The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. Luckless Pedestrian

    Luckless Pedestrian Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Hampshire, USA
    I never realized how funny the lyrics of Motorway are until I read through them this morning. Missed the "loo" business, and I never noticed the irony in "Ain't it a thrill to be so free" either. However, one thing I have always noticed and appreciated is the subtle touch of despair in the lines "So tired, tired of livin' / tired of livin' this motorway livin "; something about the repetition of the phrase "tired of livin'" - the way it pauses, and then folds over the end of the verse, somehow it calls out a contrast with the good humor in the rest of the song.

    I also love the use of "cats eyes", for me it is wonderfully evocative of being on the road, it generates rich imagery in my mind of speeding down the road late at night, focused but weary, with a constant stream of cats eyes on posts or embedded in the pavement guiding you into the darkness; they emerge as small points of light, one after another, gradually brightening, coming into focus clear, sharp, dramatically bright and then BAM in an instant they have disappeared into the past. "Cats eyes" also evokes that eerie feeling you get when your headlights reveal an actual cat or wild animal on the move in the night, or if you hear something in the woods, shine your flashlight into the blackness and a pair of eyes flash back at you within a mysterious, dark animal shadow. For only two words, that's poetic efficiency!
     
  2. Scottsol

    Scottsol Forum Resident

    Location:
    Evanston, IL
    I had a strange compulsion to object to this post, but I have no idea why.
     
  3. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    You don't like pudding type deserts?
     
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  4. Scottsol

    Scottsol Forum Resident

    Location:
    Evanston, IL
    Check my avatar.
     
  5. malco49

    malco49 Forum Resident

    the more i think about it , i think "showbiz" might have been the first album i heard by the kinks in "real time" so to speak and might have gone back to listen to muswell hillbillies. showbiz has always held an oddly alluring place in my heart and i am thinking it may have been the first one i bought etc. i am pretty sure i saw them live right around this time maybe closer to act 1 for the first time as well. just remember seeing them and loving them because they weren't a slick well oiled machine. i remember mick avory actually dropping a stick during a song. ( and as one who would go on to become a professional musician , well drummer , i always remembered that). it is a scary thing when it happens.
     
  6. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Lol
    Ok, I had missed that one :)
     
  7. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Do we know why the remixes on that 1976 compilation happened, I mean it was not 1996.
     
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  8. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    The Waldorf's a story ah, I always loved that classic skit!
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2021
  9. Michael Streett

    Michael Streett Senior Member

    Location:
    Florence, SC
    It’s a good question. At that point Ray had already negotiated the band’s new deal with Arista so he knew they were leaving RCA. So RCA wanted a comp to salvage something from what was absolutely a big time commercial (and arguably artistic) disappointment for them and the band. Ray and/or the label decides to remix the studio tracks picked for the comp LP. Not for singles and not as extended 12” dance remixes (thank goodness!).

    I went back and checked both of Doug Hinman’s books and there’s no reasons or speculation given as to why this happened at that point. Ray always tinkering and not being satisfied is my own speculation. Ray being Ray.

    One interesting tidbit I picked up from rereading Hinman’s All Day And All Of The Night day by day book about this 1976 comp concerns the remix of Muswell Hillbilly from the previous album.
    He states this has new vocals from both Ray and Dave plus new acoustic guitar. So not just a remix, but some new recording as well. I read this at the time the book was released but had forgotten and it has not come up on subsequent discussions here on the SHF that I’ve read and I’ve been here a while.
    I’ll mention once again the CD issues of this album do not contain these remixes, only the original 1976 vinyl LPs and surprisingly enough the iTunes and Amazon digital versions.
     
  10. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Please do as i think a few of us feel we have just been put in the shade!
     
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  11. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Plenty don't bother about carpet or curtains now.
     
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  12. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Location:
    Murrumbateman
    Indeed. That's all happened in one generation - or a little more in some places. In Woody Allen's late 60's stand-up routine he joked his mother had two values - God and carpeting.
     
  13. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    You Don’t Know My Name.

    stereo mix (2:35), recorded probably May 1971 at Morgan Studios, Willesden, London

    I've been travelling on this road
    I get the feeling its getting on
    I keep moving on
    I keep rolling on
    But does anybody know my name

    Travelling oh so long
    I get the feeling thats something's wrong
    I keep rolling on
    I keep rolling on
    But does anybody know my name.

    How could you believe when you don't know my name
    repeat

    I see life is such a simple game
    I sit and watch it from my moving train
    A bumpy ride to-day
    I'm not alone this way
    Does anybody know my name.

    Arrested in '69
    For upsetting a tourist guide
    Well pay the fine or jail
    I just smiled and said
    That I'm oh so glad to be alive.

    How could you believe when you don't know my name
    repeat
    How could you believe when you don't understand.

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

    Here we get a Dave song, and it feels like a little while since we had a Dave song….
    The first thing that comes to mind when I hear this song is The Mixtures- The Push Bike Song… it isn’t that it sounds the same, but there is something about the feel of it that brings that to mind during the verses…. Perhaps even more so, Mungo Jerry In The Summertime …. All three have a similar kind of feel, in my mind at least. The flute break brings to mind Canned Heat Going Up The Country……
    I’m not a big fan of looking for similarities in songs, I mean there are only 12 notes, so there is bound to be some crossover at some point, but these little similarities are there for me in this track.

    Having said that, I really enjoy this track, it has an easygoing vibe that appeals to me and it’s nice to have a bit of Dave inserted at this point of the album.

    Lyrically we haven’t seemingly got that much going on, but thematically it fits next to Motorway with the travelling down the road opening. We get Dave sitting and watching the world from his moving train, as opposed to Ray sitting watching the world from his hotel room…. And although essentially it is just an easy rhyme, that changes the context of the first verse, but works in its own space….. I think it actually says something about the two guys. Ray is locked away in solitude watching the world from his hotel room, and Dave is out in public watching the world, from in the world, with people around him.
    I don’t pretend to know the guys well at all, I haven’t read the books and such, and all I know about the guys personally, is what I have read in this thread, but songs can give away the writer, and I don’t think it’s an accident that both guys variations about watching the world give away a little bit about each of their personalities.

    In the context of the rockstar theme that flows through various spots on the album. You Don’t Know My Name, may suggest that Dave has a certain anonymity on the train, that Ray may not have had…. Purely speculation.

    We get some really nice little guitar parts, and Mick is giving us some really nice accents on the drums again.
    When you listen closely, there are some pretty good layers of guitars here. The melodic riff at the end of the verses is a really nice layered set of guitars.
    JD is pumping out some nice bass lines again, and somewhat in the background JG is laying down some nice piano as well.

    I really like this song. It doesn’t attempt to be anything more than it is, but it feels really nice, and it has this comfortable well worn pair of winter socks feel about it, that is comfortable, if not all that startling.
    I like the subtle change ups that continue through the song, and its nice to have Dave rolling out a lead vocal again.

     
  14. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Is that 1971 recording date right? If so, that means this song predates the recording of Muswell Hillbillies! Interesting if so. This sounds quite a bit like Climb Your Wall from 69/70 so it would certainly be plausible sound wise if it turned out this was a slightly earlier track.

    Always wondered about the ‘arrested in ‘69’ verse and what exact real life incident it was recounting. Always assumed something on their comeback US tour at the end of that year.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2021
  15. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    Great energy and enthusiasm once again, Mick and both Johns are killing it, Dave shows off his collection of instruments and skills, and it’s a rare – and welcome– case of distinctly hearing what Ray’s doing on the rhythm guitar. But then yeah, we get this flute break, straight out of a Traffic or Van Morrison (or Canned Heat) record, complete with an unexpected jazz/prog rhythmic change. Is it the only flute ever heard on a Kinks song? Will @Zeki count it as a “horns” track because of it?
    Sometimes, when listening to Dave’s songs, I get this paradoxical feeling that it sounds a bit generically of its period but unmistakably like him at the same time. Here on a thread that has proven its general sympathy towards his output and inestimable contribution to the Kinks’ genius, we keep repeating his songs sound like Faces/Lane tunes, like Rick Danko-led Band tracks, like something out of a seventies Rod Stewart record etc. But of course, its ragged “shambolic” style is also completely his own. His singing, always slightly off beat, his apparent reluctance to rely on any traditional steady time signature, the way his melodies often stop abruptly to resolve themselves on a blues lick, betraying the fact he probably came up with guitar ideas first before turning them into proper songs… You Don’t Know My Name is a great example of all these trappings and the title itself leads to acknowledging it properly: it may sound like a 1971/1972 rock summary at times but still, Dave, we most definitely know your name. It’s written all over this track…
     
  16. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    This song is OK, but is really just rock ordinaire ca. 1972. Has that dull early 70s sound. B-side material.
     
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  17. Northernlight

    Northernlight Forum Resident

    I haven't listened to Everybody's In Showbiz for a while. Might give it a go tonight (that's the best thing about these threads - they reopen communication lines between you and the neglected corners of your record collection). I haven't really got much time for the live material, and the studio stuff sounds like a slightly inferior Muswell Hillbillies, though I still enjoy it. The Bolan influence is here again, on the 'Supersonic Rocket Ship' vocal. I was just a little kid when that was out as a single and my pet guinea pig died... Everybody say, "Aw..."... Aw, indeed. Still reminds me of my guinea pig, but it's a great song, one of my favourite Kinks singles. Yep - must give Everybody's In Showbiz another outing this evening...
     
  18. markelis

    markelis Forum Resident

    Location:
    Miami Beach FL
    You Don’t Know My Name: I love Dave, I really do. This thread had brought that to light for me. As far back as the late 70s when I bought Misfits as a teenager (no drivers license yet, I was too young, so I rode my bike to the local record store and bought Misfits [my first Kinks purchase on my own] and Goats Head Soup - and I still love them both!) I fell in love with Dave’s raspy howl when I heard Truly Trust Your Heart off that album. This one is a new song for me, but as with most his songs, it’s a winner. Nice Rod Stewart facsimile, this one would not have been out of place on Every Picture Tells a Story, and I intend that as a compliment.
     
  19. Northernlight

    Northernlight Forum Resident

    I love 'Going Up the Country' and those Mungo Jerry singles. The Kinks did have a similar feel at this time.
     
  20. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Location:
    Murrumbateman
    You Don't Know My Name
    Dave doesn't discuss this song in his autobiography which probably indicates it holds no special significance for him. But in the context of this album, I think this song works very well. It has the same Faces/good time feel which was at it's peak in 71-72. At just 2:36 it doesn't overstay its welcome. And it's a relief to not have another of Ray's horns-drenched songs about food in its place. So thank you Dave.
     
  21. LX200GPS

    LX200GPS Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    You Don't Know My Name

    This was the second track I heard from the album as it was the B side of Supersonic Rocketship which was released about six months before the album.

    Really like this one.
     
  22. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Location:
    Murrumbateman
    Indeed it was a B-side and it's not pretending to be anything more than that. But I disagree that it has a "dull" sound. Are you referring to the production or the style of song?
     
  23. LX200GPS

    LX200GPS Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    I used to wonder about that too but I've never heard anything that points to any incident regarding Dave at that time. I now think that, had it been based on something that really happened, we would have heard something in the intervening years.
     
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  24. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    Production. The style doesn't exactly thrill me either.
     
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  25. LX200GPS

    LX200GPS Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    Dave's first album track on RCA. Without looking it up I can't think of another before the Arista period. That's a long time in the music biz.
     
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