Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by mark winstanley, Apr 4, 2021.
3 for 3 so far. .. Preservation off to a great start!
I suspect that @ajsmith will be far more proficient at finding and uploading clips, if they exist. But I'm happy to do a brief write up taken from the VGPS box. There's only 3 tracks - Village Green Overture, VGPS, and a medley of Picture Book and People Take Pictures, all on disc 5 of the box.
It's my mother's first name, but she was born long before the song.
First off, I just want to mention that there are only two incidences I know of in which the word "Impetuous" has ever been used in a song. This and in the fade-out of "The Monster Mash."
This is a rare example of an RCA era Kinks song that would not have sounded out of place on most of their PYE/Reprise LPs. Interestingly, it came out at around the same time as the Mott The Hoople hit, "Roll Away The Stone" which shares quite a few musical similarities, mainly the meter, tempo and chord progression. Come to think of it, the lyrical theme isn't all that dissimilar either. Needless to say, the Mott influence would reach it's absolute zenith with "Salvation Road," but more on that later.
This simply might've been too musically complex for the market of 1973, with all those fancy chord changes. In 1967, it would've fit right in with the times. I love the way the bridge briefly switches the tune from a rather baroque melody into a more rock 'n rollish bag before changing back again.
Several years ago, I created a MIDI file for this, and numerous other tunes on the "Kinda Kinks" website. I recall this as being easily the most challenging one, as the tempo of the original varies wildly, and I decided to make it steady. Click HERE if your computer is equipped to play MIDI files and you wish to hear it.
We forgot to celebrate page 600 (unless I overlooked it).
Lol I missed it
Sunday morning I will start us off with something on the Village Green and these extra songs....
Then i will leave it to our experts to fill in the blanks, and expound on it all.
Hope that works for everybody
Since I'm playing catch up and haven't got much to add, I'll be brief.
Preservation Act 1 - I only got familiar with this in the past few weeks, and I like it much more than its reputation suggested. It's worth remembering it's basically a soundtrack for a musical and the songs are missing the stage component. In a good musical, the songs will usually help to advance the story or develop the characters, and it's not expected that all of them will be hit fodder. I agree with those who said that in general the songs that aren't obviously specific to the plot (presumably the earlier songs composed for the early version of Preservation) are stronger (but not across the board..."Here Comes Flash" > "Cricket," for instance).
Morning Song - This sounds like it's from a mid-30s black and white film of an operetta. It sounds like a "mature" piece from Ray, for lack of a better word. I don't find it as emotionally engaging as I think I ought to, but it's an appropriate opening to "Daylight."
Daylight - I like this a lot; in fact it may be my favorite of the album. Parts of it sound a lot like a Broadway musical from the 1970s...or 1930s, I'm not sure!
Sweet Lady Genevieve - I knew this was a highly-regarded Kinks song, so I confess I was a little underwhelmed when I first heard it. I expected something that sounded slower and more intimate, like "Sitting in My Hotel," for example. I like it but find the lyrics stronger than the music. Knowledge of Ray's personal situation adds a big slice of poignancy.
"Sweet Lady Genevieve" - My comments are the same as the others, what a great song! First time I heard it I knew it was special. What a great first verse, and that harmonica.. it only gets better from there. The drums sound great here too. Almost as if they made them sound bad on "Daylight" so they would provide extra pop here. The highlight of the album for me.
So weird to think of it as track 3 when it's track 4 on my CD. Ugh that sequencing messed me up.
Sweet Lady Genevieve
Like @Smiler I too was a little underwhelmed upon hearing this as i too knew it was rated highly by some fans and thus my expectations were raised accordingly.
I heard echoes of Bungalow Bill for the second time this album and on this track I first heard it in the opening moments as the track takes shape and at other times as we go forward with guitar and harmonica.
I like the lyric and melody and my personal observations are varied and many.
*Not entirely believing or trusting what the protagonist is saying in good part as for openers it sounds like he hasn't convinced himself in his words either and to me he is not worth another chance.
*Added poignancy and wanting to like/love The song due to its true subject matter.
*Another avid suggested an uptempo Power pop treatment which i agree would be an interesting endeavour however..........
*I like Ron Sexsmith's measured, acoustic and unadorned performance which allows me to hear his every vocal nuance (largely borrowed from Ray) and careful execution of said and hey isn't that likely how a tramp would perform it upon waking one morn' with heart (and tear) on sleeve?
*It reminds me of a piece of music i can't quite put my finger on that has similar moments of tension though fittingly I can say it is also from the 70's and is part of a filmscore! (I think for 1978's Skateboard)
I guess I am saying the arrangement and performance haven't totally won me over as yet but there is a good song in there that for me still has some untapped potential!
N.b. I have only ever known one girl named Genevieve and she was a young neighbour in Melbourne circa 1981 when I was barely a pre teen and she was a little bit posh.
Just a pre warning: re clips for these: I believe the Village Green Overture is the only one where the box set version is on Youtube. There are live versions of the 1972/3 VGPS and Picture medley on Youtube, but they're not exactly the same versions as are on the box, even if they are the same arrangements. They should still be usuable for Sunday's discussion though. (Happy to be corrected on this if anyone can locate the box set versions of these on YT!)
I'm just glad that anything is available, so those who don't have the box can chime in.
I get the impression that you are correct on that.... the cart has been a bit full, but I seem to remember looking at them when we were doing the Village Green and them being unavailable.
There’s A Change In The Weather.
stereo mix, recorded May-Jul 1973 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London
(Sung by Working Class Man, Middle Class Man and Upper Class Man)
I'm just a simple working man
Gettin' by the best I can
In this crazy mixed-up muddled-up world that I live in.
I'm a middle class sort of a guy
I'm not rich but I get by
Pretending that I know just what I'm doin'.
I'm a well bred upper class sort of chap,
I don't care much about this and that
Even when I know there's trouble brewin'.
We think there's a change in the weather
We've got to learn to stick together.
We've seen the thunder clouds in the sky,
I wanna live, I don't wanna die.
I think the weather's changing, I hope the weather is gonna change.
I hope it's a change for the better and it will brighten up my day.
I think there's a change in the weather, I hope good weather is here to stay,
I hope it's a change for the better and it will brighten up my day.
See the holocaust risin' over the horizon,
Gonna see a manifestation, total chaos, devastation,
Anticyclone and tornados brewin',
Gonna feel the lightnin' strikin',
Thunder clap smoke a frightnin',
There's gonna be evil doin',
There's trouble brewin',
Too much thunder, too much fightin'.
Heavy storm clouds comin',
Gonna cover up the sun
And gonna terrify everyone,
Better pack up your bags and run.
I think there's a change in the weather, I think the weather is going to change.
I hope it's a change for the better and it will brighten up my day.
I think there's a change in the weather, I hope good weather is here to stay.
I hope it's a change for the better and it will brighten up my day.
Written by: Ray Davies
Published by: Davray Music Ltd.
I get the feeling this will be the first song to cause a divide, but I love this.
We have a song that starts off with one of Ray’s pet topics. We have three fellows from the essentially the three classes….
We open with three lines that essentially introduce the three guys in their most basic form.
The Working-Class guy is getting by as best he can.
The Middle-Class guy is getting by, pretending he has got it all going on.
The Upper-Class guy who thinks he is essentially removed from all the things going on, due to his good breeding and position.
So, we open up with this really nice groove, at a moderate to up-tempo pace. Dave has that nice crunchy tone to his guitar and gives us some nice rhythm playing.
The song starts out like we are going to have a cool rock song that is augmented by horns. It brings these three characters together in very quick succession.
This section comes to a close with the logical thought that there are storm clouds rising and these three, no matter the historical separation they have had, need to stick together.
At the 42 second mark we have a change in the weather alright. We have a horn melody that completely turns the driving rock of the first 42 seconds on its head, and we move into some primo Ray. This is sort of a Music Hall meets Rogers and Hammerstein twist to the song, and for me it is a sensational piece of writing.
Lyrically in this section we essentially just have the fact that it seems the weather is changing being addressed, but in context, the weather is the social situation, or political situation…. The weather being used as a metaphor for the climate of their social situation.
For me we have two sections that work very well together, and also really mix it up musically, in such a way as to keep me very engaged in where we are going here.
Musically this section relies mainly on the horns, and Mick’s solid drums that add nicely to the feel.
Then we move into a completely different section again, and it comes into play as a sort of free feel, in comparison to the first two sections. What it is essentially, is a musical feel used to accent the anxiety that the lyrics portray. We suddenly have a definition of what this change in the weather is all about.
We have Ray in an effectively verbose way telling us that there is a huge storm coming. He describes it as almost all the types of storms you could imagine and throws in the essential line “There’s gonna be evil doin’ there’s trouble brewin’” which brings our focus to the fact that we aren’t talking literally about a storm front on the horizon. Something nasty is coming to our happy little environment.
Now musically this section may not really be any kind of easy access pop or rock song, but what we do have is an excellent representation of the feelings/emotions that are involved in the story/lyrics at this point.
The organ holds a sort of chord pad, and over the top we have the horns with an anxiety riddled musical theme. The Tuba? having that torn up kind of sound that works as the ominous tone, as it sort of bottoms out, like the air is being torn out of its bell.
The “evil doin’” section is a little cleaner, and it is almost as if that is working as a realization, and we also move into the idea that this is going to be terrifying and you’d better pack up your bags and run….. like a moment of clarity in the storm, where you gain enough focus to make a lifesaving decision.
I think this is where the way this album is arranged works very well.
We have had the initial scene set up – A beautiful sunrise, the dawning of a new day, with several characters we can relate to, because we either know them or are them – then we focus in on one lonely guy regretting his lost love and hoping for reconciliation – …. It works like a movie, with some minor character introduction and development …..now as the sun has risen high enough, and our eyes are open wide enough, we suddenly realise as a community, the Village Green Community, that there is something bad happening/coming.
Then we move beautifully, and ironically back into the bouncy Rogers and Hammerstein section, which is working as a chorus.
The highlight of this second chorus is Ray’s vocal delivery, for me at least. There is a tone to his delivery that really adds some character to the song, and it works so well for me. Ray has this slightly demented vocal delivery here that really seems to bring home the point of the song for me
I could see all of this as a stage play …. And actually, it kind of comes across like a pantomime in a way.
This is probably Ray’s most theatrical song so far, and for me it works really well, as a song, and as a track that moves the narrative forward.
It’s like we have had the scene set, and we see that everything is idyllic, in a broad kind of of sense. The people that live here are living their lives and getting along nicely, a business as usual kind of scenario…..
It sort of feels like real life to me….. we go about our daily business and little rituals, meanwhile in the background there are megalomaniacs that feel that they are anointed to take over the world and inflict their particular version of society on all of us … to me this song is kind of a lightbulb situation where everyone suddenly realizes that we are about to enter this scenario again, in the ever-changing flow of the world and its inherent stupidity….
So, I can easily see how this song may come across as disjointed, or even just plain weird…. perhaps a bit camp, but to me the somewhat schizophrenic nature of the song actually reflects the weather/seasons very well, and in its somewhat metaphorical sense, also the social and political weather that interferes with our lives constantly….
I wouldn’t go so far as to call this song a masterpiece, but to me it is a masterful piece of writing that will never appeal in the sense of being a chart hit … or have the majority sitting around singing it at a bar or anything, but in the context of the album, it does everything it needs to do, to set the agenda of what is actually happening here … the overall scene has been set, we have been introduced to a couple of characters in the story, humanized them, and now we are presented with the fact that there is some murky stuff going on that is going to mess with everyone’s day to day lives, and for me, it is presented in such a way as to give it some real gravity, and I also find it an entertaining song.
For the record when I was in my twenties I would likely not have enjoyed this, but these days with more mileage on the clock and a little broader view of the music world I like it a lot.
This must be one of the first 100% operetta rock numbers, right ? Something that goes beyond anything the likes of McCartney, Nilsson, Gibb, Townshend or Ray himself had ever dared to do before (even the likeminded Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey is classic pop compared to this), only to be overcome by Queen in the following years. It never occurred to me before (thanks again, Thread !), but Mercury & co (who'd just released their debut LP earlier that same year) must’ve listened with the outmost attention to this first Preservation record. A Night at the Opera was just two years away and it has a song called Sweet Lady (no Genevieve, but still…), the operetta breaks of Bohemian Rhapsody and the straight Sunny Afternoon/Midday Sun Kinks tribute/pastiche Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon. Can't have three coincidences, can you ?
A probable inspiration for the Upper Middle and Working class characters introducing themselves (although it's in the opposite order in the Kinks song) is the famous (in the UK anyway) 1966 class sketch from the UK satirical show The Frost Report, featuring John Cleese, Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett placed in order of height both physically and in their characters place in the society:
Yep, this is it. When I listened to this album in approx 1986 I didn't know enough about all facets of The Kinks, or indeed music to appreciate it then.
But now...I can see the genius behind Ray's writing and it sounds great. This is a show tune all the way, and the theatricality really kicks in here. You can just see in your head the female backing vocalists during the chorus dressed up as Mrs Mopps and dancing with their feather dusters. The post-first chorus section is also edging towards a bit of prog, although I think we get closer to that in Act II.
A nice rock groove to open, then we get the absurd drop down into the oompah chorus, then a dramatic middle section, and then the return of the oompah band to close. The music and lyrics and Ray's delivery combine to move the plot along in exactly the required way, and with no particular sense of exposition for the sake of exposition. You probably wouldn't want to listen to this one outside the context of the album, but it's an essential piece within the album.
Interesting that Ray got away with writing the "in this ... world in which we live in" line which Macca gets slated for. Probably due to the fact that most people have never heard this!
I think "Autumn Almanac" is still widely remembered and loved in the UK. I could be wrong.
Sweet Lady Genevieve is fine. I was resistant to it at first when I heard it on its own as an example of a 70s Kinks song I ought to love- on the pure pop level it falls short of the 60s classics. But in the context of the album it's nice. I never knew it was so personal.
There's A Change In the Weather. Great song. The verse sounds like it's loosely based on Dylan's "It's Alright Ma, I'm Only Bleeding" (which, knowing, Dylan, was probably based on another song) but the more old-timey section takes it to another level. I love songs that combine constrasting rough and smooth sections. It's somewhat Sgt Pepper, somewhat Smile. And very Ray.
Oct 1963 - Nov 1966
Apr 1967 - Feb 1970
1965 Never Say Yes
1966 Trouble In Madrid
Nov 1970 Lola Vs Powerman And The Moneygoround
Strangers - live 1970 - Dave live
Get Back In Line
Lola - TOTP - video - alt version
Top Of The Pops - video
Moneygoround - mono
This Time Tomorrow - 2020 mix
A Long Way From Home - live 70's - Ray live
Apeman - video - alt stereo - alt mono - ToTP - Calypso - live 94
Powerman - mono - 2020 mix - live 70's
Got To Be Free
The Good Life
1971 Golden Hour Of The Kinks
Feb 1971 Percy (movie) - trailer
Mar 1971 Percy (soundtrack)
The Way Love Used To Be - Ray live
Running Round Town
Moments - Ray live
Animals In The Zoo
God's Children Outro
1971 You Really Got Me - Mini Monster EP
Nov 1971 Muswell Hillbillies
20th Century Man - single - Alt Instr - Ray live
Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues - live 73 - John Peel
Holiday - live 73
Skin And Bone - live 70's - Ray live
Alcohol - live 75 - cartoon
Here Come The People In Grey - live 72
Have A Cuppa Tea - alt version - live 72
Oklahoma USA - Ray Live
Uncle Son - Alternate
Nobody's Fool - Cold Turkey(Kinks?)
Dec 1971 Muswell Hillbilly EP
1972 Muswell Hillbilly single (Jap)
Mar 1972 Kink Kronikles
Aug 1972 Everybody's In Showbiz
Here Comes Yet Another Day - live 74 - live 75
Sitting In My Hotel - 76 remix
You Don't Know My Name
Supersonic Rocket Ship - fan vid - BBC live - band video - live
Look A Little On The Sunny Side
Celluloid Heroes - live 82
Top Of The Pops
Brainwashed - Alt
Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues - Alt
Muswell Hillbilly - Alt
Alcohol - Alt
Banana Boat Song
Skin And Bone
Til The End Of The Day
You're Lookin' Fine
Get Back In Line
Have A Cuppa Tea
She's Bought A Hat Like Princess Marina
Long Tall Shorty
January 1973 The Great Lost Kinks Album
Apr 1973 One Of The Survivors/Scrapheap City (Ray Vocal)
One Of The Survivors (single version)
Ray's near death experience/suicide?
The Kinks Live AT The BBC 1973
Oct 1973 Golden Hour Of The Kinks Vol 2
1973 The Time Song
I'm Going Home
Nov 1973 Preservation Act 1
Morning Song/Daylight - live 74
Sweet Lady Genevieve - Ray live
There's A Change In The Weather
World Radio History
Starmaker Tv Play
Ray On Wonderworld
2005 Thanksgiving Day Ray live on Conan Obrien
Oct 2018 Dave Davies - Decade - interview
If You Are Leaving (71)
Cradle To The Grace (73)
Midnight Sun (73)
Mystic Woman (73)
The Journey (73)
Another great track - this album starts off very strong. It's already embraced a few different styles but it hangs together well.
There’s A Change In the Weather:
For me, this is all visual as I imagine the happy village scene with the townsfolk interacting/at work. The three men break from their activities when singing their lines.
Perhaps the working class guy is mopping his brow while leaning on a shovel; the middle class guy is polishing his car; the posh chap is at the newsstand, umbrella folded tightly under his arm, purchasing a newspaper….and then they sing. The women are huddled together talking and turn towards the audience when singing the chorus in that high-pitched Gilbert & Sullivan sort of way. (Makes me laugh every time.)
A pure musical number that must be heard as part of the whole. A clever composition complete with an oompah brass segment.
And, yes, the change in the weather is referencing the sociopolitical change soon to encompass their world.
"There's a Change in the Weather". So here we go into Andrew Lloyd Webber land. I like the 'change in the weather' part, and I'll give Ray credit for cramming so much into three minutes, it's cleverly put together but it's not really anything that excites or interests me that much. Having said that, it's inoffensive and a lot better than other songs in a similar (theatrical) vein to come.
I'd say it's as well remembered as any of their other second tier hits (ie the bigger UK chart hits that aren't You Really Got Me ADAAOTN, Dedicated, Sunny, Waterloo Days or Lola) in the UK.. it was a big hit in it's day and is familiar to many as a staple of their many Pye era greatest hits albums. But it doesn't seem to have taken on a second or third life like a lot of their other hits have.. I suspect in great part cos such an idiosyncratically structured song doesn't cover easily.
To kick off the live Preservation extravaganza, they played the studio recording of the song "Preservation." I was already familiar with the albums, and had no idea what we were hearing. I made out references to Flash, and repeated utterances the word "preservation." It all sounded good: heartfelt vocal, nice sinuous guitar lines, and all that. I was intrigued, but the Kinks chose not to enlighten me any further. I thought only fleetingly about the song--and by that I mean perhaps once a week--until I heard it on a bootleg a decade later.
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