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

    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    Thanks for grouping these visuals this way. It helps call attention to how outside the box thinking Kontroversy was by making the emphasis on the big picture of the guitar. It also provides a visual texture missing from these (and others) of conveying movement with Dave's blurry hand. (If any of these bands should have been represented by an action image, it was The Who. more so than the Kinks.)

    1965 finds the industry on the precipice of the leap into the revolution of how band's music was marketed via the album covers. To think the Kinks next LP doesn't even contain an image of the band, which would've been unthinkable when these albums pictured here were released. The industry was still thinking in terms that the marketability of this type of music was less about the music itself and more about the teen idol appeal of the people who made it.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2021
  2. Williamson

    Williamson Forum Resident

    Absolutely agree, though I would say that as I'm a Dylan nut. But seriously, I think there was a gap between Dylan and everyone else at this point. It would take a couple more years for the pack to catch up. Dylan was maturing the idea of what a song could deal with faster than anyone else. Highway 61 Revisited explores ideas no-one else had yet got a handle on in terms of songwriting. And of course it completely rocks.
     
  3. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    I'm seriously thinking.. is there an earlier example than Face To Face in the British Invasion/beat group milieu of an LP not featuring the group on the cover in some form and featuring such an abstract image? I'm not sure there is, although open to any suggestions. If so, it's something the album is seriously overlooked for pioneering!
     
  4. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Fair Call... I am very biased towards Dylan. He's one of my favourite artists of all time, so I was possibly skewing my statement to temper that.
     
  5. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Totally agree. I think that is why I consider myself more of a song guy, than a sound guy. I don't like really bad sound, I can't abide dodgy bootlegs, but if an album is presented in decent sound, it ceases to be a factor for me, and I kind of enjoy it for its own sound... if that makes any sense.
     
  6. Scottsol

    Scottsol Forum Resident

    Location:
    Evanston, IL
    This should come up again when we get to Lola and Percy.
     
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  7. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
  8. Williamson

    Williamson Forum Resident

    I do know what you mean. Over time sound quality has become a little bit more of a factor for me, but good material will always overcome a deficiency in sound re-production and never the other way around. It's nothing more than a point of interest with The Kinks, the brilliance of their songs and arrangements conquers the lack of attention that was paid to audio quality.
    Also, and I think I mentioned this earlier, when I started to really get into The Kinks in the late 80s and early 90s I was listening on CDs and not vinyl. The Kinks, like so many others from their era of recording, sounded much worse on those early badly mastered CDs.
     
  9. lothianlad

    lothianlad Forum Resident

    Location:
    scotland
    Think the Kinks albums started to sound better when Ray took over production.
     
  10. Steve E.

    Steve E. Doc Wurly and Chief Lathe Troll

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    You must be talking about "Rave Up" here. I always think of that as a one-sided album, like Love's "Da Capo" from a year later. The Beck side feels like a legit album side --one of the very best of the era-- and the live Clapton side is just half of the earlier "Five Live Yardbirds."

    You're talking about the US "Out of Our Heads"; the UK is pretty much a different (inferior) slightly later album with the same name and some overlap. I think the US version is the one that merits sort of a comparison with Kontroversy. Both it and "Decembers Children" are maddening, as the covers feel like the work of an earlier band (and, in some cases, are, by up to two years!).
     
  11. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I was mainly referencing the albums posted by Idleracer
     
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  12. Steve E.

    Steve E. Doc Wurly and Chief Lathe Troll

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    You mean "Kontroversy," of course.

    What you are calling "sameness" I'd call consistency. It's interesting to consider what was left off the album:

    Time Will Tell (kinda poppy, hooky, "Satisfaction"-influenced potential single)
    I'll Remember (the last song on "Face to Face," but recorded for this one -- upbeat, catchy song)
    and all those pretty songs that Ray demoed. Imagine "I Go To Sleep" in its demo arrangement on this album. It would have been bold. It's sad that they didn't put it out somewhere. But would it have worked with the other songs? (I don't know! I have not tried.)

    I think some of the choices indicate that Ray/the band wanted the album to have a particular vibe to it, in both sound and subject matter.

    I keep holding my tongue on the individual songs because I've been waiting for us to get into the individual songs. But it's making me a little nuts. Why all the hate for "Milk Cow Blues," and it's transition into "Ring The Bells"? It's a fantastic rave-up cover, and the contrast with the next song is inspired and works beautifully.

    I love the sequencing of this album.
     
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  13. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    I'm not going to say there is no chance of a reunion, BUT I don't think it's going to be onstage, that's for sure. I think there are health issues...and voice issues. Maybe studio stuff? Possibly, but doubtful.
    I think the possibility of a Kinks reunion is slim.
     
  14. Adam9

    Adam9 Senior Member

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    I don't know that I agree but I did think that for the longest time too.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2021
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  15. Luckless Pedestrian

    Luckless Pedestrian Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Hampshire, USA
    I'm surprised to learn this is a proper "studio" album, I had always assumed this album was a collection of loose ends. It comes across as a bit of a hodge-podge in comparison to the albums to come.
     
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  16. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Ok, I have time and it seems the enthusiasm here is pretty high so....

    Milk Cow Blues

    This track sounds like a live in the studio jam, that is particularly inspired. I completely understand why they opened the album with it. As to whether they should have is really just such a broad question I don't even know where to start....
    On one hand the band, or Ray more particularly, was writing so well, that cover songs almost seem redundant. Prior to this track the majority of covers were either ok, or a little underwhelming, but here the band is ripping shreds off the walls.
    Then there is the fact that this opens the album, as the last cover on a Kinks album until we get to Everybody's In Showbiz, and that is in the context of a live set, so really, this is almost an announcement, a statement of intent.

    I get the impression from what has been said on the thread so far, that generally the Kinks weren't considered top of the line interpreters of other people's songs..... here we have a pretty emphatic statement that they could be if they wanted to. Although I'm sort of glad that they just moved on over to doing their own material. This is a heck of a way to go out on the cover side of things.

    UK simulated stereo (3:40), recorded probably early Aug 1965 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London

    This was recorded around the time of Well Respected Man, Don't You Fret, This Strange Effect and Hide And Seek, perhaps even on that same August 6th day, I don't know, and apparently neither does anyone else lol, but looking at those songs, it almost seems like they decided to just let loose after doing those more controlled steady songs, and smash out a track ... I wonder if it was a situation like Dave wanted to rock out, but all of these somewhat ballad like tracks were on the cards for that day, and this just got thrown in to burn the cobwebs to the floor.

    We open with this pulsing jam running behind the riff. I instantly hear a sort of Thin Wild Mercury Sound, with a bit of raw Stones in there as well.
    I love the fact that Dave and Ray sing, and in that second verse Ray shows he can belt it out with the best of them.
    The guitars, when the dynamics are peaking, sound like they could tear strips out of your speakers, and the lead break sections have this vicious cutting sound to them, and personally I think that's great.

    We get dynamic shifts through the song, and then around the 2:47 mark we get this unbridled slashing, with the piano banging away, and it is a joyous thing to behold... It is also interesting to note, that aside from Got Love If You Want It, this is the longest Kinks track we have had yet, and there is only a tick of the clock in it between the two.

    The ending is like a steam train winding down after a long run, as it slowly puffs out, and we get a nice little blues lick, and it's all done.

    I guess I need to come down on the side of ... based on this being the last real cover the band puts on a studio album, and based on the fact that is is like an unstoppable locomotive one fire and ready to explode, it is probably the best starter.... but there is a still a part of me that feels an original opening the album would have been more wise in some ways.

    So, I actually love this track, and I think that's the first time I have been able to say that about a Kinks cover track ... though I certainly don't hate all the others at all.

     
  17. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Ring The Bells

    The stark contrast between this and the album opener is obvious, and again, thinking about it now taking into account as much as I'm able about what seems to be the mentality behind this album, it seems that is probably intentional.

    To some degree I am also torn on whether this was the right tack, and then I think to myself, well perhaps I have just become too accustomed to the idea that "the gentle track" should come in at track three or four on a rock album .... and then it all just gets a little confusing as to whether it even matters or not......

    mono mix (2:15), recorded 23-30 Oct, 1965 at Pye Studios (No. 2), London

    Shout out, ring the bells
    Shout out, tell the world I'm in love
    Ring out, I feel fine
    This girl said she's mine
    So let the bells ring loud and clear
    Let the whole world know I'm in love

    Ring out, I feel fine
    This girl said she's mine
    So let the bells ring loud and clear

    Can you hear those bells are ringing
    Everywhere I hear them singing
    Hear them, hear them, hear them

    Shout out, ring the bells
    Shout out, tell the world I'm in love
    Ring out, I feel fine
    This girl said she's mine
    So let the bells ring loud and clear
    Bells ring loud and clear

    Written by: Ray Davies
    Published by: Davray/Carlin Music

    Lyrically we have love. It is like love is being compared to the joy of Christmas, or the salvation of a saviour, if I take the bells in the context that I would normally think of ringing bells in terms of... I guess at a certain point in time church bells would ring during a wedding? but that isn't something that immediately comes to mind for me.
    Also we have the plea for everyone to hear these bells, or everyone to at least notice they are ringing.

    Musically we have a riff leading the way. It is insistent like the pleas of the singer, but it moves into some nice chord changes that keep things interesting.
    The bridge or middle eight if you prefer (Can You Hear Those Bells Are Ringing) lifts the song up nicely. We needed a change to keep the song on track, and we get the perfect change. It has this light and breezy feel that moves us along nicely. The backing vocals here are fairly low, but very effective, and the "Hear Them, Hear Them, Hear Them" is beautiful.

    The final verse that leads us out is essentially just restating the facts of the the gentle request to Hear Them.... and then the riff closes us out.

    I think this song works really well. I am still a bet each way about it being the second song on the album, but I can live with it either way, and I don't make up my own playlists, and I don't program cd's, so I guess I will have to :) .... and I can live with that


     
  18. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Wha.....? Is it going to snow in May? Order and decorum has been thrown asunder. :D
     
  19. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

  20. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    lol leave my as. out of this please :)
     
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  21. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Milk Cow Blues: terrific. It reminds me of Alvin Lee and Ten Years After though probably (maybe?) pre-dates TYA. The vocals are raw, in-your-face, slashing guitars, pretty basic rhythm section. I like the piano at the end. Who plays that? Nicky Hopkins? (Didn’t that article posted earlier today say that Hopkins played keyboards during the early years?)
     
  22. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Hopkins is on every album between Kontroversy and Village Green
     
  23. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Cool. I had never noticed that. Cheers
     
  24. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Shindig! for the final time, August 1965. I think live and may have been taped before the album version?

     
  25. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    Live in France, either late 65 or early 66. Not the same show as the Paris concert, a later one. Unfortunately this lone song seems to have been the only one recorded or at large. Enjoy this because this is the last known live footage of the band until mid 1970! It's all promo videos and mimes from mid 66 to mid 1970, as surviving footage really dries up during their golden era. :(

     
    Last edited: May 16, 2021

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