The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. stewedandkeefed

    stewedandkeefed Came Ashore In The Dead Of The Night

    The RCA years - this is where i got on this thread. Because I had Beatles, Stones and Who played for me in my formative years and no Kinks, I had to fill in the gaps. The Sixties albums on Pye were, of course, a revelation but Muswell Hillbillies has always struck me as a masterpiece. I know it has some songs considered clunkers but, like Exile, it works for me as a construct.
    The others I owned but wanted to get to know better. I learned I needed to get the 2CD version of Everybody's In Showbiz. The other albums, I agree, are patchy but contained enough highlights to make me want to spend some time with them and get to know them better. I was surprised by the glam influences but at RCA, the Kinks were label mates with David Bowie. I also heard T-Rex and Mott The Hoople influences as well. The Stones absorbed contemporary influences; so did the Kinks. The more theatrical projects meant listening to other musical styles that were less to my taste but Ray always managed to put together the odd mini-epic along the way to keep it all interesting. I also combined this thread with my own live show listening project and heard the shows the Kinks were doing around this time. I had only heard one show from the Schoolboys In Disgrace tour (Hamburg) so getting the link to Tulane University (thanks @ajsmith ) was useful!
     
  2. GarySteel

    GarySteel Bastard of old

    Location:
    Molde, Norway
    Its a fair cop, gov ;)

    But luckily no, my father is well but not a police officer and the virus is pretty scarce 'round our way. And thank you for asking :)
     
  3. Michael Streett

    Michael Streett Senior Member

    Location:
    Florence, SC
    No official CD (or SACD) has ever been issued of the original Celluloid Heroes Greatest LP with the remixes and the unique live track. The remixes that some may not care about are one thing, but it's unfortunate that live version of "Here Comes Yet Another Day" recorded on the A Soap Opera tour included on the LP is only available there. It was recorded at the same show as the live bonus tracks that appeared on the A Soap Opera Velvel CD so it could have gone there or even on the Velvel Schoolboys In Disgrace CD as a bonus track since that release had zero bonus tracks.
    As has been mentioned, surprisingly the download sites do have the original album track order and remixes as the original LP. So at least they do exist in a digital format.

    I do agree that the revised CD reissue track list is a much better representation of the RCA era though.
     
  4. Michael Streett

    Michael Streett Senior Member

    Location:
    Florence, SC
    Here is that live version for those that may have missed it when it was posted a while back. I think it came up during the talk of the studio version from Everybody's In Show-Biz. Notice how the announcement of the band here is taken from the Show Biz live album recorded in 1972 and edited on to the beginning of this 1975 live recording.

     
  5. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Cheers.
    I have only listened to it a few times, and unless I'm doing a direct comparison I rarely noticed little mix change ups or whatever.
     
  6. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scotland
    Way off track, but has anyone done a Buddy Holly or T.Rex song by song thread? Dusty Springfield would also be interesting, along with The Sweet.
     
  7. donstemple

    donstemple Member of the Club

    Location:
    Maplewood, NJ
    The RCA Years

    Before this thread, the only album here I'd heard was Muswell Hillbillies. And with that one, I have a pretty long relationship with and absolutely love it. So, I'm actually going to focus on all of the other albums and songs we have reviewed since then -- since those have all been new to me as we've gone through them on this thread. All I knew about the other RCA albums were they were from the "theatrical period" and all flops. While that may be commercially true, I pretty much ended up loving every single one! We see the progression of how Ray grew, while seeing Dave sorta recede a bit before starting to grow again. And how the bands directions, styles, and sounds all changed over time.

    I also am not a huge fan of the "concept album" label, because a lot of Kinks albums from Face to Face through Schoolboys get associated with that term, and I don't think that's the best way to describe some of these. I prefer to organize them into Concept Albums and Narrative Albums. VGPS is a Concept Album in that there is a definite theme/style/overarching similarity in how the songs feel, the production, the moods and feelings they make us feel. Arthur is a Narrative Album because there are characters, development, a narrative story of the war, going to Australia for a better life, etc. Lola vs Powerman sorta straddles the line and while we attempted to form a narrative of this band starting out on Denmark Street and then having their hit Lola and then dealing with money-grabbing powermen, it was more of a theme than narrative I think.

    So for RCA, let me rank by category, with standout/favorite tracks listed:

    Concept Albums
    1. Muswell Hillbillies - won't say much here, but all these songs are FANTASTIC and give off similar New Orleans Preservation (Music) Hall vibes. To me, every song is a standout -- yes, I realize that makes no logical sense. This really belongs in a separate category than all the others, because I have loved it for so long.
    2. Everybody's in Show-Biz - fun, light-hearted, humor, food, and some Hollywood nostalgia.
      Standouts:
      1. Here Comes Yet Another Day
      2. Hot Potatoes
      3. Sitting in My Hotel
      4. Supersonic Rocket Ship
      5. Celluloid Heroes
    Narrative Albums
    1. Preservation Act 1 - the opening 3 songs on this album might be my favorite first 8 minutes of any Kinks album. I just absolutely love how Morning Song sets the mood, and slides into Daylight, with Sweet Lady Genevieve just being as beautiful as it is. The beginnings of the real theatrical stuff is here too, and I also have become enamored with that. II often find myself humming "there's a change in the weather".
      Standouts:
      1. Morning Song
      2. Daylight
      3. Sweet Lady Genevieve
      4. There's a Change in the Weather
      5. Cricket
      6. Sitting in the Midday Sun
    2. Soap Opera - I really really ended up enjoying this album much more than I thought I would at first listen. It's hysterical at times, it's heartfelt at others, it's funky, it's easy to listen to absorb (once I let it in).
      Standouts:
      1. Ordinary People
      2. Rush Hour Blues
      3. Nine to Five/When Work is Over/Have Another Drink suite
      4. Underneath the Neon Sign
      5. Holiday Romance
      6. You Make It All Worthwhile
    3. Preservation Act 2 - this would have been right below Act 1, but Soap Opera ended up beating it out. I really do enjoy Act 2 a lot. It's not as easy a listen though, and tends to drag around side 3 to 4.
      Standouts:
      1. Introduction to a Solution
      2. When a Solution Comes
      3. Scum of the Earth
      4. He's Evil
      5. Oh Where Oh Where is Love?
      6. Salvation Road
    4. Schoolboys in Disgrace - this may be at the bottom of this list, but again I really did enjoy this album and thought it did flow really well. I just loved the others more.
      Standouts:
      1. Schooldays
      2. The First Time We Fall in Love
      3. I'm in Disgrace
      4. Headmaster
      5. The Hard Way
      6. No More Looking Back
    With Muswell disqualified, then I think my favorite of the RCA years as Preservation Act 1, and that is mostly due to the first 3 tracks... just incredible stuff that I wish I'd known for more than just these past few months! But thank goodness I have many years ahead to enjoy all of these.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2022
  8. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Buddy, T Rex and Sweet are all possibilities.

    I have probably, at least, 40 bands where I have most or all their stuff, and - would like to/will - do an album/song thread on... it's just time, unfortunately

    Edit - I only have Dusty in Memphis, but it's a great album
     
  9. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    I would definitely be in on Buddy and T.Rex!

    The Complete Buddy Holly 6 LP set is my favorite box set ever. Not a bad tune in the bunch.
     
  10. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scotland
    I have the Not Fade Away 6 CD box which is fantastic - it's also nice that it's not such a sprawling discography.
     
  11. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scotland
    I think of Dusty in a similar way as I think of Elvis - didn't write many of the songs, but often arranged them and with her great vocals was able to totally inhabit the songs and make them her own.
     
    mark winstanley and DISKOJOE like this.
  12. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    The Bees Gees would also be great, but they lose me after Main Course. It would be a very interesting thread! I don’t think Barry Gibb ever got his credit for being a great songwriter. Sure they were popular, but they get unfairly ridiculed in many circles.
     
  13. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scotland
    Yep, they seem to suffer the same stigma as ABBA used to/did.
     
  14. kwadguy

    kwadguy Senior Member

    Location:
    Cambridge, MA

    I don't love the songs as much as you, but I love what you love about the era, which is that Ray and The Kinks were still trying, still punching away at edges and doing something that the listener could tell was vital to them as artists (even if it often didn't fully hit the mark).

    Compare this to the MCA era, where the wheat to chaff ratio dropped again, but where you didn't get the idea that behind the releases was artistic intent and overreach.
     
  15. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    Many don't even realize how great The Bee Gees were before the disco years or that they even existed in the 60s. I have played them many times to people who were shocked that it was The Bee Gees.
     
    side3, The late man, Fortuleo and 5 others like this.
  16. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scotland
    60s Bee Gees were great - it's a shame that the reissues stopped at Odessa.
     
  17. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Don't forget it even inexplicably made a French 2LP 1978 RCA compilation posted upthread.
     
  18. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Surprised you forgot the Who, was there any dissatisfaction in your view or is it more like most could pale in comparison and memory next to this Kinks thread?
     
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  19. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Lol

    The Who thread was a very turbulent time for me, and I was disconnected.
    It was disappointing to me
     
  20. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    I feel like I already gave my opinion on all the RCA albums, but I am happy that they were received much better than I thought they might have been. I liked these albums before we started this thread, but now I have a deeper appreciation for them and they are more impressive to me than ever. If I were to rank them it would go something like this:

    1. Preservation Act 1/Act 2- These are equally great and go together so they get my top pick.
    2. Muswell Hillbillies
    3. Soap Opera
    4. Everybody's In Showbiz
    5. Schoolboys In Disgrace

    There are too many great songs to make a definitive playlist. I'll try to limit it to 20 songs like @ fortuleo

    1. 2oth Century Man
    2. Holiday
    3. Alcohol
    4. Sitting In My Hotel
    5. Supersonic Rocket Ship
    6. Look A Little On The Sunnyside
    7. Daylight
    8. Sweet Lady Genevieve
    9. Sitting In The Midday Sun
    10. When A Solution Comes
    11. Scum Of The Earth
    12. Second Hand Car Spiv
    13. Mirror Of Love
    14. Underneath The Neon Sign
    15. Holiday Romance
    16. A Face In The Crowd
    17. Education
    18. I'm In Disgrace
    19. The Hard Way
    20. No More Looking Back
     
  21. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Really?
    I am a bit surprised as it was quite lengthy and in depth but somehow I didn't hang around to page 40 but have been here since day one!
    All a bit of a surprise as i like these band's fairly equally so just maybe your experience might hold the key to why I bailed (aside from starting way behind!)

    Again sorry it wasn't a greater experience for you though I have little idea why.

    Edit:
    Did you find the hardcore fans very different between groups?
     
  22. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    I'm with @Fortuleo on this one! :)
    I don't think Dave ever went anywhere. His contributions to the last several albums have been fantastic. He just stands out more on the upcoming albums and develops more of a 70s lead guitarist role. At least that is what I hear. I'm not a fan of some of his guitar playing from here on out, and I have liked almost everything he has contributed so far. His style changed, but I think it's been a gradual progression. It will be interesting to listen through all these songs with everyone and hearing what people love about the Arista years. Do we start Sleepwalker tomorrow with our general thoughts on the album?
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2022
  23. GarySteel

    GarySteel Bastard of old

    Location:
    Molde, Norway
    I like to be the minority opinion's voice, my friend.

    Also: I shall remember this ;)
     
  24. donstemple

    donstemple Member of the Club

    Location:
    Maplewood, NJ
    An interesting topic to discuss is why this particular thread is so unique on this forum (besides the incredible intros and efforts from our Headmaster). Does it take a certain kind of person to be an avid Kinks fan? Is there something about Ray’s writing and character studies and worlds and visions he puts into listeners’ minds… Does it take a certain mindset to let this unique music in?

    This is such a special place here to share our appreciation of this unique group without fights, attitudes, or (malicious) trolling. It’s such a great group of avids here to share this journey.
     
  25. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    I'm pleasantly surprised that we Avids have just gone through the RCA portion of the Kinks' career with a generally positive attitude towards the songs and albums that it comprises. I think that my fellow Avids fairly judged all the albums on their merits. There were no "Waterloo Sunsets" or VGPS in the RCA years, but there were plenty of great songs as Ray and the Kinks attempted to navigate the currents of 1970s changing rock/pop culture.

    Muswell Hillbilles: a full album about contemporary England for the final time in the Kinks' career, using the elements of classical Americana. Why "20th Century Man" is not on classic rock radio as much as "Won't Get Fooled Again" is a mystery for the ages.

    Everybody's In Show Biz: An album that was the true follow up to Lola v. Powerman, which was hampered by its hybrid studio/live presentation and the overreliance of the prior album in the live portion.

    Preservation Acts I & II: Ray's ambitious musings on society and politics that grew from VGPS. A flawed but ultimately entertaining work, especially performed live, which helped flesh out the tragicomic nature, in equal measures, of the songs.

    Soap Opera: Ray's musings on the nature of celebrity with a twist worthy of Hitchcock at the end. Not too rocking, but pleasant.

    Schoolboys In Disgrace: Purporting to show how Mr. Flash of Preservation became a no goodnick, this final concept album shows Ray mining his and his brother's memories of pain and joy in their schooldays to produce rock music's version of George Orwell's "Such, Such Were the Joys". One foot looks back to the 50s while the other looks forward to the Kinks' next phase with Arista Records.

    Finally, it has to be said that this period was marked by constant touring of the US to make up for the debacle of their 1965 visit. They gradually built up an audience performing the above, as well as their evergreen hits, developing a reputation of being entertaining. People like my friend Jimmy call this period their favorite of their whole history.
     

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