The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. TeddyB

    TeddyB Senior Member

    Location:
    Hollywoodland
    Father Christmas rocks, it has a “punk” sentiment (if nothing else), and it’s fun. Ray sells it all the way. It’s got instrument changes, dynamics, a melodic enough verse to counter a shouty chorus. A minor classic. I guess it’s not a shock if Mick didn’t play it. Those sixteenths or whatever on the snare aren’t really his style.
     
  2. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    Location:
    France
    Thx !

    But do we know for sure if he plays on the recording ?
     
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  3. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    As far as we know he does, (well Hinman lists him) but who knows for sure with this era of The Kinks. He’s absent from several tracks on ‘Misfits’ which was the only full LP recorded during his tenure, so all bets are off.
     
  4. markelis

    markelis Forum Resident

    Location:
    Miami Beach FL
    Great write up! I love all the bands you mentioned too. …. including Skynyrd! And I love Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy as well! When it comes to music, I have infinite amounts of love to spread around.

    No doubt you’ve explored Skynyrd, clearly everyone on here knows their tunes, but if you don’t know this one, it might change your mind:
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2022
  5. Zerox

    Zerox Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Late-entry minor digression - I'm sure I read somewhere that 'The Informer' was a left-over from 1977 before it was dusted down for 'Phobia'.
     
  6. Martyj

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

    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    Unfortunately, as pointed out earlier in the discussion, that's not Mick Avory on Father Christmas. It's Henry Spinetti, sitting in in Mick's absence.
     
  7. Martyj

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

    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    Interesting. I did not know that. If it is of Sleepwalker/Out of the Wardrobe/Artificial Light vintage then it does give credence to what my ears were picking up with this song, and joins the surfeit of compositions Ray was playing around with at this time that touched on a common gay life theme. It's the sort of thing that makes one go "hmmmmmm...."
     
  8. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    I just googled this and found Dave’s tweet mentioning that it’s Spinetti on drums and someone called Norman Scott Ray (does Dave mean Norman Watt-Roy of punk adjacent band The Blockheads? Googling ‘Norman Scott Ray’ doesn’t turn up much) so there seems to be your answer bass-wise @The late man !

    He doesn't mention if Gosling is on it not, but it seems like this is Ray and Dave playing with a completely unique rhythm section that doesn't even crossover with the 'Misfits' sessioners!

    https://twitter.com/davedavieskinks/status/679343930903801856?s=21

    Norman Watt-Roy - Wikipedia
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2022
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  9. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    That would be interesting if true, as there is a point in "The Informer" where I could swear it's just about to launch into the chorus of "Misfits".
     
  10. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    'Still Searching' from Phobia was also originally written circa 1977. That's the equivalent of a song originally written for 'Something Else' turning up on 'State Of Confusion'!
     
  11. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Misfits

    [​IMG]
    Studio album by
    the Kinks
    Released
    19 May 1978
    Recorded July 1977 - January 1978
    Studio Konk Studios, London
    Genre Rock
    Length 40:29
    Label Arista
    Producer Ray Davies

    Produced by: Ray Davies
    Release date: 19 May, 1978
    Record label & catalog #: Arista SPARTY 1055
    Country: UK
    Format: 12" vinyl LP (album), 33 1/3 RPM
    Release type: Regular release

    Side 1
    1. Misfits stereo mix, recorded 24-28 Oct, 1977 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London
    2. Hay Fever stereo mix, recorded 24-28 Oct, 1977 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London
    3. Black Messiah stereo mix, recorded 28 Sep, 1977 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London
    4. A Rock 'N' Roll Fantasy stereo mix (4:58), recorded Jan 1978 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London
    5. In A Foreign Land stereo mix, recorded 12-16 Jul, 1977 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London

    Side 2
    1. Permanent Waves stereo mix, recorded 24-28 Oct, 1977 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London
    2. Live Life stereo mix, longer edit than US album version, recorded Jan 1978 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London
    3. Out Of The Wardrobe stereo mix, recorded 24-28 Oct, 1977 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London
    4. Trust Your Heart stereo mix, recorded Aug 1977 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London
    5. Get Up stereo mix, recorded Jan 1978 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London

    Mick Avory...drums
    Dave Davies...lead guitar (lead vocal on "Trust Your Heart")
    Ray Davies...vocals, guitar, piano and synthesizer
    John Gosling...piano, organ and synthesizer
    Andy Pyle...bass

    Special thanks to
    Nick Trevisik...drums on "Trust Your Heart,"
    "Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy" and "Get Up"
    Ron Lawrence...bass on "Live Life," "Rock 'n'
    Roll Fantasy," and "Get Up"
    And special thanks to
    Clem Catini, Zaine Griff, John Beecham, Nick
    Newall, Mike Cotton.

    Engineered by Steve Waldman
    Recorded at Konk Studios, London
    Photography James Wedge
    Mastered at Masterdisk, New York
    PRODUCED BY RAY DAVIES
    With thanks to Dave Davies, Mick Avory, and
    Steve Waldman for extra help and cooperation
    during the recording of this album.

    This is an interesting album, and it works to some degree as putting together some leftovers from the Sleepwalker album - Hay Fever, In A Foreign Land and Black Messiah, and getting a few new tunes as well ... and perhaps that somewhat contributes to the slightly hotchpotch feel in some ways.
    It is probably the most divided Kinks in a sense, as we have John Dalton playing bass on In A Foreign Land, which was going to be on Sleepwalker until the very last minute when Mr Big Man ended up replacing it.
    We have Ron Lawrence playing bass on Live Life, Rock and Roll Fantasy and Get Up.
    Then of course we have Andy Pyle playing bass on the other tracks.

    Before the end of the recording Andy Pyle and John Gosling left the band to go and put their own project together .... I can't find any other details, but I imagine some of you guys may be able to fill in the blanks there.

    Also interestingly, Mick Avory doesn't play the drums on all the tracks, as I believe he was in the throws of deciding whether to leave or not.
    Nick Trevisik, who is apparently a friend of Dave's, plays the drums on Trust Your Heart, Rock and Roll Fantasy and Get Up.

    Also apparently Zaine Griff plays bass somewhere on here, and Clem Cattini did some drum overdubs.

    John Gosling gets credit for keys on the album, but there are no specific songs mentioned, but we also have Ray credited with keys, and I somewhat assume based on the other credits that Ray may have played keys on Live Life, Rock And Roll Fantasy and Get Up, but I also read that Gosling says Ray gave him a bit of a hard time during the overdub sessions about the band he and Pyle were setting up. I am sure some of our more clued in folks can probably give us the finite details about all that though...

    To tie in with all that, we also have a reasonably unusual album credit from Ray saying
    PRODUCED BY RAY DAVIES
    With thanks to Dave Davies, Mick Avory, and
    Steve Waldman for extra help and cooperation
    during the recording of this album.
    Which in itself suggests that perhaps this process was not quite as smooth as one would generally prefer.

    Apparently the 77 tour was rather tumultuous, as Ray and Andy Pyle had conflicts for a great percentage of the time. This was part of the issue leading into the Misfits album, and as Gosling had been considering leaving when Dalton left, Pyle didn't have much problem twisting his arm to go and start a new project.
    Ray caught wind of the mutiny and tried to intervene - Gosling "We [me and Pyle] rehearsed and held auditions at the Bridge House pub in Canning Town. It was exhilarating, like starting over. But Ray somehow found out and started giving me a hard time during my last overdub sessions for Misfits."

    So it seems like during the process of recording and putting this album together there was a little disarray..... and to me that isn't exactly surprising when listening to the album.....

    I enjoy this album well enough, and I certainly don't want to come across as disliking it, but two things
    - I think it is poorly sequenced. It is probably the first Kinks album that I really think the sequencing just about sinks the album, before the meat and potatoes come to the day to save it.
    - We'll get to the song soon enough, so I am not trying to start a discussion on it right now.... but to me it is terribly odd that if Clive Davis was trying to get the band up to full commercial potential in, particularly, the US market, how does a song as easily misunderstood, and open to all sorts of thematic issues as Black Messiah get on the album...... it seems counterintuitive to have a song that has so much damaging potential .... and it was a single, though not in the US.... it is quite bizarre to me, but anyway.....
    Is this more possible self-sabotaging from Ray? with the Sleepwalker album being the band's most successful record, at least in the US, up to that point.

    While we mention success, here is a little sideline with food for thought.... and it is also bewildering to me
    In The US this is the Kinks album record in the RIAA
    The Kinks Greatest hits - Gold - 500,000 copies 1968
    Low Budget - Gold - 500,000 copies 1980
    One For The Road - Gold - 500,000 copies 1980
    Give The People What They Want - Gold - 500,000 copies 1982

    It is kind of stunning to me that only those four albums appear on the Riaa gold and platinum listings. It is also stunning that they only went gold, and it is bewildering that the record company has never revisited them to see if they ever made it to platinum, although there is a fee to pay to get certified, so perhaps they were aware that the albums had likely not sold enough more to warrant the certification fee.......

    Anyway .....

    Misfits charted at number 40 in the US, and 79 in Australia.
    Rock and Roll Fantasy charted at 30 in the US, and 30 in Australia...
    and from this album, that's all she wrote....

    There is so much going on with this album, but it contains two songs that seem to be quite revealing about Ray himself at this time, in disguise of course, that are quite moving, but certainly not self indulgent or pretentious.

    There is perhaps a case to be made for the highs on this album being greater than the highs on Sleepwalker, although I get the impression that there are only a few of us who see highs on the Sleepwalker album, but I think the lows are somewhat lower.... although there is nothing on here that I actually don't like to some degree.

    The Rolling tone review from July 1978 - Misfits

    Misfits is another album I picked up in 2004 when the sacd's came out, and it is an album I have enjoyed, and as I have stated previously it is an album I rated much higher prior to running through the thread ... I guess we'll see how highly I end up feeling about it, but more listens have it slipping below Sleepwalker, for me, but that seems to be mainly due to the starting sequence of songs.... My issue isn't really the songs on this album, it is more a couple of songs on this album, and the fact that they are pretty much at the start of the album, and they are, for me the weakest songs on the album...... but we'll get to the songs over the next week or so.

    All in all, this is still a strong Kinks album, and I am sure that many folks are going to like it more than Sleepwalker, purely based on what I have read here, and that is a fair call, because there is a return to a more lighthearted Kinks songwriting approach. Don't get me wrong, there are some pretty heavy themes, and deep ponderings here, but it is presented in a much more easy to digest way, and with a return to some more quirky stuff.

    I suppose for some folks Sleepwalker was a more serious sounding album, with less in the way of the somewhat comedic songs that had been sprinkled across the RCA era. With Misfits we have a more lighthearted and occasionally comedic leaning album, that is possibly stylistically slightly more broad than Sleepwalker, but really only slightly.
    Also, I think the mixing here is better, and generally it is a better sounding album.... but again, we'll see how that all pans out when we get through the songs.

    So, let us know how and when you came across this album, what you thought of it initially, and how it seems to you now, at this stage, and then we'll see what we all think after we've rolled through the tracks.
     
  12. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    The Misfit Record.

    Label: Arista – SP-22
    Format:
    Vinyl, 7", 33 ⅓ RPM, Shape, EP, Promo
    Country: US
    Released: 1978
    Genre: Rock
    Style: Rock & Roll, Punk

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    A1 A Rock 'N' Roll Fantasy 4:58
    A2 Black Messiah 3:24
    B1 Misfits 4:19
    B2 Permanent Waves 3:37

    Square cut 7" single in circular cardboard sleeve.

    It also probably wouldn't hurt to look at this release.
    This was release in the US as a sort of EP/maxi-single kind of thing, and to me, logically, Rock And Roll Fantasy and Misfits are presented as the main tracks from my perspective, kicking off each side.
    The thing that is slightly bewildering is the inclusion of Black Messiah.
    If it was a single everywhere else, but not the US, surely that must mean someone had enough nouse to realise it may not go down so well in the US, where there had been racial tensions, at least in the early part of the seventies? But here it is included on a fancy cut maxi-single, begging to be heard....
    Some things the band, or their management does is quite bewildering to me.
    ...

    Obviously we'll get to the songs tomorrow, but I thought this is a curious little anomaly that was worth sharing with the album.
     
  13. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    This is another album cover I like. Personally I think it is very effective.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  14. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

  15. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

  16. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

  17. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

  18. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    Every time I've listened to this album I've started off thinking that this was really a pretty good album... and then I get to the second side and I just don't like any of the songs on it, which has never happened on a Kinks' album before. Anyway, in reaction to the melancholy vibe of Sleepwalker, there are maybe a few too many lightweight jokey tracks on this album. On the positive side, there are two absolute classics on here too! The cover is good too - well the front is, the saucer eyed Dave on the back cover is a bit weird!
     
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  19. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

  20. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

  21. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

  22. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

  23. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow

    The 8 track OPENS with 'Black Messiah'????!!!! :eek::confused:
     
  24. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

  25. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

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