The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    A decade of harmony, smashed to smithereens by The Ramones.

    (The Smithereens! Haven’t thought of them in forever. Mid-90s? Late 90s?)
     
  2. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    Ha ha!

    I like The Smithereens first few albums! I thought they came up here recently, but It must have been on some other thread.
     
  3. Luckless Pedestrian

    Luckless Pedestrian Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Hampshire, USA
    I was walking around this morning, in a good mood, whistling the melody to “You were my favorite DJ” part - it struck me that it's such a simple, joyful, innocent melody, merely jumping between octaves by way of a major fifth. The melody in Better Things melody is similar, just a happy trot up the major scale; People Take Pictures of Each Other is another similar one that comes to mind ... How does Ray manage to do it, to create such simple, memorable melodies song after song? Talent and a lot of hard work I imagine!
     
  4. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I was intrigued by the radio tuning in to the song as an effect....
    The best I can do
    The Who didn't use radio dial sounds, but of course Sell Out is based on being a pirate radio station, so that seems a possible starting point....
    Though I am imagining some "music concrete" artists may have, in fact, I would think, would have used this somewhere, because it's a cool sound.

    The first song I can find that uses the radio dialing in technique is Ten Years After Aug 1971, Baby Won't You Let Me Rock And Roll You...
    Then Dec 1971 ELO Mr Radio....

    What I did find though, is it has been a very common effect, all through the seventies and onward
    With bands as disparate as The Carpenters, Kiss, Easy E, Public Enemy, and many many more, figuring it was a neat trick to put on an album
     
  5. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    Wasn't this song the first to use radio dial sounds?:

     
  6. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    It's hard to tell really. There is lots of swirling sounds and certainly some could be a radio dial effect, but they're not really tuning in to anything.
     
  7. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    They were tuning in to a Shakespeare play on BBC radio:

    King Lear Act Four, Scene 6, lines 249-259:

    Oswald: Slave, thou hast slain me. Villain, take my purse.
    If ever thou wilt thrive, bury my body
    And give the letters which you find'st about me
    To Edmund, Earl of Gloucester. Seek him out
    Upon the English party. O, untimely death!
    Death! [He dies]

    Edgar: I know thee well: a serviceable villain,
    As duteous to the vices of thy mistress
    As badness would desire.


    Gloucester: What, is he dead?


    Edgar: Sit you down, father. Rest you. [Gloucester sits.]
     
  8. Rockford & Roll

    Rockford & Roll Forum Resident

    Location:
    Midway, KY
    Well, I believe it was @palisantrancho who beat me to it on The Ramones song. That’s what “Around the Dial” triggered for me. It’s a terrific opener just like “Do You Remember Rock N’ Roll Radio”. Both songs got airplay around my hometown and I do believe this was before the FM DJs had strict playlists. Heck, they would even answer the phone, shoot the bull and talk music with if you called down to the station.
     
  9. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    If the Walrus counts, then Edgard Varese, probably gets the nod for Poeme Electronique in 1958

    Edit: Having said that though, there are a number of artists from much earlier that I'm not familiar with.

    Music is incestuous in its creation and groundbreaking, and it is extremely rare to find a true original... if there even is one
     
  10. DISKOJOE

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    Here's another early example of use of radio tuning, "She Cracked" by Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers, a version produced by Kim
    Foley:

     
  11. Geoff738

    Geoff738 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Ok, I ve said it before, I’ll say it again, Dee Dee Ramone is the most underrated songwriter in the history of rock music.

    Ok, Around the Dial. Pretty good opening track and concert opener. I looked and I do still have my tour t-shirt. And it appears I have three copies of GTPWTW, including one still sealed. And a picture disc 45 featuring Predictable and Back to Front.
     
  12. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    A real pity as there was a lot of unique and stellar radio shows.
    Sadly or perhaps fortuitously I have 2 full recorded programs of The Kinks & Jimi Hendrix.
     
  13. Marry a Carrot

    Marry a Carrot Interesting blues gets a convincing reading.

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    The only time I remember hearing "Around the Dial" on the radio was in 1997 when "adult album alternative" station KSCA played it on their last day before switching to a Spanish language format.

    The self-congratulation seemed unwarranted.
     
    Wondergirl, Ex-Fed, DISKOJOE and 7 others like this.
  14. Brian Kelly

    Brian Kelly 1964-73 rock's best decade

    GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT is a solid album that gave me a lot of what I wanted.
    "Around The Dial" was a fun uptempo opening track!
     
  15. ThereOnceWasANote

    ThereOnceWasANote Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cape May, NJ
    Those first three Smithereens albums are great!
     
  16. ThereOnceWasANote

    ThereOnceWasANote Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cape May, NJ
    Around The Dial

    Welcome to the 80s! The Kinks swinging for the fences and come up with a home run. The Beach Boys, The Ramones, AC/DC and those slashing Who chords all are touched upon at different points in the song. The Kinks flexing some hard rocking muscle that makes the rockingest moments of Low Budget some tame by comparison.

    This is the Kinks just letting loose while at the time incorporating little touches, twists and turns that add both melody to the muscle and subtly to the bluster.

    I love just about everything about this song. Dave is just on fire here and Mick Avory is relentless with the beat yet still bringing some swing.
     
  17. ThereOnceWasANote

    ThereOnceWasANote Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cape May, NJ
    Bearded, possibly hungover, Ray was a rare sight. It's not a look that lasted long much like bearded Mick J. (though he went a bit further into his beardom).
     
  18. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    That's what I like to hear! Joey was no slouch either! I recently stumbled across this amazing YouTube channel called Hardly Ramone. It's someone that plays the guitar along with Ramones albums. It's shot mid waist to make him look exactly like Johnny. He nails the playing and the sound. I highly recommend it for Ramones fans or guitarists who claim they were basic. The Ramones may appear simple, but to play like that takes tremendous skill. Try doing that for 3 minutes, let alone an hour. It's mesmerizing to watch. I still can't believe how those guys played so tight. I love them now just as much as I did when I was 15 years old. I'm a bit of a fanatic. My top ten may occasional change, but Ramones and The Kinks will always be my top two. I may not be in love with the entire Kinks output, but from 1964-1975 they were nearly flawless.
     
    SeeDubs, Wondergirl, Ex-Fed and 11 others like this.
  19. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
  20. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Give The People What They Want.

    stereo mix, recorded Jun-Aug 1980 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London

    Hey, hey, hey...
    Give the people what they want

    Well, it's been said before, the world is a stage
    A different performance with every age.
    Open the history book to any old page
    Bring on the lions and open the cage.

    Give the people what they want
    You gotta give the people what they want
    The more they get, the more they need
    And every time they get harder and harder to please

    The Roman promoters really did things right.
    They needed a show that would clearly excite.
    The attendance was sparse so they put on a fight
    Threw the Christians to the lions, it sold out every night

    Give the people what they want
    You gotta give the people what they want
    The more they get, the more they need
    And every time they get harder and harder to please

    Give 'em lots of sex, perversion and rape
    Give 'em lots of violence, and plenty to hate
    Give the people what they want
    Give the people what they want

    [Extra verse from early GTPWTW album acetate:]
    The French Revolution was a crazy scene
    All those aristocrats getting guillotined
    The promoters cleaned up, the expenses were low
    An execution costs nothing, it's a wonderful show

    Give the people what they want
    Give the people what they want
    Blow out your brains, and do it right
    Make sure it's prime time and on a Saturday night.

    The world wants a fight, peace is a bore
    Every now and then you gotta give 'em a war
    Give the people what they want
    Give the people what they want

    When Oswald shot Kennedy, he was insane
    But still we watch the re-runs again and again
    We all sit glued while the killer takes aim
    "Hey Mom, there goes a piece of the president's brain!"

    Give the people what they want
    You gotta give the people what they want
    Blow out your brains, and do it right
    Make sure it's prime time and on a Saturday night.
    You gotta give the people what they want
    You gotta give the people what they want
    Give the people what they want
    Give the people what they want
    Give the people what they want

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

    This is one of the tracks recorded earlier on.... They put this down before embarking on the One For the Road tour.

    Lyrically this is a somewhat sarcastic look at what the history human nature shows.... People have a tendency to be drawn to the horror shows and the freak shows....

    We open with a rousing Hey Hey Hey, and the way the song is set up, gives the idea of a crowd/gang hollering for blood....
    The opening verse is great, with Ray referencing the idea of all the world's a stage and suggesting every age of man is like an act in a play.
    Then he makes the valdi observation of
    "Open the history book to any old page
    Bring on the lions and open the cage."
    and sadly, no matter how one looks at it, that has been an underlying truth about the human race.

    We hit the chorus and again we get this somewhat sarcastic ensemble singing in a somewhat robotic way, Give The... People ... What They Want.
    Whether it's a picture we like the look of or not, it is a pretty straight up reflection of tyhe human race from a broad generalisation perspective.

    Ray goes on to use the Roman Empire's use of the Coliseum as murder for entertainment as an example, and it holds true...

    In the lyrics on kindakinks.net we get an extra verse that was axed, and I will look to see if there is a version around that includes it.... It uses the French Revolution as another example...

    Then Ray in his last verse uses a more recent example, with the constant reruns of JFK being shot .... I mean who here hasn't seen that innumerable times, and it is put on just about any documentary that they could possibly justify putting it on, and we're given the super slo-mo, from every angle they have.
    It is like the news when they have had something horrific happen. We always get the "some scenes in this story could be disturbing" so we're going to show you all the ones we can get away with, because we figure that you guys are going to love this.....

    Musically we open with a pretty quick snare roll from Mick and the guys chanting Hey Hey Hey, and it ends with the guitar punctuating the space.
    We get the title chanted in that robotic mob mentality vocal.
    then we launch into the song proper.

    I'm guessing we're going to get the punk reference for this, but, although I suppose it could be looked at that way, this is more in the vain of hard rock to me.... and the mockery that the song has in the way it is delivered is pretty intense.

    Ray again delivers the vocal in a very convincing way... it is almost like he is the angry ringmaster directing the people through the history he is putting forth.
    The balance between being an angry vocal and a sarcastic vocal is really well done.

    After each of Ray's pronouncements we get the robotic crowd chanting give the people what they want, and the relentless guitar keeps driving along, like the blood lust of the crowd sitting back taking it all in, as long as they aren't the recipients.

    Ray again puts a lot of personality into the vocal, and his delivery has so many layers and tones and textures.

    About halfway through we get this bridge, of a sort, that will almost certainly be referred to as Beach Boy-like, and it comes after a vocal link that works in a crescendo-like way
    Give 'em lots of sex, perversion and rape
    Give 'em lots of violence, and plenty to hate
    Give the people what they want
    Give the people what they want
    It is placed over an ascending musical pattern that accentuates that building lust ...
    then it breaks, again, sarcastically into the Beach Boy-like ooo's.... in the background we get an overlay of crowds cheering, that adds to the somewhat disturbing nature of the song.
    With a quick time Give the People What They Want thrown in twice

    Dave throws in a really nice short sharp lead break, and we're back to the Hey Hey Hey.....

    We get to the last Kennedy verse, and it goes along as prior, but there is this pause....
    "While the killer takes aim" the drums pump and a lone guitar ascends the scale in an attempt to create that pregnant pause and drama, and then "Hey Ma...." and Dave rocks out his Chuck Berry kit bag. It is a nice lead.

    Then we get Ray delivering this scathingly sarcastic delivery of the title again.
    We get the title chanted, and it is really delivered in a way that should probably offend our sensibilities... there is a tone of brain injured idiots, in drone mode.....

    We get some power chords and slam dunk finish, almost as if the song is disgusted at itself and can't go on anymore.....

    This may not be my favourite Kinks song, but man.... this is a scathing spit in the face of human nature, and it is carried out beautifully.
    I honestly don't know what anyone is going to think of this one, but for me, this reinforces that Ray is still in the game..... Where a song like Waterloo Sunset somewhat caresses our hearts and minds with its subtle beauty and reflective observations, Give The People What They Want holds up this mirror of ugliness, and dares you to look... but of course we will, because you have to Give the People What they Want....

    For me, Around the Dial introduces us into the album, and we see that the DJ appears to be run off, even though he is/was what the people wanted, the most popular DJ, who wasn't corruptible via payola.... but this song here introduces, or seems to introduce the theme of the album, and from here on it is dark territory for a Kinks record really.... and I have no problem with that.

    This is a great track, but I think it should be an uncomfortable track.
    With Low Budget we had Ray giving us observations that were somewhat lighthearted, with self deprecating lyrics and humour, here we have more of a serious angle, and any humour is coming at us via scathing sarcasm and self examination required...
    I guess this isn't going to work for everyone, but I have no problem being poked with a stick when it is warranted.

     
  21. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

  22. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    With The Extra Verse

     
  23. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Around The Dial

    Listened a half dozen times over 2 days and not sure what to say about this track.
    Some of the opening lines & later backing vocals remind me of early 70's David Bowie perhaps John, I'm Only Dancing?
    Lyrics aside I didn't find this ovely Kinky meaning it wasn't a stretch to imagine other artists of the time writing and recording this.
    Given time I may be more positive but to be fair I don't mind this though it wouldn't trouble a playlist if I still made them.
     
  24. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    Preferable live!
     
  25. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    What I find kind of interesting is that when was song was recorded in 1980, the famed Zapruder film wasn't that over-exposed, having only been widely seen by the American public when it was played on Good Night America in 1975, (see below) just 5 years previously and having largely been kept under wraps from the public in the intervening 12 years. Also, I'm not sure of the timeline, but I don't think frame by frame analysis's and conspiracy theories regarding the film, though definitely around were as widespread in the collective consciousness by this point. However in this lyric, Ray seems to (correctly) as you say predict the attrition of this shocking and historical film into mere entertainment through mass media exposure and familiarly.

     

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