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

    Interestingly I don't hear Styx at all on this track, and I have a few Styx albums. I also don't really hear Sleepwalker.
    To me this is more like a hybrid of a Preseevation and a Soap Opera track.
  2. GarySteel

    GarySteel Bastard of old

    Molde, Norway
    The piano in the first section reminds me of "Sick Things", but but the first guitar riff also sounds pretty Alice-y.
  3. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA

    Not a lot of live photos of the tour out there to be found.
  4. GarySteel

    GarySteel Bastard of old

    Molde, Norway
    I think you'd have to be pretty difficult not to recognise these are brilliant albums.

    As for Queen, I personally think that A Day at the Races is much better than Opera. Funnier, more rocking and, well, soulful. "Somebody to Love" and "You & I" proves that there was a heart beating under the theatrical stuff.

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Salem, MA
    I was driving to work this afternoon when the AM oldies radio station that I've been listening to in my car played "Victoria". It was a great feeling to hear it on a AM station just like in 1969.
  6. GarySteel

    GarySteel Bastard of old

    Molde, Norway
    How great is "Victoria"? Almost beyond measurable.
  7. Fischman

    Fischman RockMonster, ClassicalMaster, and JazzMeister

    New Mexico
    Fellow Avids,

    Day job's getting seriously intense. Tons going on in the family. Health issues that require attention. Things are getting far too hectic. Stressors piling on. This is not a complaint though, as I'm one of those people who thrives on having having trying to pack 48 hours of to-dos into a 24 hour day. However, I'm now at a point where something has to give and that's gotta' be my online activities. I'm totally dropping everything not work/family related from my desktop/laptop/mobile devices...
    ....well almost everything.... I would like to at least carve out enough time to participate in this thread. This is the one online activity that is always refreshing and entertaining, as well as often educational. That in mind though, my participation will likely wane a bit. I may not be on every day, and you're not likely to get another writeup like I did for Education (which might actually be a bonus for most!). I will try to read everything; too much good stuff here to miss, even if I can't take the time to respond.

    Quick thoughts for today's selection:
    This is another solid rocker that continues to form that bridge between the ending concept album phase and the coming arena rock phase. The song has that now regular intro/build/climax sequence that works so well. I seriously love the extended guitar solo. Yes, Dave can rock!

    I find the lyrics intriguing as the protagonist gives his confession, taking blame, and the he shifts to "I feel like an innocent victim." Right or wrong, this is how I interpret this. We all know that sometimes all you can do is throw yourself on the mercy of the court and hope for some level of clemency. You know you're gonna' get creamed so your best bet is to fess up to everything and demonstrate contrition, and the willingness to take responsibility.

    So why the switch? Why suddenly back off from the confession and shift blame? I think it's because the whole bloody situation has been so overwhelming, that the real feelings just had to spontaneously burst out. Dude already knows his life is pretty well hosed at this point (as is hers), so why take additional punishment? Isn't living with what has happened already punishment enough? If you think of the backstory, we're talking about a 15 year old kid here. It all ties back perfectly to the side one closer: "We are totally unprepared.... "

    Again, this may not at all be what Ray had in his mind, but it works perfectly in mine.

    My only complaint is the ending. The abruptness is fine and works musically for me. It's the story/lyric that bothers me. The anticipated punishment seems odd. I attended a number of schools (in the US) growing up, some of which used such corporal punishment (on a couple occasions, my rear end was on the receiving end of "the board of education"). But it was usually for juvenile pranks, talking back to teachers, using foul language, etc., and never at the high school/secondary level. By then, a paddling was generally thought past it's usefulness and things like detention/suspension took its place. What's more, innocent or not, this is a very serious situation and merely getting your hiney warmed, which passes in minutes, seems a meaningless response. Expulsion or reassignment to a delinquent school seems more like what I would have expended for something like this. Or maybe things were different in the UK. Or maybe, we should think of this as a metaphorical spanking, representing something more serious.
  8. Geoff738

    Geoff738 Forum Resident

    Great tune today. I get the somewhat anonymous comments - there’ll be stuff down the road that I personally feel that way about. But for me this works fine. But as I mentioned upthread I m coming into this album as an avowed fan and for me probably my favourite of the RCA era. I’m biased, in other words.

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Salem, MA

    Sorry to hear, Avid Fischman. I hope that things are worked out & that everyone in your family is well. Please do drop in when you can.
  10. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    This is a good one. It begins with a lovely piano part with soft cymbals (?) in the background? Very cool.

    The song just grows more desperate from there though. Love Ray's vocals. And the female backing vocals are very effective too.

    And then we hit the, what I call, the psychedelic musical part. I don't know if I've heard this sound from the Kinks before, but I'm diggin' it for at least this song.

    I think this song will only grow on me from here.
  11. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Sorry the pressure cooker is bubbling. Hold firm, and do what you need to do.

    If you can stay with us, that's great, if you can't, that's completely understandable.
  12. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I'll be pleased when this song is done.
    I have a mild paranoia towards the title now lol
  13. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    I echo what @DISKOJOE says. We'll be here for another decade or two (slight exaggeration) listening to the Kinks Katalogue. Many of us are not going anywhere.
    Sending best wishes to you and your family as you go forward. xo
  14. the real pope ondine

    the real pope ondine Forum Resident


    i went to a school in Jacksonville FLA that had a legendary paddle supposedly you could read the same of the school imprinted by the paddle on your butt after you received your punishment. (luckily i didnt stay long enough to find out) just the idea was terrifying, i would give up my own mother to get out of one of those
  15. Luckless Pedestrian

    Luckless Pedestrian Forum Resident

    New Hampshire, USA
    The last line of I’m In Disgrace sticks out like a sore thumb. I’ve never seen any humor in it. This poor boy is suffering because he dreads not only the physical pain of the punishment, but also the degrading nature of its execution. The setting is an English school in the 50s, when headmasters could be expected to mete out punishment sadistically.

    The irony is that taking his pants down is what caused all this trouble in the first place. Self-abandonment to physical pleasure has lead to pain, fear, guilt, shame and an unwanted pregnancy - all of this emotion is culminating in one dramatic moment. It’s logical that the artist doesn’t make the listener feel comfortable while witnessing this unfortunate scene. This is why I feel the absurd, abrupt ending suits the song.

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Salem, MA
    Here's a more positive image of a Headmaster. I saw the adaption on Masterpiece Theatre back in the day:

  17. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    There are honourable and dishonourable people in all walks of life.... I just don't want to be the headmaster :)
  18. pablo fanques

    pablo fanques Somebody's Bad Handwroter In Memoriam

    Poughkeepsie, NY
    I went to Woodbridge Middle School for 6th grade in Dale City, VA before moving back to New York in July, 1981 and I'll never forget the school assembly at the beginning of the year where the principal proudly displayed his paddle with nine inch-wide holes drilled into it for maximum welt effect. Never had the pleasure but it was a thing
  19. Luckless Pedestrian

    Luckless Pedestrian Forum Resident

    New Hampshire, USA
    Curiosity got the better of me and I had a listen to their 1975 release Equinox. To make the comparison is a stretch, to put it mildly. i suppose the way the guitar is recorded is similar, like a lot of recordings from that era. I did enjoy these lyrics in the opening track, called Light Up:

    Every day's a holiday when your lips meet mine
    The music's keepin' time with our love
    You are here, and so am I
    The weather's quite divine
    So pass me round your wine, lovely one
    All I need is just one hit to get me by
    'Cause baby when your near I'm halfway high

    Ah yes, very reminiscent of vintage Ray Davies :laugh:

  20. GoodKitty

    GoodKitty Om

    Feb.15 ..... happy birthday to Mick Avory, 78 today. :cheers:


  21. zipp

    zipp Forum Resident


    This is an interesting song which made me think.

    Today corporal punishment in school is prohibited in many countries. The main exceptions are Australia, India, half of Africa and ... half of the USA.

    The countries where punishment is still allowed are orange and purple on the map.

    When Ray was young corporal punishment was acceptable in school in the UK. Pupils were punished with a cane. Apparently in the US they use a paddle.

    Do they use a boomerang in Australia?
  22. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    "The Hard Way"


    Single by The Kinks
    from the album Schoolboys in Disgrace

    Released January 23, 1976 (UK)
    Recorded September 22, 1975 at Konk Studios, London
    Genre Hard rock
    Length 2:35
    Label RCA
    Songwriter(s) Ray Davies
    Producer(s) Ray Davies

    stereo mix, recorded 22 Sep, 1975 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London

    Boys like you were born to waste,
    You never listen to a word I say
    And if you think you're here to mess around,
    You're making a big mistake,
    'Cos you're gonna find out the hard way,
    You gonna find out the hard way.

    No matter what I do or say,
    You're much too dumb to educate.
    One day life's going to turn around and slap you in the face,
    Then you're gonna find out the hard way.
    You'll take the hard way,
    Gonna take the hard way.

    Well, you'll do it your way and I'll do it my way,
    And we'll see who's the one to survive.
    You'll find that with no foundation
    Or qualifications
    There's no way that you can get by,
    No, there's no way you can get by.

    Why don't you take the easy way?
    Why don't you co-operate?
    Don't just sit there and vegetate.
    Do you want to end up illiterate?

    You think that life's a vacation
    And you've no inclination
    To dust away the cobwebs of your mind.
    Now it's time for confrontation
    And I'm tired of being patient,
    So I've got to be cruel to be kind.
    Yeah, I've got to be cruel to be kind.

    I'm wasting my vocation teaching you to write neat
    When you're only fit to sweep the streets.
    Your intellect is such
    That it requires a killer's touch.

    So I'm going to play it your way,
    We'll take the hard way.
    Going to take the hard way,
    You can take the hard way.
    Gonna take the hard way,
    Gonna take the hard way.

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

    One assumes that they liked this one as it was the b-side for I'm In Disgrace and No More Looking Back.

    I like this song, and what we have essentially is the headmaster's reply to the previous song's statement. My only issue with this song is that the version on One For The Road is so much better, and that is something that will come up a few times over the next few albums.

    We have a similar staccato dry chord progression to I'm In Disgrace.

    Lyrically we have a pretty much direct writing of Dave's experience during the Sue incident.
    Dave was caned and expelled from William Grimshaw Secondary Modern School after cutting class and having sex.

    When you read some of the opinions on this song, it is quite bizarre ... to me at least.
    Allmusic critic Richard Gilliam sees the headmaster as a bigot who "believes that punishment and destruction of self-image are important elements in learning." Gilliam also believes that the opening staccato chord riff was an influence on the sound that Devo would go for.
    Author Thomas Kitts perceives a "psychosexual enjoyment" in the headmaster's words. Some of the lyrics, including the title, can be taken as double entendres. Kitts believes that Davies' guitar part "mirrors the headmaster's sexual aggression.

    Yea..... I'm not so sure about that, and it seems to be reading into things a little bit, and probably says more about the writer of the article than the song.

    To me the lyric sounds like a typical kind of teachers rebuke of a child that is playing by their own rules. I certainly heard a few of these over the years lol
    Essentially the headmaster is saying you are making life hard for yourself by thinking you know what you're doing, but you are just ignoring all the rules and you are going to pay the penalty for that.
    The headmaster does hurl a few insults -You're much too dumb to educate - You're only fit to sweep the streets - You're intellect is such it requires a killer's touch.....
    Teachers always seemed to have a way of belittling students who were in trouble, and this paints a pretty good picture of this..... I don't personally see any psycho-sexual link to this lyric, it is a pretty straight up insult and put down of a child that has bent the rules until they broke and now needs to face the consequences.

    There are some great lines in this song, and I think it paints a pretty clear picture of what is going on here.

    Musically it is very much a return to the early sound of the band. We are sitting alongside the You Really Got Me, All Day and All Of The Night style of the band, even though the song doesn't sound particularly like those. An awful lot of the sound factor is that it is ten years later and as is always the case, the equipment, and sounds of the day have changed.
    The sound is quite dry and direct and we have the organ filling out the guitar chords in the early part of the song.
    When we get to the first change the organ adds a smooth rolling bed of sound, and it works really well. Dalton is really tearing it up on the bass here, and Avery is keeping the beat moving forward and throwing in some nice fills.

    The call and response lead break is excellent. The first warm lead guitar on the left, and the thinner guitar on the right have a really nice feel and work really well.
    The song also closes out on this lead break and Dave adds some nice lines to the end of it to give us a nice smooth flow out of the song.

    For me this trilogy at the start of side two is the strongest part of the album, and for the most part I'm In Disgrace and The Hard Way point the way ahead for the band over the next few albums. It is very much a return to a more straightforward sound for the band, and I think it is partly due to the fact that the band could see that the concert circuit was going to play a big part in the future of the rock band. Certainly concerts had been important throughout the course of the rock world, but just past the mid-seventies the concert tours started to take on a slightly different, more disciplined styling, and after the somewhat complex theatrical years, setting the band on a path of more straightforward rock music frees them up a bit and also moves the band into a more straight rock sound ..... and I think the results are certainly seen over the next few years, and to me vindicate that decision very clearly.

    This is a solid track that stays in the live set for a few years. It is interesting that I'm In Disgrace didn't survive, but perhaps at shows this got a better response, and it also allowed Ray to keep a snippet of the theatrical years, wearing the old man mask ...

    All in all a great rock song that keeps this section of the album connected in a thematic flow, whether the rest of the album has that or not.

  23. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    lol, no they used a cane. Depending on the school or teacher would depend on if it was whip-like, or lump of wood-like
  24. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line The Under Asst East Coast White Label Promo Man

    Oh i don't know, Zeki sounds pretty clever to me!
    Smiler, DISKOJOE, markelis and 2 others like this.
  25. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    "The Hard Way"

    I gather that the main riff is somewhat similar to "I Can't Explain", but having never investigated The Who at all, this isn't something that I would have picked up over the last 19 years of ownership. Anyway, didn't Pete rip off Kinks riffing to write that one?

    A third solid rock tune in a row, and like "I'm In Disgrace" it has a sophistication in the song structure that the mid 60s riff rockers didn't have. That's not to denigrate those tracks, though, "All Day And All Of The Night" did not need extra bridges and solos - this one does. One of the last times that Ray gets to use his variety of voices. I've always found the lyrics more amusing than sadistic.

    The Knack did a cover version (or more accurately a photocopy) on their second album. Leaving aside tribute albums and magazine cover CDs, is this the most recent Kinks song to receive any kind of cover version treatment on a "proper" release?


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