The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    I’m also only familiar with the first two albums. I wouldn’t call them punk parody. I always heard them as a mix of Punk, 60s, Kinks, and Syd Barrett. It’s been awhile since I pulled those albums out, so now I know what I am listening to later.
     
  2. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    What I’d call their punk parody records are the on singles and EPs that predate the first two LPs: songs like ‘14th Floor’ and ‘Part Time Punks’. I agree the first 2 albums are great: I particularly like the second one, it’s very unique, evocative urban psychedelia.
     
  3. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Lol
    Well it is over a decade later.
    Just over ten years ago I was in a completely different country with a completely different life.... come gather round children wherever you roam..... :)
     
  4. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    How about New Wave Shouty Ray...almost rhymes.
     
  5. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    Wow, it's great to know that some Avids have heard of the TVPs. My favorite album of theirs is 1989's Privilege. It's too bad about Dan Tracey. I heard that he was arrested on drug charges at one point and actually served his sentence on a boat, just like the prisoners of the American Revolution era.
     
  6. TeddyB

    TeddyB Senior Member

    Location:
    Hollywoodland
    The late seventies and early eighties brought huge record sales, and the true era of Corporate Rock in which many of the aforementioned 60’s/70’s heroes became less interesting musically. The Stones are actually a different example, because they basically broke up fighting about what they should do. Jagger was given the secret solo deal by Walter Yetnikoff to try and become a Madonna/Michael Jackson sort of star figure and pushed the Stones into dance music while Keith pushed reggae influences and guitars.

    As pointed out, the Kinks seemed to sway back and forth. One For the Road is one attempt to tie it all together. It’s ironic (or something) that after all the hard work becoming a hard rock arena band, they finally had a huge hit with Come Dancing, a very “Kinks” sort of song. But we’ll get to State of Confusion (ha!) in a while.

    Oh — another fan of the Television Personalities here. They were also a huge influence on The Libertines, as were the Kinks (partially through the Jam and the Clash). Let’s not forget that one of the major factors in the career of the Kinks at this point was the “New Wave” bands like the Jam and Pretenders covering Kinks songs and the Clash lifting their riffs.
     
  7. pantofis

    pantofis Senior Member

    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    Attitude

    Say what you will about the first verse, it is striking but the soft-voiced bridge knocks me out every time. It’s a display of melodic supremacy to all the new wave/punk outfits that the Kinks are supposedly trying to catch up with. This is evidently delivered by the man who once gave them effortless gems like Do You Remember Walter?
    In short, I do hear some bandwagon jumping, but the Kinks manage to make it their own, just like all the greatest bands tend to do.
    The lyrics are simple, yet clever. Actually today is the first time I ever read them, and I also could never make out for years. And they’re very much the lyrics I assumed they were. Very confrontational.
    What I did always hear was the „toot-toot“ in the backing vocals, pretty sure it’s a reference to cocaine, as it fits the era.
    Even if it’s an old man ranting style, I like that as well as other songs with that approach like George Harrison’s Unconsciousness Rules or various telling offs by Frank Zappa.
     
  8. Cornelius Plum

    Cornelius Plum Forum Resident

    Location:
    Alexandria VA USA
    I suppose it is fair to say that Avory's drumming wasn't a perfect match for where The Kinks were heading, but one of my problems with late period Kinks is how everything started to sound "professional", yet sort of faceless. Kind of like Ray backed up by capable studio musicians. I think some of that has to do with the loss of Avory. For better or worse, their claim to fame didn't used to be instrumental excellence, and I found that charming.

    This is not to suggest that Avory's presence would have made, say, UK Jive a good album, let alone Phobia, but I still would have rather they had held onto Mick the way the Stones stuck with Charlie. Drummers, especially the old-school ones, have idiosyncrasies that can be a big part of the band's sound.

    Fogerty's subsequent drummers (not counting himself) were more skilled than Clifford, but I feel something crucial was always missing. Status Quo never sounded so good to me again after Coghlan, even though all the subsequent drummers were technically superior. Similarly, I find The Kinks with Henrit sounded less like The Kinks I love.
     
  9. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    I never even realized they lost Mick around the time of Word Of Mouth. Someone asked me the other day who I thought were the best rock drummers. After spending everyday with The Kinks for the last year, I put Mick near the top. He is so underrated. He went through so many stylistic shifts with the band and remained an interesting drummer. Starting with Low Budget his drums take more of a simple approach. That's why it's probably hard to tell they eventually lose him. It's too bad he didn't last the entire run of the band. I always thought it would have been fine to bow out after Word Of Mouth, and then we wouldn't have had to see the Think Visual album cover. We could have dreamed that the next album would have been amazing. I am actually glad they continued on because there are a few good tunes "Scattered" throughout the last three albums.
     
  10. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    By the gracious permission of our headmaster may i present.....

    "Lady And Gentlemen The Rolling Stones!"

    1981 Creem LP Reviews By J. Kordosh
    From the '64 debut through 68's Banquet.

    N.b. The Got Live one is a real doozie!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Attitude

    Not sure what to make of this on first listen so please bear with me as i just ramble on having read no reviews.

    The drums and keys are rote (in part perhaps by some necessity) but Dave sure comes out of blocks nicely with strident riffage.
    Ray has plenty of attitude but has apparently swallowed plenty of contemporary albums some of which my be repeating on him?
    Ever astute and not one to do things by accident naturally I grant you Ray takes a different tack for this LP as always, not at all sure if in his heart of hearts it's his most favoured choice but I feel more secure in feeling it was his believed most commercial route.
    Instrumentally the Kinks are energetic and razor sharp though the kinkiest parts are actually Ray's softer refrains and the "Attitude" backing vocal lines seem a bit vapid and generic hard rock.
    Not bad but so far i would be lying if i said it would be my preferred choice of entertainment.
     
  12. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    But.....it was a comedy program.
     
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  13. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    I can't upload the video clip but I prefer the version of Nice Legs Shame About The Face by the Aussie outfit Dave And The Derros!
     
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  14. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Location:
    Murrumbateman
    Before we leave Attitude I'll share a link I've just uploaded to YouTube. It's an excerpt from a radio promo interview with Ray called The Low Budget Interview. I found it in my list of "unofficial" Kinks CDs. I've split the full interview into bite-sized pieces. Here's the one on Attitude. Ray doesn't say much about the song here. He's more forthcoming in the other segments:
     
  15. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
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  16. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Expensive = $exy
     
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  17. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    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)

    I remember, when you were down
    And you needed a helping hand
    I came to feed you
    But now that I need you
    You won't give me a second glance
    Now I'm calling all citizens from all over the world
    This is Captain America calling
    I bailed you out when you were down on your knees
    So will you catch me now I'm falling

    Help me now I'm calling you
    Catch me now I'm falling
    I'm in your hands, it's up to you
    Catch me now I'm falling

    I remember when you were down
    You would always come running to me
    I never denied you and I would guide you
    Through all of your difficulties
    Now I'm calling all citizens from all over the world
    This is Captain America calling
    I bailed you out when you were down on your knees
    So will you catch me now I'm falling

    Help me now I'm calling you
    Catch me now I'm falling
    I'm in your hands, it's up to you
    Catch me now I'm falling

    When you were broke you would come to me
    And I would always pull you round
    Now I call your office on the telephone
    And your secretary tells me that she's sorry,
    But, you've gone out of town.

    This is Captain America calling
    This is Captain America calling

    Help me now I'm calling you
    Catch me now I'm falling
    I'm in your hands, it's up to you
    Catch me now I'm falling

    Catch me now I'm falling
    Catch me now I'm falling
    Catch me now I'm falling
    Catch me now I'm falling

    I stood by you through all of your depressions
    And I lifted you when you were down
    Now it's your chance to do the same for me
    I call your office and your secretary tells me
    That you've gone out of town

    This is Captain America calling
    This is Captain America calling

    Catch me now I'm falling
    Catch me now I'm falling

    I was the one who always bailed you out
    Of your depressions and your difficulties
    I never thought that you would let me down
    But the next time you're in trouble
    Better not come running to me

    Now I'm calling all citizens from all over the world
    This is Captain America calling
    I bailed you out when you were down on your knees
    So will you catch me now I'm falling
    Catch me now I'm falling

    Catch me now I'm falling
    Catch me now I'm falling
    Catch me now I'm falling
    Catch me now I'm falling

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

    From the opening piano from Ray, we have a plaintive plea, and what seems like it will be a big ballad of some distinction.

    In the late seventies the US was having all sorts of issues, with local inflation and international issues. The US was experiencing chronic inflation with interest rates reaching around 20% and we also had the hostage crisis in Iran, where militants took 66 US citizens hostage, keeping 52 of them for over a year. Things weren't going particularly well.

    Here Ray evokes Captain America as the focus.
    To some degree Ray is looking at this from the perspective of the US finally joining in during World War two to help clean up what had become a long running and messy war. It has always seemed so odd that the two powers that really made WWII come to an end, the US and Russia, ended up becoming fierce enemies and via this we end up with the Cold War which was reaching critical point during this period of time, and escalated into the eighties as a threat to the whole world, until thankfully we saw things settle down to the point where the USSR dissolved in 1991....

    I'm sure many of us remember these times, and much of it was documented in the early to mid eighties in the music industry via a plethora of songs and albums either directly about, or influenced by, the Cold War and the Nuclear threat.... sadly we see similar times again now... but what goes around comes around ....

    The first verse sets the scene perfectly with Captain America reminding the world that he bailed them out when they were down on their knees.... and again looking back to history, although Great Britain stood firm during WWII, it really can be said that although incredibly resilient the country was somewhat down on its knees at a certain point during that time, but the resolve of the UK and the dogmatic stance of Churchill kept that stiff upper lip hitting out.
    The great majority of Europe was occupied territory and the German army was pretty much in control. So based around that, the majority of the UK and Europe was to some degree down on its knees.
    Moving thirty odd years down the track, and the war is cold, but the scene is reversed. The UK and Europe to some degree were rebuilding and the scars were healing, but the US was in deep trouble and seemingly on the brink.....
    and although I may have done a terrible job of trying to summarise all that, that is somewhat the premise of the song here.

    So Captain America reminds the world of the assistance they rendered when required, and asks will the world help them in their hour of need, catch me now I'm falling.

    Lyrically we cover a lot of ground really with a look to the financial packages that the US set up to help countries through recessions and depressions, that were essentially often a direct result of WWII, and we get the quite funny and somewhat sarcastic line "your secretary tells me she's sorry but you've gone out of town."

    The lyrics here are pretty straight, there is some wit in here, but for the most part we have a pretty straight look at the scenario, through the eyes of Ray Davies.

    The thing about these lyrics really is, I think most people can relate to something like this in their personal lives at some point. There is always a time in everyone's life, to the best of my knowledge, when someone is down in the dumps and feels like they have been abandoned by people who they thought were their friends.... I know I certainly have, and likely more than once.
    So although this has a fairly direct lyric, it also has a somewhat universal spin that works to be more than just some political song by an English rock band.

    So we get to the music....
    Probably one of the major points in the music is going to be that guitar riff.
    There is no doubt that the guitar riff that comes in here is extremely similar to the guitar riff from Jumpin' Jack Flash by the Stones ... and I actually am not sure that is accidental.
    The Rolling Stones had a pretty rough time of it in the seventies, and I sometimes wonder if there is a subtext here of the Stones troubles also. Certainly they were still successful, but Keith was probably at the lowest point in his life as far as addiction, there had been drug busts, and falling critical acclaim, and for a while it seemed like Mick Jagger was somewhat of a last man standing to some degree carrying the band somewhat into the eighties where they recovered.
    The Stones as a band had managed to capture the heart of American music and sort of repackage/reprocess it through themselves and sell it back to the US.
    It is a long bow to draw, but I have often wondered if there is a somewhat subtle shout out to the Stones via this song, with Jagger of course being Captain America in some ways.... generally seen wrapped in a US flag and being somewhat an icon of the US youth... with the band's music helping them through the hard times.... I don't know, maybe I read too deeply into it, but it always seemed to be there to some small degree to me.

    Although the riff is really pretty much the same, it is slightly different in its presentation, and for me it isn't really a big issue as the two songs are very very different songs, and aside from being an accent point, it doesn't play a huge role in the song.....
    For the record the riff in Jumpin' Jack Flash is over a B and an A. The riff itself is on the D and G strings (the two middle ones) it starts on the D string with a hammer on from the 2nd to the 4th fret and finishes with the second fret on the G string. It repeats three times.
    The riff to Catch Me Now I'm Falling is over the G and A chords. It is on the A and D strings starting on the 5th fret, on the A string, a hammer on to the seventh fret, then the fifth fret on the D string. This repeats twice and then on the third the hammer on goes to the seventh fret on the D string.
    The riff, that will likely cause much contention is played three times over the course of the song..... It's really not much of a big deal to me, but I know some folks won't get passed it. The songs are completely different though.

    So back to the start.

    We open with, to me at least, a beautiful melancholy piano that opens on the F#m... and I think we are looking at the VIm, as it moves through the D and E ... which would be the IV and V in an A scale, and the F#m is the relative minor to the A... not that the techo stuff matters much, but we resolve to the A in several parts of the song ... we have some guys that are more in tune with that side of things and perhaps they will tighten up that theory side of things, but I think the haunting sound that we get with the song, or at least this opening, is initiated via the minor six opening, and the eventual resolve to the major.
    I have always loved this piano opening and it got me into the song instantly, from the first time I heard the live version, this was a song for the ages, for me.

    Ray comes in with the vocal, and it is sort of lost and pleading to the wide world to come and help.
    The piano has this mournful sound to it.... and it sounds like it has a little reverb on it, though it could be the pedal ... but the vocal is dry, which gives it a nice isolated sound to suit the style and delivery. Like a lone voice floating on the clouds that are the piano.

    The opening three chord set up, rotating sadly in the distance moves into a four chord change up when we get to the "Now I'm calling on citizens..." it is the Bm and the C#m, leading to the D and E like the opening, but then we move to the C#m and again and resolve to the F#m. This gets repeated twice, but it isn't just that nice change up in the chords. Ray introduces a rhythmic run on. We had been somewhat spaced out, and slowly introducing a theme, and then we get to the change and that run on feel... sort of like a double time type idea, is really engaging and it creates a change in atmosphere, that for me works really well. It isn't technical writing wizardry or anything, it is just solid song writing that uses some very nice simple ideas to create a hook that works well in my opinion.

    Also underneath the piano, we have, coming in at the "Now I'm Calling On Citizens..." section a lower sounding instrument... and I can't tell if it is a volume swell guitar or bass, or a very well mixed synth mimicking a cello... but either way, it is an extremely effective sound, and use of tonal dynamics to again draw the ears in.
    Also Ray lays down a really tender vocal, and that helps sell the whole feel here as well.

    We get a backing vocal, via Dave, echoing the Falling, in a very effective way, and then hit that riff.
    The riff works in a nice punchy way, with the guitar and bass playing in unison.

    Ray's vocal comes in here more urgently and suitably raised in pitch. This is sung over the riff, creating a certain amount of tension. The riff is set over a G and A , with the A bringing in the major I for the first time... if I have my key correct :)

    After the Catch Me Now I'm Falling refrain, we move into another verse. Here we have the song move back to the F#m, and it works like a resolve, and very suitably Ray takes the urgency of the vocal back down.... it almost works like a sigh .... The urgent call for help, followed by the sigh that nobody heard it.

    Prior to listening here, I had never noticed how cool the bass is in this song. Jim Rodford holds down the groove well, but he has a nice strutting ... sort of funk .. going on here. It's a really nice piece of bass work.... and it seems to me that as much as we miss each of the bass players as they move on, each successive player brought their A game to the band.

    This time the refrain doesn't use the riff, it is put forward purely on the chords, and it still works really well. We get some pretty straight piano in the background working almost more as a percussive element than a melodic one.

    From here we slide really smoothly into the bridge.
    This is a really excellent bridge on so many levels. Essentially there is nothing particularly technical or difficult about it, it is just a really effective use of key change, and the way that it resolves back into the F#m is really excellent.
    Whereas the refrain is essentially the G moving up to the A, here we drop two steps and have the F moving up to the G. As I say it isn't technically amazing, it is just really solid writing, and although it goes down two steps, it almost feels like it raises... I'm not sure why that is, but it is very effective, and it adds to the overall melodic excellence of this song. Perhaps it isn't as melodically sweet and pretty as some of the band's early material, but in terms of smooth flowing transitional melodies, it is as good as anything they ever did, and in context with the type of song this is, that is amplified.

    Again the way they transition, to what ends up being the lead break, is really good. We are essentially just going from the F to the F#m, and it works beautifully. It is a key change, but going from the major to the minor also gives it a tonal change.

    Dave gives us an excellent lead break, and in the background the piano does some really nice rolling blues type things.... It all works together really well.
    We get a short sort of sax interlude. It doesn't do that much, but it works to emphasise the two "This is captain america calling" sections thrown in there, and again it is texturally excellent.

    I was never too sure about the sax initially, because of my love of the live version, but I think it works well.

    From there we roll into the refrain with the riff, and then we move into a pulsing rock with just the Catch Me now I'm Falling vocal, and it is an emphasis point of sorts as we roll back around to the bridge, and Dave turns it on again with another lead break, and we get the run through the sax section again.

    From here we move into a short reprise of the riff, and then an emphasised rhythm section, and this moves into a variation of the bridge and into another lead from Dave.
    This section of three rotating bridges works excellently, as it increases the urgency of the song, and we get some really nice work from Dave to keep the interest level up for anyone that is perturbed by the bridges being rotated through here.
    We roll into the riff again, and then hit a fade out chorus/refrain....

    For me this is a Klassic Kinks track, and would always get a seat at the table for me if I was putting together a compile. Personally I would use the live version, but we'll get to that soon enough ....

     
  18. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    Whatever you think of this song I don't see why it has to be almost 6 minutes long.
     
  19. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scotland
    I like Catch Me Now I'm Falling much more than Attitude, especially the verses and Dave's backing vocals.
     
  20. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Speak for yourself, talking about inserting clap!
     
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  21. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Location:
    Murrumbateman
    Catch Me Now I'm Falling
    Here's the next installment from the Low Budget Interview. Multiple choice question: To come up with line in the song about calling all citizens from all over the world did Ray (a) aim to craft a political manifesto for the times or (b) the line just came to him while he was walking back from the supermarket thinking of something to fit that chord sequence...
     
  22. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Kind of surprised this one hasn't been dug up for use in a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie given the massive shout out to one of their properties in the chorus. Maybe that's it: too on the nose I guess? Still perhaps could have worked in a trailer. Instead 'Supersonic Rocket Ship' is the only Kinks track to achieve that accolade so far, though I see that two other 70s tracks have made it into MCU TV shows:

    The Kinks | Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki | Fandom .
     
  23. Northernlight

    Northernlight Forum Resident

    Low Budget

    I always enjoy Low Budget while it's on, but I can only ever remember about half the tunes when it isn't. I love 'Superman', which is very kitchen-sink, with the average guy getting up in the morning, cup of tea and a fag, looking blearily into the mirror and not liking what he sees... It sounds very foreboding with that clumsy disco arrangement (which is not a criticism). I've heard it was performed live in a more straight-forward rock style, which I imagine makes it sound much more pedestrian. I never liked punk, but I did like New Wave (Police, Blondie, Cars, that Knack album) and I enjoy the NW stylings here. It's an album that manages to be gloomy and fun - no mean feat!

    PS - not keen on the shouting here, though.
     
  24. stewedandkeefed

    stewedandkeefed Came Ashore In The Dead Of The Night

    I have always liked this song but I have usually heard it in live versions from the One For The Road version to many others as this song was in the set list nightly for quite a while. It is a pretty catchy song. It is interesting to see it was recorded at the Power Station because its sound is very 1978 "rock". I guess it is somewhat notorious for borrowing the basic melody of the "Jumping Jack Flash" riff but this song sounds nothing like the Stones record (a huge record in their history that introduced the Stones Mach II and that great run from 1968 to 1972). The Kinks merely extracted a familiar melody from one of their peers and used it in one of their own songs. It's not like they did not know people would note the similarity. And besides, on the Between The Buttons album, the Stones clearly had been listening to the Kinks and this was when Nicky Hopkins was brought into the Stones camp. I am sure some would have seen the Captain America reference as pandering to the emerging US audience (the Kinks played a lot of US colleges/universities. My cousin worked on backstage catering for the Kinks at Syracuse University around this time) that would bring the Kinks some late career popularity. It is pretty commercial and that chorus is infectious.
     
  25. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Let's face it, at our age it's really only important to clearly understand the term mid-stream!
     

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