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 had some free money on am. , so the patriot in me just ordered those Men At Work albums lol.... it's a strange world
  2. ThereOnceWasANote

    ThereOnceWasANote Forum Resident

    Cape May, NJ
    Great song.
  3. ThereOnceWasANote

    ThereOnceWasANote Forum Resident

    Cape May, NJ
    For Those About To Rock, which I suppose is really more of a 1982 album since it was released very late Nov. I had Stones, Rush, and Foreigner. I sort of looked down on Tattoo You at the time since aside from Neighbors and Heaven it was all songs from previous album sessions. Later those two songs were also revealed to be outtakes as well. Aside from Worried About You. I really couldn't get into side 2 when I was 15. In '81 of those albums Moving Pictures was my favorite. I'm surprised Dirty Deeds didn't make the top 10. It's stateside debut was huge and the title track was all over the radio that summer.
  4. ThereOnceWasANote

    ThereOnceWasANote Forum Resident

    Cape May, NJ
    I never owned any of their albums but I think their music has aged well.
  5. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Side 2 of Tattoo You is a hidden gem in the Stones catalogue. Five consecutive slow songs - some first recorded by the band in the early 70s - but they are all great and flow really well together. Listen to side 2 late in the evening with a glass of something- can’t go wrong.
  6. ThereOnceWasANote

    ThereOnceWasANote Forum Resident

    Cape May, NJ
    Midnight Oil found success here later too, as did Crowded House, the Church, the Divinyls, and as for INXS they were always pretty popular and downright huge here for a couple of years.
  7. ThereOnceWasANote

    ThereOnceWasANote Forum Resident

    Cape May, NJ
    Oh, don't get me wrong I grew to appreciate the charms of side 2. I guess Tattoo You side one you could say is the continuation of the SG and ER sound while side 2 is more like the continued exploration of a B&B style.
  8. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    I came across this clip a few weeks ago and almost posted it. Since Men At Work have now entered the conversation, I feel it is appropriate. A pretty sweet rendition of a song that is not easy to cover.

    Colin Hay- Waterloo Sunset

    Last edited: May 8, 2022
  9. donstemple

    donstemple Member of the Club

    Maplewood, NJ
    Give the People What They Want

    First listened to this album within the past 2 weeks. Prior to that, the only song I knew of was Destroyer, and I don’t even think I ever heard the whole song. Mainly out of curiosity because I read about the repurposed riff. But we will get to that, and what we think that says about the band at this point in time.

    Now, I’m still not sold on that one being a great song… but I have found several other great songs on this album. A few of them have the kind of melodies that I feel like I have always known, even though I *know* this is the first time hearing them. There are some varied styles, varied Ray voices, and a lot of what makes the Kinks so unique (uneak? it is difficult to make that a k word). Some of the lyrics are dark, but there is a sense of dark humor in here too. A few middle of the road songs, perhaps, but that might just be because I haven’t spent enough time with them.

    So, I don’t have the long history with this one like some of you do. Really looking forward to the song by song here. This has potential to slot above a few other of the Arista albums we have covered so far!
    Last edited: May 8, 2022
  10. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    By all accounts Cities was recorded in 1986: Avorys presence is due to the fact that he still worked at Konk in some kind of board/admin capacity even after he left the group, and when Dave wanted to record the demo for RNRC there and then Avory was the nearest drummer to hand (literally upstairs in the office) so he grabbed him and got him to lay down the beat: what was initially intended as the demo ended up becoming the basic of the released track. It is an odd irony of course that after all their history Dave would employ Mick on one of his own songs post his time in the band, but it was a circumstantial and pragmatic occasion rather than being borne of any sentiment.
  11. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Around The Dial.

    stereo mix, recorded May-Jun 1981 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London

    Radios of the world are tuning in tonight,
    Are you on the dial, are you tuned in right?
    One of our D.J.'s is missing.
    Are you listening?
    Are you listening to me?
    Can you hear me?
    Can you hear me clearly?
    Around the dial.

    I've been around the dial so many times,
    But you're not there.
    Somebody tells me that you've been taken off the air.
    Well, you were my favorite D.J.,
    Since I can't remember when.
    You always played the best records,
    You never followed any trend.
    F.M., A.M. where are you?
    You gotta be out there somewhere on the dial.
    On the dial.

    (Are you ready) We're going 'round the dial,
    (Are you listening) Around the dial,
    (Are you tuned in) Around the dial,
    (Are you searchin') Around the dial.
    F.M., A.M. where are you?
    You gotta be out there somewhere on the dial.
    On the dial.

    Where did you go Mr. D.J.?
    Did they take you off the air?
    Was it something that you said to the corporation guys upstairs?
    It wasn't the pressure,
    You never sounded down.
    It couldn't be the ratings,
    You had the best in town.
    Somehow I'm gonna find ya, track you down.
    Gonna keep on searchin',
    Around and around and 'round and 'round...

    (They're searchin') Around the dial,
    (They're listenin') Around the dial,
    (Poor station) The best in town,
    (Poor D.J.) Who never let us down.
    While the critics kept on knocking you,
    You just kept on rocking around the dial.
    Around the dial.

    I've been searchin' for you on my radio.
    This time your station really must have gone underground
    Somebody said you had a minor nervous breakdown.
    Was it something that you heard,
    Or something that you saw,
    That made you lose your mind,
    Did you lose control.
    Did you step out of line?
    If you're there, give us a sign.

    I can't believe that you've been taken off the air.
    Think I'll sell my radio now that you're not there.
    You never gave in to fashion,
    You never followed any trends,
    All the record bums tried to hack you up,
    But you were honest to the end.
    Gonna keep my radio on,
    'Till I know just what went wrong.
    The answers out there somewhere on the dial.
    On the dial.

    Can you hear me (around the dial)
    Are you listenin' (around the dial)
    Are you out there (around the dial)
    Can you hear me?
    Around the dial

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

    This is a great way to open up the album ...

    We get the sound of an old style radio tuning in and we get a couple of bits and bobs from other stations and then the first chord comes in and it enters beautifully.

    The first thing that strikes me is the raw garage type sound.
    The drums are a raw earthy smack, and the guitar sounds more overdriven than distorted... though I am no kind of specialist on these things.
    It sounds like they are running a hot signal on the guitar, unless that's just the tone of the amp.
    There is a beautiful thrashy abandon about the way this song comes in, and it sounds like the band playing live in a small to medium sized room with a moderate warm natural reverb... or something like that.

    For a context here ... try and remember when Dj's meant something to you. I was never a huge radio person, but when I found a station or a DJ I connected with, it was a beautiful thing.
    When I first started following music as a prospective buyer I started listening to a station in Perth called 96FM, and they were still playing new music back then... 80/81, but over the course of the week they would have specialised sections.
    The Side Show, would play a classic album side
    The Live Concert Hour, pretty self explanatory really
    The Rock Archives spent however long the show was digging into one artist and playing tracks from them... It was probably an hour....
    I discovered an awful lot of music and bands I was unaware of via these particular shows. Old and new. The first time I heard Led Zep, The Doors, U2 and many many others was via these shows, and it was all new to me, so it was special to me, and like a faucet to the past I had missed being too young.
    Meanwhile during the day I would hear lots of new songs from new and old bands.
    Sadly during the eighties radio in general would morph into the heavy rotation hits only, new and of the past... over and over and over.... It took me something like twenty years of abstinence from some of my favourite eighties albums to recover enough to enjoy them again.... and that's why I don't listen to the radio anymore, and haven't for a couple of decades at least

    So I understand where Ray is coming from here... whether this is a specific DJ, or the generalised notion of a freewheeling DJ that would play something randomly that they thought folks should hear.

    The song starts like an emergency alert
    Are you tuned in right?
    One of our DJ's is missing!
    Then the almost desperate Are You Listening?... Are You Listening? .. CanYou Hear Me?... Can You Hear Me Clearly?
    This is important!

    So we dial in, get the urgent missing DJ message and then kick into double time.
    Ive been searching around the dial on AM and FM and I can't find you anywhere.
    This DJ with integrity who was beyond manipulation, and just played what he thought were great songs regardless of current trends.

    Someone says they took you off the air!
    Did you say something to the suits upstairs that they didn't like?
    I know it wasn't pressure or ratings, because you were cool as a cucumber and the most popular DJ in town.

    There are some subtle and not so subtle implications here, that the critics were bagging this guy, and whereas early on we are told he never seemed to feel the pressure, later we speculate that he may have had a nervous breakdown due to outside forces trying to force playlists upon them?

    There are little insinuations that this may have been a pirate radio station, with the line
    "This time your station must have really gone underground"

    The thing is, there isn't anywhere I can seem to find any info as to who or what we might be looking at here.
    Apparently pirate radio flourished in the early eighties when FM transmitters became more affordable, and able to broadcast to a forty miole radius from a 15 story building.
    I couldn't find anything about specific DJ's....

    Perhaps this is another one of Ray's premonition songs about where radio was heading. With the corporate body from most stations hedging closer and closer to the tired boring format that seems to have been in existence for at least the last thirty years.

    In Oz I did listen to Triple J or JJJ in the nineties and again it was fresh and alive with new sounds. It was functioning somewhat independently, playing alternative music for the most part, and local bands also, but I ended up
    "Think I'll sell my radio now that you're not there."
    Not that I sold my radio, I just never bothered to wire up an aerial again lol.

    To some extent this is taking the overwhelming of the village green to the next level. Now they have locked our music in a corporate box as well. In not too much longer we will literally be drones of the state .....

    Anyway, whatever the specifics, this has an urgency and a passion, and perhaps that doesn't connect with others, but it connects with me... When it comes to music the line "out of my cold dead hands" actually has significance to me.

    For me musically this is a fireball of a song....
    We have Ray talking and singing, narrating and pleading.
    We have Dave grinding like a metal worker behind the clock, and also sticking nice runs in appropriate spots.
    Mick is just slamming it out.
    The bass is solid and holds the spine in place.
    We get some great backing vocals that fill out the sound, and accentuate the melodies.

    The first verse has a slow build in dynamics and the chord progression.
    Dave starts off chunking with a palm mute, and we get a couple of nice little licks in there, and it builds up into the call and response chorus, and the main and backing vocals work perfectly together.

    the second verse holds onto the crunchy chord progression while Ray predominantly tells us his perspective, with really good rhythmic delivery, and some of Ray's patented little stylistic delivery Kwirks, and we roll into a somewhat Beach Boys-esque backing vocal that sort of tips the hat to Chuck Berry as well with the round and round.

    We get the chorus and then a wonderful 180 degree turn for the bridge that turns the melody around and around .... Then we get this descending pattern that almost makes me think of Macarthur Park... and we roll back into verse, and Ray's determination to find his DJ.

    This probably doesn't qualify as a Klassic Kinks track I guess, but it is a wonderful way to open this album.... and I personally really like it a lot.

    To me, we have something different again. this doesn't sound like any of the last three studio albums, and to me, the style is very different again. Although it may come from that place, this wouldn't fit in with the Low Budget tracks, in my mind..... and it isn't just the sound, it is the musical delivery and style that seems quite different to me.

    Anyway, for me, a top class opener.

  12. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Live in 1982 ... The Rockpalast recording ... I hope this gets released at some point.

  13. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    The searching the radio intro is grea! The song was clearly written to be played live, but I like the studio version just fine. A good album opener.
  14. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    "Around The Dial"

    A bit of random dial-surfing, then in come the guitars and drums to blast away the cobwebs. There is a real crunch about Mick's drums during the opening section. This then gives way to a punky/surf-rock high-octane thrash. You can feel the electric tingle, especially during the ascending chord sequence part of the verse.

    There are plenty of subjects about which Ray has written multiple songs, but as far as I know this is his only song about a missing DJ, or even radio in general. It's quite long - therein lies the issue. For such a narrow subject matter there are a lot of lyrics and a lot of sections (we will see this again in "The Video Shop"). You're almost tempted to implore Ray to save a few of these transitions for later songs, and it feels like he's repeating himself lyrically by the end.

    Nevertheless it's a very strong opener that whets your appetite for what's coming next.
  15. Martyj

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

    Maryland, USA
    David Watts. Here Comes Yet Another Day. Do It Again. Some Kinks tracks I just can’t imagine being used anywhere else on an album than as the opener. I think it sets a tone for the entire disc. Sequencing it anywhere else would somehow make it a lesser track.

    “Around The Dial” is The Kink’s Arista ‘arena’ sound at its very best. There’s a lot of moving parts here, differing hooks that tease that the melody might head one way or another but keeps moving forward. This sort of fast moving, up tempo Cheap Trick-esque power-pop-meets-heavy-rock type thing feels more like a natural fit for the band than anything off Low Budget. Great start to GTPWTW.
  16. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    You start like a lost arena Kink Floyd The Wall attack, then comes a kunk rock guitar romp, before they settle for a robust garage-pub-power-pop-rock rehearsal sound (it does sound like a live studio take). The band is raw and tight, and the hooks are… everywhere. CAN YOU HEAR ME ? Around the di-ya-ya-ya-ya-yal… the vocal call and responses, the Beach Boys round round round interlude, coming out of nowhere and reaching for the sky… and even an unexpected Moneygoround (with a Bowie twist) sounding bridge, “was it something that you saw” that comes and goes like a mirage. Structurally, I find it stunning, seemingly effortless but incredibly precise… in a paradoxically loose kind of way. That’s what the band will sound like from now on, expert craftsmen going through their repertoire like it’s a tour rehearsal and they can’t wait to wrap it up and go have a pint at the nearby pub. But probably with other people… You can feel the urgency, the impatience, the musical tightness that also comes from the unwillingness to spend too much time together. Let's get it over with! Yes, paradox… I don’t know if during these sessions Dave was doing his guitar parts after Ray and the others had put down the basic tracks, but it certainly doesn’t sound that way at all. This is tremendously exciting, breakneck, aggressive and confrontational rock’n roll. And no shouty Ray in sight, he sings good, strong, accent worn on his sleeve, in this new matured voice that will become Ray Davies for the next… 40 years or so. Anyway, this is a fantastic opener, not only of this new record, but of a new decade and a new career phase. I don’t even know if it’s 100% good or not… but it’s damn great.
  17. stewedandkeefed

    stewedandkeefed Came Ashore In The Dead Of The Night

    I always enjoyed "Around The Dial" as an album and concert opener. I think this is a song specifically aimed at the American audience where major markets always had a rock n roll station with DJs that were popular. This did not really apply in England as the BBC dominated and the only DJ that had any sort of street cred was John Peel who pretty well played whatever he wanted. I like the way the band is playing on this song. Sure it is pretty conventional arena rock but it has enough kwirks to keep it interesting.
  18. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Wait, you asked Ray Davies to sign not 1 but a whole bunch of Kinks albums?
    N.b. Did you accost him at his hotel?
  19. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Green Day's lift from 'Picture Book' on their hit 'Warning' is well documented.

    Slightly less often cited but still noted is their borrowing of the Do It Again/She's Got Everything riff on 'Walking Contradiction'.

    What I've never seen noted anywhere (I guess cos it's an obscure LP only cut as opposed to a single) but has always struck me is the OTHER Green Day/Kinks debt, on their 1997 song 'Uptight': check out the melody of the 'perfect picture of bad health' section at about 30 seconds in and see if you agree with me that it's a blatant nabbing of the melody of 'FM, AM where are you' bit about 1.30 into 'Around The Dial'!

  20. fspringer

    fspringer Forum Resident

    New York City
    Around the Dial: "By killing the ... he has become a hero in the Muslim world." Even now, that snippet sticks with me at the start of the song. It was meant as a stray bit from an imaginary newscast, but there's something really off-kilter about the line. There was an assassination attempt on The Pope right around then (Google tells me May of 1981, album came out in August), so the snippet formed some odd connection to that incident.

    Earlier I made the comparison to the band possibly hearing something like Van Halen covering "You Really Got Me" and recognizing this facet of their sound could be explored more heavily. The album starts off this way, swinging hard. This was another of those albums previewed on FM radio just before its release, and I recall being excited as hell when I heard this, even with the station call letters assiduously stamped on every 30 seconds of the song! The Kinks had done hard songs many times before, but something about the way this sounded was more modern. Yet, the background vocals and lyrics were something you'd rarely or never hear on a hard rock or metal song.

    I can also entertain the cynical side of a song like this, too. Let's gear a song towards the importance of radio DJ's so they'll be more inclined to play the song on the radio, coupled with this newer, teen-friendly sound they established on Low Budget. But it gave the album a rousing start.

    P.S. Also wanted to mention when The Replacements came out with their college radio tribute "Left of the Dial" a few years later, I couldn't help but think about this song, too.
  21. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident


    Completely agree: this is a big part of why I prefer the early 80s albums to the late 70s ones. There just seems something more quintessentially Kinksian about them, like they'd finally learned how to combine contemporary rock with their singular kind of pop-rocking essence. I know many don't and won't agree but it's always the way they've sounded to me.
    Last edited: May 9, 2022
  22. pyrrhicvictory

    pyrrhicvictory Forum Resident

    Around the Dial

    ‘Had he managed to kill the Pope, he’d become a hero in the Moslem world.’ This was the full news-radio opening, and before Dave’s power chords even had a chance to subside, the suits were miffed. Today, pronouncing it as Mos-Lem is derogatory and isn’t used any longer. Mus-lim is the acceptable usage. This wasn’t the issue for the corporation guy ‘s upstairs though, they just wanted the Pope left out of matters, so Ray conceded and trimmed the announcers lines.
    The scrolling around the dial is incorporated into the mix quite well by Ray and it pokes its head above the din at times throughout the song. The song itself is an effective opener, for an album or a concert. It has a few things going for it. The sub Beach Boys harmonies, for one. A perverse thing to throw onto the first track of a heavy rock album, but hey, it is the Kinks. Mick’s not struggling anymore, he’s holding things down and is recorded better here and over the entire album than the last few. Also, the repeating guitar outro that hiccups at the end is memorable.
    Here’s the downside; the lazy lyrics. This is one more of Ray’s ‘that’ll do’ lyric approach, the type that will crop up with disturbing frequency throughout the eighties and beyond. This is pure pandering to radio programmers. Nothing here would lead you to believe this is about a real person; no intimate detail, nada. I’ve heard Ray claim it’s about a DJ in Buffalo, tellingly a name he can’t recall, but a neat way to placate an interviewer. ‘Think I’ll sell my radio’ runs into ‘Gonna keep my radio on’ seconds later. Make up your mind, Raymond. ‘Poor station/best in town, oy!
    Of course, when I was twelve, none of this mattered.
    Well, I’m going for a run, and maybe listen to Left of the Dial as a replacement!
  23. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Now I need to pay more attention to the intro lol

    It would be interesting to hear the long version we heard about earlier.
    Last edited: May 9, 2022
  24. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    I'm pretty sure (according to the relevant chapter in the 1984 John Savage Kinks biography I re read in prep for this discussion) that track 3 'Killer Eyes' was directly inspired by this incident (even though the assassination attempt was not successful) so surely the inclusion of this particular radio snippet was not an accident?

    Having said the above, until reading your post and @pyrrhicvictory 's in the last minute or so I'd never actually realised that's what the radio report was saying!
    Last edited: May 9, 2022
  25. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Around the Dial
    There's nothing deep or sophisticated about this song but I find it's an enjoyable and energetic toe-tapper. In style it reminds me of Dire Straits' Twisting by the Pool. I'm pretty sure they opened with this when I saw them live - indicating it acted as a good warm-up for both band and audience. A great start to the album.
    Edit: I agree with @pyrrhicvictory that the lyrics are lazy - hence my Twisting by the Pool comparison.
    Last edited: May 9, 2022

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