The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. Endicott

    Endicott Forum Resident

    Apropos of nothing, since it's free-form Sunday... I was on hold for two hours the other night waiting for a customer service representative to show up on the line. The hold music they played was some sort of permutation of the "Working At The Factory" intro, over and over and over. And over. Even if you just drop down the phone and go about your business while you wait, you can't get away from the hold music. If we were covering Think Visual today, let's just say that song would be the target of my wrath...
     
  2. ThereOnceWasANote

    ThereOnceWasANote Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cape May, NJ
    The whole album. It's brightness, lack of blues, it's Britishness (after a brief detour into an underrated pyschedelia period the Stones for the most part returned to music with American-roots), there is more a Kinks than Stones vibe to many of the melodies, the guitar breaks on Miss Amanda Jones have a Dave Davies feel, and it is driven more by melody than groove. It is a very unique-sounding album that has always sounded to me to be influenced by what Ray was doing with the Kinks at the time. In 1966-67 both groups were really just hitting their stride in writing their own material (though the Stones would still throw a cover or two most of their albums). In 1967, even though they released two albums, the Kinks probably topped both releases with Something Else (which sounded like nothing else at the time). In trying to follow-up Aftermath the Rolling Stones, while prolific, suffered from a bit of an identity crisis on their two 1967 releases. In trying to draw on inspiration at the time they turned to their British roots (and also what the Kinks were doing) on Buttons.
     
  3. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    God yes, it's definitely influenced by the Kinks!
     
  4. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Yeah, that's one of my favorite single covers!
     
  5. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    so it does. Didn't notice that before. LOL
     
  6. ThereOnceWasANote

    ThereOnceWasANote Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cape May, NJ
    Low Budget

    I mean what else needs to be said. It's a great Kinks song and live sing-a-long. Much like with Superman I prefer the long version even more! Ray makes some wry comments on the state of things at the time. The stripped down bluesy sound of the song reflects the idea of being on a Low Budget. Another well-deserved Kinks Klassic.
     
  7. pyrrhicvictory

    pyrrhicvictory Forum Resident

    Location:
    Manhattan
    This was from the 1982 WNEW-FM calendar (April). Note the exquisite Meg Griffin among the other DJ’s. These calendars were available for purchase with proceeds going to charity. Mine is somewhere in storage.
     
  8. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    oh cool! thanks for the background on this. :righton:
     
  9. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    I also have this issue, as well as several other issues involving the Kinks. I also had a subscription to Goldmine around that time myself. It's nice to know that it has managed to survive the past few years.
     
  10. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    Between the Buttons is one of my favorite Stones albums. "Miss Amanda Jones" sounds like it could be on Some Girls. "She Smiled Sweetly" is another great song and "Please Go Home" is sci-fi Bo Diddley. I definitely prefer it to Satanic Majesties Request.
     
  11. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Well written post but you seem to state it's more a Kinks than Stones album in all but artist name.
    The album certainly still had some grooves and why wouldn't they go for melodies that dominate music at times as it wasn't the first time for them to do so plus on the balladic side something like Backstreet Girl is simply a younger cousin of Lady Jane.
    Plenty of lyrics I don't see Ray Davies writing from these sessions for example My Obsession, Connection, Let's Spend The Night Together, Yesterday's Papers etc.
    Ironically whilst we talk of the albums brightness there was room for it to be a lot moreso.
    I agree it's their most brit-pop album and least R&B (Majesties aside) but aside from Kink influences there were as you suggest other quality UK groups on the local scene to appreciate.
     
  12. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    You mean EP covers no?
     
    DISKOJOE and mark winstanley like this.
  13. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    my bad... ooops...how about one of my favorite covers. :winkgrin:
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2022
  14. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Low Budget
    Finally getting around to my take after a busy day yesterday.
    Great song! I know this must have been played a lot back when it came out, but i feel like I know it better through the One for the Road video/album. It's already a grungy sounding song, but it really comes to life on the stage. The Kinks really had a knack of taking songs and making them better live. Since they already start off with a high quality studio version, that's quite a feat.

    One thing that always stuck out for me is a simple thing...how Ray's and Dave's voice combine on singing "low budget". It's wonderful and makes me happy every time I hear it.

    Lots of fantastic humor in the lyrics. Ray is a notorious cheapo, so it's a great piss take on himself. Ray definitely has a big concern about going broke.

    I'm sure Dave had a blast playing this song which you can almost feel by listening. And I heard some good bass throughout too.

    Fun song! This album is kicking butt so far.

    ________
    Was in Western Mass yesterday and stumbled upon a record store. Bought myself two CDs at a decent price ("cheap is cheap"): UK Jive and Ray's Working Man's Cafe. Need to give them both a good listen as I'm mostly unfamiliar with them.
     
  15. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Same...
    I'm really quite unfamiliar with Dave's solo stuff and The Kinks after State Of Confusion. Word of Mouth is a much later addition to the collection. I like it, but I'm not super familiar with it.
    The others I got near the start of the thread.

    We're moving into new, interesting territory very soon for me.
     
  16. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Yup. Since I'm not as familiar with them, I'm a bit nervous that I'm going to be utterly disappointed. I know some of the singles that came out of the era after Word of Mouth, but not the deeper cuts. gulp
     
  17. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    Both albums are OK, even though neither one of them is a classic. You should also look out for the 1991 Did Ya EP, which is great.
     
  18. Brian x

    Brian x half-animate bean

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Low Budget (the song)

    Love that crunchy guitar. Feel like "Live Life" could've been a dry run for this song, but this rocks a lot harder & more gritty.

    You could say that Sleepwalker/Misfits or even Schoolboys/Sleepwalker/Misfits were all moving towards the sound on Low Budget (the album). Which is definitely not show tune or 60s Kinks but is certainly no version of AOR or *arena rock* I've ever heard.

    Wasn't crazy about the *barky* "what did you say?" "say it again" stuff until I saw a couple of the live versions posted above. God Ray seems happy and in his element, not a sad tired sellout doing rote arena rock for filthy lucre -- a rock & roll legend at the (second? third? ongoing?) peak of his powers.
     
  19. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Location:
    Murrumbateman
    True. And I also forgot The Jack.
    Though we’d better not go there :sigh:
     
  20. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    The story behind the Jack is pretty funny ....

    Prior to Back In Black, Bon era Ac/DC was very blues oriented. It was louder, and more aggressive, but the baseline of what they played was within the spectrum of blues....

    Having said that, the approach, sound and style of Ac/DC is nothing like the Kinks to my ears ... as someone who was listening to both bands since I was a pup.
     
  21. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    You're covered!
     
  22. ThereOnceWasANote

    ThereOnceWasANote Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cape May, NJ
    Love the live version!

    Sonically and productionwise I can hear some AC/DC Back In Black influence on Give The People What They Want.
     
  23. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I'm still re-associating myself with Give The People.....
    So far it seems to have a very raw, recorded in a hotel room kind of sound... but I'll keep an ear out for it.
     
  24. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    In A Space.

    stereo mix, recorded 20-30 May, 1979 (backing track), early Jun 1979 (vocals) at Power Station, New York (backing track), Blue Rock Studios, New York (vocals)

    In a space allocated to me by the human race
    Inhabiting this area until I die this space is occupied
    I'm in a space leased by kind permission of the human race
    Close up I am big but far away I'm small and hardly here at all
    'Cause in a space out in space
    We disappear without a trace

    Now I'm out in inner space
    And lookin' at the people. standing face to face
    And filling up the space
    Men and women boys and girls
    There are so many people in the world
    Thinkin' about the world
    And all the people in it
    And I'm staring at the stars
    And into the infinite
    In a world within a world
    On a planet that's
    Driftin' in a space

    Seconds into minutes and minutes
    Into hours and hours into days
    And days into months and months into years
    And years into decade tens into thousands
    Thousands into millions, millions into billions
    Billions into zillions and forever and forever

    In a space allocated by the human race
    Somewhere in outer space it's far away and I like it that way
    Now I'm out in inner space
    And lookin' at the people, standing face to face
    And filling up the space
    Men and women boys and girls
    There are so many people in the world
    Thinkin' about the world
    And all the people in it
    And I'm staring at the stars
    And into the infinite
    In a world within a world
    On a planet that's
    Driftin' in a space

    In a space, in a space, in a space
    Now I'm out in inner space
    And lookin' at the people standing face to face
    And filling up the space
    On a planet that's
    Driftin' in a space

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

    This is a cool song, for me at least, and I like that it is this genre jigsaw of ideas, that seems to say an awful lot, without saying anything at all, or does it?

    Ray is playing around with the idea of us all having our own individual space, even the planet which is also drifting in a space.

    There is a sort of we are very small, in our little space, and when Ray is gazing out into the infinite it becomes strikingly obvious that as many people as there are in the world, matched against the universe at large, we are even as a group of people rather small.
    Our planet is an awful lot bigger than all of us put together, and yet it in itself is drifting in its space, which again, held up against the universe at large, is very small.

    There is this feeling of being overwhelmed by it all.

    Perhaps there is even an insinuation of being detached, not connected to the people around us, because we are In A Space, and our focus is on that space.
    If we followed the line of side one being a hidden concept, or theme ... we have this attitude problem that led to us falling down, and leaves us under pressure, to the point of having anxiety issues, this leads us to daydream, or wish we were some kind of superhero that could deal with all this, or fly away from it, and our finances are collapsing as a result of this spiral....
    Then we open side one and find ourselves on a low budget and compromising everything, because we are struggling to come to terms with the scenario as it has unfolded, and are totally skint, which draws us into ourselves...
    This leads us to detach... we aren't connected to those around us anymore, because we have spiraled to this bottom of sorts that separates us from those around us... In this space dedicated to us by the human race, which is oh so small in the grand scheme of things... So what is the point of it all?.....
    "Somewhere in outer space it's far away and I like it that way"
    "Now I'm out in inner space"
    Perhaps it's a long bow to draw, and perhaps I am a little tapped, but it all seems to flow like a sort of secret/hidden story at the moment.

    Musically we open up with one of the most Stonesy musical references on the album. The two somewhat wandering guitars do a pretty decent job of mimicking the way Keith worked with his other guitarists, where it can be occasionally difficult to define who is playing lead, because both guitars are sort of playing intertwining lines and creating a groove out of it.
    The piano comes in sort of affirming the Stones nod here, and then we move on elsewhere, for the most part.

    From there we move into this kind of sludgy funk rock kind of thing, with a bass synth of some distinction playing this squelchy kind of sound.

    The song sort of rotates through these textures.
    Again we have Ray moving through multiple varieties of vocal delivery styles, whispers, shouts, delicate and lost, character type voices.
    We have Dave there with him for a great deal of it also.

    The track comes across like this crazy jam the guys had and somehow managed to turn it into a coherent, dynamic song.

    Personally I have always loved this.... all I can say is this song kind of seems normal, but then it isn't, and it is straight, but then it is Kwirky, and I can't tell you why I love it, but love it I do.

     
  25. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    I had all but forgotten this one… I hear a little bit of (Jesus Christ) Superstar’s chorus in the verse melody, but I think there’s also a cheesy 70’s hit song somewhere, I can’t put my finger on it, could be a French one… hopefully @The late man will come to the rescue. My favorite thing in this song is the lyrical idea of “a space”. Not “space”, “a space”. With that little indefinite article, Ray nails the existential metaphor of any "man in space" story. The guy’s out there, in a space of his own, could be a starship, a station, a capsule, a planet, our planet, could be the human condition itself. Not to compare the quality of the songs, but I can see a thread coming back to This Time Tomorrow and even Waterloo Sunset : the guy’s just more and more isolated from our world. He was in an apartment looking at people, then in an aircraft looking down by the window, now he’s “out in inner space”, thinking about the human race. “I’m out in inner space” is another fantastic Ray Davies line, touching on something quite deep (as a general rule, I like it better when Ray touches on deep issues with no definite conclusion, than when he aims to tackle them thoroughly and deliver a message). Once again, we get the main feature of this Low Budget record, Ray’s voice alternating between deadpan tongue in cheek delivery (verse) and a harder growling voice (rest), and I think this gimmick's especially effective here, from a floating sensation to a feeling of angst and alienation. The end of the verse ("cause in a space / Out in space"…) is the closest to music-hall melodicism Ray’s been in a very long time, and it’s always a welcome return. Musically, this is the other big weirdo song of this record after National Health. The guitars are excellent (especially the rhythm guitar, I wonder if it’s Ray ?) and those synths are so outrageously goofy… On some records, you can tell which drugs the band was on, but on songs like National Health and In a Space, I don't have a clue. It's probably just Ray Davies' own crazy cocktail of brain chemicals…
     

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