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
    Think this might be Supersonic again?

     
  2. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Oh I am a wanted man that lives dangerously and is even prepared to speak out about vegemite!
     
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  3. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Yea, vegemite isn't my thing at all lol
    Folks say that shows I'm not really Australian.... but I'll take the beer, rather than the scrapings from the barrel :)
     
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  4. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Well Miller admitted it and even insinuated the other guy (Kossoff) played it better.
     
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  5. Luckless Pedestrian

    Luckless Pedestrian Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Hampshire, USA
    Oooh the horns and backup singers are nice here, wish they were on the studio track, a welcome bit of warmth to my ears. Add in that missing verse and … I guess we would be back in the RCA years.
     
  6. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    They also performed 'Sleepwalker' on Saturday Night Live in Feb 1977. Unfortunately I can't find that online, but I did find the medley of hits they also did on that edition, see below. (You may need to have a Vimeo account to watch this).

    The first of 3 appearances they made on the famed comedy show, I would venture that since they never made a 'tentpole' Ed Sullivan or similar US TV appearance during the 60s, that this plum slot on one of the TV programmes of the 1977 pop culture moment represents their first really BIG MOMENT WATERCOOLER TALK US TV spot, and as such it was astute of them to perform a medley of 4 of their biggest US hits (YRGM/ADAAOTN.Well Respected and Lola) to bring the US audience up to speed before playing their latest hit. I would venture that this TV appearance was greatly responsible for their first US top 50 single in 6 years and their first top 25 original album there ever. That's some prime TV real estate! Steve Martin also guested on this edition, and the Coneheads featured: Dave Davies later claimed that The Kinks were originally meant to be involved in the Coneheads sketch on this show, but it never worked out.

     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2022
  7. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Location:
    Murrumbateman
    They look pretty happy in that clip but from what I've read Ray and Dave were at each others throats every night except when Dave and Mick were trying to kill each other.
     
  8. Endicott

    Endicott Forum Resident

    Sleepwalker

    Elvis Costello wrote in his Imperial Bedroom liner notes that he didn't like to have "title tracks" on his albums because that unfairly increased the expectations for that particular song. He didn't stick to that idea in the long run, but I can see what he meant. After one good song and one okay one, we arrive at Sleepwalker's title track figuring this is where the album will really pick up. And fortunately, "Sleepwalker" does live up to the implicit higher standards we mentally attach to the song that bears the album's name.

    The song opens a bit unsettlingly with Mick banging alone for a few seconds, then Dave comes in with a riff similar to Jefferson Airplane's "Volunteers" (another title track). Ray starts his vocal, higher than usual, sounding exuberant if a bit hysterical at first, before becoming as creepy as the song's subject matter (the line about coming in for a bite is his grossest since the motorway loos). Though this song is about nocturnal marauding, the whole band shines on brightly here -- especially Dave swarming all over the track, almost ska-ish at times, and Gosling briefly letting us catch our breath with a lovely if ominous piano break in the middle.

    I don't hear anything particularly deep in the lyrics -- it's just a cool radio song. And on that level, it delivers splendidly. It deserves its title-track standing.
     
  9. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Maybe, i don't see it that similarly.
     
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  10. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Location:
    Murrumbateman
    Sleepwalker
    I'm pretty happy with this song. As @Mark says it's a tongue-in-cheek look at insomnia. The lyrics won't get anyone reaching for the superlatives but I think that night stalker reference is likely to be the TV show which ran from 1974-75. I used to watch it in the late 70s and it was as terrifying as TV ever got for me.
     
  11. fspringer

    fspringer Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York City
    Believe it or not, I was thinking "Watcha Gonna Do" by Pablo Cruise! But I think if we put our minds to it, we could come up with quite a few 70s rock tracks that kick off in roughly the same fashion. Again, this underlines all the knowing touches that Ray added to his music to make it sound more radio friendly. This song, in particular, is brimming over with that vibe, particularly with the numerous guitar parts, which are fairly intricate if you listen hard. Still, I found myself coming around to the spirit of the track. I'm not really sure why this is all that different than other rollicking mid-70s pop hits, like "Undercover Angel" by Alan O'Day, save it's The Kinks, and the lead guitars push the song in a more rock direction. In my mind, I expected every Kinks track to knock me over with the lyrics, but I guess Ray was entitled to just put out a pure pop song on occasion, of which this was one. While I didn't recognize it at the time, it was a good harbinger of things to come with the band.
     
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  12. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Great performance especially Sleepwalker that from memory made the UK clip seem like they were sleepwalking!
     
  13. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Nothing about it says Clapton to me
     
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  14. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Fantastic clip. Thank you.
     
  15. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    No problem, it's good to get back on the TV appearance cataloging kick as The Kinks didn't make very many TV appearances during the theatrical years!
     
  16. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    :D You’re going to force me to listen to it again in the interest of science. Though I still lack the will.
     
  17. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Science beckoned and there’s just brief flashes of Layla-ish leads. 52 sec through 1:05, then a couple later on (3:30 etc). Funny thing is that I really didn’t like the song but after my scientific cut and paste, listen to a snippet here-jump back there, I find it ain’t bad! I might even listen to it all the way through, in order!
     
  18. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I reckon it's a great track.
    I was stunned that the general response seemed to fluctuate between ok and rubbish....

    Edit - I somewhat understand the leaning towards folks thinking the b-side may not be amazing, but side one is great, even though I straddle the fence on tomorrow's track
     
  19. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    I still think it’s very Un-Kinksian.
     
  20. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I understand that.

    To me it seems most folks have their own notion of what the band should sound like, regardless.

    From my perspective they have never had one sound, so I find the "it doesn't sound like the Kinks" thing a bit odd.
    I still hear the quirks of the band, personally.
    The sound and production are different, but it is 1977, so that would go without saying..... again from my perspective.

    Interestingly, I don't particularly hear the extremely commercial aspect that others do.
    So far we've had
    A song about bottoming out in the city street gutters
    A song slashing the skin off a two faced narcissist
    A song about insomnia with somewhat predatory undertones....

    I don't seem to be in sync with most on this album.... and with Misfits being pretty patchy to me, and others saying they prefer it to this album, I'm likely to be on the outer a bit longer lol
     
  21. ThereOnceWasANote

    ThereOnceWasANote Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cape May, NJ
    That's a lot of minors for a "big" rock song. Ray always finding a way to bring some melancholy. To me those are pretty interesting chord choices with the minors and flats in such a rockin' song. Those sure aren't your typical chord progressions found in "arena rock" filling the airwaves at the time.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2022
  22. markelis

    markelis Forum Resident

    Location:
    Miami Beach FL
    Nice reference to Volunteers! I didn’t hear it at first, but I do now. One of my absolute favorites by Jefferson Airplane (who might be an interesting choice for Mr. Wnstanley’s next album by album, sung by songs thread).
     
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  23. ThereOnceWasANote

    ThereOnceWasANote Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cape May, NJ
    I like this version better than the studio one. It doesn't seem as sped up and the sound is fuller.
     
  24. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    Location:
    France
    I was one of those who brought about the Layla comparison. What I meant is, the chords on the choruses are the same (which is true : Dm Bb C in both cases, I believe (I gave Em C D as an example, but it's the same), even if the recording speeds seem to differ a bit when I listen to the songs on youtube). But I agree that both songs don't really sound that similar !
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2022
  25. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    Location:
    France
    Sleepwalker

    I got used to that one, even if I much prefer Full Moon, which seems to be about the same topic, with somehow the same piano interlude. I really like the verse, but the chorus seems a bit trivial to me. The coda sounds a bit like something by Supertramp, I think, but I don't know if it's a sonic resemblance or if it's reminiscent of one of their songs.

    Edit : I see the rationale behing the Lola comparison, it could be a kind of reversed Lola, with chords descending instead of ascending. But to me Lola's musical specificity is that the key changes within the riff itself : it starts as if you were going to listen to a song in C, and - tada ! - it's in E. Then at the end of the verse/beginning of the chorus, you think you're going back to C, just to go back to E again. That's what makes this song so special. There is nothing of the kind with Sleepwalker. Though there are some twists in the structure, the chord progression in the chorus remains in solid D, despite a transitory C being included.

    Edit 2 : I love Supertramp, it's not a critical comment.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2022

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