The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. zipp

    zipp Forum Resident

    You've just summoned up disturbing images of Frenchmen beating each other with their private parts ...

    Incidentally, the French expression doesn't mean to give the birch rod away but to provide the birch to the person who is then going to use it to punish you.

    Apparently it originates from a story written by an English author called John Frederick Smith who was popular in the 19th century but who is pretty unknown today.

    Here's the explanation in French:

    « DONNER DES VERGES POUR SE FAIRE BATTRE » | Centre de Recherche sur la Canne et le Bâton

    ***

    Today's song is great fun. I'm really enjoying these bonus tracks.
     
  2. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scotland
    Well, this is different - good spotting @Fortuleo with the Walk This Way riff! I quite like Elevator Man, certainly moreso than yesterday's track. Is this on the Picture Book box?
     
  3. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    "Elevator Man"

    First time hearing this - it certainly is a bit of a departure! I think the "everybody goes up, everybody goes down" repetition is becoming a bit wearing by the end, but otherwise it's a good example of Ray Davies observational songwriting. It looks like there may well be an entirely different Sleepwalker album that could be more interesting than the one we actually got.

    Although there's not really any kind of resemblance, the lyrics to this one are bringing to mind a combination of two tracks from the Phobia album - the title track and "Only A Dream".
     
  4. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow

    Only ever on the Waterloo Sunset ‘94 EP. A real obscurity!

    The Kinks - Waterloo Sunset '94 EP
     
  5. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
  6. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Elevator Man

    Yes @Fortuleo was right as part of Aerosmith's Walk This Way is present though not resolved though I wouldn't bet on love in this elevator as it's not the Kinky type!

    Something about the guitar and it's tone is slightly reminiscent of some lines on Led Zep's 1975 Physical Graffiti.

    Listening to this track I found myself torn between busting out some vintage dance moves or period excersizes.

    Would love to have heard Ray's brief to the band prior to attaching the pulley and levitation which may have floored Mr Davis!
     
  7. the real pope ondine

    the real pope ondine Forum Resident

    Location:
    usa
    Elevator Man..... i wish Ray's voice was a bit more upfront. this reminds me of Don Henley's Dirty Laundry in the 'Everybody goes up..." to "Kick them when they're up". I love the lyrical ideas here, Dave has a little moment to shine/ all the musical genres Ray explored we really didn't get too much funky, i can see why this didn't make the cut, altho it's not bad
     
  8. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Elevator Man: I was going to say that this came out of nowhere but that wouldn’t be correct as it fits right into its time slot. I take it as an interesting curiosity. The one irritating part is the repetitive bass line, especially the ending. Drives me nuts.
     
  9. markelis

    markelis Forum Resident

    Location:
    Miami Beach FL
    Elevator Man:

    I wouldn’t replace anything on Sleepwalker with this, but I like it and it will make the playlist for me. I guess I just like their sound during the Arista era. Dave sounds inspired. Personally, I was hearing a precursor to Superman more with this, what with the Disco beat.

    Next up: for fans of rap, The Kinks (w/ special guest LL Cool Jay) play their unreleased Sleepwalker outtake, The Washroom Attendant. :hide:
     
  10. Martyj

    Martyj Who dares to wake me from my slumber? -- Mr. Flash

    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    If not an outright disco song, it verges on it close enough to join “Superman” and “Moving Pictures” as one of three 70’s Kinks tracks that credibly could have been played at Studio 54.

    I applaud Ray stretching his legs, exploring diverse genres even if I’m not particularly enamored with the results here. I find the chorus among the most trite things Ray ever came up with. It sounds like something Will Smith would do: a formulaic, overly-calculated call to lead people who can’t dance to the dance floor. (Beginning Dance Class Instructor: “Now lets follow the record: when Ray sings ‘up,’ we all raise our hands to the ceiling, and when he sings ‘down,’…etc")

    I'm not versed enough in club dance music to say if this is good or bad. But I know what I like, so if I were tasked to fill a 12 track LP called The Worst of the Kinks I have no trouble putting this in one of the slots. After all, there have to be 11 other songs to keep “Nobody Gives” company.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2022
  11. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow

    Interesting that you mention Will Smith, who was in his pop music pomp in the late 90s, as the chorus of this one for me distressingly though inescapably brings to mind the boyband 5ive's 1998 smasheroo 'Everybody Get Up' :eek: (certainly not consciously based on the chorus of this obscure Kinks song, however definitely based around the riff from The Arrows via Joan Jett's 'I Love Rock 'N'Roll')

     
  12. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    :D Similar to ‘The Worst of the Jefferson Airplane,’ then if ‘Nobody Gives’ gets a slot.
     
  13. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    Location:
    France
    Ah ah, you're right Avid @zipp ! I overly simplified the similarity between both phrases. It seems to me that the article you link doesn't strictly says that the French one originates in the said English story, but seems to be quoting it as an illustration. I'm enormously happy to learn that our glorious country can boast of a "Research Center on Canes and Sticks" (or rods ?), even if it seems to be a private online initiative. You'll note the main contributor's name is Laurent Bastard. I'm sure Avid @All Down The Line will make something of it that will highly benefit the community.
     
  14. markelis

    markelis Forum Resident

    Location:
    Miami Beach FL
    We should save this list for the end. Nobody Gives was a polarizing song no doubt. I am with you on it only in that it didn’t make my playlist, I don’t outright despise it as you seem to. Oddly for me, my first entry would be Australia (the song, not the country). As much of a “Dave guitar solo” fan as I am, that long jam just goes right over the bridge from Alaska to Russia for me. Compare it with the Stones’ Cant You Hear Me Knockin’) for the correct way to do a long ending jam.
     
  15. Jasper Dailey

    Jasper Dailey Forum Resident

    Location:
    Southeast US
    Oh, now that's a fun game. How many covers did they do on the first album again? That's got to take up a bunch of slots...

    Anyway, I don't have much to say about Elevator Man, but I like it. The chorus is definitely trite, but that's not really surprising given the genre (plus, I think it was @The late man who pointed out that Ray has a bit of a bad habit of phoned-in choruses from ~this point of his career onward). That said, I don't mind it really, and yes, this is a surprisingly convincing funk song. I'll also say that I like the swoopy bloopy bass effect; a whole album of that would get old fast, but it's fine here on this one song in isolation. Thanks to the thread for introducing me to this one!
     
  16. stewedandkeefed

    stewedandkeefed Came Ashore In The Dead Of The Night

    My initial fears upon listening to this song were that it belonged alongside "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?" and "I Was Made For Loving You" as examples of terrible disco beat songs made by aging rockers trying to fit into the shifting marketplace but I found some things to like about this song. Firstly, I found the lyrics to be quite clever - "People with dandruff, spots and pimples / People with warts and scars and dimples" is cheeky word play as is "I hear rumours, conversations, little facts and revelations". Ray's character here turns out to be the man who operates the elevator (presumably in some posh hotel) and his everyman point of view articulates the metaphor of life present in his work - the people go up and the people go down (or as Bob Dylan said "You know what they say about bein' nice to the right people on the way up / Sooner or later you gonna meet them comin' down") . As an outtake, I see why it was left on the cutting room floor so to speak but I did find some amusement in it.
     
  17. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Nice description. That final exclamatory bass note sounds like a spring door stop. I just watched a cat video where the feline reached under the door and flipped the stop, “sproinggggg,” waking up the humans. The first couple of times it was okay but (and I can’t remember who our current bassist is: Andy Pyle?) I think he should’ve shaken things up a bit.
     
  18. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    I had to go to YouTube to listen to "Elevator Operator" because even though I actually owned a copy of that Waterloo Sunset '94 EP, but I traded it away to finance a box set purchase. Listening to it now, it's an OK song w/some nice lyrics, but if I want to listen to a Kinks song involving elevators, I would rather listen to "Only A Dream" from Phobia.
     
  19. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    If it was recorded mid 1976 as it seems to have been according to the deets Mark posted, it's still Dalton on bass for this track. Can you believe this was recorded by the same core band personnel that made Arthur?
     
  20. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    No. So I can’t even point the finger at Clive Davis and Arista? :D

    side note: it just occurred to me that RCA was faceless; no human name that we attached to it during our 300 pages of discussion.
     
  21. donstemple

    donstemple Member of the Club

    Location:
    Maplewood, NJ
    RCA had a face, but correct not a human name. Nipper. He was cute. Perhaps listening to End of the Season or Just Friends for old times sake.

    [​IMG]
     
  22. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Which essentially goes further to prove that Clive Davis had very minimal impact on the direction of the Kinks
     
  23. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    :D I’m still reserving judgment. From what I see he had a huge (commercial becomes the accessible compromise) impact. But…as to today’s song…point taken.
     
  24. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    I did mention very early on about the appointment of one Ken Glancy as head of RCA & his efforts in signing the Kinks, Bowie & Lou Reed in the early 70s, but otherwise it was always "the suits at RCA", like it will be "the suits at MCA/Columbia" later on this thread. Like him or not, Clive Davis is probably the last of the old style music industry moguls.
     
  25. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Yes re: Glancy. I just searched the thread and your one (now two) reference(s) is it. And now I’ve mentioned him so that’s three times the chap has been identified. No reference in one of the many Ray or Dave interviews, or from a book excerpt.

    To me that indicates that RCA gave Ray a free hand. (And my broken record comment: didn’t offer much in the way of marketing).
     

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