The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    "Catch Me Now I'm Falling"

    This is why I would never gain admittance to any "classic rock" club. I'm obviously aware of the long-term existence of The Rolling Stones, but I've never investigated them or owned any of their albums. In terms of Stones songs that I'd say I knew most of the way through, I could probably only name "Satisfaction", "Brown Sugar" and "Start Me Up". I'm aware of "Jumping Jack Flash", and could sing a bit of the chorus, but I don't know how the rest of it goes. Thus I have never been aware of any supposed rip-off in this track. It has to be said that I've also never viewed the lyrics from the political standpoint - to me it's always been a personal story of the narrator and the former friend that let them down.

    That said, this is a strange track structurally. It starts off as though it's going to be a power ballad, and proceeds through two pleasant verses and choruses, at which point we're a third through the track but we never hear the verse again (at least not with vocals). From this point we cycle through repetitions of a bridge section, the controversial riff, repeats of the chorus with sax replacing some of the vocals, and repeats of the verse with a guitar solo replacing the vocals, before finally returning to the full chorus. I like the bridge section, and don't mind that appearing three times, but the bits required in between to support the three iterations of that bridge become a bit wearing. It seems to drag on so long in the end that it's actually a surprise to find it's only six minutes. I would have guessed seven and a half. It's also a strange sequencing decision to put such a long track as the second track - I would have probably had it as the side one closer.

    Overall - I generally like it, but would only sit through the length of it in the context of the album.
     
  2. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    Wow, this riff is amazing, isn't it ? A song graced with such a perfect riff should've been a worldwide hit !:p
    Though it's effective and very memorable, I've never cared too much for this song. I’ll refrain from using the usual terms (“plodding”, “generic” etc.) but at 6’00’’, it’s certainly overlong and with the many changes in melody and time measure are handled, it seems fractured and fragmented, despite its pretty conventional (and very repetitive) structure: we get three bridge + solo sections, which goes against the very notion of a bridge + solo section. Fortunately, Dave knows how to keep things interesting in the guitar department every time (I would not say the same about the sax). I’ve long tried to guess why Ray would (knowingly) “borrow” the Wyman* riff, but I’d need to understand the Stones lyrics for that, which I don’t. Maybe it has something to do with the “gas” thing, of which we’ll get a full gallon in a later song? Or could it just be used as a symbol of the "americanization" of a British band's sound ? I like the title, I think it’s great and… catchy. It would’ve been another excellent album title (but Low Budget is great). The lyrics are like the music, on a seemingly never-ending loop. Isn't there a single edit somewhere ? 3’31’’ or something? I would love to hear it to see if it works better. but to be fair, the length of the track does convey a sense of unstoppable descending spiral, a long and deep existential dive, rather than an emergency situation. Which is probably what Ray was shooting for.
    * about the JJF riff, perhaps the fact Ray wasn’t sued is proof it was indeed written by Bill as he always claimed… The Jagger/Richards legal and publishing team is known to be much more ferocious than that, as proven by the Bitter Sweet Symphony Verve debacle.
     
  3. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    There is pure quality to be considered too and the belief that real cream will eventually rise to the top.
     
  4. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Location:
    Murrumbateman
    While I'm in the groove of uploading videos to YouTube (I'm afraid that if I stop now I'll forget how to use the software...) here is a very short (sub two minutes) excerpt from a different interview with Ray that was on the CD containing The Low Budget Interview. This one is taken from 1982, where the interviewer goes back to the early days and asks a pointed question about how Ray feels comparing the success of the Kinks to the Rolling Stones. This seems as good a time as any to post this;

    EDIT: Reading between the lines I think it backs up what @stewedandkeefed said on the previous page about mutual borrowing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2022
  5. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Haha, re: his comments on the Stones here, Ray is a master at the back handed compliment, only willing to give as much as he takes in the next breath! The TV show that he mentions Jagger studying him from the audience in was (according to Ray's first autobio anyway) the 1964/5 New Years edition of Ready Steady Go!, on which The Kinks performed 'All Day And All Of The Night'. I do suspect that Mick and Co.(not to mention some of their other peers) would have been made a little insecure and put on the backfoot when The Kinks appeared from nowhere at the end of 1964 with their first two nasty sounding, bluesy and significantly self penned hits. Andrew Loog Oldman has admitted that The Kinks 'seemed like a threat' for a while around this time before their own internal problems stymied them in the beat group space race. The Stones finally penning original hits for themselves of the caliber of 'Satisfaction' in 1965 would have also helped reassert their place in the hierarchy. But I think this late 1964 moment with Mick J studying Ray is what Pete Quaife was referring to when he said in 1998:

    'I really think we hurt ourselves with the constant scrapping. I remember, early on, that the Stones and us were about of equal popularity. I knew one of us would emerge as number two behind the Beatles. There was no way either us or the Stones were going to surpass the Beatles. The Kinks knew that. But we did have a chance to surpass the Stones if we worked as a collaborative unit and cut out the ******** and fighting. I pulled Ray aside to talk about this and he told me to "sexually fornicate" off.'
     
  6. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    To me the Low Budget album is pure quality, and I don't really line up with any of the criticisms being angled at it so far.

    Again, from my perspective it is easily the best album since the "Klassic" period, and I have grown to enjoy the seventies albums that used to be (are still?) maligned from that middle period.
    Low Budget easily sits among Something Else, Village Green, Arthur and Muswell in the best albums the band ever made.... but I don't have the same nostalgia that connects many to those albums, and I also have no problem with the eighties music and sounds that most seem to these days.

    For the record, aside from a few of the singles, the only Kinks album that I have a nostalgic connection to is One For The Road, which is why initially Low Budget was a difficult album for me to digest, because it sounds so different.
     
  7. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Charlie stuck with.... them!
     
    DISKOJOE and mark winstanley like this.
  8. Endicott

    Endicott Forum Resident

    Catch Me Now I'm Falling

    You notice that this song runs six minutes. You hear that portentous piano intro. You hear Ray coming in with his normal, expressive voice. You can be forgiven for expecting a "Celluloid Heroes"-level epic Kinks klassic.

    And then you hear -- the "Jumpin' Jack Flash" riff? Okay, I do believe listeners make WAY too much of this -- rock songs borrow from each other all the time (the "I Can't Explain" riff has been tossed around like a beanbag for decades). And in hip-hop it's almost a requirement. So no harm no foul, even when you also notice that some of the verse melody is a direct lift from "You Keep Me Hangin' On". ("When you were broke you would come to me...")

    So this is a jerry-built song, but maybe Ray takes it to those black hills no one's ever seen? No, this song just spins its wheels for all six minutes -- it's the same sequence, over and over, with no real buildup, development, or payoff. Even the sax parts do nothing but bog it down further.

    Well, surely the lyrics save the day? Nope, not really. The "where were you when I needed you" storyline isn't all that original, and scaling it to a geopolitical level with the "Captain America" reference is just too obvious by Ray's standards.

    So we're left with that dramatic piano intro, and Dave's always-reliable guitar crunch. They make the song listenable enough, but it remains the album's most tedious effort.

    But here's an idea -- Green Day grabbed the main riff from "Picture Book" for "Warning". So if the Stones do a song based on "Basket Case", we can call it even all around. Got to work the Supremes in there somehow, though...
     
  9. YardByrd

    YardByrd rock n roll citizen in a hip hop world

    Location:
    Europe
    This has nothing to do with where this thread is at the moment, but I recently scored an EX mono LP of a US Reprise Kinkdom... as a kid in the '70s, I remember looking at the adverts on the inner sleeve of my vintage Reprise Kinks Greatest Hits and seeing this album and longing for it all due to the covers design... well, 40 years later I finally got it... and it was worth the wait! The back liner notes themselves are a hoot!
     
  10. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Wrote yesterday, so here goes as-is (though I did just read through the thread posts):
    Catch Me Now I’m Falling

    An easy choice for a single with it’s pensive and then, by turns, anthemic sound. Featuring both the piano and Dave’s slashing guitar, this song pretty much has Ray throwing the kitchen sink at it; part ballad…with a cello, a bit of Jumpin’ Jack Flash, music to mope to (“I remember when you were down…”), a bit of high harmony backing vocals (“calling”), Carpenters-like heart tugging (“when you were broke you would come to me”) with ooh oohs, a little saxophone interlude (2:30ish mark), and back to the “catch me now, I’m falling” chorus. (Of course, all of this is accompanied by lyrics that describe America’s role in the world.)

    And repeat.

    And keep on repeating until finally winding down just past the 6-minute mark.

    I could take a 3 1/2 minute song and I might be quasi-giddy but this song does go on too long. I checked to see if the single was edited for length but I don’t think so. Wiki says 5:58.
     
  11. fspringer

    fspringer Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York City
    Catch Me Now I'm Falling: Strange one. You can hear in the intro, this is classic pensive Kinks - it just has that sound - and then the Stones riff. I remember hearing this on the radio premier, too, and thinking, man, come on! But then again, it's not repeated ad nauseum, and the song has other good elements. ABKCO era Stones, like The Beatles, was ingrained on 70s FM radio listeners. Most of us were too young to absorb either band in real time, but radio played their hits constantly. The Beatles had their Red and Blue albums to introduce younger fans into the fold. The Stones had Hot Rocks - a stunning collection of songs (while the follow-up More Hot Rocks wasn't as stunning, but still had many Stones classics not routinely heard on the radio). The Stones had also managed to stay together and relevant through the 70s. We all knew "Jumpin' Jack Flash."

    I don't recall being offended or put off by this riff. The song rocked! But again, it feels very much of that era for me. Dave must have been over-joyed to have his lead guitar prominently featured - what would become a permanent fixture in The Kinks' sound. I've read the criticisms regarding how their sound was beginning to solidify into that 80s sound, and I can't really argue against that. I'll have to think about that more as we move through these albums. Then again, this sound also hearkened back to and updated their original sound. I can see good and bad points with both sides of the issue.
     
  12. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Apple Music does this thing now where it arbitrarily keeps playing music even after the album is finished. When Low Budget (the album) was over, all of a sudden I was treated to Who Are You…which I found interesting considering how many thread participants associated Attitude with the The Who song.
     
  13. donstemple

    donstemple Member of the Club

    Location:
    Maplewood, NJ
    The Kinks had a song titled Set Me Free, why don’tcha babe.
     
  14. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Location:
    Murrumbateman
    Catch Me Now I'm Falling
    I like this album very much. And after the song-by-song has finished it might turn to love. :love: But this is probably my least-favourite song on it. As @Vangro pointed out there's no justification for it dragging on for six minutes. If the riff is a problem I'd argue it's because it doesn't sound enough like Jumping Jack Flash - a genuinely exciting song. What we are left with is an echo of that riff which does little to lift the tune. And the lyrics sound like soundbites from congressional wannabepopulars. In the late 70s all the rich countries were suffering from high inflation and high unemployment and all the poor countries outside of OPEC were poor. Sheesh.
     
  15. Fischman

    Fischman RockMonster, ClassicalMaster, and JazzMeister

    Location:
    New Mexico
    Catch Me Now I'm Falling

    I'm not a big fan of repetition and I have oft praised those Kinks song that build throughout their length. This one repeats without so much build or modulation, so I can certainly understand the negative criticism some are laying down here.

    But you know what? In this case, I'm comfortable in for the hull six minutes. For me, this one need not go through any epic changes; it is perfect as it sits. I remember upon first listen thinking I hadn't really heard a song with multiple bridges, but I liked it. This was a keeper right from the start. And that status hasn't changed.
     
  16. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Are you suggesting that Jagger/Richards would have been concerned that the ‘true’ authorship would come out? That the defense would say “you have no standing because the two of you didn’t write that riff”?
    Note: I had no idea that Bill Wyman has claimed he came up with the riff until this discussion.
     
  17. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Same.

    Edit
    It's quite different to Je Suis Un Rock Star :)
     
  18. markelis

    markelis Forum Resident

    Location:
    Miami Beach FL
    Catch Me Now I’m Falling:

    Other than Superman, which I already knew from radio play before I got the LowBudget album, this was the song that grabbed me most initially upon getting the album. I’m sure it helped that it was getting lots of radio play as well. Additionally, I love “epics“ and this was long enough to qualify as an epic (to some extent - as previously mentioned, I would agree that it goes on a bit longer than it should and doesn’t really change up enough to qualify as a true epic).

    That said, if there’s any song on this album that I feel has not aged well due to the “80s sound“, it would arguably be this one. I still love it, I have enough teenage memories associated with it that I will always cut it some slack. Dave does some fine guitar heroics and Ray does a fine job with the lyrics and the vocals as always.

    In the end, I would probably pick the live version on One from the Road if I had to pick just one version to listen to, to me the 80s gloss is absent and the arrangement is tighter than the studio version, and that’s a good thing. There is also an extended version, which I’m sure somebody will post (if not done already, I’m writing without reading the prior posts). The extended version doesn’t add much over the original, but if I’m going to listen to the studio version and accept that it’s too long , I might as well go with the extended version and really accept that it’s too long!
     
  19. Luckless Pedestrian

    Luckless Pedestrian Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Hampshire, USA
    lol I hate that, without warning I’m listening to classic rawk radio, yuck!
     
  20. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    As I wrote this past September, I really didn't care too much for "Catch Me Now I'm Falling", mostly due to the riff issue, until 9/11, when it was constantly in my head along w/the theme from Barney Miller as the events of that horrible day grinded on. It just seemed that the lyrics were spot on to what was happening that day. Now every time I hear or think about this song, I can't get 9/11 out of my mind.
     
  21. Brian Kelly

    Brian Kelly 1964-73 rock's best decade

    Catch Me Now I'm Falling
    A good song, though I thought it was a strange choice as the 2nd single from LOW BUDGET following the success of "Superman". I felt there were better singles choices. Anyway I do like this song. It is a good 2nd track on the album. A nice mid tempo songs with a couple nice changes-the guitar riff almost sounds like a slowed down "Satisfaction", which is cool. The lyrics fit the album theme well too.
     
  22. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    :D
     
  23. donstemple

    donstemple Member of the Club

    Location:
    Maplewood, NJ
    Catch Me Now I'm Falling

    First heard this song about a month ago as I started to get into this album. At first, the opening seemed to recall early/mid 1970s Kinks. Rather similar to some of the sounds on Schoolboys in Disgrace, particularly using the same sort of dynamic intro and shift of I'm in Disgrace. But then, BLAM, along with the riff, we get the drums and a bass line that fits in squarely in their 1979 Low Budget sound. But again, Dave's backing vocals remind me more of Schoolboys era Kinks to me (heck, even a bit of One of the Survivors flavor thrown in). And there's a piano boogie part in the back of the mix, too that seems a bit of a throwback sound underneath the late 70s pulsing bass and clean drum sound.

    The "When you were broke..." and "I stood by you..." bridges are fantastic, and I would put them up there with other great memorable bridges in Kinks lore. It changes up the dynamics well, and seems to fit the feel of the song just right. It's not nearly as perfect as the "Those happy days we spent together..." bridge on, say, Nothing to Say (perhaps my favorite bridge of all time?), but it serves the same purpose in this song, and for that, I love it. The guitar solos have another great piano part in the back.

    The riff usage doesn't really bother me. They were lampooning the Who a bit on the first track, so perhaps they were purposefully lampooning (riffing on, perhaps?) the Stones on track 2.

    To me, the entire song is like a bridge between beautiful melodic early/mid-70s Kinks (the intro) and what we now know as late 70s Arista rocking Kinks (the other 5 minutes). I think perhaps 30-40 seconds could have been shaved off the last 5 minutes, but I wouldn't change anything about that first minute. I love it.
     
  24. Luckless Pedestrian

    Luckless Pedestrian Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Hampshire, USA
    I’m surprised to learn Catch Me Now is 6 minutes long, guess I don’t have a problem with that. The song draws me in and pulls me along with force; each section is powerful and with repetition they swirl like the winds of a hurricane and I lose myself in it. I’m always delighted when the sax comes in, it seems so unexpected for a Kinks song but it works perfectly here. Dave’s guitar is tastefully propelling things forward as always, especially the ‘chuggachug chuggachug chuggachug’ which sounds like a freight train.
     
  25. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Yea, it's interesting the length is such an issue for many. With Dave ripping it up, and Ray's moody melancholic singing, it could go on for another 3 minutes for me.
     

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