The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    He remembered Alvaro and Mr. Fish though!
     
  2. idleracer

    idleracer Forum Resident

    Location:
    California
    :disgust::thumbsdow This is a perfect example of why I eventually lost interest in The Kinks by the mid 1970s. When I put a Kinks album on the turntable, I want to hear The Kinks, not Uriah Heep.
     
  3. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Not so long ago @Zeki and I went through the whole Heep catalog. Perhaps Zeki could draw some parallels, but I don't hear anything remotely Heep here.
     
  4. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Location:
    Murrumbateman
    Nobody Gives
    A bit like the comments as a whole I have a love-hate relationship with this song. I don’t mind the lack of melody if there’s a slow-burn dirty blues going on and the band does this very well here - in contrast to their clumsy attempts at more orthodox blues when they were starting out. Dave’s guitar licks are a particular joy because Ray hasn’t given him much opportunity since Lola to show them off.
    It’s the lyrics that are the big let-down for me: I think they are complete bollocks. Only the fact that they are presented as absolutes (i.e. “nobody”, “everybody”) gives me hope that Ray is speaking as the character in his story rather than conveying his own warped view of history.
    Moi aussi mon ami. Moi aussi.

    Maybe you are right, but even so, the sane everyman isn’t necessarily a font of all knowledge. Most if not all of our families suffered through the depression and had relatives fighting and/or dying in the two world wars. But that doesn’t make grandma or grandpa - or Ray’s wise tramp - any more informed on geopolitics than Elton John or Kanye West.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2022
  5. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    Location:
    France
    Great Australian sense of synthesis. I'm jealous.
     
  6. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Location:
    Murrumbateman
    Thanks! I’m probably blunt even by Australian standards. I sometimes abandon any attempt at diplomacy in getting my point across. Maybe it’s the Yorkshire in my background.
    Edit: and I could get away with a one-line summary here because you and others had already disassembled the lyrics so well.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2022
  7. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    I don’t, either. Something recent, can’t recall which song, had me segueing into ‘It Don’t Come Easy’ but now I’ve forgotten what it was. The song was going through my mind as I was out walking…had to check the river as we’ve had floods. 5.78” of rain in one day, a new record! And I went seamlessly from The Kinks to Ringo Starr. But no Heep!
     
  8. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Nobody Gives
    It's only today that I became aware of all the lyrics in this song and it's pretty serious stuff. And the ideas in this song can apply to the present, of course. As the saying goes, history repeats. It's just a vicious cycle or circle. Why can't we listen to one another? Or are we just damned to keep repeating our same mistakes?

    Love when the strings come in - it elevates a pretty heavy song(both musically and lyrically). And then Avory just killing it on the drums during that instrumental part. And the bass is also very forward throughout to great effect. This song is weighted down, but with good reason.

    Thankfully (for me) this song transcends the story of this musical.
    This is a really good song. Not something I'd play to chase the blues away, but this is music with an important message.
     
  9. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    :wtf:

    :laugh:

    and thanks for your well thought out review of the song. I can see yours and others' issues with this song. It's interesting to read everyone's take on it!
     
  10. Luckless Pedestrian

    Luckless Pedestrian Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Hampshire, USA
    Nobody Gives: I think @Vangro's comparison to 20th Century Man is apt - the band's performance is propelled by anger and outrage at the state of things, especially in the straightforward but powerful instrumental break. Like 20th Century Man, the Tramp doesn't want to be here, in the middle of this war, this madness. He can't escape the insanity of society to sit in the midday sun anymore, and he's become extremely pessimistic. I find the turn in the lyric at "I'll tell you why because nobody gives a damn" quite unexpected, after the Tramp had voiced the typical "we can work it out" platitudes you expect to hear in a pop song. Then he starts arguing with himself, he's really in a bad place! I think the Tramp doesn't want to give up hope, but he feels that after the experience of WWII, Hitler and mechanized death factories, what hope could you possibly have for humanity?
     
  11. Fischman

    Fischman RockMonster, ClassicalMaster, and JazzMeister

    Location:
    New Mexico
    Lots of discussion here about perceptions of failures in the lyrics to Nobody Gives (as well as other songs on this album).
    I understand and mostly agree even if I don't find them as egregious as some others. My quibbles are more with some tenuous connections in the lyrics than with the overall message being expressed.

    The interesting thing here for me is that I'm one of those people who listens first to music and not as much to lyrics. This is a concept album where the story itself is it its raison d'être and I'm still fully loving this oft-maligned album. But again, I'm really loving the music and paying less attention to the lyrics when they're (relatively) weak.
     
  12. malco49

    malco49 Forum Resident

    WHERE THERE IS SMOKE IS THERE ALWAYS FIRE? i am starting to worry a wee bit about the posts regarding ray and possible anti-semitic leaning in some of his lyrics. i hope it is not true and i can't imagine he is but who knows right? i for a long time know had a suspicion that there might be some jewish roots in the davies family lineage. not sure why just had a feeling. anyhow just wanted to get this off my chest.
     
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  13. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I don't see it.
    Perhaps he was insensitive in some of his choices, but in the sixties and seventies social sensitivity wasn't much of a thing.
     
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  14. I’ve never seen (or rather heard it).
     
  15. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Looking through these lyrics again, I'm not really seeing the contention...

    I can see a certain clumsiness about the way we move from Hitler, to why can't we talk it out, but I think being concerned about it, is to miss the point really.

    Nobody died directly as a result of the UK strikes in 26, but there was certainly confrontation.
    From 39 there were millions killed...

    I guess the link to our story is the Tramp starts reflecting on confrontations that are in his memory, and these are likely big events that would be remembered, and he still doesn't understand why it all went down.

    I don't think he is suggesting someone could have talked the insanity out of Adolph. I think he is throwing out a frustrated "why can't we figure this shizzle out."
    He comes to the conclusion that it is because nobody really cares to figure it out.

    I don't really see this as any kind of slight towards Unions, any race/religion of people, it is purely observation frustration at the stupidity with which people conduct themselves, particularly when politics gets thrown into the mix.

    Certainly interesting to read the vast divide in opinions though.
     
  16. Michael Streett

    Michael Streett Senior Member

    Location:
    Florence, SC
    I don’t see it either. Never assume that every lyric a songwriter writes is autobiographical and that they are expressing their exact opinions or feelings. Sometimes yes, but just as often no. Depends on the songwriter of course and their writing style. Much of Ray’s songwriting history shows us he is writing in an observational style for characters or people either real, composite or imagined. I never take his lyrics at face value as if they are Ray’s final statements on a topic. His history has shown us his writing is more enigmatic than that.
     
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  17. Pawnmower

    Pawnmower Senior Member

    Location:
    Dearborn, MI
    Since I'm totally new to this album, I wanted to play the first side (tracks 1-6) a couple times before getting into the tracks.

    "Introduction to Solution" - Very pleasantly surprised! The track rocks and the sound quality is way better than the previous handful of albums. I understand the story better following along with the lyrics but I kind of liked the song more when I couldn't understand much of what was being said. If that makes sense. I enjoy this, though, off to a good start.

    "When a Solution Comes" - This might take more listens. It's a dark message sung by an unlikeable character. The music starts off well enough, the bridge is good, then things get louder and more bombastic and Ray's vocals fade into the backing. I don't like politicians talking like this so it's hard to want to listen to it as a song, but we'll see.

    "Money Talks" - Meh... I guess it's kind of like "Skin & Bone." Completely boring musically, repetitive, and says next to nothing new.

    "Shepherds of the Nation" - This track is so weird I just have to give it a thumbs up. The round of "so sodomites beware" was something else, that's for sure. Hard to explain exactly what this track is.. I wonder what the other guys thought of it. But it's just too entertaining to dismiss.
     
  18. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    Location:
    France
    Thanks to @Luckless Pedestrian and @mark winstanley, among others, for showing me a way of overcoming my instictive dislike/indifference to this song. It was on my first Preservation acts1&2 tracklist, but I took it away. I don't think it will find its way back, I still feel the song ends up being less than the sum of its parts, but I may appreciate it better in the context of my dump album (which is still taking shape).
     
  19. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line The Under Asst East Coast White Label Promo Man

    Location:
    Australia
    A deep thought analysis from a more than avid fan that as i read it made me realise (just before i read it) that i was looking at this and several other recent songs largely as a guitar player or musician if you like for better or worse.
    Why?
    Because so many songs are new and may not immediately impress as a whole so i zeroed in on excellent individual contributions and perhaps slightly avoided general song overviews that I may have felt negative which either way (inadvertently or deliberately) worked to keep things positively preserved.
     
  20. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line The Under Asst East Coast White Label Promo Man

    Location:
    Australia
    You can't employ your own bollocks?
     
  21. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    Absolutely true. But I agree with @Martyj that Nobody Gives is a bit different. The style of the song, its unusual grandiosity (length, strings, multipart structure), the heaviness of the lyrics' subject and its placing in the sequence as the centerpiece of Ray's most ambitious work ever lends itself to the suspicion it may be a personal statement. I still think Ray sees himself (and his own personality traits) as much in Mr. Black and Flash as he does in the Tramp. But the Tramp is the one that allows the author to step out of character and say his piece, a bit like Chaplin (a famous Tramp if there ever was one) stepping out of his barber role for his big impassioned speech at the end of The Great Dictator.
     
  22. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    I generally agree with your first point except where there are songwriters, and there aren't that many really, whose lyrics are actually worth listening to - like Ray Davies! It's difficult to ignore the lyrics on an album where there's a story being told - or attempting to be told - because listening to the lyrics is kind of the point of the entire venture.
     
  23. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    A bright, sunny Sunday following The Deluge and all is right with the world. As such, I decided to follow in @Fortuleo ‘s footsteps and crunch the ‘great songs’ numbers (see “which songwriters have 100 great songs”, or something similar, thread).

    Through Showbiz, my two playlists now total 89 songs (83 in the first and 6 in the second*). After a careful scrutiny I have arbitrarily determined that 60 (of those 89) are in the ‘great songs’ category. One (Death of a Clown) is Dave’s song so taking that off I get 59/88 for a 67% great-to-playlist ratio for Ray.

    Will Ray reach that dizzying target of 100 great songs? (I tackled both Neil Young and Bob Dylan and, despite initially thinking they’d be slam dunks (considering their vast songwriting credits) came up short with both around the 82-84 mark.)

    Just another Kinksian Sunday sidebar.
     
  24. GarySteel

    GarySteel Bastard of old

    Location:
    Molde, Norway
    Well, just stop playing those Heep records then ;)

    Seriously, I can hear no relation between this song any anything ever released by Mick Box and his ghastly lot of co-conspirators. With all due respect to zeki, Mark-o and anybody else who seemingly enjoys listening to that band (a bit too much :D ). But. Personally I find them to be the worst kind of über-macho riffola deftly mixed with a tillfitting hodge podge of prog twaddle ever released and yet still the managed to be way more twee than Freddie Mercury in his ballet shoes and a pink tutu doing a piruette.

    In fact, Heep (represented by David Byron in all his mustachioed glory) is on my Mount Crapmore of Music, proudly displayed next to Dave Grohl, Billy Joel and Lars Ulrich. Not telling you what to like, but please, PLEASE, for the sake of humanity: do not ever compare anything Ray ever did to the Boxter! :D
     
  25. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    I've never heard them but that post makes me want to listen to them :agree:
     

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