The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. Paul Mazz

    Paul Mazz Forum Resident

    I was at that show. I just conferred with a friend who was at that show with me. We agreed that we both thought it was a great show. I saw them at least 3 times after the concept album shows of Preservation, Soap Opera, and Schoolboys. We agreed that those concept album shows were easier to remember, focused as they were on individual albums. The later shows we saw all had a much broader mix of material. They were always great, but tend to blur together in memory all these years later.

    I thought I remembered Ray singing Father Christmas in a Santa suit at that show. Evidently that was at a 1977 show at Brooklyn College. My friend Bill has a better memory for some of this stuff than I do, and somehow remembered that when Father Christmas was played it hadn’t quite yet been released.

    For the 1980 New Years Eve show, he remembered them playing Come On Now, which he wasn’t familiar with at the time. I was just checking set, and sure enough he was correct. I do remember that Ray’s announcement of Happy New Year was late, as they were in the middle of a song at the stroke of midnight. Given how much drinking we were doing it’s surprising we remember anything at all.
  2. sharedon

    sharedon Forum Zonophone

    That NYE show was also broadcast live around the US at the time. I taped it, too!
  3. Michael Streett

    Michael Streett Senior Member

    Florence, SC
    I find it interesting that Ray did not overdub the synth sequencer onto this live Superman after adding it onto some other tracks for One For The Road. After all, this was the one studio track that it was the featured instrument in it’s second mix. The lead guitar is the dominant instrument in this live version and the song in a live setting is all the better for it.
    The piano part audible in this live version is similar to what has now been revealed to be on that rare first studio mix without the synth we found and discussed a few weeks ago on that first UK 12” pressing. This piano was mixed out of the common synth studio mix that was released on the album and the later UK singles and all of the US singles.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2022
  4. donstemple

    donstemple Member of the Club

    Maplewood, NJ
    Gotta say, I prefer 5 or 6 minutes of this song over the 3 minute version on Low Budget. That version is just too short. This one is great, as it keeps a little of that rock disco bass, but really rocks it up with Dave’s solo. I really like Mick’s offbeat drum fills towards the end of Dave’s solo. They really make you feel like the world has stopped spinning, before Superman sets it on its right path again.

    National Health
    Like yesterdays songs, I am in the boat with those of you who prefer these live versions over the studio. I don’t miss the synth conga drums or whatever. The wild bass part makes up for it here, and Ray’s voices really elevate this. This version really makes this like a sister-song to Skin & Bone.


    Finally, a little Kinks konversion story. Over Easter, I was smoking a cigar and having some whiskey with my brother in law and his dad, and somehow (I forget exactly, I was two whiskeys deep), the subject shifted to the Kinks. I think the conversation was about 50s music, and I mentioned that the Kinks did a lot of 50s and even Beach Boys homages and pastiches during the mid 70s. He said, “Really? The Kinks??” I knew his dad was a fan of the Beach Boys. So I sent him links to listen to Soap Opera and Schoolboys in Disgrace. I’d say that is a bit risky to send someone…. But tonight I get this text message from my brother in law:

    “I spoke to my dad. He said he now loves the kinks. He’s been listening to them every day and that you sent him albums to listen to”

  5. Paul Mazz

    Paul Mazz Forum Resident

    I never knew that - I don’t remember Ray saying anything about it during the show. I did just see that part of the audio from that show is up on YouTube. I had trouble finding the set list at first because I couldn’t remember if the show was at the Beacon theater or at the Academy of Music. Turns out it was the later, but the venue had changed the name to the Palladium by then.
  6. sharedon

    sharedon Forum Zonophone

    A bit more info.

    “The original live broadcast was produced by the Blair Starfleet Radio Network and was heard on fifty-seven stations in the U.S. and Canada and in New York on WPLJ.

    In 1981 Starfleet edited the show and distributed the tape to various radio stations in London, the Netherlands and Germany. The edited show became the source for the many and various bootleg releases…”

    Via New Year’s Eve – The Kinks
  7. Michael Streett

    Michael Streett Senior Member

    Florence, SC
    Cigars and whiskey, eh? Shouldn’t that be Polo Mints and Brown Ale?

    Or in light of today's songs a cigarette and a cup of tea, but that goes against the National Health doesn't it?

    I'll take the Brown Ale and hold the smoke, please, as I am on a Low Budget at the moment. :)
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2022
  8. donstemple

    donstemple Member of the Club

    Maplewood, NJ
    Circumstance hasn’t forced my hand yet!
  9. Geoff738

    Geoff738 Forum Resident

    I’m a bit meh on the Low Budget side of the disc, but that mirrors my view of that record as a whole. Mostly I like these versions better than the studio versions.
  10. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    I don't have very consistent thoughts about these days' music. I listened to One For The Road on... the road yesterday, from Normandy to the South-East (of France). My car was bought a few weeks ago from a second-hand car spiv, it dates back to 2001, it is rather noisy and has no radio or player. So I listen to music with my little bluetooth thing (not that bad really, but still). My impression, as it stood yesterday, was a great start, followed by a bit too much of more of the same, and too many tracks like Misfits and the Low Budget tunes that, to my ear, sound like those recent, lesser songs that older bands like to inflict upon the public instead of the older and better stuff they want to hear. Maybe it's all in my mind, but I find the contrast in songwriting level is striking, even though the selection of older tracks is far from representing of their best work.

    I listened to my reconstructed 1972 Showbiz live album. I must admit they probably didn't play as tightly as a band back then ; and they didn't have the same power, such as you can feel exploding in your face when listening to the first tracks of One For The Road. But the Showbiz show was so much more varied ! I end up regretting that they didn't release a double Showbiz live album and trimmed down One For The Road to a single, energy-driven album. Note that there is not a single track in common between both albums, even including the recently released bonus tracks from the March 1972 show. With the exception of "Till The End Of The Day", but the arrangements are very different (as we are going to see today, I believe ?).

    I didn't pay enough attention, but didn't they edit the OFTR CD so that there is no gaps between the former LP sides?

    On the individual tracks, I don't have that much to say.

    About the instrumental overture, I wonder if Ray is harmonizing live with Dave on guitar or if this is part of the overdubs ?

    The Hard Way is great. I love both studio and live versions. An aside: I listened to Schoolboys yesterday (it was a long road) and I was wondering if Headmaster, the song right before the Hard Way, could not be construed as a masked reference to a cheated wife / caught-in-the-act husband moment, such as Ray must have experienced with Rasa just a few months/years before writing this song. There is some of the same contrition/victimization contradictory vibe that you find in some more openly Rasa-themed songs. Silly thought, but it had to come out.

    I loved Catch Me Now I'm Falling the first time I heard it on this album, but now I feel like editing it down as I did for the studio version... It's too long for me.

    Where Have All The Good Times Gone: more good rocking.

    Lola : good version. I heard a 1972 live version, it sounded awful. Which might be the reason why the March 1972 version from the Showbiz shows never surfaced, except for the ending snippet.

    Pressure : fun rendition. In the car I had the feeling that the I-VI-I-VI fast movement on which the verse is built is absent here, which is a pity, but I have to listen more closely.

    All Day And All Of The Night, 20th Century Man : the guitar fest goes on, but it's beginning to sound a bit uniform. I rather like the Who-like synth overdub.

    Misfits: the only softer moment, and it's a song I don't like. They even took the only interesting bit out.

    Prince of the Punks: nice, but I prefer the studio version.

    I never listened to the Pretenders' version of Stop Your Sobbing, but I don't care much for this song as it was recorded by the Kinks, either live or in the studio. It sounds too 1964, verging on 1963 to me.

    Side 3: these versions don't add much to the studio recordings, and leave some out. I'm not a fan of this side.

    Today's songs : I'm a fan of the reggae version of Till The End Of The Day. And I like the synth-overdubbed Cellulloid Heroes alright.

    My single-LP One For The Road would probably be a slight variation around Side 1 ans Side 4.

    Last anachronistic comment: when we were going through Muswell Hillbillies, ages ago, I think I commented on the last chord of Alcohol. It's a major chord where a minor was expected, a device called "tierce picarde", and I was wondering if it made any sense, since the lyrics didn't imply a ray of sun at the end of the long night, which is what this device tends to be used to express. When listening to the 1972 Showbiz show the other day, I noticed that the band ended the song on a minor chord. So maybe they changed their mind after the recording, and the studio tierce picarde was only an empty formal gesture. I know, nobody cares, but who am I going to tell those things ?...
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2022
  11. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    I checked, apparently my comment on the ending of Alcohol is part of those comments I made in my head and never wrote. "Tierce picarde" actually translates as "Picardy third" : Picardy third - Wikipedia
  12. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Till The End Of The Day.

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

    This is a really interesting one, because the original styling of the song would certainly have suited the songs that we have on this album, but again, the guys were really paying attention at this point in time, and they reworked the song to have a slight rock meets reggae kind of feel.... I am guessing some folks are going to be less enthused by this version than me, but I personally think it ends up having a great feel that really suits the lyrics it's attached to.
    It certainly doesn't stick to any sort of strict reggae rules, it just throws in an offbeat feel that adds some more variety to the setlist we have here.

    Again it is from the Switzerland show.
    Apparently this was the second song in the set, following a medley of sorts, of Sleepwalker/Tired Of Waiting for You...

    Probably one of the more interesting choices on this album was to completely avoid the Sleepwalker songs. That is probably why it took me so long to actually buy, and then listen to that album, which I now really like a lot ... unlike pretty much everyone else here lol.

    There are some great subtle little things in this version... the fast picked thing in the chorus, or is that the keys? I don't know, but it's very cool.

    Not that it would mean anything to most people here, but this sounds like it could be Australian Crawl.

    This just ends up being another really good track on here, perhaps not the way most want to hear it, but personally I have no problem with it, and enjoy it.

  13. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Celluloid Heroes.

    live, stereo mix (7:21), recorded 11 Nov, 1979 at Volkshaus, Zürich, Switzerland

    This is another track from the Switzerland show.... the setlist, for reference sake was

    Sleepwalker / Tired of Waiting
    Till the End of the Day
    Where Have All the Good Times Gone
    A Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy
    Low Budget
    (Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman
    Catch Me Now I'm Falling
    You Really Got Me
    A Gallon of Gas
    Celluloid Heroes
    A Well Respected Man / Death of a Clown / Sunny Afternoon
    All Day And All Of The Night

    1st encore
    The Hard Way

    2nd encore

    Another really good setlist that gives us an idea of how many other songs were available from this tour that could have made this an even more stunning triple album.
    As I say, aside from some of the songs we see as Klassics, there are several songs from Sleepwalker that could have justifiably been included.
    Another thing all these setlists show, is that the band were mixing it up and keeping it interesting for themselves, and if anyone was following them around on the tour they would have been kept entertained by the frequently changing sets the band were playing......
    .... and all that shows to some degree why we have such a fantastic live album, because the band were playing with intuition. They were tight, well rehearsed and able to improvise on the arrangements as they went along. We see that just from the variation between the video and album tracks.
    It appears that The Kinks special sets have been dropped, and that is a tragedy for fans really, because it seems pretty obvious that there is more video footage and one would think that with a more modern mindset the original One For The Road concert movie could be put in the correct order, and have the missing tracks added in, and the parts of songs edited out could be reinstated.... We could also have another double live album added with virtually no repeats.... or in fact the way things get done these days, it seems that there would be no reason the band couldn't release a box set of all the live shows they taped on the tour... it appears that more of these types of sets have been, or are being released these days, and this tour seems particularly worthy of such a release, as there is such diversity in the setlists.... I mean, there are seven songs just in this Switzerland set that aren't on the album.... It would be an instant purchase for me if I could afford it at the time.

    As we know Celluloid Heroes is one of the many highlights in the Kinks catalog, and although some/many may disagree, for me this is the ultimate version.
    I know it's missing the Marilyn Monroe verse, but for me there are enough things that this version has going for it that somewhat negates that loss.

    For me the opening here is magnificent. Instead of going into the song straight away, the band has an instrumental intro that sets the scene and the feel beautifully.
    I suppose some may not like the synth/keys, but even back in the early eighties before I had softened to synths this intro grabbed me.
    I personally don't dislike the sound of the synth here, but more importantly I love the melody, and the way it fits with what the rest of the band are playing.
    To me it is another example of how wonderful the band's jamming skills had become by this stage. They could go just about any direction at this particular pinnacle of their live career.

    The song gently builds up with the guitar, and then the synth sound comes in, playing that dreamy melody and sound that perfectly fits the theme and feel of the song.
    As the momentum builds, we get Dave come in with a beautiful lead, that follows the feel and melody perfectly. The lead guitar is accented by a couple of spots where he adds in some power chords and a little riff, and after about two minutes of dynamic building emotion we fade away to the acoustic and the piano, and Ray starts the song proper.

    I get the impression that the keyboard line was added after the fact, but I am not certain....

    So if we move to the video version, we find we get a similar opening, but it is a lot shorter.
    the thing is though it still has a very similar effect. with this version we just have Ray and Dave jamming on the guitars...
    The startup is a little slower and more gentle, and we have Ray rolling along on the acoustic.
    Then Dave comes in for his lead break.....

    To some degree it seems like this opening section was in the process of being developed between these two shows..... and it is altogether possible that by the time they got to Zurich that they had built it up.... in the same way a band jams new studio tracks to work out the arrangement.
    So as to whether the Zurich version has studio additions, I am not really sure, because it is very possible that the arrangement naturally gravitated that way over the course of a few shows.

    If anyone knows definitively what the actual story is, please let us know,

    I love the video version for what it is.
    and I love the album version for what it is, even if it has studio additions, because it is one of the most magnificent moments ever captured on tape.

    I love this song anyway, but this arrangement is sensational and the way it builds in depth and emotion is untouchable.
    I also get the impression that the stature of this song in the Kinks catalog was lifted significantly by this version, remembering that the song was a failed single, and went on to become considered a Kinks Klassic ... more and more it seems as the years went by...

    Anyway, as we get to the start of the vocal section of the song we move into this beautiful acoustic guitar section, with the piano colouring the sound with some nice flourishes.

    Ray comes in with a very human, reflective vocal. The delicacy he manages to put into the vocal in a live scenario is quite wonderful.
    After "written in concrete" the song starts to build with some nicely played drums from Mick.

    Also the ghostly backing vocals enhance this as well.

    After the main vocal section comes to an end we get another burst of some wonderful lead from Dave, and head into the rousing "na na na na" section.
    We get a reprise of the synth section, and then everything dies down for Ray to finish off this masterpiece .... because celluloid heroes never really die.

    Y'all already know I love the lyrics for this track, but this arrangement sets it apart as something even more special for me.

    The video version has a quite bit longer lead before the "na na na na " section and again. the rousing up feel of the outro here is something special.

    Personally I love both of these versions, and again we hear the band doing slightly different arrangements in shows reasonably close together.
    All this seems to back up the idea that the band were really at a peak of natural flow in their live shows. We aren't just getting copies of the album versions for the most part, we are getting an organic live flow of a Klassic rock band, playing their Klassic music at the height of their powers.

    This is among my favourite things ever recorded

  14. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

  15. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    If you count the expanded versions of Showbiz and To The Bone, 'Til The End Of The Day' is on FOUR of the 5 Kinks live albums: more than 'You Really Got Me' is!

    Tbh I don't much like this mid paced reggae gelding of a song that should grab you by the hand and leap you over the hills with compact propulsion, but I guess seen across the entire discography, if it's going to appear 5 times, it's good to mix things up arrangement wise for at least one of the live outings.
  16. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    Well, I'll admit liking the low melodic inflection of the "Till we go sleep at na-a-a-a-a-a-iiight" line, it's really inspired. But still. good as it may be, I object philosophically to this reggae-fied Till the End of the Day. I’m very open minded when it comes to the Kinks, but not that open minded.:cop:

    Now, Celluloid Heroes. The video is vintage 1980, all the slow-motion and freeze frames in the last two minutes are really of their time (and not very well done either). Almost all the filmed performance is missing because of the backstage footage (those hair-cuts!!), so it’s kinda frustrating. Yet, I’ll still highlight the priceless shared look between the two brothers in the beginning (0'18''). It’s so rare to see them interact on stage, I found it genuinely moving, especially Dave’s goodhearted smile. I guess it probably wasn’t shot on the night Chrissie Hynde came to visit, then… The other little treat is how Ray delivers the “… and everybody’s in show-biz / it doesn’t maater who you / aare” line (4’15’’), in his very best Zimmerman impersonation.

    Anyway, the star track of the day (and the record) is definitely the LP version of the big song. I don’t do mix breakdowns so I’ll leave it to @Michael Streett (whose posts are a treasure trove of illuminating input and info) to establish it, but I’d be very surprised if a lot of it (if any) was indeed live. Same as 20th Century Man, I'd tend to think they found a new arrangement and structure of the song for their live show and it was so great, so different and so enthralling that Ray decided to document it for prosperity in its best form possible, so they did it properly in the studio. And how right they were to do so ! The synth’n guitar intro is a marvel in itself and I’m not surprised this version supplanted the original studio take for many new (then) and old (then and now…) fans. Myself, I’ll remain team-Show-biz no matter what (I love the Marylin verse too much) but the majesty and epic power of this One for the Road version is not lost on me, with Ian Gibbons rising up to the John Gosling challenge for once. The obvious highlight of the record, with an unforgettable lalala chorus (or is it indeed nanana ?). Always a sucker for lalala/nanana's…
    Ex-Fed, Paul Mazz, ARL and 14 others like this.
  17. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    I enjoy the live versions of both of todays songs - they are different enough from the originals to be interesting, and the new arrangements work well.
  18. stewedandkeefed

    stewedandkeefed Came Ashore In The Dead Of The Night

    The reggae-fied "All Day And All Of The Night" is ok but I would prefer the straight, revved up version.

    "Celluloid Heroes" is great. I had never heard it before this live album and it is another major song of the Kinks that really appealed to me (also another song that looks back on a bygone era with fondness). In one of the concert tapes I listened to recently (Detroit 1979, I think), Ray introduces it by saying "this wasn't a hit but we're going to play it anyway". And that was what I felt back when I heard it on this record - it may not be particularly well known but it is definitely great.
  19. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Till the End of the Day
    Mark said the arrangement reminded him of Australian Crawl, which I get. But I'll use another Australianism and say this arrangement is a Claytons reggae (translation: the reggae you have when you're not having reggae). This I think is another case of Ray looking to play one of his sixties classics in a refreshing way to avoid sounding like a tribute band. I think it works really well too.
    Celluloid Heroes
    This is the main course and for me is the pinnacle of the album. Mark's comments also sum up my thoughts on this song. A long intro suits this tune more than any other Kinks song I can think of and the band make the most of it: Dave's lead work is especially tasteful. The extended arrangement and the quality of the singing and playing all go to show how much Ray thought of this song, particularly as it failed to chart when it was released as a single in 1972.
  20. Rockford & Roll

    Rockford & Roll Forum Resident

    Midway, KY
    I'm loving this re-listen after 20 some odd years. My favorite so far is "Celluloid Heroes", it is flat out epic. Might be blasphemous but the opening keys/synths remind me of Styx, and I'm good with that. We are getting so much energy and great musicianship. I like the chances they are taking with the older songs and the Budget stuff sounds great.
    This is just a fantastic document of a band at the peak of its powers and having a big time on stage.

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Salem, MA
    "Till the End of the Day": This was actually my favorite song on One From the Road when I first got it back in 1980. I loved the new arrangement, especially how the guitar sounded. I think that Ray was not only listening to reggae, but also the Twin Tone ska movement that popped up in the UK around this time. I still like this version a lot, although it runs neck and neck w/the original version these days. I'm curious how Avid Wondergirl thinks of this as she is a bit of a ska fan.

    "Celluloid Heroes": A good version of the song which has been a stalwart of the Kinks' setlist for many years. Another nice break from the rocking tunes. Every time I see that video I think about a few things. First off, seeing the audience come in and gradually fill the arena, you can see how kids used to dress back in 1980 and also see the different kinds of kids who attended, like the burnouts, the preppies, etc. Since this particular video was filmed in Providence, RI, I also think about a bunch of people from RI that I met later on that year in my freshman year of college. I don't know if any of them actually attended the show, but I bet at least some of their friends did.
  22. sharedon

    sharedon Forum Zonophone

    Re the video showing some of us Providence fans, lots of us went to see Kinks koncerts all over New England, and recognized each other on sight. I often wonder what happened to them all, and still remember some of the faces glimpsed in the Celluloid Heroes video, which is now more poignant to me than ever.
  23. pyrrhicvictory

    pyrrhicvictory Forum Resident

    Till the End of the Day

    I don’t have any problem with this version of the song; Ray’s narcotic vocal could have come from the Something Else era, Dave’s contrapuntal backing vocal is sublime, and Ian’s fairground keyboard is neat. Just the Kinks taking us down another kwirky side-alley; we’ll be back on the main road soon enough.

    Celluloid Heroes

    The Show-Biz version never grabbed in the same way as many other Kinksters. Ray often spoke of a great single needing an arresting opening to hook the listener. The original Celluloid Heroes lacks that. John Gosling was no slouch as a musician but I wonder what intro Nicky Hopkins could’ve cooked up. To me, Gosling’s tinkling was akin to something unsavory wafting in from your neighbors barbecue. It just shows up out of nowhere and hovers. Remember Ray’s disdain toward Gosling on the Mike Douglas Show? ‘Nice intro’, he turned and muttered. I don’t feel this brazen new open was disrespectful to the original, as some might, because the original open deserved no respect. Anyway, this is a scintillating start regardless. Also, after countless lifetime listens, my ears finally noticed Ian Gibbons mournful synth work in the final minutes. Good one, sir.
    Look for Ray’s Dylan imitation on the ‘it doesn’t matter who you are’ line. Ray was very fond of this impression and often slipped it into live performances in the eighties and beyond.

    Two style tips to consider from the documentary footage:
    1) Denim is king
    2) When walking down stairs, do so with hands in pockets
  24. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    This version of "Till the End of the Day" is definitely more ska than reggae but it isn't too intrusive. Don't like the synth on "Celluloid Heroes" at all.
  25. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Celluloid Heroes:
    This is going to come out of left field but Dave’s guitar intro sounds to me like Toy Caldwell of The Marshall Tucker Band. Close my eyes and that’s who I would think of being on stage…except for that obnoxious keyboard/synthesizer.

    The video version doesn’t have the latter so I prefer that version.

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