The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. GarySteel

    GarySteel Bastard of old

    Molde, Norway
    Beautifully put. I never cared much for most movies or Hollywood either, except for killing an hour or three. But the way he describes these actors makes 'em seem more alive and tragic than any of their movies ever could do. Having re-listened "Celluloid Heroes" five times in a row now, I have to upgrade it a bit. It is at least in the toppest of top tiers of Kinks tracks. Y'know, 11 out of 6 or better.

    Too bad we will never agree on Candice Night and such, but we don't have to agree on everything to get along :)
  2. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    So the Everybody's In Showbiz studio album....

    I really like this album.
    It opens really strongly with Here Comes Yet Another Day, which is an aggressive, gotta get through this day kind of song.
    Maximum Consumption works well, and works almost like (a really weird, stomach destroying) breakfast, to build up our strength for what's ahead.
    As we step out from breakfast we are confronted by the Unreal Reality of the various guises people take on. Some being over the top and bizarre, and some being more low key, but it is hard to tell what is really real, and what is just an illusion, or distraction.
    Hot Potatoes for lunch, with a side order of love.
    After lunch we're Sitting In our Hotel Room, looking at the world go by, but in reality taking a deeper look at ourselves and wondering, struggling to come to terms with who and where we are.
    Then duty calls and we're on the Motorway and heading out to do what we do, and it comes to our attention just how horrendous the food is at the places it is sold along the way..... luckily we had a big breakfast, and those potatoes fill the spot for a while.
    As we are driving along we wonder If Anybody Knows Our Name, and also have more time to be lost in thought about who we are, where we've been, and where we are going.
    We decide the answer would be to pack everybody up on our Supersonic Rocket Ship and fly away to another world and try and make a new start.
    Then we realise that not everybody thinks like we do, are at the same point in their lives as us, and they may not really appreciate what we are trying to do, so we Look A little On The Sunny Side, and keep on moving.
    So we end up at a movie theatre, and while we are on our own we ponder the lives of every person who ever lived and how we all have a little act we do to get by, but by the same token the Celluloid Heroes on the screen are real people too ... once they come off that immortal screen, where nothing is real, but it looks like it is, they are only flesh and blood, with all the same issues we all have, and we sit back and ponder our mortality, and wish for a world with no pain or discomfort.

    That's a silly little breakdown, but I find it interesting that we start introducing the day (much like Morning Song will) we have three songs about food, which would tie in with three meals a day (not that I have ever done that) and we end the day watching a movie, and after all of the days events we ponder life as we watch a movie before bed.

    For me this album is almost like Ray was coming apart at the seems, and he knew it, and so he threw in a lot of somewhat comedic songs, to try and balance what he knew was going to be a serious self exploration, with some things to lighten it up a little. When you look at the serious songs more closely, as we just did, it shows a guy right on the brink, but you need to look through the chuckles/laughs to find it.... and while going through this album, Robin Williams came to mind a few times ...
  3. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I just did a thing on the studio album I guess....
    I see them as kind of two separate things, and felt like the studio album needed to be looked at before we go on tour :) (even though it was obviously recorded on the previous albums tour lol)
  4. CheshireCat

    CheshireCat Forum Resident

    My favourite part too.
  5. markelis

    markelis Forum Resident

    Miami Beach FL
    [QUOTE="I know that the next few albums coming up are not gonna have the same praise as the previous albums, but it’s double the frustration when albums you love are ridiculed and not appreciated by the majority of fans. I don’t have a lot of patience these days for the negativity around the next 4 albums. I think these albums deserve a re-evaluation from the decades of being told they are worthless. I was delighted to learn many years ago that they are not!

    Believe me, I am here and along for the ride. I had never heard Showbiz and I loved it and so far I am very pleasantly pleased with a lot of the Preservation Act 1 songs. I’m along for the entire journey!… with absolutely no preconceived notion’s of negativity at this point.
  6. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Showbiz Wrap-up:
    I came in with a blank slate and low, very low, expectations after reading numerous posts suggesting that it all went to hell in a hand basket after leaving Pye. Perhaps because I wasn’t expecting much I gotta say I was more than pleasantly surprised. It’s a very solid album. I ended up with five tracks for my playlist (and seriously considered two more). And it’s not like I disliked the other three. All tracks were okay to fantastic.

    My playlist selections:
    Hot Potatoes
    Sitting In My Hotel
    Supersonic Rocket Ship
    Celluloid Heroes

    There may be a time when we start discussing a song, an album or an era that I don’t like. If it comes to that I will straightforwardly post my thoughts. (I certainly didn’t hold back when, as Mark mentioned upthread, we went song-by-song through the 80s Heep albums.) But we haven’t hit that point yet (and there’s only been one song, to date, that I really haven’t liked. And it was a Thread Participant Favorite!).

    Finally, I still can’t stand the album cover. :D
  7. CheshireCat

    CheshireCat Forum Resident

    I don't see how if one likes 'Give The People What They Want' and 'State Of Confusion' that one could have such a downer on 'UK Jive' or 'Phobia'. They're both great. I'm looking forward to when we get there. Of course its natural for us to all have different favourites in a 24 studio album discography. The one we've just discussed remains my least favourite, despite trying!
  8. Smiler

    Smiler Forum Resident

    Houston TX
    “Celluloid Heroes” – We’ve endured a lot of time – too much time, really, just like the band has - mired in cold French fries and motorway loos and the horrible life of a traveling musician. Our reward for not leaving the performance early is this moving finale from Raymond Douglas and company.

    A lot of what I wrote about the previous song applies here. Ray reflects upon all the entertainers who have walked before him, who worked and struggled and suffered for fame, and the human faces and feelings underneath the Hollywood images. And he finally, quietly, vulnerably admits that he wishes that life could be like a movie, without pain. But we’re left with the impression that he has no choice but to walk the same path.

    There’s certainly much more that could be said about this song, but @mark winstanley, @Fortuleo, @The late man and others here have already done an eloquent job of that. A justified Kinks classic.

    It is certainly one of the highlights of Ray’s/Kinks’ career, though like @Wondergirl, it may not be at the top of my Kinks favorites. Having said that, I still consider it an exceptional song. A song that requires walking into the movie theater, sitting down – but without popcorn or Cokes or other distractions - waiting for the lights to go down and then quietly giving it one’s absolute and total attention, until the lights go up ever so slowly, everyone walking out silently, quietly moved.

    There are a few special songs that I listen to sparingly, like taking out the fine china for only special occasions, so as not to ever diminish the “specialness” of them through overexposure. “Surf’s Up” by the Beach Boys (my favorite song of all time) is one. And this is another.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2021
  9. sharedon

    sharedon Forum Zonophone

    Boomer OK
    I mourn the MCA years most... sorry to digress!
    DISKOJOE and mark winstanley like this.
  10. Smiler

    Smiler Forum Resident

    Houston TX
    Everybody’s in Show-Biz wrapup:

    What now seems clear to me is that the studio album is split evenly between songs about the external/public life and the internal/personal life of the working performer/artist.

    External/public life (and social observation):

    Here Comes Yet Another Day
    Maximum Consumption
    Unreal Reality
    Supersonic Rocket Ship (can fit into this group, though it feels more like a single that got tagged onto the album.

    Internal/private life:

    Sitting in My Hotel
    You Don’t Know My Name
    Look a Little on the Sunny Side
    Celluloid Heroes
    Hot Potatoes (can fit into this group, though it feels more like a Muswell Hillbillies outtake that got shoehorned into this album)

    Then it all leads up to the performance in the second disk. So I’d say the “showbiz” theme/concept (without an intended narrative) actually stays on point for the most part (other than the “Supersonic Rocket Ship” and “Hot Potatoes” outliers), especially knowing there was supposed to be an accompanying tour film.

    My disappointment in the songwriting on the studio set is in the unevenness in quality between the public and private life songs. My complaint about the live performance disk is that it could have been so much better, but we’ll get to that.

    I know I'm in the minority here, but for my personal taste, the studio album – even if only partially successful - was a big bounce back from the previous two. Using the @Zeki measuring stick, I’d rate it 60% playlist-worthy (Face to Face through Lola were all 70% and up), which is better than I expected going into it. Now, on to the live disk…
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2021
  11. CheshireCat

    CheshireCat Forum Resident

    I really must apologise for claiming 'Everybody's In Showbiz' as my least favourite Kinks album. I've graded out of 5 every song on each studio album (minus bonus tracks) then divided that number by the number of tracks to extrapolate a score out of 5 for each album.

    And as I've just decided to 'Add It Up', the grades out of 5 are below:
    Kinks: 2.2
    Kinda Kinks 3.3
    The Kink Kontroversy 3.8
    Face To Face 4.9
    Something Else 4.5
    Village Green Preservation Society 4.7
    Arthur (or the decline and fall) 4.8
    Kinks Part One: Lola Versus Powerman 4.6
    Percy 2.4
    Muswell Hillbillies 4.1
    Everybody's In Showbiz 3.7
    Preservation Act One 4.0
    Preservation Act Two 3.9 (Announcements not graded)
    Soap Opera 3.8
    Schoolboys In Disgrace 4.0 (excluding 'Finale')
    Sleepwalker 4.3
    Misfits 3.2
    Low Budget 4.1
    Give The People What They Want 4.3
    State Of Confusion 4.0
    Word Of Mouth 4.2
    Think Visual 3.8
    UK Jive 4.2
    Phobia 4.5
  12. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    The live album is almost a look back in time, as it is from the previous tour. After it we have a compilation and some songs that Dave recorded in 1973 at some point.
    So it seems like it is time to look at this before we move on to Preservation in a week or so....

    "My Name Is Ray Davies.... and I am Dying".

    Showbiz came out on the 25th of August 1972, and the night of August 25th 1972 the Kinks were playing a gig at the Aragon Ballroom, Chicago, Illinois. The following night they played at the Berkley in California. Then Santa Monica, Pittsburg, Wildwood NJ, Owings Mills MD, before flying back to the UK for a gig in Newcastle.
    For an idea of the setlist, this is the Santa Monica gig setlist
    1. Top of the Pops
    2. You're Looking Fine
    3. Shakin' All Over
    4. Dedicated Follower of Fashion
    5. Waterloo Sunset
    6. Sunny Afternoon
    7. Muswell Hillbilly
    8. Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues
    9. Here Comes Yet Another Day
    10. Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)
    11. Alcohol
    12. Holiday
    13. You Are My Sunshine
    14. Skin And Bone
    15. Dem Bones
    16. Baby Face
    17. Victoria
    18. Lola
    19. You Really Got Me
    20. Louie Louie
    21. Hang On Sloopy
    For most of September and October they zig zagged across the UK, and then Oct 27, they were back in the USA playing San Antonio Texas.
    October and November they zig zagged across the USA.
    December 1 they were back in the UK at Hatfield Polytechnic. Three gigs in the UK...
    Then they were playing the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam on Dec 15th
    Back to zig zagging the UK for Jan, Feb and early Mar 73
    March 30 back in the USA playing The Bronx and Queens back to back. Zig Zagging across the USA finishing at Winterland Apr 14
    April 11 Hollywood Palladium setlist
    1. Victoria
    2. Brainwashed
    3. Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues
    4. Holiday
    5. Picture Book
    6. People Take Pictures of Each Other
    7. Mr. Wonderful
    8. Till the End of the Day
    9. Celluloid Heroes
    10. Muswell Hillbilly
    11. Dedicated Follower of Fashion
    12. Lola
    13. Here Comes Yet Another Day
    14. Harry Rag
    15. Alcohol
    16. Sunny Afternoon
    17. Dead End Street
    18. Skin And Bone
    19. Dem Bones
    20. Good Golly Miss Molly
    21. My Way
    22. You Really Got Me
    23. All Day And All Of The Night
    April 20, the ironically titled One Of The Survivors comes out as a single
    April 29 Rose d'Or Festival, Montreux, Switzerland
    May is gig free, and the guys are in the studio putting together Preservation Act one. Almost all of the songs being done between May and July 73
    June 6 the guys play the Birmingham Town Hall
    June 8 The Royal Festival Hall, London

    Sometime around here in June, Rasa took the kids and left Ray .... and I can't find too much information about it, but I know how devastating that can be, and it is hard to believe that Ray and the band were in the middle of recording an album, and in less than a month .....
    that brings us to July 15th, and the Great Western Express Festival 1973....
    1. Victoria
    2. Brainwashed
    3. Dedicated Follower of Fashion
    4. Lola
    5. Waterloo Sunset
    6. Celluloid Heroes
    7. Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues
    8. Holiday
    9. Skin and Bone
    10. Dem Bones
    11. One of the Survivors
    12. Alcohol
    13. If I Were A Rich Man
    14. Sunny Afternoon
    15. You Really Got Me
    16. All Day And All Of The Night
    40 Year Itch: 40 Year Itch: "My name is Ray Davies...and I am dying"

    This gig was at the White City Stadium, during the course of the show Ray said "Im f*****g sick of the whole thing, I'm sick up to here with it"... at the end of the gig Ray said "The Kinks are Dead, I Am Dead", but the sound company had turned off the sound system and very few people heard Ray's resignation from the band.
    During this time Ray had developed a pill habit, and when Rasa left apparently he upped the anti, slid into a deep depression and had already been admitted to hospital at one stage, in what was believed to be a suicide attempt.
    Sounds magazine reported that at this show Ray looked haggard and ill, and anyone that has been with someone who has a pill problem knows this is certainly true. It is devastating to the pill taker, and everyone around them.

    During the course of the show Ray walked up to Dave and kissed him gently on the cheek, then said, and I believe the crowd could hear "I just want to say goodbye and thank you for all you've done"

    Ray Davies on punch-ups, pills and how The Kinks nearly killed him | Daily Mail Online

    After the show, still dressed up like a performing clown, Ray's US girlfriend noticed he was acting oddly and he showed her a bottle of empty pills.
    Ken Jones the band's road manager rushed Ray to London's Whittington Hospital, where the singer declared "I'm Ray Davies, and I'm Dying"
    A nurse responded by asking for an autograph, and Ray collapsed and was rushed to have his stomach pumped.

    It seems to be literally the tears of a clown, just can't be seen.

    In hindsight, with it being 20/20 and all that, it seems remarkable that nobody saw the signs. To some degree I see the signs on the Everybody's In Showbiz album, as I say, hidden in between the comedy review, there are some fairly desperate personal expressions. The constant flying from here to there and back and back again, the pressure to write and record a new album. The understandable exit of Rasa in this circus sideshow .... It seems like surely someone would have seen what was going on.
    The reality is though, particularly when dealing with people that we know are erratic, and somewhat odd, and also with all of the business and busyness, it can easily slip by, and seem less than it is.

    Songs can just be thought of as "the genius has just found another amazing picture of life", instead of this man is hiding in his songs, crying for help......

    Anyway, I know very little about all of this stuff. I have done my best to put together some kind of picture and timeline, using what I could find that may help fill in the picture, but many of you guys know an awful lot more about all of this than I, and I am sure some of us would love you to share any knowledge that you may have.

    I don't think this is particularly out of order, and being a Saturday, I thought it also gives folks a chance to talk about it a little.

    I'm just thankful that Ray didn't die, and we got to share many more great songs and albums after all this. So many people and musicians I have loved and known have slid into this end game of despair, so it's nice to see One Of The Survivors
  13. Smiler

    Smiler Forum Resident

    Houston TX
    This is impressive! I commend you. I'm too indecisive to ever finish a 5 point rating for each song! It's interesting to see your high rating of Phobia. The little I've heard of it so far left a positive or at least hopeful impression.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2021
  14. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    I haven't changed my opinion on this album. Two of the songs on it are among the best songs Ray Davies wrote in the 70s or any other era, another is one of the best pop songs he wrote in the 70s, the rest of the album is lightweight and largely forgettable (I literally struggle to remember some of the songs based on the titles). The concept is flimsy to say the least and not very compelling - however I had no idea the album was conceived to accompany a film of the band on tour, so is a kind of soundtrack. As I've said before I don't have much time for 'on the road' songs from rock bands, always strikes me a lazy and indicative of a band running out of ideas, but at least there's some context for it here - and we got, "Sitting In My Hotel" out of it.
  15. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    I like the Showbiz album more than Muswellbrook, even though, again, side 2 is better than side 1 - the last 3 tracks in particular work really well. I agree that it’s more a loose thematic album like VGPS rather than a proper concept album. But there’s plenty of the latter coming up!
  16. I was watching The Avengers Infinity Wars yesterday and was delighted they included a bit of Super Sonic Rocket Ship.
  17. CheshireCat

    CheshireCat Forum Resident

    Of course I could go through the gradings tomorrow and they'd be different. With regard our current album under discussion, it has some of the highest points of the Kinks 70s output, but to my mind some of the lowest points too. And there's no real way to compare for example my 3.7 for 'Everybody's In Showbiz', to the similarly graded 3.8 of 'Think Visual' as they're so different stylistically. A bit like comparing apples with oranges. It was an interesting personal take on the albums, which threw up some surprises for me.

    Or comparing 'Something Else' with 'Phobia'. Amazingly they've both ended up with the same grade! Utter madness!
  18. idleracer

    idleracer Forum Resident

    :kilroy: A handful of them, and some MIDIs as well.
  19. Smiler

    Smiler Forum Resident

    Houston TX
    Thanks for your contributions! (or should that be "kontributions"?):hide:
  20. Smiler

    Smiler Forum Resident

    Houston TX
    There's no good way to rate and compare a catalog that is so varied!
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2021
  21. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

  22. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    Good summary, Mr Mark. The thing about Rasa leaving Ray...she left with the kids on his birthday. OUCH. Probably was well overdue, but still.

    some pics from the infamous White City show.
    This first pic was taken by Debi Doss who was one of the back-up singers.

    Always loved Ray's shirt. And Dave looks good too. And for someone who was trying to kill himself, Ray's hair looked terrific. I only joke because we know that Ray did NOT go on to die that day (or that's my understanding. LOL)
  23. Fischman

    Fischman RockMonster, ClassicalMaster, and JazzMeister

    New Mexico
    Today in Kinks history:

    On this day in 1966, Dead End Street was released as a single in the UK, with B-side Big Black Smoke. Recorded on October 21st 1966 at Pye Studios (no. 2), the track hits no.6 in the charts.
  24. idleracer

    idleracer Forum Resident

    :kilroy: The melody of the verses is essentially "Puff The Magic Dragon." The one crucial element that makes it slightly different is that great D7 chord where he sings the 7th (C) near the end of each verse, which manages to evoke humor, irony and a bit of cynicism all at the same time.

    The first verse needed a bit more work. The one line that keeps this from being a perfect composition is "...and if you walk down Hollywood Boulevard, their names are written in concrete." This of course, makes no sense. Even if you're not walking down Hollywood Boulevard, the stars are still there. It should've either been "...and if you walk down Hollywood Boulevard, you'll see their names written in concrete." or "...and on a street called Hollywood Boulevard, their names are carved in concrete."

    The best part of the tune is the way the chorus also serves as a bridge that acts as a perfect foil for the verses. The non-diatonic C chord that begins each one is downright stately, as it should be, as you are now hearing the words of a tour guide delivering a miniature sermon.

    This might've done well as a single, as a year earlier, "American Pie" made the idea of a ridiculously lengthy song becoming a huge hit actually feasible.
  25. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    Today in Kinks history:
    well, this is actually happening right now...this's the Kinks Konvention in London and who showed up at the Clissold Arms? None other than Sir Ray.

    I know the Kast-Off Kinks are playing tonight as well which includes Mick Avory.
    Always does my heart good to see Ray up and about. I do worry about his health.

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