The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. pyrrhicvictory

    pyrrhicvictory Forum Resident

    Location:
    Manhattan
    @Brian x has saved me a lot of typing and I thank him. He has crystallized my thoughts on this song and transcribed them more effectively than I could have.
    Just as many RD songs move me intellectually there are many DD songs that move me emotionally. I have always loved Dave’s vocals, there’s nothing macho about it, it’s not high testosterone screaming, he’s wounded. I can’t pinpoint why it speaks to me as the song is all over the place. If you’ve ever developed a deep closeness to a dog or cat you’ll sense them trying to tell you something that they can never convey, but it’s there trying to get out. That’s Trust your Heart for me. This song does have the bones to be a charter, ‘truly trust your heart’ is a powerful hook and a universal message. Unfortunately for Dave, and us, a hit has to be cohesive. These verses need work, the purple prose needs a rewrite, and much editing needs to be done. So we’re a long way from a Casey Kasem introduction but it coulda been a contenda. Still I have never failed to be moved by this song and always welcome hearing it.
    Let me add that so many of Dave’s songs are informed by the loss of his first love and I’ve always felt this was one of those songs. That must have been some deep well of anguish, it never went dry.
     
  2. markelis

    markelis Forum Resident

    Location:
    Miami Beach FL
    this is spot on. I don’t care if Dave is singing in a strangled voice, slurring his words, or what the lyrics even mean, every time I have listened to the song for the past four decades, it’s the explosive emotion that he displays that keeps me engaged.
     
  3. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    In the same article, Dave goes on to say:
    “I started out writin’ it to someone who is very close to me and found out I was writin’ it about everything.”
    So it started off as a relationship thing with a lady and then went onto "everything" (no doubt including his bro).
     
  4. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    "Trust Your Heart"

    This stands out like a sore thumb on a Kinks album. Who switched off my Kinks album and put on this hair metal ballad? That's what it has always sounded like to me, but @Fortuleo mentions Badfinger, and I now I'm thinking maybe I have been a bit rough on this song. It does have some Badfinger similarities, and the end has Dave giving his best Robert Plant or even reaching for a Steve Marriott style vocal. Why have I always felt a gag reflex when this song comes on? It's not a style of rock song that I am a huge fan of, but I'm sitting here listening to it after all the praise, and my heart has softened on it. It sounds more like a solo Dave song that would be on the Decade collection. When we start going through his first solo album, I will be hoping there is a song at least this good.

    I thought I would have nothing positive to say about this, but on a closer inspection I am proved wrong. It's my least favorite on the album, but I will trust my heart, and say it's good to have a Dave song back in the mix.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2022
  5. ThereOnceWasANote

    ThereOnceWasANote Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cape May, NJ
    Live Life:
    Welcome to the first salvo fired by the Arena-rock gunning Kinks. They weren't on a Low Budget yet but Dave is revving up for it. Ray is no hard rock singer on paper but he pulls it off in his own unique way when the Kinks up the amps and his younger brother wants to rock out. And when inspired, like here, the band that essentially created hard rock, remind listeners of that fact. Interesting verses unfortunately lead to a rather generic sing-along chorus that was probably a huge hit live. Live Life. Ray ever the pragmatist.
     
  6. Brian x

    Brian x half-animate bean

    Location:
    Los Angeles
  7. Brian Kelly

    Brian Kelly 1964-73 rock's best decade

    Trust Your Heart
    This was the only song I didn't remember and had to go to YouTube to check out. I did remember it was a Dave Davies song. It probably is the weakest song on the album. It doesn't really fit with the rest of the album either. I do hear a bit of Badfinger in here, but not classic Badfinger. Like a previous poster, it is good to have a song by Dave, but this is pretty average stuff. The fact that it is the only song I didn't remember says a lot about what it is lacking.
     
  8. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    Location:
    France
    Perfect ! Trust your heart.

    A good little misfit of a song, really. I didn't pay the least attention to it initially. Actually if you'd told me in pre-thread times that Misfits had a Dave song on it, I would have told you you must be mistaken. But there it is, and after a few listens it's really interesting. I hear accents of Dennis Wilson in some parts of Dave's singing (but in some parts only).

    Sometimes I think that Dave's songs work better in 100% Dave context. I've started listening to his 1980 output and for the time being I cling to that opinion.
     
  9. Paul Mazz

    Paul Mazz Forum Resident

    I hadn’t listened to Misfits in a long time, and Trust Your Heart was one of the few cuts for which I had no recollection of it being on the album, even after hearing it. Almost all the others had me thinking “oh yeah I remember that one.” I’m thinking with Trust Your Heart it’s the lack of a strong melodic line - it’s not exactly a song you come away from hearing for the first time humming. This time around I find I like it a lot. As @Fischman pointed out, I love the atmosphere of it. I’m an album guy, so have no intention of making a Kinks playlist (I just play one of the albums when I’m in the mood), but I might add this Dave song to a mixed playlist I have of recently discovered songs that I like.
     
  10. Cornelius Plum

    Cornelius Plum Forum Resident

    Location:
    Alexandria VA USA
    I can't get into Trust Your Heart at all. In general, I want to be supportive of Dave's efforts, but usually can't help but feel that there must have been many superior Ray songs available, and that the Dave songs might have been better left for his solo albums. This is also how I feel about John Entwistle songs on The Who albums. I'm sure internal band politics come into play here, which is understandable.

    There are a couple of Dave songs I enjoy in the Kinks catalogue - the typical suspects, Strangers, Clown, and I like You Don't Know My Name quite a bit too - but not many, and Trust Your Heart is not one of them. It has a vaguely pleasant verse, reminiscent of a The Who track that I can't pinpoint now, but when the wailing starts, I have to check out.
     
  11. Smiler

    Smiler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Houston TX
    Trust Your Heart - This starts off like a lost Badfinger track (I think @Fortuleo was first to mention them) - perhaps not the strongest Badfinger track but welcome to hear nonetheless. Then the chorus kicks in with a tough Raspberries feel (albeit without the vocal harmonies), which is A-OK with me. The verse and the lyrics feel a bit unfocused (which makes sense if this was a merging of several songs), but the chorus and Dave's passion redeem it all. I do wish there were an extended coda, since it seems to wrap up too soon (a complaint I rarely have). A keeper.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2022
  12. ThereOnceWasANote

    ThereOnceWasANote Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cape May, NJ
    Out of the Wardrobe

    Ray singing about transvestism and the 70s trend of role reversal in marriage. It lacks the lyrical depth and poignancy of On The Outside but it's lighter feel works fine with similar, though not exactly the same, subject matter. This wraps up a strong 4 song run on Misfits. 3 of these songs recall 60s Kinks and the other previews late 70s-early 80s Kinks. Quirky character songs become few and far between after Misfits unfortunately.
     
  13. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Get Up.

    stereo mix, recorded Jan 1978 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London

    Here's a song for all the little men who get forgotten time and time again
    Here's a message for the little guy, don't let this situation pass you by
    You're in the middle while the big mouths fight
    You get it from the left and the right, ain't it crazy

    So get up off your easy chairs, we've got a lot to do out there
    Well ain't we?
    Good's gone bad, right is wrong, don't know which side I'm on lately

    Get up from the down you're in
    Come out of your homes and let's see your faces
    Get up out of your easy chairs, get up and show 'em that you're there
    Get up it's your one salvation
    Wise up to the situation

    Somebody gotta get up and shout
    Somebody gotta give us some clout
    You're the ones to make it all work out
    It all depends on you

    Get up off your arses men
    Don't let 'em think you're getting lazy
    Get up out of your easy chairs
    We gotta lot to do out there, well ain't we
    Get up, Get up, Get up,
    Get up, Get up, Get up

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

    I have to say I have generally overlooked this song, and over the last few weeks I have been scratching my head as to why...
    I noticed a couple of folks have stated/hinted that they don't like it, or it isn't well liked or something along those lines .... so, let's have a look ... I have actually come to like this quite a lot ...

    This song has a certain kind of joy and exuberance about it that, to me, seems quite infectious.

    I guess to some degree some may see the lyrics as being in that "platitude" bracket we have heard about recently, but to me good advice is good advice whether it has been stated many times or not, and Get up off your ass and don't let the barstools grind you down, will always be good advice, and sometimes you just need reminding.

    In the first verse Ray states twice that the song is for the little guy... not so much a call to arms, but an encouragement that you're not invisible, and the powers that be may not hear you, but that's because they're just big mouths, but essentially you matter, so don't hide away, get up and Live Life.
    Again Ray levels the accusation at all sides of the political agenda, and which ever way any of us lean, surely we all realise that none of them care a toss about any of us, no matter how much they crap on about caring for (insert current popular group here) They all just want votes so their wallets get lined by lobbyists.

    He goes on to encourage community action ... don't let the isolation agenda work - Let us see your faces! For decades now there has been an agenda to keep everyone in their homes. Home entertainment, food delivery. All this stuff designed to keep us in our homes as much as possible.... except of course the going to work part which is essential for money to survive, but most of us are generally in one location during the day, so still easily kept in order and out of mischief.

    This sort of seems like a get away from the tv and interact with your community type of message.... does anybody remember community? :) I'm exaggerating of course, but that is the general direction society seems to have taken. A disconnect between people.... and that disconnect is encouraged by the media constantly telling us it is too dangerous to go outside, because everyone outside is a murderer or a rapist ... or a germ carrier of some description.

    This section
    "Somebody gotta get up and shout
    Somebody gotta give us some clout
    You're the ones to make it all work out
    It all depends on you"
    seems like it should have been rewritten.... it doesn't really go anywhere, and it doesn't really say much of anything .... but at the end of the day that doesn't bother me too much because it's a bouncy pop/rock song designed for feel good vibes and all of that kind of thing, it just has a Ray twist in the lyric style.

    I suppose in some ways some could see this as contradictory to Live Life, but for the most part I don't really see it that way. For me they kind of go hand in hand. Don't let the world scare you away from living your life. Don't let all the stuff that's out of your control depress you into the submission of being a couch rider for the rest of your life..... whether it's joining some community group, or playing some sport/activity with a group of people, or going to the park, the river, the ocean, the museum, the art gallery, a Kinks concert, or whatever the applicable pastime for you, in your location, is, get up and do it. Get out of the damn house and Live Life.

    We have rolled through this album of misfits and unusual scenarios, and this track seems to be, whoever you are, wherever you're from, get up and be the best you can be, and don't be discouraged by the many forces that will try to keep you locked in your box.

    Musically this track has one of the best melodies on the album, there is this joyous, boisterous energy coming from this track.

    We open with some well controlled feedback and some cymbal rolls, that are accented by some sort of crashing chords, as we smoothly slide into the song proper.
    The vocal comes in with an acoustic guitar, and for the first couple of lines the stabbing accents of the intro guitar and drums continues, but then we move into the song proper, so to speak.

    From the "you're in the middle" vocal we get the bass initially pounding the one note, but then it moves into some nice runs that really help give the song some flow and a great feel.
    Then the piano which had been fairly background up to this point, comes forward and really throws in some great rhythmic playing.

    This is another of those songs that seems to keep rising and growing, and just when you feel you have a handle on it, it just throws in another subtle twist that draws your ears back again.

    We get some organ come in and it's used really well in the 1:13 chord stab, that kind of makes me think of ABBA or something in the way it is just this little accent that is used in this section twice for effect and moves along.

    A halftime feel, a chorus, a fun double time feel with a lead break and some organ lead.... It just sounds like the band is having a great time jamming it out here, and then all of a sudden it's over.....

    I'm not really sure what everybody will think of this song.... and while I see it as being comparatively light lyrically, I think that suits the feel of the song as a good time run out for the album....

     
  14. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Misfits.

    So although I went into this album on the back foot, and with a little trepidation about "that" song, this ends up being a great album ... it is a completely different sound and feel to Sleepwalker, but for me that's a good thing, very few bands that focus on one style or thing keep my attention very long.

    I still think that the sequencing doesn't help the album, but it isn't terminal. The way it is laid out, for me at least, gives it this steady rising feel, and we end with a somewhat joyous bang to finish... is Get Up the most upbeat, joyous closer the band ever did? or perhaps even recorded? I don't know.
    Essentially the album is probably sequenced about as well as it could be, because looking at it many many times, there are a couple of songs that are literally misfits of themselves, and however you try and slot this together, they are going to be an Achilles Heel in terms of sequencing.
    I also like the idea of Rock and Roll Fantasy opening the album, and Misfits closing the album, but again with the other songs we have here, it seems like it would be really awkward to make them fit together any better than they already do.... I think it works really well as an album, and particularly a Kinks album, but however you order it, those couple of songs make it awkward.... and Get Up seems to only really belong as the last track, because of the vibe of it.

    The album has this rough theme of disconnected people and misfits, and that is probably one of the factors that lifts it up to be one of the favourites for many Kinks fans, as, in a Beatles and Stones kind of world, we ourselves seem to somewhat be misfits.

    I think this album is one of the best sounding and best mixed albums in the catalog, at least up to this point, and I think that certainly helps with the way it is perceived for many, but it also covers many and varied topics, and for the most part it handles them all very well.

    One thing I was concerned about as we, or at least I, discovered the greatness of the sixties catalog, was a that perhaps when we got to the later albums I may end up feeling that they were lesser albums, and in all honesty for each, there seems to have been a hesitation point as I reassociate myself with the changed sound and style, but all that ends up happening for me is I appreciate the changes and the variety, and for me it actually has enhanced the catalog a lot. If the band stayed in the zone of making Village Green and Arthur, I would be left a little empty, and the stuck in a rut feel of that kind of thing would also make me like those albums less, as there would be nothing special about them.... they would just be "another Kinks album" .... and the reality is, I may not have even been interested in the band. Whereas with the broad variety and smooth movement through various styles and sounds and ideas, I end up getting a beautifully broad range of music to choose from if I feel like listening to the Kinks.

    So after re-acclimating myself to the flowing sound and styles of Schoolboys through to Misfits, I find myself loving these albums as much as I ever did, and perhaps with the benefit of all the background information, perhaps liking them even more.

    One of the stand out features of this album for me is the range the band carry off... there is a little bit of everything, and for the most part, almost all the songs sound like they could have been singles, to my ear, yet they are pretty much very different from each other.... and manage to fit together pretty well in the context of the album.

    Another solid album, in my world
     
  15. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    "Get Up", a bouncy, catchy little number, it has a kind of poppy Who-like quality to it. The problem is the second half of the song doesn't really go anywhere, like Ray has ran out of things to say. I also don't really like Ray yelling at us to get up off our arses!

    Lyrically this is simultaneously unsubtle and vague in that way rock bands often are when they contemplate the world further than the end of their noses. However I don't think I'm wrong in expecting something more than textbook shouty sloganeering from Ray Davies. Also I'm sorry but it just doesn't sound convincing when we were being advised to keep our heads down and get on with our lives a few songs before.
     
  16. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    I don’t like this bass line at all. Not sure why but it almost ruins the song for me. It’s a bit like slap (though not quite there yet), a style I never warmed to because I always felt it was showing off for the sake of showing off and that it never served the songs. Pyle’s playing (I think it's him ?) stands out in the arrangement in a very obtrusive way. Around the same time, whenever McCartney did his bouncing walloping melodic bass lines on semi-disco tunes (Silly Love Songs, Goodnight Tonight, Morse Moose and the Grey Goose), they were used as hooks yet still anchored the songs rhythmically and tightened the band. Here, the guy’s on his own, he doesn’t blend in, nothing gels, I don’t know, it makes the song sound like muzak to my ears (says he, after praising Goodnight Tonight and Silly Love Songs !!:shh:). We’re just finishing going through a record that sounds fantastic, with a lot of space between the instruments, the polar opposite to the claustrophobic Sleepwalker but on this specific song I think there’s almost too much space, the band don’t cohere (apart from the instrumental coda, where the guitar and organ fill up the audio spectrum). And like In a Foreign Land, the opening stanza is 100 times better than anything that comes after it. It sets the song up on a path it will then deliberately shy away from. Whenever this one starts I’m like “oh wow, I forgot how cool this last song is”, only to be let down soon after. It has an air of Salvation Road, even lyrically, but I’ll argue it’s almost alarming: in the Act 2 closer, it was clear the “message” was one of propaganda. But here, there’s no critical distance at all when it indeeds turns from affectionate "encouragement" to vague "call to arms" (to use @Mark's terms). Like @Vangro hinted at a few days ago, Ray’s clearly the one hammering his own message in the brain of his listeners. In his mind, I guess this could be the dialectical answer to the Live Life “look away and be happy” Big brother-y slogan? Maybe so, but it fails to make it better in my view. So here’s what I’m keeping: the Hard Day’s Night/Do it Again big chords intro, the infectious post Juke Box Music acoustic strumming and the ebullient first three lines, where everything is perfect, lyrics, flow, melody and delivery. “Here's a song for all the little men, who get forgotten / Time and time again/ Here's a message for the little guy / don't let this situation pass you by.” After that, I choose to drift away and dream about where the song could’ve gone from there.
     
  17. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    "Get Up"

    It's a nice little tune, ending the album on an upbeat note. I just find it a little average though, or perhaps the problem is that as a song it's not quite strong enough to pull the album out of the "side two slump" that I perceive. Lyrically I'm unconvinced by the call to arms for the little man.

    Misfits itself is a decent album - going through it track-by-track I'm reminded of how many good songs there are on this album - but somehow for me as an album it comes out as a little less than the sum of its parts. Side One (at least in the US format that I'm accustomed to) is absolutely fine, delivering songs that have a very recognisable Kinks stamp on them. Side Two has two or three tracks that I find more difficult to love, which brings my perception of the album down a bit.

    There is also the underlying vibe of the band being in flux at this point, and possibly close to ending. As we know in the end, The Kinks decided to go all in with arena rock, and made decent success out of it, but Misfits captures them at an uncertain time, and there is an accordingly uncertain feel about the album. Like Sleepwalker, it would be somewhere in the middle of my ranking of Kinks albums, if I had such a thing.
     
  18. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    In general, I like how Misfits has a perkier, more upbeat quality to it than Sleepwalker, the blandness and anonymity of the latter has been largely avoided. There are three really good songs and two almost good ones but, unfortunately, I dislike everything else.
     
  19. lothianlad

    lothianlad Forum Resident

    Location:
    scotland
    I always felt that "misfits" was a real step down from "sleepwalker" (which i still think is their most underrated album)

    Listening again today nothing has really changed my mind on that front.
     
  20. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    The Albums

    5 star albums
    Arthur
    Muswell Hillbillies
    Village Green Preservation Society
    Something Else
    Lola vs Powerman
    Face To Face

    4.5 star albums
    Sleepwalker
    Misfits
    Kontroversy

    4 star albums
    Preservation Act 2
    Preservations Act 1
    Everybody's In Showbiz
    Soap Opera
    Kinda Kinks
    Schoolboys In Disgrace

    3.5 star albums
    Percy
    The Kinks
     
  21. Martyj

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

    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    Get Up

    Listening to this song is akin to being in an open cockpit airplane speeding down the runway, wind in the face, feeling the exhilaration of the expected lift off at any minute…but it never comes. I find Get Up kinda….meh. As an LP closer one hopes for more—as one does with all closers—but it’s really rather forgetful. It inspires so little enthusiasm from me that I’m not the least bit motivated to give it more thought and write about it here. Probably the least interesting track on the LP.

    ** cough, cough ** Better Things…

    I think Rock N’ Roll Fantasy would have closed the LP better. It would give it a similar vibe to what Celluloid Heroes does for Everybody’s in Showbiz
     
  22. stewedandkeefed

    stewedandkeefed Came Ashore In The Dead Of The Night

    "Get Up" is a decent enough album closer (I prefer REM's song with the same title from Green). It has some pep to it and some good old fashioned rock n roll guitar.

    Generally, I find Misfits to be a step down from Sleepwalker but it is a pretty average record overall - it has some highlights but nothing really sticks out to me as being in the top tier of Kinks Katalogue.
     
  23. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Yea, wasn't looking ahead... though Better Things has a certain melancholy to it also.

    I looked at the tracklist many times, and it felt like this is such an odd assortment of songs, that moving anything destabilizes something else..
    I really wanted to play with the structure, but it seemed immovable... almost like if you move anything it falls apart....
     
  24. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scotland
    We get small traces of shouty Ray as he gears up for the lacerating larynx workouts of Low Budget. Overall, I find this song pretty good, especially the opening minute or so.

    As for Misfits, it took me a while to warm to this one, certainly longer than Sleepwalker, but despite the couple of lyrically dodgy songs I enjoy it overall. A 3.75/5 album.
     
  25. Endicott

    Endicott Forum Resident

    Get Up

    As @Vangro pointed out a couple days ago, this song seems to be a complete contradiction to "Live Life" -- here Ray is telling us to get up off our easy chairs and storm the streets and fight for our right to party, or something. I guess the argument one can make that it's not conflicting advice from the other track is that this song seems more to be about individual empowerment, rather than about trying to change the world. So in that sense, it's a logical extension of "Live Life". To live your life, you have to take charge of it. Misfits of the world, unite!

    Musically it's pretty average, though there are a couple of points of interest: the intro, which starts off with the opening chord from "I'm Not Like Everybody Else" (the Kinks' original misfit anthem), followed by a quasi-psychedelic mini-flourish punctuated by another pair of power chords, before yielding to a somewhat thin-sounding opening verse. Ray's singing picks up after that, as does the band's playing, and it settles into a solid but unremarkable pop song (the piano is really good). But then comes the coda, which is on a different level -- it goes on for about a minute after the song proper ends, and if not in the same ballpark as the Velvet Underground's 'What Goes On" (my favorite instrumental coda ever), it's a great capper to a flawed but still pretty satisfying album.
     

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