The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    What happened was that he couldn't race F1 or SCCA events due to insurance problems. So what he did was to go off-road racing in events such as the Baja 1000 in the late 1960s early 1970s. Here's a piccy of him w/his specially prepared Oldsmobile 442:

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    There's no rock at all in those Sparks' songs though! Or in the entire album they recorded with Moroder. There's no guitars for a start, there's drums but everything else is electronic.
     
  3. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    I was waiting for you to post!
     
  4. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Ah, I'm afraid I don't know him at all and tbh I only pulled up the band name today during research for my post: I've only been aware of his work solely through the Kunks stuff up until today.
     
  5. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    I first heard about the Confederacy of Dunces from the old Trouser Press Magazine Record Guide. I thought to myself, hmm, somebody influenced by my favorite band and named after my favorite book, could be something good. I got in contact w/John Dunbar & received his albums, including the initial Konks EP, until I lost touch around 2004. He did all the instruments and vocals himself and I do recommend him if you can find it.
     
  6. ThereOnceWasANote

    ThereOnceWasANote Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cape May, NJ
    Top 40 hit or not Superman is a song whose popularity spans generations.

     
  7. markelis

    markelis Forum Resident

    Location:
    Miami Beach FL
    I have been pressed for time with guests in town, which is really getting me down a bit with respect to my ability to participate in this thread as I really enjoy this album and have (as I have said repeatedly) for the past 40+ years. So please don’t take my short reviews below as anything other than being pinched for time.

    National Health: This is a song that I liked back when I bought the album, but I didn’t love it, probably because it didn’t rock“. Revisiting it now, I like it much more. As an adult I am now able to focus a bit more on the kwirky and sarcastic aspects of the song. So far I consider every song on the side of the album to be top notch.

    Superman: I loved this song from the minute I heard it. I don’t care if it’s disco (or if it’s not, for that matter). I think the lyrics are brilliant, Consistently humorous and somehow touching at the same time (I guess that’s Ray’s gift, isn’t it?). Musically, I dig the deep bass, consistency of the drums and, most importantly, Dave’s riffing and solos. There’s nothing wrong with the three minute version, but I am going to always opt for the six minute version because, well, I just love this song. I consider all of side A, a great example of the kinks knocking it right out of the park.

    On a sidenote, my friends and I all “hated” disco at the time. We were rock ‘n rollers, duh! With that said, even back at the time, I thought the songs from Saturday night fever were undeniably good and I absolutely sought out and loved songs like Another One Bites the Dust by Queen, I Was Made for Loving Kou by Kiss , Miss You and Emotional Rescue by the Stones (Fortuleo, I agree with you, emotional rescue is the better of those two great songs) (and BTW, if you’ve never heard the extended version of Miss You, it’s not to be missed if you like the song). To that end, superman was embraced by me the minute I heard it. I still maintain a disco playlist to this day ,which is a mix of then current top 40 disco hits, disco songs by rock bands, and even some more current disco hits by bands like the scissor sisters.
     
  8. Brian Doherty

    Brian Doherty Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles CA
    LOW BUDGET was an album my big bro had and played a LOT and in my memory it was also all over rock n roll radio in the south Fla town I lived in then; it is an indelible part of my earliest moves toward rock n' roll fandom/fanatacism and thus imprinted in me as a source of a wide variety of fresh, smart, catchy, and pleasurable joy. I remain very fond of every track, though I admit I don't test that love by playing it a LOT this century, but a couple of times a year for sure....including last night. Realized my vinyl needs a cleaning....

    But what can I say, it's raw and clumpy and passionate and brash and connected to "reality" in a very interesting way compared to other Big Radio Rock of the time, sometimes tender and emotional, sometimes concerned, sometimes funny, it really covers the waterfront of an interesting pop-rock experience and after learning more about the history and context their ability as such an old band to slot into new wavey punky discoy sounds and sound right in their lane with all of them all the more impressive.

    Sure, it does not have the refined delicacy or strangeness of some of the late 60s stuff we all loved, I can KIND of get why old fans might find it TOO brash and clumpy, but I will never not love LOW BUDGET, the most of the Arista years.
     
  9. Brian x

    Brian x half-animate bean

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    (Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman

    I was such a drip in my late adolescence (could be I'm still a drip) -- everything except underground, alternative culture was crap, I refused to watch TV or go to mainstream movies, and I wouldn't be caught dead listening to a radio station higher than 89.9 on the dial.

    All I knew about the Low Budget LP was that it was kind of a hit (bad) and represented the Kinks going "arena rock" (Judas!). That the two songs I half-heard about seemed to center around comic book superheroes just made the whole thing seem even more mainstream, dumbed-down, and commercial.

    Turns out Catch Me Now is about the fall of the American empire and Superman is narrated by yet another neurotic, hypochondriacal RD hero, paralyzed by the stresses of modern life, nursing impossible fantasies of escape. And it certainly isn't arena rock, whatever that means -- the songs on Low Budget are as diverse, droll, and inventive as those on any previous Kinks LP.

    Sentiments like I'd like to change the world and we've got to get out of this place generally lead to portentous, declarative rock songs, but here they're sung by a sniffling, nebbishy weakling with a pigeon chest who can't pay his bills. Ha.

    Must invent that time machine and kick my snobby little teenage butt.
     
  10. Brian Doherty

    Brian Doherty Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles CA
    You know I don't think about it much anymore but it has to be the case that the Superman and Capt America refs on this lp helped make my comic book fanatic self love LOW BUDGET just that little bit more, or maybe a lot bit more.
     
  11. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    (Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman

    Since I am in a good mood from "National Heath" it carries over into this next song. This is good sequencing on the album and a fine ending to side A. In the past, I never understood the appeal of this song, but over time it has become a song I enjoy. The biggest turn off for me is the lyric about sneezing and blowing his nose. I can't help it, but that lyric nearly blows the song for me. He then saves himself with the "Pigeon chest" line. One of my cousins always asked my skinny brother if he had Furniture disease, because his chest was sinking into his drawers. :D It still makes me laugh every time. The pigeon chest line gives me the same smile.

    The bass line is excellent and I also like Dave's little flashes of guitar throughout. I say it's an excellent little dance number and probably the best of the 60s rockers attempting a disco beat (aside from those Jive Talkin' Bee Gees).

    Those first two Superman films with Christopher Reeve remain my favorite superhero films of all time. If I had this record at the time, you wouldn't have found me on the disco dance floor. I would have been jumping on my bed in my Superman underoos.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2022
  12. Michael Streett

    Michael Streett Senior Member

    Location:
    Florence, SC
    Anyone else here have this UK 12"?

    Check the matrix numbers on side A and see if you have a first pressing A//1 EP or a later pressing A//3 EP.
    Supposedly the first pressing contains a unique mix of Superman without the synthesizer that was quickly withdrawn and replaced with the later pressing and the common mix. A// 3 is what I have and is the most common version and easily found. The first not so much. I've never been able to obtain one of these to verify.



    [​IMG]
     
  13. donstemple

    donstemple Member of the Club

    Location:
    Maplewood, NJ
    Superman

    Rock disco at it's finest! Just killer stuff here. I can't help but bop my head to this beat. Dave's riff. The bass part. The vocals are pure Ray. Different voices. Different deliveries. Hilarious, yet truly heartfelt lyrics. Incredible. Nothing else to add. An album favorite for sure. I'd rather listen to the 6 minute mix of this. The 3 minute album mix seems to go by too quickly. I wish I've known this song for much longer than just the few weeks I have so far....

    I don't think anyone else posted this yet, but here is a great video made by Elektra Comics that brings together that lovely Kinks/Superman logo, film noir, robots, cups of tea, and 70s Kartoon Kinks (with some 60s Kinks style thrown in too).

     
  14. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Enjoyed the video. Was scratching my head about Electra but I see in your description that you say it is Electra Comics that put this together. A lot of fun.
     
  15. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Superman

    How do I love thee, Superman, let me count the ways! I'm not reading anyone's take other than Mark's. I need to gush like a fan here. I think this may be one of my top Kinks 70s songs.

    some of it may be due to past association with it as a teenager, but most of it is because it's a dynamite song!

    I have a particular memory in regards to this song. As I've said more than a few times in this thread, I was heavily exposed to the Kinks at my friend's house. her big family was always playing music and the Kinks were among many favorites. Their record player was always traveling around from one sibling's room to another. I was a passive listener 99% of the time. But I remember Superman playing on their record player in the kitchen and for the first time ever, after it finished,I picked up the needle and played it again. Wondergirl...activated!! LOL

    I don't think this is a disco song, but does it have some disco elements? Of course. I think it's utter brilliance that Ray (and the band) took some parts like the throbbing beat, the repetitive guitar sound that sounds like a synthesizer(?) and then the weird little synth sounds injected throughout, and made it work and made it distinctly a Kinks sound. And Ray, as we know, hates being told how to do things so it's an "in your face" to Clive. What a brat you are, Ray! I love it. I think Clive sticking his nose in only made Ray want to try new creative moves on many of these songs. Some may not always be winners, but I do think this song is one.

    and it's a long song, but I don't feel it. I'm engaged all the way through. I wouldn't touch a second of it.

    Ray's vocals are fantastic. The ahhhh's that lead to the chorus are so cool and I don't even know why. Ray's got a bit of that cockney thing going, but it works on this song. he's just some working bloke getting up in the morning and facing a dire world. Then there's the Ray vocal where his voice goes lower and he's almost talking - it works so well. Backing vocals - the ohhhhs and ahhhhs are so perfect.

    the very start of this song sounds like Don't Bring Me Down by ELO. Anyone think that? Maybe it's a generic beat...so maybe it's only me. :D

    And then there's an added bonus if you're listening to this song on headphones: there's that "whooosh" sound a few times that goes from one side to the other. Fun!

    oh and did I mention the lyrics are a riot? But you already knew that. Ray, as always, creates these wonderful images with his words and brings a smile to my face. "Hey girl - we gotta get out of this place"...you don't have to ask me twice, Ray!

    This song gets an A++. Now to read what others have to say.
     
  16. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    :love: Not sure what I missed, but it's SO hard on a long thread like this that "life" doesn't creep in from time to time. I know it did for me yesterday. We're all human and sometimes we don't have a perfect hold on our thoughts and emotions. It's all cool...
     
  17. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    ??
     
  18. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I had never noticed it either, but

    "I'm such a wreck but I'm Stayin' Alive"
    and now, I can hear it in the way he sings it too
     
  19. LX200GPS

    LX200GPS Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    Superman

    Good memories of this one because it was the last time I felt rich despite the country going down the drain.

    Off the top of my head this must have been the last Kinks single I bought in the 1970's. I do remember that period very well - I was working as a postman in Paddington. Now that was a terrific job back then if you were a thief or a shirker as the possibilities for time wasting and fecking (for those unaware "to feck" is to steal) were endless. Of course the whole country was on the skids in 1979 thanks to successive bad governments and greedy unions demanding ever-increasing wage rises. I was a union member myself then and I had so much disposable income I didn't know what to do with it. The reasons for this were two-fold.

    On weekdays at 2pm I would leave our flat near Warwick Avenue and stroll down the Union Canal to the W2 District Office alongside Paddington Station. My shift was due to start at 2.30pm and finish at 9.30pm. However, going home at that time was pointless as it was too late to go out and anything decent on tv had already started or already finished. We played a lot of Scrabble and cards back then when the tv was sh*te!!

    Better to sign on for another seven hours and stroll down to the canteen for some food before hitting the bar until the next shift started at 11pm. Then home to bed at 6am before getting up at 1pm and doing it all again. Double money right there. Would do this Mon to Fri maybe three weeks out of four. And because you were limited to socialising much of the money you earned you kept. My afternoon duty consisted of walking down to platform 1 at Paddington Station, emptying the post box, changing the collection number, before returning to the office and doing it all again an hour later. No more than a dozen letters at most. Tough work but someone had to do it. Night duty was invariably sorting in front of the pigeon holes which was alright providing you had someone young next to you when you could have a bit of a laugh. If you were stuck in between two old codgers it was a nightmare. Cornwall, bottom left and Newcastle top right, just like the map.

    I read a review of the single upstairs in the lounge. A good review as it happens by Robert Denselow. The lounge had a copy of every newspaper published that day and I spent many an hour concentrating on the broadsheets as there was so much stuff in them compared to the others which you could whizz through in less than 10 minutes.

    Stiff Records despatched all their merchandise through our office and, I can tell you now, many of their packages accidentally opened while transiting our mail room. T-shirts, badges and tickets were sought after by many of my colleagues.

    Superman was a great single with a cracking B side which, unfortunately, has not resurfaced on any other release since. Both these tracks hinted at what life was like in the UK in 1979.
     
  20. TeddyB

    TeddyB Senior Member

    Location:
    Hollywoodland
    Superman is a very enjoyable record and very Ray Davies. Catchy and funny. As for this whole concept album thing, the issue wasn’t so much “concept albums” being uncommercial. The last several RCA albums were more like Original Cast Recordings. There’s a significant difference.

    I am also a huge fan of Jim Garner. He was a treasure. Anyone who likes the Kinks and Jim has great taste in popular culture.
     
  21. ThereOnceWasANote

    ThereOnceWasANote Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cape May, NJ
    Superman

    Last weekend I was playing this on my phone in my friends kitchen. He's like, "I remember this. Cool song." He's not a huge music fan either and probably hasn't heard it since we were in 7th grade. The song has staying power!

    Superman soars on that Moroder Euro groove and Ray touches on the troubles of the times which are pretty universal still. I remember first hearing this on the local Top 40 station while getting ready for school. I love Dave's guitar and vocals on this one.

    The character blowing his nose probably suffers from hay fever! This is a pretty topical tune but Ray doesn't dwell on the situation. He paints a picture of the times through the song character's eyes in a humorous self-deprecating manner.

    At one point he sings the title of the famous fellow Brit Invasion band the Animals (a popular cover song at the time by artist like B.O.C. and David Johansen). I prefer the 6 minute version. Superman is a super Kinks song in any era.
     
  22. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    He has 3 kids and she's the mum!
     
    ajsmith, DISKOJOE and mark winstanley like this.
  23. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    I don't mind some Mark Agro!
     
  24. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Duh! why didn't I catch that? Clever boy.
     
    DISKOJOE and mark winstanley like this.
  25. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    I think Sir Ray would get a kick out of this!
     

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