The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    The QOTSA covers of both sides of this single as mentioned by @Fortuleo above are worth posting.

    EDIT: just realised Fortuleo had already linked to these songs in the body of his text: apologies for repeating content, should have read your message more carefully.

     
    Last edited: May 4, 2021
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  2. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
  3. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scotland
    Definitely the better of the two tracks!
     
  4. Vagabone

    Vagabone Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    "Everybody's Gonna Be Happy" has Ray's "West Indian" style vocal more than their previous singles, a precursor to his vocals on songs like "Apeman". It's very good but less of an obvious smash than their previous hits. You could argue that it can't be the repetitious lyrics' fault as "You Really Got Me" is along the same minimalistic lines. Though maybe that works better on a rockier song. On a hits collection it feels like it definitely belongs there even though it's not a highlight on there for everyone.

    "Who'll Be the Next in Line" is good quality for a b-side but not good enough for a single in my opinion.
     
  5. Endicott

    Endicott Forum Resident

    Everybody's Gonna Be Happy -- if a record can be exciting and dull at the same time, it's this one. The band's playing is top-notch on this Motown hat-tip, and Ray's vocals are enthusiastic, but the song doesn't really go anywhere; it just kind of loops around. Still, it's one of the Kinks' most danceable tracks and a worthy experiment, even if it didn't quite succeed.

    Who'll Be The Next In Line -- sounds like a prequel to "Something Better Beginning". (Well, I hope it was a prequel, and not a sequel.) I think it's a stronger and catchier song than the A-side -- the North Americans' decision to promote this one was probably the right move. We get the bitter Ray here on vocals, to good effect.
     
  6. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Another vote for Who’ll Be The Next In Line. We’re finally in the “wax eloquent” section of the discussion for me after a relatively lean, so-so impression of the original album (I only selected two tracks for my playlist: Tired Of Waiting For You and Nothin’ In the World...both of which I love). The song has a pensiveness, a feeling of overall sadness, “I was the best one you had, I was the one who gave you love” but, now that you’ve moved on from me, “who’ll be the next in line? Who’ll be the next in line for heartaches?”

    A perfectly executed song that’ll tug at the heartstrings. My only minor quibble is that it’s too short! It doesn’t seem to have a proper ending as it just fades out.
     
  7. Endicott

    Endicott Forum Resident

    The lack of a proper ending might be the point. He was just another notch in her belt, and she's moving on to another, and another, and another...
     
  8. Martyj

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

    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    Everybody’s Gonna Be Happy

    You can show me blueprints, draw me maps, walk me through a diagram step-by-step, inject me full of a secret serum that gives me special powers of perception…and I still wouldn’t be able to detect the Motown in this song under the layers of mid-sixties up-tempo British Invasion rave up. And yet, this is emphatically claimed by both Ray and Dave as their attempt at Motown. Okay, maybe bringing Pete’s bass to the fore is the thing. And the hand-clapping. Whatever the original intent, to my ears it appears to have morphed during the creative process—as things often do—into something different. And ultimately more satisfying.

    ajsmith mentions this as sounding like it evolved from a full-band jam. Maybe it did. They certainly sound tight. And this is a definite improvement over the demo version that was released on the debut album's extended deluxe set. Especially in replacing the drum intro with that 1-2-3 guitar splash.

    I first encountered this song on the second Kinks album I ever owned, Ronco Record’s budget Priced “20 Golden Greats.” That disc was the first place I encountered all the 60’s singles classic (except Lola, You Really Got Me, and All Day and All the Night) so you can see how this one didn’t impress me at first. I was much deeper into my Kinks appreciation curve before I recognized what an effervescent pleasure it is listening to this thing. It can really get the blood moving if you let it.

    Both Davies have talked about how they were very optimistic about this single, that it portended a new possible direction. Ray successfully pushed for it to be the A-side over Talmy’s skepticism. So it’s probably a good thing the single flopped. Who knows how the bands direction would have been shaped had it hit number 1 and the pressure was to replicate its success and ultimately steer them into continuing to focus on dance music rather than the lyrically inward musings they would begin pursuing later in 1965? Probably not much, as Ray was too much of a musical polyglot. But it’s fun to speculate.

    With this singles’ comparative flop it brings to an end the early 1965 flirtation with Motown. But the band would never completely stop chasing that “feel” they aimed for on Kinda Kinks. I detect it in “Everybody’s in Showbiz”’s lead-off track “Here Comes Yet Another Day.” And also in smaller parts of “Arthur”’s “Brainwashed.”

    A final observation. Yesterday morning I wrote about the ‘thieving magpie’ quality in Rays songwriting. Here he is looking to take snatches of melody from any source—even his own previous work. Does anyone else notice that the melody line where he sings “come on baby, let me tell ya, all the things I want to say…” is the exact melody from the guitar line in “Come On Now,” which in itself is an appropriated blues lick.

    Who’ll be the Next in Line?

    Love this song. Love the roadhouse piano sustained under, played by Ray according to Shel Talmy. The song lends itself to great covers, too. The Sir Douglas Quintet give this one a nice Tex-Mex interpretation.

    Regarding the A-side in North American comments, an anecdote: In the mid-1980’s I was at work during lunch discussing favorite bands with a friend. Sharing the table was a co-worker about 10 years older than us, which meant he was a teenager during the 60’s British Invasion era. He wasn’t really part of the conversation, nor did I get the impression he was into our kind of music. But he was listening and occasionally chimed in with commentary. Upon hearing me bring up the name Kinks, he said: “Ah, yes, the Kinks. Dedicated Follower of Fashion. Who’ll Be the Next in Line.” It struck me odd that he would name-associate the band with those two songs rather than something more obvious like, say, Lola or You Really Got Me. How would he know Who’ll Be the Next in Line in particular? Then I later realized that the song was touted as the contemporary single during the disastrous Kinks first US tour in 1965. It probably got regular top 40 airplay, and it was on Shindig. Maybe he remembered it from that.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2021
  9. Martyj

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

    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    That's exactly the reason. Talmy detailed the whole story in a recent social media post. He felt the A-side should have been "Who'll Be the Next in Line." but Ray vigorously campaigned for the opposite.
     
  10. Martyj

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

    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    Amen, brother!
     
  11. FJFP

    FJFP Host for the 'Mixology' Mix Differences Podcast

    My simple starter anecdote for "...Happy" is that it amuses me how the first "dun, dun dun!" is cut off on the US Greatest Hits LP - was this the same on the US single? Also important in that spelling on the UK label. Was this Ray's decision, or the label trying to be "hip"?

    Either way, both sides are good in different ways. I agree the A offers plenty for about a minute, but then sadly fails to offer any more regarding this. Certainly the tightest culmination of the Motown sound explored on KK, and I remember reading it was written in the studio on the day of recording, though the previously looked at Demo would contradict that (at least the 2nd part). It's danceable, it's groovy, but it's not game changing like the previous 3 singles. I like @ajsmith 's observation that this was the first sign that The Kinks were always going to hover below The Beatles and The Stones in the success - and honestly, this is one of my favourite things about the group.

    Flipping this over, the lyric here is Ray really jumping on that bitter bandwagon for the first time, with fantastic results. Again, I've never felt completely drawn to it in the same way I haven't with the A, but that sour lyric is just so good, and the drive in that piano is frantic. The perfect line between this first two smashes, and "...Happy" imo. This line would often be balanced over the next 12 months IMO. The great journey begins here.
     
  12. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I reckon that perfectly describes how I feel about it.
    I like it, don't love it.
     
  13. Wildest cat from montana

    Wildest cat from montana Humble Reader

    Location:
    ontario canada
    Having been one of the next in line , I totally dig this song.
    Ray's writing is sharpening here.
     
  14. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    :D As @ajsmith says above, having the white booted go-go dancers parade in front of the band...next, next, next (complete with that little head shake!) is the perfect illustration.
     
  15. Steve E.

    Steve E. Doc Wurly and Chief Lathe Troll

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    "Don't Ever Change" -- It occurs to me, reading some of the comments, that the innocent-yet-dark idea of this song hints at the theme Ray explores throughout "Village Green Preservation Society" -- that wanting to capture and freeze the moments we love. But there, he has a sense of irony and ambivalence about that impulse, and here, I can't sense that at all.

    "Something Better Beginning" -- A very good early song that transcends some clunkiness. I've always tripped over that phrase "just as it had began." The correct grammar would be "just as it had begun", but that wouldn't rhyme.

    But the hook refrain is so strong: "Is this the start of another heartbreaker, or something better beginning?". I love the internal rhyme of "start" and "heartbreaker." I've sung this song to myself countless times after a good first date.
     
  16. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Ev'rybody's Gonna Be Happy
    I haven't been reading people's comments before my review, but today I did. I was sure I was going to disagree with some of you on it being a little hit and miss, so I listened again...and I have to say, the first minute and a half are fantastic. This song makes me want to get up and dance. My feet don't lie. But it just may well be the repetitiveness that makes me sort of tune out at some point. And I think I've always done that, but you folks helped me to see that's how I listen to it.
    And yeah...I don't love the hand claps. I wonder how it would sound without them. Would it be significantly different/better without them?
    I still LOVE the music of this song, but I can see where it's missing a bit of Kinks magic. All is forgiven though.
     
  17. Steve E.

    Steve E. Doc Wurly and Chief Lathe Troll

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    Everybody’s Gonna Be Happy/
    Who’ll be the Next in Line?


    I agree that the B-size is a lot stronger than the A-side, but wow, is this single a drop-off.

    The A-side bugs me in several ways. To my ears, the track itself doesn't jell. It feels the band wants to speed up to keep the energy going (especially at the chorus), but can't lock in enough to get there. The riff is complicated and a "good idea", but they have not nailed it. The first few seconds are promising -- that start and stop intro with a bold silence in it.

    Also... I don't feel Ray found a good verse melody to write over it. It feels like he's just trying out and tossing ideas, until he gets to a complicated but awkward chorus.

    It's my least favorite of their earlier "hit" singles by a long shot.

    The demo found early on the Pye Anthology is slower and has a _much_ better groove. It doesn't feel like a hit, but it works on its own terms. The melody even works here, with Ray treating the rising "Iiiiii know" part more delicately.

    B-side is a strong sentiment, with kind of an ugly vocal sound to match it. It _works_, but it's not catchy. And here the band only feels just on the edge of locked in. Again, i feel the tempo lags or fails to catch fire a bit. Still, I don't mind hearing it.

    The whole thang feels like they rushed something out.

    Superior (IMO) demo:

     
  18. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Who'll Be The Next In Line
    I love the piano in the beginning. It's very bright, but quickly the music loses its brightness due to bitterness of the lyrics. And I remember hearing this for the first time and thinking that there's a warped record sound to it or maybe the 45 rpm was not right - this occurs in the 2nd verse. I'm not a musician so I don't have the words for it. Maybe it's because it went into a different key. Obviously it was intentional but to my ears it was notable.
    It's a good song, but should it have been made a single. Nah. I think it's a good album track.
     
  19. Martyj

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

    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    I suppose I’ll use your comment here as a jumping off point on something I’ve noticed on this forum over the past couple of weeks.

    Many of the posted comments are observations about the lyrics.

    Here’s my take: up until “See My Friends” (which, by my math, we’ll be talking about in a few days) the lyrics in Kinks songs haven’t really mattered. They are formulaic, pattered upon what’s commercially acceptable. There is no unique “voice” behind them that distinguishes them from anything else (aside from a reference to a “gap” to be filled in “I Gotta Move” or the debatable “Muswell” vs. “my small” in “So Long,” but those are details that are not integral to the song as a whole) Even in songs that have a specific autobiographical inspiration, such as “Stop Your Sobbing,” the execution is in a generic mold of matching universal sentiments with rhyming couplets.

    So spending a lot of mental space wondering what Ray is trying to “say” at this point doesn’t really matter—because he’s not saying anything in a way that anyone couldn’t do, whether the song reflects bitterness, optimism, lust, longing…..or whatever.

    However, there have been observations such as yours and others that have got me thinking: maybe I should pay more attention. Perhaps within these words there is some insight into Ray the artist. In this case, is the decision to juxtapose an aggressive musical arrangement such as “Who’ll Be the Next in Line” with lyrics that convey a pensive sadness in someway a foretelling of the type of artist who will later do things such as matching a jaunty, bouncy vaudeville-esque arrangement with a indictment of dedicated followers of fashion? Maybe. I’ve just never looked for it in his work during the Kinda Kinks era.

    That’s one of the great things about this forum. I’ve had the Kinks in my life for so long now that they seem like part of my DNA. But reading how other people approach the Kinks in their own musical appreciation reminds me that there remain untapped areas in my understanding of my favorite band.
     
  20. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Yea, I reckon both good album tracks, and that's about it really.
    Everybody's Gonna be Happy, could have really worked with a good bridge to change it up a bit....
     
  21. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Good post. And I understand what you’re saying. Up to this point in, what to me is almost completely new territory, I leave it to Mark’s introductory post to provide the music description. I don’t know if I’ll change later on, as I still might use the lyrics as mileposts on points of interest. We’ll see!
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2021
  22. Pawnmower

    Pawnmower Senior Member

    Location:
    Dearborn, MI
    One last thought on "Something Better Beginning." I don't think anybody has picked up that the line "The only time I feel all right is when I'm with you" is awfully close to "The only time I feel all right is by your side" from "All Day and All of the Night."

    "Ev'rybody's Gonna Be Happy" - The first time I remember hearing this song was on the soundtrack to High Fidelity. As others have mentioned, it has the distinction of being energetic and boring. The lyrics are very repetitive and it's just not my cuppa tea. I like the "Cause I know, I know" part. Handclaps are a bit annoying and unnecessary, but I can't blame Ray for thinking it would be a hit. I wish the drums and Dave's backing vocals were louder.

    "Who'll Be the Next In Line" - As repetitive as the A-side, it's only 2:02 and could have used a rollickin' solo in there of some kind. I think this track got a better mix than "Happy" and has more power because of it. Vocals really don't sound like Ray. Neither of these songs are all that interesting to me.
     
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  23. Adam9

    Adam9 Senior Member

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Interesting. I never noticed the edit when I had the Greatest Hits LP. The Canadian single (on Pye) has both "dun dun dun"s.
    Have you heard the demo? I thought it was great when I first heard it.
    As for "Who'll Be The Next In Line", I remember reading Doug Sahm wax rhapsodic over this record.
     
  24. Williamson

    Williamson Forum Resident

    Yeah, Everybody's Gonna Be Happy, more Kinky beat group shenanigans. I've always thought it was ok, it makes it onto my 'Early Kinks essential non-album tracks' playlist! As does Who'll Be The Next In Line. I think this is a more interesting song, Ray's angst is at the centre of things making it feel a little more raw. Kudos for the weird descending chord change on the piano in the early part of the verse. Cheeky!
     
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  25. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    It is quite remarkable how with great love over a long period of time, a certain complacency can creep in... whether bands or relationships, or whatever really ... hmmm, note to self..... anyway....
    I have found doing these types of threads for a little bit now, that even bands I thought I knew inside and out (musically at least, I never really pursued the personal stuff, though I love reading about it on these) as soon as I start really looking at the songs and albums, all sorts of stuff starts popping out... I seem to forget most of it by the time I post, but then all the other posters are laying out things I missed, or forgot to post.
     

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