The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. Paul Mazz

    Paul Mazz Forum Resident

    Will do. I may have to confer with my brother and my friend Bill who were at the show with me. Maybe between the three of us we’ll remember a little more.:)
  2. sharedon

    sharedon Forum Zonophone

    I was there, too! And I always thought Morning Song was tape, too, but maybe they just reproduced it really well…. I remember the last moments of the show being kind of chaotic, but I may have that mixed up with another date, as I saw them many times in the 70s.
  3. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    It would have been so cool if it had been recorded and video'd properly.
  4. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    DISKOJOE likes this.
  5. Michael Streett

    Michael Streett Senior Member

    Florence, SC
    In “Kink” Dave says he was particularly disillusioned during this period and was suffering from low self esteem. Ray was particularly distant and dismissive of Dave’s ideas (except when he used them without acknowledging). Ray was constantly insulting and derogatory towards him even on stage. In the autobiography Dave uses the exact same word you do - seethed.
    These are all Dave’s feelings and thoughts from his autobiography, so I encourage anyone interested in this dynamic to check it out. Ray got 99% of the press and interviews, so it’s good to get another perspective.

    One thought I keep in mind is, they were not only band members working together professionally, but siblings, so that brings a whole other level of problems and conflicts both professional and personal. Thank goodness I never have worked with my siblings in a business!
  6. pablo fanques

    pablo fanques Somebody's Bad Handwroter

    Poughkeepsie, NY
    THIS!!! I do my current radio show with my brother and our squabbles can be epic. The sibling thing brings it to a whole other level
  7. idleracer

    idleracer Forum Resident

    :kilroy: This medley sets the scene up in very much the same way that "Birthday Party/The Birthday" acts as an invocation for the first Idle Race album. I don't have a whole lot to add to what everyone else has already said except that the melody of "Daylight" obviously melodically borrows several measures from Yes' "And You And I" from the previous year. It probably would've been slightly more interesting had Ray traded off vocals with Dave instead of merely overlapping himself.
  8. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    Yes, go on, this is precious testimony !

    Do you remember if the brass section was also present in the first, non-Preservation section ? If not it would explain the Alcohol inclusion in the show.
  9. Pawnmower

    Pawnmower Senior Member

    Dearborn, MI
    Preservation Act 1
    I've only played this album 4-5 times in my life. The one copy I have is the CD with the bonus tracks bookending the album. I have always heard this, Part 2, and Soap Opera were a real low point for the band. I didn't love this album much and so my "Act 2" and "Soap Opera" CDs are still in their shrink wrap. That will change as we move into 2022 here on this thread. It is now that I will really start learning about this second half of their catalog that I have long neglected. I love "Sweet Lady Genevieve" and I remember "One of the Survivors" well. I look forward to this and I'm glad so many of us are still here. I must say I've never given the album cover much thought. "It is what it is" is usually my thought about album covers that came out before I was born. I never think of holding them to present-day standards. Also, I never would have guessed there was any play or stage production associated with this, or underlying story, if I didn't read that elsewhere.

    "Morning Song" - It's a fine intro to the album. A bit bombastic at points if trying to portray a gentle sunrise and a fresh start.

    "Daylight" - Really nice song, proper opening track. "Village green" is referenced three times and I enjoy the horn break out during verses 2 & 4. It feels like more of a return to the Ray we lost in the "Show-Biz" period. My only complaint is the production. The drums sound like he's beating on cardboard covered with pillows and all these post-Lola albums so far have very dry vocals that are not as high in the mix as they used to be. But it's a very good track. The album is off to a solid start.
  10. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Sweet Lady Genevieve.


    stereo mix (3:23), recorded Jul 1973 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London

    (Sung by The Tramp)

    Once under a scarlet sky I told you never ending lies,
    But they were the words of a drunken vagabond
    Who knew very well he would break your heart before long
    Oh forgive me Genevieve.

    Now I've come back to see Sweet Lady Genevieve,
    This time I'll give you some security
    And I won't make promises I can't keep
    So will you come back to me Sweet Lady Genevieve.

    Let me rock you, hold you,
    Take you in my arms.
    Forgive me, please,
    Smile away all your sadness, put your trust in me.

    Oh if you come back to me Sweet Lady Genevieve,
    I'm not the impetuous fool that you used to know
    I know that I used you and I hurt you so,
    But that was so long ago Sweet Lady Genevieve.

    Oh, love me,
    Take me in your arms.
    Let me rock you, hold you,
    Smile away all your sadness, put your trust in me.

    Once under a starry sky I led you on and told you lies
    Drank too much whiskey on that hot summer night.
    I acted so slyly because you were acting so shy,
    Oh forgive me Genevieve.

    If you come back to me Sweet Lady Genevieve,
    You're not the child who smiled so innocently
    And I'm not the rogue that I used to be,
    So will you come back to me Sweet Lady Genevieve.

    Oh Genevieve, Oh Genevieve.

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

    This was the third single from the Preservation album, and it seems surprising in some ways that it wasn’t the first single to me.

    Apparently, this is sung by the Tramp, but until doing the run through the other day, I wasn’t even aware of the Tramp, to be honest, so it really is going to be interesting to me to see how this all pans out.

    The instrumental link and opening of the song is a little like The Beatles I Should Have Known Better, but not enough to distract me, partly because of the harmonica from Ray…. It seems a while since Ray has played the harmonica on one of the band’s albums.

    So this was written by Ray, somewhat as a song for Rasa, or so I believe, and that makes sense in many ways, and the Tramp character is self-deprecating enough to suggest this is true. Here what we have is The Tramp (a drunken vagabond) singing of his lost love, and it makes one wonder if the breakdown of the relationship is what left this guy living the life of a tramp in the first place.

    Basically in every way, this is a fairly standard kind of love song, in the sense that it is a guy telling the woman he loves that he messed up and wants another chance. He knows all the things he did wrong and will, and has, fixed the character flaws, and the fact that he took her for granted.

    I guess I look at this as a Village Green scenario. Much like the parent album, we have some character songs that sing of the people in the village, and their lives, and who they are.
    The sun has just come up, and we pan to the Tramp in the early morning reminiscing of his lost love…… It has a very movie-like feel to me.

    As a song we have a really fantastic Ray melody, and although the chords are essentially a turnaround with a couple of little deviations, the melody makes it sound like there is more going on with the chords than there is.
    We have a wonderful arrangement, and the album is easily shooting two for two.

    I could waffle on about this, but I think this song speaks for itself, and this is really another Ray song that is presented as a fictional story but is another real part of his life …. and could almost be seen as autobiographical in many ways.

  11. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    This is a fantastic song, one of their best of the 70s, and it's criminal that it wasn't a success as a single! As someone else mentioned, the Tramp has the best songs on Act 1.
  12. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    Is it the ultimate fan favorite ? Everything about it is perfection. The intro, the musicianship, Ray’s vocal and his unbelievable scansion, that is his and only his, so idiosyncratic that I’d be hard pressed thinking of any other performer pulling it off… The main device is one Ray’s done a few times already: a sad and desperate lyric set to a wonderful sparky triumphant music. Musically I think it’s a deliberate throwback (or self-reference) to Days, with the very same idea: a very straightforward attack on the first phrase (“once under a scarlet sky”), immediately followed by something rhythmically, metrically (is it even a word?) and melodically more convoluted or even awkward ("Who knew very well he would break your heart before long"), in which the protagonist struggles with whatever he has to say and betrays his emotions. Why did I say the lyric was “sad and desperate”? Because the optimistic music – and the Days structural allusion – show us the singer perfectly knows he can’t win his girl back. He sings he lied “once”, but the lies were “never ending” (“I told you never ending lies” is such a clever economical turn of phrase), and even his fake enthusiasm and pep talk are indications that he’s prone to doing it again. That he’s probably doing it right now… So in a way it’s Days (a song about an extra-marital affair) and Moments (a preceding apology song for a fading couple) wrapped into one sublime slice of chiming pop music, displaying such a forceful optimism that you know it’s 100% hopeless, almost like a guy saying “I got you, you’re gonna make it” while holding the hand of a dying friend on the battlefield. Then of course, we realize the sweet title lady never appears elsewhere in the two Preservation Acts. No Genevieve to be seen, or heard about, in the rest of the libretto. So this is indeed a farewell song disguised as a lover’s plea, and another one of Ray’s heartbreaking bittersweet tour de force.
  13. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    This very personal song (which Dave Davies admitted his found hard to listen to as it conveyed so much of his brother's real pain and sadness) was never part of the Kinks 70s live set, quite possibly for those very reasons, but in 1993, when Ray had taken to opening for The Kinks as an acoustic support act, he took the idiosyncratic decision to start performing an abbreviated version live in these mini solo sets. Talk about a rare treat for those in the know!

  14. stewedandkeefed

    stewedandkeefed Came Ashore In The Dead Of The Night

    "Sweet Lady Genevieve" is a beautiful song. Ray captures bitterweetness (as a writer and singer) as well as anyone as @Fortuleo noted above. The one time I saw the Kinks live, this song was in the show (#3 slot) in a pretty rare outing.
  15. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    "Sweet Lady Genevieve"

    What an absolutely glorious tune this is! Melody that swoops up and down and can barely be contained within the lines in which it is written, so spills over into the next line like one long stream of consciousness. It has everything you want from classic Kinks, including that trebly acoustic guitar - it wouldn't be unfeasible to think this could have been a lost track from 1970. The lyrics are great as well. This deserves to sit alongside the usual suspects from the 60s on a "Best of the Kinks" compilation. Its place within the Preservation concept is of course tenuous at best, but it would be so much poorer without it. The main question is: why didn't I hear how good this was back in the 80s?
  16. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    I think everyone loves this song (surely?) and quite rightly, it's one of the best songs Ray wrote in the 70s. I assume people know that it's a song about his marriage and, frankly, it has zip all to do with the Preservation concept but was obviously too good not to end up on there, as sung by Ray's supposed mouthpiece, the Tramp.
  17. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    I believe that 'Sweet Lady Genevieve' didn't even exist until June 1973 as it was written as a response to Rasa leaving him in that month, so there's your answer. 'One Of The Survivors' was issued April 73 and 'Sitting The The Midday Sun' in June. I guess recognising it as a great song they got 'Genevieve' out as a single as soon as they could thereafter. I do wonder how strange it would have been for Ray if SWL had become a big hit, and he'd had to sing such a personally painful song on TV and then in concert night after night.

    Heresy I know as I love this track as much as any other Kinks fan, but I have to admit at the back of my mind I've always wondered if the tempo of this one couldn't have done with being upped just a little. I maybe wouldn't want to futz with the Kinks original recording but at the very least there's a great slightly faster power pop cover version of this waiting to be done by someone. In fact, has anyone of note ever covered this one?
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2021
  18. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    to answer my own question.. I see Ron Sexsmith did it. Not any faster though!

  19. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Sweet Lady Genevieve: I suppose I ought to start by confessing that this is the track that didn’t make my playlist until the second round. Initially, I thought it was a fairly typical hippie love song. Anyway…I like it.

    There’s a brief section that I found myself going nuts trying to think what it reminded me of…and realized it’s ’Bungalow Bill’.
  20. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    I think the fact that Ray chose to cloak his self expression here with a medieval character name and the kind of non specific fairy tale type lyric more typically used by his contemporaries when they started getting artistically high falutin' (think 'Lady Jane' etc as well as the many art and prog rock groups who went medieval on our asses) but that is atypical for the Kinks is a bit of misdirection that he used to take the edge off writing about such a painful subject publically.
  21. Ex-Fed

    Ex-Fed Not Fed Ex

    New York State
    I first saw the Kinks at the Felt Forum in NY, a lovely place to see a show, in April of 1974. They were up to what I would learn were their customary antics: “All right, let’s hear it for the Kinks!”…pie plates…false starts of “Lola”….a marvelous “Celluloid Heroes” before it got all overblown and turned into a monument in the 1980s…”Alcohol,” the bottle on the head, Mike Cotton…I saw them in the same place 6 months later for Preservation. Fantastic greatest hits set to start. I remember the cardboard costumes at the start of the second half, which seemed a bit twee (though I didn’t know the word at the time) and my disappointment that the Tramp’s songs were cut. Typical Kinks, right? To not play “Sweet Lady Genevieve?” But Preservation was fantastic: a bit ramshackle, to be sure, but in those days, ramshackle was valued as honest and pure. I enjoyed both shows tremendously, and I thought the musicianship was great. The slides and films in the background seemed cutting-edge. I’d read about the sloppy live Kinks, but I didn’t see that at either show. But you don’t have to believe just me. My friends Pete and Jeff, who were there with me, agreed. So there you have it.
  22. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    Sweet Lady Genevieve

    I like this song, though it never was a favorite of mine on the album. I guess I was a bit annoyed at first by the cheap-sounding acoustic guitars and harmonica, and the weird metrics. I'm still skeptical of the former, but I've grown to appreciate the limping metrics as part of the composition, to some extent. The thing is, I had no clue about the song's meaning and timing in Ray's life before I read the thread, and this is a case where context lends a lot of emotional weight to the words that are sung and to the music that carries them.

    A bit like Bob Dylan's beautiful Wedding Song, that he must have written at about the same time, or a few months after (it was recorded in november). That is, if the story according to which he wrote it as his marriage was falling apart is true. Actually, I made the opposite trip with Wedding Song : I always enjoyed it as this painful last-chance love declaration that I had read it was, and researching it now I realise it's not that certain ! Are there Dylan scholars here who can confirm ?

    There is a very touching line towards the end of Sweet Lady Genevieve : "You're not the child who smiled so innocently". What does he mean ? You're not that child anymore, and that's my fault ; but also, you're more mature now, you know I can't be the perfect guy I lied I would be for you ; is there a hidden reproach behind these words, a last reflex of defensive but inappropriate self-esteem in a sea of self-deprecation ? Nice ambiguity.
  23. Fischman

    Fischman RockMonster, ClassicalMaster, and JazzMeister

    New Mexico
    Sweet Lady Genevieve

    One of those songs that, on paper has little to distinguish it, but in execution ends up being sheer perfection. There is in intangible beauty in this song that's hard for me to pin down in words, but it's definitely there.
  24. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    His wife was literally a schoolgirl when they first got together. He wasn't much older either.
  25. Paul Mazz

    Paul Mazz Forum Resident

    I did not remember- but just cheated- someone has an audience tape up on YouTube of the opening set-yep the horn section was there for the opening set also. I’ll try to post any other actual memories I have when the corresponding songs come up. More likely when we get to Act II.

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