The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. Allthingsmusic

    Allthingsmusic Forum Resident

    Jumping back in with this post. I know I posted earlier that I got off The Kinks train with "EISB". Well I did occasionally hop back on through the years. Preservation is almost totally new to me. So far I like what I hear. Looking forward to listening and reading everyone's comments!
     
  2. LX200GPS

    LX200GPS Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    Preservation Act 1

    For once I know exactly where I was and when I first heard this one as it was a Christmas present from my brother-in-law. He worked in Polydor Records and had asked us all which records we wanted for Chrimbo. Not that he was going to buy them. You see, he had a friend who worked in 'The World's Greatest Record Store' (HMV) in London. At that time we rented a flat with a garden which backed onto Maida Vale Studios. I didn't know then the part this studio had played, and would continue to play, in the Kinks story.

    Being 17 years old I wasn't sure what the album was about - I just wanted to hear great Kinks songs - and was puzzled when I heard Morning Song. I remember thinking I hope they're not all like that. Looking back now it is easy to see that Ray had one eye on the theatrical presentation of Preservation but back on Christmas morning 1973 this was far removed from any ideas I may have had about what Ray was up to.

    Besides, the album's theme is not so obvious that it jumps off the turntable and slaps you around the face. To me they're a bunch of songs about a variety of subjects from cricket to property development. Even the Money and Corruption/I am Your Man track was topical for the time and not considered (by me) to be part of some narrative. Have never considered this album part one of the story to be honest and have always been able to listen to these two LP's separately. Another good album with a few great songs.
     
  3. Luckless Pedestrian

    Luckless Pedestrian Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Hampshire, USA
    Ha! Interesting, that always evoked for me a vision of a busy diner serving up coffee and Eggs Benedict for the townsfolk, with the delicious flavors floating "on the air", a phrase that comes across as slightly askew in this context, and therefore has always been pleasing to my ear.
     
  4. LX200GPS

    LX200GPS Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    I'm going to dive in here as I'm in catch up mode at the moment so apologies if anyone else has made this point. I always thought 'breakfast specials on the air' was a reference to the smell of fried breakfast emanating from the cafes and houses early in the morning. You may very well be right but if it was a reference to the radio programme then wouldn't he sing 'breakfast special' (singular)?

    I too have often wondered who did the humming in Morning Song and was about to ask. I did think you might know. I don't remember ever seeing a credit on the album. Doesn't sound like Ray but neither does one of the Mirror Of Love versions.
     
  5. donstemple

    donstemple Member of the Club

    Location:
    Maplewood, NJ
    Morning Song

    On first listen, this was weird. But in the context of the whole album now, I have grown to really enjoy this mood setter. The almost spooky backing vocals. It accomplishes the same sorta thing that "Our Prayer" was supposed to do for the opening of the Beach Boys' SMiLE (instead, it was thrown towards the end of their 20/20 album in 1969, but eventually did act as the opener for 2004's Brian Wilson Presents SMiLE.)

    I see this is as flowing perfectly into the next song, how some of those vocals just sort of linger on the slight fade into...

    ...Daylight

    This is an incredible song and production. The opening section seems to transform the feeling of the Morning Song hymn (humm?) into an almost gospel anthem, welcoming the Golden Hour morning light on the hills and valleys around the Village Green. The reference to Here Comes Yet Another Day, and I again get stuck on the inclusion of the word "yet" in that phrase... Not just another day, but "yet another day" as if they just keep coming faster than we can handle. With more stress, more issues, more worries. The ascending verses describe those: the bleary eyes, the "Worn out housewives grit their teeth ignoring new born babies' cries" (oh my god, how great is that particular lyric and the imagery/character study that one single line provides).

    And like Here Comes Yet Another Day, these ascending verses uses that production trick of having each successive line overlap slightly with the proceeding line. One character blends into the other. You can see the visual on a musical play, with different characters saying these lines as they open their windows and step out of their homes, which each one getting a spotlight on their line.

    This has grown to one of my favorites on this album as I've been exploring it the past several weeks. Love it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2021
  6. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    That's far too American!
     
  7. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    "Morning Song/Daylight"

    It's nice to wake up to a "Morning Song" and "Daylight" and reading all the glowing reviews. A marvelous start to the album. The intro gets you ready to take on the day and what a beautiful day it is. It's odd how an album that starts out so strong can be considered a failure to many fans. "Daylight" is one of my favorite Kinks songs of the 70s. Then the album follows it up with yet another Ray Davies classic. The Kinks really know how to start off an album. You can never say it's their best opening, because that can be said about so many of their albums. Everything about the production of "Daylight" is spectacular. It has an eerie quality to it. It could almost be the template for Ray's New Orleans buddy Alex Chilton's sound on Big Star's Third. I love the opening organ and acoustic strum that leads into the drums and the shimmering electric guitar. It's miraculous that they are still operating on such a high level. I feel this is one of the unsung gems in the Kinks catalogue.

    It's already been mentioned, but The CD version that starts with the "Preservation" single was a bad decision. The album needs to start with "Morning Song". It seems out of place and weird as the second song. They should have placed the single as a bonus track at the end of the album.
     
  8. donstemple

    donstemple Member of the Club

    Location:
    Maplewood, NJ
    Here is audio of a live performance of today's two songs, apparently from the 11/24/1974 show at the Palace Theater in Albany, NY.

    Here's the setlist I was able to find. Looks like a quick set of hits to start, and then the Preservation set of various songs from both Acts (with Alcohol thrown in, too). Oh to have seen that tour...

     
  9. Fischman

    Fischman RockMonster, ClassicalMaster, and JazzMeister

    Location:
    New Mexico
    Sorry, folks, the day job's been a beast. While I haven't taken the time to formulate thoughts worth sharing since we left Muswell Hill, rest assured I have been reading, and appreciating the intervening posts.

    Gotta' make the time again now that we're back into a proper album.

    So to start, I still have trouble getting into Morning Song, which sounds to me like bad background music to some sort of 1960s family drama movie starring the likes of Shirley Jones or Brian Keith.

    Now Daylight on the other hand, I've found a new appreciation for. Love the mood, love the lyrics, and yes, maybe it is a little enhanced by the Morning Song lead in. As I listened anew this morning, I drew a similar emotional response to the opening sequence from The Moody Blues' Days of Duture Passed with the buoyant The Day Begins through The Morning: Another Morning.... but with an extra chuckle courtesy of Ray's tongue in cheek lyrics. Delightful stuff.
     
  10. Scottsol

    Scottsol Forum Resident

    Location:
    Evanston, IL
    This highlights a major stumbling block for the Preservation albums. They (though mostly Act 2) are soundtrack albums for a Broadway/West End production that never existed.. As a consequence the listener can’t fully appreciate the result without constructing a virtual Broadway show in their head.
    In a perfect world the albums would not have been released until the West End production had debuted and entered the public consciousness.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2021
  11. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    Good call. I was going to mention the opening having a Moody Blues quality.
     
  12. side3

    side3 Younger Than Yesterday

    Location:
    Tulsa, OK
    I agree. There are some female vocals on the album that sound very much like John Lodge's falsetto in the Moddy Blues' harmony stack. Harder to hear on their studio albums given the dense blend, but very evident on era's the live tracks.
     
  13. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Morning Song

    A bit less baritone but I hear Paul Robeson and a show tune replete with female singers so to me it has a 1930's feel & I don't dislike it.
     
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  14. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Daylight

    Some of the recurring lines that begin with Ray singing the title have a bit of a Buffalo Bill melody.
    Definitely a show tune here especially the gently measured ascending lines whereby Ray is joined by the horns and overdubs each vocal line so that one neatly follows the former up the musical staircase.
    We hear of star, star with Roger Moore & Steve Mcqueen so in late 1973 we have at least two major British band's referencing the latter but here it's all the pipe dreams of mature aged ladies and no one is getting mad about any party interactions!
     
  15. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Loved me some D Generation, what an Aussie title Mark!
    Hey was the instrumental intro by James Brown?
     
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  16. Michael Streett

    Michael Streett Senior Member

    Location:
    Florence, SC
    In his autobiography “Kink” Dave says they were rehearsing material for this album and he showed Ray some guitar chords and ideas he had been working on using a different guitar tuning. Dave described it as “a twangy, open-stringed sound with a kind of Indian-blues feel”. Dave goes on saying the following day Ray came up with the idea for Daylight using Dave’s drone and de-tuned guitar pattern from the previous day but gave Dave no credit which frustrated him no end.
     
  17. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Great description of the plays enactment to Ray's song!
     
  18. Paul Mazz

    Paul Mazz Forum Resident

    I hope people don’t mind if I don’t comment on the songs directly, as I don’t have much to add that hasn’t already been said. I thought I would continue with my recollections of the live Preservation show that I saw. It’s almost like @markwinstanley and @Fortuleo were there - they summed up part of how I experienced it at the time so we’ll. As I mentioned, there was a short opening set of hits and then an intermission. After the intermission, as the crowd was starting to get a little restless, the house lights went down, and Morning Song (0n tape it turned out) started in darkness. They started to sing Daylight as the lights on the stage were gradually brought up, revealing the entire band, including the horn section and backup singers, lined up across the front of the stage holding cutouts in front of them as if they were dressed in more traditional garb. At the same time scenes of sunrise over a village in a bucolic English countryside were projected on a screen behind them. What a great way to open the Preservation part of the show.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2021
  19. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scotland
    It sounds amazing! I hope a proper recording exists and gets released as part of a SDE.
     
  20. Paul Mazz

    Paul Mazz Forum Resident

    I would have loved it if this show had been professionally filmed!
     
  21. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Morning Song/Daylight
    Morning Song hits me as being music from a 1930s movie - like I go back and forth in thinking it sounds like something that could have been in Wizard of Oz or Gone with the Wind. I can't quite put my finger on it. the deep hum reminds me of perhaps a slave in Gone with the Wind humming as he goes about his labors(I don't necessarily think that is a part of the movie, it just drums that image up in my head, oddly enough). But very theatrical start.

    I do enjoy Daylight, but it doesn't knock my socks off. You can clearly see that the writing is top notch, but yet again, it is a very theatrical song. I can picture various characters quickly walking across the stage as he sings each line. I feel like I've seen this musical, but not too sure it'll hold my interest. We shall see.

    And once again Ray sings of the sun and light...it's cleansing...life affirming. "Feel the sunlight on my pillow". Everything's gonna be all right when the sun shines.

    I'm assuming during the first verse that Ray's vocals are buried in the music purposely?! dawn is starting to break and life is slowly, quietly rising. I can't clearly hear the lyrics during that part. However by the time you get near the end of the song, you can hear his voice loud and clear.
     
  22. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    I hadn't read your comments before I made my own, but obviously we are on the same page in regards to this tune.
     
  23. Paul Mazz

    Paul Mazz Forum Resident

    Thanks for posting this. I take back what I said about the Kinks using tape for Morning Song :eek:. It probably was just organ and voices - it was 47 years ago :). I am a little skeptical that they played Alcohol in the middle of the Preservation show. They definitely did not do that at the show I was at. I confirmed by checking the set list of the Felt Forum show I was at, as apparently my memory is not infallible :p. The Kinks Setlist at Felt Forum, New York
     
  24. Michael Streett

    Michael Streett Senior Member

    Location:
    Florence, SC
    Please continue to describe the show you saw as we move through the tracks. Since we have no official video or live recordings of these 1973 or 1974 shows, it’s great to hear recollections from those that witnessed these at the time.
     
  25. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    I wonder if Dave voiced his frustration? Or just seethed? Just curious
     
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