The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    "I'm in Disgrace"

    Single by The Kinks
    from the album Schoolboys in Disgrace
    "The Hard Way"
    Released 21 January 1976 (US)
    Recorded 19 August 1975 – 24 September 1975 at Konk Studios, London
    Genre Glam rock, hard rock, power pop
    Length 3:21
    Label RCA
    Songwriter(s) Ray Davies
    Producer(s) Ray Davies

    stereo mix, recorded 19 Aug, 1975 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London

    The first time that I saw you
    You were the lady of my dreams.
    The very next time I had to make you mine,
    And I treated you like a queen.
    The third time that I saw you
    You treated me with such distaste,
    Now I wish I'd never seen your face.
    I'm in disgrace,
    I'm in disgrace.
    Because I fell for your pretty face,
    I'm in disgrace. He's in disgrace.
    I'm in disgrace. He's in disgrace.
    You captured me in your embrace.

    There's no use blaming me
    And saying I was your ruination
    'Cos it was you equally
    That got us into this situation.
    It wasn't lust, it wasn't rape,
    It was just a mistake
    I'm in disgrace. He's in disgrace.
    I'm in disgrace. He's in disgrace.
    Because I fell for your pretty face.
    I'm in disgrace. She's in disgrace.
    I'm in disgrace. He's in disgrace.
    You captured me in your embrace.

    Was your love real or faked?
    Or was it only infatuation?
    Picture you in my place.
    I wish I'd acted with a little less haste.
    I'm in disgrace.
    I'm in disgrace.
    Because I fell for your pretty face.
    Oh what a waste. He's in disgrace.
    I'm in disgrace. He's in disgrace.
    Now my name's dirt and I'm disgraced.
    I'm in disgrace.

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

    I have to say that I love this song, and this is really the first song on this album that points the way forward for the band, being somewhat of a taster of what was to come for the band in coming albums.

    This song is Ray pretty much writing about Dave and Sue, but with his own spin on the situation.

    Lyrically we open with the idea of love at first sight.
    Then we have the idea of there being a relationship from the second time they met, or perhaps the second phase of the relationship.
    Then we have the third time or phase of the relationship, which would really translate to Dave and Sue both having been told that they didn't love each other and the parents were going to take the reins on this one.....
    Ever since this subject came up I have had a visual in my head of them being taken to separate cars staring at each other with disbelief that this person they were looking at had lied and hurt them so badly.... and it is so sad and bizarre that they both had this feeling, and it was true of neither.
    So this description of the third time/phase, "you treated me with such distaste" has Dave /Jack interpreting the stare from Sue as disdain, and I can see and feel the elements of this pretty plainly.

    This causes the guy to have a fairly typical reaction...."I wish I had never seen your face"
    Shakespeare may have thought it was better to have loved and lost, but at the time it is really not the feeling involved. Also in this instance Dave/Jack has been hit by the spotlight of the adults, and is being held accountable for the situation, so he is publicly disgraced for this situation.

    The second verse gets into some pretty heavy territory, and I think it is the first time I have particularly noticed the lyrics, as I am normally locked into those beautiful descending chords.
    Here we find that Ray really is taking this to a direct line of Dave and Sue, there is a definite sexual encounter, as the unspoken mistake appears to be a pregnancy.
    We have the boy speaking to the idea that, this is not just my doing, we were both invested in this....
    What a horrible situation for two kids to find themselves in.
    We have the girl likely being defensive because of the the awful reputation she will be labeled with, and the guy being labeled in other not so nice ways.... and at the end of the day they were just two kids that were, or at least thought they were in love, and following the example society shows them of what that looks like ... and so a pregnancy comes to being through a harsh mix of innocence and ignorance, and now both feel as though their lives are somewhat destroyed.

    The next vocal is spoken, and I think it is an emphasis, because as the accusations fly about the young couple, and possibly even from the young couple, the boy says "It wasn't lust, it wasn't rape, it was just a mistake"
    Certainly there are some awful situations that can arise between young people, but there are also somewhat innocent mistakes that happen, and I think every adult that has lived a life knows this.....

    The last verse seems to sum up the situation from Dave's perspective.
    The idea of did you never really love me?.....
    Was this just all fake?
    Am I wearing this public scorn and discipline all to no avail?
    Am I that bad a judge of character?
    Then coming to the more logical conclusion of wishing he had not been so hasty.

    This is actually a sad song about a very sad story where two people were both left hurt and confused because of a situational result, and not the reality of their feelings for each other.
    I think Ray handles this pretty well. I certainly wouldn't want to write a song about this topic, it is way too easy to get outside the lines with subject matter like this.
    I think he manages to keep the narrative balanced, although obviously having to take it from one side of the equation.
    There are no villains here, just a tragic situation, and two very hurt people.

    Musically I absolutely love this.
    We start with, what to me is, a beautiful minor arpeggio on the piano, executed beautifully by Gosling, and as it moves along the guitar comes in, with just a bit of buzz in the tone.
    Ray's delicate vocal delivery is really nice.
    It is interesting to me that Ray decided to put the drums in under the piano, with just a low mixed, thud, tap ... it is just barely there, and is an interesting mixing choice
    We slide down into the last line and we get Dave riffing and we roll into a rock song.

    The band vamps for a bit and the piano bangs away and the guys give us some nice "ahhh" backing vocals, and then we get a clean break and move into the chorus.
    I yet again love the descending chord pattern here. Ray arranges the chords in clean staccato stabs, and it is really effective.
    The vocal turns a little and becomes a more powerful delivery.... almost a kind of defiant anguish.

    On the second run through the descending chord pattern, we get a second guitar, and I'm not sure if it is a chord inversion, or something, but it sounds like the chords are working together and against each other at the same time .... I can't quite put my finger on it, but I really love the way it sounds. It is smooth and unified, but there is a tension between them that works really well.

    We close the chorus with a short vamp and the piano banging away, and move into a really nice verse that sounds like a bridge due to the arrangement.
    I hear this as
    Intro - chorus - verse - chorus - verse - instrumental bridge - chorus - outro

    Speaking of the instrumental bridge. We get this really nice, almost thoughtful, spaced chord set up, with the bass taking what seems like a subtle lead role, and the band singing the "ahhhs". Then after a few repeats of this sort of reflective interlude, we get a short burst of Dave throwing in some nice lead.

    From there we break into that chorus, and I love this chorus. The second time through we get some female backing vocals and then we move into this lovely little outro.
    It is like the mode changes up in the outro, and Dave adds this beautiful melodic lead guitar, while Ray delivers this vocal that has a feeling of being resigned to the storm coming his way.

    I reckon this is a great song, and to me at least, it seems Ray manages to show compassion to Dave and Sue in the way this is delivered. I think it also shows Ray's love for his brother, in spite of the typical brother battles they have had over the years.
    As a song it is musically interesting, melodically engaging, and it has a bit of bite to it.

    We have been slowly seeing the band come back to the rock world, and in spite of there being some pastiche type tracks on this album, the general flow is more towards being a rock band, and not just being a backing band for a theatrical arrangement. It all works towards being a bonus for me personally, because although I enjoy the theatrical RCA albums, to some degree they were a dilution of the band (hence many folks stating that these are like Ray solo albums). I think it was necessary for Ray to go there and get it out of his system. He wanted to explore the possibilities and he did so, and very well, in my opinion, but at the end of the day the Kinks are a rock band, with some pop sensibilities, and they are moving back into the world they are more effective in... perhaps not more adventurous, but certainly more focused.

  2. Ex-Fed

    Ex-Fed Not Fed Ex

    New York State
    “I’m in Disgrace”—I always thought it effective that the very beginning of the track, evoking times of innocence, suggests a child’s piano exercise. “I’m in disgrace / Because I fell for your pretty face….” That’s the way it starts, isn’t it? Large emotional tragedies—and, to be fair, great passionate love stories—always begin with a brief electric moment of desire. John Grant has a good line regarding this: “I regret the day /your lovely carcass caught my eye.” I love the way the song explodes, and I appreciate Dave’s thought-out guitar lines. He is playing well. And that chorus gets under my skin. I loathe the term “earworm,” but this is one. Nice work, everyone.
  3. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    I first got this album on CD and didn’t know where the sides were turned. So for years, I’ve enjoyed how I'm in Disgrace followed on the heels of First Time We Fall in Love. But having to turn the record over between the two is even better : you then have time to ponder the message of the previous track, and you can digest the way that former song played with the “we” and the “I” of emotions. It’s a powerful trick Ray comes back to quite often, anchoring a personal feeling in some shared human experience in order to create empathy or an emotional bound with a character. Another trick, starting in First Time and coming to full fruition here: the play between the present and past tenses. The first time we fall in love tells a general truth about what we all go through at some point in our teen years. Then the bitter “first time I fell out of love” section made it a personal singular experience. I’m in Disgrace continues this movement. Now, we’re really with the character, in his mind’s eye, feeling with him, feeling for him, just as it happens. It’s the moment where the “origin story” quality of this prequel to Preservation works best: this song is the primal scene, and it’s especially powerful when you’re aware of that Ray’s doing it with his younger brother’s past.

    Musically, we’re now firmly in the mid-70’s stadium rock idiom, some more Elton flavors, shades of the Who (Daltrey could sing this, it’s right up his alley), with the piano ballad opening and then the big rock assault. Well, “big rock assault” may be an overstatement. We do get the crunchy chords but they’re somehow tamed by sonic effects. Big thanks to @pantofis who used the "flanger" word in his review of Education : I didn’t know the term but I’ve always felt this effect was a flaw in many mid-70’s tracks, particularly in some of Dave’s work in that 1975-77 time frame : I understand the novelty of it sound-wise at the time but it tones down what I like best about his playing, his wild distorted staccato attacks. But it's only a minor reservation on my part, there’s a whole lot of different guitar sounds everywhere in this song, and plenty to appreciate. I hear some more He’s Evil allusions here and there, which are subtler than in Education. Overall, this is probably not a firm favorite of mine as a whole but the chorus is insanely catchy, especially the irresistible call & response thing. It alone makes it a near klassik for me and should’ve given them the hit they were aiming at. Love the bass and drums, and overall percussive use of all the instruments. A song is many things. It’s a set of words and music, it’s a performance, it’s a recording, sometimes it’s a single, and sometimes it’s a specific place in the sequencing of a record. I’m in Disgrace may've failed as a single (as far as the charts are concerned, which is the only purpose of a single anyway), but it’s a terrific, terrific, opener for the second (and best) side of this record.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2022
  4. stewedandkeefed

    stewedandkeefed Came Ashore In The Dead Of The Night

    "I'm In Disgrace" is pretty interesting. I enjoy it most when it morphs into a rock n roll song. It is not quite the title track of the album and it really has nothing to do with schoolboys or education other than the education we all receive as we pursue love in its various forms. But I think pretty well everyone can identify with the "I'm in disgrace" sentiment from certain times in his/her life. As a single, I already know I'd end up playing the B-side but "I'm In Disgrace" still holds my attention. (Edit - I know this record as a CD - never on vinyl or cassette so its structure in terms of album sides is generally not ingrained in me)
  5. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    IMMENSE song in the catalogue. The most pure rock they ever got in a way I think, in that it's not tempered with disclaimers of 60s garage, or theatrics, or AOR or newave or soft metal: it's just pure amazing 70s power chording and melody: power pop I guess but a step more into rock: i think you could put this on for ANY classic rock fan not familar with depth of The Kinks work and they'd be convinced by the time the chorus came in. Also, although it's as far as we know an all Ray compostion, being about the Dave and Sue situation (which ironically Dave himself seems to have gotten over at least in terms of song inspiration by this point) it could pass for a 'Ray writes a late 60s Dave song' in terms of subject matter and pure passion, ESPECIALLY on that 'was your love real or fake' verse. It's pure Kinks, one of their best and most definitive rockers ever. Should have been a live anthem but they dropped it afyer the SiD tour, only playing 'The Hard Way' (makes sense) 'Schooldays' and 'Education' (Huh??????) on subsequent tours! God damn!

    btw, FWIW unlike Mark I never took it that Jack The Idiot Dunce was the character in the albums central run of relationship/punishment songs, just a school eccentric the main character observes at the beginning. YMMV though!
  6. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    One of the best songs on the album, and I agree with @Fortuleo that musically it sounds a bit like Elton John from the same era.
  7. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    I’ve only checked out the next two lps but was thinking the same thing.

    Again, I agree. Very right-down-the-middle, though, as it is smooth, seamless and is another song that (if heard for the first time after being an earlier Kinks fan) doesn’t scream ‘Kinks!’

    It’s certainly brought the band back into the mix. I’m going to drop my “it should have been released as a Ray solo project” chorus.

    I agree on the hit as this seems extremely radio-friendly. 1975; what was on the radio then? Certainly it would have fit late 76, into 77, at least on FM radio. (Come to think of it, my hazy memories of AM radio, at least in the US, is of poppy, disco-ish songs. I say that because I recall how ecstatic I was whenever Dire Straits ‘Sultans Of Swing’ came on.) Anyway, seems like a give-the-people-what-they-want track.
    palisantrancho, ARL, Smiler and 10 others like this.
  8. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Oct 1963 - Nov 1966
    Apr 1967 - Feb 1970

    1965 Never Say Yes

    1966 Trouble In Madrid

    Dave reviewing singles of 67

    Nov 1970 Lola Vs Powerman And The Moneygoround
    The Contenders
    Strangers - live 1970 - Dave live
    Denmark Street
    Get Back In Line
    Lola - TOTP - video - alt version
    Top Of The Pops - video
    Moneygoround - mono
    This Time Tomorrow - 2020 mix
    A Long Way From Home - live 70's - Ray live
    Apeman - video - alt stereo - alt mono - ToTP - Calypso - live 94
    Powerman - mono - 2020 mix - live 70's
    Got To Be Free
    The Good Life

    1971 Golden Hour Of The Kinks

    Feb 1971 Percy (movie) - trailer
    Mar 1971 Percy (soundtrack)
    God's Children
    The Way Love Used To Be - Ray live
    Running Round Town
    Moments - Ray live
    Animals In The Zoo
    Just Friends
    Whip Lady
    Willesden Green
    God's Children Outro

    The Follower

    1971 You Really Got Me - Mini Monster EP

    Nov 1971 Muswell Hillbillies

    20th Century Man - single - Alt Instr - Ray live
    Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues - live 73 - John Peel
    Holiday - live 73
    Skin And Bone - live 70's - Ray live
    Alcohol - live 75 - cartoon
    Complicated Life
    Here Come The People In Grey - live 72
    Have A Cuppa Tea - alt version - live 72
    Holloway Jail
    Oklahoma USA - Ray Live
    Uncle Son - Alternate
    Muswell Hillbilly
    Lavender Lane
    Mountain Woman
    Kentucky Moon
    Nobody's Fool - Cold Turkey(Kinks?)

    Dec 1971 Muswell Hillbilly EP

    1972 Muswell Hillbilly single (Jap)

    Mar 1972 Kink Kronikles

    Aug 1972 Everybody's In Showbiz

    Here Comes Yet Another Day - live 74 - live 75
    Maximum Consumption
    Unreal Reality
    Hot Potatoes
    Sitting In My Hotel - 76 remix
    You Don't Know My Name
    Supersonic Rocket Ship - fan vid - BBC live - band video - live
    Look A Little On The Sunny Side
    Celluloid Heroes - live 82
    Top Of The Pops
    Brainwashed - Alt
    Mr Wonderful
    Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues - Alt
    Muswell Hillbilly - Alt
    Alcohol - Alt
    Banana Boat Song
    Skin And Bone
    Baby Face
    Til The End Of The Day
    You're Lookin' Fine
    Get Back In Line
    Have A Cuppa Tea
    Sunny Afternoon
    Complicated Life
    She's Bought A Hat Like Princess Marina
    Long Tall Shorty
    Sophisticated Lady

    January 1973 The Great Lost Kinks Album

    Apr 1973 One Of The Survivors/Scrapheap City (Ray Vocal)
    One Of The Survivors (single version)

    Ray's near death experience/suicide?

    The Kinks Live AT The BBC 1973

    Oct 1973 Golden Hour Of The Kinks Vol 2

    1973 The Time Song
    I'm Going Home

    Nov 1973 Preservation Act 1
    Morning Song/Daylight - live 74
    Sweet Lady Genevieve - Ray live - live 70's
    There's A Change In The Weather
    Where Are They Now?
    One Of The Survivors - Compile version - edit 1 - edit 2
    Cricket - Cricket
    Money And Corruption/ I Am Your Man - Alt/ext
    Here Comes Flash
    Sitting In The Midday Sun - video
    Demolition - Peel sessions
    Village Green (Overture)
    Picture Book/People Take Pictures Of Each Other (live)

    May 1974 Preservation Act 2
    Introduction To Solution
    When A Solution Comes
    Money Talks - Peel Sessions - Live 74
    Shepherds Of The Nation
    Scum Of The Earth
    Second Hand Car Spiv
    He's Evil - Hippodrome 74
    Mirror Of Love - Band Version - Hippodrome 74
    Nobody Gives
    Oh Where Oh Where Is Love
    Flash's Dream (The Final Elbow)
    Flash's Confession
    Nothing Lasts Forever
    Artificial Man
    Scrapheap City
    Salvation Road
    Slum Kids - 1975

    The Preservation concerts
    Providence Nov 30th 1974
    Preservation Live - More live footage - Home movie footage
    Live - Midnight Special

    World Radio History

    May 1975 The Kinks Present A Soap Opera
    Everybody's A Star - Alt version
    Ordinary People - pt 2 live - live
    Rush Hour Blues - live
    Nine To Five
    When Work Is Over
    Have Another Drink
    Underneath The Neon Sign - live
    Holiday Romance
    You Make It All Worthwhile - live
    Ducks On The Wall
    (A) Face In The Crowd
    You Can't Stop The Music

    Ordinary People pt 2 live

    Starmaker Tv Play
    Tv Play 6 of 7 parts
    Soap Opera tour
    Soap Opera Concert

    Nov 1975 Schoolboys In Disgrace
    Jack The Idiot Dunce
    The First Time We Fall In Love
    I'm In Disgrace

    Winterland 1977

    Ray On Wonderworld

    2005 Thanksgiving Day Ray live on Conan Obrien

    Oct 2018 Dave Davies - Decade - interview
    If You Are Leaving (71)
    Cradle To The Grace (73)
    Midnight Sun (73)
    Mystic Woman (73)
    The Journey (73)
    Shadows (73)
    Web Of Time (75)
    Mr Moon (75) - Why

    Mick Avory
    Pete Quaife - interview - Kast Off Kinks - I Could See It In Your Eyes - Dead End Street
    Rasa Didzpetris Davies
    John Dalton
  9. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Me, too.
  10. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    An early Saturday a.m. and I am reeling from the non-stop ear worm, ‘Jack the Idiot Dunce.’ Relentless!
    The late man, Brian x, Smiler and 6 others like this.
  11. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    This actual song is pretty good but I don't like the arrangement much. You can tell I'm going to struggle with the Arista albums. Works as a stand alone song.
  12. Endicott

    Endicott Forum Resident

    I'm In Disgrace

    So Flash's first time falling in love led to a few other "firsts" in the process. Oops.

    The song opens with a pleasant little piano intro, and Ray's initial verses suggest that we're in for another lovely ballad like the one that kicked off the first side. But we get disabused of this idea quickly when Dave's lacerating guitar slices in. From that point on, it's power-chord nirvana as Dave delivers yet another tour de force (getting stifled in Soap Opera must have really planted a bug up his ****), in service of the kind of short, punchy, unfussy Ray composition that was his metier in the early days. Ray's vocals (and responses) are something else -- angry, bitter, and regretful at the same time, but Dave is the star of this track, a highlight of the album. But not the highlight -- that is still to come. John Dalton's bass work is also memorable here, particularly in the break before the final chorus.

    This song could have been a hit single five years before (or five years later). Alas, the year 1975 was Peak Mellow on the US Top 40 charts, the era of John Denver and Neil Sedaka (act II), so "I'm In Disgrace" wouldn't have stood a chance as a single. What I do find disappointing is that it didn't become an FM staple -- it had all the ingredients for a couple of generations' residency on album-rock playlists. Then again, so did "Here Come The People In Grey"; the RCA Kinks just fell through too many commercial cracks.
  13. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    I suspect the use of the word 'rape' mitigated against it being a single.
  14. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    It did get released as a single (backed by Hard Way) so I wonder if the word was changed. As you make a good point.
  15. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    While on one hand I appreciate how brilliantly Ray was able to empathise with Dave's situation in the actual music of this album and this song in particular, I do wonder what Dave made of the aspects of the stage show where it's somewhat trivialised and played for laughs, thinking of bits like Shirley Roden (I think it's her anyway?) as the schoolgirl wearing a cartoonish expanding prosthetic belly.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2022
  16. Fischman

    Fischman RockMonster, ClassicalMaster, and JazzMeister

    New Mexico
    I'm In Disgrace

    Funny how adults so sure they're doing the right thing can end up leaving real scars, ultimately doing more harm than good. Especially with sex. Well intentioned Victorian morality had a habit of manifesting in rather brutal ways.

    Nothing more to add on this one, lyrically or musically. Y'all avids have nailed it pretty well.

    I also love the song, and its sort of catchy hard rock has me welcoming rather than dreading the arena rock years.
  17. Zerox

    Zerox Forum Resident

    According to Dave, both his and Sue's parents told each of them that the other didn't want to have anything to do with the other, something he discovered decades later when he was finally able to meet his daughter. That was one of the most heart-wrenching parts of 'Kink' to read.
  18. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Sounds like excessive needle-time!
    DISKOJOE, mark winstanley and Zeki like this.
  19. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Wasn't that word also in the Who's 70's single 5:15?
    DISKOJOE and mark winstanley like this.
  20. donstemple

    donstemple Member of the Club

    Maplewood, NJ
    Also Gimme Shelter
  21. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    I hope they cultivated an ongoing and positive relationship.
  22. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Yes I had immediately thought Gimme Shelter but chose not to post it because in the 70's it was only a single in Japan and I am sure I would have been told very few may have understood it!
  23. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Was it? I don't remember it in that song.
  24. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Yes, not a single in the US/UK.
  25. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Not gonna post it just now as it seems like bad timing half way through the album, but there is a complete audio of a Schoolboys show (broken into 5 parts) on Youtube. Could be worth posting on album wrap up day?

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