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

    I hadn't noticed that either... like the music, the cover has a more you look, the more you see thing going on.
  2. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    Till the End of the Day
    I don't mind a re-work of this song. as Mark pointed out, there's this quick guitar picking (or whatever it is) during the chorus that makes it stand out. It reminds me of some other popular song from around this time period, but I'm tired and it's not coming to me. I think doing something different keeps this band exciting, even if it's not your particular taste. They weren't just churning out the past hits...there was thought put into this.

    Celluloid Heroes
    Not a huge synth enthusiast, but the beginning doesn't bug me too much...and the length isn't an issue. I think overall this is a great rendition. It was likely played on the radio at the time, I'm fairly sure. As I probably said when we did the album version, I'm not a huge enthusiast of this song - like it's not in my top 50 Kinks songs. I do love it as I can hear it's a beautiful and touching song. And I loved it as a younger person. But somehow I grew out of it. Not sure how to put it any other way.
  3. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    and the video for Celluloid Heroes...

    I've watched that a bunch over the years. The editing of it is very of its day as someone else pointed out. And I'd rather see the band performing this, than watching fans enter the concert arena. It would have been something nice to tack on at the beginning of the video as a tip of the hat to the fans. seeing the fans just doesn't go with the theme of the song.
  4. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    It's funny...I don't mind Dave's sleeveless shirt. he's showing off his guns, so I enjoy that. LOL. And Dave's hairstyle is acceptable. I simply don't like Ray's short haircut. He's got some lovely hair and it's all chopped off. NOOOOO! And after all the crazy costumes Ray has worn over the years, he just has on a white shirt, black pants(jeans?) and white sneakers. Wish he was a little bit more showy. He does go back to showy a little further into the 80s. And grows his hair out. Yes, it's typical 80s 'do, but I'm ok with it.

    I don't mind the 80s style. Like every era, there are some good examples of the styles and then there are some stupid examples. I was a young adult in the 80s but didn't follow too many trends. I like more classic styling (ie boring?).

    right now 60s styles are my absolute favorite. there was a whole of fabulous stuff going on back then for both men and women.
  5. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    I'm guessing you have a background and/or great enthusiasm for design. Thank you for your thoughtful essay.

    I remember being in college and taking an art appreciation course where we had to go to the museum and pick out a piece of art and write a paper on it. I had an AWFUL time with it. For one, I didn't have the WORDS or the CONCEPTS at the time to put together anything intelligent. So reading what you wrote made me remember how terrible I am with producing a critique of this sort. thanks for bringing back painful memories and my failures.

    I kid.:laugh:

    I do like the album cover and I think what you had to say about it makes me appreciate it even more.
  6. sharedon

    sharedon Forum Zonophone

    Well, I thought the fan montage does go with the lyrics: like we were all in showbiz, too. Everybody’s a star as the other song goes!
  7. donstemple

    donstemple Member of the Club

    Maplewood, NJ
    There was likely a Norman in the audience!
    sharedon, markelis, Fortuleo and 4 others like this.
  8. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member


    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Salem, MA

  10. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    I suppose. But for me, it just looks like a home movie badly put together.
  11. Martyj

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

    Maryland, USA
    Art direction/design as been my primary—though not exclusive—profession for the past 32 years.
  12. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    You Really Got Me.

    live, stereo mix, recorded 6 Mar, 1979 at Lowell Memorial Auditorium, Lowell, Massachusetts

    The album version was recorded about six months before the video version, in Massachusetts.

    As has been suggested through the thread..... In the US Van Halen had released You Really Got Me as their first single in January of 1978.... How strong are Kinks songs considered, for a band generally left in the b team of the rock echelon, that in the late seventies Van Halen and The Pretenders opened their career representation with Kinks songs, as their debut singles....
    and we get to The Jam at the end of this set releasing David Watts as their fifth single...

    To some degree it is hard to argue that The Kinks were retaking their crown as the originators of this kind of rock. That's why I have a hard time seeing the Arista years as Arena Rock or any other term generally used as a pejorative, because the Kinks started this ball rolling. It should really be called Kinks Rock and given the praise deserving of such a bold step forward in rock music... but like everything Kinks it seems to be chronically undervalued ....

    Anyway, here we open with Dave rolling off some great guitar. We open with some growling, grinding chord work, followed by some beautiful rock lead guitar, and this drops into a devastatingly tight punchy rock, on par with any of the rock, hard rock bands of the era. It is still 100% Kinks, and I know that folks miss the whimsical, reflective Kinkiness of the 66-71, but just as on The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society we had the band explore mainly that reflective whimsy, on Low Budget and the subsequent live album the band explored the grinding rock that they brought into existence with this belter of a song.
    To some degree I understand how folks after this point in time may be somewhat disheartened that the band was going to be forever this band, and not the one prior, but in reality the band became a hybrid that was in and of its time through the eighties..... but here, the band were justifiably showing who the boss was, and here in this performance they stake that claim with honours.

    We have had most of the faces the Kinks produced over the course of this album, except perhaps the music hall, and Broadway version of the band, but whether rightly or wrongly those two styles weren't really going to fly in 1979, and had the band continued on with those, there is every chance a lot of us wouldn't be here talking about the band now.... and it is probably fair to say that they had already explored those styles more than any other rock band has in the modern history of rock music ...
    But on this album we have had the pop side of the Kinks, the beautiful balladeers, the thoughtful challengers, the Kwirky kommandos, and the rock pigs that set off the first shot in the war against mediocrity.....

    The album version is 100% pure dynamite. The band are hard rock perfection, and that's what this song is, and was always supposed to be.
    The video version is where we get the idiot with the flowers? muting Dave's strings as he goes down for the lead break, at about 1:30.
    The thing is both of those things are very rock. Dave just pushes the guys hand away in the video, stands up and gets back into it. It is not the musical high of the show, but it could be among the rock highlights of the show....

    I'm not sure what else needs to be said about You Really Got Me live in 1979/80, but it showed the rock music world that The Kinks were not some fossils that used to be a rock band, and had wandered off into a realm that a lot of the rock world pours condescension on.... the Kinks were the real deal, and they had all the musical bases covered, and it was this resilient and loud F U to the rock music world that lifted them out of the back page footnotes, and back on the front page where they belonged....

    As Rolling stone magazine wrote in 1980 while considering this album
    "One for the Road — a cleaned-up, carefully sequenced culling of live Kinks performances from six American cities and Zurich, Switzerland — succeeds in sounding like a single night’s work. It argues that experience can keep you alive in the trenches — as long as you keep moving. Using few overdubs and a minimum of talky transitions between cuts, the Kinks show their smarts by being very straightforward.

    Ray Davies could be pretty fashionable now, but it’d be the kind of fashionableness he excoriates here in “Prince of the Punks.” He’s not the sort who’d mention that artists as au courant as the Pretenders (“Stop Your Sobbing”), the Jam (“David Watts”) and David Bowie (“Where Have All the Good Times Gone”) have all covered compositions that the Kinks reclaim on this double LP. Why bother, when you’ve already begun the album by pinning everybody’s ears back with 103 seconds of string-popping instrumental intensity known the world over as “You Really Got Me”?"
    One for the Road

    The Kings reclaim their crown, and deservedly so. This album was received so well because it is a great live album, from a great live rock band, and no amount of revisionism can change that.

  13. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

  14. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter


    live, stereo mix, recorded (probably) 11 Nov, 1979 at (probably) Volkshaus, Zürich, Switzerland

    Again we get a track from the Switzerland show... it sure would be nice to have a copy of this complete show...

    As is often the case, this is a bit quicker than the studio version, but aside from that, it's pretty much the same, and certainly fits in with the rest of the tracks here very comfortably.

    On the video version, we have pretty much the same thing. Obviously the band and the crowd were having a great time. After having his strings interfered with on the previous track, Dave goes to the end of his little run and does a little have crouch and then stands back up... probably knowing they were being filmed and not wanting a repeat performance.

    To some degree the fact that these two versions are so similar suggests that the differences, particularly in the Switzerland show to the dvd, being quite close together, are about the band just organically jamming on tracks here and there, which is a very healthy sign for any live band. The comfort with which they modify some of these tracks in these live shows, is a witness to just how solid the band were in concert at this point in time, which again shows why it was such a perfect idea to make this live album .... which ends up being a perfect live album.

    Victoria has a big history with the band, and has been covered by many other artists - The Fall, Sonic Youth, Cracker, The Melvins .. It's one of those songs that may not have been a hit single, but is directly recognised as The Kinks such is the bond between band and music.

    Not much to describe or chat about here, just another great track from this great album.

  15. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

  16. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    David Watts.

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

    This song was covered by the Jam (the English band) the year prior as the lead single for their third album All Mod Cons.

    The Kinks version is fairly similar in tempo to The Jam version, and both are just a little quicker than the original Kinks version.
    Even at this quicker tempo the band manages to capture that beautiful stuttering rhythm that is a huge draw with this song.

    Ray manages to deliver the vocal with his full quota of personality infusion.
    The backing vocals are spot on, and we end up with a suitably brilliant ending, to a suitably brilliant album.

    I don't have too much to say about this one really.
    It closes out the show/album well and at the end we get Ray singing "Dayo, Daylight come and we gotta go home", and this beautiful rock journey is complete.

  17. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    One For The Road.

    I know this version of the band isn't everyone's favourite, and I know this album doesn't encapsulate everything that the band was ... but I'm not altogether sure that any one album can encapsulate the entirety of what The Kinks were, and the many angles and directions they came at their music from.

    One can debate the best albums and favourite time periods and all of that stuff until the cows come home, but it ends up being a little futile and serves little purpose. The fact of the matter for me is, I wouldn't want to be without any of the Kinks material from their raw opening bursts and failed first two singles all the way to the very last echo of their final moments, but this album was my connection point to the band. It was my first album of theirs, and for many years I didn't think I needed another. I was young and had big old eyes, and a very small wallet.
    Another thing is, particularly when you're young, you tend to believe the stats and the talking heads, and the band never really got much props ... anywhere I was looking at least.
    Sure folks would talk about You Really Got Me, but that was tainted by the Page myth. Sure Lola was a big hit, and Kwirky... there were smatterings of other songs Sunny Afternoon, Waterloo Sunset (but to be honest I rarely ever heard this one played) .... the fact of the matter is, the band, for some bewildering reason, seemed to be dumped in a back room by the industry and rarely ever shown to the public.
    This gives way to the idea that they were just a dreaded sixties singles band, and really some form of "Best Of" is likely the best way to go with a band like that, and when you rarely listen to compiles, that isn't particularly appealing.....

    So, One For The Road became my Kinks album, and there are certainly arguments to be made that my fondness for this album is merely based on the fact that it is my connection point, and for a long time the only real reference to the band I had.... and I certainly wouldn't argue that this has a lot to do with my opinion on this album....
    But, by the same token, that doesn't change the initial impact that the album had, and the lasting enjoyment that it gave me. It is an album that has always been close to the player, and an album that has never failed to satisfy me.
    It is an album that has highlights, higher than many of the more touted bands of their era, and frankly it kicks some serious ass when it needs to, and is balanced by enough reflective beautiful balladry to give it the breadth of style I need, generally, when I am listening to an album or a band.....

    So to some degree it is hard to be objective about an album that you have loved for over forty years... but by the same token, just the fact that you have loved it for forty years is some indicator of its value and quality in your world......
    I mean .... I didn't get the dvd 20+ years later, at an inflated price, because I merely had a nostalgic attachment to the album. I had no idea there was a video....

    In fact, really it was the sacd releases that really brought me onboard as a big fan, who actually had some albums. I had always loved the band, because they seemed like the underdogs that the industry refused to acknowledge.... and generally they were portrayed as the also-rans of their contemporaries...
    After discovering the sacd's, and to be honest, being very disappointed that the 5.1 mixes noted on the covers, didn't exist, I went on to get the, also recent, Pye reissues.... because it seems like at the turn of the millennium or thereabouts, the Kinks contribution to the music world seemed to be being reappraised to some degree, and I felt I had been missing out, and had held off, unsure what to buy for WAY TOO LONG....

    The first sacd release I bought was.... guess what! .... One For The Road.

    Back in the day I had bought State Of Confusion, and to be honest, I liked it, but not all that much... I like it a lot more now, but it somewhat left the impression that the media of the day were right and the Kinks were just this singles band from the sixties....
    and I'm a little strange like that, I sort of accepted that One For The Road was going to be my Kinks album, and I didn't want to damage how powerful that album was/is to me by diluting it with a bunch of half assed records .....
    As we go along my damaged memory seems to remember things a little better as the zone gets widened as we go through all this....

    There's every chance that back in the eighties I wouldn't have actually liked a lot of these albums the way I do now. I would likely have thought they were kind of quaint, and interesting, but I likely wouldn't have spent the time needed to absorb them...
    And one of the main things I have noticed about this band is, rather unusually, this is a band that needs to be absorbed... cursory listens, no matter what era we talk about, just aren't going to give you the whole picture.

    To some degree... actually a large degree, this thread was all about me actually forcing myself to really listen to these albums.
    Life is a complicated pursuit, and in 2007 I got divorced, and it messed me up, because it was unexpected and I floundered like a fish on the beach for a while.
    After getting my act together, I had a bunch of money from the sale of the house and that kind of thing, and instead of being a sensible little man and doing useful things that good wholesome logical people would do, I bought a bucket load of music and musical instruments and invested myself in my first love, that had never let me down... that'd be music by the way :)
    The problem is, with so much coming in at once, it is more difficult to digest it all properly....

    The Kinks are a band that I always knew were special, but I didn't know where to start or how to go about it, and the general notion around the place was they weren't worth that effort, just get a best of and be done with it......

    So this thread kind of becomes a very late deep dive into a band I always thought was special, but it all hinged on this one album, and a small smattering of singles, that weren't on the albums, and confused the life out of an eighties kid who sort of expected the singles to be the lure to buy the albums....

    In hindsight, that all seems completely redonkulous, but it is what it is...

    I still consider this album to be among the greatest of all live albums. Going through it here with you guys hasn't altered that at all (even though we are only up to Where Have All The Good Times Gone on the thread at the moment... I haven't been able to stop myself racing forward... in large part, just to get my thoughts down for this very album, and to get my thoughts down without them being affected/effected by what will likely be a somewhat negative reaction from the fans who don't really like this era... and it is likely sanity will prevail somewhat, and I'll ease back and not be two weeks ahead of the thread for a while :) )

    The way this album was constructed was perfect. It flows, it has some short tight blasts of good time rock, it has jams that go on just long enough, it has power, it has beauty, it has great songs, enthusiastic crowds, enthusiastic performers, it has some classics that although slightly altered are not lessened..... it has everything that I would want, now, and back then, from a live album. It has been touched up, as 99% of live albums are, but it didn't have the life drained out of it...
    I'm not an audiophile guy, so to me it just sounds like a great raw, live rock album. The sound of the album has never bothered me in the slightest ... in fact I have always liked the sound of the album...

    So whether it is a nostalgia thing ... or whether it is just the perspective or a strange little guy who seems to have wandered the world, and never really found a place that particularly feels like home, even though every place feels like home.... this album is, for me, a masterpiece of rock music. That ticks every box I could apply to it.
    The versions of 20th Century Man and Celluloid Heroes on here are, for me personally, among the greatest recordings of any band I have ever heard ... and the root in my heart that there was something special about this band lays deep in those two tracks.... and this thread has revealed that there certainly is something special about this band, and it wasn't just an unscratchable itch, I just needed to apply some time to fully grasp what it was.

    Anyway, that's probably a weird rambling summary of what this album is to me... but you're all probably used to my rambling by now, and I think it is kind of apt that the summary of the album that started my journey with the band, ties all the threads together that led to this point....

    Now say nice things about the album or I'll get my cane out :)
  18. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    It’s almost too fast for them!!!! This You Really Got Me is insane, it’s like Dave’ setting a pace with his monumental riffing that the rest of the band, Ray and Mick in particular, struggle to keep up with. But a lot of the roller coaster power of this performance comes from this maddened urgency, like the song’s on a verge of a disaster that never happens. It holds together as if by miracle, which is one of the secrets of great rock’n roll. Ray’s on fire, trying to out-Mick his colleague Jagger. The middle of the song’s almost a prequel to Destroyer. Between their treatment of this and All Day and all of the Night, you can already hear the idea forming in Ray’s (brilliant) mind. I don’t know about what seems to be girls from the audience singing at some point ? I enjoy it but I can’t see where it’s coming from and it’s not on the video take, which I find a bit less frantic and more “in place”, except maybe for Dave’s solo (disturbed by that guy touching his guitar strings, at his own risk !!). Both the LP and video make for beautiful exhausting (= I mean this as a compliment) unstoppable, breathtaking versions. The following Victoria’s almost a nice mid-tempo mundane tune in contrast (nah, of course it's not), with a glorious singalong chorus. And then we get a 95 seconds David Watts, the second shortest tune after Pressure, a demented deflagration. Wow!!! Triple wow!! What I find remarkable in the one, two, three encore punch is how liberated and unleashed they look and sound. It’s like the primitive power of those three sixties perennial nuggets manages to reconcile the band with itself and its history. Despite the whole concert already being on the adrenaline high-octane side of things, the excitement level reaches new heights here. Maybe it’s the power of Encores, when the concert’s essentially over and the band can let loose and take no prisoner. Extraordinary stuff.
  19. stewedandkeefed

    stewedandkeefed Came Ashore In The Dead Of The Night

    I will try to keep my song titles straight today as I referred to "'Til The End Of The Day" as "All Day And All Of The Night" on Saturday even though that song was discussed earlier in the thread because it is on the album. I see now why I started getting a Seniors Rebate on my bank fees.

    Today's trio of songs constitute a pretty strong closing to this double live album. We have the iconic "You Really Got Me" in suitably revved-up form after being teased at the opening of the show. This band could rock. If you were at a show circa 1979-1980, I am sure this song blew the roof off the place.

    "Victoria" - one of my favourite encore inclusions in a Kinks shows. I guess a song in tribute to Queen Victoria is not very rock n roll but this band pulls it off.

    "David Watts" is obviously to some degree included because The Jam - a very popular band in England circa 1979-1980 - had covered it and had written a song, "Smithers-Jones", that owed more than a little debt to the Kinks. It makes a nice bookend with "Stop Your Sobbing".
  20. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    It’s interesting, given that this live album otherwise ignores that now-eulogised 1966-69 ‘purple patch’, that the choice was made to end the album with two songs from that era.
  21. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Three great encores - it's a pleasant surprise to see that Victoria got an airing.
  22. stewedandkeefed

    stewedandkeefed Came Ashore In The Dead Of The Night

    One For The Road was a gateway album for me with the Kinks. I was always into live music. The Guess Who's Live At The Paramount and Bob Dylan & The Band's Before The Flood were the earliest live albums I heard and they were informative because they really showed how live music was a pretty different animal than the studio. Also, I recall seeing Let It Be when it came out with my older siblings and I was bored to tears until the band went and played on the roof. One For The Road offers a cross-section of Kinks material and effectively summarizes a current Kinks show (which were typically about 20 minutes longer than this album). The Kinks were a popular road band in the U.S. then and this capitalized on that. It also drew more attention to the band for the album that followed which I thinks was a pretty strong album.
  23. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    That's one of the interesting things in hindsight to me. The album draws pretty much from every era of the band, but quite carefully.
    Sure it has a ton of Low Budget stuff on it, but that's not really surprising, given that it was the album they were touring, and ended up being their most successful album.

    It seems like if they had slotted in one or two Sleepwalker tracks then it would be slightly more balanced in a way.
    Possibly also put Rock and Roll Fantasy in there for more balance with Misfits...

    I understand fans that lean towards the sixties albums being disappointed that there wasn't more sixties stuff on here, but in 1979, the eulogized 60's albums were pretty much albums very few bought, and had been all but forgotten by everyone but big fans.
    Then we have to take into account that if they had filled it with sixties hits, or even some of the more known album tracks, the album quickly becomes nostalgia act territory, and that's pretty much the end of the band right there.

    As much as this isn't a greatest hits album, it still manages to cover a wide zone of Kinks tracks.
    It's success is almost certainly important to the next couple of albums sales, and together the late seventies and early eighties albums and the popularity they had, got many people to look deeper into the band, thereby creating the opportunity for that sixties period to be rediscovered by new fans.

    I get the feeling that to a large degree the standing of those sixties albums, in our current time period, owes a pretty big debt to the late seventies and early eighties albums getting the success they did, and the bewilderingly overlooked Kinks managed to avoid the fate of the majority of sixties acts, who weren't the Beatles or Stones.
  24. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    "You Really Got Me", "Victoria", "David Watts"

    Energetic and revved-up versions of all three songs - Mick seems to be struggling a bit on YRGM (reminding us that he wasn't the original drummer on it!)

    As with the rest of the album, it's interesting to hear these live versions, but having been through the album now I can't say that I feel tempted to go out and buy a copy. While Mark has written a fantastic piece on why he loves the album, I can't claim the same kind of heritage with it, and it's unlikely to make any impression on me at this stage. It's nothing to do with the new "hard rock" Kinks sound - I am fully on board with the next album (and beyond), but more that I just don't have much love for live albums.
  25. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    That's interesting to me too.
    It is only really since I joined the forum that I realised there are many people who just aren't very interested in live albums.

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