The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Father Christmas


    Always liked this and being a single freak thought the 7" cartoon sleeve really cool so nabbed one from an old Kinks Kollector and kept it for years until it sadly developed sweating/ghosting from pvc so I sold it off.

    Dave and the drummer in question really go to town here and Ray leads the charge with seasonal, social comment & class consciousness!

    In the second verse Ray sounds like the gang when he/they threaten to beat Santa & when later he sings; "Have yourself a good time" his ennounciation on the last word sounds suitably & momentarily forlorn before suggesting what the rich folks should consider before drinking down their festive wine.

    This is just big fun, though when I much later saw the video (with Ray's disrobal) I took a few views to warm to it though I fully realise that our own @Wondergirl likely did not have that same issue!

    N.b. Ok Mark you have just ruined Christmas for any young children who may be viewing this thread with your hardline on Santa permissiveness!
     
  2. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Lol
    I believe in disillusionment.... illusions aren't useful :)
     
    DISKOJOE likes this.
  3. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Easily solved on my Phase III playlist as it’s inserted right in between! (With the 2008 Picture Book as the cover art.)
     
  4. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    The kids of the unemployed dads in Father Christmas are under no illusion, they are disillusioned!
     
  5. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    Our Headmaster's introduction to "Father Christmas" reminded me of another song about how Christmas has been hijacked by commercial interests, "Green Christmas" by the late great Stan Freberg, which came out in 1958:



    This was a rather controversial song for its time and if anything, things have gotten worse in the past 62 years. It seems to me that Easter is turning into a "Christmas with better weather" and Halloween is turning into a "Christmas for ghost/horror lovers"', which I see every year as my town is Halloween Central. So Headmaster, you're not along w/your thoughts.

    As for "Father Christmas" itself, I remember that I didn't really hear it until a couple of years after it came out. It seemed that I always missed it when WBCN played it. It came out just when I started getting into the Kinks, but like our Headmaster, I was more into getting albums than 45s. Also, there was no YouTube back then to check it out. It was either the radio or buy the record. Now, it's kind of ironic that you can listen to it 24/7. Anyway, as a song, it's excellent. As the other Avids say, it's power pop rather than punk, but that's no problem at all. It has more energy and spunk than Sleepwalker. The lyrics are typical Ray in showing that not all people can have the Christmas that is advertised and that it's the true meaning of the season to consider and help them out.
     
  6. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Sleepwalker End Thoughts:
    After an auspicious start with Life On The Road (especially the first part of the song), and a pretty fair first side, I ended up not having much interest in this album. I was bored at times and actively found myself disliking a couple of the tracks.

    On the plus side, I liked half the album and found that, thanks to the “accessibility” of Sleepwalker, my opinion of Schoolboys In Disgrace has risen. In fact, I officially take Schoolboys off of the don’t-intend-to-listen-again-in-its-entirety list.
     
  7. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Someone has spoken similarly about the high octane happening drums and their non sleepwalking production so I am adding my voice in solidarity.
     
  8. pyrrhicvictory

    pyrrhicvictory Forum Resident

    Location:
    Manhattan
    M
    Mucho polyester.
     
  9. Fischman

    Fischman RockMonster, ClassicalMaster, and JazzMeister

    Location:
    New Mexico
    Father Christmas

    This is relatively new to me also.

    Leave it to The Kinks to get me to like a Christmas song.

    I love the sarcasm... maybe, like Mark, I'm a very bad person.

    Also leave it to The Kinks to get me to like a punk song!

    So you got two categories i don't generally go for rolled into one song..... and I love it!

    But I guess that shouldn't really surprise me as I've loved this perverted punk holiday classic since it was released:
    Dropkick Murphys - The Season's Upon Us

     
  10. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    The whole family are nuts, especially the nephews!
     
  11. dbeamer407

    dbeamer407 Forum Resident

    Father Christmas is a great track, I've loved it since the first time I heard it.
     
  12. pyrrhicvictory

    pyrrhicvictory Forum Resident

    Location:
    Manhattan
    These are the Kinks I luv...humor and pathos in the lyrics and a crunchy urgency to the music. An unbeatable combination. Throw in a made on the cheap video and we have a hit. In typical Kinks fashion, it failed not once, but twice. I do seem to remember WNEW playing it when it came out.
     
  13. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Since we're now at the end of 1977, I thought today should be the day to post the complete Kinks 1977 Christmas Concert from the Rainbow Theatre on Xmas eve as filmed by the BBC for the 'Old Grey Whistle Test' (making it the second special they'd devoted to the group that year). It was the second of 2 Christmas shows they played at the Rainbow that year, the other being the night before.

    The set up here is very similar to the Jan 1973 Kinks In Concert show in that the filmed version on the second night is a cut down abbreviation of a much more interesting set list played the first night: this time instead of the concept for the shows being being 'expanded VGPS' as in 1973 it seems this time around it was a retrospective of the band's whole history, and a farewell to the primary seventies era/version of the band. These shows did indeed end up being Pyle and Goslings last ones with the group, and some of the theatrical material also had it's last stand here.

    Originally Ray had wanted also Quaife and Dalton to return for cameos to retell the story of the group onstage but in the end the only additional nods to the groups early days were the performance of some early covers they hadn't played for ages and the group wearing (approximations of) of the original 64-65 hunting jackets: both dropped by the second night as captured in the BBC show sadly.

     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2022
  14. Brian x

    Brian x half-animate bean

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Father Christmas

    As a long-time Kinks fan and fairly recent father who, perforce, listens to a great variety of Christmas songs, it seems anomalous bordering on strange that yesterday was the first time I've heard this. And it isn't the kind of song that slips easily into a Christmas playlist & blends with everything else - it definitely would've jumped out at me. Weird.

    My mother was somewhat musically rigid (almost exclusively classical) and only really tolerated Christmas music of the We Three Kings and O Holy Night variety -- Jingle Bells was far too modern and secular for her. & in the long stretch between leaving home and having kids, I didn't pay much attention to Christmas music. But man, I've certainly been schooled in it for the last 12 years, & there are some great ones, eg: Yeah, Run Run Reindeer; Santa Claus go Straight to the Ghetto; Someday at Christmas.

    @mark winstanley, thanks for laying out your thoughts about Christmas, Santa, consumerism, etc. Mine run in the opposite direction: I love the whole fantastical aspect of it, the weird visitor at night, the otherworldly, almost spooky anticipation of some immortal stranger sneaking into the house and leaving long-desired gifts under the tree. & somehow it blends nicely for me with the other aspects of Christmas which -- it seems -- aren't kosher to discuss here. But let's just say, stories of long-ago mysterious happenings, a new star in the sky, long journeys through darkened villages.

    All to say that this song grated a little at first listen (ie, yesterday). Kids who want money and machine guns, muggings, beatings, etc. Not very mystical, mysterious, or sentimental. The last couple of verses do sort of redeem it, & the core idea is in the tradition of Christmas is Coming or Santa Claus go Straight to the Ghetto -- as you're reveling in all your Christmas abundance, don't forget that there are lots of people in need. So, yeah.

    It is inimitably the Kinks, quintessentially Ray, and (as @Fortuleo notes) a genre exercise in a genre that wasn't going to flower in its full form for another twenty years (definitely hear Fountains of Wayne, Blink 182, Eve 6, etc). Again, this seems like an incredibly musically fertile, exuberant, experimental period of RD's songwriting.

    Wouldn't go on my Kinks playlist, but possibly on my Christmas playlist? Maybe when the kids are a bit older.
     
  15. Luckless Pedestrian

    Luckless Pedestrian Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Hampshire, USA
    Father Christmas is good, but Eric Idle and John Du Prez get credit for the greatest Christmas song ever written:

     
  16. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    I don’t think anyone ever called this a punk song, but I did state that I think it’s the closest The Kinks ever got. The year is 1977 and this wouldn't sound out of place on a playlist with The Sex Pistols, Ramones, The Jam, etc. It's also because of the aggressive lyrics and the attitude in the delivery. Ray clearly had the newly emerging punk scene on his mind when he wrote it. No matter what you want to call it, it still sounds like classic Kinks, and it’s one of the best Christmas songs of all time.

    It's best as a stand alone single. A Christmas song on a non Christmas album feels out of place. Although, It has been done successfully when The Ramones entered the world of Christmas songs with "Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight) on their Brain Drain album.
     
  17. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    It's all good. Most people would likely disagree with my perspective..... on just about everything really lol
    I've never found it particularly productive to be perturbed by other people's perspectives.... generally I find them an enhancement to the bigger picture that no individual is capable of seeing.
    The second part of that paragraph is where my Christmas heart is
     
  18. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    You're probably correct there.
    To be honest, I have so many posts to read and digest, it's very possible I sometimes, hopefully not too often, miscontextualise...
    Apologies if you felt I was having a dig, I certainly wasn't :righton:
     
  19. Brian x

    Brian x half-animate bean

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    It's strange how *triggered* people can get by perspectives other than their own, be it in music, politics, or religion. Though I may have a WTF moment when someone says one of my favorite songs sucks -- let's say -- my next reaction is interest in how they reached that conclusion, then a gut-check on whether their perspective helps round out my opinion. On some social media platforms, there are waves of *unfriending* whenever a controversial opinion is stated -- I'm glad I don't see much of that here. So much more valuable.
     
  20. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    No worries. The punk conversation has come up surrounding this song and onward into Low Budget. I guess you can hear some of the influence in the music, but haven't The Kinks always had that influence? They are the influence! A song like "Father Christmas" isn't much different from a song like "Brainwashed". I am of the opinion that I wish The Kinks went further into punk territory. This single kind of pushes them in that direction, but then they respond with "A Rock N Roll Fantasy", which is more REO Speedwagon than The Damned. The Kinks will not be pigeon holed and forced into any category!
     
  21. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I have to admit sometimes there is weirdness inside me when someone is trashing music I love, but that's probably just my unhealthy connection to music :)
     
  22. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    They did went into "punk" territory w/several songs from Word of Mouth/Return to Waterloo. But mainly, the Kinks in this era were more new wave than punk. As Johnny Slash of Square Pegs once said, "new wave is totally a different head, totally".
     
  23. fspringer

    fspringer Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York City
    This is a sort of lead-in to what I distinctly recall happening just after this in early 1978, pre-Misfits: Van Halen putting out their cover of "You Really Got Me." I had no idea who Van Halen was - none of us did. But as a Kinks fan, my mind was blown that a more metal-sounding band was covering one of my favorite bands. As it would turn out, two of my best friends in high school became Van Halen fanatics, thus I had to indulge many brain-bleeding rides with the Sparkomatic car cassette player, Audiovox equalizer and Big Brute speakers (anyone on a budget with car stereos back then knows what I'm talking about!) all turned up to 11, blasting Van Halen. While it would take me years to recover and see the worth in Van Halen, right out of the gate, I thought that was a bold move, and would later love their cover of "Where Have All the Good Times Gone?". Punk is one thing, but is there a case to be made for Van Halen somehow influencing the direction The Kinks would go two albums down the road?
     
  24. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    I would agree with this. I have only recently started spending more time with the albums after Low Budget. I chose the few songs from them I liked many years ago and filed the rest away. It will be interesting to discuss these albums, but I am happy with my earlier to decision to file them away. There is a song later in the discography that brought Diamond Dave to mind. I also think Dave could have been influenced by Eddie's flashy style.

    Word Of Mouth has a few songs that are in the new wave camp and I agree with Johnny Slash. I'm not very familiar with Return To Waterloo. I see it all the time at the record shop. I think it's time to drop the $3 on it and bring it home.
     
  25. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    It's certainly possible, but it seems like the curve was already in motion to some degree.

    I think generally the Van Halen type of power rock is closer to what the Kinks were doing than punk.... but I think the Kinks sort of land in the middle somewhere, because Ray has too much balladeer in him to fully submit to either genre.... and I guess that's why to me, it still sounds uniquely Kinks.

    The weird thing is, to some degree, with both genre's, the Kinks were on the front end of both, not really creating either, but sowing the seeds for both.
    I guess that's why I don't see it as strange for them to come back around to it.
     

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