The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    This Precious Time (Long Lonely Road).

    demo, stereo mix, recorded Nov 1978 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London

    You are here, no place to go
    Lost in a world that's got no soul
    Mocking faces all around you
    Shifting about in ever restless irony

    We give you all our love
    And hope your heart can change your mind
    Yet I see you and me
    As we wander endlessly
    On this long lonely road

    Who are you, who have the right to say
    You lead us on and then you steal away
    With the gifts that were offered
    Time again and again

    We give you all our love
    And hope your heart can change your mind
    Yet I see you and me as we wander endlessly
    On this long lonely road

    Instrumental

    Could we but see
    The unrest that surrounds you and me
    Will produce a good that will far outweigh the evil of this world
    Seek within your soul and earn the right to know
    I cannot speak
    These words just drag me down

    Yes I see you and me
    As we wander endlessly
    On this long lonely road

    Written by: Dave Davies
    Published by: Dabe Music

    Dave - guitar and vocals
    Andy Pyle - bass
    Nick Trevisik - Drums
    Simon Davies - incidental arrangement and effects

    This one has a little more history attached to it I guess.
    Dave first attempted this one in 1975 at Apple Studios, but it was redone in 78-79 at Konk.

    The opening section before the instrumental break sounds like it is directed at Ray to me.
    The opening verse seems to perhaps look at Ray's attempts to write his musical plays, and it seems the world has no soul, because it mocks his endeavours.
    Then we move into the idea that we are all here with "you", trying to give you out love? participation....
    But it ends up the "you and me" are just wandering along this long lonely road.

    The next verse suggests a leader of sorts, who is disconnected and by the context inferred is probably not very understanding of those with him. Possibly the next bits suggests that this leader has gifts, or is offered some, over and over, but to no avail? not sure... a somewhat typically vague Dave lyric.... but perhaps the vagueness of the lyrics save him from a fight with Ray, if Ray clicked to it?

    Then we get an instrumental section, that is followed by ...

    There is an unrest that surround "you and me" and it could produce some good stuff to combat the evil in this world. Look deep inside yourself and "earn the right to know"?
    But I can't speak, because this all just drags me down.

    And then we reflect on the fact that we just seem to wander along this long, lonely road.

    Again cryptic as ever, we have Dave writing lyrics that suggest, rather than say things, and it makes me wonder if sometimes this was to shield himself from the interpretations of his lyrics. Leaving them open enough to mean many things, yet focused enough for him to feel he had expressed what he needed to?

    We get an interesting bouncy, Latin? type rhythm opening us up, perhaps with a hint of a disco beat.... the bass and the drums sort of lean that way, without actually wearing the stack heels and glittery clothes.
    A pretty nice chord pattern during the intro, and into the verse a settles but moves to a nice resolve at the end of the verse.

    Then the chorus has an almost ominous kind of sound to it, melodically, and via the chord pattern...
    But we have this bouncy kind of rhythm in the background.

    There are a lot of textures in this track, and I think you can hear the effects that Simon put on here.... I gather some flanging, type, effects, and some delay effects.

    Then we move into the instrumental section.... that almost has a Santana kind of feel, with the way Dave is playing. It is a nice little lead break, that disappears into a wash of effected guitars, with the vocals low and melancholy underneath.

    The verse over this section is slow and mournful in its delivery, and we move to some effects washes, that end up coming back around to the opening arrangement ....

    This is another interesting Dave song, and I like it a fair bit, but yet again, it feels like a co-writer could have lifted this to the next level..... though it is somewhat unfair to look at it this way, as these are just demos of ideas that he obviously just grabbed the rhythm section to help him put them down while Ray was busy with something else?

     
  2. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Decade.

    This is an unusual collection of songs, and it somewhat points out the strengths and weaknesses I see in Dave's writing, that I fear will reveal themselves more clearly when we hit AFL 1....

    I love Dave, and he is an absolutely essential part of the Kinks, and a perfect foil for Ray, but to some degree when he is writing on his own, it feels like he finds it hard to focus, or clearly execute what is in his head, and we often end up with these somewhat unfocused tracks that have some good parts, and passionate delivery, but don't quite come together for me.

    I have probably said it before, and I'll probably say it again, Dave seems like he could have used a writing partner to help him focus his ideas.

    There are some really interesting things on this collection of songs, and for me they sort of represent the wilderness years, of Dave trying to reassemble his heart mind towards writing after the late sixties push to make him do a solo album had torn his confidence away.

    The way this collection comes together somewhat shows Dave getting his confidence back, and preparing the ground for his emergence in the eighties as a solo recording artist. He seems to get more comfortable in his own skin, and the confidence to just say "well, this is what I do, take it or leave it"

    I like a lot of these songs, and I am pleased to have them, but it isn't really a top class album, but it was never really meant to be... so far as i can tell. It is a compilation of Dave demo's, outtakes, experiments? in the down time while I gather, Ray was off doing something else.
     
  3. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    I've tried again a few times with yesterday's Dave tracks, but still haven't been able to get into them. Their lack of focus/inability to get to the point becomes a bit annoying in the end.

    Today's are much better, I think. "Same Old Blues" has a nice vibe and atmosphere about it, and doesn't meander too far from that main theme to dissipate the effect.

    "Long Lonely Road" actually sounds like a genuinely ambitious attempt at an epic album closer, and on first listen it seems like a good attempt. I like the disco-ish feel about it and the more ominous chorus. The instrumental section has some nice effects on it, moving into a dramatic final verse.

    The issue here for me, really, is timing. I was lucky enough to find the twofer-CD of AFLI/Glamour in 1995, when my collection was much smaller and I had so much more time to give it attention and fully get into those albums. This is why I have a positive impression of those albums and why I will be happy to defend them when we get around to covering them.

    Had Decade come out at the same time, or even 20 years ago, I would have lapped it up. I would have had the time to listen and absorb it, and I feel that at least half the album would be rewarding with that amount of attention. It would seem kind of pointless for me to buy it now (similarly with Hidden Treasures) as I doubt I would find the time to listen to it much, and I'm more likely to put on a record these days than a CD (so Bug is getting much more of a look-in than it would have done had I bought it on CD).

    I'm glad it exists, though, as it shows that Dave was still developing his idiosyncratic art through a decade where we didn't hear very much from him.
     
  4. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    Yeah, on Same Old Blues I too hear some nice Mark Knopfler guitar tones. The groove is ok yet I don’t care for the verse at all but the chorus is really pretty and engaging. Did I just say “pretty” ? It allows me to call the This Precious Time dirty pseudo-disco thing “ugly”… It’s well crafted I guess, but not for me at all. The long dramatic bridge with the heavy choir is better, especially when I focus on the lyrics and think of Ray, like it seems Dave invites us to do on every other song.

    And so we finish our on & off Decade exploration with a couple of completed recordings. I’m glad we’re through with this record at last, and also glad @Mark decided we would tackle it the way we did. Every month or so on this thread, we got news from Dave and could see where he was at, in his “lost” years as a songwriter. It was not always a pretty sight or a comfortable listen, as it was plain clear he was struggling with inspiration. As time went on, we could see him finding his way back to better ideas, stronger compositions, gradually getting back on his feet and finding his bearings with the always elusive craft of songwriting. We’re between Misfits and Low Budget now, and he’s about to launch into a fulfilling solo career, which would’ve been all but impossible before, based on his 73 and 75 demos. He obviously had to go through this long path to find a new “voice”. I’m not a fan of his air guitar early 80’s LP’s (I don’t know them too well, so I may be in for a nice surprise when we get there), but like @donstemple I find it difficult to understand why he “lost it” for so long. In 69-70, he was writing stunning stuff and it’s like he exploded in mid-flight and couldn’t crack the code anymore. The Decade tracks show a steady progress, like a guy learning how to walk again after a long reeducation program. It looks like the five songs from 1978-79, Islands, Give You All My Love, Within Each Day, Same Old Blues and This Precious Time were sequenced in that order to form the backbone of the Decade record, from demo state to more finished tracks. Incidentally, they seem to come from the same cloth as Trust Your Heart which now appears to be a solo song in disguise (with the same drummer, Nick Trevisik). It was a long lonely road indeed, but Dave Davies is now ready to go.
     
  5. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Location:
    Murrumbateman
    Just returned from a holiday (no sand or blisters though) so will try to pick up as if I haven't been away.
    The last four songs of Dave's Decade are frustrating. There are some good ideas there but lacking in polish. I get a Badfinger vibe from Give You All My Love and Within Each Day, but they aren't as polished, or as finished, as Badfinger songs. Same Old Blues and This Precious Time are tighter but neither seem strong enough to get me replaying them soon. I'd like to have seen Dave channeling some of the same angst from his very good late sixties' songs but he was obviously in a different mental state ten years later.
     
  6. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Welcome back. Hope you had fun
     
    All Down The Line, DISKOJOE and Zeki like this.
  7. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Location:
    Murrumbateman
    I'm both heavier and poorer - trademarks of a successful holiday for me :D
     
  8. Luckless Pedestrian

    Luckless Pedestrian Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Hampshire, USA
    Hmm it occurs to me that I would reach for any Ray solo album before both Sleepwalker and Misfits - but each of us finds different things to enjoy when it comes to music. Look forward to discussing those.
     
  9. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Islands

    In some ways this is a pretty conventional song for Dave or at least the first part is and maybe the other parts too!
    A couple of other Avids have commented on some of Dave's songs containing promising ideas (ie: parts) though throwing too many worthy, (ie: interesting) though disparate ones together that may better serve him by becoming individual songs unto themselves.
    This song is pretty good and isn't at all the worst offender in this way but unlike even Ray's lesser songs i often don't find Dave's transitions to be too seamless.
     
  10. Jasper Dailey

    Jasper Dailey Forum Resident

    Location:
    Southeast US
    Same Old Blues: Tasty guitar, nice melody, kinda underwhelming song. The Knopfler guitar lead comparisons are good, but the songwriting isn't focused like his usually is -- this makes me think more of when Clapton is penning something. Anyway, it's alright.

    This Precious Time: Okay, somebody recently said AFL sounded like the solo album of a prog guitarist. I need to re-listen to that one and let it sink in (we will get there, obviously), but the first thing I thought of hearing *this* track, was that comment. I really like this. It's so un-Kinky, so un-Ray, but yet still engaging. The hypnotic disco-bass, that high flanged guitar part sounding like a theremin before "We give you all your love...". Dave also sounds so unhinged (in a good way) vocally here the way he spits out the verses. @ARL is right -- this could be an album closer, and I'll be honest, I'd take it over most of Ray's 70s closing tracks, with some obvious exceptions that don't need to be noted. I know the dates don't line up, but the darkness and length of this one would make it fit pretty well on Sleepwalker.
     
  11. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Re: Ray and Dave's solo careers post Kinks: To me Dave's was more like an outpouring of expression after being somewhat stifled in a collaborative band format, whereas Rays (release wise anyway) has been a kind of a dazed and stunned dribs and drabs stop and start endeavour that by contrast seems very unsure of itself outwith the band format. Ray has expressed many times how much he misses the Kinks and has been the driving forced behind several never realised reunions going back to 1998 and I guess what he's really talking about is the fraternal creative tension/telepathy he had with his brother and in a different way Mick. I have to admit it's a pet hate of mine seeing fans who think Ray = The Kinks saying things like 'don't care about a Kinks reunion, I saw em in 19canteen. More solo albums please Ray' because I do think there genuinely is unfinished business there for Ray (more so than Dave) in terms of working with those people again. it's not just a nostalgia thing. I think Ray using the Jayhawks on his last 2 studio albums was a conscious move to use a genuine functional band in a bid to approximate The Kinks way of working, as opposed to sessioneers as used on his first 2.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2022
  12. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Ray solo: all I’m familiar with is ‘Working Man’s Cafe.’ Bought it upon release but, quite frankly, can’t recall anything about it. The album title is great, though!

    Dave solo: there’s no question he made the right call in not going off on his own back in the old days. I’m in the he-needs-a-writing-partner camp. As long as you’re not named Mick Avory, he seems like a likable guy so I’ve been rooting for him…but, no, he can’t carry a solo career.
     
  13. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Give You All My Love

    This doesn't do much for me but reinforce why some of these tracks were never released or completed at the time.

    N.b. Dave often strikes me as having little vocal control or is that just a small range or is it lack of limitation awareness or perhaps all three.
    That said I do really enjoy several of his lead vocals and feel that for the Kinks he is an exceptional backing vocalist!
    Is that a dichotomy?
     
  14. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    "Same Old Blues"/"This Precious Time": Song #1 is OK, I noticed that the vocal sounds somewhat different, although still identifiable as Dave. Nice hooks in the beginning. As for Song #2, it's another "almost there, but not quite" song w/nice playing.

    As for Decade in general, I don't regret getting it since I was rather curious about what Dave was up to in the 1970s, but it is an album of demos w/all the faults and imperfections that it implies. It's not up to par w/his 60s output. Frankly, I'm not as invested in Dave's solo career as of Ray's. I have both editions of Unfinished Business and Kinked and I'm satisfied. However, I do have to say that there are a few Dave solo songs that I enjoy and feel worthy for inclusion in a Kinks album.
     
  15. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Within Each Day

    I align with our headmaster's comments concerning Dave's ever restless headspace of seemingly long term unresolved issues.
    I appreciate the vocal as it sounds more conceptially straightforward and therefore provides us with a more professional performance in comparison.
    That said to me this vocal also comes of as a bit stiff and bland though still easily eclipses the previous track.
     
  16. Fischman

    Fischman RockMonster, ClassicalMaster, and JazzMeister

    Location:
    New Mexico
    Same Old Blues

    A surprisingly rich slow burner. Everything beautifully understated but appropriately intense. Very tasteful, intricate-without-being-flashy guitar work. Yes, rather Knopfler-esque. And somewhere in blues heaven, Gary Moore is smiling at Dave's most excellent vocal.
     
  17. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    I’m just pursuing the (alleged) Ray solo discography according to Apple Music and found myself quite puzzled. So I cross-checked with wiki’s version of Ray’s solo offerings. And now I’m really confused.

    Wiki lists: 1) Return to Waterloo ‘85; and 2) The Storyteller ‘98…and then Other People’s Lives.

    Apple doesn’t offer the first two (no big deal, happens all the time based on label decision) but does have Other People’s Lives.

    But! Instead of the ‘85 and ‘98 albums noted above, Apple offers: The Big Band Box; Orchestral Maneuvers; Club Jazz; Latin Expressions; Lights, Camera, Action; and Moviedrome…all pre-dating Other People’s Lives.

    Is this a different Davies? Or are we looking at 2025 for thread wrap-up and Final Exams?
     
  18. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I think they are somebody different. I've never heard of those
     
  19. Jasper Dailey

    Jasper Dailey Forum Resident

    Location:
    Southeast US
    Mark's right -- it's just Return to Waterloo and Storyteller pre-Other People's Lives. You could also sorta include the soundtrack to 80 Days, which I think is a musical Ray wrote based on the Verne novel? I've never heard it so I've probably got the details wrong there.
     
  20. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    That soundtrack is only available as a bootleg, which I do have.
     
  21. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    There’s a few others later on that are suspect, as well. Meaning not listed in wiki: Comedy & Romance; Human Touch; Passion.

    Side note: I just listened to Vietnam Cowboys. I recall it now. Good song.
     
  22. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Same Old Blues

    Could be about Sue or a far more recent woman that played a part in Dave's life.
    A nice groove lick to compliment the vocal lament but I would have liked some short, edgy blues phrasing around and between vocal lines on such a track.
     
  23. donstemple

    donstemple Member of the Club

    Location:
    Maplewood, NJ
    Same Old Blues
    Not a bad song at all, but who knew Dave was in such.. dire straits?

    The first couple times I heard this morning (before reading the lyrics), I heard the first line as "I messed with you, you were a child" which really made me think it was a Sue song back from their early teenage years...

    This is probably not my favorite kind of music, but it's a pretty well constructed complete song, and I respect that. Nice guitar licks, a nice (appropriately) bluesy vocal by Dave. A pretty good chorus. Probably didn't need that extra minute at the end, though. Although there is a pretty cool bend in the bass part in that last minute.

    This Precious Time (Long Lonely Road)
    How much of this was overdubbed or recorded in 2018? Some of this sounds pretty modern. Not a bad funky underbelly to this song.

    The higher/softer part that starts with "we give you all our love" is a nice vocal changeup. And then the section, the music behind "Yet I see you and me as we wander endlessly On this long lonely road" reminds me of the chords of He's Evil?

    The half-time middle ethereal middle section is pretty good too.

    The bass transition back to the funky beat for the last minute is one of Dave's better transitions.

    I like it, but to me, I don't think it would sounded much like this in 1978...
     
  24. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I get the feeling that, for the most part, Muswell fans will enjoy the 2 Americana albums.
     
  25. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow

    These 'other' Ray Davies albums will be by the other musical Ray Davies: Ray Davies (trumpeter) - Wikipedia
     

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