The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    agreed. Worry not, @mark winstanley! Have yourself a good time and when you can get to it, it's all good.
  2. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I hear that. As soon as I read it the songs snapped together in my head
  3. ThereOnceWasANote

    ThereOnceWasANote Forum Resident

    Cape May, NJ
    Oh, I know you know that he was too. I was writing so much more than as a compliment to what you wrote than as opposed to thinking you weren't praising him enough. Sorry for the confusion.
    mark winstanley and DISKOJOE like this.
  4. markelis

    markelis Forum Resident

    Miami Beach FL
    Concur! …with the first two, Full Moon Fever and Widflowers not more then a decimal point or two behind the two you mentioned.

    …but wait, I am again off topic, this is not a Tom Petty thread!
    mark winstanley likes this.
  5. ThereOnceWasANote

    ThereOnceWasANote Forum Resident

    Cape May, NJ
    Life Goes On (OGWT)

    Much better. This version with that dirty Dave riff not buried behind the electric piano from the studio version mix + the female backing vox + the looser feel really brings the song to life. Less faceless LA sound. A decent album song/closer transformed into an album highlight if recorded with this arrangement. I also hear very little Moving Pictures in this version.

    Back to the studio version for a minute...I like when he sings like Dylan around the 2 min mark and then Dave comes in on high harmony vox.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2022
  6. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    This might not end up being satisfying, but it's the best I can do without listening to all 1977's albums....

    Foreigner's debut album.
    It's ok, I really do like a few songs, but I have never understood why so many people love it. It was in several of those greatest albums of all time lists back in the day... and it didn't knock my sox off, ya know?

    ELO - Out Of The Blue
    I do like it, but contrary to popular opinion, I much prefer A New World Record and yes, horror of all horrors Discovery.... in fact that's probably my favourite ELO album lol

    Never Mind The Bollocks
    I like it well enough, but it is always touted as THE punk album.... it has some good songs, a couple of great songs, but there are many other punk bands and albums I prefer.

    A lot of others that I have listened to, I'm not willing to say I don't like them straight up, because for me, it seems more like I haven't given them a fair listening.
    For example Television Marquee Moon, I have heard it, and at the time it just didn't grab me, or make me feel it was something I needed to look at too much more. I know that in music circles it is seen as some kind of revelatory album.... and there's every chance that the hype I heard prior to listening to it was part of the problem.

    To tie this into the Kinks.
    I think Village Green is disliked by many, because we hype it as this amazing album, but when someone unfamiliar steps to it, it's rare the initial listen can live up to the hype (for want of a better word)
    If I had never heard the Kinks before, and it was my intro to the band, I may not have moved forward with them.
    As I think I said when we looked at it. I came to it with the word on the street saying it was amazing... and initially I was a bit underwhelmed, but a couple of songs snagged me, and I grew to love it all.... but I was familiar with quite a bit of the bands material via a few albums, and songs on the radio and the like....

    I don't know if that's any use in the context of your question lol
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2022
  7. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Petty sidebar: I saw Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers when they were backing Dylan, at the Budokan. At around the mid-point they did their own 4-song mini-set (promoting Southern Accents), playing Rebels, Southern Accents, Refugee and one more.

    Later, I watched just Petty and the Heartbreakers perform on a television show. They played ‘Rebels,’ I think, and then Petty was interviewed. I still recall myself exploding in anger at the TV set when the question posed to Petty was about Bob Dylan.

    “Can you tell us anything about Bob?”

    Petty: “He has big feet.”

    :D I’ll never forget. The Heartbreakers are trying to promote an album and get asked about Dylan.
  8. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    It's cool mate... I wasn't being defensive or anything...
    I need to listen to something else this weekend ;)
    DISKOJOE and ThereOnceWasANote like this.
  9. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I saw that same tour in Perth, I loved it.
    All Down The Line, DISKOJOE and Zeki like this.
  10. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    When I do my rambling posts, just ignore it, or think of it as conversational....
    I'm just thinking as I type, and things come to me lol :)
  11. ThereOnceWasANote

    ThereOnceWasANote Forum Resident

    Cape May, NJ
    I didn't think you were being defensive at all but I didn't want to come across as outraged and my wording without context could be construed as such. So I wanted to clarify.
  12. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    No worries.
    Text is such a dodgy way to communicate.
    I've said for years most text related arguments are due to the lack of inflection.... so I try to read everything flat... it's easy to fail on that sometimes though lol
  13. pyrrhicvictory

    pyrrhicvictory Forum Resident


    ‘My bank went broke and my well ran dry.
    It was almost enough to contemplate suicide.
    I turned on the gas, but I soon realized
    I hadn't settled my bill so they cut off my supply.’
    In short supply on this album, witty prose such as this sound like something Ray could’ve cooked up in the late sixties. This song, Life on the Road, Sleepwalker, and Jukebox Music are easily my favorites here. And just to throw in my two nickels regarding Mr Big Man, I rate it a 9...out of 100. Is our headmaster passing this failing student a commentary on our lax modern Education?
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2022
  14. ThereOnceWasANote

    ThereOnceWasANote Forum Resident

    Cape May, NJ
    Moving Pictures is such a great song.
  15. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    No, I like the song, I like the album.
    pyrrhicvictory likes this.
  16. pablo fanques

    pablo fanques Somebody's Bad Handwroter In Memoriam

    Poughkeepsie, NY
    Freddie Prinze, Richard Jeni and Robin Williams to just name three
  17. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Tony Hancock another.
  18. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    It is interesting knowing a bit of background on musical tastes and how and when someone got into a band or a type of music. Village Green and many other 60s albums were my obsession in my late teens. I love this period of music. With most 60s artists, by the end of the 70s, or early 80s, I feel most them lost their way. That's where punk and post punk come into play. The Ramones have been my favorite band since I was 14. They impress me just as much all these years later. Like many of us here, I am music obsessive and I try to give everything a chance. I'll listen to anything, but there is so much undiscovered great music. I don't have much time for something I already know I don't care for. An album by Foreigner isn't even fully off the table.

    Edit: I just gave the Foreigner debut a listen and now it is permanently off the table. :)

    I love Never Mind The Bollocks. Television may not be a band I ever fully embraced, but there is no denying they had a great sound. I know you are a Church fan, so you should check out their version of "Friction" on the covers album Box Of Birds. It's fantastic and so is their version of "Horoshima Mon Amour", which was a song by Ultravox. It's a fun covers album where they also take on The Beatles, Neil Young, and The Monkees.

    1977 is the first year that The Kinks would not be considered for my ten favorite albums of the year. Many past years they would be at the top. They still have some life in them. I'm not totally checked out yet! There are still flashes of brilliance even it's underneath "Artificial Light".

    To be continued...
  19. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Great post @Fortuleo. I’m bookmarking it.
  20. TeddyB

    TeddyB Senior Member

    1977 was the start of an upswing in visibility for the Kinks in the States. Their tours started drawing more, Sleepwalker was on the radio, as well as to a lesser degree, Juke Box Music. This would continue through the next year with Misfits, which had a couple of pretty big FM radio cuts. They had one U.S. tour in this era opened by Ian Dury and the Blockheads, and another by Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson. All this work to set up the commercial breakthrough of Low Budget. As a longtime fan, for me this was just a matter of them taking their deserved place in the pantheon. I was pleased to see them appreciated, and Ray and Dave continued to put on an excellent live show, Ray showing what a star he actually is.

    As for Sleepwalker itself, I’m with several of you assessing about half the songs to be up to snuff, and also agree there are no real classics. Does that matter? They added some good things to their song catalogue. I always found the opening and closing songs to the most memorable, the ones that would pop into my head, though Sleepwalker itself worked pretty well live. My long standing opinion has been that there are higher highs on Misfits, but as @mark winstanley set forth, we’ll see if that holds when we go through it.

    I never thought about comparing the Kinks to other bands of the era. They were always the Kinks to me, even when chasing currently commercial genres. Some of those efforts I liked, others I didn’t. But they were always the Kinks. Even when Ray was apparently letting Andy Pyle play only two root notes at a time while recording bass at Konk. I think this sort of perfectionism or control mania didn’t help the recordings. It’s what made them seem generic. The Kinks would be loveably sloppy no more.
  21. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    In light of me apparently being a complete ignoramus for liking Mr Big Man, and the Sleepwalker album, here is another pointless intro I suppose.....

    Artificial Light.

    stereo mix, recorded 9 Jul, 1976 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London

    Slow dancing in a disco,
    Standing underneath the light show,
    Illuminated by the artificial light.

    I disbelieved it at first sight,
    I couldn't tell if she was black or white,
    It didn't matter in the artificial light,
    Artificial light.
    Artificial light.
    Artificial light.
    Artificial light.

    First time I saw her she was easy to know,
    She had nothing to hide, she put it all out to show.
    She didn't cover up or try to conceal,
    I knew the way that she felt 'cause her expression was real.
    She didn't cover up the inside,
    She showed it all on the outside,
    Stark naked in the artificial light.

    Everybody gotta learn to relax,
    To be yourself you have to put on an act.
    Get together in the artificial light.

    And if I saw her in the light of day,
    I wouldn't know what to say, I wouldn't know what had happened.
    I only wanna know a world below,
    Where we can be ourselves beneath an artificial glow.

    And if you're scared what your friend'll say,
    And you're embarrassed by the light of day,
    Get together in the artificial light.

    Everybody let yourself go,
    Everybody to a floor show,
    Get together in the artificial light.
    Artificial light,
    Artificial light,
    Artificial light,
    Artificial light.

    Written by: Ray Davies
    Published by: Davray Music Ltd.

    Here we somewhat revisit the theme of Underneath The Neon Sign, in a way.... but here we have the idea of meeting a girl underneath the disco lights, rather than the drunken wandering under neon signs, feeling like we have created a completely artificial world to hide the real one.

    This track is our first cast off from this album, and it sort of has a feel of Memphis Tennessee, but it has more going on than just that.

    We open up with the introduction of dancing at the disco, and the fact that dancing under those artificial lights creates an unreal reality that makes it difficult to tell who's who and what's what. I remember those days and I remember lots of folks talking about being stunned by who they woke up with .... guys and girls .. like the lights and alcohol had tricked them or something lol

    We move into the idea that hidden underneath those artificial lights some people act more naturally, because they feel shielded by the semi-darkness and the multi-coloured artificial lights, and it is almost as if that shielding allows them to let it all hang out, so to speak.
    I think this section of the lyrics kind of sums it up best
    She didn't cover up or try to conceal,
    I knew the way that she felt 'cause her expression was real.
    She didn't cover up the inside,
    She showed it all on the outside,
    Stark naked in the artificial light.

    Ray is looking at the fact that she was emotionally naked. The cover of the lighting and the feel of the music gave her a cover or an excuse to just be herself....
    He goes on to say that in the cold light of day she seems like a different person, and perhaps if she is embarrassed of what her friends think, maybe they should go back to the artificial light where she can be herself unfettered and free.

    Interestingly it always felt the opposite to me. I didn't really spend much time in discos, but the girls in the bank took me to a couple of nightclub/disco type places, and from my perspective as a 15/16 year old, it always seemed like everyone was putting on an act under the artificial light, and it seemed like some kind of bizarre mating ritual, where peacocks unfurled their feathers to see if they could find a mate .... for the night at least ... so I tended not to go to those places by the time I was legal lol

    This is a fun little song about meeting a girl in a disco, and feeling like she was more naturally herself hidden in that nighttime world.

    As I say, part of the music here draws on the legacy of Memphis Tennessee, the song, to some degree, but it certainly visits more musical locations than that.

    We open with the guitar boogie of Memphis, that is accented by the harmonica at the end of each line. The band are all rocking a nice groove that manages to be tight and loose at the same time.
    This is another track that has Dave and Ray singing together, and it is more obvious in certain spots, but I think there are two vocals most of the way through.

    After the first section we have a change up, and we enter this rolling section that makes me think of State Of Confusion era Kinks, but that may be an illusion, as I haven't had a chance to revisit that album yet.
    I like the melodic construction and the musical change works well, and slides back into the original style very smoothly.

    We get an instrumental break, and it is just a nicely placed chordal break. Instead of lead guitar we get a clean chorused guitar playing a sort of counterpoint rhythm, and it is a nice change up.

    This takes us back to that change up section.... this is another Ray song where I find it difficult to name the sections ...
    We then strip back to minimal instrumentation for a return to what I assume is the verse.

    We move out on the groove with some nice little country style licks and a pretty straight forward song comes to an end with a fade.

    This is a fun little song that doesn't try to be anything more than a fun little song. It could fit on just about any of the Kinks albums either side of Something Else and Arthur.
    It isn't stunning or amazing, but it is a neat little track, and a nice bonus to add to the Sleepwalker cd.

  22. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    You’re in a disco, nothing is genuine, everything’s fake. But maybe you can lose yourself in a trance-like state, thus find your true self ? Or maybe you’ll get a chance to see the glowing dancing person in front of you for what they truly are – or what they wish to be. I'm like you, @Mark, it's not my experience of discos either, but a song on this subject's better not be about me… This sounds like a new-wavish blues pop number. The harmonica (back from oblivion!) combines with the keyboards to create a mix of organic and synth sounds for the main riff. So yeah, as noted by @palisantrancho, it’s quite close to the sound Jimmy Iovine would soon curate for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. But it also brings to mind early Blondie, for instance, or future hard rockin’ country-ish artists like Rodney Crowell (big fan of Rodney here). The lyrics make a lot of sense in that context, or maybe it’s the music that makes a lot of sense in conveying the lyrics’ message. Well-matched lyrics and music are often the sign of good songs. I expect a few of you will be quick to provide atrocious examples of perfectly matched bad lyrics and bad music to prove me wrong! Ah ah, cant’ wait! :p
    The music has a nice groove to it, powerful and understated at the same time, with an excellent bridge, a bridge so good Ray uses it as if it was a chorus, twice with lyrics and once as an instrumental break. The only fault I see in this cool outtake/B-side is that as a bonus track, it unbalanced the Sleepwalker CD, all but ruining Life Goes On’s impact and purpose as a closer. At some points, I can’t help but wanting to hear “artificial / artificial li-ight” sung by the Artificial Man doo-wop girls, though. Maybe I'm starting to lose my grip on a un-Kinks reality. That's what eleven months on this thread will do to you…
  23. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    "Artificial Light"

    This one isn't on my Sleepwalker CD, so it's one I haven't heard before as far as I know. It's an OK song - more upbeat than anything on the album. The plaintive melody of the bridge section becomes quite infectious. I think some of the synth sounds veer towards the cheesy, but it appears to be easily likable. I don't think it would have particularly fitted on, or enhanced the album, but it's the kind of thing you love to find on a b-side.
  24. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Ray Davies in a disco? Nah, can't see it. This song is pretty catchy but reminds me of a lot of the songs on "Misfits" in being a bit lightweight and superficial. Also too derivative of Chuck Berry.
  25. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Nice lyrics again from Ray, and this feels very much like a Sleepwalker track, as it again happens at night time. The 'artificial light' is repeated too often in the chorus, but I still think this would have been a good addition to the album.

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