The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. side3

    side3 Younger Than Yesterday

    Location:
    Tulsa, OK
    Hot Potatoes

    I have to admit that while upon first listening to this album, this track seemed really odd to me. An ode to potatoes. Now, it is one of my favorites. I love it. The slide is similar to the guitar hook in George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord" (with an overall sound close to something like "Deep Blue"), without being a complete cop. The lead vocals are great. The credits appear to show Ray sang this, but surely Dave sings a few line? If not, Ray is a first class Dave impersonator.

    Sitting in My Hotel

    I cannot ever remember hearing this song before I started listening to the album for this thread. It is incredible. My favorite on the album by far. To me, it sounds like something that would not have been out of place on the early Arista albums. Really great.
     
  2. donstemple

    donstemple Member of the Club

    Location:
    Maplewood, NJ
    Sitting in My Hotel

    A new song to me, and it is just lovely. Both Mark and Fortuleo have done a superb job discussing this track, but I do have a couple thoughts to add...

    Cheerfully forgiven, avid @Fortuleo! I do love that song, and until you mentioned it, hadn't recognized the similar melody and vocal delivery of that first line. So thank you for highlighting that! Could just be a coincidence, if not an inspiration.

    Regarding possible future inspiration, the simple piano chords during the verse make me wonder if Mötley Crüe had this in mind when Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx wrote Home Sweet Home in the 1980s. Not saying its an equal song at all, but it has that similar piano ballad quality, seemingly about being out on the road as a touring band, and excuse me if I think these lyrics seem like something Ray Davies could have written in the era we are currently covering:

    You know that I've seen
    Too many romantic dreams
    Up in lights, falling off the silver screen
    My heart's like an open book
    For the whole world to read
    Sometime nothing keeps me together at the seams
    I'm on my way
    I'm on my way
    Home sweet home

    Now back to Sitting In My Hotel, I agree with this Waterloo Sunset "sister song" theory by Mark:

    I would add that although the two songs cover the similar theme of staying inside and watching the world from his window, the focus is now different. In Waterloo Sunset, the title and subject are about what he sees. The focus is on what is outside... the river, the taxi lights, the people so busy, the station. And then also how these outside things make him feel -- that he isn't afraid, that he doesn't need any friends (perhaps because of what he imagines... are their names really Terry and Julie? or is this is making that up to pretend to be socially close to others?). It takes a closer listen and paying attention to realize that the song is actually about the protagonist sitting inside. In Sitting in My Room, the title/subject is on him inside. Getting dressed, watching late night shows, writing songs. But the similarity is the effect this has on his imagination. His friends aren't seeing him now. It's if his friends saw him now, they would be saying abc and asking xyz... So although on the surface or first glance, it's about him in his hotel room, it's really about his imagination and how his friends would see him now, and wondering (hoping?) that they'd understand (or, at least they'd "try to understand").

    Along the lines of @Fortuleo's comment about this line,

    ...another thing I noticed is "Sitting in my hotel room, thinking about the countryside and sunny days in June" makes me think of not only Village Green, but perhaps a reverse reference to Rainy Day in June or even End of the Season ("...dreaming of flowers in June")
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2021
  3. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    I can’t see the image so don’t know whether relevant to Andy Williams or not, but it’s not just this lyric that seems completely out of place for Williams. The only thing I can think of his friends smiling about might be the number of sweaters he must have as part of his wardrobe.
     
  4. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Yea, it's hard to see a lot of Kinks songs suiting Andy's image.... perhaps Days?
     
  5. Michael Streett

    Michael Streett Senior Member

    Location:
    Florence, SC


    1976 remix from the Celluloid Heroes RCA comp.
     
  6. CheshireCat

    CheshireCat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cheshire
    Sitting In My Hotel

    A majestic piece of work. The use of cockney rhyming slang really draws the song back to the Davies roots (not boots) and their friends before fame. Wistful, and perhaps with some regret to where the career has taken him away from those real friends, to seemingly a much more fake world where 'everyone's in showbiz'.
     
  7. idleracer

    idleracer Forum Resident

    Location:
    California
    :kilroy: Since no one as mentioned it yet, here is a probable source for lyrical inspiration:



    Sweet Charity / If My Friends Could See Me Now
     
  8. stewedandkeefed

    stewedandkeefed Came Ashore In The Dead Of The Night

    I have to say this song was sort of under my radar. But this thread makes you actually listen to each song and that is always good. Ray follows the number one writers' rule - write about what you know. And the image of Ray (or some closely related character) in his hotel room shielding himself from the world and watching it all go by is totally believable to me. I guess I really do like on the road anthems (Stones "Torn And Frayed" and "Memory Motel") so it is great to connect with a song that had gone unnoticed.
     
  9. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    "Sitting In My Hotel"

    I'm always late to the discussion. I don't have much else to add, but I'm happy that it is properly loved and appreciated. I love when the organ comes in around 45 seconds. Ray's vocal and melody can send shivers up the spine. It's the most beautiful song on the album, but I still think my favorite is yet to come.
     
  10. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Sitting in My Hotel Room

    This is a song I don't think I knew before this year. If it did appear in my younger years, it may not have hit my kid-ears in quite the same way it would hit an adult's ears.

    Such a personal and poignant song for Ray. As Mark pointed out, this is not Ray hiding behind a character (or three). This is him bearing himself to the world.

    His voice is so delicate too. We know how Ray can easily use his voice for characters and all sorts of reasons. But hearing his voice in this song makes me very emotional. He almost sounds breakable here. Especially when he hits "Seven stories high, looking at the world go by-y" it's like...wowwwww.

    He's hiding from the dramas of this world up in his hotel room. And likely putting off personal dramas that would catch up to him a year or so later. I sure wouldn't want to be the spouse of a rock star like Ray. Your personal relationships HAVE to suffer even under the best circumstances. His marriage was dicey from the beginning and he's off gallivanting on tours for years now. He can't help who he is, but something's gotta give.

    gorgeous song! how could you not like this?
     
  11. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Same
     
  12. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Does anyone else hear a similarity between today's song and this one? it's from around the same time period (1972).
     
  13. Adam9

    Adam9 Senior Member

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    As stated in an earlier post, one of the record's highlights.
    It gets me to thinking about Ray's other songs where he talks about friends: "See My Friends", where they've left him, "Waterloo Sunset", where he says he doesn't need any friends, and of course, "All Of My Friends Were There" where their opinion matters greatly to him. "Sitting In My Hotel" is like part 2 of the VGPS song.
     
  14. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I'm not sure...
    I haven't heard that song for a long long time.... but I liked it as a pup, and when it started, it was like I only heard it last week lol
    Thanks for posting it.
     
  15. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    ..... bi-polar disorder can be devastating to friendships.... it can be very difficult for the sufferer and the people around them.
    This raises all sorts of questions in the back of my head
     
  16. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    Walter, my old friend, where are you now?
     
  17. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    I’m not really hearing it, but I like this song. It kind of reminds me of “Our House” by Crosby Stills Nash and Young.
     
  18. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    Here's another dump of articles about the Kinks that I gleamed from the World Radio History website. This time, they are all from the UK magazine Record Mirror from the 1970s. There's some interesting stuff, especially involving Preservation Acts I & II:

    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...R-OCR-Page-0018.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...R-OCR-Page-0005.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...R-OCR-Page-0008.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...R-OCR-Page-0005.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...78-01-07-IDX-17.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...978-05-13-IDX-5.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...78-05-20-IDX-22.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...978-05-20-IDX-4.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...78-05-27-IDX-32.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...78-06-17-IDX-32.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...-04-S-OCR-IDX-5.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...-13-S-OCR-IDX-3.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...13-S-OCR-IDX-11.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...-03-S-OCR-IDX-5.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...-01-S-OCR-IDX-5.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...73-09-29-IDX-24.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...973-10-06-IDX-6.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...73-10-13-IDX-22.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...973-11-03-IDX-5.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...974-02-02-IDX-4.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...74-03-23-IDX-15.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...974-06-01-IDX-4.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...974-07-27-IDX-5.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...74-07-27-IDX-16.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...974-09-07-IDX-4.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...974-09-07-IDX-5.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...974-09-14-IDX-9.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...974-11-16-IDX-4.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...975-04-19-IDX-4.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...75-05-31-IDX-26.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...975-12-13-IDX-4.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...76-01-24-IDX-22.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...76-02-07-IDX-11.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...76-03-06-IDX-33.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...76-03-06-IDX-21.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...976-12-18-IDX-3.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...977-02-12-IDX-5.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...77-02-26-IDX-18.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...77-03-26-IDX-10.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...77-04-02-IDX-21.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...77-04-09-IDX-12.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...977-06-04-IDX-5.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...77-06-18-IDX-14.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...77-06-11-IDX-24.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...977-11-19-IDX-4.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...77-11-26-IDX-10.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...978-07-15-IDX-8.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...78-10-07-IDX-37.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
    https://worldradiohistory.com/hd2/I...78-10-14-IDX-10.pdf#search="ray davies kinks"
     
  19. donstemple

    donstemple Member of the Club

    Location:
    Maplewood, NJ
    I could also see Andy Williams singing Moments. And if we go back further, I can imagine him singing Set Me Free.
     
  20. Smiler

    Smiler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Houston TX
    "Sitting in My Hotel" – As always, so many fine insights have been expressed already. Since side one has been mostly disappointing for me since the promising opener, this arrives just in time. Musically, I usually welcome Ray’s piano songs for the change from the guitar-dominant songs, and because often the chord changes and melodies are more interesting, and here he delivers some beautiful music. Lovely melody and piano work, featuring Ray’s familiar descending chord pattern. I like the organ, and the trumpet is a nice touch (though the drums feel a bit heavy-handed for the feeling of lonely solitude expressed in the song).

    This is the other, lonely side of showbiz. He’s finally away from the spotlights and the rush and having to be “on” for the public, and has a rare quiet moment to feel homesick and reflective, aware of how separate he feels not only from his friends and family an ocean away, but from everyone -- the world outside, the people in the street seven stories below. And even though he is probably somewhat inebriated, he is taking a sober look at this life he has chosen. And it sounds like he’s not even sure if he has an answer for his friends who would question what all this “writing songs for old time vaudeville revues” and motorway livin’ is for. Honest, touching, and yes, Ray without a mask.
    Mark, bravo, bravo for your entire post, especially these insights expressed as well as I've heard anyone articulate them. The public presentation of my music has been almost negligible in the 45 years I've created it, but you so well address the passion and need to create it for personal reasons, and acknowledge the cost if it's not expressed. And intimately having that passion - or at least awareness of what it's like to balance conflicting, trying life circumstances, however "glamorous" - does evoke my empathy for the rock star as a human. I will write more about this on the flip side. I hope you get a chance to make music again soon, mate.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2021
  21. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    I think for some you may have just summed up their feelings between Hotels & Heroes!
     
  22. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    This is true. The popular opinion would most likely choose these two songs as top favorites, but I'm not like everybody else. Not to step on Greta Garbo, but there are other great songs coming up.
     
  23. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Fair enough, i concord with you as i hear one is even supersonic!
     
  24. Scottsol

    Scottsol Forum Resident

    Location:
    Evanston, IL
    Geez. All these puns are getting me pisst off.
     
    DISKOJOE and mark winstanley like this.
  25. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Ah, a puny complaint.
     
    mark winstanley likes this.

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