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

    Well Ray was no Cinderella i can't see him going to the ball, though (as i have previously heard) he wouldn't hesitate to nominate Dave!
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2022
  2. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member


    First heard on my Come Dancing With The Kinks Velvel CD about 15 years ago & more recently on my Japanese Misfits LP purchased 3 years ago.

    Initially i liked it, found it pleasant and oh so topically very Ray and the Kinks though on the compilation I found it a little plain and placed it just above the middle of that pack.

    As time went on I saw it was more than an apt stand/stance from Ray and gave it's beauty more space and attention and was in turn rewarded by it.

    It is a beautiful song and my second favourite on an LP that for me at this point only has two really standout cuts.

    I won't go into the horrors of adolescence and high school but can relate to others who have said they wished they had known about this track in their formative years for additional shared belief and companionship.

    In my case I was a loner and would not be part of any clique or trend as i felt it was a weakness and innee strength would be found on my own which in part was true though there was a heavy mental toll.

    N.b. On A lighter note myself and 2 or 3 others in somewhat Pythonesque fashion formed the "Anti Commercial League" in high school.
    We felt it was against the ideology of the club to have any more than 3 or 4 members and when we talked of having a first meeting no one actually showed up as it was deemed too commercial!

    Misfits Indeed!
  3. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Misfits is an in-between Kinks album for me. It's much grittier than Sleepwalker - which I love. But it's also more uneven; there are a few standout songs but a few clunkers too.
    The lush opening song, Misfits, isn't at all typical of the album. I'm not the least cynical about this song - I find Ray's lyrics quite moving and I love the way the music swells. While it isn't in the same class as Celluloid Heroes it is still a beautiful way to start off this album.
  4. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    I've just read some of the earlier posts from people like me who felt like outsiders because they loved the Kinks at school or afterwards. It was weird to love the Rolling Stones and the Who - as I did - and wonder why the Kinks didn't get similar billing. I could see they were great - why couldn't anyone else? In some ways that made them the ultimate cult band. I eventually realised that they had dedicated followers all over the world [see what I did there...] but people my own age would ask "who?" Now I'm at a mature age I can bask in the satisfaction that my early music taste has survived largely undimmed - though it has also broadened a lot along the way.
  5. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    Boy, do I hate it when @mark winstanley oversleeps! Forgot to put your alarm on on a Saturday ?? That's unheard of! We're waiting, here! :p:waiting:
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2022
  6. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Hay Fever.

    stereo mix, recorded 24-28 Oct, 1977 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London

    Sitting by my stereo all alone
    My baby calls me on the telephone
    She says, Baby take me out for a dance
    I tell my baby I feel so bad
    I can't go out and it's making me sad
    But when you see me, I know you will understand

    I got hay fever, blocking up my head
    Hay fever, I ought to be in bed
    How can I dance when I can hardly breathe
    Wish I could cure this infernal allergy
    I got hay fever blocking up my brain
    Hay fever, feel the sinus pains
    And all the pills and the powders are in vain
    Thought I was cured but here it comes again
    It goes ooh-ah

    The pollen count's getting higher and higher
    My eyes are sore and my nose is on fire
    My throat's dry now and I'm starting to perspire
    My stuffed up head's killing all of my desire
    I got hay fever, you wicked allergy
    Hay fever, you put the curse on me
    And I've inhaled every know remedy

    I can't stay cool 'cos I'm starting to sneeze
    I can't make love when I can't hardly breathe
    We start to dance and my nose starts to bleed
    There must be a cure for this hay fever
    Is there a pill or a powder I can take
    I must get a cure, my romance is at stake

    Hay fever, you tore my image down
    Hay fever, I must look like a clown
    I must have used every tissue in town
    I'm running round sniffin' like a hound
    I go ooh-ah

    I wanna kiss but I'm sneezin' instead
    I can't make love when my head feels like lead
    How can I pose when my nose is all red
    We should be home, should be tucked up in bed
    But I got hay fever
    Hay Fever

    Hay Fever
    Hay Fever
    Hay Fever

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

    I don't know why particularly, but this song always makes me think of 10cc Deceptive Bends, released May 77, and the song on there called You've Got A Cold.... I guess it's not the same really, but the close proximity of the releases (with Misfits being May 1978 release) and the descriptive ailment lyrics, just make me join the two songs as somewhat cousins or something like that.

    Lyrically this doesn't have too much to engage me really. We have a guy talking to his girl on the phone and explaining that he can't go out because he has Hay Fever and essentially we just go through some reasons as to why Hay Fever makes it impossible for him to go out and party with his honey.

    There's nothing wrong with the song, but it leans towards novelty song territory, and I think I would probably appreciate it more if it came later on the album, rather than being part of the initial salvo of songs.... and that is where I come back to every time with this album, I just think the sequencing is poor and it could have been a much better album and flow with a bit of a shuffle in the order of the songs.

    Musically this is actually pretty cool.
    We open with the electric piano and vocal and it is a delicate kind of introduction, with the gentle music, and the somewhat sad sounding vocal from Ray as we are introduced to the idea that he is sitting at home and his girlfriend calls, wanting to go dancing, and Ray apologises, and states that he isn't feeling well, and can't.

    We get the double hit of the snare and bounce into a nice quirky staccato riff that leads us through the song.
    Musically it fits in with the semi-ska, new wave-ish type of stuff that we would get over the next couple of years.

    The bass and guitar play the riff in unison and it is very effective.
    We get nice layering of instruments and the mix is solid, the sound is good, the drums are back with a nice tight sound and it all comes together really well.

    In the chorus we get a synth that echoes the vocal "wooo-ooo", and I think it sounds good, and is effective.
    We get a bit of Ray and Dave together on the vocals, and as always they sound excellent together.
    There are a lot of things to like about this song, I just don't think it belongs in the front line attack of the album.

    We get a bridge that here actually does somewhat allude to the Beach Boys.
    The run out at the end with the bass rolling into the chick walking runs gives it a nice finish....

    It seems somewhat a shame for this to be the Saturday song this week, from my perspective, because aside from some pretty cool music, there isn't much meat on the plate and I still feel hungry.

    I like the song well enough, but I think it is too weak to sit at track two on the album, and Misfits gets off to an unusual start...... We have the absolute Klassic Misfits, followed by this fun, but essentially throwaway track at two, and neither feel like they are in the right place for the album.... to me at least

  7. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I'm not sure what happened there to be honest, looks like i actually slept through my alarm lol
  8. Endicott

    Endicott Forum Resident

    Hay Fever

    There's a small sub-category of Ray Davies songs in which he crafts insidiously hummable pop tunes out of the most mundane subjects imaginable, like "Hot Potatoes" and "Ducks on the Wall". (Well, "Hot Potatoes" does have a sexual subtext.) "Hay Fever" is another one of those, and it's probably the best of them. There's really only so much one can say about a sinus infection, but Ray somehow manages to drain the topic dry over three and a half minutes with maximum humor and, er, catchiness.

    It was the era of Boogie Fever, Disco Fever, Saturday Night Fever, so Ray probably thought, well, why not jump on the Fever train too?

    The track starts melodramatically, as Ray informs his baby that as much as he'd like to get together with her tonight, there's a Serious Unresolved Issue... he's got... hay fever! Oh no! And we launch into about twenty different versions of "This cold sucks". It should make for tedium, but no, it's hilarious -- "I must have used every tissue in town"; "I can't make love when my head feels like lead". It doesn't have much of a melody, but it doesn't need to; the bouncy toe-tapping beat anchored by a pounding piano, combined with Dave's spirited backing vocals, delivers the requisite ironic contrast to lyrics abut feeling miserable. Well, there's that nice mini-bridge in the middle that sounds a bit like the Dell-Vikings "Come Go With Me". And those appropriately migraine-inducing synth breaks.

    This song is an ear virus. It's awesome.
  9. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    This is a real stupid song, right? It would make Harry Schmilsson proud (and his son, too). I don’t want to bore you too much with French things but we always say that it’s harder (bordering on impossible) to do rock’n roll convincingly in our language. In English, you say Hay Fever, and it’s also “Hey, Fever!”, “fever” being a rock’n roll word anyway, since Elvis made it so. In French, it would become “hé, le rhume des foins” and I’ll let @The late man attest that it doesn’t sound nearly as good… If you only knew how this is pronounced, I promise you’d all be appalled. Even with his blocked nose affectation, Ray sounds fantastic here, and we can all rejoice at the return of the much-loved Davies bros. harmonies. So we get great singing, a good melody and an excellent riff, syncopated and propulsive. The latter reminds me of the vocal coda to the Beach Boy’s Funky Pretty, re-arranged as a bass & guitar hook. The “a-oooo-oo-wow” siren chant makes me think of yet another Beach Boys tune (Wild Honey), which also used a Moog (or some ancestor to the Moog). Then, just as I’m wondering if I’m not back into one of my Beach Boys obsessive bouts, here comes a bona fide Beach Boys bridge, straight out of an Al Jardine-led tune, with deliberate Beach Boys harmonies! Good, I’m not too crazy after all.
    I like the call & response thing, it sounds a bit “hey ho let’s go”. Is it deliberate? I’d say it is. Ray’s making a habit of taking the piss out of the punk movement (jealousy? affectionate big brother teasing?) and I’m 99% convinced Ray's impetus behind this song was to mock punk’s “hey!”s by doing a “hay” tune. 1978, and that guy’s still cracking me up!
  10. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Sorry! If I hadn't lobbied for 'Elevator Man' we'd be knee deep into the 5 course meal of the 'Black Messiah' debate today...
    The late man, DISKOJOE, ARL and 8 others like this.
  11. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    For the record, I was going to change my write up a little this morning, but as I slept through my alarm this morning... it wasn't really feasible
    DISKOJOE and markelis like this.
  12. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Ahhh it's all good everything happens for a reason, and I really liked Elevator Man
  13. markelis

    markelis Forum Resident

    Miami Beach FL
    GentleAvids, I just want Cher with you both that it was a reference to Bono (Sonny that is), not one Paul Hewson.
  14. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

  15. stewedandkeefed

    stewedandkeefed Came Ashore In The Dead Of The Night

    "Hay Fever" is a fun song - Ray finds some pretty random things to write songs about and medical conditions are part of Ray's repertoire. Of course, Ray's protagonist suffers from the dreaded allergy to ragweed worse than anyone else I would imagine as it is destroying his love life. I don't know of any other songs that discuss pollen counts! And I absolutely love the couplet "I must have used every tissue in town / I'm running round sniffin' like a hound". Musically, I really enjoy this song. It kind of reminds me of American cult band NRBQ who were woefully underappreciated and masters of quirky pop songs about pretty random subjects ("RC Cola And A Moon Pie" anyone?), much like the Kinks.
  16. markelis

    markelis Forum Resident

    Miami Beach FL
    Hay Fever: Our fearless leader has captured my thoughts exactly. I’ve always like this one, but it’s definitely too weak to be the second song on the album. It probably should be the second to last song. It’s fun musically and it lyrics, while silly, are quite humorous. Is it the dreaded “filler”? Perhaps, but sometimes filler songs can still be fun little rockers, provided you don’t expect too much from them.

    It seems many of us want to play the resequencing game with this album, That probably should wait until we’ve gone through all the songs so that everyone feels familiar with them and we can consider any leftovers.
  17. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    So we go from the sublime to the ridiculous, from the title track to a stupid song about having hay fever. There's a story in the Johnny Rogan biography about Ray driving the rest of the band mental by trying out this song in various different keys and tempos and arrangements, none of which helped with the the unfortunate fact that the band were having to play a stupid song about hay fever.
  18. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Hay Fever: a throwaway and, yep, a stupid song. I’m a Hot Potatoes/Ducks On The Wall aficionado and this bit of fluff is not in the same league.

    I’m nitpicking but I dislike the early baby, baby baby vocals.

    Sequencing? Somebody sure lost the plot.

    After this scathing review…it’s not all that bad. Just unnecessary.
  19. Martyj

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

    Maryland, USA
    Hay Fever

    This one occupies a middle ground, one of those songs I neither like or dislike. And out of mind. It's fairly forgettable.

    It’s a throw back to the type of vignette numbers Ray did in the sixties, but it’s an insult to his 60’s vignettes to lump this weak cousin in with those classics. I guess I don’t have a problem with it but will admit its not very good. The “ooooo-oooo-weee” seems designed to be the number’s defining hook, but it comes across as forced.

    Hay Fever might be the LP’s weak spot, but I need to really consider a few others before I make that my final assessment.
  20. fspringer

    fspringer Forum Resident

    New York City
    Hay Fever: Thus, we go from one of the higher points in the Kinks catalog to what should have been a B-side at best. This song felt like jumping from the Empire State Building from the moment I heard it until the first time I listened to it in years a few minutes ago. I realize it's not as terrible as I make it out to be in my mind. I'm reminded of The Coasters and songs like "Poison Ivy," the issue being The Coasters were great at this sort of song while never having the range of songs like "Days" and "Misfits" that The Kinks did. As others have pointed out, yes, not the first silly track they've put out. But for me it was a resounding plunge back to earth after the title track! I've always resented it for this reason and have felt irrationally strong negative feelings towards it since. For me, this is The Kinks' "Maxwell Silver Hammer."

    I remember one of my older brothers being around while I was playing the album one night. The title track really hooked him in, then this came on. He loved to belittle my teenage taste in music, whether it was Queen, ELO (he loved to mimic the silly chorus to "Telephone Line" sarcastically, as if I was listening to nursery rhymes) and ABBA. (I loved their singles. Despite his feigned abhorrence, I once caught him, drunk in his basement hideout where he kept his stereo, listening repeatedly to "Mamma Mia.") "Hay Fever" came on, he started muttering and shaking his head, then stormed out, back to the basement to listen to his Bowie and Rundgren albums. It was almost as embarrassing as the time Dad barged in and told me "don't listen to that crap" when he heard me playing Elton John's "Jamaica Jerk Off" through the bedroom door. At that point, I didn't even know what "jerking off" implied!
  21. Martyj

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

    Maryland, USA
    **cough, cough** ...the Small Faces would like a word with you...
  22. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

  23. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Yeah, strictly speaking The Kinks were allowed to invade in 1965, it's just they got singled out (made an example of?) and were specifically banned from the US shortly thereafter. Others as you mention like The Small Faces, and I think some others: maybe the Denny Laine era Moody Blues?: someone more knowledgeable could prob do a whole list of who went and who didn't) never even got to go over there in the first place. There's still something slightly surreal to me about seeing those clips of The Kinks on US entertainment shows in 1965, esp the Hullabaloo where they appear with Frankie and Annette.
  24. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Don't worry my school was so trendy and backwards that with me being the virtual solitary serious Rolling Stones fan they were actually a cult (or at least minority) band at my school like it was early 1964, forget about 1984!
  25. Luckless Pedestrian

    Luckless Pedestrian Forum Resident

    New Hampshire, USA
    I love songs like Hay Fever, Permanent Waves, Somebody Stole My Car, Ducks On The Wall, Ray does them so well, the lyrics are clever and humorous, the music is on point (just realized that repeated Ooh - ahh is like a sneeze!), but these are not novelty songs. I’m so glad they exist, and I think one would be mistaken thinking that a well crafted humorous song is easier to write or has less value than a ‘serious’ song.

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