Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by mark winstanley, Apr 4, 2021.
THAT'S where I'd heard that riff before! It was driving me nuts!
Ack, falling behind again. That's okay! With both "Prince of the Punks" and "The Poseur", I think we get my two favorite tracks on the (extended) album. Both excellent pastiches that are a little deeper than they appear at the surface. As many have alluded to, PotP definitely uses Tom Robinson as the jumping off point but I think it goes beyond that; I don't think it's a "this is actually about me" a la John Lennon How Do You Sleep, but I don't take it as a straight-up character assassination of a singular guy. Anyway, enough about that -- the tune is top notch (Mike Love parodies always work for me; it's a Love thing), and I may be one of the few to prefer the studio version to the live one (that one cooks, don't get me wrong, but the synths just get a little too intrusive.)
Now onto the Poseur: I'm so happy to have a couple (a few?) resident Francophones who not only give us superb takes on the songs we all love, but also give us linguistics lessons as well! Very interesting points about the poseur; I think that even in English parlance, Ray's poseur description isn't quite a match, but I dunno, maybe that's sort of a meta-point? This character that Ray is describing seems the sort to throw French words into his lexicon without exactly knowing what they mean to sound sexy, so I will say it works for me (he's posing as a poseur, if you will!) Even if I couldn't handwave away the lyrics like I just did, I would still be enchanted (more French!) by this song. What else sounds like this song?? Yeah it's a pastiche, but who else did disco/dance in such a sultry and mysterious way? I'd love to know so I can listen to more of it. Ray's vocals here also deserve a spotlight; from the spooky "the poseur's in town", to that wacky bridge, to the "look at him bossa nova" line which is delivered first in the general style of the song, but then comes back again with that patented Ray growl... this one is just a pleasure to listen to.
LOL it does indeed sound like that but I'm sure there's some other tune which has more or less the same chord changes - possibly a TV or movie theme?
The Poseur: hmm, it sounds to me like the opening music in a movie, perhaps a detective or cop film. The suave oh-so-cool character (of interest) is shown in a nightclub or bar scene, preening. Then the music fades out as Magnum enters and surveys the room, spotting The Poseur.
Was typing the same idea as you posted.
Prince of the Punks.... i think Ray got a little muddled here. as a personal vendetta song he comes off a bit petty.... i think if it sounded full on punk it might've worked , ditch those horns, i do love the vocals and the beginning guitar was the right idea but alas it doesn't come together
Poseur.... i love that riff, i like this, the chorus (?) gets a bit clunky, maybe a little too laid back. but very memorable.
Ray's put-down is sublime.
This poseur has to practise in front of a mirror so he's not a real, natural poser at all.
He's also posing for no gain whatsoever since there's no follow-through.
And in fact he already knows that outward appearance is of no consequence since he spends his time undressing (with his mind's eye) all the girls he sees.
Poseur: Some of you guys already hit on this, but my first thought was Love Is the Drug by Roxy Music (another song I knew and loved from my granny). Kind of a rock/reggae/disco hybrid that really has a sleek and modern (for the times) sound. This song coulda/shoulda been on the album but I can see why, if Ray was subtlety creating a theme (behind Clive Davis’ back), it didn’t make the album. I love the whole band’s work here from the musical perspective, Ray sounds great. …and interestingly, the cover art feels like it would have worked equally well (or even better arguably) if the album had been been called Poseur.
I, too, have often tried to decipher the intent of a larger concept that was nixed by Clive Davis for the band’s first Arista release. It is possible that prior to signing with the label Ray was already sketching out some kind of concept (and maybe later fleshed out storyline) around—as you’ve pinpointed—urban nightlife for the next album. When it was decided to not go that direction he still had about an albums worth of songs in development.
Sleepwalker, as released, would have been a concept album merely if Kinks/Arista said so. It would have been received as such, a collection of songs around the theme of “things that go on after sunset” or something similar. 40 years later we would be debating how some songs don’t fit the concept and other do, just like our discussions around Village Green Preservation and Lola V. Powerman. Of course, Clive Davis had correctly identified the the words “Kinks” and “Concept” had become chart poison . Hence, Sleepwalker’s marketing as a return to a straight-ahead song collection and—voila!—the band’s highest US chart topper LP in a decade. (voila...isn't that another one of your French words?)
If not better, then different.
All three bonus tracks so far seem a bit un-Arista like to me. More like something before. "Adventurous and spirited" is right. Their relegation to b-sides or non-release may be as simple as Clive Davis saying to Ray “these are too much like what you’ve been doing that wasn’t selling. They don’t quite fit the radio hit formula we are looking for…”
It’s possible it indeed is unfinished, hence its non-appearance on the LP and later day release as a bonus track.
Not a lot to say about this one. I like the "ominous" voice at the beginning and wish RD had stuck with it. But then the sense of danger dissipates in the lyric anyway. Instead of being "just" a poseur, I expect/want the title character to pull a knife or expose his fangs and take a bite.
I have never listened much to this song. The lead guitar that comes in at 0:16 is an immediate turn off for me. It's totally not necessary. There is enough of a groove going on without it. However, that guitar part is more subdued on the rest of the track, and I have come to really like this tune. We are coming to the end of Ray delivering vocals like this and that makes me sad. This sounds more in line with the eclectic and weird world of Preservation Act 2 and gets us back into Roxy Music territory. It could have also worked on Sleepwalker. I like all three of these bonus tunes much more than half of what made the album. I would replace "Mr. Big Man", "Brother", and "Sleepless Night" and suddenly I am looking at a much better Kinks album. I'm now thinking I overlooked this song and it should make my playlist.
I have also been listening to the last 6 Kinks albums over the last week to get a refresher course, and now this sounds like a breath of fresh air.
For the record, and completely off topic.
Unless you just dislike Nick Cave, if one of these shows is coming near you... GO!
A rare occasion where high expectations/anticipation were not just met, but greatly exceeded.
Yet another example of a style that I don't generally take to.... but I do when the Kinks do it!
This is a great example of the joy of picking up previously unreleased bonus tracks. The album was fine as it is, but this shouldn't go undiscovered forever. This is very good use of that extra time afforded by the CD format over LPs.
"The Poseur", purportedly the title track of what was to become Sleepwalker, it has Ray do several voices. It does have a groove. What it lacks is significant hooks, which probably led Ray to write "Sleepwalker", which was more hook friendly to get that all important air play.
I've been following the thread but haven't posted due to back problems keeping me from my computer keyboard (I turned 65 this week and I really ought to know better than to bend over at this advanced age), and because I have nothing much to add about the week's songs. For 45 years now, Sleepwalker is an album I've wanted to like more than I do. I liked three songs coming into this discussion and I like three others more now, but I'm not sure more than 3 would make a favorites playlist (though they might still continue to grow on me). As best I can tell, my enthusiasm shortage isn't because the production turns me off, but more because the melodies don't turn me on. Four of the nine songs break the 5 minute mark, and I think all of those songs could've been improved by shortening. Who knows, maybe Ray came to the same c0nclusion; only one song in the rest of the Arista studio albums breaks 5 minutes.
Likewise, I wish I could be more knocked out by the bonus tracks. "Prince of the Punks" and Monday's song are the best of the bunch for me. "Prince" is enjoyably cheeky. I've listened to "Artificial Light" several times but cannot conjure it up in my mind (more often than not "Underneath the Neon Light" is what shows up). "The Poseur" starts off promisingly with its mysterious spy theme, but the rest of the song doesn't live up to it IMO. Or maybe I'm just cranky. Now, back to being horizontal with an ice pack...
Feel better mate. I understand completely.... oh for my younger body, that wasn't broken so badly
Saw him twice with the Bad Seeds in the 90’s in NYC at the Beacon Theater (site of many Kinks shows) with my then girlfriend. Both shows were wonderful and intense. Wondering if you would recommend the One More Time with Feeling documentary, I’ve heard good things about it.
I like it a lot
Live on Saturdays: Video Reviews and Summaries
That link will take you to more in depth thoughts.
After the intro licks i think we are (albeit more speedily) off to the swimming pool with 10cc however enjoying blues guitar licks instead of a pina colada.
A willfully contemporary sounding track with good production though the lyric does not keep my attention.
N.b. A slight reminiscent feel between Ray's vocal/guitar + melody/lick and part of the riff from Jack Bruce's 1989 track "My Obsession."
That title alongside the cover art on a new Kinks LP in 1977 spells concept (and character?) and i can imagine Clive having a little chat with Ray at the very least.
You take Life Goes On out and put On The Outside instead and you get my Sleepwalker (or The Poser) idéal album. I listened to it on the road today, it worked great. Well not quite, because I mistakenly left Mr Big Man in and took out Jukebox Music. If I revert this, I get a very consistent album, but more on it on Monday.
Just had a great Misfits listening experience on a long walk. Now I am listening to my Sleepwalking Misfit playlist and I think it's excellent. I made a single version and a double version. So far, I'm just listening to the single and it would stack up well against the previous few albums.
Does the Misfits discussion start on Monday? I think listening to all the later albums are shedding more light upon these records. If you didn't think they become a different sounding band on these two albums, the change is more drastic starting with Low Budget and even more so on Give The People What They Want. Think of Sleepwalker/Misfits as a sort of bridge to the other side. I'm not sure I am looking forward to crossing it.
There’s still a couple more outtakes to go before Misfits, “On The Outside”and “Elevator Man”.
So have we reached your No Budge Bit?
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