The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    70s albums:

    Preservation 1
    Soap Opera
    Showbiz (studio only!)
    Preservation II
    Low Budget
  2. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    My updated bottom-end (to date):

    ‘Schoolboys In Disgrace’
    ‘Low Budget’
    ‘Soap Opera’
    ‘Sleepwalker’ (on the bottom)

    I don’t factor in ‘Percy’ because it’s a soundtrack.
    Edit: I’m not factoring in the first two albums, too, because I didn’t stumble upon this thread until page 50…and whatever was being discussed.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2022
  3. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    But where does "Superman" rank?? You don't include it. I think it's the best song on this album.
  4. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    I might need a few days to consider the output of the 70s. I think Lola and Misfits are pretty high in my estimation. And of course Low Budget. But as to the rest. Arggghhhh! This is hard.

    I do know that Preservation II is probably last. (sorry!!!)
  5. ThereOnceWasANote

    ThereOnceWasANote Forum Resident

    Cape May, NJ
    Gallon of Gas

    A Kinksian twist on the car song. I love the extra verses. Cadillacs have always been a popular car in popular music, including the blues so it is fitting that he sets these lyrics to a blues sound.

    A song a year earlier with a hard rock bluesy sound also involved owning a Cadillac but not being able to afford the gasoline to drive it. Both are great songs.

    I used to think this was just a generic blues filler track but I've re-thought my view on this. Gallon of Gas fits the Low Budget-theme (extending it to the song's music). It also provides both a humorous social commentary and a wry energy crunch twist on both the car and Cadillac songs.

    There is more than a little RCA-era showtune and dance hall lurking beneath the hood in this one too (particularly the backing vocals). It's a blues that is more Broadway than Beale St.

    Maybe he was recording this one during the day while the Boss was writing Cadillac Ranch at night.
  6. donstemple

    donstemple Member of the Club

    Maplewood, NJ
    Moving Pictures / Low Budget (album)

    I am going to preface this with the fact that I played my (now) 200+ song Kinks playlist on shuffle for about 3 hours of a 5 hour drive this afternoon (we are driving up to Quebec City and Montreal this weekend).

    A few points. I think Moving Pictures fits perfectly among the 60s Pye records. Yes, the sound is 1979, but I am talking about the song lyrics and structure. The lyrics, as Mark noted, evokes VGPS, and takes the idea one step further. While we may loathe looking back at pictures from “those days when you were happy a long time ago” (don’t show me no more, please)… and while we may take pictures to either prove that we really existed, or to show that we love one another… life goes on, past these moments, and the world keeps going round. Don’t you fret, because you can’t stop the music.

    Anyway, the song structure of Moving Pictures, with its 3 different sections juggled around for a few minutes, seems pretty similar to Tired of Waiting for You. Both songs even include a section with a softer, higher vocal (“it’s your life… and you can do what you want…”). They are tight, memorable songs comprised of 3 or 4 seemingly simple musical ideas, with a great riff. I put this in the upper half of Kinks album Klosers.

    Now regarding Low Budget (album), I think this is the strongest of the Arista albums so far. It is hard to compare to the RCA concept albums. I think the songs here are absolutely kwirky and stand up pretty well with their earlier songs. More so than I thought they would, coming into this. Listening to 200+ songs from 64-79 on shuffle for a few hours makes you realize that Shouty Ray makes an appearance on Powerman. Throaty Ray makes an appearance on House in the Country. It turns out this album isn’t that different to me. I’m sort of amazed.

    Last thing… my wife is not a big Kinks fan, so props to her for listening to this playlist in the car for 3 hours… but the one song that she really has taken a liking to is This is Where I Belong.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2022
  7. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Low Budget - the album
    I really enjoy Low Budget. It's a fun album with plenty of variety. It's hard for me to rank it against their other seventies output, but I'd put it in the top half of those ten albums. My three faves remain Muswell Hillbillies, Lola and Preservation Act 1.
  8. ThereOnceWasANote

    ThereOnceWasANote Forum Resident

    Cape May, NJ
    70s albums:

    Muswell Hillbillies
    Low Budget
    Soap Opera
    Schoolboys in Disgrace
    Preservation 2
  9. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    Bless your wife for putting up with soundtrack. My husband would do the same. Like you, I don't see a mind-blowing difference between the Kinks of yore and the late 70s Kinks. There is something indefinable about this band.

    I recently picked up UK Jive which is late 80s Kinks...sure, there are some songs I'm not as enthused about, but overall, this is the Kinks and it makes me happy.
  10. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Moving Pictures

    Another pleasant departure on this album and with a good topic.
    It does strike me as a more common to early 80's sound so Ray is trendy here.
    As for the lyrics I agree with some other Avids who stated that Ray has sung many times about life, moments, pictures and film and generally always made a better first of it than this which remains a curious closer.
  11. Smiler

    Smiler Forum Resident

    Houston TX
    Oops, you caught me... I don't think it's a bad song but unfortunately I just can't get past the relentless pounding kick drum to want to listen to it often.:hide:
    In Americana, Ray said "A Gallon of Gas" was an homage to Leiber and Stoller. He started writing it in NYC after having dinner with Mike Stoller. "I wanted it to be in the style of the Coasters. Throwaway, low-slung harmonies that slid into one another without quite hitting the pitch."
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2022
  12. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    900 pages!
    markelis, Wondergirl, Steve62 and 7 others like this.
  13. ThereOnceWasANote

    ThereOnceWasANote Forum Resident

    Cape May, NJ
    I think that Schoolboys In Disgrace is the turning point of the Kinks musically and every album after it, while perhaps louder or faster is working within the same orientation of 50s pastisches, rock, blues, ballads and a smattering of pop and British dance hall. If that observation is accurate I don't see it as a bad thing at all. The Kinks embraced what they were: a rock n roll band. I see, aside from theme, musically at least Low Budget and Schoolboys are pretty similar records in the sense of the Kinks getting back to basics. At the same time they are very different records as well.
  14. ThereOnceWasANote

    ThereOnceWasANote Forum Resident

    Cape May, NJ

    The return of the Attitude character? Ray singing about the other side of himself in both songs? I would imagine being bi-polar back before it was really recognized properly, if at all, as it was called manic depression or misdiagnosed, was probably very frustrating for Ray and others with it. I could see Ray using his somgwriting for inner diaolgue with himself. A form of therapy by using his muse in lyric writing. This is a sad song lyrically juxtaposed by a souped up 50s rock vibe that also evokes both the Band and the Stones. It's a short, punchy and playful tune that takes itself far less seriously than its subject does. I first heard the Band and Rick Danko in Ray's vocals and Kinks music on Showbiz's Here Comes Yet Another Day (the Touissant-inspired horns). This song is an overlooked highlight of Low Budget (even by me) that is sort of buried as its penultimate track. It would fit in well on Exile On Main Street because it has that same tossed off, effortless feel that disguises how strong of a track it is. Don't sleep on Misery. It's a minor classic.
  15. Geoff738

    Geoff738 Forum Resident

    So, Low Budget?

    Sadly it did not rise in my estimation. Nearly half the tracks didn’t register in my memory before hearing them here. And I probably played them a lot back in the day.

    So why do I have not one, but two, copies of the 12 » single of Superman? I actually have a lot of the twelve inch singles going forward. Have no idea if they’re extended tracks or different mixes or whatever.

    OK. Back to Low Budget. I should like it more than I do. A lot of the songs have attitude and lots of Dave. But I’m just not hearing great songs. Nothing I would say was bad. Just not great. I think many of them translated better live. Not a bad thing, but not one that makes me want to go back to the album.

    Really intrigued by the unreleased stuff. All new to me.
  16. Geoff738

    Geoff738 Forum Resident

    Which reminds me. I should try and take some pics of the twelve inch singles jackets as we roll along as I suspect they’re not exactly common? Try to remind me.
  17. the real pope ondine

    the real pope ondine Forum Resident

    Lola...(fantastico! up there with their very best)
    Muswell.... (loved the turned down sound, freaking love it)
    tie Misfits ....(very good! maybe cause it hit me at a good time)
    tie Sleepwalker (came in for a peep good stuff)
    Showbiz (good but mixed)
    Schoolboys (headmaster!)
    Preservation 1 (grew on me)
    Low Budget (some lost me but lots a good)
    Soap Opera
    Preservation II
    Percy (never heard it)
    Smiler, markelis, DISKOJOE and 5 others like this.
  18. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Hidden Quality.

    stereo mix (3:05), recorded 20-30 May, 1979 (backing track), early Jun 1979 (vocals) at Power Station, New York (backing track), Blue Rock Studios, New York (vocals)

    I got a girl, she's such a mess
    She makes a rubbish bin look almost kind of sexy[?]
    She's got a stain down her dress
    It makes it look like she's been dancing in a sewer [?]
    But they [?]

    But underneath that poverty
    I know she's got hidden quality
    Underneath that crude exterior
    I know she's got something superior

    Oh whoa-oh
    I know she's got hidden quality
    Oh whoa-oh
    I know she's got hidden quality

    Though she'll never be a movie star
    She really got a lot of class
    Though she'll never be a movie star
    She'll really [?]

    [?] she loves me, ohhh
    I love her, I love her, I love her, I love her, I love her

    Underneath that poverty
    I know she's got hidden quality
    Underneath that crude exterior
    I know she's got something superior

    Oh whoa-oh
    I know she's got hidden quality
    Oh whoa-oh

    I know I'm not a pretty sight
    But hidden deep within me there is [?] Casanova
    I know I no Romeo
    I'm not a Valentino, but I might as well be [?]
    But what they don't know

    Underneath this poverty
    She knows I got hidden quality
    Underneath this crude exterior
    She knows I got something superior

    Oh whoa-oh
    She says I got hidden quality
    Oh whoa-oh

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

    As we see in the lyrics here, this is a demo, and some of the lyrics aren't that easy to make out.

    I have never heard any of these extra tracks, so this is going to be a suck it and see approach for me.

    This song kind of sounds like some of the sort of alt pop bands of the late seventies early eighties in Australia.... The Sunnyboys come to mind first.
    This is a sort of straight forward kind of song, and there is certainly nothing wrong with that.

    Lyrically we have a "don't judge a book by its cover" type of lyric.
    With so many words hard to decipher, it makes it a little hard to get too deep into the lyrics, because a word here and there can make a big difference to what a song is saying.

    Essentially with this lyric, it leans towards the idea that we all have hidden qualities, no matter what our outside appearance may suggest.

    Musically I really like this track too, aside from the more modern sound, it kind of sounds like it could be a much earlier Kinks song, in its styling.... almost a kind of Face To Face era type of song. It is light and breezy, fun and bouncy. A very cool track.

    I like the switches between minor and major key accents, and I think it brings some nice tonal variation to the track.
    We open with clean bouncy chords, and I think the melodic construction works well.
    The half-time feel change works well.
    The backing vocals work very well....
    It also seems like to some degree that this would have had singalong potential.

    I like this, it sounds like early eighties alternate-pop, which was reflecting the sixties anyway.
    Cool song.

  19. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Some input guys...

    On Monday we have Massive Reductions at the moment. I know it is an outtake from the Low Budget sessions, but I was listening to Word Of Mouth yesterday to reacquaint myself with it, and it isn't really that much different. A different recording for sure, but the song is pretty much the same.
    It seems like if we look at it on Monday, it will make looking at it on Word Of Mouth slightly redundant .... but it will likely be about ten or so weeks away...

    Let me know what you want to do folks.

  20. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    What a cool little demo. After reading the booklet piece @Michael Streett posted yesterday in which Ray explained how the band put down demos in the studio in the absence of Dave, I find it super interesting to listen to this seemingly Dave-less Kinks track, a rare case of distinctly hearing Ray on the (rudimentary but enthusiastic) rhythm guitar. A typical Ray Davies message (there’s more seduction in some people than meets the eye) but with awkward/tentative turns of phrases that probably condemned it to remain unfinished and in the vault for almost thirty years. Like @Mark, I enjoy it tremendously. Ray's back in his default setting as a writer, the song being a garage pop tune in his perennial 65-66 style, which he’d almost abandoned since then. It's pretty rough and incredibly reminiscent stylistically of some very early outtakes like Time Will Tell or Don't Ever let Me Go. The structure is also 100% Ray : with three different melodic and rhythmic sections that come and go without establishing themselves clearly as verses, choruses or bridges. Let's just say this guy definitely liked to write plenty of bridges (Note : someone please help me out of my misery and find what the mellow one reminds me of!)… It’s not great, but it is exactly what an outtake should be : an open window on an alternate direction a band (or a record) could've taken at a specific time.
  21. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Oct 1963 - Nov 1966 - Kinks get a haircut
    Apr 1967 - Feb 1970
    1965 Never Say Yes
    1966 Trouble In Madrid
    Nov 1970 - Jun 1976

    Ray interview

    The Kinks Move To Arista Records

    Feb 1977 Sleepwalker
    Life On The Road - OGWT 77 - ITV 78
    Mr Big Man
    Sleepwalker - Mike Douglas - OGWT - Supersonic - SNL - Outtake
    Juke Box Music - single - OGWT
    Sleepless Night
    Stormy Sky - OGWT 77
    Full Moon - live 77 - Ray live
    Life Goes On - OGWT 77
    Artificial Light
    Prince Of The Punks
    The Poseur
    On The Outside - remix
    Elevator Man

    Kinks Live Feb 1977
    Ray acoustic Apr 77
    Kinks Old Grey Whistle Test show 77
    Kinks Live Dec 1977
    Christmas Concert 1977
    The Pressures Of The Road

    Nov 1977 Father Christmas - video - live 1977 - tv promo - Dave live

    May 1978 Misfits
    Misfits - tv 1978
    Hay Fever - live?
    Black Messiah
    Rock And Roll Fantasy- the hotel room - live Paris 1978
    In A Foreign Land
    Permanent Waves
    Live Life - US version - UK tv
    Out Of The Wardrobe
    Trust Your Heart - live 1979
    Get Up

    1978 The Misfit Record EP

    Lola live in the hotel room

    UK tv 1978

    The Misfits Tour
    Live in Paris 1978

    Sept. 1978 20 Golden Greats

    Jul 1979 Low Budget
    Catch Me Now I'm Falling - remix - alt mix - The Late Man, Sea Cows In Love Mix
    Pressure - live 1983
    National Health
    Superman (ext. mix) - single/album mix - ext fan mix - video
    Low Budget - Extended mix - Live 89 - Ray Live
    In A Space
    A Little Bit Of Emotion
    A Gallon Of Gas - Live in 1982 - Full US single version - Alt mix
    Moving Pictures
    studio outtakes
    Hidden Quality

    Mike Konopka Restores the Kinks for the Velvel Reissues

    The Low Budget interview
    Part 1
    Part 2
    Part 3
    Part 4

    Ray On Wonderworld

    The Kunks

    Ray on the Stones

    Live In Frankfurt in 1984

    Kinks live TOTP 1994

    2005 Thanksgiving Day Ray live on Conan Obrien

    Oct 2018 Dave Davies - Decade - interview
    If You Are Leaving (71)
    Cradle To The Grace (73)
    Midnight Sun (73)
    Mystic Woman (73)
    The Journey (73)
    Shadows (73)
    Web Of Time (75)
    Mr Moon (75) - Why
    Islands (78)
    Give You All My Love (78)
    Within Each Day (78)
    Same Old Blues (78)
    This Precious Time (78)

    Mick Avory
    Pete Quaife - interview - Kast Off Kinks - I Could See It In Your Eyes - Dead End Street
    Rasa Didzpetris Davies
    John Dalton
    John Gosling
    Andy Pyle
    Gordon Edwards
    Clive Davis
  22. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    "Hidden Quality"

    Listened to this a couple of times now - sounded better on the second play. There are some nice bits in it, but the vocal is mixed too low. Lyrically, it's pointing forward to "Heart Of Gold" (where a couple of words are directly pulled out of this) and "Natural Gift". It does sound like it could have come from any Kinks era from about 1968 onwards, but would also be comfortable in the new wave/power pop world. It's not blowing me away yet, but sounds like it could be a grower. It's one of those outtakes that I wish I'd had 20 years ago when it would have had more chance of getting played.

    As for "Massive Reductions", it's always been a Word Of Mouth track to me, so I'd vote for leaving it until that album (ten weeks seems like an optimistic estimate though!)
  23. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    I vote for postponement too.
  24. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Not bothered either way. :righton:
  25. stewedandkeefed

    stewedandkeefed Came Ashore In The Dead Of The Night

    "Hidden Quality" is a fun song - first of all, it is pretty archetypal Kinks in its sound. Pure power pop which I love (it's hard to imagine a later band like the Smithereens not being influenced by the Kinks and this style of song). It reminds me of Howlin' Wolf's more earthy "Hidden Charms" thematically. And it is a classic Ray "don't judge a book by its cover" song (surely "Lola" also qualifies).

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