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

    Definitely.. after 18 years, my divorce, and being taken completely by surprise, almost did me in..... that may explain my connection here.... it hadn't even crossed my mind
  2. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    No Shepherds of the Nation! You’ve kept it clean instead. :D
  3. markelis

    markelis Forum Resident

    Miami Beach FL
    No More Looking Back:

    There is no point in trying to outdo our fearless leader, he has said everything that I would say. Thus, in short, absolutely amazing song (topped only on this album for me by The Hard Way). I know I’m usually shouting about “Dave!“ which probably gets boring, but, in the opening 40 or so seconds of the song, all I could think was…. Dave! Ray delivers a great vocal and a fantastic set of lyrics. The rest of the band sounds great too. … and yes, I don’t see how if you like this song you wouldn’t like Sleepwalker because this would have fit on there perfectly.

    Finale: Not a whole lot to say here. It doesn’t do much as a stand-alone song but I used our exciting modern day technology (found on the Internet) to connect this at the end of Education to make one longer version of Education. That of course takes a song that is perceived by many on this thread as too long already and makes it even longer, but to me, if I’m going to listen to Education I might as well hear this little piece of it stuck at the end just for the fun of it.
  4. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    As I said earlier, very staid.
  5. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    I was introduced to this song via this when I heard the album version I was a little disappointed. I like this version much better. That seems to happen a lot with Kinks songs, huh?
  6. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Dave becoming a whole member of the band again is a big reason why the Arista years are great, to me.... but we'll hot that over the next couple of days
  7. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Very often I prefer the live versions of Kinks songs. There is generally a bit more fire.
  8. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    What a great way to finish an average album (I'm ignoring Finale!) and the RCA era! And yes, I like Sleepwalker more than Schoolboys, and this would have fit on Sleepwalker very well.
  9. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    No More Looking Back

    I recently posted a comment about the live performance video that was posted I like that version better. After just listening to the album version, I feel like the horns are sometimes really buried. In the live performance, the horns are right out there and you can HEAR the sadness much more clearly. I think a lot of the emotion is out of the album version. Sure, it's in the lyrics - but the live version really melds lyrics and music more effectively.

    When first hearing this song, I immediately thought what @Zeki did - it's very of that time period and it didn't sound like a Kinks song to me. That doesn't mean this is a bad thing, but usually Ray has been out of step with his contemporaries but maybe not so much on this song.

    And though you can certainly fit this song into the theme of this album, I always thought it didn't belong. It feels different to me (because it 50s pastiche, no mention of schooldays, etc)I don't think this song was written specifically for Schoolboys. I think it got tacked on...but I could be incorrect.

    It's a really good, solid song, but I'll stick to listening to the live performance when I have a hankering to hear it.
  10. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    The Committee has made its preliminary picks for Stage III playlist: Schooldays and I’m In Disgrace. So we’re off to the races.
  11. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    I just looked at my notes and realize that Sleepwalker is an album that had at least two songs getting FM radio play. And so there’s the familiarity factor that might give it a leg up with me.
  12. Smiler

    Smiler Forum Resident

    Houston TX
    Strongly agree. "Do It Again" is a prime example for me. I heard a live version first and it is in my Kinks Top 10, but the studio version was a letdown when I heard it. For one thing, the live tempos are usually faster, giving them more energy.
  13. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    Schoolboys in Disgrace overview
    I think I'm still digesting this album. For me it's not a top tier album. I liked to loved every song on it other than Education. More than I can say for Preservation 2.

    I think it's pretty close to being on par with Soap Opera. I felt more of a connection with Soap Opera than Schoolboys. The beating of schoolkids is obviously a subject I have difficulty relating to and find repugnant. Maybe that feeling will fade with time. I went into this album thinking of it as a "fun" album and it really took a turn for me because of this closer look. Obviously this a pretty personal reaction. I don't regret the examination, though. It's amazing how music can make you feel sometimes.

    Putting feelings aside, I don't know why this theatrical period was so maligned. Still a lot of excellent, funny, and poignant songs. By no means a huge dip in quality.
  14. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    Similar with me on I'm Not Like Everybody Else. I think the To the Bone version is much better than the original.
  15. Endicott

    Endicott Forum Resident

    Oh DEFINITELY! We're getting way ahead of ourselves here, but To The Bone, for my money, is the absolute best Kinks live album -- maximum intimacy AND ferocity. A great sendoff to the band's recorded career. And its version of "I'm Not Like Everybody Else" was an utter revelation.

    The best dollar I ever spent in my life was rescuing Preservation Act One from a bargain bin sometime in the mid-eighties.
  16. pablo fanques

    pablo fanques Somebody's Bad Handwroter In Memoriam

    Poughkeepsie, NY
    Largely in agreement with everyone else regarding "No More Looking Back". Top notch Kinks that would have slotted well on either Sleepwalker or Misfits. I think this LP is unfairly maligned due to the original RCA Greatest Hits ignoring it completely. That was rectified when the CD was issued but then we lost all the unique mixes. In all, I find Schoolboys to be better than I previously thought but I'm definitely ready for the Arista era as I discovered the lads in 1981 or so thanks to a timely appearance on Saturday Night Live. From that point on, for me anyway, there was PLENTY of looking back!
  17. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Don't stop thinking about tomorrow!
  18. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    The Kinks' Greatest - Celluloid Heroes.


    Release info:
    Produced by: Ray Davies
    Release date: 25 Jun, 1976
    Record label & catalog #: RCA Victor RS 1059
    Country: UK
    Format: 12" vinyl LP (album), 33 1/3 RPM
    Release type: Compilation

    Side 1
    1. Everybody's A Star (Starmaker) mono mix, shorter edit created for radio play, slightly sped up (2:14), recorded Aug 1974, additional overdubs done Oct 1974 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London
    2. Sitting In My Hotel stereo mix, different mix with less organ (3:15), recorded May-Jun 1972 at Morgan Studios, Willesden, London
    3. Here Comes Yet Another Day live, stereo mix, recorded 14 Jun, 1975 at New Victoria Theatre, London
    4. Holiday live, stereo mix, shortened edit (3:28), recorded 3 Mar, 1972 at Carnegie Hall, New York
    5. Muswell Hillbilly stereo mix, shortened edit (3:48), recorded Aug-Sep 1971 at Morgan Studios, Willesden, London
    6. Celluloid Heroes stereo mix (6:20), recorded May-Jun 1972 at Morgan Studios, Willesden, London

    Side 2
    1. 20th Century Man stereo mix, edit, about 1 minute shorter (5:02), recorded Aug-Sep 1971 at Morgan Studios, Willesden, London
    2. Sitting In The Midday Sun stereo mix, different mix, recorded May 1973 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London
    3. One Of The Survivors stereo mix, different mix with a different last verse (4:16), recorded Mar 1973 at Morgan Studios, Willesden, London
    4. Alcohol live, stereo mix, shortened edit (3:52), recorded 3 Mar, 1972 at Carnegie Hall, New York
    5. Skin And Bone live, stereo mix, shortened edit (3:08), recorded 3 Mar, 1972 at Carnegie Hall, New York
    6. (A) Face In The Crowd stereo mix, recorded Aug 1974, additional overdubs done Oct 1974 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London

    To end the RCA years, we get a compilation of what were deemed to be the best songs of the era. Obviously there will be as many opinions as there are songs available as to what should have been on here, but for the most part I think they did a reasonable job.

    two tracks from Muswell Hillbillies
    three tracks from the studio version of Everybody's In Showbiz, but oddly Here Comes Yet Another Day is a live version
    three tracks from the live Everybody's In Showbiz live album
    two tracks from Preservation Act 1
    two tracks from Soap Opera

    I assume they left Schoolboys out of the mix because it was the most recent album....

    I'm not sure they really nailed this one, and they ended up doing some edits and remixes, and I'm not so sure about that decision either......

    To me there are too many important tracks missing, probably the most significant being the much loved Sweet Lady Genevieve, and also the minor UK hit Supersonic Rocketship.

    I think this could have been a much better compile, and I reckon something along these lines would have worked better for me.

    side 1
    20th Century Man 5:57
    Complicated Life 4:02
    Muswell Hillbillies 4:58
    Sitting In My Hotel 3:20
    Supersonic Rocketship 3:29
    Sweet Lady Genevieve 3:26

    side 2
    Celluloid Heroes 6:19
    Sitting In The Midday Sun 3:47
    Underneath the Neon Sign 3:53
    Face In The Crowd 3:12
    I'm In Disgrace 3:21
    No More Looking Back 4:27

    I think that ends up being a better representation of the era for me, although in reality I would need a double album. I hate missing songs from Preservation Act 2, and for me Secondhand Car Spiv would be first cab off the rank, but there are length issues, so something had to go.
    It's a shame that the live versions miss out, but again, it is merely a length issue.
    Another thing is, I wouldn't load the album up with Muswell Hillbillies songs, even though it is my favourite album of the era.... I know they used live versions, but the original seems a little Muswell heavy to me, and the compile should be representative of the era.

    I get the impression that they mustn't have had confidence in the material.... and that makes me wonder if RCA or the Kinks themselves put this together.

    I think most of these variants were posted when we went through the material, but if any are missing, please feel free to add any that we missed.
  19. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    The RCA Years.

    For me the RCA years gets underway with a bang with the Muswell Hillbillies album. For me it is a smooth move from the Lola/Percy pair that ended the Pye era.
    The Americana feel of the album is no problem for me, and is just another piece to the Kinks puzzle.
    For me Ray wanted to branch out, after covering English/British themes so beautifully on the major Pye releases of the previous era. I think the band as a whole sounds great as do the songs, and it will likely always be among my favourite Kinks albums. I understand some folks not being that fond of country music, but to me there is only a hint of country on there, and the injection of some New Orleans swing spices things up nicely.
    Another issue for some were the horns, but I have no issue with them at all,as I think they added a nice variety to the band's sound and again gave the band something more to play with.

    Everybody's In Showbiz is sort of the album that could have been.... I like the album, but seriously think that a separate live and studio album would have been the way to go. What we got is fine, and I certainly don't dislike it, but I think it could have been somewhat stronger than it ended up being.
    A separate live album could have included more tracks and not been as one dimensional as the single album version that was released with the studio album. I think by the end the somewhat novelty songs somewhat overwhelm the other tracks and give us an unbalanced representation of the band's live show.
    The studio album isn't as strong as Muswell for me, but I still think it stands up well on its own merits. I understand some folks becoming a little tired of the somewhat comical tilt of the album, and again, it may just be that it is slightly unbalanced in that sense....although I personally am not too bothered about that.

    I personally enjoy Preservation Act 1 and 2 much more than I was anticipating, and even though it may not gel perfectly as a story, I think it works for the most part.
    The albums themselves contain a bewildering array of music that is really top class. There are some songs on these albums that would easily make it into some kind of extended best of the Kinks, or Anthology or whatever if I was putting it together.
    Act 1 is probably more consistent in some ways, but some of my highlights are in Act 2, and really keep me in the game, even though on occasion it feels like I may not quite make it, I end up being drawn back in.
    On the whole, a much better pair of albums than history seems to show, and I will certainly not be afraid to play them through again at some point.

    Soap Opera was the album I was most apprehensive about, as I had failed to really connect with it prior.... Yet again though it proved to be a solid album that I would have no qualms about playing.
    Again, for me, the album's theme works pretty well, and I don't feel the need to nitpick the story or structure.
    Another batch of strong songs and another album to comfortably throw into the Kinks circulation.

    Schoolboys as we just saw was a bit disappointing, but still contains some great tracks that if I was a playlister, would make the grade. The overall theme isn't very strong, though I do like the Dave theme that sits within it.... how much Dave likes it being themed around his childhood trauma, I don't know.

    The RCA years are just another very strong series of albums from the Kinks to me. We see the band explore a lot of ground, a remarkable amount of ground really. We have Americana, drunken New Orleans blue/jazz type stuff, broadway type musical stuff, music hall, probably the most progressive rock stylings the band ever leaned towards, blues, and the occasional rock song.
    I think we hear a natural cycling around to the band's roots as we get towards Schoolboys, and it seems like the logical move. During the RCA years Dave is somewhat on the outer, he is there and contributing, but more material leans towards the keys and so the guitar takes a back seat. Also Dave doesn't get too many songs in, and we get minimal Dave vocals, whether lead or back up...... In some ways that is one of the major downfalls of the RCA period. It doesn't effect my opinion of the songs and albums, but it can effect the way the band appears, and as some/many said, a lot of these have the feel of Ray Davies solo, with the Kinks in support.... I think that is the thing about the Kinks though, for me they manage to take all this in their stride and move through it nicely.
    For all the talk of the aggression and disunity in the band, the music at the very least comes across as united and enthusiastic. I virtually never heard a song here where I thought, well the guys just aren't getting into this .....

    Schoolboys sets the stage for the Arista years, and for me that means Dave is back in the saddle and not sitting out in the shadows. For me this is important and it is probably why I so much love much of what we are about to dive into ..... but let's save that for the next bit of the thread.
  20. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    The Music of the RCA Years.

    For me the highlight of the RCA years is Muswell Hillbillies. It easily sits alongside Village Green Preservation Society and Arthur in the Kinks Katalog. It was really surprising to me that so many seemed a little lukewarm towards it.

    The albums

    Muswell Hillbillies
    Preservation Act 2
    Preservations Act 1
    Everybody's In Showbiz
    Soap Opera
    Schoolboys In Disgrace

    For all its oddities, and I guess shortcomings Preservation Act 2 is probably the biggest surprise for me here.
    I always loved Muswell, so no surprises there.
    The other big revelation was that I don't hate Soap Opera, I actually like it quite a lot, even though it needs a certain mood for me to head there.

    The Songs
    I guess it's easiest to put together some kind of compile that sums up the RCA era for me best....

    disc 1
    20th Century Man 5:57
    Complicated Life 4:02
    Have a Cuppa Tea 3:45
    Holloway Jail 3:29
    Oklahoma USA 2:38
    Muswell Hillbilly 4:58
    Sitting In My Hotel 3:20
    You Don't My Name 2:34
    Supersonic Rocket Ship 3:29
    Celluloid Heroes 6:19
    Top Of The Pops (live) 4:33
    Brainwashed (live) 2:59
    Holiday (live) 3:53
    Alcohol (live) 5:19
    History 5:22
    Sweet Lady Genevieve 3:26
    Where Are They Now? 3:28
    Sitting In The Midday Sun 3:47
    Demolition 4:07

    disc 2
    Introduction To Solution 2:43
    When A Solution Comes 3:40
    Money Talks 3:44
    Scum Of The Earth 2:45
    Second Hand Car Spiv 4:01
    He's Evil 4:25
    Flash's Confession 4:06
    Artificial Man 5:30
    Rush Hour Blues 4:27
    Have Another Drink 2:41
    Underneath The Neon Sign 3:53
    You Make It All Worthwhile 3:49
    Face In The Crowd 2:27
    Jack The Idiot Dunce 3:19
    I'm In Disgrace 3:21
    Headmaster 4:03
    The Hard Way 2:35
    No More Looking Back 4:27

    Compiles are always hard for me, as I am pretty much a straight up album guy.... but something like that....
  21. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    My Take So Far.

    For the record, this is where the albums stand for me so far....
    I can't really order them very well, because preference depends on the day.

    5 star albums
    Muswell Hillbillies
    Village Green Preservation Society
    Something Else
    Lola vs Powerman
    Face To Face

    4.5 star albums

    4 star albums
    Preservation Act 2
    Preservations Act 1
    Everybody's In Showbiz
    Soap Opera
    Kinda Kinks
    Schoolboys In Disgrace

    3.5 star albums
    The Kinks

    That's as objective as my subjective opinion can get lol
    That is also a rough order in terms of favourites, but particularly in the 5 star albums, much shuffling could occur at any given moment.

    I would like to rate Percy and the debut higher, but for all the great tracks, there is too much stuff that falls below par.
    On Percy we have three or four fantastic tracks, then some ok instrumentals and filler type tracks, and as much as I love the three or four tracks it doesn't negate the other stuff.
    The debut has some great tracks, but some of the covers are just a bit too outside my interest to raise it up. With all Ray tracks, it would probably move on up.
  22. GarySteel

    GarySteel Bastard of old

    Molde, Norway
    Have to strongly agree here, as Dave's #1 fanboi in this thread. Yet I never thought about it this way before and now my somewhat lukewarm feelings toward the RCA albums makes more sense. I shall hereby upgrade you from Headmaster to Sensei, Markosan.

    Great post and a worthy punctuation mark to this whole sordid debacle. Trying to be tiny bit more seriously, I will say that being sorta Kinda forced to listen to a bunch of records that I didn't think I enjoyed that much, in the company of a bunch of fine people such as this motley crew, has made me see the whole period in a much brighter light. And I've learned something new every day here, be it the correct way to make Shepherd's Pie (I'll still make it my way, of course), good and bad natured ribbing, laughter n tears, my father's true identity, Dave's disgraceful loss of schoolboyhood, English geography, why this is the only thread going worth a toss and many other things. The list goes on and on.

    While I don't contribute much in song and lyrics analysis and stick to sidebars, snide comments and other off topic BS, the reason for this mostly comes down to yous guys doing such a fine job of it as it is ;)
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2022
  23. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Somehow i don't doubt after that hearing you finished of Bob!
    Zeki and mark winstanley like this.
  24. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    I've never owned the compilation, so can't comment on it, but it looks to be dominated by Muswell Hillbillies, which probably wouldn't endear it to me much anyway.

    As for the RCA years, well for most of my life, apart from Schoolboys, the RCA era has been persona non grata to me, having been scared off it at a younger age. However, now having caught up within the last year, at least I have a batch of relatively new-to-me Kinks albums to enjoy in the coming years. I think you need to have a grounding in all aspects of The Kinks to fully enjoy these albums - there is little point in trying to go directly from "Waterloo Sunset" to Preservation Act 2!

    So here is my ranking of the RCA albums, in reverse order.

    6. Muswell Hillbillies
    Maybe at some point in the future this one will click with me, but at the moment I don't have much love for it.
    5. Preservation Act II
    The next five are much closer. There is plenty of enjoyable stuff on this, but ultimately it's a bit of a chore to get through the whole thing.
    4. Everybody's In Show-Biz
    If it was just the studio disc this might be higher, but I have to consider the whole package and the underwhelming live disc marks it down.
    3. Schoolboys In Disgrace
    It's difficult to separate the remaining three, but this one feels just a bit thinner on material than the other two, despite possibly having higher highs.
    2. Soap Opera
    A very enjoyable album that's only second because there is one that's even better.
    1. Preservation Act I
    For most other bands this would be considered a lost masterpiece, but VGPS has already claimed that slot for The Kinks. It's a rich collection of songs that continues to grow more with each listen.

    As for the top songs, well I've listed ten below in chronological order, most of which are predictable choices. There are a few more I could have added, but I wanted to keep it to ten and have at least one from each album.

    20th Century Man
    Sitting in my Hotel
    Celluloid Heroes
    Sweet Lady Genevieve
    Sitting in the Midday Sun
    Flash's Confession
    You Make It All Worthwhile
    Ducks On The Wall
    No More Looking Back

    As for the Arista years, well having not liked any of the RCA albums I tried at university, the next album I tried was Give The People What They Want, which I liked, so I was well-disposed towards the Arista era from my first exposure to it.

    Onwards and upwards.
  25. GarySteel

    GarySteel Bastard of old

    Molde, Norway
    I hope so. It has grown from one I liked very much to be one of my favorites. Firmly placed somewhere on that top 5 Kink records list consisting of 15 albums :D

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