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
    Never got to see The Kinks live, but I have seen Ray solo in concert 5 times.. 1997, 2001, 2002. 2005 and 2009. Most of those times he did the kind of laid back, Storyteller or post Storyteller thing, where he played the old hits largely acoustically and with tasteful accompaniment, and though obv I was always glad to see him there was always the slight atmosphere of 'welp., sorry you missed The Kinks when they were actually a working rock band, but here's some restrained approximations of those old songs by the old master' about them.. (As you'll see from the dates above I first saw Ray only ONE YEAR after The Kinks stopped performing ::(:(:(:(:(:(:(:( ).. but...the one exception to this was the 2005 show: for whatever reason, that time Ray really approached the set with something of the old fervour of a prime era stadium show, jumping about the stage with an engaged full band accompaniment and an 'alive' seeming, not just the hits but deep cuts and new stuff set list. And that was the one time I ever saw him play 'The Hard Way' and it was great.
     
  2. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Nice post...

    I meant to ask about Ramona, but forgot. The live versions I've heard it seems even more accentuated....
    Unless that is supposed to be the name of the girl, and the caned student is calling it out
     
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  3. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    I see it as offering something different to those early classics rather than just being a re-hash as it uses that same riff format to express something very different: the rash life choices of youth and how they can have implications for a whole lifetime when viewed from a greater remove. As I get older I have to say I can relate and it hits me harder than YRGM or ICE these days, even if it's in no danger of dethroning the original primal seminality of either in the rock canon.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2022
  4. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
  5. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Well you would at least give a new meaning to the songs title!
     
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  6. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Might as well add the One For The Road version for good measure, esp as it seems to be where a lot of folks first encountered the song:

     
  7. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    UK Record Collector 7" Review Installment

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Well, I did it again. I put headphones on to listen again, this time for the “Ramona” that @ajsmith speaks of. Couldn’t hear the song so kept turning the volume up. Turns out I didn’t turn the power on to the Bluetooth headphones so it was playing and increasing in volume all throughout the house. And now I’m worried about what my wife will say when she wakes up. I might find out the hard way.
     
  9. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    "The Hard Way" is a song that really pops right out unlike most of the songs in the previous few albums. It's probably the most rocking Kinks song since "One of the Survivors". The fact that a good number of Avids first heard it on One From The Road shows why it survived into the Arista years. You can put this song next to their 60s hits and it would sound just as well. Maybe the Knack should have released their version as a single, especially since I think that it came out around the same time as One From The Road. Here's another cover version of the song by the legendary 60s Seattle band The Sonics from their 2015 comeback album This Is The Sonics:

     
  10. side3

    side3 Younger Than Yesterday

    Location:
    Tulsa, OK
    Although I must have heard The Kinks version of The Hard Way, as I can remember hearing Schoolboys and particularly remember No More Looking Back, The Knack's version definitely was the version I heard the most back in the day. I was a big Knack fan. You are correct that it is virtually a straight cover. I think the Knack's version was better recorded, probably due to Mike Chapman's production. I like the brief interjections of harmony that are lacking on The Kinks version, and I like that during the solo (which is pretty much an exact copy), it is all guitar, and not guitar and horn. This and The Pretenders "Stop Your Sobbing" are the only Kinks covers that I prefer to the originals.
     
  11. pantofis

    pantofis Senior Member

    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    As All Down The Line mentioned there is something Sting-like about the accent in the vocals, especially the way he sings "educate". This is one of the coolest songs by the Kinks. Cool as in, this is not some whimsy oldies act. Ray sounds like a transformed man compared to the last few albums. A bit lightened up, check out the way he shouts out "Come on now" before the solo.
    "The Hards Way" turns out to be yet again (I know I keep saying this) ahead of its time. Many punk bands sound like that, from the Ramones all the way to Green Day.
    The call response break: I'm pretty sure the response is a sax.
    The old man mask at live performances: I can't help but think Genesis' The Musical Box performance with Peter Gabriel shouting "Touch me now!".
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2022
  12. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    Frank Black did a cover of "Better Things" on the B-side of a single in 1995, which I think would qualify under my criteria.

    Black Lace (sadly) covered "Come Dancing" on one of their "party albums", which I also can't find a reason to disqualify.

    Are there any Kinks songs after 1983 which were covered on an official, physical, non-tribute album release?
     
  13. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    Here's a list of Kinks covers from the Kinda Kinks website:

    Kinks Kovers/Tribute Song/Kinks-Produced Song List
     
  14. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Quite a few have done 'Father Christmas' on Xmas themed albums as shown on that list.
     
  15. markelis

    markelis Forum Resident

    Location:
    Miami Beach FL
    As a clarification to my earlier post, I now have to admit, I don’t know if I knew the Knack’s version first or the Kinks version on One from the Road first. Both were released in 1980 and I definitely discovered both of these versions at about the same time since I bought One from the Road immediately upon release, and (queue up hiding under the chair emoji) I definitely bought the Knack’s second album (which contained this cover version) immediately upon release as well.

    I’m sure the Knack must qualify as a guilty pleasure, since I would bet I am alone on this thread in my appreciation of them, but I happen to think their first album is fantastic through and through (especially My Sharona, which I would argue contains one of the greatest guitar solos ever :)hide:).

    Their second album was nowhere near as good as their debut, but I think this cover version is pretty awesome. Yes, it duplicates the Kinks’ version almost exactly, no new creativity to see here, but so what, it did work to shine a spotlight for a new generation of fans on a song that had been overlooked and never should have been overlooked.
     
  16. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Get The Knack is a great album.... I never heard anything after that... I haven't even heard the Kinks cover yet lol
     
  17. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    I bought Get The Knack at the time and still love it. Never bought anything after that, until picking up the second album used a couple of years ago. That one is pretty horrible - I feel like a need a shower after hearing "Mr Handleman"!
     
  18. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    I found this online.

    “Yes and here's the little trivia info on that as to why he screams " OH RAMONA " in The Hardway as told directly to me by Ray himself...
    When the Kinks were touring the US prior to Schoolboys coming out around 1972 and 73, Ray was and still is a huge soccer fan ( Arsenals are his team btw! ) any way back then when they were playing and staying in the NYC area there were very few places that got the satellite feed of soccer games from over in the U.K. and Europe but leave it to Ray to find one! He found a place over on the Queens side of the 59th St bridge I think it was it could have been one of the other bridges but that's not too important, I think it was what ever bridge takes you over to Woodside Queens, ( I should know this I live in this area and have been over those bridges many times ) anyway this bar in that area that had the satellite feed for the soccer games and was a favorite haunt for Ray to go when he was in NYC and they had a night off from a show...in this bar they had one of those old fashion Pinball Games with all the lights, bells and whistles and it was one of those theme ones, this theme was sort of like a gypsy fortune teller theme and it had the big picture of this gypsie woman on the big part of the machine where the scores are and all the other lights and the name of the machine or the Gypsie woman was you guessed it RAMONA so when Ray would play this pin ball game and get into it you know pushing the flippers and slapping the sides when ever he got excited and got extra points or a free ball and the machine started making all the noises and lights flashed he would yell either " OH RAMONA " or COME ON NOW RAMONA, so a couple of years later when they were in the studio recording " Schoolboys in Disgrace " and specifically The Hard Way, he shouted it out during the recording session for what ever reason and there you have it !”
     
  19. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    “The Hard Way” is a fantastic burst of punk energy that is excellent to hear from The Kinks in 1975. Eleven years earlier they were responsible for influencing many of the future punk rockers and now they are saying we can still deliver the riffs and remain a relevant rock n roll band! Great guitar tone by Dave and a perfectly cool vocal from Ray. The lead guitars also remind me a bit of Thin Lizzy. I think Phil could have done a good cover of this song. What do you say @GarySteel?

    I have never warmed up to One For The Road so I think this studio version is far superior. I know that is a favorite album of @mark winstanley! I’m hoping to come around to it when we get there. I guess this shows that when and how you first hear a song has a huge influence on your opinion of it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2022
  20. Brian x

    Brian x half-animate bean

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    The Hard Way

    If the last song's "anonymity" can make me mourn everything I loved from the early-to-mid-period Kinks, this song has pretty much everything I love about what's to come.

    Yes, it revisits the sound of their early hits, but the musical-historical context gives those jagged power chords a fresh semiotic resonance*. Like, after all the long riffing jams of the early '70s bands, it was time for rock to start punching you in the gut again. Which clearly is what the bands just starting to play CBGB's were feeling. You Really Got Me may be there at the roots of punk rock, but The Hard Way comes at practically the same moment. And even though (or because) it's sung from the POV of the authority figure, it hits the anti-authoritarian theme of early punk as hard as or harder than the Clash, the Pistols, or the Ramones. (I also hear premonitions of Patti Smith, Talking Heads and yes Devo in Ray's rendering of "killer's touch").

    Ray plays with lots of his different voices on it but they're all delivered with a kind of staccato urgency that reminds me of My Generation without the stutter (so, better).

    I was going into 11th grade when I first heard this, and I did a medley at the school talent show that year: Can't Explain, Guns on the Roof, The Hard Way, Mystery Dance. Which pretty much encapsulated all my teen rage, angst, and defiance. Go ahead and hit me, call me stupid, tell me I'll never amount to anything. I'll f***ing show you.

    [*I don't really know what the word "semiotic" means but I really wanted to use it].
     
  21. GarySteel

    GarySteel Bastard of old

    Location:
    Molde, Norway
    I agree on both the studio version being superior and that Lizzy could have made a great cover of this.

    Philo & Co was after all one of the few dinosaur acts that (at least some of) the punks respected, I guess both on account of their somewhat exotic origin (both Philip's heritage and their 'Oirish' hardman stance which for most part weren't an act) and because they put melody and attitude over excessive noodling. The twin guitar part would sound superb in the hands of Robbo and Gorham. The lyric would perhaps be the stumbling block as Phil's usually were more direct, vulnerable and yet still more aggressively cocky than Ray's. He would never take the headmaster's voice as his own. He was too much of an underdog himself to do that.

    Really like this song. A short, sharp shock of electricity and a throwback to the early Kinks. Which is a good thing in this instance.

    Here, for no apparent reason, is the link between Lizzy and punk. The Greedies were a loose project by the 1978 Gary Moore/Lynott/Gorham/Downey line up joined by Steve Jones and Paul Cook from the Sex Pistols. Moore played on the single but is absent from this clip from December 1979 because he kept on leaving Lizzy. Three strikes and you're out, tho :D

     
  22. GarySteel

    GarySteel Bastard of old

    Location:
    Molde, Norway
    Boo!

    Phil's choice of team was even worse, tho... :hurl:
     
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  23. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    And there is a link between punk, Lizzy, and The Kinks when Phil teamed up with Johnny Thunders on "Daddy Rolling Stone." Also featuring Steve Jones, Paul Cook, and the one and only Steve Marriott!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDpqJvyYwcI
     
  24. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    Let me guess, Manchester United? Or should I say Manchesters Uniteds?
     
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  25. Zack

    Zack Forum Resident

    Location:
    Easton, MD
    Does the Knack sing "vegetate" or "masturbate"? lol

    Also: The My Sharona guitar solo indeed rules.
     

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