The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Stop Your Sobbing.

    live, stereo mix, recorded 4 Mar, 1980 at Landmark Theatre, Syracuse, New York

    In December 1979 The Pretenders released their debut album, and the seventh track on side one was Stop Your Sobbing by the Kinks. It had been released as the band's first single back in January 1979.
    I have no idea when Ray and Chrissie started dating, or had a relationship or whatever, I do remember hearing about it, but to be honest I have never paid too much attention to what's happening behind the curtain.
    It seems though, that there are possibly two reasons for it to be reintroduced to the Kinks live set.
    As best as I can tell from available sources, Stop Your Sobbing was rarely in the Kinks set up until Feb 23rd 1980, almost exactly a year after the Pretenders had released it as a single, and literally just after The Pretenders debut album came out..... and particularly when we consider that The Kinks were touring the US heavily during these years.
    Certainly Ray could have just been capitalising on an assumed exposure of the song, and re-introducing it as a fresh track they had very rarely played... but he could also have been getting the song out on the road in the US to remind folks of the song the Pretenders had on their brand new album.... We can look at it cynically, realistically or whatever, but it is interesting how all the timing worked out there.
    All I know about their relationship is that it was during the eighties, to the best of my knowledge. So perhaps they are just another couple that music brought together, to help them Stop Their Sobbing.

    So as best as I can tell Stop Your Sobbing came back into the Kinks set, after 15 or more years in the wilderness, at St John's University Queens, New York on February 23rd 1980, between A Gallon Of Gas and Well Respected Man, as the twelfth track of the night.
    It was the third show of 1980, and after five more shows they would be taping at Landmark Theatre, Syracuse, New York on March 4th, where the song shows up again to be used on this live album.
    The set list for that Syracuse show was
    You Really Got Me intro
    The Hard Way
    Catch Me Now I'm Falling
    Where Have All the Good Times Gone
    Lola / Low Budget / National Health
    A Gallon of Gas
    (Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman
    Attitude
    You Really Got Me
    Celluloid Heroes
    Dedicated Follower of Fashion
    Prince of the Punks
    Stop Your Sobbing
    Death Of a Clown
    David Watts
    All Day And All Of The Night

    encore
    Pressure
    Till The End Of The Day

    I hope all these set lists aren't annoying. For me it seems to point to how they ended up shaping the One For The Road release.
    Comparing this setlist with the earlier Low Budget setlists, we see this is starting to look more like the live album we ended up getting... and it makes me wonder if they were using the tour to test out how the album may best be sequenced.... because again, the sequencing on this album is stellar.

    The song was played quite frequently between 80 and 82, and then was reintroduced in 89, then seems to be a pretty set thing for 93 to 95.

    This version works beautifully. The arrangement is perfect, The backing vocals are great. The keys add some nice texture, and the guitars have just enough jangle to really give it a great sound.
    Ray sings it in a straight and strong voice.
    Then When She Kissed Me coda is wonderful, and the backing vocals again just lead this to be another fantastic song on this great great album.

     
  2. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    Certainly not ! I think a bit of negativity is welcome (and even dare I say, needed) in a thread like this. It helps keeping things in perspective and not only for that reason, but for that reason also, I sure miss @Vangro's input these days.

    My turn, then : I thought the absent bridge didn’t harm 20th Century Man despite being one of my top 5 Kinks moments ever. The Misfits one is in my top… 6 Kinks moments ever, and I won't be as forgiving this time. One absent sublime bridge is one thing, two absent sublime bridges in a row start making me nervous (thankfully, they didn’t do Australia after that, taking out the “surf like they do in the USA” part!!). I don’t know. There’s a feeling of a crucial part of this song being edited out without reason and without a lot of care. Don’t care for Mick’s playing on this either when the band comes in, I find it clumsy, obtrusive and not very elegant.

    Prince of the Punk was never as close to my heart as Misfits, but I enjoy it quite a bit, especially the vocal arrangement and the Beach Boys influenced chorus, with Ray doing his man of many voice routine, almost a change of voice, tone and accent every other word… It’s always been an entertaining kurio, even though I’ll admit hating the vulgar riff as played by guitar and synth in unison. Not the best part of the record today for me, I'm afraid, but I get the feeling things get much better afterwards (edit: oops, we also do Sobbing today? I didn’t know that, I’ll listen and catch up later this afternoon !).
    For now, to finish on a more positive (yet bittersweet) note, the way Ray sings on the acoustic intro of Misfits is for the ages. Much frailer, softer and even more tender than on Celluloid Heroes, it’s the very last time we’ll hear this particular voice of his. He would never ever sing like that on any studio album after this. So yeah, I thought it deserved a special accolade.
     
  3. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Yea, sorry mate.
    Twofold - moving the live album along to suit the majority, and to line up with the coming days....

    The way it will look from here guys.

    Thursday - Low Budget - Attitude
    Friday - Superman - National Health
    Saturday - Till the End Of The Day - Celluloid Heroes

    Monday - Your Really Got Me - Victoria - David Watts - Summary
    Tuesday - Dave Davies Glamour
    Wednesday - Is This The Only Way - Glamour - Reveal Yourself
    Thursday - World Of Our Own - Body - Too Serious
    Friday - Telepathy - Seventh Channel - Eastern Eyes - Summary
    Saturday - Give the People What They Want

    With there being significantly less interest in the Dave solo stuff, nine songs fits into three days well, and still gives everyone a chance to have a look without feeling bogged down in it.
    We get to Give the People... sooner, and we'll be back to one song a day.

    I think that all fits. Hopefully it suits everyone well.
     
  4. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scotland
    Misfits is a great song and the live version works well. I agree with Mark that Prince of the Punks is better live than the studio version. Stop Your Sobbing is also great, but I still prefer The Pretenders version, mostly for Chrissie's great vocal.
     
  5. stewedandkeefed

    stewedandkeefed Came Ashore In The Dead Of The Night

    "Misfits" - a nice change of pace in the middle of the faster material. A good live version of a good song.
    "Prince Of The Punks" - nice that they included this song (a B-side that comments on the current music scene). I still hear the decidedly Eighties vibe to this song despite shouty Ray's appearance - as noted by others shouty Ray makes more sense live.
    "Stop Your Sobbing" - the Kinks reclaim a song that had been covered by the Pretenders very recently. I think the Pretenders' version is one of the greatest cover versions of all time. And, Chrissie Hynde, of course, became a part of Ray's life in this era (apparently, Dave was not thrilled and Johnny Rogan reported in his Kinks book that Ms. Hynde was invited on stage at a Kinks show around this time and Dave showed how he really felt by spitting in her face). The song is timeless and a good inclusion - I prefer the version from Oakland 1980-11-08 because Ray's vocal is more tender but this is a decent version.
     
  6. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    ‘Prince Of The Punks’ is the closest One For The Road has to something it other wise lacks ti comparison to the other Kinks live efforts: a live album exclusive. Kelvin Hall had ‘Batman’, Showbiz had those kamp kovers, and The Road and To The Bone both boasted a couple new originals each. One For The Road doesn’t contain any tracks the Kinks hadn’t otherwise officially issued, but at least with ‘Punks’ it gave increased exposure to a B side that hadn’t been available on LP before.
     
  7. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    "Prince of the Punks" is kind of cringey in its studio incarnation, works much better live.
     
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  8. adm62

    adm62 Senior Member

    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    One for the Road, what a huge disappointment. A friend and I bought it together the same day, it was marketed pretty heavily in the UK as The Kinks were getting lots of name checks at the time. Was a very reasonable price and despite the hideous cover and colour we were very excited.

    Went back to my friend's house and put it on full of anticipation. It was hideous, either the rather poor recent stuff or horrible, bloated, "arena rock", tone deaf versions of their classic songs. We were so disappointed, not sure I even played my version after that, maybe once. I no longer own it.

    Despite the hype and the reduced price it failed to make the UK charts, another nail in the coffin for their home country popularity and they didn't really deserve more based on this appalling offering.

    However I saw them live in a pretty small theatre in Liverpool a year later and they were great....
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2022
  9. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    The Kinks seemed to struggle to make the charts in the UK from about the time of Something Else, so from my perspective yet another album failing to make the charts there isn't particularly remarkable
     
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  10. adm62

    adm62 Senior Member

    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    This was different, after punk and various covers making the charts, they were bigger news than they had been in a long time. They finally (deservedly) came back a few years later with Come Dancing and a couple of other minor hits
     
  11. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Misfits

    On a strict-up-tempo-styled album like this any soft-slow-melodic song is very welcome and for me akin to an old friend turning up.
    Though it doesn't better the studio cut I do enjoy Ray's vocal here giving it a little pleasant differing identity.
     
  12. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Prince Of The Punks

    Some more energy here than the studio cut which was needed and that it was a lesser known B side has handily been pointed out.
    Nice inclusion but the elongated chorus still sounds more forced than princely to me!
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2022
  13. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I don't really agree.
    When you've had 13 albums fail to chart at all, it is really not very surprising that the 14th fails to chart as well.

    It seems after Something Else The Kinks couldn't get arrested in the UK, which is bizarre to me.
    If The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society, Arthur and Muswell Hillbillies can't get any love from the UK, it's illogical to assume anything else would.
    Come Dancing was a hit, but State Of Confusion didn't chart either....
    So I don't see the logic there at all
     
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  14. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Stop Your Sobbing

    I can't really recall the original and though Ray does a fair job here I agree that Chrissie & The Pretenders seemed to have surrogate ownership but that said I still don't follow the line of some that it is a true classic.
    I hope I have stopped @Fortuleo sobbing about the overly observed ornamental optimal optimism ode!
     
  15. adm62

    adm62 Senior Member

    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Maybe, I just remember a big marketing push for One for the Road, radio interviews, big displays in record stores and the bargain price for a double album. They were being talked about more in the music press than they had been in years too. But zilch, nothing happened
     
  16. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    It should have sold, it's a great album, but a dozen other great albums didn't....

    At least the SDE of Village Green finally charted 50 years later lol
     
  17. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    "Misfits"

    A very nice vocal from Ray, particularly on the chorus, but it does feel as though half the song is missing. Otherwise it's a decent version.

    "Prince of the Punks"

    I don't think it's a great song to start with, but this is a much better version than the studio version. More power and more sting to the invective.

    "Stop Your Sobbing"

    A better Kinks version than the rather formative original, bringing in a few of the qualities that the Pretenders version added, but that version was the definitive one.
     
  18. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    Kind of hard to better Chrissie Hynde's vocal on "Stop Your Sobbing", to be honest!
     
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  19. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    This guy has some serious issues. Appalling behavior.

    I’m with you on this song as it’s never struck a chord with me. And I do agree the nod seems to go to The Pretenders cover.
     
  20. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    That was my first thought.... maybe the aliens told him to do it?
     
  21. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Misfits: Again, the concert flow is perfect with ‘Misfits’ following ‘20th Century Man.’ This is so beautifully performed and I love it.

    Prince of the Punks: not my thing. This is one spot where, personally, I would have inserted another softer number to follow ‘Misfits.’

    Stop Your Sobbing: I’m certain this was resurrected because The Pretenders made it a recent hit. And it makes sense to me as The Kinks remind (or more like ‘inform’) folks that it was their song first.
     
  22. adm62

    adm62 Senior Member

    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Well "great" is an opinion, mine is "dreadful" and the British public seemed to agree ;)
     
  23. pyrrhicvictory

    pyrrhicvictory Forum Resident

    Location:
    Manhattan
    Misfits

    A streamlined Misfits that still works it’s charm even when missing, if not it’s heart, then at least some vital organ. I think Ray knew his audience at that point; looking out at that throng, a delicate bridge in an already slower number was not something they would appreciate. The song still works well though, thoughtfully sequenced as it is.

    Prince of the Punks

    I like when Ray tries out his Mick Jagger voice as when introducing this song. When I first got OFTR this was the one song I had no idea about; was it new? A cover? Over time, I don’t recall the how’s and when’s, that mystery was solved. Anyway, forty years on, the verdict is in. It’s better live than in studio.

    Stop Your Sobbing

    Hey, I wrote this song, too’, Ray informs the Pretenders and Van Halen fans in the crowd, likely too impaired by now to comprehend. Yes you did Ray, but you’re not gonna wrest it back from Chrissie who topped it with her melting vocal. Mick sounds comfortable here, Jim’s bass is booming, and it’s a sweet end to cd side one.

    Dave & Chrissie

    Immediately after James Honeyman-Scott’s death, Chrissie flew in to be with Ray who at that evening’s show brought her out on stage for a brief ‘hello’. As Chrissie was leaving the stage she bumped into Dave who not only spit in her face, but punched her too, telling her to never go near their stage again. She wrote this off as being ‘probably something between them.’ The two did become friendly through the years although I doubt Dave is on her Christmas card list.
     
  24. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    It seems the Davies lads both have some deep seated emotional issues....
     
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  25. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Location:
    Murrumbateman
    Since we're measuring quality on the basis of chart success, the British public in 1980 thought Thin Lizzy's Chinatown was great. Sadly it wasn't. I think One for the Road suffered from having so many songs from albums that just didn't sell in the UK - from Muswell Hillbillies right through to Low Budget. Anyone buying it for the band's name and hoping for a bit of sixties nostalgia would have been disappointed.
    For me though, the enjoyment just keeps coming:
    Misfits
    Beautiful version. A nice change of pace too.
    Prince of the Punks
    They do the same trick as with Lola and Attitude - follow the slower song with a frantic rocker.
    Stop Your Sobbing
    This is the Kinks covering the Pretenders covering the Kinks. I do love the song and this live rendition, but I also think Chrissie Hynde did the definitive version of the song.

    Incidentally, I read Chrissie Hynde's autobiography a couple of years ago and highly recommend it. Even if you don't like the Pretenders, Hynde has led a remarkable life and was involved in some big moments in rock history.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2022

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