The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    I'm not so sure. On Act 1, the village green is not shown as an unspoiled edenic state of mind, like in the 1968 record. That's the main difference established in the first couple of songs : this story is set in the real world. Dystopian, yes, but not abstract. It may even be the real London, if we're to believe the last songs of side 1…
    So of course, the place's already corrupted. Of course, the poor are already poor and already at the hands of the wealthy/fat businessmen. Of course, Flash has already been running things from behind for a long time. That's what tomorrow's song will establish. They know Flash, he's been "the man" for many years, they are terrified of him. And he'll come i tomorrow's song because he can't let "them" at the hands of that new leader they chose for themselves in his absence. That's where it's an actual story, with characters and reactions, and not just a myth. We have social and economical desperation, from that comes a providential leader (which will prove deceitful). Hearing about his arrival, the old gangster ruler comes to get a firmer hand on things. Works fine for me in this order.
    Aside from this (admittedly slight kontroversy), I wanted to share this alternate/extended version which was my first encounter with the song, as part of the Rhino double CD in 1991. It has an added instrumental minute in the middle, which only enhances the folk/prog aspect of the track. It's excellent, with a great groove, sublime playing by the rhythm guys, a neat electric piano solo, a dramatic use of the horn players and one more "show us a man" section. It brings across the idea of Mr. Black rising from an atmosphere of socio-political chaos and uproar in a very effective way.

  2. Vagabone

    Vagabone Forum Resident

    Money and Corruption is a blast. I love this style.
    I Am Your Man works well musically as a lull in proceedings (and it flows on beautifully from "Money and Corruption") but is less memorable as a tune in its own right.
    I still haven't given the lyrics of these songs the necessary attention to comment on them thoroughly. Even without listening properly, the mood they are meant to create is plain.
  3. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Nice! I like this.
  4. Money & Corruption/I Am Your Man--Attractive, thought-out melodies, the latter putting me in the mind of road-show (cut-price, for those across the pond) Elgar. I am reminded of what Richard Goldstein once said in a review of a different band: "Scratch the surface of Magical Mystery Tour and it bleeds like show music." I like the more programmatic songs on Preservation, but the fact that they're filtered through a character's consciousness means that I can't enjoy them with complete abandon. (Exception: the Tramp's wastrel persona is incidental to his songs--they're just rock songs.) But for me to sing along with "I Am Your Man," I have to step into the consciousness of Mr. Black, something I'm not always in the mood to do. I feel like I should be wearing pancake makeup. Always a problem with rock operas.
  5. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Well a gentleman takes a hit and carrys on, and a scoundrel complains and moans
  6. malco49

    malco49 Forum Resident

    i guess this is where the "musical" (as in a stage musical) would start. thus far the album seems to have been a bit of a preamble so to speak leading up to the narrative which will be side two with a bit of a reprieve with "sitting in the midday sun" (if memory serves) before the full on act 2. ( i saw the kinks live on this tour act 2 , for the last time and it was really really good!).
  7. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Nice, I learn a new word.
    I haven't heard that one before.
    For anyone else unfamiliar- a wasteful or good-for-nothing person
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  8. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    Pedro :love: My husband and two daughters went to his Baseball Hall of Fame induction.
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  9. Scottsol

    Scottsol Forum Resident

    Evanston, IL
    I always thought wastrel was a Pythonesque term for a dead kestrel.
  10. Scottsol

    Scottsol Forum Resident

    Evanston, IL
    Quadraphonic, quadrasonic, quadriphonic and quadrisonic were all used interchangeably in the ‘70s. This jumble of alternate terms for multi channel sound parallels the confusing mix of (incompatible) standards for the concept that helped kill it off rather rapidly.

    Quadraphonic was probably the most commonly used term (at least in America), which is ironic as it is very poorly constructed. Quadri is from the Latin for four while phonic is from the Greek for sound. Quadri is better paired with the Latin sonic.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2021

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Salem, MA
    Those were the days, weren't they, Avid Wondergirl? It's almost like a "Where They All are Now" situation. I'm more of a "Dirty Water" guy than a "Sweet Caroline" one, if you get my drift.
  12. side3

    side3 Younger Than Yesterday

    Tulsa, OK
    For the most part, I don't either. We have come along way from the elegant Rasa harmonies.

    Money & Corruption/I Am Your Man

    M&C- we enter the sort of sea shanty type song Ray seems to like. This does sound like a song that work work very well on the stage (like the Broadway stage).

    I Am You Man- to me this sounds very much like a Abbey Road era Beatles track, except for the very high female vocals. Not exactly, but close, though some of the guitars sound very much like solo George Harrison.
  13. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    :D That’s one way of looking at it. (Another is, if you get hit by a 95 mile/hour fastball, that you’ll wind up dead!)
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  14. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Some have, sadly.
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  15. side3

    side3 Younger Than Yesterday

    Tulsa, OK
    I think it has happened one (in the Major Leagues).

    Ray Chapman - Wikipedia
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  16. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    definitely more down with Dirty Water here as well.
  17. Scottsol

    Scottsol Forum Resident

    Evanston, IL
    I think you have the wrong impression of gentlemenhood. It’s not that gentleman abhor violence, rather they prefer their violence to be ritualized rather than random and uncontrolled. Duels, after all, were not for the working class.
  18. donstemple

    donstemple Member of the Club

    Maplewood, NJ
    Money and Corruption/ I Am Your Man

    Like Cricket, this is yet another song (or songs?) that required multiple listens to truly appreciate -- unlike earlier songs like Daylight, Sweet Lady Genevieve that I immediately was drawn to.

    The first song is very folkish, and seems to be in a classic folk protest song style. So it's ironic that in Where Are They Now?, Ray asks "and where are all the protest songs?" Well, we'll find one 3 tracks later! It actually sounds like it comes from the same place as (don't judge me) Lisa Simpson's protest song about the union strike at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. The lyrics for that:

    Come gather round, children,
    It's high time ye learned
    'Bout a hero named Home
    And a devil named Burns
    We'll march 'till we drop
    The girls and the fellas.
    We'll fight 'till the death
    Or else fold like umbrellas.
    So we'll march day and night
    By the big cooling tower.
    They have the plant
    But we have the power.

    In fact, I wonder if the writers of that song (written specifically for the Simpsons episode) were influenced by today's track? Or again, perhaps just both cut from the same cloth.

    As avid @ARL notes below, there is a callback to a lyric from Arthur:

    But that's not the only one. I also hear callbacks to:
    1) Shangri-La -the very opening guitar riff reminds me of the intro to Shangri-La, along with the lyrics mentioning how "every home will have a stereo and TV" ("TV set and a radio for 7 schillings a week")
    2) Brainwashed - "We crawl on the floor, We beg for more, but still we are ignored. We're tired of being herded like a mindless flock of sheep" recalls "All your life they've kicked you round and pushed you around till you can't take any more. To them you're just a speck of dirt But you don't want to get up off the floor"
    3) Arthur - Mr. Black's promises which recall the hope for "a new horizon where there's plenty for everyone"

    To one of @mark winstanley's points when introducing this album, it does seem like an overreaching theme from Village Green Preservation Society through Arthur and continuing through (at least) Preservation Act 1. Perhaps the line "I'll work out a five-year plan" is, in fact, autobiographical!

    I had the same thought, and for me, it reminds me of the melody/chords used on Make You Feel My Love. I linked here to Adele's version. Originally written by Bob Dylan for 1997's Time out of Mind, Billy Joel also released his version of it in 1997. So, Ray's melody/chords came first!

    Finally, one thing that really ties these two songs together is the use of "workers of the nation unite" closing out the first section (being sung by the workers), and then by Mr. Black in the second section (being sung TO the workers, to unite behind HIM). And lastly, the switch to "people of the nation unite" behind Mr. Black.
  19. Zerox

    Zerox Forum Resident

    I would like to interject that the trombone slides in Money And Corruption alone justify my soft spot for it!
  20. CheshireCat

    CheshireCat Forum Resident

    Money And Corruption/I Am Your Man
    Ah, we're into the story now, but as things stand, only if you already know the later tracks to know who is controlling the poor people, lying to them and keeping them where they belong. At the bottom of the social ladder, and making sure they stay there. No wonder there is an appetite for Mr Black and his brand of populism. I'd vote for him with the promises of a new freezer and washing machine. Of course nowadays he'd be offering free broadband... And we do eventually find out that they're all as bad as each other - is there a lesser of two evils in this story? At this stage, I'm voting for change with Mr B.
    Musically, we have two melodic songs spliced together, and I enjoy them both. I also agree with the comments regarding the over-the-top female backing, which is presumably deliberate to make it more 'showtuney'. (I wasn't aware that the double CD from Rhino had a different version, so that's pleasing to know I have both in the collection!)
    I'm also growing to like 'Cricket' more in its context of the album from the comments here and further listening, so thanks for that.
  21. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    I guess I do (have the wrong impression). I can’t imagine clapping someone on the back after witnessing someone get deliberately beaned and subsequently injured. The “laws of cricket” seems very Wild, Wild West to me! But I still cling to the Vicar’s placid (?) description of cricket for the purposes of this still-unfolding tale.
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  22. ajsmith

    ajsmith Senior Member

    A few days late with this, but back when we covered ‘Sweet Lady Genevieve’ I was wondering if there had been any high profile covers of it and could only come up with Ron Sexsmith. Well, here’s Glenn Tilbrook taking the total up to two:

  23. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Except, of course, they aren't as bad as each other, as Ray makes abundantly clear as the story unfolds.
  24. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    Money and Corruption/I Am Your Man
    I don't have the right words for the music of the first half. The timing is very different during the "money and corruption" chorus. It's probably purposely like that to throw you off balance because here comes the story - ready or not.

    I like the female vocals. Here begins a classic struggle - haves vs the have-nots, so the female vocals seem to elevate this song - making it a mythic story - a tale to be told "on high".

    And I do really enjoy the I Am Your Man part...maybe even slightly more than the first half.

    Having said that, I am having difficulties getting to where we are now. I don't think the previous songs set the scene THAT well. Or maybe I'm just not interested in this story and not trying hard enough? I don't generally like musicals. In this instance, I would have to SEE this performed to (possibly) understand how this all comes together. I guess I'm taking this album song by song and looking at how each one holds up on its own. If I can make a connection to the story being told, that's a bonus.

    Someone mentioned earlier that maybe Ray bit off more than he can chew with this story. There could be some truth to that.

    I'm liking the music - but not sure I'm sold on the story being laid out.
  25. Scottsol

    Scottsol Forum Resident

    Evanston, IL
    More likely something like this song from 1972.


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