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
    Was just thinking that about both these RCA albums last night!
     
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  2. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    I could not name one Loving Spoonful album and barely any of their songs, and Avids feel they are vaguely near to the Kinks level.
     
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  3. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Yeah, have you read about those near beatified Beatles guys around here?
     
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  4. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    I beg your forgiveness but is it just me or does Ray have a (visual) Gene Simmons look going on here?
     
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  5. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    That was potentially a very interesting thread but the fact that people either couldn't understand what the OP was saying or, more likely, couldn't be bothered to read his initial post and just made up their own thread in their heads is sadly all too typical of this forum. You have to spell out every last detail of a thread like you're addressing an audience of 5 year olds and, even then, it'll still be too difficult to follow for some people.
     
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  6. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Hey was John Gosling nicknamed "The Baptist" due to his looks, his being a church organist or both?
    Edit: I see all was revealed in Part 2!
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2021
  7. Zack

    Zack Forum Resident

    Location:
    Easton, MD
    Well, if you think about it, after this album, Ray completely comandeered the band for three of his musical plays in a row -- Preservation, Schoolboys, and Soap Opera -- leaving no room for any compositional input from Dave for the who whole rest of the RCA run. At least he got a few verses to sing here and there.
     
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  8. GarySteel

    GarySteel Bastard of young

    Location:
    Molde, Norway
    Shocking, innit? :D

    As for what @Vangro is (trying) to point out over here, it would shirley help if the OP actually wanted to say with the other thread, as well. He doesn't want to compare the stature of the two bands. Still he makes it pretty clear that he feels that the Kinks are the lesser band (no skin offa my beak, but still) and that the are merely compilation fodder. Since they barely made three good albums.

    So I don't think it is entirely clear to him what his point of the thread in the first place since he's shifting his goal posts and calling foul on anything that isn't up to his standard (maybe he should apply for the manager position at Old Trafford now that they finally got rid of that useless Norwegian ginger :D ) and then you are bound to end up with a) people misunderstanding your intentions b) people trying to understand your point in the first place c) stoopid kidz like me tryin' to raise a ruckus and d) the usual 'we don't care about what your intentions even were because we never read anything other than the title of the thread'-crowd.

    So from my geographical and generational point of view this guy is comparing one of the best bands in rock history with something of a regional non-entity from the dark ages and that he doesn't exactly enjoy the pushback. As my knowledge of what the Lovin' Spoonful is very limited indeed, I could be very wrong in my prejudices and they were incredibly talented and great. Still. They weren't the Kinks.
     
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  9. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    "Supersonic Rocket Ship".

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Single by The Kinks
    from the album Everybody's in Show-Biz
    B-side
    "You Don't Know My Name" (Dave Davies)
    Released September 1972 (USA), 5 May 1972 (UK)
    Recorded Recorded March 1972 at Morgan Studios, Willesden, London
    Genre Rock
    Length 3:32
    Label RCA RCA 2211 (UK), 74-0807 (USA)
    Songwriter(s) Ray Davies
    Producer(s) Ray Davies

    stereo mix (3:30), recorded Mar 1972 at Morgan Studios, Willesden, London

    Let me take you on a little trip
    My supersonic ship's at your disposal
    If you feel so inclined. Well alright.
    We're gonna travel faster than light
    So do up your overcoat tight
    And you'll go anywhere you want to decide. Well alright.
    Too many people side by side
    Got no place to hide.

    On my supersonic rocket ship
    Nobody has to be hip
    Nobody needs to be out of sight. Out of sight.
    Nobody's gonna travel second class
    There'll be equality
    And no suppression of minorities. Well alright.
    We'll take this planet, shake it round
    And turn it upside down.
    My supersonic rocket ship.

    It ain't no magic, ain't no lie,
    You'll laugh so loud you'll cry.
    Up and down, round and round
    On my supersonic rocket ship.

    Let me take you on a little trip
    My supersonic ship's at your disposal
    If you feel so inclined. Well alright.
    Nobody's gonna travel second class
    There'll be equality
    And no suppression of minorities. Well alright.
    Let me take you on a little trip
    On my supersonic rocket ship.

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

    This track charted at 16 in the UK, 111 in the US, 16 in Germany and 25 in the Netherlands…. So it was a moderate hit, and I suppose to some degree, I am surprised it didn’t do a little better, I reckon it’s a good song.

    This is a fairly interesting lyric that could be taken in several different ways. We could look at it on face value that Ray is suggesting he has a space ship that can rescue people from the world as we know it….. but that does seem less likely…. We could have a somewhat veiled rationalisation that Ray’s “supersonic rocket ship” could be the tonic this person, “lady”? needs…… We could also have Ray making fun of the idea that some rock/pop star has the ability to save the world, based in the idea that for the last few years many singers had been singing about how they want to save the world ….. I kind of lean towards the second two, but am open to pretty much anything, because this is a just a fun little song that I really enjoy quite a lot, maybe more than I should lol.

    So, we have Ray come in by offering somebody a “little trip” on his “Rocket Ship”.
    Then we get the strap yourself in tight (do up your overcoat tight) because we are going to be flying hard and fast (we’re gonna travel faster than light)
    It’s up to you where you go (And you'll go anywhere you want to decide)
    It’s going to be difficult to keep this private (Too many people side by side Got no place to hide.)
    It’s a kind of weird lyric really….. I mean we know that Ray doesn’t own a spaceship, and we know that nobody had a vehicle that travels at the speed of light, so we aren’t talking literally in any way here …. Or, of course Ray could be laying back on a sunny afternoon, with some attitude adjusters.

    The second verse leans more to the third idea of creating a better world …. With this rocket ship?
    You can be just who you are (no need to be hip, or out of site, nobody will be second class)… it’s interesting that it’s out of site, and not outta site, to some degree.
    Everybody will be treated equally, and this will result in the planet being taken and shaken and turned upside down.

    In the bridge we are told that it isn’t magic or a lie, we’ll laugh until we cry going up and down and round and round on Ray’s supersonic rocket ship.

    The last verse is essentially the first half of the first and the second half of the second and it winds it all up nicely……

    Now I’m not knocking it, because I love this song, but I can only see three ways to rationalise this lyric
    - Ray is making an unusual (for him) oddball song about what a mighty Phallus he has.
    - Ray was really really wasted, and having a bit of fun
    - Ray had just seen Charlie and the Chocolate factory with Gene Wilder as Willie Wonker……
    and I am kind of leaning towards Ray having just seen the reasonably new movie Charlie and The Chocolate Factory (June 1971)
    Obviously as always, I am very happy, and interested to read what other folks think about the lyrics, because they seem really random to me [​IMG]

    Musically this is divine.
    We open up with, I believe, a Mandolin, and then we roll backwards into this loping groove.
    We have a lot of layers here, with strummed instruments, keyboards, and in the chorus we get a fairly low mix of steel drums, or something imitating steel drums.
    We get horns come in with some nice rolling lines that also add to the breadth of sounds and textures here.

    This is apparently another track that gets labelled Caribbean style…. I don’t know about that really, it seems like that comes from the steel drum sound, but I am no expert in Caribbean music, so I’ll let others give us the lowdown and final verdict on that. I hear the horns as being somewhat Latin American flavour really.
    We get some very cool reverse cymbals near the end, and we break into a double time feel, and all round I just love this fun little track.

    Ray’s vocal delivery is great, Dave does some cool harmonies. Such great rhythmic delivery of the vocals and we get some of that Ray character acting vocal, but it isn’t over the top, it feels just right to me.

    So a really unusual song in many ways, but this is an incurably catchy track, that I really love a lot.

     
  10. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Location:
    Murrumbateman
    I just want to say - seeing as you are in Norway - that I think Norway is great based on my holiday there a few years ago. On the music side, highlights include the Appolon record store and bar in Bergen (sampling from over 50 beers on tap while I browsed the vinyl!) and Rockheim (the Museum of Rock) in Trondheim. Great memories. Oh, and all that scenery...
     
  11. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I don't know why, but this scene came to mind

     
  12. GarySteel

    GarySteel Bastard of young

    Location:
    Molde, Norway
    Hehe, thanks, mate.

    Seriously Off T: nice to hear that you had a good time ooop here in the norf.

    I like Norway, as well. Boring. Expensive. Yet crazy. Nature is beautiful and the people are pretty friendly once them get drunk. The reason I mentioned Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was that he was the manager of 'my' local team before he left for redder pastures and eternal failure. He's from the next town over, BTW. The world's most famous Norwegian and a stingy tipper, they say ;)

    Appolon is a great record store and Bergen is a very beautiful town surrounded by the seven mountains and all that crap. Trondheim is less picturesque but more to my liking when it comes to the people. Even if their team Rosenborg is the eternal foe and mortal enemies of my own, Molde :D

    OnTopic: The KINKS! I absolutely adore "Super Sonic Rocket Ship"! Great write up, Marky Mark.
     
  13. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Location:
    Murrumbateman
    Supersonic Rocket Ship
    In his second autobiography (I believe), Americana, Ray says he wrote this song after flying back to the UK on Concorde - the supersonic aircraft. As a Kinks fan I'm embarrassed to say this one slipped under my radar until a friend told me it was on Avengers Endgame. I'm not in to Marvel movies but I liked the Guardians of the Galaxy characters that feature in the clip of this song, which somehow fits perfectly in this comic sci-fi superhero context. And it's now one of the highlights of this album for me.



    [edit: clip replaced]
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2021
  14. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    No he doesn't. You've proved my point though. Just skimming through threads looking for stuff to get annoyed about can be fun but doesn't give you the whole picture. It was an interesting thread that got hijacked by a bunch of "My band is better than your band" clowns.
     
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  15. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Location:
    Murrumbateman
    and a fan-made clip that uses the entire song:
     
  16. GarySteel

    GarySteel Bastard of young

    Location:
    Molde, Norway
    Perhaps. But you've indeed proven mine. A bit too high and mighty for my taste thou art, me lad. For some reason I seem to annoy you so let's just stay out of each other way from now on and not derail this fine thread.

    Have a nice one :)
     
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  17. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    Supersonic Rocket Ship.

    The 'plot' is once more jettisoned to make room for this great pop song - smart move, Ray! I'm sure RCA were delighted to find such an obvious single on the album. It's kind of "Apeman" Part 2 except nowhere near as well known and celebrated. Is Ray outing himself as one of those liberals who dream of equal rights he sang about on the previous album?
     
  18. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    Which he wasn't doing in any negative way unless you are determined to see it that way. Comparisons are stupid I agree, I like both bands, it's not a competition but it wasn't meant to be, as far as I could see.
     
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  19. stewedandkeefed

    stewedandkeefed Came Ashore In The Dead Of The Night

    I listen to "Supersonic Rocket Ship" and you know it could only be the Kinks. Catchy as hell but unique with sounds you don't hear on records by other bands. I love Ray's enunciation in this one. Lyrically, it is of its time because the early 1970s was the era of the Apollo ventures but I also see something Old Testament in the idea of the song, specifically Noah's Ark. In the 1959 "after the bomb" novel Canticle For Leibowitz, at the end of the novel, monks are trying to board a spaceship and leave the earth before nuclear annihilation occurs for the second time. I see this as a similar idea. Ray wants his rocket ship to leave behind the evils of the world like lack of equality and suppression of minorities.
     
  20. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    A fantastic song and I'm glad that it was at least a moderate hit. My 10 year-old also really likes this, especially Dave's 'far out' comment!
     
  21. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    Another astounding track. I find it surprisingly close in spirit to some Paul Simon experiments of the same period, maybe because of the mixed calypso/Caribbean/New Orleans spirit, things you could find on Paul Simon (seven months before: Mother and Child Reunion) and then on There Goes Rhymin’ Simon (eight months later: Take Me to the Mardi Gras, which plays a bit like a slowed down Rocket Ship). I never even thought of this Simon/Davies connection before, but it’s becoming more and more apparent for me as this thread advances (and of course, Ray’s beloved “national guitar” makes its return on here). I absolutely adore the structure of this song, and the Dave/Ray harmonies on the chorus climax/title phrase/main hook (yes, all that!) is once again extraordinary. I love when the harmony singer gets the main melody, it’s always a fantastic gimmick, and it’s particularly effective here. The arrangement is brilliantly inventive, complete with resonator, marimbas, steel drum, brass, some superb whooping bass, even if it can be a little busy at times, impacting the momentum of the song. I think the rhythm & chord change at 0’37’’ is a bit awkward, for instance, the steel drum ascending part being to blame. As it happened, my true discovery of Supersonic Rocket Ship was when I got the 2012 BBC box (the song opens disc 3), with its shorten intro and that “faulty” steel drum line mixed out… This was a stunning revelation, and it made the song skyrocket (yes, I know, sorry) into my personal Kinks pantheon.
     
  22. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Lets leave the Lovin' Spoonful thing... interesting sideline, but it isn't important enough for us to bicker over :righton:
     
  23. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Supersonic Rocket Ship:
    A track that screams 1972 hit single with its campy (with a bit of a trill) vocal, strummed ukulele-sounding National resonator guitar, piano and xylophone (which, I gather are steel drums). All to a calypso beat.

    This song comes out of left field, just kinda plopped into the middle of a predominantly country rock album.

    While it is an outlier from (most of) its album-mates, (the next track is its closest mate) I do think it is the obvious lead single and am stunned to see it didn’t go anywhere on the US chart. (Insert my usual gripe here: what the hell is wrong with RCA?) Fortunately, it did have some success in the UK.

    I love the song and see it as a throwback to the Kinks sound of yore…or, at the least (!), Apeman. And that, “well, alright,” just perfect.

    Horns: at “we’ll take this planet…”, so yes, indeed. 5/8

    P.S. some very nice bass playing on the latter part of the song.
     
  24. Scottsol

    Scottsol Forum Resident

    Location:
    Evanston, IL
    There is no reason to think that the rocket ship is anything more than an airplane, just as the spaceship in This Time Tomorrow was an airplane. As in TTT, the airplane is likely the supersonic Concord, and if it could go faster than light it wouldn’t be supersonic, but superluminal.
     
  25. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    A promo film was made for this song, sadly it's only ever surfaced in awful 10th generation quality. I presume the master was originally colour too. Still something is better than nothing, and you can just about make out the hapless Gosling being persuaded not entirely willingly into being a bewinged, begoggled guinea pig aviator by the diabolical Ray (wearing what looks like a German army helmet!) intercut with space footage and those inevitable old clips of early 20th cen. flying machines falling apart (ironically this copy of this 1972 footage looks worse quality than most 1900s footage!) Also look out for Dave and Dalton in space suits!

     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2021

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