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

    Prince of the punks was recorded July 1976, so I'm not sure why it would definitely not be about Robinson?
    I'm not saying it definitely is, but I'm not sure why the December date matters?
    Based on the chart date of 2468?
     
  2. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    Tom Robinson was not a star in December 1976! TRB didn't even release their first single till October 1977. Was "Prince of the Punks" really recorded in July 1976?
     
  3. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Apparently... 12-16 July 1976. Possible overdubs Oct 77, for the Father Christmas b-side release.
    Supposedly Ray and Tom had been somewhat friends from about 1973.
    I get the impression something other than the sarcastic Tired Of Waiting For You thing must have gone on behind the scenes.
     
  4. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    This is reminding me that, as a buyer of albums, I have managed to get through all these years without having ever heard "Prince of the Punks". I'd never heard "Father Christmas" until playing it on YouTube recently. I might as well wait until we get round to covering POTP now.
     
  5. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    In Hinman’s book he gives the recording date for the released version‘Prince Of The Punks’ as October 1977. He says it was ‘entirely re-recorded’ from scratch after it had first been recorded in July 1976. July 1976 does seem very early (if not completely impossible) to be writing a punk parody song and I do wonder if the 1976 version had significantly different lyrics.
     
  6. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    Perhaps the "possible overdubs" included a complete rewrite of the lyrics to repurpose an outtake that was originally about something else entirely?
     
  7. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Just on that promotional radio spot I found it interesting that of the small clutch of songs Ray chose to play there was one from the brand (bland?) new album & as many as 4 resurrected from Muswell some near 6 years previous.
    Ray had to be calling the shots here whilst Clive Davis may have rolled his eyes?
     
  8. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I don't know, I can only go by the info I have
     
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  9. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    There are few things more mysterious than Kinks session info!
     
  10. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    It's certainly possible.

    The Kindakinks.net info, just says "possible overdubs Oct 76"
     
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  11. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    You're not kidding, we've laid a lot of bitumen!
     
  12. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Same here. I had to look it up this a.m. to see if I’d missed it on ‘Sleepwalker.’ I see it’s Sleepwalker era, B-side of ‘Father Christmas.’ (The latter I do know.) Like you, I’ll wait till we get there to listen to it.
     
  13. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    Yes, I think there's more to that story than meets the eye!
     
  14. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I don't pretend to be particularly knowledgeable about the scenes and the behind the scenes, I'm just an album and song guy.
    Apparently from what I can tell reading up, the punk scene is seen to have started firing up between 74-76 in New York, and quickly followed in London.
    If the info I have is correct that Ray was living in New York part time and suffering from insomnia, it seems possible he could have come across the grassroots New York punk scene. If Robinson was an in the know type of guy, he may well have been moving that way prior to the Oct 77 2468 single.

    To some degree, unless someone has written about it, we have no idea of what was going on behind the scenes with the two guys.
    Ray is six years older than Tom, and as weird as it may seem, he may still have been thinking of him as an impetuous youth or something.
    Tom isn't particularly mentioned in either track.... so as direct as some of the lyrics may seem in hindsight, it seems like if the link hadn't come out whenever it did, I doubt we would really know...

    Just speculating.
     
  15. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    We can discuss all this when we come to "Prince of the Punks" but these lines:

    He tried to be gay, but it didn't pay,
    So he bought a motorbike instead.


    Reference the Tom Robinson Band's two most famous songs, or would appear to. They also suggest Ray may have heard a lot of TRB songs before they were released.
     
  16. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    That seems very likely.
     
  17. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    "Mr. Big": To me, the lyrics are a rewrite of "Powerman", but while the latter song romps, this song is more plodding and gains in intensity. This could have been about anybody that Ray dealt w/in his professional life, maybe even himself in a self examining and loathing mood. It's an OK song, kinda like a soy burger between the two pieces of crisp French bread (Ca roule Avids Fortleo & The late man?) of the songs on either side of it.

    P.S.: I have always thought that Ray intended to sing the line "Your followers kiss your hand as "Your followers kiss your a**. Gotta get that airplay.
     
  18. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    I get people preferring the more popular Aftermath and it's musical roots but i also prefer 'Buttons as I can hear some maturity and that the band are sounding more personally f'd up and perhaps more externally pressured which I liked alongside their music from here on through to 'Soup!
     
  19. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    I'm also a big fan of Between the Buttons, both UK and US versions. It's a lot better than their next album and some people say that they sound like the Kinks on it :D
     
  20. stewedandkeefed

    stewedandkeefed Came Ashore In The Dead Of The Night

    "Mr. Big Man" seems like a pretty conventional "ballad" for the era musically. Ray's vocal delivery gives it great character in my mind. I understand the commentary on this thread that some of the production places the Kinks in fairly FM-friendly territory for the time. When I hear the guitar fills on "Mr. Big Man" I hear a sound that is pretty sympatico with a lot of the conventional rock being played on the radio in the U.S. at the time. I used the term "rock" but my tastes are towards what I term "rock n roll" (as Keith Richards points out, the roll is essential - RIP Charlie). Above all else, I see the Kinks as a "rock n roll" band - "The Hard Way" fits into that tradition. "Mr. Big Man" maybe not so much. The Kinks were trying to find a more FM-friendly sound. All bands do this. The Stones took the "four on the floor" beat and crafted "Miss You" which was played in the discos and helped Some Girls become their highest selling studio album (other influences were coopted on that album to broaden the appeal). Loads of commentators cry "sell out" but if you're an aging band, you always have to attract new fans. As far as "Mr. Big Man" and its lyrical content, I hear the title character as a composite that does not refer to any one particular person. Who had minions at the time? David Bowie, Marc Bolan, Rod Stewart all fit the bill. But I doubt Ray had one person in mind and as has been mentioned, it may be partly a telling self portrait.
    "Connection" is basically a rewrite of "Party Line" from Face To Face. It is also the album where Nicky Hopkins arrives.
     
  21. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Not sure i quite prefer it to Majesties but it is their most Katty & Kinky LP!
     
  22. sharedon

    sharedon Forum Zonophone

    Location:
    Boomerland
    Mr Big Man is like a cousin of Long Way From Home.
     
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  23. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    Location:
    France
    I'm not surprised at all! I was about to write that Andy Pyle sounds like he's auditionning for the band... I didn't know it was effectively the case ! He's showing off as much as he can, and it screams "hey, watch me, see what I can do!" And it's great.

    It took me some years to appreciate this song, but now I really like it. It's got a slow power that gets me most of the time, and that suits the angry feeling, the contained rage. The song takes place somewhere between All About Eve and Catch Me Now I'm Falling. There is some solace to be found in the fact of implicitly feeling you remained straight while the other betrayed you, and some people love to indulge in this kind of righteous indignation bordering on virtue signalling. I'm definitely one of those. So much so that it never crossed my mind that the song could be a self-deprecating portrait, which after all it could very well be. That would make it an even better tune.
     
  24. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    Location:
    France
    Nickel, Avid Discojoe !

    Big fan of Buttons here too, though it took the UK version to convert me. I unknowingly bought the US edition CD in the late 80s or early 90s, when getting acquainted with the Stones discography. I was a bit disappointed, and I discovered the UK listing only years later. Curiously, it works better without the hits for me.

    But Majesties remains my favorite Stones album, I believe.
     
  25. markelis

    markelis Forum Resident

    Location:
    Miami Beach FL
    Mr. Big Man: Nice organ intro. Pyle sounds good on his debut on bass. Dave does some great riffing and soloing throughout. Ray sounds passionate, sarcastic and angry, as he should. Its a nice slow boil with cutting guitar. Its a good track, and one i wouldn't skip, but not my favorite on the album.
     

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