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
    While I do think the Kinks influence on Aftermath/Between The Buttons era stuff is unmistakable, I also think it's worth mentioning that 'Play With Fire', recorded as early as January 1965, sports fairly complex London specific observational lyrics and a baroque arrangement, and as such is significantly ahead of what The Kinks (and let's face it, The Beatles) were doing at thazt time. And I say this as a much bigger fan of The Kinks and Beatles than The Stones, but credit where credits due. As a put down of a little rich girl, it even predates Dylan's 'Like A Rolling Stone'.
     
  2. Zack

    Zack Forum Resident

    Location:
    Easton, MD
    You missed the biggest one, Connection, which cops the melody from Party Line and even contains the word "connection."

    P.S. It's "arm sweat" not "own sweat" IMHO.
     
  3. FJFP

    FJFP Host for the 'Mixology' Mix Differences Podcast

    I'm terrible at posting properly in the weekend, as it's easiest to do this while I'm on the computer for work...

    A Well Respected Man entertained me greatly when I first heard it, probably in 2010/11. To me the musical side of the track fitted the narrative aspect of the lyrics, and the lyrics themselves were very impactful on my young (16y/o) impressionable brain. I hadn't actually picked up on the "restricted" young (conservative) man aspect, and more lent into the (again, conservative) grown man who thinks he is better than everyone, and just eyes up the girl next door almost in a predatorial way. The context picked up in this thread makes a whole lot more sense, and has given me a different level of enjoyment out of it. Either way, I can understand anyone that isn't such a huge fan of the track, but to me, it's a key reason I crack out the Kywet Kinks EP regularly.

    As for Don't You Fret, I've always felt fascinated by this track. I included it in my very first episode of Back to Mono, and to me it feels very unlike any other Kinks track - which isn't the first time I've said that about a track on this EP. The dynamic variance is incredibly impactful, and the three distinct sections are indeed incredibly distinct. A real keeper, and a solider closer to the set. Everyone mentioning Rock of Ages, I have no idea what's being referenced not being familiar with it! Should I be?

    Kywet Kinks gets a 7.5/10 from me overall, and is far preferable to Kinksize Session.
     
  4. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    It's an 18th Century Hymn. The verse melody similarity is unmistakable: (EDIT: Gad, that's the second time I've used 'unmistakable' inside two posts! Must try harder!)

     
  5. Vagabone

    Vagabone Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Thank you for more or less speaking my thoughts, but much more eloquently. It so happens "Tin Soldier Man" and "Plastic Man", two other songs you cite as thematically similar, are two other songs I don't care for from Ray's glory years. Randy Newman's "Mr. Sheep " is a parody of this genre of songs.

    Though my experience is different from yours in that "Well Respected Man" is still a deep cut to me. It wasnt on the hits collection I grew up with, not being a UK chart hit, and I only heard it much later (though as soon as I had heard it, it felt like I had always known it). I see from the radio data that it does get played on UK radio nowadays (I don't really listen to the radio these days), just like it does now feature on UK compilations. Compilations released in the late '60s up until the '80s had to cater to the domestic market because people well remembered these songs and expected to hear the songs they remembered. But more recent compilations are also bringing the band's hits to a brand new audience, so can afford to take a more global (or at least transatlantic) view of the band's hits.
     
  6. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Although 'Well Respected Man' wasn't a chart hit in it's own right in the UK, it's worth nothing that the Kwyet Kinks EP topped the UK EP charts for 7 weeks running in late 1965 (Kinksize Session had only managed to stay at No.1 for a week) so it sold fairly impressively really. For context, that's as many weeks as The Beatles Long Tall Sally EP managed -

    List of number-one EPs in the United Kingdom - Wikipedia

    ...so WRM would have still been fairly well known in the UK, if not quite as ubiquitous as in the US. It's also worth adding that 'Well Respected Man' was granted the accolade of being the quasi-title track of their first UK budget compilation album in 1966, which went top 5 chartwise. So while not a chart hit in it's own right it was still surely among their better known songs in the UK in the 60s, and probably their best known that wasn't an A-side.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2021
  7. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    ...and when PRT wanted a title for their catch-all (well, almost all) double album of non-album Pye tracks, this is what they chose:
    https://www.discogs.com/The-Kinks-The-Kinks-Are-Well-Respected-Men/release/1724532
     
  8. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I Go To Sleep

    mono mix, Ray Davies' publishing demo (1:54), recorded 24 May, 1965 at Regent Sound Studios, London

    I knew this song well before I knew it was a Kinks song. I heard the Pretenders version a long time before I knew this version, and I suppose that's how the band wanted it.
    The Pretenders version is perfect, the arrangement with the horns and such just sets this song off beautifully and Chrissie delivers the vocal perfectly also.....
    but I must say that when I heard this demo for the first time, it was stunning to me that it didn't at least make it onto an album or an EP....

    When I look up from my pillow I dream you are there with me.
    Though you are far away I know you'll always be near to me.
    I go to sleep, sleep, and imagine that you're there with me.
    I go to sleep, sleep, and imagine that you're there with me.

    I look around me and feel you are ever so close to me.
    Each tear that flows from my eyes brings back memories of you to me.
    I go to sleep, sleep, and imagine that you're there with me.
    I go to sleep, sleep, and imagine that you're there with me.

    I was wrong, I will cry, I will love you to the day I die.
    You alone, you alone and no one else, you were meant for me.

    When morning comes once more I have the loneliness you left me.
    Each day drags by until finally night time descends on me.
    I go to sleep, sleep, and imagine that you're there with me.
    I go to sleep, sleep, and imagine that you're there with me.

    Written by: Ray Davies
    Published by: ?

    This version, even in its sparse arrangement is quite stunning to me. This is so delicate, and beautiful, and it seems to me that it is yet another picture of how far Ray had come as a writer. It seems to me to be so different to anything else they had done.

    Lyrically we have someone missing the person they love due to some action that caused the break up. The regret is palpable. The melancholy is quite overwhelming. The delivery is excellent.
    I suppose that the song is fairly simple, but the chords and the little piano melodies that go with them are just perfect. I love the melodic structure and the way it modulates into the bridge and back out.
    Also Ray's delivery of the vocal is really good, almost like he is gently gasping for breath. There is a delicacy here that few Kinks songs previously had shown.

    I can only assume that they just weren't quite sure how to finish it off. I suppose in the era we are in, it may have been seen as too sparse to be released.... or perhaps it was seen as too mellow of soft for the bands image at the time.

    Whatever the reasons, when I first heard the Kinks version, I was surprised at how close to the Pretenders later version it was, and it seemed stunning to me that it had never been released.
    It is really hard to imagine any other band that didn't release a track this good.

     
    Last edited: May 10, 2021
  9. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    We also get a demo of When I See That Girl Of Mine, which appears on the next album. I won't post it now, and if I forget to post it when we get around to the next album, please stick it in there.

    mono mix, Ray Davies' publishing demo (2:03), recorded 24 May, 1965 at Regent Sound Studios, London

    Interestingly it was recorded on the same day as I Go To Sleep, and it appears May 24th was a very productive day in 1965 for the Kinks.
     
  10. Vagabone

    Vagabone Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    I agree, "I Go To Sleep" is a masterpiece. One of Ray's very greatest. Such a haunting song, and I really don't see how you could improve on the demo version which has everything the song needs.
     
  11. FJFP

    FJFP Host for the 'Mixology' Mix Differences Podcast

    I Go To Sleep is truly a masterwork of a demo. The scratchy acetate (including that weird whistle at the beginning) even sets the vibe perfectly, and Ray's mistakes, as well as "guide backing vocal", along with that perfect use of echo, is just delightful. The vibe makes this track even sadder than it truly is, as my wife was very familiar with this track as a funeral song of all things, mainly in this version by Sia from 2007:

     
  12. FJFP

    FJFP Host for the 'Mixology' Mix Differences Podcast

    As far as covers go, this is one of my favourite arrangements of the track:

     
  13. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scotland
    I Go To Sleep - it's brilliant! Seemingly so simple but so catchy. Does anyone know if this is Ray's most covered song?
     
  14. FJFP

    FJFP Host for the 'Mixology' Mix Differences Podcast

    Also, with this lovely set of Ray demos we get here, are the band The Kinks, or someone else?

    If I'm correct, we have the following:

    I Go To Sleep
    When I See That Girl Of Mine
    Tell Me Now so I'll Know (Ver. 1)
    A Little Bit of Sunlight
    There's A New World Just Opening For Me
    This I Know
    Tell Me Now so I'll Know (Ver. 2)

    Now that should be a RSD 10"!
     
  15. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    Thank God for demos. This is so beautiful to hear him musing that way… Interestingly, he never got around to doing a polished studio version for himself. He must’ve known this was the definitive one, in all its frail glory. You really feel like touching Ray’s genius, just a breath away, as he seems to be finding his way through the song and to a certain idea of beauty and grace. It’s all there. You get the performance, the brilliant phrasing, the emotion and this extraordinary little piano hook. In the 90’s, this would’ve been the record !
     
  16. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Tell Me So I'll Know

    I have never heard this before. I only have the single cd reissues, so I am guessing I will find a few tracks that I am unfamiliar with.

    mono mix, Ray Davies' publishing demo (1:59), recorded 24 May, 1965 at Regent Sound Studios, London

    This track from my perspective could well have been demo'd for Elvis Presley. It has a style and feel that is very in line with the kind of stuff the Elvis was doing in the early sixties.

    Tell me now so I'll know,
    There are so many things that I could do.
    If you tell me now that I'd know what to do,
    Tell me now so I'll know.

    Tell me now so I'll know,
    There are so many things for me to say.
    Without your love I just couldn't live each day,
    Tell me now so I'll know.

    People tell me that you'll just drift away,
    Oh believe me, I need you more each day.
    You are my hope, my everything,
    I live just for you.

    I love you deeply but I guess it doesn't show,
    I ache inside 'cause my lips can't let you know
    Oh darling, please tell me the truth,
    You know I live just for you.

    Tell me now so I'll know,
    There are so many things that I could do.
    If you tell me now that I'd know what to do,
    Tell me now so I'll know.

    Written by: Ray Davies
    Published by: ?

    Interestingly this track uses the Carlos Santana secret chord progression (as Zappa would later quip) We have a minor chord driven track that hits us with the 7th rather than the V in a minor or straight major chord.

    One would assume coming across a lot of these tracks that Ray had terrible love relationships at this time, because he really manages to convey the hurt by love feeling really very well.
    This song has a real late fifties early sixties vibe about it, and I personally think it works really well even in this raw state.
    I assume Dave is doing the little lead licks, and they come off well. The slow feel and the use of the piano again works really well.

    I suppose this isn't really what was expected from the Kinks at the time, and I am merely guessing that some of these were written for others, as Ray seemed to be in demand writing for others.

    I personally wouldn't have batted an eye at something like this being included on a Kinks album or EP.

    Personally I like it.

    This link seems to have some outtakes or something tagged on it ... perhaps someone can elaborate on that?




     
  17. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    I'm not sure about that, as surely 'You Really Got Me' at least must be the most widely disseminated. Most covered song that Ray wrote that the Kinks never recorded though? It has to be. It does have a tonne of versions listed on the absolutely titanic list of Kinks covers hosted on Dave Emlen's site:

    Kinks Kovers/Tribute Song/Kinks-Produced Song List
     
  18. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    that looks correct ... and yea, these tracks all recorded May 24th 1965, so far seem really good to me. I am not familiar with any of them though
     
  19. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    "I Go To Sleep"

    Never really heard this demo before - it's amazing! The song itself is phenomenal and lends itself easily to big productions and arrangements, but sounds even greater in this unadorned version. The piano backing is sparse and haunting, but contains all the elements that were used in later versions/arrangements.

    "Tell Me So I'll Know"

    Overshadowed by the previous track, but still a very good song, and another sparse arrangement that sounds so much bigger than it is!
     
  20. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    I’ve always adored Tell Me Now So I’ll Know, such a gorgeous melody. In two minutes, you get almost everything Stuart Murdoch (the Belle & Sebastian guy) ever tried to do – and I mean it as a compliment to both the song and Stuart Murdoch! It does also have a 50’s sound, maybe with a vague Caribbean touch. Holly Golightly made a cool version some fifteen or twenty years ago that was featured in Jim Jarmusch’s Broken Flower, a blatant Wes Anderson rip off/pastiche. Maybe Jarmusch figured it'd be more subtle than if he used a Kinks' track like Anderson often does ? Anyway, Holly’s take is particularly faithful to the demo, which was the right call, as the demo is nothing short of brilliant.
     
  21. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Did anyone actually record 'Tell Me Now So I'll Know' at the time? Holly Golightly's is the only cover I can think of. I can't think of any contemporary covers, which is odd cos it's a pretty strong song imo, stronger that some Ray giveaways that did get recorded at the time.
     
  22. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Chrissie Hynde reprising 'I Go To Sleep' in 1995 with Kinks acolyte Damon Albarn on piano:

     
  23. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Posting this more for the hi contrast pop art visuals that the audio (which is good btw, but not that special among the sea of cover versions of this song)

    German singer Marion performing 'I Go To Sleep' on Beat Club in 1967, a record produced by ex Kinks manager Larry Page:

     
  24. Zack

    Zack Forum Resident

    Location:
    Easton, MD
    So are we aware why the Kinks never worked up a proper version of this song if it was obviously so good that many other artists wanted it? (P.S. I really like the Cher version :D )
     
  25. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    I'm not sure I've ever heard any of the other band members even comment on it! My suspicion is that Ray didn't even present it to them at the time as he feel it was too precious/personal/he was too self conscious about such an intimate sounding track.
     

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