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The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. Michael Streett

    Michael Streett Forum Resident

    Location:
    Florence, SC
    The Alternate Version of Supersonic Rocket Ship on the 2016 Legacy Edition is the same alternate version found on that 80s era Backtrackin’ comp, but they are different mixes.

    The Backtrackin’ mix has the first 8 seconds cut off as you mention, but it is also edited with a section from the middle cut out based on what we hear on the Legacy mix. But then the Backtrackin’ mix also has about 15 seconds more at the fade that was faded out earlier on the Legacy.
    More Kinks madness …
     
  2. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    And that brings to mind this one...
    A litl dodgy maybe...
     
  3. Scottsol

    Scottsol Forum Resident

    Location:
    Evanston, IL
    By 1972 expressions like Far Out and Outta Site had become self parodies, used to mock the quant hippie culture of the sixties. My college classmates would, instead, say “Farm out man. Outta state.” To further eulogize a moribund movement.
     
  4. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Location:
    Murrumbateman
    The Firm was a short-lived "supergroup". So in my mind that's Jimmy Page noodling away to Paul Rodgers doing a rhyming slang tribute to Arthur Daley. :D
     
  5. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    So, this is The Firm who did "Star Trekking", which I remember from the Dr. Demento Show, as opposed to the 80s supergroup.

    Arthur Daley is a character from a UK TV show, from what I gleamed.

    So that when Avid All Down the Line inquired if I'm able to see Arthur daily, he was making a pun about the above character, am I correct?
     
  6. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Yes.
    The show was called Minder, and I believe huge in the UK and Aus ... Dennis Waterman played Arthur's Minder

    This was the theme song sung by Dennis Waterman.... and I believe it was a hit too.

     
  7. Pawnmower

    Pawnmower Senior Member

    Location:
    Dearborn, MI
    "Sitting in my Hotel" saves side 1 of the album for me. It's a fab track. "If my friends could see me now they would try to understand me, they would ask me what on earth I'm trying to prove." It does seem to suggest a bit of guilt and/or doubt. The whole "if my friends could see me now" always reminded me of some musical (stage or screen?) I've never been able to put my finger on.

    "Motorway" - I've always enjoyed this song, I like the various melodies Ray introduces throughout. I never followed along with the lyrics until today. It was the hooks and playing that got me. Pretty harmless, humorous stuff.

    "You Don't Know My Name" - It's a nice change of pace to finally get a Dave song after what seems like too long a time. Some of the lyrics don't make a whole lot of sense to me but the hook is good and keeps me enjoying it.

    "Supersonic Rocket Ship" - This song was just another album track to me until I started hearing a renewed interest in it after it was in a Marvel movie. So I listened back to it and still just thought, yeah.. ok. I think taking the lyrics at face value is the best way to go. The production is a bit muddy on these albums, which hinders me. I'm sure a song like this will strike me better depending on the day.
     
  8. Scottsol

    Scottsol Forum Resident

    Location:
    Evanston, IL
    The musical has already been fingered.

    I’m intrigued by your description of Everybody’s sound as muddy. What source do you listen to?
     
  9. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    But we can be Spacific!
     
  10. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Oh yeah, have you read his 2 interview links upthread?
     
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  11. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    I can't believe I'd not 'erd this 'n all, just what will I tell her indoors?
     
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  12. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    If so then did they also pen that memorable classic "Startrekkin' Across The Universe?"
     
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  13. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    "Hear" Arthur daily & yes you are correct.
    You beat me to it, I just posted about that Startrekkin' number!
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2021
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  14. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    In my opinion the ‘phallus’ theory re: Supersonic Rocket Ship is a ‘Phallus’-cy! We’re only 2 records away from Ray spending an entire album going out of his way to AVOID writing a double entendre song about a Percy when it would have been the most obvious thing to do. So I can’t see him then giving in and writing exactly that kinda song just 18 months later.
     
  15. Scottsol

    Scottsol Forum Resident

    Location:
    Evanston, IL
    I agree about Supersonic, but I don’t think referring to Percy is a good argument. Any good lyricist would avoid phallus puns simply because it would constitute bad writing in the context of the movie.. The film is filled with phallic wordplay and images so doing the same in the songs, except for possibly over the end credits, would cheapen the movie and compete with the script.

    It is fair to say that Ray had never shown any proclivity for sophomoric johnson jokes, but I don’t think Percy is a special example of that.
     
  16. GarySteel

    GarySteel Bastard of old

    Location:
    Molde, Norway
    Not to mention Afroman's "Because I got High" (2000), Kweens of the Stone Age "Feel Good Hit of the Summer" (also 2000), Amy Whinehouse "Addicted" (2006), Miley Cyrus (+Flaming Lips) "Dooo It" (2015) and various other 'modern' songs by Rihanna, Kid Cudi, Sean Paul. Demon Alchohol is one thing, the Devil's lettuce is another. However I do not know Ray's stance on the jazz cigarettes.

    Also @All Down The Line : if you enjoyed OGS's counter attacks, you perhaps also noticed how much help he got from the only Red Devil (lotsa Satanic stuff going on in this post, you must excuse me, my godfearing friends) not named Best that I'll ever respect. Eric "Crazy Frog" Cantona.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    If it's still in the back of your mind - It is from a Broadway Musical called Sweet Charity

    If My Friends Could See Me Now/ If They Could See Me Now

     
  18. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Look A Little On The Sunny Side.

    stereo mix (2:48), recorded May-Jun 1972 at Morgan Studios, Willesden, LondonMorgan Studios, Willesden, London

    Look a little on the sunny side
    Even when they say you're on the slide,
    And for a while they'll say your records never make it,
    But in a while they're gonna be showering you with praises.
    They'll give you mediocre reviews
    And put you in the underground for a while,
    But look a little on the funny, sunny side of life,
    Look a little on the sunny side.

    You sing 'em the blues
    And then they ask for a happy tune,
    And when you start to smile they'll say gimme dat rhythm and blues,
    And when you give 'em dat rhythm and blues they'll simply smile and say
    We didn't want to hear you play,
    We didn't like you any way.
    It's very hard to please the people every single time,
    But look a little on the sunny side.

    Look a little on the sunny side
    Even when you feel you want to hide,
    You gotta laugh, don't let your critics ever upset you,
    'Cos for a while the cynics will all be out to get you.
    You gotta be shrewd, you gotta be strong
    You've gotta convince yourself that you are not wrong,
    Whistle a tune and think of a catchy, happy, little song
    And look a little on the sunny side.

    It's very hard to please the people every single time,
    But look a little on the sunny side.

    They're gonna put you down for a while
    You've got to learn to grit your teeth and smile
    And look a little on the funny, sunny side of life,
    Look a little on the sunny side.

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

    This makes me think of something along the lines of a 1930's movie.... I'm not really sure why.... possibly the musical styling. The way Ray inflects the vocal makes me think of Shirley Temple too.... and I really don't know why that either lol.
    I just looked and apparently Shirley was big from 1934-1938 ... so perhaps there is something in those thoughts .... It is hard to believe that 1938 is nearing a hundred years ago..... and then that makes me think of Robert Johnson, and it is so strange to imagine Robert Johnson and Shirley Temple both doing their thing at around the same time.... and again, nearly a hundred years ago ... What a strange life this is......

    Anyway, as I wander in my thoughts with the gravity of time echoing in my head, lets look a little on the sunny side...
    This song can't help but also make me think of the well known song Keep On The Sunny Side, which was written in 1899 by Ada Blenkhorn, who wanted to write a Christian hymn, based on something his nephew said.
    In 1928 The Carter Family recorded it and it became quite a popular hit. In 1964 The Carter Family Recorded an album with Johnny Cash called Keep On the Sunny SIde also, that opened with the song.

    Lyrically this song seems like Ray is writing this song directly for himself. This is directed at the idea that when you are a writer, you are often going to be on the wrong side of popular opinion and critical review, and in fact sometimes everything you do will be viewed as wrong - give them a little blues and they say they want a happy tune.
    I love the second verse, with the "We didn't want to hear you play, We didn't like you anyway".

    In general the idea being put forward here is stick to your guns, people aren't always going to get you, and in fact they may likely tear you to pieces, but eventually they'll come back around.
    In many ways this album seems to be a, in many instances, a deep look into where Ray's head was at. He had been making some of the best music ever recorded for quite a long time, and the second half of it seems to be almost entirely ignored by the majority, and I am sure there have been plenty of people that had negative things to say about much of it....
    I actually almost feel like this lyric may be a result of the Muswell Hillbillies , apparent, rejection, because he references the Blues, and Rhythm and Blues, and although not strictly what Muswell was, it was much more in that style than The Kinks had generally done.

    Anyway it seems like Ray is somewhat trying to prop himself up internally with the strong wave of rejection the band seemed to be getting..... and even the child-like/Shirley temple vocal, seems almost like Ray's inner child struggling to stand up to the scenario, and the character to go into when the rejection feels too great.

    So for me this lyric and its delivery are intrinsically connected to one another, and work almost like a protective barrier to the forces of negativity that would leap to criticise.

    Musically, we again get John Gosling showing his worth to the band......
    Look I love Nicky Hopkins, the guy is a music legend and has enriched many recordings with his fine playing, and as we saw in the sixties Nicky was an important part of the Kinks recorded work, even if Ray and Nicky didn't always see eye to eye, and of course Ray was happy to take credit for some of Nicky's work..... Nicky Hopkins legend isn't going anywhere, he is a musician from the background, that anyone who loves sixties and seventies music is going to know, and likely love.....
    But I have to say that Gosling turns out to be the perfect replacement for Nicky, and his playing and seeming understanding of what Ray was after have been a huge benefit to the Kinks after the departure of Nicky.

    We open with the piano, and it is joined by the horns that are rolling a kind of oom pa pa type of accompaniment. Giving this a really bouncy, lighthearted feel, which reflects the lyric really well.
    The horn break has a sort of "I do like to be beside the seaside" (1907) kind of feel... which was actually in five movies of the 1930's.

    Again Ray is giving himself some tongue twisters in the lyrics, and delivers the lyrics in a remarkably smooth and characterful performance....

    As out of its age as this track is, and as much as it could well be seen as a throwaway by many, I love this track. I think it fits in the sequencing perfectly.... We have the wonderful Rocket Ship, and then we get this, and it leads into tomorrow's masterpiece.

     
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  19. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    For once, Ray's mannered vocal doesn't work and is actually kind of irritating. The lyric is one long whinge. The music is pastiche, parody, what have you. Not a fan, as you can probably tell!
     
  20. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    Well, I can see your point, but you’ve got to admire how song after song after song, Ray’s mannerisms never get in the way of the musicality of his tunes. In many ways, it’s quite the opposite: they enhance it, and I bet he often chooses to write in a certain voice in order to channel a specific spirit or style, a bit like other vocal chameleons like Jagger, Nilsson or McCartney. In this case, the meandering melody is constantly engaging, funny and delightful at the same time. The brass Dixieland arrangement is superb, as is the chord progression. The lyrics are interesting, I see them as the missing link between the Ballad of John and Yoko (“they’re gonna crucify me”) and Always Look on the Bright Side of Life (the actual crucifixion). I love that it's not "Look on the Sunny Side" but "Look a Little on the Sunny Side", the whole sentiment of the song is in that "a little" touch. I have to say I hate it when artists openly despise the critics, because a lot of rock fandom was born out of great magazines, fueled by interviews, long stories and books. And here, thankfully, Ray doesn’t do that: he understands that there’s such a thing as legitimate “expectations” (from the critics and the audience) and that it’s the artist’s choice to meet them or to claim the liberty to change gears, at the risk of being booed. I’m always very surprised when artists are resentful because people don’t follow them in their far-out experiments and detours. You can like the Kinks in very different ways, for many different reasons, which don’t always align (as proved by @vangro’s post). There's no reason every fan of You Really Got Me should love Autumn Almanac, or that every admirer of Waterloo Sunset should adhere to Hot Potatoes ! I like a lot of Kinks styles myself, most of them actually, but as it happens, there IS one much loved Kinks album further down the road that I always failed to warm up to. Anyway, I enjoy this tune, a breath of fresh musical air, and the perfect little interlude before the grandiose finale.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2021
  21. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    I really like Sunnyside - the horns work well and the lyric is really very good: true and funny!
     
  22. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Interesting that Mark hears Shirley Temple in Ray's ultra affected delivery of this one, and that it portrays the resolve of his inner child: I'd never thought of it from that angle. I always heard it perhaps more plainly as that kind of Helen Kane via Betty Boop 20/30s vamp flapper roll eyes baby talking preciousness. I can just see the petted lip on 'we didn't like you anyway'.

    This always seemed to in particular me to be the song that Ray was being contrite about in 'Sitting In My Hotel' when he mentions 'old time vaudeville revues' cos maybe even more than anything on side one the delivery of this one is so camp and seems like such an indulgence for Ray: perhaps it's intentional that a complaint about the fickleness of rock critics should be delivered in the form likely to appeal to the fewest of them! Btw, I love this track and I'm totally on board for it's trip, but at the same time I would completely understand why it would try others patience and come off like a great folloloping waste of time and audience goodwill: far more that just about anything on the next 4 albums in fact, which we're often told is where they really lose it.
     
  23. Tim 2

    Tim 2 MORE MUSIC PLEASE

    Location:
    Alberta Canada
    Thanks for the link.
     
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  24. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    And I thought I was going to be the first to roll out Shirley Temple! Yes, @mark winstanley , that’s who it reminds me of. After careful analysis (!), I think it’s when he sings “little” as ‘lital’ or ‘lit’l.’

    I was enjoying the song up until that point but as soon as Ray utters that one word…all I can think of is a little girl on a movie screen. So not for me.

    Horns: yes, so 6/9.
     
  25. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    Not hearing the Shirley Temple thing but then I have no idea what Ray's trying to do on this song.
     

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