The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    If Grease didn't include anything with that 4 chord progression i would be surprised.
     
    DISKOJOE and mark winstanley like this.
  2. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    We all appreciate access to the Kinks music, as for Dave Clark he can keep it all it's not in the same building.
     
  3. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    Location:
    France
    Every breath you take, of course! I had not noticed. So it IS possible to write a cool song with these chords.

    I don't know the others though.
     
  4. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Oh don't be such a Norman, Mark!
     
  5. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Nine To Five.

    stereo mix, recorded Aug 1974, additional overdubs done Oct 1974 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London

    The Star is in Norman's office. His day
    of sweat and toil has begun.

    [​IMG]

    Nine To Five

    Answering phones and dictating letters
    Making decisions that affect no one.
    Stuck in the office from nine until five
    Life is so incredibly dull,
    Working from nine to five.

    Oh nine to five, nine to five,
    Working from nine to five.

    And time goes by
    The hours tick away.
    First seconds,
    Then minutes,
    Then hours into days.
    Each day,
    Each week,
    Seems just like any other.
    All work,
    No play,
    It's just another day.

    He's caught in a mass of computerised trivia,
    Deciphering data for mechanical minds.
    He's lost in the paperwork and up to his eyes,
    He's checking a list that's been checked out before
    And he's starting to lose his mind.

    Oh nine to five, nine to five,
    Working from nine to five.
    (repeat).

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

    We open here with a really nice piano arpeggio, and Ray in a more subdued delivery mode.

    Lyrically this captures the feeling of office work really well.... I have done office work, labouring, customer service, driving and many other different things with the requirement to work for a living, and all of them have their drawbacks in some sense, but there is a certain futility about office work.
    When I was young, office work was nearly impossible, with my hyperactive nature making sitting behind a desk .... pretty much dangerous. These days as an old fart the office drudgery is better, because the old body has taken a lot of hits over the years and the labouring jobs wear you down physically.... anyway....

    Obviously well written, it's Ray, but a pretty straight forward lyric that conveys the message well.

    Interestingly we move from the longest song on the album yesterday, to the shortest today, and at 1:48, it is about as short as a full song gets lol.

    I really like the flow and melodic structure here. We have another 3 or 6 beat track.
    Ray's delivery is quite beautiful really.

    I think the backing vocals here work really well, and that slight change up in feel works really well too.

    As the song gets towards the end we get some nice horn embellishments that also colour the song in nicely.

    Not much to say about this one. It fits the narrative perfectly. It is a very sweet song on its own, and I think it is another strong track on the album.

     
  6. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    Yes, this is a nice song - Ray is good at these more reflective songs - with really on-the-ball lyrics too. In a way, I wish Ray had made the concept more about "Norman" and his life than this whole fuzzy Starmaker thing. It might not have matched up to The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway or Preservation, for that matter in terms of portentous pseudo-intellectual ponderings but it would have been more radical in a way... it also might have been very dull however!
     
  7. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    I could never get with 'Nine To Five' in the past because of the way from first listen it's main melody (to me anyway) kind of pussyfoots around that of Rodger and Hammerstein's 'My Favorite Things': it always made me think that Ray self consciously set out to write that kind of very musically quirky list song to convey the unending pablum of office in and out trays but he didn't take it far enough from his primary inspiration.

    Recently though I've come to get over this issue and enjoy it for what it is: unless I'm forgetting something it's the PENULTIMATE Kinks song (the last being on side two of this album) that could be said to be performed in that kind of musical/pop/baroque old time miniature masterpiece mode that McCartney, Nilsson and of course The Kinks themselves minted to perfection in the 60s and early 70s. Ray did return to this style on some solo stuff (for instance 'Quiet Life' and some stuff on the 80 days soundtrack) but (again unless I'm forgetting something) that's IT for the Kinks released work! :(

    Inevitable comparison: would Soap Opera have been a better and more successful album had Ray written THIS '9 to 5' 6 years early instead?

     
  8. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    Location:
    France
    As a big Divine Comedy fan, I can't help thinking that Ray and Neil Hannon share a similar brand of songwriting genious, with lyrics that are both straightforward and finely wrought, and tunes that make the most of a relatively simple musical grammar. The art of refined simplicity, together with a real empathy fot a variety of people. Of course, one comes frome a working class background and the other is the son of a bishop (RIP), and their characters differ widely. But both impress me with their ability to write great stuff in the long run.

     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2022
  9. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    Location:
    France
    And I'll never pine
    For the sad days and the bad days
    When we was workin' from nine to five

    One of my favorite Pink Floyd songs

     
  10. zipp

    zipp Forum Resident

    He probably leaves home at 7.30.

    He then walks to a bus stop and gets on a bus which may or may not arrive on time. The bus may be full and he'll have to wait for the next one ten minutes later. The bus will very probably be caught in the inevitable traffic jams. It also stops frequently to let on and off passengers.

    The bus takes him near an underground station where he has to run down the stairs . Hopefully the first train arrives on time and there isn't a strike today which would mean less trains and more people on the platform.

    He arrives at the station nearest his office which he walks or runs to depending on the time.

    If he gets there by nine o'clock he'll be very happy.


    Incidentally Ray uses some Americanisms for this very British character. In the UK the London subway is the undergound or tube. And an elevator is called a lift. This language kind of fits in with the rock star character, but it's worth pointing out.
     
  11. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    Subway train and elevator scan better!
     
  12. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    "Nine To Five"

    I didn't realise this was so short until now, but it's an excellent track with a very nice melody and well-written lyrics. It does its job of moving the story along before moving seamlessly into the apres-work part of the day. I'm quite surprised to hear references to computer data as early as 1975 (I know that mainframes existed at this time, but were they this much in the public consciousness at this time?)
     
  13. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    I'm not too great with time signatures but I think when the drums come in for the "and time goes by" section, something happens rhythmically where binary and ternary are combined, to become the audio equivalent of looking at a clock ticking, and the impatience that gradually grows with it, the repetitive melody then ascending as hours become days and weeks in the lyrics. It's a very effective trick, especially in such a short piece.

    @The late man and @DISKOJOE posted about Paul Simon's early (and generally bad) doo-wop stuff in the last couple of days and today we get a nice synchronicity moment, as the verse melody is all but a rewrite of Simon & Garfunkel’s America. The two songs share the 6/8 waltz time, the notes and phrasing may be slightly reworked, the chords marginally messed around with, but it does end up with the exact same sense of melodic suspension : “From Nine until fiiiive” and ”Like a Dream to Me Nooow”, with the C to Am chord pattern, this is almost identical. Of course, just after that, Ray goes a very different route, with a quick expedited circular melodic resolution, "Life is so incredibly dull / Working from nine to five”, ostensibly designed to convey the dullness and mundanity of the nine to five UK working life (as opposed to Simon’s American sense of exploration and possibilities). Once again, I can't help but think Ray quotes the S&G song on purpose, to actually give our listener’s brains the apt sense of contrast just on cue, when the (super familiar) S&G song starts to be dreamy, floating and harmonically more complex. Anyway, maybe I'm reading too much into this, but as we go along with Ray’s experiments, it seems clear to me that he’s always working out these little things very consciously. They’re never random, they work like musical “double entendres” (like Ordinary People being set to an ordinary set of 50’s rock chords) or like meaningful cognitive treasure hunts.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2022
  14. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    This section of the album (and the very seventies graphic design aesthetics of the accompanying illustrations) kind of reminds me of the animated video for Klaatu's 'A Routine Day' from half a decade later. If there had been a Soap Opera cartoon special it probably would have looked something like this:

     
  15. markelis

    markelis Forum Resident

    Location:
    Miami Beach FL
    Nine to Five:

    I loved this song the first time I heard it. I am blown away that this did not become an office workers’ anthem that radio stations would play at 4:55 PM every day as people were packing up and hoping to escape the office.

    I love the segue from this song right into the next one, The two songs really work together as a pair so well, both lyrically and musically. I can’t imagine separating the two.

    PS I am up so early because I have a 7 AM call. I have no idea what a 9 to 5 is really like!
     
  16. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    The Yesterdays Papers channel just added this: 'Dave Davies reviews the singles of August 1967':

     
  17. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Same. 4am-6pm here
     
  18. Martyj

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

    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    This song feels like—as opposed to sounds like—the Preservation play outtake “Time Song.” At least that was my initial reaction when I first heard “Time Song” four years ago. “Hmmm, this seems like an earlier idea that found its way into “Soap Opera…” I thought, sitting at my computer, replaying that video over and over, basking in the gift of a long buried Kinks treasure that had been unearthed. But I digress…

    I know the real 9 to 5 drudge all too well. Add that to a Washington DC area commute and it’s actually 7:30 to 6:30. Thank God for a global pandemic that allows me to continue to roll out of bed as I please just so long as I hit deadlines. Thus, 9-5 is increasingly 10-3. But…again…I digress….
     
  19. stewedandkeefed

    stewedandkeefed Came Ashore In The Dead Of The Night

    "Nine To Five" is a nice ballad. I, too, was surprised at how short it is. I also agree that Ray in his reflective mode is always worthwhile. It is interesting that such a beautiful song reflects on how the modern world causes the minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years to accumulate in a never ending series of mundane activities devoid of meaning!
     
  20. markelis

    markelis Forum Resident

    Location:
    Miami Beach FL

    It’s funny, I was just giving some additional thought to today’s song and I came to the same conclusion that it has similarities to the concepts in Time Song. I tried to envision whether the aforementioned outtake would have fit in the same space on this album, but I come to the conclusion that, while the same basic concept of the passage of time and life drifting away, is being covered by both songs, this one is much more narrowly tailored to cover the monotony of wasting eight hours a day pushing paper in a cubicle versus the broader concept of time slipping away covered in Time Song.

    Not that anyone asked, but I like Time Song better, but just by a hair. They both hit their respective issues succinctly and then are gone. Ray really does have a way of making his point pretty efficiently it seems. He sure is good with his words.

    Clearly, I also have too much time on my hands this morning because I am pondering/envisioning that if today’s song was a co-write with Prince, then the song probably would have been titled IX 2 V. I am sure then it would have become a hit like it should have been! Sorry, I’ll go have another cup of coffee :hide:
     
  21. markelis

    markelis Forum Resident

    Location:
    Miami Beach FL
  22. pantofis

    pantofis Senior Member

    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    Nine To Five:

    Appropriately yawn-inducing. I guess it couldn't be any other way, you couldn't have an exciting or pretty song about a boring office job. I am surprised, it's only 1:48, to me it feels a lot longer, more like 4+.
    I am surprised that "computerized" was even a term in 1974. I always picture the seventies as a very analogue era.

    Personally I find a 9to5 desk job not so bad, but only if you have some sort of personal stereo to listen to.
     
  23. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    They did have a computer in the office in ‘Mad Men’ by the late 60s episodes. It drove Ginsberg insane.
     
  24. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

  25. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    Plenty of computers in movies and TV in the 60s and 70s.
     

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