The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    "Nothin’ in the World Can Stop me Worryin’ ‘bout that Girl"

    This is classic Kinks! It's also probably the most well known song on the album these days because of its use in Rushmore. I'm not familiar with that Wim Wenders film, but I will have to check it out. The Rushmore soundtrack made good use of many great songs. I believe in future films he also used a couple other Kinks songs to great effect. Rushmore remains my favorite Wes Anderson film and that soundtrack is all excellent! I love most Kinks songs in this style with the soft brushes of the drum against a nice little fingerpicking guitar lick and Ray in his soft and gentle voice.

    "Naggin Woman"

    This is one of the stumbles on the album for me. It doesn't seem to fit and pulls me out of the flow. This moves backwards to the quality of the covers on the first album. It's not horrible by any means, but it's not a song I ever reach for. I'm not crazy about Dave's vocal or the ordinary blues style. My least favorite song on the record.
  2. Safeway 2

    Safeway 2 Forum Resident

    Manzanillo Mexico.
    "Look For Me Baby" Solid mid tempo rocker, not earth-shattering, but a change as they began composing their own songs and moving away from covers. Nice backing vocals from Dave. A band slowly establishing their own creds.
    "Got My Feet On The Ground" Dave's gravelly vocals (which sound great here) leads the way as he comes away very self-confident in the lyrics. Not the best song on the disc, but pretty damn good.
    "Nothin' But the World Can Stop Me Worrying From That Girl" Alright! Now we're cookin'! A nice hard left introspective
    turn from all their previous songs. An engaging and polished nugget that was also plucked for a soundtrack thirty years later. To me
    these were some of the seeds being planted for the thought provoking music to come. A stone cold classic in my book.
    "Naggin' Woman" This one tends to nag (sorry) a touch. Dave's vocals take a step back from "Got My feet On The Ground" Time to let go of the covers. The band is strong enough to stand on their own now.
  3. idleracer

    idleracer Forum Resident

    :kilroy: This is a waltz and the Kinks tune obviously isn't. Ray would compose his first waltz a couple of months later ("I Go To Sleep") and in the fall, he would give us, "Don't You Fret."
    mark winstanley and CheshireCat like this.
  4. Pawnmower

    Pawnmower Senior Member

    Dearborn, MI
    To me, they are as unique and unmistakable as Liam and Noel Gallagher. Not even close.
  5. wore to a frazzel

    wore to a frazzel Forum Resident

    Dala, Sweden
    I didn't know that. The similarities could definitely be a coincidence, but I am really curious to know what was the inspiration for this very characteristic melody.
  6. Purple Jim

    Purple Jim Senior Member

    Look For Me Baby
    Not a very special song but Ray's vocals are again terrific.

    Got My Feet On The Ground
    Standard Mersey style rocker.

    Nothin In This World Can Stop Me Worryin' 'bout That Girl
    A lovely acoustic guitar intro, great vocal and rhythm backing. Sounds like it came from later in the 60s. Wonderful.

    Naggin' Woman
    Good intentions but Dave's annoying vocal doesn't help it along.
  7. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus

    I generally never like bluesy sort of folk songs like "nothing in the world" all that much....but this one has some things in it that make it an exception.

    First of all, the vocal is remarkably simple and bears both the melody and emotion inherent in the song without really overdoing it (Ray can overdo it sometimes)-- and never sounding like anybody but Ray Davies.
    The way the piece builds as bass, then drums, then lead guitar are added to the arrangment gives it a sense of growing drama that comes to a head at the end with the stretching out of the last sung line -- and then it ends, having made it's point, and it leaves a slight sense of unease behind.

    I have nothing to say about the cover song, other than it sucks.
  8. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    As I came to them later, and the only video I had ever seen of them was the One For The Road dvd, I had always assumed that Ray sang all the songs. So I am kind of reprogramming myself.
    I can hear the difference now, because I am aware that someone else does sing, Prior I just thought Ray was messing around with his delivery. I know that must sound terribly ignorant to long time fans from the early years, but that's just where I come from with it.
    One of the.... I suppose, revelations for me with the thread so far, is how much Dave sings
  9. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Wonder Where My Baby Is Tonight.

    Aside from the fact that this is probably going to get cross-referenced with Sesame Street due to the Boogie type piano, I quite like this.

    mono mix (1:58), recorded 16, 17 Feb, 1965 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London

    Well I wonder where my baby is tonight
    I wonder where my baby is tonight
    I wonder where my baby's gone
    Hope she'll do no wrong
    Lookin' for my baby, she's not around
    I wonder where my baby is tonight

    I wonder what on Earth's my baby's doin'
    If she's not at home there's trouble brewin'
    If she really loves me she'll believe in what I say
    Tryin' hard to find out where my baby is tonight
    If she's not at home I'd better go

    Well I only know I wanna see my baby
    Went to call for her but she is gone right out of sight
    Looking for my baby
    She's not around
    I wonder where my baby is tonight

    Well I wonder where my baby is tonight
    I wonder where my baby is tonight
    I wonder where my baby's gone
    Hope she'll do no wrong
    Lookin' for my baby, she's not around
    I wonder where my baby is tonight
    I hope that everything's gonna be all right
    Well I wonder where my baby is tonight

    Written by: Ray Davies
    Published by: Kassner Music Co. Ltd

    This track is just a fun little boogie, and I don't really expect much more from it than that.
    I think we get a few nice little chord variances. There are a few nice little guitar licks thrown in there.

    This is just an average album track for me, but it has just enough going for it to keep me involved.

  10. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    The next track on the album is Tired Of Waiting For You, and we looked at that as the lead single for anyone that missed it HERE

    It is a nice little link that we go from wondering where out baby is, to Tired of Waiting :)
  11. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Dancing In The Street

    It has been interesting to me to hear the rather strong dislike for this cover track.

    This isn't a song I am a particularly big fan of anyway, but I don't particularly hate this version....

    The drums set us up and drive us into the song..... I actually really like the guitar. The little staggered strum works really well for me.
    The delivery is fine for me....
    It doesn't set the world on fire, but it works ok.

  12. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    The only known video performance of 'Wonder Where My Baby Is Tonight' from the Swedish show 'Drop In' in 1965:

    pablo fanques, Jon H., zipp and 5 others like this.
  13. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    I remember in the only piece I ever saw him write about The Kinks, (in his review of the 1998 CD reissues for Uncut magazine) author Ian McDonald (of The Beatles 'Revolution In The Head' fame) picked out 'Wonder Where My Baby Is Tonight' favourably as a successful emulation the sound of one particular soul/r n b group of the time, but annoyingly I can't remember who he had in mind. It's the only time I can ever remember any author making a particular comment on this track, and I thought coming from someone as esteemed as MacDonald, it was interesting that he zeroed in on this usually ignored song. Can anyone help place which act's sound the song might have particularly reminded him of?

    Dancing In The Street: does anyone else think that it has an unusally early fade compared to other versions of the song was due to collective embarrassment/loss cutting?
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2021
  14. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    A decent song and one of Dave's better vocals up to this point.
  15. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    In the very early days, yes. It won't last too long, though, but here we go again. And he sings good, too, on this one. The song itself is nothing special, except for the "Well I only know I wanna see my baby"bridge, which should've been more developed, I guess, and can be seen as a precursor to the "finding out the person who is on my party line" bit, on the Face to Face opening song, (I hear the exact same chord change there). Dancing in the Street holds no interest for me. I'm always surprised by anyone covering this track : the original Motown single is such a stupendous record, so much better than the song itself. And covering monster records is proven trickier than covering great songs…
  16. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    I guess that both of today's tracks are following the Motown-themed thread of the album.

    "Wonder Where My Baby Is Tonight"

    A decent enough track which Dave sings well - I like the way it takes a left turn in the middle, and the strange sequence of chords which get us back to the main theme. Nothing outstanding but a pick-up after the somewhat tedious previous track.

    "Dancing In The Street"

    I actually don't think this is as bad as it is usually made out to be. The music drives along well enough with the jagged guitar, but it's Ray's vocal that's completely out of place and unsuited to the song, and he sounds kind of embarrassed to be singing it. Still, I'd rather listen to this version than the Jagger/Bowie version!
  17. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    The 'Dancing In The Street' cover comes across particularly bad in retrospect, as it's such a famous record and perennial oldie that the Kinks lame version just comes across as pure 'hits of the day' filler of the kind they never did otherwise, but in the context of the UK pop scene of early '65, I'm guessing The Kinks reason for recording it was because they were excited by the still somewhat underground (in the UK I should add!) Motown sound and wanted to spread the word.

    The Martha and the Vandellas version had only made number 28 in the UK upon it's initial release there in late '64 and didn't become a truly monster hit in that territory until it was re-released in 1969, so while it would have been well known to soul fans and mods in the UK in '65, with the general pop audience it perhaps hadn't matured into the uncoverable seminal record it already was in the US and remains everywhere today.
  18. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Tell that to Bowie and Jagger - please!
  19. Endicott

    Endicott Forum Resident

    Wonder Where My Baby Is Tonight -- one of the Kinks' poppier tunes from this era. It somewhat resembles the Beatles' "I Don't Want To Spoil The Party" -- it's got a similar melody, and a similar theme -- they protagonist got stood up, and now he's wondering where the heck she is. Dave delivers a gentle, plaintive vocal that suits the song well. I wouldn't call this a career highlight, but it's a pleasant way to spend a couple of minutes.

    Dancing In The Street -- it's not the worst cover of this Motown classic -- Jagger/Bowie hold that dubious title (and you can also check out Neil Diamond's rendition if you're feeling masochistic), but it's bad enough. It's just an indifferent version of an ultra-obvious song that they weren't going to match the original of even if they were trying, which they certainly aren't.
  20. Pawnmower

    Pawnmower Senior Member

    Dearborn, MI
    These are my two least favorite songs on the album.

    "Wonder Where My Baby Is Tonight" - Just like "Come On Now" was Dave's version of the sentiment expressed in "Tired of Waiting for You," "Where My Baby Is Tonight" is Dave's version of the sentiment expressed in "Nothin' in the World Can Stop Me Worryin' 'Bout That Girl." This song could possibly be a hit for another up and coming group, but for the Kinks it's a style they've already moved beyond but sometimes fall back into. It's catchy enough, but otherwise average.

    "Dancing in the Street" - @Fortuleo said it best: "covering monster records is proven trickier than covering great songs." The original is such a production. This basic garage treatment couldn't possibly live up. Like the Beach Boys in 1966 trying to perform "Pet Sounds" tracks live without Brian or the Wrecking Crew. I don't skip tracks when I listen to albums and I've never found this track hard to enjoy, it just seems an odd choice. Like "Look for me Baby" was the Kinks sounding like they were trying to cover Motown, here they actually are in the most basic way.
  21. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    !!!! This takes the title as worst rendition. Something I wish I knew nothing about!
  22. Endicott

    Endicott Forum Resident

    Hey, I warned y'all! :angel:
  23. Vagabone

    Vagabone Forum Resident

    I wasn't there in the sixties, and it's at times like this I realise my sense of the chronology is all wrong. In my head Motown records as highly-honed and perfect as "Dancing in the Street" come along a little later in the decade than these early Kinks records. And if Motown production were at this level already, then boy, these limeys need to raise their game.
    So it's weird hearing this rudimentary (but not terrible) interpretation. After this disorientation it would hardly be more surprising if the next track was a skiffle version of "Good Vibrations".

    Speaking of "Good Vibrations", there's that same plunking piano twelve-bar blues feel to "Wonder Where My Baby Is Tonight". Perhaps that's what brought it to mind. Yet another poor song to my ears, and it's becoming a pretty hard-and-fast rule that I don't like these early Dave-fronted songs.

    And one last Beach Boys allusion: I can sympathise with those who initially assumed all Kinks vocals were Ray's and had to unlearn this: similarly, I used to think all Beach Boys lead vocals were Brian's since I was given to understand that he was the Main Man.
  24. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    It's interesting to note that, while The Beatles made somewhat of a habit of it, 'Dancing In The Street' is the only time The Kinks recorded a song originally performed by as female artist (unless you also count the snatch of 'Mr Wonderful' included on the Showbiz LP).
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2021
  25. rockerreds

    rockerreds Senior Member

    I like their version of "Dancing in the Street", just four London working class blokes doing Motown.

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