The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. Geoff738

    Geoff738 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    I’ve always liked Slum Kids more than almost anything else on Preservation.. and it’s really nothing special.

    oK. Soap Opera is almost here. I will see if I can find any redeeming qualities. For four decades I have failed, but never say never.

    Cheers,
    Geoff
     
  2. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Location:
    Murrumbateman
    Slum Kids and Preservation Live
    I think Slum Kids is one of those songs that work well live in concert but seem pedestrian as a studio recording. This is well demonstrated on the November 1974 show on YouTube. Dave is really getting into it and they are getting a good reception from the crowd. It's striking listening to that concert (which I played on CD today) how positively that Rhode Is audience responds to the Preservation material. I think it would have been a great concert to see but, like the studio album itself, it's a patchy listen. Ray spends a lot of time on plot development between songs, which isn't my kind of thing. On the plus side, that live version of Shepherds of the Nation is outstanding - probably my highlight of the show. I can't help but think whatever comes next will be ordinary by comparison....
     
  3. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    If they recorded it in the studio, it appears to have never shown up anywhere.
     
  4. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    So the majority of the participants on the thread can breathe a sigh of relief, as we have moved passed the Preservation album and its related stuff :)

    And now for something completely different..... It's.......

    Web Of Time.

    stereo mix (4:25), recorded 1975 at Konk Studios, North London

    We are going through changes. We share the land beneath the stars.
    And while we're silently watching, the Web of time will steal us away
    Towers of fear, I see them tumble down and landing in a pool of Love and Trust.
    My Love we must have waited such a long long time.

    I'm sympathetically watching the sad old face of the world outside.
    I see the people laughing. They're on the road. The road they are.
    When will we know, the things that must be done. I am afraid we've lost our way.
    I hope the light of Love will shine on you all your days.

    Deep in my heart I see a Star, leading us far beyond what we are.
    Give us the light to shine more brightly, on and on.
    I can't wait any longer.
    Deep in my Heart I feel the pain, taking us back and back again.
    Give us a hand to stop all the fighting, forevermore.
    Deep in my heart I see a Star, leading us far beyond what we are.
    Give us the light to shine more brightly, on and on.

    I feel we've lost our way.
    I am afraid we've lost our way. I hope the light of Love will shine on you all your days.

    Written by: Dave Davies
    Published by: Dave Davies

    This track is an interesting track from the Decade album ... It is a while since I had a chance to put the album on, so I'm not sure if this is the exact same version, the crowd noise in the middle throws me a little, but looking through youtube, the versions I can find has it in there.

    I like this song quite a bit.
    We open with a gentle folkish track, and Dave singing in his lower register, which is something I don't think he did enough. He has a nice relaxing tone down in that register, and an earthy kind of timbre that is a lot easier to absorb.... Don't get me wrong, I enjoy Dave ripping it up and doing his rock vocal, but the start of this is almost a different singer.

    This is a nice reflective lyric too. Often Dave gives me the impression that once he settled a bit, he leaned towards being somewhat of a post sixties hippy of sorts.
    I really like this line ...
    "Towers of fear, I see them tumble down and landing in a pool of Love and Trust."
    Fear is the driving force in so many negative things in our world, and in my opinion hate isn't really the opposite of love, I think fear is. The idea of fear tumbling down and landing in a pool of love of trust works really well for me.

    "I'm sympathetically watching the sad old face of the world outside.
    I see the people laughing. They're on the road. The road they are."
    I love that first line there... particularly the sad old face of the world outside.
    It is driven home really nicely by the idea that we are on the road, and that road is who we are. It shapes us. It opens the door for understanding, the negative things we encounter can either make us bitter, or if we allow the idea that we are here to grow and learn, then it can teach us about ourselves and therefore the world around us, and the people in it.

    The idea that we've lost our way is not new, but the thing is, to me at least, any reasonable observation of humanity would have to come to that conclusion, as we spend more time trying to avoid reality, than perhaps change it ... or perhaps we feel so helpless in spite of our charade of intelligence and power .....
    It is a pretty nice blessing to give someone - I hope the light of Love will shine on you all your days. - when we look at the weirdness of the world through the light of love and empathy, it is a very different picture, but often the road we're on punches love and empathy in the face, and we move into less positive emotions.

    Then we move into the change, and we have Dave pleading for a shining star to guide us through this.
    There is an old saying that I think comes from addiction and recovery circles, "hurt people, hurt people"... and to some degree Dave touches on that here with the line - "Deep in my Heart I feel the pain, taking us back and back again." ... so often it is like we make progress towards the place we should be and pain or fear has the ability to drag us back to where we really don't need to be.

    The idea of a guiding light is not a new one, but of course we need to be discerning of where that light comes from ... there are a lot of misleading lights that will take us into the back alley, rather than the highway.

    This is an interesting lyric, and Dave is starting to show the things he often talks about these days, in regards to his "spiritual" journey.

    As I say the folkish opening really appeals to me, and I think Dave uses some beautiful chords to express himself here. It makes me wonder if he came up with the chords and wrote a melody to fit it, or if he wrote a melody, and found the chords to drive it along.... Anyway, it works really well for me.

    then we get some really nice volume swell guitar, and the intensity rises as Dave gets emotionally involved in his song, attempting to drive it to the next level.
    We get the drums punching in and some lead guitar lines moving the melodic line along, on top of the acoustics.
    Dave moves into a more strained vocal, and it has the effect of moving from the reflective opening and into a type of action on the feeling, rather than just more speculation.

    It all comes together with a kind of a spacey sound, and an urgency that befits the message Dave seems to be trying to share.
    There are layers and they work together pretty well.

    I'm not sure how far past demo stage this song was, but to me it feels like this could have been a really next level track, with the guiding hand of a good producer.... Don't get me wrong I like it, but I reckon it still has that feeling of being a little on the demo side of things.

    Anyway, I reckon this is a really good track, and Dave reveals a bit of his heart, and it is free of guile and pretense, and just tells us how he feels.
    A very good track from Dave.

     
  5. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    It's notable how different Dave's lyrics are from Ray's, this is like the least Ray Davies lyric imaginable!
     
  6. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    An interesting new article on a re-imagined version of The Kinks 1964-71 catalogue. Can't say I agree with many of the author's choices or his dismissals of his unfavoured songs (his complete butchering of Arthur into a random splurge of tracks with no regard for what it was actually intended to be is particularly unconvincing) but still a good read, and since a lot of us on here have been talking about out alt tracklists, thought some may find it worth a read:

    Imagine if – the alternative Kinks discography, 1964–1971 - PopDiggers
     
  7. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    lol, yea it's interesting, but I'll stick with what we originally got..... I don't think he gets Arthur at all :)
     
  8. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    "Web of Time"

    Difficult to judge on one listen - there's clearly the germ of a decent rock epic in there, but the performance is a little uncertain and the tune wavers a bit. I prefer the quieter opening section to the rockier second part, which seems to go on a bit. The overall lasting impression in my head, though, is that we are getting towards Dave's late 70s sound, the type of sound heard on "Trust Your Heart" and his debut solo album, and very much the kind of lyric that will be heard throughout his solo albums.
     
  9. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    First listen for me too. Vocally, I like Dave's calmer style a lot. It’s obviously a spiritual song with an important subject, in which Dave shares some deep feelings about the human condition through time and space, and our place in the universe (no less). I’m not mocking it, I think Dave’s quest and his outlook on these matters are at the very least heartfelt and touching. I’m not sure he’s a great metaphysician thinker but there’s definitely a lot of depth to the way he looks at things. In this song, we find him on the path that will ultimately lead him to his spiritual “revelations” of the 80’s. Not quite there yet, not quite “out there” yet either, but searching: for answers, for purpose, for a light. Myself, I’m not that kind of person at all but I can still appreciate and value the sense of appeasement and enlightenment (be it religious, Zen or whatever you may call it in the case of Dave) this kind of spiritual quest can bring to a lot of folks. As a set of lyrics, it’s at the same time too naïve and too complicated, but the sentiment of it is still strong, and the fact the original 1975 recording has been “embellished” in 2017, as Dave stated, gives it a kind of eerie quality, like two different periods of time are engaging a meta-dialogue within the track itself : the way Dave’s different voices intertwine, the way different recording techniques work around each other, the echo and “spacey” sound effects, the meaning of the lyrics that resonate differently (or not so differently) because of the 42 years gap… this all nourishes the song in a very engaging and haunting manner. In a way, the song becomes the “web of time” it talks about, and I’m sure Dave was very aware of that happy accident. This is probably the best “Decade” song so far and the best example of how the “revisitation” of older recordings can be a revelatory exercise.
     
  10. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    That Web Of Time video is interesting, esp for the early 70s home movie clips at around 1.30 and 2.50: stills from these were published in the Lola box. I think all the footage from that Web Of Time clip may come from a documentary on Dave that one of his sons made.
     
  11. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Location:
    Murrumbateman
    I agree. I'm also glad we can gloss over our differences here on song preferences. In contrast, one of the comments on that website reads:
    Your excisions from VGPS make me want to projectile vomit into your lap. How dare you? And just when I thought you might be “funning”, I find out you’re serious with your butchery of Arthur! You DO realize that there was a theme to that album, right? A “concept?” You’ve taken conception and turned it into a miscarriage!
    :evil:
     
  12. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    I was thinking the same thing. In fact, had to start over when I realized it was the lyric and not part of Mark’s essay.
     
  13. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Web Of Time: what was that?! Awash in some kind of reverb, meanders about, a crowd suddenly appears (and then promptly disappears)…I have no idea what to make of it.
     
  14. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I think the crowd noise is just the video.... but I'd have to double check.
     
  15. paul62

    paul62 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Down to Earth
    I've been thinking for a while that "I've Got That Feeling" might have been influenced a lot by ska, which is something John Lennon said about "I Call Your Name": The Kinks have that ska feel for the whole of the song, though.
     
  16. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Ray mentions hearing Prince Buster's 'Madness' in a club in 1963 in his 1st autobio, so he was definitely aware of the genre that early.
     
  17. donstemple

    donstemple Member of the Club

    Location:
    Maplewood, NJ
    Web of Time

    First time hearing this today. I've listened a couple times. I think I like the first half better than the second half. The second half seems like a completely different song to me. The folkier intro has some nice soft guitar work that I enjoy -- it does sound a bit demoish, and I like that. I hear some weird sound at :51 seconds, almost like a water drop? I also hear these a few times between 1:40-1:50. That little bridge around 1:30 is a nice one. There's a really nice chord progression there, before the drums come in and builds up to the second half of the song... I like how that almost slide electric guitar winds its way through the "Deep in my heart..." part (which I assume is the chorus?) alongside Dave's heartfelt vocals.

    Do we know if his vocals in the first half are from 2017, and the vocals in the 2nd half are from 1975, with perhaps some 2017 additions? That's what it sounds like to me. As @Fortuleo spotted, a literal "Web of Time" indeed!
     
  18. Fischman

    Fischman RockMonster, ClassicalMaster, and JazzMeister

    Location:
    New Mexico
    Web of Time

    I also like the start, even though Dave's vocal is rather uncertain.

    Given my general favor for epic buildups from understated beginnings, I should like the rest, but this one seems to get needlessly overwrought.
     
  19. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    "Web of Time": A nice, folky, tune from Dave w/lyrics reflecting his spiritual concerns, which as Avid Vangro pointed out, isn't something that Ray would cobble up.

    It's also interesting to note from the video that Dave once owned a TVR sports car back in the day. He has an interesting taste in cars.

    Finally, that "alternative" 1964-1971 discography to me was piffle, especially Arthur. The author didn't consider many things, especially Ray's thoughts & motivations (he insisted that "Everybody's Going to Be Happy" be released as a single). The only Kinks album that I would rework would be Phobia, which we'll get to when we do.
     
  20. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    Location:
    France
    Web of Time

    This is a very frustrating track, because I feel it's one of my favorite Dave song, the best one on Decade in my opinion, but it's almost impossible to listen owing to the out-of-tune singing, particularly in the second section. I mentionned it a few pages ago when we covered earlier Decade songs.

    I believe the words work really well with a very interesting chord progression and melody. The Leader was wondering which one came first, chord progression or melody : to me, the chords came first clearly, and he has trouble following his own melody, as it happens sometimes on early demos. But maybe Mark's question was rhetorical, and that's what you meant ?

    The second part could be really grand if arranged differently and sung with less emphasis and more competence.

    A very sorry case of a missed opportunity. Someone's got to bring this to its full potential ! Maybe the Lemon Twigs could do something about it (though "less emphasis" is not very likely with them).
     
  21. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Hold that thought…for a full year. :D
     
  22. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Preservation Act 2

    Attention Vinyl Avids!

    I am in a little town on holiday and due to leave tomorrow morning and i spotted an original UK copy of Preservation Act 2 for $44 AUD.

    Maybe in a way this works as my review but i am pondering if I really want to buy it or not.
    Whilst the vinyl is Ex the jacket is VG and the lyric insert & polylined inner bags with print have some water damage.

    Can anyone kindly advise me if UK Act 2 originals came with Polylined Inner Bags with small printing at the rear making clear the product was made in the UK?

    Thank you.
     
    mark winstanley and DISKOJOE like this.
  23. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    No idea, but I'm sure someone knows.

    Edit: for the record, I am a heathen. I always remove those horrid paper sleeves and put the mofi plastic ones in lol
     
  24. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    I can have a look at my copy when I get home from work, but that will be an hour or so from now.
     
  25. the real pope ondine

    the real pope ondine Forum Resident

    Location:
    usa
    Web of Time, wow, i love the early part with Dave's earnest kinda shaky vocals, then the second half blasts off and the guitar is too loud, Dave is shrieking, and it all gets lost, but yeah, there is a great song in there
     

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