Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by mark winstanley, Apr 4, 2021.
So 2024, then, for Finals. Phew!
Not in my case. I love Muswell and do not care for the Americana albums. I’ll try not to get too far ahead though and wait to give them another chance. We still have almost 40 years before we get there!
I have finally hit a wall with today’s songs by Dave. I don’t like either one enough to try and find something positive about them. Neither of them even sound like Dave or resemble The Kinks music at all. They will be two songs I never need to listen to again.
I remember being excited to hear Decade when it was released. I believe I picked it up from the library and downloaded it. I no longer have it, so I pretty quickly deleted it all. The sequencing was confusing and I wasn’t liking a lot of what I heard. Going through the album in this thread has revealed several good songs. I tend to like the earliest songs the most. By the time we get to 1978, Dave has really started to lose me. I’d say half of Decade is worthy to be added back to my collection.
Conversely, I'm not a fan of Muswell, and have never been able to get into Americana Part 1, to the extent that I never bothered with Part 2...
So tomorrow is Low Budget intro, correct?
I’m in full agreement, they have little in common.
As a non-Muswell fan, I quite liked the first Americana album but couldn't get into the second. It will be interesting to revisit them, as I wonder if my liking the first had a lot to do with the just having something new from Ray.
Americana 1 is better than Americana 2 but to me that’s not saying much. I played 1 quite a few times but I prefer OtherPeople’s Lives and Working Man’s Cafe, but I haven’t played 1 in years. Americana 2 reminds of a bad Broadway cast album, played once and packed it away, a major disappointment.
Well I guess my two listens each so far weren't sufficient... certainly less rocky to my ear than Muswell, but countryish/bluesyish story songs...
Oh well, we'll see how it unfolds when we get there.
Give You All My Love
Within Each Day
I like Within Each Day more than Give You All My Love. In both, Dave does show he can really sing well. I don't mind the gruff or scratchy voice he sometimes produces, but when he's straight singing, it shows he's capable of sounding quite lovely.
As Mark pointed out, both songs would benefit from a partner. Wonder if Dave knew anyone back then who could have maybe helped him along with that?! Hmmmm...
nah, maybe not.
This Precious Time
Pretty interesting song. The music at the start sounds like something that could have fit on a Preservation album. Pretty heavy.
And as Mark suggested, these lyrics could be about his relationship about Ray. I'm sure Dave had more relationships in his life than with Ray...but those two boys just had a complicated time of it. I think they sort of haunt each other.
One of the better songs on this album...though still needing work no doubt.
After listening to Low Budget today, I am quite excited to jump in. I know some others on here have indicated that they be backing out right about now. Their loss, I say. Yes, there's some shouty Ray...but I don't think an excessive amount. there are a few cringy moments, but no cringy songs (IMO).
They sounds like the Kinks. Let's crank it up to 11.
I don't remember if I posted this before (I made my debut here around the time of Face to Face, I believe), but here's Petula Clark w/her French language cover of "A Well Respected Man", going out to our French Avids Fortuleo and The late man:
Excellent, I hadn't seen the clip! One of the many highlights of Kinked!
Studio album by
Released 10 July 1979 (US)
7 September 1979 (UK)
Recorded January 1979 – June 1979
Studio Power Station and Blue Rock Studios, New York
Genre Hard rock
Producer Ray Davies
Produced by: Ray Davies
Release date: 7 Sep, 1979
Record label & catalog #: Arista SPART 1099
Format: 12" vinyl LP (album), 33 1/3 RPM
Release type: Regular release
1. Attitude stereo mix, recorded 20-30 May, 1979 (backing track), early Jun 1979 (vocals) at Power Station, New York (backing track), Blue Rock Studios, New York (vocals)
2. Catch Me Now I'm Falling stereo mix (5:56), recorded 20-30 May, 1979 (backing track), early Jun 1979 (vocals) at Power Station, New York (backing track), Blue Rock Studios, New York (vocals)
3. Pressure stereo mix, recorded Jan 1979 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London
4. National Health stereo mix, recorded 20-30 May, 1979 (backing track), early Jun 1979 (vocals) at Power Station, New York (backing track), Blue Rock Studios, New York (vocals)
5. (Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman stereo mix, newer mix with synthesizer overdubs, longer LP edit (6:01), recorded Jan 1979, additional synthesizer overdubs Feb 1979 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London
1. Low Budget stereo mix, shorter edit (3:46), recorded Jan 1979 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London
2. In A Space stereo mix, recorded 20-30 May, 1979 (backing track), early Jun 1979 (vocals) at Power Station, New York (backing track), Blue Rock Studios, New York (vocals)
3. Little Bit Of Emotion stereo mix, recorded 20-30 May, 1979 (backing track), early Jun 1979 (vocals) at Power Station, New York (backing track), Blue Rock Studios, New York (vocals)
4. A Gallon Of Gas stereo mix, shorter edit (2:41), recorded 20-30 May, 1979 (backing track), early Jun 1979 (vocals) at Power Station, New York (backing track), Blue Rock Studios, New York (vocals)
5. Misery stereo mix, recorded 20-30 May, 1979 (backing track), early Jun 1979 (vocals) at Power Station, New York (backing track), Blue Rock Studios, New York (vocals)
6. Moving Pictures stereo mix, recorded 20-30 May, 1979 (backing track), early Jun 1979 (vocals) at Power Station, New York (backing track), Blue Rock Studios, New York (vocals)
bonus track on the cd
12. A Gallon Of Gas stereo mix, longer edit with extra verse (3:41), recorded 20-30 May, 1979 (backing track), early Jun 1979 (vocals) at Power Station, New York (backing track), Blue Rock Studios, New York (vocals)
13. Catch Me Now I'm Falling stereo mix (5:56), recorded 20-30 May, 1979 (backing track), early Jun 1979 (vocals) at Power Station, New York (backing track), Blue Rock Studios, New York (vocals)
14. (Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman stereo mix, newer mix with synthesizer overdubs, longer edit (6:01), recorded Jan 1979, additional synthesizer overdubs Feb 1979 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London
We will also have the extra tracks
Maybe I Love You
Stolen Away Your Heart
DAVE DAVIES/Guitar, Backing Vocals
JIM RODFORD/Bass, Backing Vocals
RAY DAVIES/Keyboards, Rhythm Guitar, Lead Vocals
Rythm tracks recorded at The Power Station, New York*
Vocals at Blue Rock Studios, New York
Mixed at Konk Studios, London
Rehearsed at the Daily Planet
*Except "(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman" and "Low Budget" recorded at Konk Studios, London
Mastered at Masterdisk, New York, by Bob Ludwig
and at Sterling Sound, New York, by Jack Skinner
Special Thanks to Scott Litt and Raymond Willhard at The Power Station
All songs Composed and Produced by Ray Davies
All Songs (c) 1979 Davray Music Ltd.
Cover Concept/Ray Davies
Art Direction/Ron Kellum and Donn Davenport
Low Budget is another very different album by the Kinks.
With Sleepwalker we got the somewhat laid back, somewhat commercial sound that many here seemed not to like, but I think it is a wonderful variation in the catalog, and it charted at 21 in the US.
This was followed by the diverse and challenging Misfits, that was a return to a more quirky Kinks type sound, and also contained a couple of songs that were just not really commercial themes for 1978, and even less so in our current era .... the album charted at number 40 in the US, and in some ways failed to capitalise on the ground made with Sleepwalker.....
Then we get to the 1979 album Low Budget, and a Kinks album finally managed to marry critical and commercial success. Getting generally excellent reviews across the board, and reaching number 11 on the US chart, and being the first Kinks studio album to get a certification, it can only really be seen as a great success.
I came to this album via the One For The Road live album that we will be looking at very soon, and I must admit to initially being a little disappointed with the album. It wasn't that the songs weren't good, in fact in spite of the, yet again, slight stylistic change, these songs are up with anything Ray ever did. The disappointment arose from the sound of the album.... On the live album, we have a nice raw rock sound and here on occasion we hear Ray somewhat pandering to the new wave market with the sound of it, and initially that made it hard for me to get into.
The thing is though, for me, the songs are so good, that I ended up becoming acclimated to the sound and style of the album, and it, to this day, still sits among my favourite Kinks albums..... sure it isn't Something Else, nor Village Green, nor Arthur, nor Muswell Hillbillies, but why would it be. The nearest of those albums is nearly a decade old, and the band had been on many a winding path since that point in time.
Although we are almost certain to have comparisons to the punk movement, which was essentially dying out, and morphing into hardcore and other variations .... In fact, a few months after this release, the Clash would release London Calling, generally considered the band's peak, and it is about as Classic Rock as a punk band or album ever got ... I don't really hear this as being particularly punk influenced, except perhaps Pressure, Attitude ... but it doesn't seem out of line for one of the bands that were often proto-punk in the sixties to update themselves after a long journey exploring other landscapes...
In fact, aside from the production sound, this album seems to me more of a return to the garage rock that made the band famous in the first place. It seems like the wandering minstrels had returned to claim their crown from their youth ... that others had attempted to take....
This is another album that lyrically has a thin thematic strand running through it. It is not so much a reflection on the past, nor a mind to the future, so much as it is a document of the present, as it was. To a degree, much like U2 cast an observational eye over the US with Joshua Tree, here we have Ray doing pretty much the same thing. The US was somewhat in turmoil in the late seventies with the economy and the world image of the country suffering, and Ray casts an observational eye over the landscape and reports back to us
It isn't merely based on that, and we have songs that speak to many of the things that Ray has returned to over the years, but there is a uniformity in the overall feel and messages in this album, that for the most part maintain a thread of thematic inclusion.
It is rather funny to me that a big deal was made of Clive Davis demanding no concept albums, and in his typically subversive way, all three of the albums on Arista up to and including this one manage to avoid the concept album tag, but sort of belligerently maintain a thematic flow, as if Ray was flipping Clive the bird very subtly with each successive release.... and also looking at the subject matter of many of the songs on the three albums, if Clive wanted straight up mainstream commercial music, Ray was somewhat subverting that with his lyrical themes.
To me it is also interesting that Misfits was labelled the return to rock music by the media. Although Sleepwalker has some softer tracks on it, it probably has as many rock tracks on it as Misfits...
But Low Budget is certainly a return to Rock in a very uncompromising way. There are certainly textural and mellow variations here, and there is also a minor tilt towards new wave, some would say disco, but even now I don't really hear Superman as disco, even if it has a couple of those elements in it, but for the most part we get The Kinks hardest rocking album ever.... song for song there is nothing in the catalog, up to this point, that is as focused on rock songs as this album, and again, that is likely a turn off for some folks, but it is not foreign to the band....
Imagine if the first Kinks album was around the time of Kinda Kinks, and the singles were included... that would be somewhat similar to this album, without the folk influences.
On this album we have Jim Rodford joining the band and staying til stumps.
Gordon Edwards plays piano on Low Budget, but essentially missed the boat, or plane in this case literally, and was fired. So essentially we get Ray on keys on this album.
Apparently there were early versions of Destroyer and Give The People What They Want recorded here, and there is debate as to whether early versions of Yo-Yo and Better Things were also recorded here. We also have 5 outtakes as listed by @Martyj and others.... and it seems a little disappointing that when the Low Budget extended version on cd came out, that these tracks didn't get the inclusion that other tracks did on the prior albums reissued on cd.
Aside from the US issues that get addressed on the album, we must also remember that 1978-79 was no walk in the park for the UK either, with the "winter of discontent" due to the winter 1979 energy crisis.
For the most part, although folks have spoken about Ray's writing becoming less subtle after the sixties, this is probably the album where Ray essentially wrote pretty direct lyrics, and didn't engage the subtleties we have seen from him generally across most of the band's albums.... and for me, that isn't a bad thing either. That doesn't take anything away from the beautiful subtlety of the sixties tracks, it is just pulling a sharp focus when the observer decided that focus was required.... It certainly may not suit everyone, but it is solid observational writing from a solid observational writer, and Ray still manages to maintain a certain amount of wit and humour that returned during Misfits, after a brief vacation on Sleepwalker.
Superman was released as a single backed by Low Budget prior to the album's release, and it typically did nothing in the UK, but reached number 41 in the US, which suggests at least that some folks were aware of it, and likely that an album was coming.
The band recorded most of the songs in New York, but there were a couple recorded at Konk, and it seems like this was the album where they decided they needed to try something different, and mix it up a little.... and to me, this would have been the ideal album for them to try an outside producer also. If they were willing to go to New York to record, then if they were ever going to try an outside producer, then this was it, but Ray wasn't willing to let anybody in on his plans, and so we have another album Composed and Produced by Ray Davies.
Th reaction to the album was generally pretty positive in the media circles, though most leaned towards it not being perfect,
Melody Maker said the album was "worth spending money on"
Rolling Stone said "the Kinks haven't mounted this kind of rock & roll attack since 'Lola.'"
Philip Bashe of Good Times wrote, "Strangely, Low Budget is an encouraging album. ... Their playing on this record is heartier than ever, and Ray himself is no longer coy in his delivery"
Trouser Press critic Mark Fleischmann said of Low Budget, "Flaws aside, it's still a great album."
Cash Box mentioned the album's grittiness and topical lyrics, and thought that the song "Little Bit of Emotion" should become a classic.
Essentially this was the Kinks actually grabbing hold of the opportunity that the last few years of work had provided. They didn't shoot themselves in the foot (intentionally?) this time.
In 1979 the band played 97 shows, which is more than they had played since the early sixties, and not topped until 1993, when they played 100 shows.... but we will have plenty of time to discuss the tour when we get to the excellent One For The Road album and video.
This was probably my second Kinks album, and after warming to the sound of it, it fairly quickly became an album that I love.
As I have previously stated, I think, after enjoying the sixties albums so much, I was concerned my love for these albums may be somewhat tainted, but that isn't the case, and Low Budget, for me personally, sits up alongside Something Else, Village Green, Arthur and Muswell Hillbillies in the band's best albums.
So, with trepidation and anxiety aplenty, I ask you to let us know
When did you first hear this album?
What did you think?
What do you think now?
and hopefully we can take a ride on this great album without me getting bent out of shape that only a couple of us like it
I only got Low Budget in the last year or two, having enjoyed Sleepwalker and Misfits. Despite struggling with the delivery on some of the songs, the lyrics often make them worthwhile. But I still find it a lesser album than Misfits. I'm also unsure about the cover image...
I picked up the CD of Low Budget in 1989 - can't remember whether it was brand new or used but I think it was something I just found rather than something I was actively looking for. Unlike most of the other Arista albums, I hadn't sampled it or heard any of it before buying the CD.
Being one of my earliest CDs, it would have got a lot of plays back at that time, and probably for the next decade, so the whole album is imprinted in my memory. I haven't played it so much in recent years, though. Having sampled some of the other Arista stuff, I was already aware of, and prepared for, the louder, shoutier Kinks of this era before I bought the CD.
It's an album I've always enjoyed, although it's never been at the top of my tree of Kinks albums. It definitely shows a culture change from Misfits, as The Kinks try their hand at punk, new wave and disco stylings, with varying degrees of success, alongside the more traditional rock styles. Whereas the band sounded in flux and a little uncertain of their direction on Misfits, here they sound rejuvenated and committed.
My CD is the 1988 European issue, but with a "special price" wraparound on the inlay booklet - ideal for those on a low budget! According to the disc it's "Produced by Ray Davis".
The Low Budget cover art is actually a fairly successful bit of graphic design on it's own terms: that is to say, I think unlike several (most?) earlier Kinks sleeves, it entirely appropriately fulfills the brief of what it was intended to be when Ray first sketched it out or whatever: the problem is I don't like that image as intended: The sight of a hookers painted toenails, fag butts and a damp pavement just kinda puts me on a downer, y'know? It doesn't so much have the 'glamour of squalor' or trash culture punk thing going on so much as these faceless mundane aspects seem kind of depressingly anonymous: the cover art seems to me more like the last sight a sad lonely drunk would see on a damp inner city Tuesday night before he blacks out and awakens in the cells the next morning.
Separate names with a comma.