The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. Scottsol

    Scottsol Forum Resident

    Evanston, IL
    I tend to leave out references so the gentle reader can bask in the glory of recognizing it or have the satisfaction of ferreting out the answer.

    BTW While watching Butch Cassidy after many years can be very disappointing, The Sting retains all of its wit and charm.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2021
  2. zipp

    zipp Forum Resident

    I doubt Syd was using cockney slang. He was born and bred in Cambridge.

    And candy, being American, is definitely not cockney rhyming slang.

    So, for me, Syd was in his childhood world of sweets and cake. A world nevertheless induced by certain substances and where feeling and desire rule.

    Sitting In The Midday Sun

    A great song but maybe too near to old Kinks themes for the record-buying public to get too interested.

    The video posted earlier seems pretty bad to me too. Ray looks extremely weird and the whole thing doesn't put over the feel of the song.
  3. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    "Candy and a Currant Bun" isn't quite that innocent:

    When performed live in 1967, the song was known as "Let's Roll Another One"[2][4] and contained the line "I'm high – Don't try to spoil my fun", but the record company forced Syd Barrett to rewrite it, at the suggestion of Roger Waters,[5] without the controversial drug references.[6]

    No reason why Syd couldn't have used a bit of Cockney rhyming slang, it's not as if only Cockneys are allowed to use it.
  4. markelis

    markelis Forum Resident

    Miami Beach FL
    Dang holidays, always interfering with my participation in the important things in life, like this thread!
    Cricket: i’ve tried, I really have tried. This one just doesn’t win me over. Maybe it’s the complete absence of any rock ‘n’ roll from it, although there have been plenty of kinks songs that have come before in this thread which were devoid of any rock or roll which I did like. Maybe irs that I am a ‘merican and just don’t get the Britishness, but then, many of my fellow avids on here are yanks and liked it well enough. I know that I am in the minority on this one, but hey, it’s just like, my opinion, man!

    Money and Corruption/I Am Your Man: it took until I read our fearless leader’s review, and a close listen to the embedded link while I read the lyrics along with it, but this one finally clicked for me and I like it. I love when an artist puts two very different songs together and is able to join them seamlessly both thematically and musically. Ray has done that very well here.

    Here Comes Flash: Closest thing to a rock song in a while, what with the riff and all, and it speeds along quite nicely, so I give this a thumbs up.

    Sitting in the Midday Sun: Fantastic! I’m not sure how any Kinks fan of the level that we on this thread are at that wouldn’t like this one.
    Zerox, Smiler, Steve62 and 11 others like this.
  5. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Ray is very possibly a 'little' too hard on himself but never for a moment lose sight that Sunny Afternoon is one the finest creations of his and in fact most anyones career!
  6. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    If anyone's also feeling that Cricket has an absence of rock 'n' roll I refer them to Scott Boland's 6 for 7 on debut this morning!
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2021
  7. idleracer

    idleracer Forum Resident

    :kilroy: Paul Simon's "Was A Sunny Day" and Jimmy Buffett's "They Don't Dance Like Carmen No More" were both released a few months earlier, and this is very much in the same vein. Add a bit of marimba and ukulele and it would not have sounded at all out of place on a mid 50s Harry Belafonte album. Catchy enough to be a campfire singalong.
    :D Freeze the frame at 0:27. I wonder whatever happened to those oddly shaped Ovation electric guitars. They were briefly popular, then just disappeared.
  8. CheshireCat

    CheshireCat Forum Resident

    Here Comes Flash
    Moves along nicely, good character study from the viewpoint of the villagers. Like it.

    Sitting In The Midday Sun
    The second single from the album, and one I've never managed to love. It's just, nice. Maybe it's the 'woodwind', I don't know. However, what I do know, is that on a wet December morning, there's nothing better on those rare UK occasions when its warm enough and sunny enough to just sit and do nothing in that midday sun! And I fully agree with our tramp friend 'who needs a job when it's sunny'. I often think that, when in work...
    Also, our tramp isn't concerned about who takes control, Black or Flash. He knows the world keeps going 'round, and nothing they do will affect him, he's of no interest to either of them, sitting outside of the system. He's not chasing money to buy the latest gadgets for the home, no debts owed to the bank and no taxes to pay. The Outsider, in every aspect of the village.
  9. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    The only person I ever saw regularly playing one was Colin Newman of Wire.
  10. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter


    stereo mix, recorded May-Jul 1973 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London
    (Sung by Flash and his Cronies in their Den)

    I spy with my little eye
    Anything here that I can buy.
    I see a little thatched cottage
    Looking so neat
    With compulsory purchase we can buy it up cheap.
    Then we'll pull up the floor boards,
    Knock down the walls,
    Rock the foundations,
    Until the house falls.
    Like a pack of cards,
    Crashing to the ground.
    Then we'll build a row
    Of identical boxes
    And sell them all off at treble the profits.

    The deeds are in my pocket,
    I've got a contract in my hand.
    An opportunity for luxury living.
    I'll arrange the mortgage
    To be repaid a hundred percent.
    I can't wait around so make your decision.
    We'll buy up all the cottages
    And every house and every street,
    Until we've got everything we need.
    Every town in the vicinity,
    Every farm and village green.
    We're gonna buy up everything,
    Then it's Demolition.
    Demolition. Demolition.

    Two up, two down,
    It hasn't got a garden,
    But it's got a lovely patio.
    Stainless steel kitchen sink,
    Gas fired central heating,
    Whaaa -- specifically designed for modern-day living,
    Nothing's permanent and nothing lasts,
    We've sold all the houses so put 'em up fast.
    We're gonna buy up this town
    And pull it all down.
    How I love to hear the demolition sound
    Of concrete crashing to the ground.

    It's time to make some money,
    It's time to get rich quick.
    It's the wonderful world of capitalism.
    I've got to make a profit,
    I've got to satisfy my greed,
    It's my faith and my religion,
    Demolition. Demolition. Demolition.
    And we'll buy up the towns,
    And we'll knock 'em all down
    Build a brand new world of our own.

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

    The first verse links us directly to Muswell Hillbillies, so we again see a line of conceptual continuity, and it more and more seems like a living body of work that Ray has presented us. In fact the whole song could have tied in nicely with Here Come The People In Gray, or Muswell Hillbilly.
    So the links between the albums from Village Green to here, become even more clear.
    In fact if we head pretty much straight south for about eight miles (just looking quickly on a map) we end up in the London suburb of Waterloo, and that makes me wonder if to some degree Waterloo Sunset, and the themes within it, were somehow the triggers that set this particularly train of thought in motion.

    Anyway, that is just speculative stuff from me, triggered by reading the lyrics of the first verse this morning.
    So we have Flash and his cronies sitting around thinking of money making ventures, and this venture is the idea of tearing the old buildings down and making some generic identical little boxes, cheap and clean, and selling them off as the new Village Green, at triple the price.

    As we go through the song we see some, sort of, rationalising, that is counterbalanced by the want to make a huge profit.
    There is the idea that these new houses will be luxurious, and well appointed, but it contrasts with the idea that the new houses are already sold, so get them up fast.

    It is stated quite clearly that Flash thinks this is a beautiful "get rich quick" scheme, and he gets right into the idea, with the suggestion that they buy up all the cottages, every street, every town in the vicinity, every village green .... buy it all up, and knock it all down, and make a truckload of money knocking the world to the ground.....

    The song lyric moves into the territory of megalomania, and we see the greed oozing out of every pore in Flash's body. This is the model the world so frequently shows us, and it is what happens when we make money the number one thing in life. When one casts aside morals and decency, there are many ways to make money, and care for how it impacts the people around us falls by the wayside.

    Interestingly, although I have heard the song quite a lot now, I had never really noticed the lyrics before, and how maniacal they present, when we just read them like this.

    So what is the music doing.
    We have a nice back and forward chord progression to open, that is essentially bass and guitar. Ray comes in with almost a rap type delivery... then when he sings demolition, we get the female backing vocals come in, like a soul, or gospel type choir, and we get this joyous sounding "Demolition" sung in a beautiful layered fashion.

    We get this slight musical pause as the joyous choir of voices holds for a moment, and then the music moves into a slightly modified backing, and comes back more urgent, and with a nice rolling repetitive riff that works beautifully.

    This is where Dave comes in on the vocal, and it's a great choice to get Dave to sing this, because his voice adds to the urgency and the feel really moves to the next level.
    The melody is fantaatic and the way this track comes together is excellent.
    The chord pattern is a fairly simple one, but the melody over it takes it to the next level, it really works well.

    We move into another section fairly quickly and Ray comes back in on the vocals, and we get a change of melodic emphasis too. We only really change one chord here, but it works perfectly to give the song just what it needs here.
    Also in the background we have some nice horn licks embellishing this section. The horns had joined in already with chord emphasis parts, but one runs off solo and lays down a really nice descending line that fits in perfectly.

    Then we get this joyous chorus of Demolition. Then we roll through those sections again.

    This is a really excellent track. The closer I look at this one, the better it gets.

    After that run through, we move into a bridge/coda that Ray sings, and it is the melody of Salvation Road. Which again is ever so poignant, as this is Flash's perceived Salvation, as he sells off all these people's houses as rebuilt, modern two up, two down, expensive houses.... for maximum profit.

    The idea seems to be that Flash has put his heart into that evil and heartless version of capitalism where all that matters is profits, and if people are hurt by it, too bad.

    Fittingly the album ends on this note, as the ensemble rocks out.
    We have Gosling ripping up the organ, and the horn section playing out the Salvation Road theme in this beautiful big band kind of feel. The theme breaks down into a ritard and brings us to the end of the album in a wonderful way.

    This track is wonderfully ironic. The lyrics and the music are at odds with each other, and yet suit each other beautifully. The music is this uptempo, uplifting kind of feel good, fun music, with the lyrics being about the maniacal destruction of all the towns and villages around, to be rebuilt in the image of Flash's vision of things, and merely for the financial pay off.... there are no other considerations.

    The arrangement of this song is absolutely superb, from the musical arrangement, to the vocal arrangement with Ray and Dave swapping out vocals and the backing singers bringing it all together to roll it home.
    I have always enjoyed this song, but it is only this morning that I see what a masterpiece of writing and arrangement it is.
    This is sheer brilliance, and the way that it brings us to the end of the album leaves no doubt that this is a continuing saga....

  11. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    The John Peel Session version of the song.

    This has a bit more of a live sound, but comes over well. Interestingly Dave doesn't get a vocal here, and the opening vocal is Ray and a female vocalist.

    I think this is the same as the BBC recordings version

  12. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Another fantastic write up Mark, for another fantastic song. What a great album this is!
  13. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Preservation Act 1.

    Ok, so wow, this is a great great album.
    For me personally going through this album this way has really opened it up to me. I liked it anyway, in spite of years of hearing how bad it was .... and although we have heard and read that this album got good reviews back in the day. All through my music listening years leading up to today, I have heard that this is the album that put the nail in the coffin of the Kinks, and that is a bunch of bollocks....

    To some degree I think the overwhelmingly negative talk about this album over the years, may possibly have led me to not listen to, and follow the story, as closely as I may have, if I had got the album in the early eighties when I was a musical sponge, soaking up every element of everything I listened to, whether I liked it or not, no matter what anyone had ever said about it or not.
    I miss those days of being completely new to music and albums. The wide eyed boy who just loved to listen to new music (to me), because it was new, and soak in every detail, process it through my unbiased filter, and find the root of it to enjoy for what it was.

    To me this is the joy of these threads to me.
    I was expecting to enjoy this album quite a bit, but looking at it more deeply, it is much more coherent in thought and execution than a few cursory listens would have suggested.
    This album essentially works as a foreword to the next. It isn't so much that this album is part 1, to my ears, more that this album is setting the scene for the next one to exist.

    Ray expertly sets up the characters, even the bit part actors, that help set the scene. It is like he is introducing us to all the various people in the Village, so that when we get to this final point in the album, we can see the impact of the megalomaniac.
    In life, the working class, and the people not in the spotlight, are like the bit part actors in a movie, they're on the screen, but nobody is paying much attention to them. Here in a stroke of genius, Ray brings them to the forefront for the first half of the album, to humanise them, and give us a picture and familiarity of the people who will be affected/effected by the two villains introduced on side two.

    We get that beautiful opening, and the mellow light of a new day coming over the horizon, and all the people being referenced as the sun comes up and daylight meets our stretching yawning selves.
    Then we get introduced to the fact that love and lost love and the hope of love renewed exists here, as it does everywhere, and we get the Tramp and Lady Genevieve humanised early on.
    Straight after that we have a song of warning.... that in spite of this being a beautiful morning, and that the people are real, normal people, involved in real, normal things, there is a change in the weather coming .... it sort of works like Hitchcock putting a shot of the ominous thing in the film, before it is completely relevant, but making us aware it is there.
    We have the reflection of all the great people that have influenced people's lives in this area, and then we get Johnny, as a sort of example of one of those people, still living the life he has always lived and unchanged by the winds of time, and he also tells us directly that this is the same Village Green we visited five years prior.
    Again we have a song of warning injected into the mix, and the Vicar lets us know we need to keep our eyes on our thoughts and actions, and approach life with compassion, be righteous and honest, because there are always going to be charismatic criminals that want to lead us down the wrong path, and tear everything apart - "Some people just want to watch the world burn" is what comes to mind, from the Dark Knight ....
    Then we are introduced to the wolf in sheep's clothing in the form of Mr Black, as we are told that the people are dissatisfied with the current leader of the community, and he sets about plotting his evil schemes, with the goodwill of the people blind to his motives.
    Then in what on a quick look seems the wrong way around we are introduced to Flash, but it is the right way around, because he has been irrelevant up to this point, but he is a leader out of control, and seeking his own personal gain, and not representing the community as he is supposed to, because power, money and corruption have led him astray.
    We have the Tramp, essentially, sitting by the riverside saying screw these clowns, and again, putting a human face on the people in the background, the people we generally don't pay that much attention to..... and then.....
    We come to Flash's devastating plan for all the villages and village green's in his reach.

    Sitting back and taking all this in, this is a remarkably well laid out album, and it has only managed to introduce us to what is going on. Who we are looking at, and that something bad is coming.

    Well, from my perspective, this is another masterpiece of writing, and this album is certainly an album that should be considered an essential Kinks album. Sheer brilliance
  14. zipp

    zipp Forum Resident

    I didn't say it was innocent. I said it was a childlike state probably induced by certain substances.

    Cockney slang is usually used by Londoners. Give me another example of cockney slang used in a Syd Barrett song and I'd be more convinced.
  15. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    Wait a minute, what is this? Not really a great song in the conventional sense of the word, not quite a flawless recording, never a Single let alone a Hit, so not a contender for the much coveted status of a “great record”, so what is this ? Great it most definitely is, but what is it great at, exactly? I don’t want to rely too much on the “theatrical” criteria to say how much I enjoyed this track when I listened again last night and this morning, for the first time in a year or so. I agree with our Headmaster: like most Ray songs and like all Preservation tracks, it reveals itself under closer scrutiny to be much, much better than you'd initially thought it was. This one's more than just a mere genre exercise of any kind. It’s got excitement, it’s got power, it’s got riffs – like, a collection of them. It’s got wit, it’s got groove, it’s got bass, with a huge sound, it’s got guitars, all over the place, it’s got tension, it’s got percussive suspense like it's an action sequence in a seventies heist movie, or almost a blaxploitation thing. It’s got sample material for any inventive 21st century artists to help themselves from. It’s got it all.
    A great piece, then? A great piece of rock’n roll ? Something like that.
  16. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident


    I love this track, from its rock groove through to the performances from everyone.

    Ray's part is hilarious as he uses a variety of voices to deliver the kind of lyrics that you wouldn't expect to hear in a rock song. Dave gets to sing a section in the classic Dave voice, and better still the lyrics he is singing sound exactly like the kind of lyrics Dave would write!

    That descending horn part sounds to me like a quote from "Brainwashed". The little fanfare at the end sounds like a preview of Dexy's!

    We get a brief taste of what is to come in "Salvation Road", but I prefer how that verse is used here. All in all a rich, entertaining and captivating track, which pretty much sums up the quality of this album.

    Act I may sound a little strange at first to those raised on 60s Kinks (as it did to me in the 80s), but once you know your Kinks you realise that it's up there with the very best of their work. Bursting with ideas and melodies and easily accessible. And it does not prepare you at all for what is to come in Act 2!
  17. Vagabone

    Vagabone Forum Resident

    More lyrics with the subtlety of a wrecking ball (appropriately) but such a joyful, propulsive rocking song. Great to hear Dave's voice make a lead vocal appearance.
    I really don't get the dislike for this album. Song for song, for me it's the best since Arthur.
  18. Tim 2


    Alberta Canada
    Very good movie as I recall.
  19. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    More convinced of what? I said there was no reason that Syd Barrett couldn't have used rhyming slang because, believe it or not, people other Cockneys are allowed to use it - unless you know differently.
    DISKOJOE likes this.
  20. CheshireCat

    CheshireCat Forum Resident

    Well, Flash has now been built up a villain number one, with his plan to destroy all that is dear about the village. Money and riches are king, and nothing will stand in the way of Flash (and his cronies) in their pursuit. The villagers can't stop him. The only thing that can, as we find out in the album to come, is his own conscience. His soul. But that's still to come. Ending this album he's a truly nasty piece of work.
    As for the song, it has a groove, it has guitar riffs, it's a great piece of music, and with a great Dave vocal on his parts too. Ray uses about a hundred different voices for the cronies. Then there's a climatic horn-filled ending which leaves us ready and waiting for Act 2, with the scene now set.

    Preservation Act One
    A fantastic album, which deserves to be considered alongside their best. One which is not unduly bogged down by the theme, and can stand alone as a listening experience.
  21. LX200GPS

    LX200GPS Forum Resident

    That's a good version.
  22. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    I'd go so far as to say it's their best since VGPS!

    It also ranks highly in terms of 'rock operas', but I guess it should be considered in conjunction with Act II before comparing it to Tommy, Jesus Christ Superstar etc.
  23. Vagabone

    Vagabone Forum Resident

    Yeah, act one is necessarily very incomplete as a "rock opera" (AKA musical), as the very title makes clear.
    Spoiler: I like act two too!
  24. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    "Demolition". In general the song's OK, it reminds me of the rockier material on "Lola vs. Powerman", the end section pushes it into the sort of theatrical territory which I'm not so fond of. I feel like this is one of the few occasions in the entire project when Ray is completely critical of Flash, instead of just presenting him as some kind of loveable rogue with a twinkle in his eye and some humanity underneath it all.

    I much prefer this album to "Everybody's In Showbiz". We've moved back towards the Kinks sounding like, quote unquote, The Kinks, it reminds me a lot of "Lola vs Powerman" actually, and dropped the endless jokey songs about food set to Dixieland horns etc. The cloud on the horizon - to borrow some kind of metaphor from "There's a Change in the Weather" - is that all of the best songs on the album have little or (literally) nothing to do with the eventual Preservation concept, which does not bode well for the next album. Overall, I'm not surprised the album wasn't very well received at the time because it's neither fish nor fowl: it doesn't hang together at all as a concept yet but we're expected to buy into the tracks being sung by different characters and accept the more obviously theatrical programmatic songs.
  25. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    Yeah, the way the lyrics are delivered as a slice of talkin’ rock is groundbreaking, I think. Surely, some blues and soul American acts had done things like that before, and maybe some Jamaicans reggae artists, but this one’s so white in its voice(s) and phrasing(s) that it makes a huge difference. It’s 1973 – and it certainly does sound like it – but it’s already punk (as yet not invented) doing their own take on a rap thing (as yet not invented either). Everything in the wording is so specific, so precise, so exact, the way Ray overlaps himself is sheer genius. I think the John Peel live version takes it to an even greater level of stunningness, because it’s faster, tighter, harder and because the girl vocalist (is it Maryann Price ?) is inventing Debbie Harry right there and then, while replicating Ray’s flow from the record to shoehorn the words and act the song just like he did in the most beautiful way (listen to both their "woaaaaaahhh" moments, studio and live, both spine chilling). On the LP, when Dave comes in, it’s Pinball Wizard for a few bars, then it becomes this freeform stop and go XTC/PIL art-punk cubist weirdness. And during that section, the horns do something not retro-based this time but forward looking, like it’s already the 80’s, post punk, Madness, Dexys Midnight Runners (yeah, @ARL, just read your post as I was typing this !), or any other act I never knew. There’s drama and atmosphere in this track, something almost irresistible and it’ll serve as the template for an even more successful Kinks closer three years later, the extraordinary No More Looking Back from Schoolboys in Disgrace, another slow-burn groovy bass hook driven moody modern rock’n soul stunner, but more polished and better recorded. All in all, Demolition ends Act 1 with several bangs and with the whole Village Green about to be destroyed which, in the Kinks world, has to be one hell of a cliffhanger, right ? Bring on Act 2 !!

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