The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Got My Feet On The Ground

    mono mix (2:13), recorded 15-17 Feb, 1965 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London

    Here we get a composition by Ray and Dave .... Is that a rare thing? ... it seems like it is.

    We come straight in with the vocal, and Dave, in my opinion is singing a lot better and in a less affected way than on the debut album.

    I wanna lot out of life, but I know my limitations
    Guess I want a lot of things and got my inclinations
    Got my feet on the ground, and I'm standing on my own
    I don't need no one
    I don't need no one

    I've learned a lot out of life, watchin' other folks mistakes
    Funny things that they can get for finding out too late
    I got my feet on the ground, and I'm standing on my own
    I don't need no one
    I don't need no one

    Well I don't need nobody else
    All I need's a single ticket
    When I travel on my own
    Not afraid to be alone
    I got my feet upon the ground, and I'm standing on my own
    When I travel far and wide
    And looking for a four leaf clover
    Don't mind if I can't find it, got no chip upon my shoulder
    Got my feet on the ground, and I'm standing on my own
    I don't need no one
    I don't need no one

    Well I don't need nobody else
    All I need's a single ticket
    When I travel on my own
    Not afraid to be alone
    I got my feet upon the ground, and I'm standing on my own
    When I travel far and wide
    And looking for a four leaf clover
    Don't mind if I can't find it, got no chip upon my shoulder
    Got my feet on the ground, and I'm standing on my own
    I don't need no one
    I don't need no one
    (repeat)

    Written by: Dave Davies/Ray Davies
    Published by: Kassner Music Co. Ltd

    Here we get a track that seems to have a connection to a sort of Carl Perkins kind of thing. It isn't quite rockabilly, but it kind of feels like a relative of it.

    Again we get a good sounding track, and we race along joyously.
    As pointed out earlier
    I wanna lot out of life, but I know my limitations
    Guess I want a lot of things and got my inclinations
    Got my feet on the ground, and I'm standing on my own
    is a great opening line, and I think Dave delivers the vocals really well.

    I also really like the lead break here, it brings to mind Scotty Moore and Carl Perkins, and that sort of hybrid country/rock/rockabilly kind of sound.
    I also really like the way, the song starts to quiet down a little towards the end and then we get the little explosion of enthusiasm, and Dave also adds the bit of a whoop in the vocal.

    So for me we open with two solid tracks, that set things up nicely.

     
  2. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I guess this could be it?

    Goldie And The Gingerbreads

     
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  3. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scotland
    Yep, thankfully Dave is singing better than on the debut!
     
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  4. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scotland
    Bingo! Thanks Mark.
     
  5. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    Look for Me Baby is really cool, managing to channel a bit of Beatles magic (“Look all arounnnnnd the world” is sung in a very lennonesque style) while being un-mistakenly Kinks. Love Rasa's vocals, a very nice touch in many of their early songs. It’s the opener of the second LP, and they’ve become a super distinctive, super confident band. Of course, they will grow and become even more distinctive and confident, but this is pure infectious groovy rock’n’roll joy. Love the double track vocal and the three notes bass descending riff is fantastic. Note that it was the basis of the superb (and very kinksian)
    Can't Stand It by super Kinks nerds Wilco. I'm sure @mark winstanley, @palisantrancho and @Zeki will back me up on this.

    In my mind, Got My Feet on the Ground is the equivalent of Do You Wanna Dance by the Beach Boys, sung by Dennis. Not a very sophisticated song but a blasting rock’n’roll track, defined by the enthusiasm and drive displayed by the (double tracked) lead vocals. Like the Beach Boys tune, there’s this feeling the singer just couldn't wait for the band and started singing (screaming!) at the top of his range, taking the musicians by surprise and forcing them to run just a little bit behind him for the whole duration of the song. It gives the whole thing a sense of urgency and playfulness that is truly irresistible. Two songs in, and this album is off to a very very good start. Who's supposed to be a singles’ band, again ?
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2021
  6. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I hadn't thought about that, but yea, I can hear that.
     
  7. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Yea. They sure did release some great singles, but from here on they are an album band for me.
     
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  8. Wildest cat from montana

    Wildest cat from montana Humble Reader

    Location:
    ontario canada
    He may very well have been but Paul Simon is primarily a Paul Simon fan.
     
  9. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    I love the bridge/middle eight in 'Look For Me Baby'. It just has the very cool panoramic quality. The whole song if it's about anything beyond the surface boy/girl scenario, seems to reflect the giddiness of Ray being untethered from the parochial concerns of his past as he faces up to the joys and worries of being a worldwide star. I have to admit though, as much as I enjoy The Kinks version, I think Goldie and the Gingerbreads improved it with their take.. the backing vocals and looser swing just give it the girl group sass it really needed to get fully over the line.

    There's something about this whole album that captures the shared dazed innocent wide eyed excitement of a group suddenly catapulted from nowhere to the stratosphere of worldwide pop success, and before any of Ray's trademark wistful world weariness (evident by as early as the next album with tracks such as 'Where Have All The Good Times Gone') had kicked in. As I said previously, it's the one album where they un-cynically embrace the hip sound of the time, ie Motown, and while their actual cover of 'Dancing In The Streets' is a bomb, that mid sixties hands across the water cosmopolitan POPTIMISM of that particular song and of that moment pervades the LP most appealingly.
     
  10. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    "Got My Feet On The Ground"

    Is this the only composition credited to Ray and Dave? Whatever, it's a decent rave-up with Dave delivering a confident vocal and a nice lead guitar break. Another good mix with all the instruments clearly audible.

    I'd never noticed it before, but thanks to this thread all I can hear now is "single chicken". :)
     
  11. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Lol same here.
    Brings to mind the old joke about the difference between kinky and perverted.
     
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  12. Zack

    Zack Forum Resident

    Location:
    Easton, MD
    :tiphat:

    (Also, Party Line on Face to Face is another Ray/Dave co-write.)
     
  13. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    'Death Of A Clown' is also credited to Dave and Ray. There's also a fair few other songs that probably SHOULD have been credited to them both together (cough cough **Party Line**).
     
  14. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Look For Me Baby: My favorite part is the just slightly off-kilter backing vocals on “love.” A really nice touch that I think is much better than the featured backing chorus chant of ‘look for me baby.’
     
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  15. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Got My Feet On the Ground: “I don’t need Noah. I don’t need Noah.” Yes, I can see that I’m wrong on the lyrics but that’s how it sounded to me yesterday and still does at this very minute!
     
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  16. Martyj

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

    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    Look for Me Baby

    ajsmith is spot on above in recognizing the Motown influence on Kinda Kinks. Ray has mentioned as much in later interviews..

    The back story: after befriending Motown session keyboardist Earl Van Dyke while on tour, Ray began his ultimately short, unfulfilling quest to capture a Motown feel on a Kinks record. First on “Everybody’s Gonna Be Happy” and next on this (and later on a regretful cover.) Though none succeed in that regard, this one appears closer to Motown to my ears. But that doesn’t mean it’s a great appropriation, or even that it’s better than “Everybody’s Gonna Be Happy” (it’s not.) It is, in fact, among the more forgettable original songs recorded by the band in 1964-65.

    The problem isn’t with the band’s performance so much as it is with Ray’s vocal phrasing. His is just not a natural fit for soul—if that is indeed what he is aiming for here (It’s really hard to tell.) The song itself isn’t bad. As evident with Goldie and the Gingerbreads, it comes off right in hands of a bouffant-sporting girl group. It wouldn’t surprise me if that was the original intent considering that Larry Page was peddling Ray Davies The Songwriter during this period, and the band had toured with Goldie et al. (In Dave’s autobiography he recount’s Mick putting the moves on Goldie’s drummer.) Maybe the Kinks doing this was the result of grabbing whatever song Ray had most recently been laboring over for these quickly managed recording sessions. Whatever, this song is not a good fit for the Kinks, circa 1965.

    It’s interesting that the Kinks never again seriously pursued the Motown sound after “Kinda Kinks.” Considering over their career they would master a diversity of pop genres—from baroque rock to country blues to vaudeville to disco to arena-rock balladeering—I think it was within their grasp. I suspect the failure here was that the band’s compliment for expediency sake was limited to three electric guitars, a piano, and drums. Had they revisited a Motown-type arrangement during that period in the mid 70’s when they had expanded to a horn section and back-up singers, my bet is Ray could have gotten it right. I like to think there are things on Preservation Act 2 that might have allowed for that kind of interpretation.

    Other's above have commented on "Look For Me Baby's" place as the opening. It’s an interesting exercise to keep track of the choices for songs to serve as LP’s openers. In the course of releasing 24 studio albums, some lead tracks are obvious picks, being strong standouts. Others are surprising choices of weak, non-entities. This is among the latter, IMO. In fact, this may be the poorest of them all, but so far everyone else likes this track. (Well, we all have our own tastes.). At this early stage—only their second album—I wonder what input, if any, the band had in dictating the line-up. I know the Beatles, for example, in short order earned the clout to make demands that were met, but did the Kinks pull that sort of weight yet?

    Got My Feet On the Ground.

    I like it. I have never been able to quite nail this one down. It’s a fast mover that eschews the rock treatment in favor of something resembling county. But it’s not quite that, nor is it quite rock and roll, and I wouldn’t call it rockabilly either… but it comes within striking distance of all three. There’s a sort of Western Swing-two-step bounce that sustains it through out. Reminds me a little bit of the Mike Nesmith stuff the Monkees used to slip past Don Kirshner onto their early albums. Daves’ solo sounds like he might be channeling James Burton circa a Ricky Nelson session. Anyway, whatever it is, I like it. Among my favorite songs on this LP.
     
  17. Vagabone

    Vagabone Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    To me, this album starts very disappointingly. The band who have already brought us two, arguably three of the best singles of the sixties should be starting their new album with a bang. Instead we get "Look For Me Baby", which sounds more like a song you'd bury somewhere in the middle of a record. However the thread contributors who have pointed out its soul/Motown influences have put it in a new light for me. I hadn't really thought about it like that, because the singing is so un-Motownlike. But I can hear it now, and it's an interesting suggestion that if they had followed that path further this track would seem more important in retrospect. As it is it's an average-sounding pop song based on too meagre a hook. The Goldie and the Gingerbreads doesn't bring out any hidden qualities - it's even less impressive.

    "Got My Feet On The Ground" is bluesy water-treading.

    Sorry, but for me the Kinks were still a singles band until Kontroversy. It's not that they weren't good enough yet - we have seen what they were already capable of - it's that they were spreading themselves too thinly, or perhaps they didn't value the album format as much as they later would.
     
  18. Martyj

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

    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    You know what, I don't think I know anything about Wilco. But if they have a song that can credibly be described as "kinksian" then it tells me they are worth checking out. Thanks for the lead!
     
  19. Zack

    Zack Forum Resident

    Location:
    Easton, MD
    On one of the earliest covers of the album (CVPV 76032.30), the song is credited R.Davies - D.Davies.

    Party Line (The Kinks song) - Wikipedia
     
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  20. Martyj

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

    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    Yeah, my vinyl copy credits "Party Line" to both, so I was surprised when I read that above. When did they stop including Ray? EDIT: oops. I meant Dave.
     
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  21. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scotland
    I think they stopped crediting Dave.
     
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  22. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    My copy of Face To Face (1980 reissue) credits "Party Line" to Ray only, but Something Else credits "Death of a Clown" to both.
     
  23. Adam9

    Adam9 Senior Member

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    I used to think that that Got My Feet On The Ground was sort of an answer to the Beatles' Help ("Help me get my feet back on the ground") but I see since it was recorded in February of '65, well before the Beatles song.
     
  24. Steve E.

    Steve E. Doc Wurly and Chief Lathe Troll

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    This interview with Mick Avory muddies that up a bit:


    Well respected men - Record Collector Magazine

    What did you make of "Face To Face"?


    I liked it, because I was making a debut and getting into the music and trying to do my best to fit around the songs.

    Now, in the context of the article, he could have meant it was simply the first album where he drummed on the single as well as the other tracks.... And/or he may not remember. But it's an odd choice of words.

    Where is our most recent data on who-played-what coming from? It evolves over the years and we seen to have better access to this information than we used to, so I'm inclined to think you've got it right, here.

     
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  25. Pawnmower

    Pawnmower Senior Member

    Location:
    Dearborn, MI
    "I Believed You," which we already discussed, is also credited to Ray and Dave.
     

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