The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    To observe people for potential material?
    DISKOJOE, mark winstanley and Zeki like this.
  2. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    He could introduce his flying saucers a little more seamlessly at this juncture!
    mark winstanley and Zeki like this.
  3. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Satisfaction, really?
    DISKOJOE, mark winstanley and Zeki like this.
  4. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    I am sorry to hear of that as recently we were flooded twice in 7 days.
  5. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Yep. I say this later in the thread:
    “Now I'm out in inner space
    And lookin' at the people. standing face to face”
    —-equates to—-
    “When I'm driving in my car
    When a man come on the radio”
  6. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Hear, hear best wishes for @ajsmith!
    Ex-Fed, DISKOJOE, Zeki and 5 others like this.
  7. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    How's this for unreturned books...... (+1*)

    The Dark Stuff by Nick Kent
    Kept by Brandon James who then joined the police force!

    Lonely Planet Canadian Guide
    Kept by Ian Stathis who chased a girl to Canada returned home but never gave me the book.

    Mick Jagger In His Own Words
    Taken to live in France By Valerie Horcajuelo

    Up And Down With The Rolling Stones
    Kept by a Stoner named Brent Taylor

    Rolling Stones Complete (180 Songs w/score)
    Kept by whatsisface? bass player in first band.
    @mark winstanley is it always the bass player!

    Beggars Banquet Fanzines x 5 (plus loads more)
    Stolen by family builders during a house move, my mother politely asked them about this which caused some offence as they were religious!

    Gestalt Therapy Verbatim*
    Returned by me to a Psychiatrist 9 years later though he was not asking for or expecting a return!
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2022
  8. Smiler

    Smiler Forum Resident

    Houston TX
    Happy first anniversary, all! I started reading this thread soon after it started but didn't begin posting until several albums down the line. But it's been a wonderfully intelligent, witty, insightful, and respectful community from whom I have learned many things (even some about the Kinks :)), including thoughtful and critical listening.

    Take care, Avid @ajsmith. I am quite familiar with the black dog, and he's no one's friend. May the beast leave your door post-haste.
  9. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    About In A Space, isn't there some hint of 7/4 in the verse or am I counting wrong ?
  10. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    In one of the verses there is a beat left out - I think it's a bar of 4/4 followed by a bar of 3/4, or one bar of 7/4. I'm not sure of the difference!
  11. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Fantastic Man
    I was going to post this at the end of the album because there's something about the synth that reminds me of Moving Pictures - it's a pretty loose link but both songs were released in 1979 at least. Mr Onyeabor recorded a dozen or so songs like this at a recording studio he built using earnings from a successful business. He played all the instruments. I don't think the songs made it out of eastern Nigeria until someone "discovered" him about 10 years ago. By that time, Onyeabor had given everything away to become a preacher.
    I thought I'd post this song now to mark the one-year anniversary of this thread - dedicating it to our dear headmaster @mark winstanley and all the other avids who bring so much to this discussion - with particular shout-outs to @ajsmith and @Fortuleo who always add a lot of value. I recommend singing along and dancing if you can - roller skates optional. @Wondergirl I suggest you should sing "fantastic woman" :righton:
  12. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    In anticipation for today's song, I want to say that I really love the way the Kinks make use of synthesizers, in this song, on the album, and really wherever they use them. I don't know the 80s stuff very well, though, but I didn't spot any main offender.
  13. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    That's a fun song, nice bouncy groove.... I don't think I've danced in roller skates since I was about fourteen lol
  14. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Little Bit Of Emotion.

    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)

    See all the people
    With hatred in their eyes
    I can't help thinking that
    It's only a disguise
    Cause underneath that core
    There's got to be more
    Than what we realize

    Maybe they're scared
    To let the inside out
    Maybe they're afraid to
    Show what they're all about
    So they put on a heavy front and hope that no one else
    Can work them out
    So they put on all the heaviness
    But it's only an illusion heaviness
    Can't you see
    They're scared to
    Show a little bit of emotion
    A little bit of real emotion
    In case a little bit of emotion
    Gives them away

    Look at that lady dancing around with no clothes
    She'll give you all her body
    That's if you've got the dough
    She'll let you see most
    Anything but there's one thing
    That she'll never show
    And that's a little bit of real emotion
    A little bit of true emotion
    In case a little bit of emotion
    Gives her away
    But it's a shame she's acting that way
    Somehow she's gotta get through every day
    And the only way
    Is not to show one little bit of emotion
    A little bit of true emotion
    In case a little bit of emotion gives her away

    People learn their lines
    And they act out their part
    Then they talk on cue
    But it's got no heart
    It's all on the surface
    And it's all contrived
    They're scared to come out
    Somehow they've got to survive

    Look at that looney
    With a smile on his face
    He knows no shame
    And feels no disgrace
    He's got a look in his eyes
    That makes it seem that he's from outer space
    Maybe that looney knows what it's all about
    He's got something to say
    But he can't spit it out
    He's unco-ordinated so we shut him out
    In case he shows a little bit of emotion
    A little bit of real emotion
    We're afraid to see a bit of emotion
    So we walk away
    Show a little bit of real emotion
    Show a little bit of emotion
    We're afraid to see a bit of emotion
    So we walk away

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

    Again here, I'm starting to see some connections arising again.

    Side one is pretty straight forward, with the - Bad attitude - situational collapse - overwhelmed with pressure - trying to avoid a nervous breakdown ... I wish I could fly like Superman
    The idea of the financial issues was raised in Superman, and so side two kicks off with Low Budget, again linking to the song prior .... and it could well just be coincidence, but I'm not sure how much coincidence plays a part in the way Ray does things.... certainly not in a large scale way, perhaps in the minor things.
    So the scenario from side one has left us on a low budget.
    Then we contemplate our place in the universe, and we are In a Space, detached from those around us, by the series of events that has drawn us into ourselves, and leaves us there....

    So now when I'm looking at this song .....
    It seems like the focus has been pulled out to a long shot, and the first verse here almost sounds like we have moved to a different person, who is looking at our fallen wannabe superhero who has lost it all and withdrawn.

    As we have been learning through the thread, we don't always understand the other person's struggle, because the facade, or view from where we stand, looks like someone's facebook page.... They have it all together, and everything in their life is great, and all that stuff, but they are struggling with something deeper underneath the skin also, that from a self preservation mentality stays hidden.

    Whether we see a link or not isn't super relevant, the song still stands tall

    That first verse speaks so clearly to the pain of life, that we all experience, and sometimes we don't even realise it shows on our faces, in our actions and reactions.
    Often folks who have been hurt callous up.... like a workman's hands. The more they are exposed to the rough things in the world the harder their hands get. the more our hearts are exposed to the roughness of the world, the harder it gets.... we detach....
    But often as a self defense mechanism we also put on the hard face. I know guys do this, because often it is necessary to survive in some instances, but the more we need to do it, the more natural it becomes, and the less we return to the open book we were as children, because it is a position of vulnerability, and we know some of the pitfalls we have experienced from that, so callous up baby, and scare everyone away, so that hurt never comes back....

    Ray may be a bit of a prat sometimes, according to the record books, but this man is great with insight into the places we often ignore
    I can't help thinking that
    It's only a disguise
    Cause underneath that core
    There's got to be more
    Than what we realize

    The second verse looks at the fact that maybe they're scared, and this is just a front, directly.
    Ray runs through some well written lines, and we come to the chorus, and it hits home.
    They're scared to
    Show a little bit of emotion
    A little bit of real emotion
    In case a little bit of emotion
    Gives them away
    You can't let anyone know that you have weaknesses, or they will exploit them.
    I guess it's a guy's perspective, but this is sadly true. You will get many folks saying you should let your emotions flow, and not bottle them up, but you need to be prepared for people sticking the knife in the soft white underbelly of your inner being when you expose it.... and sadly they will often, but how much do we lose of ourselves in locking our hearts away to protect them from the attacks.

    Our fallen superhero has locked himself in his space, and he is broke, and likely hurting inside, but he is missing out on the good stuff as well.
    You can't understand real wealth whether financial or spiritual, until you have understood real poverty, whether financial or spiritual ... or however folks would best like to phrase that.
    When we lock it all away in the safe box, we get neither the beauty or the ugliness of life, we just exist....

    I'm not sure how folks feel about the third verse, but to me it is heartbreakingly beautiful. The way Ray phrases that verse is quite stunning to me .... It is something we have lost as the human race, in a lot, possibly most instances. The lady dancing around with no clothes is every bit as human as the man who is lusting after her, and for whatever reason these two people find themselves in this situation in their lives, where she needs to do this to earn a living, and he needs to do this to try and feel some kind of connection to another human being, even if it is completely flawed, because neither of them are sharing the thing that we all need to really live, and not just exist, the heart/soul/spirit behind the person, not just a bit of time with their body....

    We get the little bridge that moves into Shakespearean territory again... all the worlds a stage, and I think to a large degree Ray is right on the money here. We play our parts, with our masks and our deflectors, and our now automated defense mechanisms ......
    But we lose real connection....

    The last verse sadly represents the way we often are about these things....
    The looney is smiling with no care for shame or guilt, he is just living a life and dealing with the circumstances as they arise.
    Then we get this line which seems to somewhat tie it to the last song
    "He's got a look in his eyes
    That makes it seem that he's from outer space"
    Then we go on to see that the looney has something to say, but nobody is paying any attention because he doesn't look or act like he is expected to.
    Nobody wants to try and connect to the looney because he may just show something real that will make us need to consider showing something real also, or just make us all a little uncomfortable.
    But, also, I guess, this could just be the looney's mask as well....

    I don't know, maybe I read too much into these things, but that's how I'm seeing it since we peeled the lid on this album..... from about a third of the way through it at least

    Even if that's all bollocks, this is a fantastic lyric, but from where I'm sitting, for all the joking and rocking and all the rest of it, it seems like Ray hid a really big message inside the lyrics of this album, that may seem less than we expect from Ray on a fleeting glance, but under the surface this is a lot more .... again, from where I'm sitting at least..... anyway, tell us what you think about all this folks, I'm intrigued.

    Musically this opens up as a close relative of Misfits. We get the strummed acoustic and the beautiful sounding little lead lick on the acoustic also.
    We have this smooth, gentle track that contains all the reflective feel needed to put across the fantastic lyrics.
    The ahhhh backing vocals work beautifully. Dave has a few little lead licks in there for good measure.

    Again Ray pulls out the British accent, and an almost childlike vocal in some points, that seems to sort of reflect the idea in the lyrics I was trying to convey.
    I wonder to some degree if the British accents on this album tie more into the fact that this is another hybrid UK-USA album. Somewhat universal topics, with a slight leaning towards the US. Recorded in the US and UK, but mainly the US. Language particular to the US and UK.... so Ray balanced it all off with some, occasionally, over the top British accents

    We get some sax accents and although sax isn't an instrument I think much about when I am thinking of the Kinks, I think it works well here.

    This song may be a little inconspicuous among the bigger louder songs on this album, but I think it works perfectly in the overall feel and presentation of the album.
    I think it is a top class track that says an awful lot, and it says it really well.... It ends up just being another track I love off here.

  15. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    The Kinks do soft rock, and it's good! I'm guessing the 'lady dancing' around with no clothes' could be what the album cover is referencing? Anyway, I like this heartfelt observational song, but I'm realising that The Kinks seem much more straight-forward at this point in their career. But maybe it's just this track or my mood at this moment!
  16. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    The one ballad on this record and I don’t like it… How is that even possible ? I’m supposed to be the ballad guy, always was, always will be… I love Justin Hayward, Gordon Lightfoot and Gerry Beckley! The N is my favorite letter in CSNY, for Christ sake!! What the hell is wrong with me?
    I think it starts with the title. Too self-conscious. In this most satiric and loudest Kinks record, the one in which humor, distance and goofiness are everywhere, calling the one serious ballad Little Bit of Emotion seems more than a little bit too precious. You might argue Ray’s always self-conscious but here, something’s really off for me, like his heart is not in it. The melody is also pretty generic, almost quoting Misfits note for note (the chord sequence too, down to some of the arrangement in the intro, as noted by the Headmaster) thus also announcing Don’t Forget to Dance, but it’s immensely inferior to both in terms of, well… emotion. I like Dave’s backing vocals, the aaah’s and lalala’s of the second chorus, some excellent Knopfler sounding guitar flourishes. I also find the self-quotes amusing, especially the one about the looney “from outer space”, with idiot dunce hints and the weird synth farts linking it to the previous song.

    But there’s a sense of Ray commenting on the LP itself and instructing himself to write on order a typical Ray Davies humanist piece because otherwise, the track-list wouldn’t have the mandatory ballad. « Oh, ok, I’m in a heavy blues and new wave rock star mood here, but I’ll give you “a little bit of emotion” since you’re asking for it, I’ll even call it Little bit of emotion, to make you happy. So there. No more complaints??» I may be wrong, I'd love to be, but I can’t help but thinking that he’s fully aware of doing a pastiche of his own style here. In my opinion, the bridge is a huge giveaway: “it’s got no heart / it’s all on the surface”, leading to this awful sax’n guitar solo (note : Dave's not at fault, it's the sax I'm after). As much as I appreciate the similarly meta album opener, I don't like this attitude regarding his softer side. We ballad people are fragile little things. You can mock disco, blues, new wave, boogie or punk, nobody will be hurt in the process. But mocking ballads is like mocking the shiest girl in school, this is not done. To be a success, even as a parody, this song would've to live up to its title. But it lacks that extra spark for me, that little bit of you know what, the one that can't be faked and shouldn't be mocked. At least not by Ray Davies.
    zipp, Wondergirl, Brian x and 15 others like this.
  17. stewedandkeefed

    stewedandkeefed Came Ashore In The Dead Of The Night

    "Little Bit Of Emotion" - the ballad in the middle of side two on Low Budget. This seems to be a familiar theme for Ray - how the world is a de-humanizing place that forces people into playing a role rather than what they would most want to be. People stifle their emotions so that they can cope in the modern world - they adopt a brave face that belies the emptiness they feel inside. The idea is an old one (there are similarities in this song with the "all the world's a stage" passage from the Bard). Musically, it is pretty generic to me. However, when I hear the sax, I think of a Bruce Springsteen record and Clarence Clemons. Overall, this song is decently put together with a coherent message but it has never really grabbed me.
    Wondergirl, Brian x, Smiler and 11 others like this.
  18. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    "Little Bit Of Emotion"

    It says a lot for how little I have listened to this album in recent years that I was initially expecting "A Little Bit Of Abuse", but of course that's on the next album. I'm sure the similarity in title between the two songs is more than coincidence...

    Anyway, this is a much better song. Apart from the sax solo, this is all Kinks all the way, a track very little removed from the classic ballads of 1970. No shouting in here, just a nice tune delivered with heart and sincerity. This one joins the list of Kinks tracks with wonderful bridge sections - the "people learn their lines" part is perhaps the highlight of the album. The use of the word "looney" in the last verse is perhaps questionable - maybe this is Jack's life after his schooldays?

    This is a great track, and happily I have no problem with any of the remaining tracks either.
  19. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    I agree with the criticisms of this track: that it's bland and generic and an inferior clone of "Misfits". On top of all that Ray wheeling out the Cockney accent again for the chorus undermines the song, like he isn't taking it very seriously himself.
    Ex-Fed, Wondergirl, Brian x and 7 others like this.
  20. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    It surprises me to see this song getting caned
  21. pyrrhicvictory

    pyrrhicvictory Forum Resident

    Little bit of Emotion

    This song serves as a kind of prequel, or maybe sister song, to How do I Get Close. Here it’s a universal lament, ten years on it’s a personal plea. I view it as possibly the best lyric on offer here. We get a very tidy, controlled solo from Dave which fits the song perfectly. Maybe I could do without that last spot of sax but that’s splitting hairs. Ray’s vocal might be a tad too precious for some, but that’s also a nitpick. I have to say Low Budget hasn’t been buzzing around my head this much since I first bought it in 1984. Could it be it’s going to frog leap over Misfits on my personal Billboard, it might because it’s reentered with a bullet. I think listening to everything in rapid fire sequence really helps in assessing placements, so again many thanks to our headmaster. If I keep calling every song a favorite, what does that mean anymore? As Ray has said about Phobia (another loud American-sounding album), it needed some ‘humanity’ on it so he wrote Only a Dream’. Maybe he felt similarly here.
  22. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Little Bit Of Emotion: After my indifference to yesterday’s song I’m back on the bandwagon with ‘Little Bit Of Emotion.’ Exquisitely, (though I agree it takes a lot from ‘Misfits,’) composed and with a tender, fragile, vocal by Ray. Maybe a half a point off for the sax…but it’s short enough to be okay.

    7-0-1 for the album tracks. (I’ll have to see if it holds up to playlist-on-shuffle scrutiny. I might find I don’t like it if it were to be played immediately following ‘Misfits.’ Right now I think the vocal and lyrics are strong enough to hold up but only time will tell.)
  23. fspringer

    fspringer Forum Resident

    New York City
    Little Bit of Emotion: Finally, a ballad! Ballads will be harder to come by the next few albums. This didn't affect me nearly as much as "Misfits" or "Fantasy" did, but it still registered. I don't know if it's a matter of the song feeling out of place on such a hard-rocking album, or the album not having enough ballads. But in the passing years, I've removed the song from the album's context, and put it into a Kinks playlist context, and it still registers. I, too, have some issues with the affected accent on the chorus, but that's my only problem with the song.

    I don't even want to get into how this must apply to Ray in his personal life. From what I've gathered in bios, even his own books, he's a real mixed bag. I remember first hearing these songs, identifying so closely, and thinking, "He must be a wonderfully insightful person to have in your life." But I'm not so sure about that, much in the same way I suspect hanging with Van Morrison should be all laughter, soul and spiritually, but may be more like being stuck in an elevator with a grizzly bear. I learned over the years that writers of any sort, including songwriters, often offer their best selves through their art, who they are to a certain extent, but more so who they want to be. They tap into their best selves and present it as a whole. And it's not the whole. No one's going to live up to this ideal, but it's nice that we can be presented with ideals in songs, books, movies, paintings, etc.
  24. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    It’s still too early. Many opinions to follow!
  25. markelis

    markelis Forum Resident

    Miami Beach FL
    I wouldn’t dare!

    ….and we don’t need to worry about that here, this is one of the rare occasions where I don’t agree with your review, I think it’s a great song. In this case, I suspect that you are less worried about the listener doing the mocking and more worried about our songwriter doing the mocking. You have done a great job of construing the words words and title to support your argument that this was Ray-by-numbers, simply going through the motions and coming up with the obligatory ballad. I’m not gonna say you’re wrong, I am just going to say if that is what Ray was up to here, the song is too well constructed lyrically and musically to write it off (even if your hypothesis is accurate). I do hear some of the other criticisms too, it does sound eerily close to Misfits and I could do without the sax (I seldom like horns in my music, and I like them even less than when they steal a spot that should be allocated to a guitar solo) but I think the beauty in the lyrics, that successfully catchy chorus and the band’s musicianship carries the day and makes for another winner!

    No caning here, I love this one too and I am loving this album straight through thus far.

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