The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. GarySteel

    GarySteel Bastard of old

    Molde, Norway
    As a Scando, I find this YUGELY offensive :D

    And no, I don't find any of those qualities in Jåls work, I'm afraid. Smugness? And how. Obnoxiousness? Indeed. Nausea? You betcha. In addition I don't find his melodies affecting or his lyrics moving or poetic. "Why don't you say what you really think of him then, Gary?".

    More than happy that other people enjoy him, but for me he is the pits and perhaps the worst of the four I mentioned BECAUSE he is held in much higher regard by fine people such as yerself.

    Perhaps we should get back to Ray and the Kinks now. Before it all ends in tears and I get expelled by the headmaster or the HOF hisself ;)
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2022
  2. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    Last off-topic thought : I finished my first listen of Thick as a Brick, and it sounds brilliant. I don't know where I got the notion that Jethro Tull were barely literate folk musicians masquerading as a prog band, but it was sheer BS. Sorry for even suggesting it.

    Edit : I've got to get used to this "replace bad words with stars" thing. It's not easy for me because BS are actually my initials.
  3. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Oh Where Oh Where Is Love.

    stereo mix, recorded probably May-Jul 1973 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London

    Sung by: The Tramp and the Do-Gooders

    In a world full of jive,
    Full of homicide and suicide,
    There's no room for love and romance.
    In a world full of spite
    Full of hatefulness and bitterness,
    Sincerity don't stand a chance.
    And every night I close my eyes
    And ask the stars above,
    Oh where, oh where, oh where, oh where is love?

    Where is love and romance,
    And appreciation of storybooks, fairytales
    And the ordinary things people did long ago.
    Where did it go?
    Where is love?
    Where is hope?
    Where is sympathy and trust?
    Where is faith?
    Where is joy in simplicity?
    And where is regard and respect?
    Oh where, oh where is love?

    This world is spinning and turning
    And my head is full of learning,
    But my thoughts keep on returning
    To the things I used to know.
    I should be stronger,
    But my mind continually wanders
    And deep inside
    A voice keeps crying
    Where, oh where is love?

    Where is love and romance,
    And appreciation of storybooks, fairytales,
    And the ordinary things people did long ago?
    Where did it go?
    In a world full of jive,
    Full of homicide and suicide,
    There's no room for love and romance.
    In a world full of rape,
    Full of hatefulness and bitterness,
    Sincerity don't stand a chance.
    And every night I close my eyes
    And ask the stars above,
    Oh where, oh where, oh where, oh where is love?
    Where oh where is love?
    Where is Love?
    Where is hope?
    Where is sympathy and trust?
    Where is faith?
    Where is joy and simplicity
    And where is regard and respect?
    Oh where, oh where is love?
    Oh where oh where is love?
    Oh where oh where is love?

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

    Producer, Guitar, Vocals: Raymond Douglas Davies
    Background Vocals, Guitar: Dave Davies
    Keyboards: John Gosling
    Drums: Mick Avory
    Bass: John Dalton
    Trombone, Tuba: John Beecham
    Flute, Trumpet, Alto Saxophone: Laurie Brown
    Clarinet, Baritone Saxophone: Alan Holmes
    Background Vocals: Lee Pavey
    Background Vocals: Sue Brown
    Background Vocals: Krysia Kocjan
    Background Vocals: Pamela Travis
    Background Vocals: Marianne Price Composer,
    Author: Raymond Douglas Davies

    I get the impression that this isn't a very popular track, from what I have read....

    I like this song. I'm assuming this is Marianne Price on the main female vocal, again from our discussions.

    Two things that strike me instantly with this song.....
    It makes me think of the Pogues.
    Ray's vocal makes me think of Elvis Costello.

    It seems odd that the Tramp is hanging out with the do-gooders, but I can live with that, no matter how evil/bad, or whatever, Mr Black is, there are very likely people in his cult that are nice people that have just been drawn in by the bluff and bluster of an apparently charismatic leader.

    Again we have the Tramp reflecting.

    The writing and phrasing of that opening verse is wonderful, and I personally like the way the male and female vocal work together.
    I really like the melodic construct here, and I think the harmonies that come in through the course of the song also work very well.
    The feel of the song has that dancing 3 or 6 beat, depending on how you want to count it, and I am always a sucker for a good 3 or 6 beat rhythm, it moves me, always has.

    Lyrically this says all it has to say quite clearly, and I think of being someone who used to watch the news a lot, and when watching the news a lot, it is very easy to get cynical and jaded very quickly, particularly these days, when a large percentage of it isn't even true. So I can totally appreciate the sentiment here. I think it says everything it needs to, and in a way that I can completely relate to.

    We also get a tie in to the Village Green roots of the album, with the "appreciation of storybooks and fairytales, and the ordinary things people did long ago".
    I think that is important in many ways. First this album is an offshoot of that Village Green album, but the mood is darker, and this lightens it up a little. It also shows where those "good old days" went, to a degree, with the story we have here showing us very clearly.

    I love the somewhat folky acoustic guitar intro, and the chiming keys also ring out beautifully adding a lot of character. Then we have the rough hewn sliding bass, which I guess may not suit everyone, but I really like it.
    The whole band come together to create this surging dance, that has elements of reflection, remorse and joy all struggling to come to the surface, and Ray and Marrianne, for me at least, deliver the vocals beautifully, with great melody and even better rhythmic flow.

    Also listen for some of Dave's guitar in there, it is excellent. We get nice flowing rhythm, and some cool little licks and runs, and again Dave and John Gosling work beautifully together to create this tapestry of sound.
    Underneath we have the bass and drums just making this thing flow beautifully, and I just find it fully engaging.
    We have some engaging horns, that have a subtlety that makes them work better than they probably should.

    The bridge does a great job of giving us a bit of a change, and it turns the melody around nicely, and again, the vocals are done perfectly to suit the flow and feel.....

    I don't know, perhaps I am a lone duck (on a wall) here, but I think this is a wonderful little track that manages to shine a little light in the middle of the darkness that surrounds us in the theme.... It has a very Pogues kind of sound to it for me, and I love the Pogues....
    So for me, this is another winner.

  4. Oh Where O Where Is Love?--Does it say anything about me that I’ve always really enjoyed OWOWIL? It’s irresistible. Am I simpleminded? The charming and untutored quality of Maryann Price’s pitchy vocal—as Randy Jackson might describe it on American Idol—perfectly suits the song. I always longed to see Ray and Maryann performing it on TV, on tall stools, with Ray perhaps in a cardigan, like a rock and roll Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gormé. BTW, there’s no acknowledgement of Maryann Price on my vinyl copy of Act II, though “other singers” are listed. Ray is always weirdly stingy with the credits. For a long time, I participated inadvertently in some misgendering, and assumed the unnamed vocalist was Laurie Brown.
  5. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    I always thought this was one of the more favoured tracks on the album? It's definitely one of the better songs and very much a song that could exist on any number of Kinks' albums - without the female vocals, of course. I like the female vocals on this track too.
  6. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    Oh Where oh Where is Love

    Not a fan of this track either. Side C has little in store for me before its last song. This one is well played and well arranged, but this is another case of the words ruining the song for me. And as much as I like the female vocal on Nothing Lasts Forever, I don't like it here at all, and I suspect it's not the same singer. There is something Costellian in the song indeed, in something I cannot describe otherwise than the rough angular shape of the melody. Thanks @mark winstanley for drawing my attention to it. But it's not an aspect of Costello that I like (and I'm a big fan).

    Overall it sounds like a parody of a cheesy song that ends up on the wrong side of caricature.

    Some days I appreciate it, though. It's a very mood-dependant song, like the previous one, as far as I'm concerned. But I tend to label "good" only the non-mood-dependant works.
  7. stewedandkeefed

    stewedandkeefed Came Ashore In The Dead Of The Night

    I really like "Oh Where Oh Where Is Love". I suppose in my mind it is kind of a sister song to "Gimme Shelter" in that it features an actual duet with a largely unknown female vocalist and it is about seeking respite from a dangerous world (both songs mention rape) albeit one with a considerably different musical identity. The Tramp I suppose is like a Greek chorus - he provides the commentary on the unfolding story kind of like Ossie Davis's character Da Mayor in Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing - he's a drunk but he is the one who says to Mookie "you should always do the right thing". Musically, I find it quite charming from the opening acoustic guitar (did Paul McCartney hear this and then write "Venus And Mars"?) through the rather intricate keyboards (sounding at times not unlike the accordion found on Bruce Springsteen's second album released around the same time) and, of course, Dave's guitar. Listening to it today, I realized what an overlooked (at least by me) gem this song is.
  8. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    So ok, maybe we were not supposed to listen to Nobody Gives in isolation after all? Two Tramp songs in a row, I reckon it means they’re supposed to go together. Otherwise, I’m convinced Nobody Gives would’ve been the last track of the first record (the sides length would’ve easily allowed it). So the centerpiece of Preservation, if there’s indeed one, is this diptych. Nobody Gives/Oh Where Oh Where Is Love ? sung by the same character. I remember reading somewhere that this song had been held over from the first act sessions to be included here, but I find it hard to believe. Sound wise (@Michael Streett's bass, once again), it’s definitely an Act 2 track, with a lot of air, not the cluttered low range mess of the first Act. And yes, both songs need one another to start making sense, this one even going as far as wrapping the whole concept by going back, one last time, to the original 1968 Village Green spirit of bliss, as @mark winstanley noted, so that we can be sure there’s absolutely nothing left of it. No love, no romance, no trust, no hope, no storybooks, no fairytales. Innocence, gone. Paradise, lost.

    Except in this marvelous song ! This may be the most exhilarating exuberant melody (and performance) Ray did since the sixties. It always makes me think of one of my personal favorite McCartney moments ever, his enthusiastic youthful/joyful insanely melodic Lovely Rita from Sgt Pepper. Here, Ray does a bit of the same thing(s): drive, energy, pure melody, propelled by a palpable sense of singing in the open air at the top of his lungs. We’ve said it many times, this guy is one of the best melodists ever to walk this earth, but I’ll admit we couldn’t’ve said it too often about Preservation Act 2 tunes until this one. I would guess it’s never got its due as a klassik Ray song because of the shared vocals with Maryanne Price, a move that put it mistakenly in the “showtunes” category, whilst it’s in my opinion the best straight pop song of the whole record. This one belongs with the greatest Ray’s ever written, a seemingly endless, tuneful melody, going effortlessly from one section to the next, like melodic sources getting into bigger melodic rivers, running under a beautiful melodic bridge on their way to the melodic sea. That's an awful lot of use of the word "melodic" in one sentence, but this song deserves it. Pure grace, pure inspiration, and the band also gives a stellar performance. The piano flourishes are exquisite, the glissando bass is genius, Dave and Mick are killing it on the “in the world full of jive” reprise near the end, creating a new sense of dynamics and urgency. This is one of my two favorite tunes here (the other being Scum of the Earth), and maybe the single most overlooked and unsung (though so beautifully sung!) Ray Davies melodic masterpiece, and one of the last he ever attempted in this style. Whenever I hear the words "where is joy in simplicity", I want to scream "it's right here, in this very song!!".
  9. Vagabone

    Vagabone Forum Resident

    Oh Where Oh Where Is Love
    Another banger.
    Am I the only one for whom Maryann Price's co-lead vocal sounds a little like Chrissie Hynde? Like a glitch in the space-time continuum.

    Yes, that too. Specifically "Fairytale of New York".

    A bit too poppy to be one of my absolute favourites, but it would definitely make the grade for any shortened version of the album.
  10. ajsmith

    ajsmith Senior Member


    This is interesting.. I'd never been quite on top of which Act 2 tracks might have been outtakes or written for the earlier (VGPS reboot) version of the album.. I knew 'Salvation Road' was but according to the deets Mark posted about this song was also recorded during the Act 1 sessions, and even pre-dates Ray's breakdown! Not sure if that is correct (I see @Fortuleo doubts it because of the way it sounds) but it could be it was started in the first half of 1973 and remade in '74. Who knows with The Kinks mysterious recording ways. Any road, I can definitely believe this song was written in early 1973 for the pre Flash/Black version of the project with it's more general theme of nostalgia and loss of innocence.

    I too like @The late man am not sure if this is the same female vocalist (Maryann Price) from 'Nothing Lasts Forever' and 'Scrapheap City' because she's not playing Belle here but a different character so continuity wise it jars a bit: then again Ray plays multiple vocal roles (including Belle!) on the album so it could well be.. but it would be good to get some definite clarification either way.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2022
  11. LX200GPS

    LX200GPS Forum Resident

    Somewhere Else
    Oh Where Oh Where Is Love

    I love the lyrics of this song - so simple yet so very effective. Story books and fairy tales reminds me of his clockwork soldier lyric a few songs back. This track reminds us, if we ever needed reminding, that Ray has a knack for writing about those things that are no longer a part of our lives.

    A song as relevant today as when it was written. Probably more so.
  12. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Difficult one this - I don't mind the melody, or the song, or the female vocal, but I'm finding it hard to love this track. Maybe it's "show tune fatigue" now that we've reached Side Three, or maybe it's that it just doesn't feel entirely like a Kinks track. It also goes on a bit longer than it needs to - I don't think that the last reprise of the verse is particularly necessary. It's not something I'd skip, but it tends to pass me by without leaving much of an impression.
  13. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Oh Where Oh Where Is Love: I’m in the this-has-show-tune-written-all-over-it camp; meaning I visualize the actors/singers on stage as they earnestly sing their lines.

    I’m not sure whether this is the same singer as Scrapheap. The Scrapheap vocalist sounds American to my ears while…I’m uncertain about this track.
  14. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    So you think they are a hot heap then!
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  15. markelis

    markelis Forum Resident

    Miami Beach FL
    Oh Where Oh Where etc: I love it. Fortuleo and Fearless Leader Winstanley said it so well, no point in attempting to outdo them. This is a lovely song and reminds one of the ease with which Ray could bang these beauties out anytime he wanted. Guess he just had to be in the mood. It’s a bit of a buried gem in this long and winding album.
  16. Martyj

    Martyj Who dares to wake me from my slumber? -- Mr. Flash

    Maryland, USA
    If that is indeed the case (and I was unaware that it is) it could be because for a lot of people when an LP is categorized in the R&R genre (even if it is showtune-y) the expectation is for the songs have—excuse my crudeness—balls. This song doesn’t. It is a light, delightful, playful number that is childlike. Remove the lyrical allusions to homicide, rape, etc., I could imagine it being covered on a kids record. Dare I say it, it goes down easy like a guilty pleasure. A bit "Afternoon Delight-ish." If one is coming to the song blind from only knowing Low Budget or One for the Road, I can understand why it would be given a hard pass. But if one is into 67-68 era Kinks, this should be received well. I actually pick up a 50’s pop vibe that anticipates Soap Opera and half of Schoolboys.

    I agree. I find the melody irresistible. For the first year or two that I owned Act 2 it was my favorite track until most of the rest of the record caught up and surpassed it upon repeated listenings. Being sequenced on the heels of the heavy, comparatively melody-deficient “Nobody Gives,” OWOWIL stands out all the more.

    Yes. It’s feels like a remnant from an earlier incarnation of a rumination on the original village green album before Ray started conceptualizing the whole Mr. Flash vs. Mr. Black stuff midstream. He probably just had to tweak a few lyrics here or there to make it fit here.

    Could the sonic disparities between this song and the other Act 1 songs be because while it was recorded in summer 1973, it was mixed in Spring 74 along with the rest of Act 2? I’m not an audiophile enough to know why/or how this stuff is done…but it might explain how it succeeds in sounding like it was intended for Act 2 all along even if it was put to tape a year earlier.
  17. donstemple

    donstemple Member of the Club

    Maplewood, NJ
    Oh Where Oh Where is Love

    Well, this is beautiful. It has that kind of rising and falling melodic line that Ray does so well. I certainly hear some Pogueish qualities to the style. The harmonies are wonderful, the occasional backing vocals, and I do love that swooping bass. I can't really add much to what has been already said. The longing for what was - the way life (and love) used to be - certainly recalls the theme of the Village Green Preservation. The ordinary things people did long ago, before today's troubles, back when all the village folks woke up and threw up their sashes as they saw the morning of Daylight.

    During the "This world is spinning and turning" bridge, is that an accordion? The sound reminds me of a carnival ride (as did some of the sounds of Mirror of Love). Anyway, that's what I get here as everything is spinning all around him and his thoughts. And some of Dave's guitar licks have this country-ish tinge to it, but I find it works very well here. Finally, Gosling's tinkling piano reminds of some of his playing during Lola vs Powerman.

    As far the duet, her voice and how some of the lines go back & forth remind me of Let's Put Our Hearts Together by the Beach Boys (off Love You). And then the final "love, love, love" backing vocals are reminiscent of the Carpenters (to my ears). Like I said, it's beautiful.
  18. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I may not have been clear, as a couple of folks seem to have been surprised by that....

    That statement was based on several posts that seemed to be negative about the song in this thread.... obviously I may have misinterpreted... and also may have misremembered
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  19. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    I can believe it, which ones?
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  20. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Love to see it too.
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  21. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    And I
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  22. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Oh Where Oh Where Is Love

    After 2 brief listens I am really unsure what to say about this one.
    Very surprisingly i like the female vocal more than Ray's and yes she sounds a little like a young Chrissie Hynde.
    I also enjoy the thematically lyrical links to the original VGPS album and that chiming sound throughout (Gosling?) reminds me of some of the musical melody of Sitting By The Riverside.
    The bass playing and it's recorded sound is fantastic and has me thinking of Slim Harpo's I'm A King Bee.
    Must also mention that Dave gets in some tasty lines but overall I am yet to be won over by the composition on the whole despite finding many positives about it.

    Edit: Ok so there is clearly very little love and salvation to be seen in the modern day village green so I wonder if this has actually improved business for Monica as I woudn't think she had to look up a situation vacant!
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2022
  23. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    100 great Ray songs .... though obviously very subjective.

    You Really Got Me
    All Day And All Of The Night
    Stop Your Sobbing
    Nothing In This World Can Stop Me Worryin Bout That Girl
    Tired Of Waiting For You
    Something Better Beginning
    Set Me Free
    See My Friends
    a Well Respected Man
    I Go To Sleep

    This Strange Effect
    Til The End Of The Day
    The World Keeps Going Round
    Where Have All The Good Times Gone
    Dedicated Follower Of Fashion
    I'm Not Like Everybody Else
    Rosy Won't you Please Come Home
    Too Much On My Mind
    Rainy Day In June

    Most Exclusive Residence For Sale
    Sunny Afternoon
    Dead End Street
    Big Black Smoke
    Mr Pleasant
    She's Got Everything
    David Watts
    Two Sisters
    Lazy Old Sun

    Afternoon Tea
    Waterloo Sunset
    Autumn Almanac
    Village Green Preservation Society
    Johnny Thunder
    Last Of The Steam Powered Trains
    Sitting By The Riverside
    Animal Farm

    Village Green
    All Of My Friends Were There
    Wicked Annabella
    People Take Pictures Of Each Other
    King Kong
    Yes Sir No Sir
    Some Mother's Son

    Shangri La
    Mr Churchill Says
    Young And Innocent Days
    Denmark Street
    Back In Line
    This Time Tomorrow

    God's Children
    The Way Love Used To Be
    20th Century Man
    Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues
    Complicated Life
    Have A Cuppa Tea
    Holloway Jail
    Oklahoma USA

    Muswell Hillbilly
    Unreal Reality
    Sitting In My Hotel
    Supersonic Rocket Ship
    Celluloid Heroes
    Sweet Lady Genevieve
    There's A Change In The Weather
    Where Are They Now

    Money Corruption/I Am Your Man
    Introduction To Solution
    When A Solution Comes
    Scum Of The Earth
    Second Hand Car Spiv
    He's Evil
    Flash's Confession
    Nothing Lasts Forever

    Underneath The Neon Sign
    I'm In Disgrace
    Life On The Road
    Mr Big Man
    Stormy Sky
    Full Moon
    Prince Of The Punks
    Rock And Roll Fantasy

    In A Foreign Land
    Permanent Waves
    Father Christmas
    Catch Me Now I'm Falling
    National Health
    Low Budget
    In A Space
    Gallon Of Gas

    So a couple of disclaimers .... I may have missed a few off the pre Lola albums, because they are very new to me. Also, I tend to think in terms of albums, and often just think "yea that is an album I enjoy", rather than breaking down the songs.
    Soap Opera and Schoolboys, could have more, but I am still digesting them....

    I figured there was no point going past 1980 at this stage, even though there are a stack more songs I consider great songs in there
  24. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    I know it's not Sunday anymore but late last week I sent this review to Zeki as he had mentioned the Japanese group Creation collaborating with Felix Pappalardi and thought that what Rolling Stone said was too good not to share.


    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Salem, MA
    "Oh Where Oh Were Is Love": a nice, pleasant ditty after the past two "heavy" songs, although the lyrics themselves are slightly heavy, bemoaning current times. I'm surprised none of my fellow Avids picked up the little bit of "Catch the Wind" by Donovan in the beginning.

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