The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus

    "Look For Me Baby"-- very Motown...only the record just doesn't sound as good. I am glad to know that there was a girl group cover of this as I think it would work better. AS a genre exercise, its pretty good: it sounds genuine Motown cover rather than an original. But in the end, I feel like the sound is more or less crap, the double-tracking sloppy...but the backing vocals surprisingly great. Ultimately a good album track for this period, but not a good album opener. I wonder how much thought they put into sequencing?
  2. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus

    "Got My Feet On the Ground" -- kind of country rock-ish, as many have noted, but it's this weird hybrid of rockabilly and bluesy Rhythm and blues -- not that that's bad in itself, but the song itself just seems kind of average to me, and not something I'd remember much -- the raggedly tracked vocals (or is that two singers) is distinctive but not a sound I particularly like here.

    Honestly, the first two songs are kind of underwhelming....but we'll get there....
  3. ajsmith

    ajsmith Senior Member

    The most comprehensive who played what info that I’m going from is from Doug Hinman’s 2004 day by day book. It must be admitted though that as session documentation from the time is often non existent, Doug was going off his own original research and best guesses. But it’s the most authoritative text out there for now.
  4. Pawnmower

    Pawnmower Senior Member

    Dearborn, MI
    The booklet to the 2CD set says..

    Bobby Graham: drums (Disc 1, track 6)
    Mitch Mitchell: drums (possibly Disc 1: tracks 12-14)
    *problem is there are only 12 tracks on the disc
    Rasa Davies: backing vocals (Disc 2, tracks 3 & 4)

    No mention of Rasa on any album tracks.
  5. Martyj

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

    Maryland, USA
  6. Fischman

    Fischman RockMonster, ClassicalMaster, and JazzMeister

    New Mexico
    Look For Me Baby
    Although an admirable attempt, I agree with those who say this works better in a more pure Motown context. This is a tad on the plodding side while a legit Motown delivery gives it a necessary grave. This is evident to me in the pacing and especially the backup vocals. Still, a solid cut, no need to skip.

    Got My Feet On The Ground
    Now this is hot. Dave's dirty vocal is spot on here, a huge improvement from the previous album. The group's energy is on full display here as the delivery is just a little bit reckless, which works perfectly with the lyric. Great rhythm, great groove, perfect attitude.
  7. Steve E.

    Steve E. Doc Wurly and Chief Lathe Troll

    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    Look for Me Baby: This one has grown on me a lot over the years. It's sassy and has Ray in maximum personality mode. It's my guess that this is why they picked it as an opener. Add in that riff, and you know right away that this is the Kinks and no other band. Is that Rasa in the background vocals? Lyrics are good, and phrase lengths are unpredictable.

    The biggest minus, as others have mentioned, is the terrible double tracking. This song has a vocal that feels like it should come across as improvised. It's a bad candidate for "doing it twice," and Ray didn't nail it. Bad production choice.

    It's a two-note melody at first, aggressively monotonous, almost talky. Then it expands slightly upwards, including a minor third note. This turns out to be a setup for a sudden shift into a rather melodic second section with a lot of pretty chords. I get a bit of deja vu at this point, as if some other early Kinks song uses almost the same chords and tune, but it's not kicking in for me, if true.

    In any event, while that sloppy double-tracking was a severe turn-off when I first heard the album, I find myself looking forward to the song now. It's one of my favorites from Kinda Kinks.

    Got My Feet On The Ground: This is a total win. One of Dave's best early vocals, maybe THE best up to this point. I love his shrieks at the end, and his exuberance throughout. I like the trick in each verse where everything modulates up a full step, and we think the song might have shifted permanently into a new key, but it just turns out to be a brief turnaround. This one could have fit in nicely on Kontroversy, wouldn't have felt backwards --which is to say it's one of the songwriting leaps forward here. It's a little existential! Kinda bluegrass-rockabilly-country. Sun Records.

    I first heard this song on a bootleg cassette I had of Kinks on the BBC and Dave Davies outtakes, predating the official release of the album. It appears the BBC "version", from an interview session, was just the album track.

    There's a little hint of the bridge part of the melody of this song in Dave Davies' later, wonderful "(I'm) Crying."
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2021
  8. ajsmith

    ajsmith Senior Member


    I'm gonna take a guess here and say the 'tracks 12-14' was a mistake and meant 13-14 and refers to the Everybodys Gonna Be Happy/Who'll Be The Next In Line single. Maybe those tracks were originally meant to be tracks 13-14 on the first disc (instead of opening the second one as ended up being the case) at one point, but then, mistake upon mistake, it got changed and no one updated the liner notes. Other problem is, Hinman has Avory on that single, and in his recent Facebook post of the Blueprint for 'Everybody's Gonna Be Happy', Talmy also remembers Avory as playing on that single.

    I know Mitch Mitchell was briefly in the frame to replace Avory as The Kinks full time drummer after the May 1965 Cardiff incident and even rehearsed with them, but I've never heard any reference to him doing session work with the band otherwise. Not saying it's impossible he did, but I'm wondering where the idea he played on that single came from and if there's any evidence for it otherwise.

    In short: finding out with 100% certainty who played what on Kinks recordings will drive you insane!
  9. Steve E.

    Steve E. Doc Wurly and Chief Lathe Troll

    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    Wow. That's nuts. Never knew there was a Mitch Mitchell/Kinks connection.
  10. Steve E.

    Steve E. Doc Wurly and Chief Lathe Troll

    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    This article says Mitch Mitchell played on demos for "This Strange Effect" and "I go to Sleep.". Ah ha! Weren't those shifted to the next deluxe edition?
    (EDIT: "I Go to Sleep" is on disc 2 here, with other demos. Maybe Mitch is on some of those demos.)

    Was the (non-BBC) demo of "This Strange Effect" even released?!?!

    Last edited: Apr 28, 2021
  11. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    It's a surprise to me.... hard to imagine his style would have suited them to be honest.
    Thankfully Mitch found a home with Jimi, where he was suited.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2021
  12. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    The whole who played on what is quite bewildering...
    I guess Shel or whoever was responsible didn't mark the tapes properly
  13. Steve E.

    Steve E. Doc Wurly and Chief Lathe Troll

    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    I think Shel may have better notes and archives than Pye does. He's been rolling out pretty detailed info on various album sessions on Facebook. He confirmed for me, privately, that "Time Will Tell" is a Kontroversy session outtake, which both makes sense to me and contradicts what I'm seeing in my Pye Anthology credits. Maybe this is up to date in the Deluxe Editions, which I don't have yet. (Hinman had it in April 1965, which would be remarkable given that it seems to be copying the Stones' "Satisfaction" instrumentation before they'd recorded it... But I'm getting ahead of ourselves.)
  14. Adam9

    Adam9 Русский военный корабль, иди на хуй.

    Toronto, Canada
    There's more than one mistake like that in track credits in the Deluxe Editions.

    In Dave Davies' autobiography, "Kink", Dave goes out of his way to disparage Mitch's drumming. So maybe that's a possible reason for Mitch not becoming a Kinks drummer, assuming Ray or somebody else wanted him.
  15. ajsmith

    ajsmith Senior Member

    Weird, cos the known ‘I Go To Sleep’ demo doesn’t have drums on it (it’s just Ray and piano)!! I don’t think the non-BBC Strange Effect demo has been officially released, though it may have surfaced on bootleg somewhere.. can anyone confirm?
  16. Steve E.

    Steve E. Doc Wurly and Chief Lathe Troll

    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    Do any of the other second CD demos have drums? Possibilities:

    1) Notes shoulda said 2-12 to 2-14
    2) The demos in the article were different demos than the ones we know, were planned for the CD, then withdrawn (1-12 makes little sense anyway, so that's likely a typo)
    3) the article has the song titles wrong.
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  17. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    "Look For Me Baby"- A brilliant opener. Nice observations about the Motown style. It has a bit of that early Small Faces mod attack. A great piece of songwriting with an excellent vocal and guitar sound. I have nothing negative to say about it. I love it how it is. These cats sound super hip and this song is Outta Sight, man!

    "Got My Feet On The Ground"- Maybe not quite as strong as the previous Dave song "Come On Now", but this works really well after the first tune. It's even more impressive when you consider Dave was only 17 years old and his voice already sounds much more confident than on the debut. They had so much rock n roll swagger in these early days. I wouldn't want to follow this band! They must have been very intimidating to many of the support groups. Second album is off to a great start!
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  18. idleracer

    idleracer Forum Resident

    :kilroy: All of The Beatles British singles of 1964 have the same basic format. A I IV V blues progression for the verses and refrain, with some minor chords thrown into their respective bridges to add some variety and relieve the tension: "Can't Buy Me Love" "You Can't Do That" "A Hard Day's Night" "I Feel Fine" and "She's A Woman."

    Many Kinks tunes from this period also utilize this format, and "Look For Me Baby" is a perfect example. Not a bad tune, but like just about all of their records, it would've benefited from some reverb. Talmy's work with David Bowie from this period has a bit of reverb on it, so it's not like he didn't know what button to push. The parts from 0:34 to 0:38 and 1:44 - 1:48 should absolutely not have been double tracked. It's impossible to keep up with yourself when you're spitting out words that fast. The result is a jumbled mess that makes it difficult to understand the lyrics. As evidenced by the Goldie & The Gingerbreads version, an organ would also have helped fill out the sonic landscape a bit.
    :kilroy: A nifty little two-step with a meter and tempo that was probably inspired by The Stones' "It's All Over Now." If you're paying close attention, at 0:09, 0:26, 0:58, 1:15 and 1:47 they throw in a great diminished chord. The tune also makes great use of the supertonic in the two bridges.
  19. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    Going to listen to these songs without reading what everyone else thinks first.
    Look for Me Baby
    A solid mid-tempo number. Definitely can feel the Kinks sound sprouting here. Like how Ray sings "In your desperation/You're going to look for someone else" in fast manner. I think he has the word "honey" after "in your desperation" if I'm hearing it correctly. Ray's voice sounds great. and that's gotta be Rasa in the background on the higher parts.

    Got My Feet on the Ground
    Really likeable song from the get-go. LOVE the guitar solo - great country/western sound. Go Dave go!

    Very pleased to start this album and hear songs that are new to my ears. Great start, boys!
  20. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    This is tremendous. Better than the Kinks version, IMO.
  21. Endicott

    Endicott Forum Resident

    Look For Me Baby -- Hadn't really listened to this one in years. I remembered it as kind of meh musically, and though it does sound better now with fresh ears, it's only by a little. It's repetitive and it doesn't really build up, like the Kinks' best early rockers do. It's not a waste of time, but an odd choice to me as the album-opener. If I had a friend in 1965 who passed me this album telling me "you have to listen to this", and I dropped the needle and heard this tune, I'd scratch my head and wonder what the fuss was about.

    That said, it's got a really good lyric, going beyond the usual boy-girl relationship fodder. Ray's songs almost always have something to recommend them.

    Got My Feet On The Ground -- speaking of good lyrics, this one's even more literate. I would venture to call this the first Kinks song Bob Dylan could have covered and make it sound like one of his. How often does the word "limitations" appear in a pop song? And musically it's a stomper, with a ferocious Dave vocal. This one's a keeper.
  22. Endicott

    Endicott Forum Resident

    Damn. It's almost a whole different song.
  23. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Almost certainly it's a typo and it's supposed to say "Disc 2, tracks 12-14." Those happen to be the Davies demos that have drums on them. There doesn't seem to be any reason Mitchell would be playing on regular Kinks studio tracks (ie non-demos) at this point.
  24. Cheers
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  25. zipp

    zipp Forum Resident


    The album starts with Ray on vocals, so we get the plaintive Kinks style from the word go. But we seem to arrive in the middle of the song which to me makes it a strange choice for album opener.

    The music definitely manages to win me over. The band is tight and Resa's backing vocals are fantastic. And Ray, of course, is great.

    The middle mini-section that ends with: "You'll SEARCH the oceans / but you won't find me no mooo... oo ... ore." shows how Ray can sublimate a simple line into something special.


    Over to Dave who does a better vocal than anywhere on the first album but unfortunately does a bit of a weedy guitar solo. Or it's certainly mixed too low to be appreciated. So maybe he should have given Jimmy Page a call after all!

    The song seems to answer the previous one saying more or less "I'm fine thank you going around the world and I'm not looking for anything in particular, certainly not you".

    In the end it's the mixed metaphors that overwhelm proceedings. He's talking about his feet, his shoulder, standing, travelling and looking for a four -leafed clover, all at the same time.

    But it's all in good fun.

    Should however have been called I DON'T NEED NO ONE to merit my full seal of approval.

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