The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. Boom Operator

    Boom Operator Shake hands with yesterday's tomorrow

    Location:
    Sherman Oaks, CA
    Greetings:

    I cancelled my original SHF account years ago but have been following this thread, from afar, for its entire (entertaining) run.

    The only reason I am chiming in now is to confirm that the A//1 EP pressing of the 12” Superman U.K. single does indeed utilize use a mix without the Giorgio Moroder-esque sequencer business.

    I’d be happy to send the track to someone to post… if such things are allowed.

    My friends and I went to dozens of shows by The Kinks (in and around LA) during the ‘70s and early ‘80s before giving up during the big arena years. I still bought all the band’s and solo releases… but things were never quite the same for me.

    Ahoy!


    ~Huck

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Michael Streett

    Michael Streett Senior Member

    Location:
    Florence, SC
    Thanks for confirming this! I have what I hope is one of these on order from a seller in Scotland that may deliver next week. I asked him to confirm that matrix so I hope he did his due diligence! Can you post it on YouTube or send in a private email? I'll share my email address in a private chat here if you like.
    This is the only track/mix I am missing of the Kinks entire catalog.
     
  3. Boom Operator

    Boom Operator Shake hands with yesterday's tomorrow

    Location:
    Sherman Oaks, CA
    Michael:

    As I'm not much of a Google fan, I'd prefer to email you a lossless copy. I hope the Scottish seller has good eyesight! ;)


    ~Huck
     
  4. Brian x

    Brian x half-animate bean

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Misery/Moving Pictures

    Had work stuff so missed yesterday. Agree with a couple of people above that there's some drop-off in quality in the last two songs on the LP. The band's still having loads of fun, playing around with various styles, revisiting and revising classic Kinks themes, but these 2 tunes don't hook me like the ones that came before. (I have however been humming Sound and Vision all morning).

    Low Budget

    This thread is such a great way to to be introduced to an LP, and I've been happily adding songs to various playlists all along the way -- Wish I Could Fly, Catch me Now, Inner Space, Low Budget, Pressure -- as I kick myself for ignoring Low Budget when it was released.

    If I'd gotten it at 18 years old, would it have joined Arthur, Kronikles, Soap Opera, Village Green etc as absolutely essential, "soundtrack of my life" albums? Though there's no way of knowing, the fact that many Avids who've known this album since adolescence consider it a classic makes me think it would have.

    Much as I enjoy Sleepwalker (which was briefly part of my "soundtrack") and parts of Misfits, Low Budget feels like a kind of culmination or synthesis of the Kinks' late-70s sound. As @mark winstanley notes, Ray uses all his voices, plus a couple of new ones, and shamelessly, joyfully borrows from any number of genres & modalities, sometimes cramming two or three into a single track, then giving them the singular Kinks twist. & let's not forget that it cracked the code and got the Kinks playing in front of the mass audiences they'd always deserved.

    And again, as noted, there's a kind of a theme or feel to the LP, as there was with the last two albums -- if Sleepwalker evoked foggy moonlit creepy nighttime and Misfits feels like a series of funhouse mirrors at an oddball state fair on a slightly humid late-spring day, Low Budget has more of an urgent, gritty, *realist* feel -- sitting on a city bench, reading the headlines, Ramones and Donna Summer and Some Girls and Jesus of Cool leaking out from the tenement windows above.

    But of the three late-70s Kinks LPs, Low Budget seems to *know itself* best, to be most comfortable in its own skin. "Cohesive" isn't exactly the word I'm looking for, because as usual it's delightfully diverse... maybe Low Budget is whatever the opposite of "tentative" is... assertive? Assured?

    I'm pretty sure that whatever stage of my life I'd heard any of the Kinks LPs in, in whatever order, whatever the critics said or were saying, whatever opinions I had about various contemporaneous genres, I would still consider Arthur, Village Green, Face to Face, Something Else & Lola as objectively *better* LPs. But if I'm lucky enough to live another 30 years, I'm pretty sure Low Budget will be up there with Soap Opera, Schoolboys, Muswell, Sleepwalker & Showbiz as a cherished favorite, not in the least *second tier* -- completely immersively delightful, partly because it isn't quite a heartbreaking work of staggering genius, but because its little flaws and stutters give it the kind of imperfect perfection the Japanese call wabi-sabi.

    Much thanks to @mark winstanley for this opportunity to experience an unfamiliar set of songs in an utterly new way. It's rare at this age that I add an entire new LP to my canon, but it's happened with Low Budget because of this thread.
     
  5. Martyj

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

    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    Low Budget overall.

    I love that the Kinks tried a truly different approach/sound by mixing it up by recording in a different studio and trying some up-to-the minute topically with the subject matter. There is no other disc quite like this one in their catalog despite the fact their subsequent studio LP’s more or less follow this template. While Low Budget is by intent a louder sounding record than previous 70’s works, it feels thiner compared to the full bodied stuff that follows.( I’m not sure thin is the right word—maybe sparse?) Anyway, for that reason I find it something of an outlier in their discography, much like Muswell Hillbillies and to a lesser extent Village Green Preservation Society. Or another way to look at it: a transitory work between the Arista AOR path they started with and the full-on arena rock they stayed with for the remainder of their career. As the bridge between the two it truly stands on its own. There is a consistency in its focus which is a hallmark of the band's best works. That makes it an improvement over the previous Misfits .

    As for the “dated” criticism leveled at Low Budget, it has been defended by bringing up that all Kinks works have a dated quality to them. This is true: their classics 60’s cuts do sound like 60’s songs. I think an easier term for leveling the criticism might be “aged.” The 60’s stuff has “aged well.” Low Budget, on the other hand, has “aged poorly” IMO. Not so much because it sounds of its era, but rather, the majority of the songs here just aren’t that strong. I’m not talking about tracks but rather the songwriting, if one can make a distinction (I know I can!). I agree with Vangro that this is Low Budget’s short comings. (I have less problem with this LP musically.) Time has yet to uncover a brilliance hiding in plain sight on these numbers in the way it has on some deep cuts off the Pye and RCA lps. There is too much repetition of choruses, too many wordy verses. In some cases too many versus, period. I just don’t think these are “timeless” compositions the way the band’s best works are.

    So overall, Low Budget occupies an odd place in my mind: I love it as a work that holds tremendous sentimental value (coming out smack dab in my band discovery phase) and one I respect and consider an essential LP to own in order to truly appreciate and understand the Kinks. Yet, song for song, it’s one of their weaker efforts. So take heart, Kinks fans—if you love Low Budget, there are 20 or so other Kinks LP’s you’ll love even more!
     
  6. Michael Streett

    Michael Streett Senior Member

    Location:
    Florence, SC
    Thanks! I sent my email address via the private conversation area here.
     
  7. Boom Operator

    Boom Operator Shake hands with yesterday's tomorrow

    Location:
    Sherman Oaks, CA
    Cool. You should have a copy by now. :)
     
  8. Michael Streett

    Michael Streett Senior Member

    Location:
    Florence, SC

    That's awesome! I got it and it sure sounds different without the synth pulse thing dominating. The "disco" aspect is played down to where it's basically nonexistent now. Thank you!
     
  9. Boom Operator

    Boom Operator Shake hands with yesterday's tomorrow

    Location:
    Sherman Oaks, CA
    You are most welcome. Glad I could help out!

    ~Huck
     
  10. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Moving Pictures
    As I was listening to this song just now, my mind was thinking "what song does this remind me of?" I narrowed it down to Bowie...and then after some research I realized it was "Sound & Vision"(1977). the two aren't exactly alike, but definitely have a similar feel. Maybe it's the synth. I'm bad at describing this sort of stuff, but if you get a chance, check it out:

    This is a new favorite of mine. it does sound very of the day, but not dated. Again, it's got a new wave-y feel which I enjoy.

    My favorite lyric:
    Life is only what you make of it
    So make the verses rhyme and all the pieces fit
    There isn't any time to make much sense of it

    Reminds me of a certain(awesome) tune that will be coming up that also references song parts. :) I like songs that explore existential stuff, so this is in my wheelhouse.

    Ray's soft voice really works well here. And the high notes that he hits are especially wonderful.

    I love the whole feel of Moving Pictures...the Bowie-ness, the funk, the vocals, the lyrics and even the synth sounds. this is a winner in my book. Lovely way to end the album.
     
  11. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    OMG! this is spot on too. Good catch!
     
  12. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    ahhh...looks like someone beat me to the Bowie reference. :righton:
     
  13. Love Low Budget. Bought it new on release. I was, what, 17 when this came out and it held up against the "new 1979 sound" very well. If I'm being honest, 17 year old me would have fallen asleep hearing Village Green for the first time then. Of course, I pretty much have them all now. Low Budget is a great friday night ash kicker. Lots of attitude.

    The 12 inch maxi single Superman/Low Budget is actually quite enjoyable, adding a couple of minutes play time. Superman is mostly additional padded out dance beats but Low budget is a different mix and contains extra lyrics. Well worth seeking out.
     
  14. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Cheers Huck.
    Glad you and Michael figured that out. I would loved to have checked it out, but my computer is gone for space.
     
  15. Michael Streett

    Michael Streett Senior Member

    Location:
    Florence, SC
    Yeah, it seems that way what with some of the extra tracks coming up and a bunch over the last couple of weeks. But of the 138 individual tracks on the 6 CDs only 11 are unique tracks/mixes and another 1 that was only released on a promo CD single. 8 of these 12 come from this era so we've had a bunch all pop up right here.
    Everything else is redundant if you have the regular albums and a couple of other specific comps. However, as an overview for a newbie it's a good deep set, although now that it's out of print, the cost is prohibitive.
     
  16. Boom Operator

    Boom Operator Shake hands with yesterday's tomorrow

    Location:
    Sherman Oaks, CA
    Mark:

    Perhaps, Michael could post it on YouTube for anyone interested. He certainly seems the friendly type! ;)

    ~Huck
     
  17. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I'm kinda guessing he might :)
     
  18. Smiler

    Smiler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Houston TX
    It's a good catch. I'll take Ray's sound and vision in this case, as I'm still not high on Low.

    I haven't made time to formulate cogent thoughts on the songs, so I'll just list my favorites:

    Playlist:
    Attitude - It has attitude and I like it.
    Pressure - More attitude.
    In a Space - Chugged its way into my heart and I'm OK with Shouty Ray showing a little bit - or a lot - of emotion.
    A Gallon of Gas - The vocals overcame my boredom of 12-bar blues.

    Decent album tracks:
    Misery
    Moving Pictures (I liked this more before this morning; now I keep hearing "Sound and Vision")

    Prefer live versions:
    Catch Me Now I'm Falling
    National Health

    I suppose I'm contrarian in that most of Low Budget's best-known songs are the ones I skip. I also agree with Avid @Martyj that
    So at the moment Low Budget falls in the bottom half of their 70s output for me, and my 70s album ranking (excluding Percy) would be something like this:

    Lola
    Preservation Act 1
    Schoolboys
    Misfits

    Show-Biz (studio)
    Low Budget
    Preservation Act 2

    Sleepwalker
    Soap Opera
    Muswell
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2022
  19. Michael Streett

    Michael Streett Senior Member

    Location:
    Florence, SC
    I don’t have a YouTube channel, but if someone else here does that can upload this, I’ll gladly email the file. @The late man ?
     
  20. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    It feels like an act of sacrilege to “like” a post that places Muswell at the bottom of the rankings but, despite the palpable pain, I did. :D

    Re: Showbiz. Like you, I only think in terms of the studio album. I have banished the live album (speaking of sacrilege. Lola?!) from my memory.
     
  21. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    There’s also a bonus tune coming up which reminds me of another Nick Lowe song.
     
  22. Smiler

    Smiler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Houston TX
    Thank you for your noble sacrifice, and your footnote shall be incorporated into the official record.:)
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2022
  23. Smiler

    Smiler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Houston TX
    What live album???;)
     
  24. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    Since we are finished with the 70s, I will attempt my ranking. So many of these are so close that this might change by the time we finish all the albums. I can’t separate the Preservation albums because I like them equally. Act 2 is the album that gained the most respect, thanks to this thread.

    Lola
    Preservation Act 1 and Act 2
    Muswell Hillbillies
    Percy
    Soap Opera
    Schoolboys in Disgrace
    Everybody’s in Showbiz
    Misfits
    Low Budget
    Sleepwalker
     
  25. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    Location:
    France
    Sure!
     

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