The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Pressure
    This is a good one! Right in my wheelhouse. I think in this thread I've referred to the Buzzcocks before and this song definitely reminds me of them..that "post punk" sound. The driving, wall of sound guitar and melody on top of it.

    I like being fooled in the beginning...thinking this is going to be a 50s flavored song...and then it goes into something that sounds very hard rock, but ultimately, it ends up being a superb pop song with some edge. Again, right in my wheelhouse. And probably one of their most New Wave songs (to my ears).

    I love the handclaps. Handclaps can sometimes be a distraction, but not in this song.

    And I like the double tracked vocals of Ray's when he sings "whenever I am close to you". It works so well and a way of keeping me at maximum engagement.

    And the ending of the song is fab. Sounds like the singer just dropped off a cliff into canyon...cuz he can't handle the pressure. haw haw

    I'm going to stop keeping score on Shouty Ray. Yes, it's in this song, but only on the chorus and again, it correctly reflects the emotions of the song. So if people are turned off by that, then they don't like rock n roll, maaaaaan. :laugh:
     
  2. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Yea, I'm nowhere near my guitar lol

    Very often chords and lyrics are done by one site, and copied by everyone else
     
  3. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    That's great! you can tell they're having a lot of fun performing it - Dave in particular. Love it.
     
  4. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Oh c'mon. Sometimes I think you like to be contrary. It's as good as many Buzzcocks songs.
     
  5. Luckless Pedestrian

    Luckless Pedestrian Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Hampshire, USA
    Ha, believe me I'm no expert and triple-checked myself, re-checked my tuning just in case lol. If we can't all agree on the artistic merit of a song, at least we can come to an agreement on what notes are played - glad we could set the record straight! :D
     
  6. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    At the time this song was recorded, I don't believe Ray and Chrissie had even met. I believe they met in 1980.

    And YES to the Buzzcocks covering this...you could throw it into one of their sets and everyone would think it's was an original (RIP Pete!xo)
     
  7. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Speaking of ska, I'm going to see the English Beat tonight outside of Boston. Woot.
     
  8. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    Location:
    France
    This weird world in which the information that my guitar is tuned one half-step too low reaches me in Paris through New Hampshire and South Carolina in a discussion about a 1979 British song.
     
  9. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Which could make one think that doesn't know the singer that he perhaps...."Isn't A Rock Star!"
     
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  10. TeddyB

    TeddyB Senior Member

    Location:
    Hollywoodland
    ABCKO, who also control the rights to the Kinks’ sixties output, so maybe they thought they’d let Ray slide. Also, the Verve case was years later.
     
  11. ThereOnceWasANote

    ThereOnceWasANote Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cape May, NJ
    Attitude

    The kick-off to Low Budget as well in some ways also the manufesto of the album is a great mix of hard rock guitars, Beach Boy melodies, Ray singing in a variety of voices, and a Who Are You-inspired. chorus. Lyrically, it seems somewhat Ray addressing Ray, the Kinks, and other contemporaries like Jagger and Townshend. This song may not be punk but it doesn't exsist without punk either. A fine Kinks rocker. As for the intro guitars someone on YouTube said it sounded like Molly Hatchet Gator Country. I hear a bit of that in there as well too.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2022
  12. ThereOnceWasANote

    ThereOnceWasANote Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cape May, NJ
    Catch Me Now I'm Falling

    Intro piano reminds me of Bad Company then the reappropriated JJF riff turns the ballad into an arena rock stomper with some great Dave backing vocals and a nice guitar solo into a sax solo. The Kinks seem much more focused here than the first two Arista albums. I really like how this song mixes pop melodues, nee wave synth, 70s hard rock guitars, and 50s rock sax together driven by the chorus hook. Low Budget is off to a strong start.
     
  13. ThereOnceWasANote

    ThereOnceWasANote Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cape May, NJ
    Pressure

    Love the Chuck Berry intro lick and the Stonesy vibe with a Kinksian twist. Also, I hear a bit of 70s glam in here with the bass line and handclaps. The problem is this song between Catch Me and National Health sounds thrown in. The supercharged tempo and cold ending would've fit better followed by the Superman intro or ending side 1. I like this one a lot too. I hear more of the Romantics (who covered She's Got Everything on their debut) than the Ramones here. But you could pogo to this and slam dance in parts. Dave has been let off the leash on Low Budget.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2022
  14. ThereOnceWasANote

    ThereOnceWasANote Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cape May, NJ
    Don't think he had even met Chrissie yet.
     
  15. ThereOnceWasANote

    ThereOnceWasANote Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cape May, NJ
    Glass Houses isn't too far behind but yeah Billy sort of hit a whole other level with the Nylon Curtain songs.
     
  16. ThereOnceWasANote

    ThereOnceWasANote Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cape May, NJ
    I've heard that here in the U.S. on the radio before. It's a good track but I don't hear Pressure. This whole punk or not argument is silly. It would be hard to write a rock song post-1976 not informed or at least in some way influenced by punk music in some way unless you're living under a rock. It was hugely influential as both a sound and movement.

    The Kinks may not be punk rock but like their contemporaries the music they were creating was certainly influenced by it even if just by simplifing arrangements/writing shorter songs or speeding up the tempo. The punk bands shook up the status quo and its reverberations were felt downstream. It changed rock n roll in sound, fashion, and attitiude.

    By 1979 even a band like Foreigner didn't want to be considered a "dinosaur" rock band. Attitude, Pressure, or Low Budget may not be punk songs but their stripped down, cockney vocals, or fast tempo are certainly influenced by punk just as in Foreigner's case Dirty White Boy isn't punk but even that song is their attempt at capturing that feel or vibe no matter how poorly executed.

    Just like Respectable, Whip or Lies the trio of Low Budget songs, if written in 1975 or early 1976 would've sounded quite different. Musicians are sponges soaking up influences (usually in concert with the sounds and styles of the time). I don't think it should be anymore surprising that Ray sings cockney, dabbles in disco, strips down the songs or speeds up the tempos on Low Budget anymore than the Band-style horns in 1972, a T-Rex sound to some songs 1973-74, harpsichords in the 60s, or Leslied guitars in the early 70s.

    On the contrary it would've been really weird if the Kinks or Stones didn't embrace some of the current sounds of the time or kept the sounds of Sleepwalker or Black & Blue in 1978-79.

    Both bands for the next several years became essentially hard rock bands yet still remaining influenced by the punk and new wave of the late 70s-early 80s. So the impact of punk and wave continued affecting the both bands sounds for quite a while.

    Punk and New Wave brought seismic shifts to the music and cultural landscape. It would've been odd if Ray Davies songwriting wouldn't have been influenced by each of them or for that matter disco in 1978-79.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2022
  17. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I have no problem with that.

    There is a huge difference between being influenced by, and the idea that these "old men", likely younger than most if not all of us at the time, are just sad, weak impersonators of a genre that is beyond them.... particularly when that is not even close to the scenario.

    It comes from a perspective that seems to have blinkers on who this band is, and where they have been.
    It's only four years since the uptempo rocker The Hard Way, that isn't out of the equation when talking about the songs we currently are.
    I can accept influence on, but the other stuff is horse crap, and it's starting to piss me off to be honest. It comes across more as baiting than any kind of objective reflection.
     
  18. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Ya just can't fool some kids!
     
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  19. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Yes the JJF riff was first played by Bill Wyman on a piano whilst jamming with Brian Jones on guitar and Charlie Watts on drums.
    It was done at a small rehearsal room/studio (so certainly not Olympic) whilst waiting for Mick and Keith to turn up and when they did they asked what that music was and told Bill to keep playing it and not to forget it!
     
  20. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    N.b. Bittesweet Symphony

    The Verve were openly allowed to sample a small specific part of the Oldham LP's orchestral riff by Klein and Abkco (no doubt for a fee), however where the trouble came in with Klein taking all royalties was that Ashcroft and the Verve had used more of it than was permitted!
     
  21. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Catch Me Now I'm Falling

    Heard this on an Arista best of CD compilation 10+ years back and it didn't stand out to me as a key highlight but more in the middle of the pack.
    The JJF riff probably non-plussed me but the dated production sound kept me from investigating it more closely.

    One Avid said the riff wasn't dirty enough and yes it was way to clean and quickly produced and lacks synergy played in what I assume to be Dave in regular tuning.
    In Mark's excellent write up he talks of the JJF riff being somewhat different, (played) on different strings and in a different key but I find that to be a bit disingenius as it most crucially is really all about intervals.

    I like the sparse opening which reminds me of the song Bad Company by the group of the same name and in the opening two words of some verses I hear something I believe to be briefly from End Of The Season before more urgency kicks in.
    Ray's keys are good as is his vocal drama that immediately leads into some nice solo work from Dave.
    I didn't realise the song was so long and I place it ahead of "Attitude" but It wouldn't make a Kinks top 100 from me despite finding out last year (very prossibly on this thread) that it was a favourite of some renown amongst fans though on preference I will stick with the real Captain America.
     
  22. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Pressure

    Even before reading Mark's review I was thinking of Status Quo and not only the obvious Chuck Berry influences.
    Fine playing and suitably succinct though lyrically and melodically Chuck might have used it as a B side if short a track.
     
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  23. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    and the extra note... It is essentially saying it is the same riff, I wasn't saying it's not the same
     
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  24. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    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)

    Nervous tension, man's invention,
    Is the biggest killer that's around today
    Let the tension out or it will build and build inside
    And strike you down some day
    Nervous tension, man's invention
    Is the biggest waste of human energy
    Let the tension out, or it will surely kill
    And that will be a tragedy

    Valium helps you for a while
    But somehow valium seems to bring me down
    There's no pill I can recommend where side effects
    Aren't guaranteed to send you round the bend

    You gotta let out the tension
    With a little bit of exercise
    Loosen up your muscles
    And feel the knots in your body untie

    We oh we oh
    Oh oh oh oh ah ah ah ah
    Oh oh oh oh ah ah ah ah

    It sure beats quaaludes
    It sure beats cocaine
    Even Freud recommends it
    Cos it relieves the strain

    Altogether now
    Oh oh oh oh ah ah ah ah
    Oh oh oh oh ah ah ah ah

    Some people say it sends you deaf
    Some people say it sends you blind
    Some people say it makes you old
    some people say it blows your mind

    But I say

    If it's good for your health
    It's good for your mind
    If it keeps you together
    It's really all right
    We oh we oh

    Oh c'mon, kick the cat

    Oh oh oh oh it's the state of the national health
    Oh oh oh oh Blame it on the national health

    Nervous tension, nervous tension, nervous tension
    Nervous tension. nervous tension, nervous tension
    Nervous tension, man's invention
    Is the biggest killer that's around

    Oh oh oh oh ah ah ah ah
    Oh oh oh oh ah ah ah an

    Valium helps you for a while
    But somehow valium seems to bring me down
    There's no pill I can recommend where side effects
    Aren't guaranteed to drive you round the bend

    I say I say

    Oh oh oh oh it's good for your health
    Keeps you together, it's the state of the national health
    Oh oh oh oh Blame it on the national health
    Oh oh oh oh it's the state of the national health
    Oh oh oh oh ah ah ah ah

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

    When I first heard this song on One From The Road, I thought it was such an unusual song.... but I was quite young really... maybe not quite a teen, maybe just a teen.... but it ended up moving on to be one of my favourite Kinks tracks. As per most of the tracks the studio version is very different.

    After talking about Pressure, and its all encompassing effect, on the previous track, here we move into nervous tension, caused by that pressure.

    I think it's worth noting that we opened up with a song about someone that needs to change their attitude, and then moved into a track that is someone in the throes of financial/emotional/psychological collapse. Then a song about someone who is under pressure, and now we have someone trying to find a way out of the overwhelming assault of nervous tension, which could probably be related to as anxiety..... and these days, if and when you know how many people are on benzo's, then it is a fairly relevant topic still today, if not moreso.

    I believe the UK health system is referred to as The National Health.

    The opening verse is absolutely wonderful, on every level.
    Nervous Tension = Man's Invention ... I don't think there is any doubt about that. The way we structure our society and the constant need to perform at a high level, deal with financial crises, emotional crises, and all these little knives that can be like death from a thousand cuts, are directly related to the way we interact with each other as human beings. They also lead to the build up of nervous tension, or stress, or whatever other terminology suits your speech pattern.
    These are the things that led to what used to be called a nervous breakdown, and this is the angle the song seems to take.
    There are other methods, but like everything these days, we like to medicate, rather than work our way through it. Treat the symptom, rather than the problem.
    Based on the information I understand on the topic, we will have a severe crisis in the coming decades from the over prescribing of benzo's, which are known to cause Alzheimer's disease, and who knows what else..... Ray has another possible treatment, and I reckon it's worth a go. Playing Aussie Rules football for twelve years, I never had any nervous tension once I had been out on the paddock running my butt off for two and a half hours with lots of high velocity collisions :)

    Ray approaches this in a simple and straightforward manner lyrically, but that doesn't discount what a wonderful piece of writing this is...
    Nervous Tension, Man's Invention
    Is the biggest killer that's around today
    Let the tension out or it will build and build inside
    And strike you down some day
    This is straightforward but so true. If you keep blowing air into a balloon, it will eventually burst. If you keep filling up with tension and anxiety, Something Is Going To Burst, and that is likely a reason that the heart is under so much pressure these days. Certainly crap food, and fake food doesn't really help, but that building tension from day to day life is a major contributor.

    Hi, it's Ray Davies and the Kinks Health 101, good for your body and mind :)

    Nervous tension, man's invention
    Is the biggest waste of human energy
    Let the tension out, or it will surely kill
    And that will be a tragedy
    Here Ray is just reinforcing the facts.
    Personally, I think it is a beautiful flowing piece of writing, and the opening verse here is one of the most direct and honest lyrics, ever, by anyone.

    Then we get a change and Ray hits the pharmaceutical issue, and it was true then and now. Valium helps me for a while but somehow valium always seems to bring me down.
    There's no pill I can recommend, whose side effects aren't guaranteed to send you round the bend.
    Look at any medication advertised these days, and the crazy list of side effects that they are required by law to list now, due to so many people being seriously messed up by the medications that are supposed to help them.
    Do you have a minor headache? Then take smashitaway ....... this medication can cause brain explosion, dysentery, pneumonia, ...... and of course we can't forget the seemingly ever present @n@l leakage lol
    Then Ray offers up an alternative solution. Why don't you let out all that tension with a little bit of exercise?
    My wife has all sorts of medical issues, and then a whole bunch of other ones caused by the medications, that apparently are supposed to help, but I am yet to see it. She recently started doing this thing called Pure Barre, and it has helped a lot with her health, but primarily it has done wonders for her mental health. This is not just Ray jibbering on, this is some solid advice, even though it is put forward in a typically goofy Ray way.

    Ray is such a creative writer in so many ways. Here he takes a serious subject, gives it a serious answer, and then just for the hell of it, he brings in some subtle sarcastic comedy.
    It sure beats quaaludes
    It sure beats cocaine
    Even Freud recommends it
    Cos it relieves the strain
    Hmmm, interesting, why is Ray saying that Freud recommends it?
    Some people say it sends you deaf
    Some people say it sends you blind
    Some people say it makes you old
    some people say it blows your mind
    I think it is safe to assume that just as a bit of a twist Ray has decided that the form of exercise he thinks is best, is some good wholesome sexual activity.

    I honestly think this is one of my favourite lyrics that Ray ever put down. It takes a serious subject, and one that seems to effect a higher percentage of people than is even logically fathomable. He gives good information about the way most people treat it, and what the pitfalls are, and then he suggests an actual, real alternative....
    then just because it's Ray he gives it a twist, and turns it into a goof on the fact that a healthy sexual life isn't going to send you deaf or blind, it may well save your life.

    This is a thoroughly brilliant lyric, and although it isn't a common topic, and certainly not handled in this way, it works and is accessible.
    Who said the Qwirky Kinks don't exist anymore, and we haven't even gotten to the music yet.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------
    A look at the roots of the fitness boom for ordinary people who aren't/weren't athletes

    I think it would be somewhat interesting to quickly look at the birth of the exercising revolution, which could possibly have been where Ray drew his inspiration from here.
    In the fifties in the US there was apparently a guy called Jack LaLanne who had an apparently fairly simplistic exercise show aimed at getting the US fit.
    This wasn't the origin of this idea, there was apparently a movie in 1928 called "Exercise: a film lesson in health and hygiene", and it would be really interesting to see what they had to say back then.... I'll have to see if it still exists in some form somewhere.
    Obviously the gym has been around for a long long time, but gym's were generally aimed at athletes and boxers.

    In the seventies though there was the birth of the jogging movement, which became virtually a plague in the eighties.
    Also in the eighties we had the explosion of the Jane Fonda workout videos, which have gone on to be a huge home seller from all sorts of people over the decades. The advent of home video certainly gave this movement legs, and Fonda went from being a controversial war protester, to being the household name in home fitness. The first of her videos came out in 1982.... and although it is likely not true, the timeline makes me want to believe that Ray was the impetus for this :)

    So it is likely that the jogging movement may have inspired this song, and Ray just decided to give it a twist and recommend horizontal jogging.....

    In 1968 Strom Thurmond was stopped by police in North Carolina for suspicious activity... that suspicious activity? Jogging.

    Apparently jogging, as a recreational activity was introduced to the world via the Kiwi's (New Zealanders for the uninitiated) Obviously people had done the whole running thing before, but not as a pastime, or dedicated exercise program for the average Joe Blow....
    Bill Bowerman, an apparently legendary running coach from Oregon University was in New Zealand in 1962 and met Arthur Lydiard who was inspiring lots of New Zealanders to jog, and Bowerman was impressed with the prowess of the country's runners.
    Inspired by all of this Bowerman wrote a book which was published in 1966 called "Jogging: A Physical Fitness Program For All Ages"

    By the time we get to the seventies jogging is no longer a dubious activity that will get you pulled over by the police, it has become an industry, and celebrity runners, and sport shoe companies really helped to push this along, and many more books started coming out, and jogging by the late seventies was becoming a very big thing.

    Anyway, I hope that wasn't all too boring.... I don't think it was off topic..... whatever..... back to The National Health
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    So musically we enter the song with a staccato palm muted guitar with a kick drum .... that almost gives the start a sort of quicker Running Bear feel .... and that's the first time I have noticed that.

    Then Ray comes in with one of his beautiful delicate, melodic vocals. The second verse has the vocal doubled.

    The melodic and rhythmic structure of the opening is quite beautiful.... What's that you say? Beautiful with that chugging palm mute guitar? ... Well yea, for me it is beautiful. :) The quite simple and spare opening, gives room for Ray's vocal and lyrics to be the focus, and I think that is what makes it beautiful. I love big production stuff. I love dense mixes with lots of fun elements to keep the ears tickled, but the dynamic of spare backing with a solid vocal, that even better, has a solid lyric, it helps create a wonderful dynamic tension, and the release is generally going to be the payoff point.
    Chord-wise, we are just moving between the G and the C, which translates to the I and the IV for the tech heads around the place.

    Then we get the dynamic release, and I am guessing it is going to please some and annoy others.
    We get a solid simple drum fill to lead us in, and then the beat breaks.
    We move to the V, in this case the D, and we get something I don't think we have heard from the Kinks up to this point, but in context it is brilliant.
    The doubled Ray vocal continues, but now we have this deadpan virtually spoken (dare I say rapped) vocal, and underneath it we have this melodic vocal, but it is mixed very low, and in context with the lyrics, it almost seems like Ray is putting forth a picture of someone mentally sedated by the pills he is singing about.... that dulled reflection of the person underneath the medication, and the low mixed melodic vocal is like their real self trying to break through the malaise.
    Musically we are flipping between the D and the C (the V and the IV)...
    and this is a really interesting turn of events in the Kinks catalog, and is undoubtedly going to upset some folks, but we get a chugging electric guitar doubled with a synth... and the synth is not unlike something that a band like Devo may have used..... in fact listening more closely it kind of reminds of the wonderful Robert Palmer song Johnny and Mary in this section, which would come out in a years time.

    We get a half time change accompanied with a fill that leads us into the resolve back to the G...
    Now another bit that I assume traditionalists are going to not enjoy too much, but again, it is Qwirky Kinks at their best. We get this weird sounding percussive tone, obviously a synth, and it is playing this odd little melody ...
    I have actually grown to love it, just for the pure reckless anarchy of it, from a Kinks context, and Ray goes into workout instructor mode.

    At this point the song takes on this lighthearted fun feel, and Ray is delivering a fairly straight vocal, but you can almost hear the ironic? sarcastic? humour behind it.
    We get this "Weoh weoh" from Ray and the band kick in with this wonderful kwirky "whoooooaaaa, ahhhhh" and it is almost like that exaggerated breathing on some of those exercise videos ... yes I have done exercise videos, I used to be quite fit and formidable lol... I am really not anymore :)
    Anyway, to me this whole movement from the opening to this point are wholly unique in the Kinks catalog, and I find it thoroughly entertaining and engaging..... and we aren't done yet.

    After this short and unusual chorus we move into the next verse, and when you think the guys had pulled out all the quirk they could from this, we have a continuation of this stripped back sound, and Dave (or perhaps Ray) comes in with these percussive, semi-muted, close picked chords (ie, the pick isn't far from the fretting hand) Kind of strummed, kind of picked, with the emphasis on that percussive sound. Almost like the frayed nerves the song is singing about.
    It almost sounds like something Robert Fripp would do ... perhaps Fripp isn't who I'm thinking about, but certainly a more avant garde type player than Dave.

    I guess this isn't everyone's cup of tea, but I absolutely love this. It is so very different, so well thought out, and so effective, from my perspective.
    At the end of the verse we get Ray with an "altogether now".... it is spoken, and unlike most utterances of altogether now, or similar encouraging come on now lyrics, Ray sounds like he has had a few too many valium... or perhaps the ludes in the previous verse (I don't know, I've never had them)
    We then move into the chorus section without the chorus, we just have the backing vocals... and again, for me it is very effective.

    Then we move quite smoothly into this straight rock chunk section, which is another of those ascending chord patterns C, D, E, F, G, and it works as a bridge, and a very effective one, that throws yet another little twist into the song.

    We get some, sort of, random Ray vocals "But I Say". We get some nice little Dave lead licks.
    We get a verse vocal over the Chorus arrangement, then we move into the normal chorus.

    Then we get another bridge that builds up with the repeat of nervous tension, and it perfectly reflects the idea of the tension building up. Then on the other side of it, we have this slow, relaxed breathe out "nervous tension man's invention is the biggest killer round today"

    We break out of that section into Dave doing some more nice lead licks, that could have come from Elliot Easton from the Cars.

    We get a bridge inserted, and move into the chorus, and Ray's vocals are every bit as entertaining, in a somewhat theatrical sense, as anything he did in the RCA years,
    Dave is still dropping in little lead licks, and we cold cut the song off with an unusual choice of note, and one of the Kwirkiest songs in the Kinks catalog ends.

    I don't expect everyone will like this, and personally I probably lean towards the live version, but I love this song, and as oddball as it is (from a Kinks context) it would make it into any Kinks compile that I would put together.... and either version, but more likely the studio version for a compile.

    Another example of the Kinks perfectly matching words, music and performance/arrangement.
    It sounds like it may have been fun too, and that never hurts.

     
  25. Martyj

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

    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    I’m not a playlist kind of guy, but if I were I’d have three songs from Low Budget. This is one of them. It's got a typical Kinks-quirky quality to it. Nervous tension, man's invention, Is the biggest killer that's around today over that throbbing music is one of the best starts of a post-60’s Kinks song--period. Show of hands: After first listen to this song and without consulting the track list, how many here assumed this was titled “Nervous Tension?” I know I did.

    Musically, it feels like the song could end right before it goes into the valium verse for the second time. I wouldn’t have a problem with an edited version of this. Starting with the first ooo-oooo-ooo it feels like two songs in one, distinctly different but seamlessly connected that it feels natural. McCartney makes hay with this kind of approach. Off the top of my head I can’t think of too many examples where Ray does it, but I’m sure someone can correct me. Its too early for me to mentally run through the hundreds of songs to try to recall one. I’m actually writing this at 4:30 am, waiting for Mark to fire the starters pistol for today discussion so I can post then drive for 4 hours to begin a very busy several days of work. Probably won’t post during that time…so in advance I’ll say “Superman”—probably the best disco/rock hybrid ever—and “In a Space” are the other two on my hypothetical playlist.
     

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