder with the Full English, although the Full English does now come with chips. But not fries.

    Not a masterpiece of a song but it's cleverly done and, musically, it is very easy on the ear. Never skip this one.

    Anyway, can't stop. Gotta go.
     
  24. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I have never said pizza pie..... I thought that was a New York/Chicago thing?
    I was stunned to find out so few people know how to drive a manual transmission these days.... when I was growing up that would have been shameful beyond imagining lol
     
  25. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    I think this is one of the songs written about being on tour in America. So although there's three songs about food and eating they're not all set in the same continent at least, I suppose!
     

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