The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. Martyj

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

    Maryland, USA
    That ascending riff sure does sound like something one would find on Face to Face, doesn't it? A little "Most Exclusive Residence for Sale"-ish. I love this one, probably more than anything Ray was known to have written in 1979. I'm glad Mark's post made me finally look at the lyrics for the first time. I had misheard the line "why did you always have a code of honor" as "why did you always have a comb over!" I figured it was just Ray making a cheeky joke while laying down a basic demo, as the Duke was well-known as one of Hollywood's more high profile toupee wearers. "Code of honor" makes natural sense...but I kind of wish it was "comb over" just because...well, I love it when Ray does that kind of stuff.

    On Soundcloud a few years ago a fan uploaded a small home made album of self-recorded Ray Davies covers. Among the usual suspects was a version of "Duke," which made me go "what the what...?!!" Such an unlikely song to find its way into a Kinks tribute collection. The guy really fleshed it out beyond the demo-sound of the Kinks cut.

    BTW, another thing that makes me go "what the what?!!": the re-occurrence on this thread of references to F1/Grand Prix/motor sports...especially considering Ray is on record of disdaining the sport and thinks it should be banned. I'm not complaining, though. I remember that 79 season. I good year for Ferrari. So far it looks like 'the prancing horse' is off to a good start in 2022.
  2. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident


    It's a very good song. I agree with Avid @Fortuleo that the "Surely you must be the greatest man the world has known" part makes for a great hook, and the rest of the song is really well written. I don't think it needed much more songwriting work. A fully-fleshed arrangement would have made it huge. It's already pretty good as it is.

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Salem, MA
    I think that "Duke" should have been finished and put in Low Budget somehow, especially since it's title subject passed away that year of cancer that was perhaps ironically was a result of being in a movie that provided Avid Fortuelo's avatar that was actually filmed downwind from a nuclear test site and whose cast eventually died of cancer.

    "Duke" is a bit like "Cellioid Heroes" in that it celebrates one of Hollywood's Golden Era stars, but unlike the latter song, it states the person behind the cellioid image does get old, frail and dies. It is a touching tribute to John Wayne and it's too bad that Ray didn't polish it up and include it in Low Budget.

    Avid Martyj, I, along w/Avid All Down the Line, are to blame for the intrusion of auto racing on this thread. Auto racing was my favorite sport as a kid in the 1960s from countless hours watching ABC'S Wide World of Sports and seeing everything from demolition derbies from Islip, NY to F1 races. My trips to my local Barnes and Noble include reading of vintage car magazines from the US and UK, the latter especially having F1 history. Speaking of which, 1979 was the year after Mario Andretti won the F1 Championship?

    Finally, how are you doing, Avid Ajsmith?
  4. pyrrhicvictory

    pyrrhicvictory Forum Resident


    This sounds like something off of The Great Lost Kinks Album, maybe Groovy Movies or Til Death Do Us Part. However, it would fit nicely on the Americana albums which are full of lyrical sketches that fail to skim the surface. This scans like a forgotten first draft. I get some people will enjoy the sentiment but an idea alone isn’t enough to make a song. Many things, definable and undefinable, need to come together for that magic to occur. If you require a good song that references John Wayne, try this. There’s more punch in one line here than the whole of Duke.

  5. Michael Streett

    Michael Streett Senior Member

    Florence, SC
    Here is what Ray said in the notes from the box set for Duke:

    " "Duke" was my own private tribute to John Wayne who'd died at the time, though I never intended it to be a Kinks record. Listening to this lyric, I imagine it's what E.J. Thribb would have written if he'd written songs instead of bad poetry for Private Eye. Apologies here to the bass player, Jim Rodford, who seems to be playing some wrong notes. We only played it once and didn't have time to fix the mistakes, and for the most part Jim had to guess where the song was going."
  6. Brian Kelly

    Brian Kelly 1964-73 rock's best decade


    An OK demo, but nothing that got me too excited.
  7. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    I’d apologize to the piano player!
  8. Rockford & Roll

    Rockford & Roll Forum Resident

    Midway, KY
    Thanks so much for going to the trouble of posting these. Very cool!
  9. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident


    Another excellent demo that could have been a contender. Even in its demo phase it knocks out many songs that made the album. Ray says they only played it through once. With a little more time, I think this would have been a classic. This is Ray writing more for himself which comes across as more heartfelt and natural. After John Wayne died they should have went back in the studio, polished it up, and released it as a single. I hear a couple of the bum notes on the bass, but he sure is playing an interesting part for only going through it once. I'm glad they finally released this song for us all to enjoy.

    Ha ha. I love this. I will never listen to this song again without hearing "comb over."

    The Duke has been with us this entire thread. I always thought that @Fortuleo has an uncanny resemblance to Mr. John Wayne.
  10. Luckless Pedestrian

    Luckless Pedestrian Forum Resident

    New Hampshire, USA
    Agreed, it's the key moment in Duke, an unadorned and bittersweet vocal delivery from Ray while the bass creates an emotional dissonance as it continues to bounce along - then the melody switches from minor to major at "you did it all on your own", and the melancholy of the present is temporarily effaced by a stream of childhood memories.
  11. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Re my dilemma over whether to include ‘Hidden Quality’ on my playlist or not: AI has made this decision for me, overruling my four (4) attempts to place it on the list. Apple refuses to accept it so I must acquiesce to our robotic overlords.
  12. Fischman

    Fischman RockMonster, ClassicalMaster, and JazzMeister

    New Mexico

    As I youth, I was keenly aware of the (at the time) death sentence that came with a cancer diagnosis, especially having lost a few relatives to same.

    I recall as an early teen hearing that John Wayne had cancer and thinking... "Ha! Cancer has met its match now!" Inside, I of course knew John Wayne was just an actor, but I still clung to this notion that the Duke could beat it. He managed to last longer than most, but of course ultimately succumbed.

    I learned once and for all that the good guys don't always win. Really, the universe has exactly zero ****s to give with regard to whether or not you are a good guy.

    How funny to later learn that none other than Ray Davies would pay homage to the same lesson using the same icon to make his point!

    Musically, this one just lies rather flat for me though. I might chalk that up to it being a primitive demo, but there have been other very rough cuts that have grabbed me, so I'm still doubting I would have loved this one even fully fleshed out.
  13. Brian x

    Brian x half-animate bean

    Los Angeles

    Yes it's meandering and unfinished but lord it's pretty and heartfelt. I love Ray's voice here -- what I think of as his *natural* voice -- and agree that this, along with Saturday's song, would fit well on any of the later '60s LPs.

    Not a big John Wayne fan (sorry, @Fortuleo) but I get a similar feeling looking at Ray or Dave (or Paul or Mick) -- my strong, brave, brash, handsome conquering rebel heroes, now frail and a little stooped, a little forgetful --
  14. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    A very sweet song. I don't know if it would have fit on any album, but certainly there's the 60s throwback sound - as @All Down The Line identified, and I agree, this sounds like Most Exclusive Residence. So I think it's great that this song was made available to us, even in a demo state.

    The last verse makes me sad, as I could see switching out "Duke" and replace it with "Ray"...someday. it's weird to think of Ray as fragile as John Wayne was in 1979, but here we are and that's the reality. :(
  15. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Thanks! Individual tracks off iTunes for a Kinks Picture Book bonus tracks sounds the way to go. Does anyone know which tracks are unique to the box? I vaguely remember us covering a very early song that may have been a box exclusive.
  16. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Don't shoot him though!
  17. Michael Streett

    Michael Streett Senior Member

    Florence, SC
    Most of the tracks on the 2008 Picture Book box set are the regular mono or stereo tracks/mixes from the original albums and singles. Then there's lots of previously unreleased songs/versions/alternate mixes that first appeared on this box but then got added as bonus tracks to later Deluxe sets or on later compilations. Others were bonus tracks on the earlier 1998 Velvel CD reissues. I won't list any of those here.

    I'll just list the tracks that are totally unique to the 2008 Picture Book box set plus a couple that were released elsewhere but are most easily found here.
    • Come On Now (Takes 2 and 3 - both false starts of vocal overdubs and full take 4 - the master, but an alternate mix). Take 4 alternate mix by itself showed up later on the Anthology set in 2014.
    • Dedicated Follower Of Fashion (Stereo) - this was released on the 1998 Castle The Kink Kontroversy but a better source was found by the time this box came out so it sounds better here. Not included on the later 2 CD Deluxe Kontroversy set from 2011.
    • Hidden Quality
    • A Gallon Of Gas (Alternate Version) (Mono)
    • Catch Me Now I'm Falling (Alternate Mix)
    • Nuclear Love
    • Duke (Demo)
    • Maybe I Love You (Demo)
    • Stolen Your Heart Away (Demo)
    • Art Lover (Remix)
    • Come Dancing (Demo)
    • To The Bone (Demo) - This was released but only on a 1996 US promo CD single. Only commercial release here on this box.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2022
  18. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Fantastic - thank you!
  19. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    How blessed are we with the shared knowledge on here.
    I appreciate you folks a lot.
  20. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Nuclear Love.

    stereo mix (2:40), recorded circa 1979 or 1980 at (probably) Konk Studios, Hornsey, London

    A-one, two, three, four...

    One, two, three, and...
    If you should find that your love's like an atom and it's spinning apart
    It set a chain of events, well I'm telling you it's only the start
    And if you get to the point where you have to get an astrology chart
    And realize it's the sign of the times so you'd better take heart

    You know you got...
    You got a nuclear love, you got a nuclear love, you got a nuclear love
    You got a nuclear love, you got a nuclear love, you got a nuclear love
    You got a nuclear love, you got a nuclear love, you got a nuclear love
    You got a nuclear love, you got a nuclear love, you got a nuclear love

    And again...
    A molecule of affection is all it takes to want to be friends
    And it will grow, and will grow and will ruin the relationship, man
    And if you look at the door and decide that you still can be friends
    And if you can't let it stand all you gotta do is work on the blend

    A little understanding
    We've got a nuclear love, we've got a nuclear love, we've got a nuclear love
    We've got a nuclear love, we've got a nuclear love, we've got a nuclear love
    We've got a nuclear love, we've got a nuclear love, we've got a nuclear love
    We've got a nuclear love, we've got a nuclear love, we've got a nuclear love

    Now you and I got a love that is greater than any before
    Man it's a thing, it's a love that we got when we get to the core
    The people don't understand when they see us living apart
    We got a new kind of love so you'd better take heart

    All together...
    A little understanding
    We've got a nuclear love, we've got a nuclear love, we've got a nuclear love
    We've got a nuclear love, we've got a nuclear love, we've got a nuclear love
    We've got a nuclear love, we've got a nuclear love, we've got a nuclear love
    We've got a nuclear love, we've got a nuclear love, we've got a nuclear love

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

    Well this is a quirky little track that kind of sits between traditional rock and new wave, with just enough of that Kinks Kwirk to give it a twist.

    This is quite obviously a demo, with the count in and several little announcements it has an unfinished feel, and seems like a little trial to see if they can make it fly.

    Ray is playing with words based on atoms and molecules and how they represent here the basic core of where love starts from and how it grows.
    It's a pretty cool lyric in its own goofy way..

    For some reason this is kind of making me think of the kind of goofy that Split Enz would get into, and I could see it sitting on their 1979 album Frenzy.

    This has this uptempo, bouncy fun feel, that is actually quite infectious.
    Tightened up and finished off this is the kind of song that could have been a hit for a new band in 1979.

    Again this is my first time hearing this.
    I can tell if that's Rodford or a sequencer bass, and again it sort of gives the song a sort of Johnny and Mary feel.... which is starting to make me feel like Robert Palmer heard and was inspired by this album when he changed up his sound.... purely speculation based on some sounds and styles on here.

    We get some synth sounds fly out here and there, but mainly this is fairly straight.
    The end of the track makes it sound like this might be a drum machine... did they have a drum machine like this in 1979? or did they just get Mick to lay down some kind of loop track....

    I don't know about any of that... I like this, and it seems like yet again we have some really solid leftovers from the Kinks.

  21. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Well, it's definitely a demo! I would hope Ray might have written more words for the chorus if he'd ever finished it. Needed quite a bit of work on it, this one, but had possibilities.
  22. stewedandkeefed

    stewedandkeefed Came Ashore In The Dead Of The Night

    "Nuclear Love" - if I was played this randomly and asked who it was, I am not sure that I would be able to say the Kinks. Maybe I would have guessed right because I might have recognized Ray's voice but otherwise, it sounds pretty different to me. I agree that it has elements of rock n roll but also, the current "new wave" trend. The vocal delivery on the chorus is certainly unique (it is sometimes hard to make out that he is saying "nuclear love"). It is kind of catchy - I think if one listened enough that chorus would crawl in your brain and stay there. It's obviously a demo - Ray calls out "here we go" as they head to the first chorus and "and again" to tell the band they are heading to the verse.
  23. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    "Nuclear Love"

    Again we have something that sounds like it could have come from any Kinks era - the scratchy guitar at the end sounds like it's come straight off "Come On Now", and Ray's vocal could certainly pass for something from the 60s. Musically, though, it could pass for a new wave track (I was thinking The Tubes, even though I hardly know what The Tubes sound like!) and that bass certainly sounds like it's coming off a synth. I wouldn't have thought of "Johnny & Mary" until Mark mentioned it, but now I can hear a similarity. It doesn't sound like something that would have fitted on Low Budget. I would hope that if it had been developed from a demo, Ray would have learned how to pronounce "nuclear", as it's coming out "nookiah" most of the time, and we could be in another "schizophreena" situation here!
  24. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    Incredible, to me this screams Kinks at every turn! The lyrics are great, the nuclear metaphor (tight but explosive and dangerous etc.) is excellent. I always look at the expression "nuclear family" with dread, because it seems so perfectly accurate in every possible way… I guess "nuclear love"'s just as ****ed up and on point. The music is really tight as well, with that typical deadpan Kinks attitude that I (we) love so much, a quality that was perfectly fit for a kind of new wave/power pop combo the band could’ve (should’ve ?) pursue at the time. Well, to be fair, they did try it on the occasional song but this demo has it all. Icing on the cake, we get a little more of the Ray staccato rhythm guitar playing, which is always a joy (but I guess Dave is also on the track this time ?). Why on earth didn’t Ray finish this off properly, thus adding a bona fide klassik to his seemingly never-ending collection? Maybe he canned it after hearing @the Late Man’s theory about his tendency to write repetitive choruses ? Come on, Ray, you should've known better, it was just thread talk, @The late man loves you! Or perhaps he realized this demo had a sort of magic to it, with the priceless little vocal improvs and announcements, that was never gonna be replicated satisfactorily ? He was then struck by a sudden vision of the future, full of deluxe editions, box sets and kompletist fans on the Steve Hoffman Forum, that would be hungry for this kind of quality material ? :cool: This is a fantastic little unadorned nugget and I wouldn't change a note or a word of it.
  25. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Hey, we had a US President a few years back who couldn't pronounced 'nuclear', I think Ray is allowed. If you don't concentrate it does sound like he's saying nuclear bomb.

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