The Kinks post -1970. Classic or Dud + Search and Destroy

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Here I'm not so sure. I've only got the fab Muswell Hillbillies + some BBC sessions tracks from this period. What's good, what's bad, what went wrong?

Dr. C, Saturday, 15 December 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

I don't know what went wrong, but Come Dancing is a crappy little song. It's kinda like in the 80s when all these bands like Genesis and Jefferson Airplane came back with the most crappily vapid music ever made. I don't know how or why that happens.

Nude Spock, Saturday, 15 December 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Come Dancing is great. I like Lola, and maybe even Apeman. That's about all I know. The LP from c.1989, I remember that; it was sadly not that great.

the pinefox, Saturday, 15 December 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Yesh, that Lola vs. Powerman... album is the last great album they put out, for my money, anyway. That's right around my favorite period, the last 3 or 4 years leading up to 1970.

Nude Spock, Saturday, 15 December 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

I think the well just went dry. By many accounts Ray Davies' ego headed skyward and he pumped out about 37 concept albums/rock operas in a row in the 70s. I've been slow about hearding post- Everybody's in Showbiz Kinks', but the Soap Opera LP is pretty damn dull. Schoolboys in Disgrace is less boring and even has some good songs, but the glory days were gone.

Some good stuff: "Wish I Could Fly Like Superman", "Rock & Roll Fantasy". "Prince of Punks", which I have as the b-side of my "Father Christmas" 45. I like 70's punk, but that song - which amounts to a veteran rocker spittin' in the eye of the punk movement - has a good melody and fun venomous lyrics ("He think he looks cool but his act is dated/ He acts working class but it's all baloney/ He's really middle class and he's just a phony"). And two very late era songs that I like a lot are "Lost and Found" and "The War is Over". I have them on some UK CD compilation. They're slick 80's productions for sure, but the melodies have some of the classic spark, I think.

Oliver, Saturday, 15 December 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

I love Schoolboys in Disgrace, particularly "No More Looking Back'. It was the first Kinks album I bought outside of the Kink Kronikles, so that might be coloring my perception of this record a bit. I like Soap Opera, as well, though its good-natured music hall/radio play vibe is a bit wearing at times and the band doesn't sound as good. Wish I was more familiar with Preservation Acts I and II, I seem to remember them as being a bit muddy sounding with a lot of filler. Oh, the Percy soundtrack has "God's Children", a very pretty song with weird conservative, moralistic lyrics. I don't know if Ray was writing in the voice of a character from the movie for that one, seems likely.

Destroy most everything from the arena era (his oil crisis song "Gallon of Gas"-gimme a break!) to the present day, though Ray did have a minor comeback on Give the People What They Want with the gorgeous and creepy pedophile ballad "Art Lover" and the just plain gorgeous "Better Things". And I think "Come Dancing" is a swell song and a great video. Also search: "Don't Forget to Dance", "Juke Box Music", "Misfits" and "Father Christmas" (they never play this on the radio during the holidays anymore, I wonder if they finally listened to the lyrics?).

I haven't heard anything from the last three Kinks albums or any Ray solo work, sorry.

Arthur, Saturday, 15 December 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

I've said it before, but for the 'official' thread I'll say again - "Low Budget" is excellent, as is the live album which followed it, "One For The Road".

Jeff W, Monday, 17 December 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Oh, I forgot Lola vs The Powerman was from 1970. I have that as well - I include it in the 'great years', even though there are signs of decline - too many songs about lawyers and the music biz, never a good idea. This Time Tomorrow is beautiful, Apeman is funny and touching, and mark s was OTM with comments about Lola.

Dr. C, Monday, 17 December 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

All confidence gone, fulfilling their own selfprohecied irrelevance - the seventies Kinks are too tragic to listen to. Knowing how awry things went in the 70's makes the selfdoubt of Ray's 60's lyrics all the more poignant, but I don't have to wallow in it with him. This stuff is excrutiatingly horrible.

fritz, Monday, 17 December 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

A lot of people think the Kinks were in decline during the 70's, but I read in a few places how great "Muswell Hillbilies", so I found a copy. Aside from a few "pleasant" moments, I found it to be very boring. Songs just meander around, and nothing's memorable. Maybe I just dont' like the Kinks that much, although I really want to. The 60's records I have by them are much better. I do kind of want to get "Low Budget", though.

Sean, Monday, 17 December 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

It's been a long time since I last heard it , but I remember the song "Celluloid Heroes" being almost as good as the best of the Sixties material.

Mark Dixon, Monday, 17 December 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

It is, Mark. I have the BBC version.

Dr. C, Monday, 17 December 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

No love for Give The People What They Want? I like that record -- some good classic rock.

Mark, Monday, 17 December 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

if i had to describe ray davies in a word, ok, i couldn't. but the first word that comes to mind is "storyteller". for some reason, some of his lyrics are, to me, like rather bittersweet stories, and i think that the late works are even more so like this. two of my favourite kinks songs are from the late era: "don't forget to dance" and "lost and found"... i think mr. davies is singing about what was, and what might have been... and somehow, it sounds sadder as i (we) grow older.looking at the past is always a melancholic process, and in my opinion ray davies conveys this feeling very, very well.

(i haven't posted here in quite a long time. i never did post much, come to think about it, but i've always enjoyed reading the board. it's nice to be back).

cecilia, Monday, 17 December 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

one year passes...
i vote for "Father Christmas", and "Come Dancing" is such a happy little tune.

still, how odd was it that they made it back onto AOR stations in the early 90's with a song about them trying not kill each other?

Kingfish (Kingfish), Monday, 21 July 2003 14:45 (eighteen years ago) link

lotsa great stuff from this era. don't be a tool.

Horace Mann (Horace Mann), Monday, 21 July 2003 14:52 (eighteen years ago) link

who's being a tool? i'm not commenting on the quality of the music they were putting out then, fine as it was. It just struck me as odd that they got into american rock radio then, being the state that it was in during the early 90's.

Kingfish (Kingfish), Monday, 21 July 2003 14:59 (eighteen years ago) link

What was this 90s radio hit?

N. (nickdastoor), Monday, 21 July 2003 15:00 (eighteen years ago) link

i dunno if it was a hit, but i certainly heard "Hatred (A Duet)" a good deal while a young me listened to WKQZ while still in high school...

Kingfish (Kingfish), Monday, 21 July 2003 15:06 (eighteen years ago) link

sorry, wasn't calling you a tool. was referring to those who would automatically write off an artist after any certain point in time.

Horace Mann (Horace Mann), Monday, 21 July 2003 15:13 (eighteen years ago) link

Muswell Hillbillies definitely. The Percy soundtrack has a couple of great tunes unavailable elsewhere. I'd say it's worth purchasing. I picked up Preservation Act I the other day and I've tried, I mean really tried to get into it. Not gonna happen. I don't see myself shelling out any bucks for II, Soap Opera, etc. either. But, damn, they had a good run there for a while.

Any news on the R. Davies/ Yo La Tengo project I kept hearing about a year-or-so ago?

Will (will), Monday, 21 July 2003 15:17 (eighteen years ago) link

Search:
Sleepwalker
Misfits
Everybody's In Showbiz

Destroy:
pretty much everything else. Soap Opera & Schoolboys In Disgrace Have their moments. Low Budget doesn't TOTALLY suck, though it has odd commercial metal undertones that annoy me & seem very out-of-place on a Kinks disc.

John Bullabaugh (John Bullabaugh), Monday, 21 July 2003 15:30 (eighteen years ago) link

Misfits & Low Budget both have their merits.

...and State of Confusion may get a lot of destroy votes for its limp-noodle approach, but c'mon, Kinks were always best as a pop band.

"Do It Again" is a great track, but still, it can't save Word of Mouth.

One might also slip in The Great Lost Kinks Album as it does contain some extraneous (but highly worthy) early 70's material.

christoff (christoff), Tuesday, 22 July 2003 12:23 (eighteen years ago) link

The Great Lost Kinks Album is almost certainly one of the greatest Kinks albums ever released -- loaded with A-plus tracks like "Plastic Man," "I'm Not Like Everybody Else," "Mr. Songbird," "Groovy Movies," etc etc etc -- but I thought almost all of the songs were from the mid to late '60s. What are the '70s tracks on it?

fact checking cuz, Tuesday, 22 July 2003 13:08 (eighteen years ago) link

just read the newest issue of filter, and it has a completely useless interview with Ray Davies done by the completely useless Elliot Smith.

Horace Mann (Horace Mann), Tuesday, 22 July 2003 13:43 (eighteen years ago) link

how about those 'preservation' rock operas? i've always been too scared to try them. kinks 1966-70 are one of my favorite things ever, and 'muswell hillbillies' is great too - and i don't want to color my love of the kinks by listening to stuff that might horrify me.

j fail (cenotaph), Tuesday, 22 July 2003 14:14 (eighteen years ago) link

My friend Clancy bought all of the Kinks reissues when they came out a few years ago, but hasn't listened to any of them. Most are still in their wrapper even. He says, "So many of my favourite bands list the Kinks as their favourite bands, so I'm afraid that if I don't like the Kinks, I won't like my favourite bands anymore."

Clearly, Clancy needs help.

Horace Mann (Horace Mann), Tuesday, 22 July 2003 14:33 (eighteen years ago) link

fcc -- I thought the extra Castle-Edition Arthur... tracks would slide into early 1970 -- maybe not (i'll check the liners tonight). But, at a bare minimum, "The Way Love Used to Be" came off 1971's Percy OMPS.

christoff (christoff), Tuesday, 22 July 2003 18:05 (eighteen years ago) link

I still maintain that "Better Things" is utterly fantastic and single-handedly makes up for all the dodgier songs combined.

Chris Barrus (Chris Barrus), Tuesday, 22 July 2003 21:42 (eighteen years ago) link

Hmm, finally did pick up Low Budget a few months ago in a dollar bin, and it was all I'd hoped for pretty much. The standout tracks sell out in a gleeful, trashy, expedient way that's a lot of fun. Even the album cover fits the mood.

Sean (Sean), Wednesday, 23 July 2003 07:46 (eighteen years ago) link

fcc -- All the rest of the tracks from The Great Lost... are from '69 and prior.

christoff (christoff), Thursday, 24 July 2003 17:38 (eighteen years ago) link

Any news on the R. Davies/ Yo La Tengo project I kept hearing about a year-or-so ago?
Haven't heard anything lately. But the bootleg from 2000 is great.. "The Morning After" will be a great song when it comes out...

dave225 (Dave225), Thursday, 24 July 2003 17:49 (eighteen years ago) link

also, is 'percy' worth picking up? the only songs i've heard are 'willesden green' and 'god's children' and neither really make me want to bite....

j fail (cenotaph), Thursday, 24 July 2003 18:32 (eighteen years ago) link

I'd say Percy is worth purchasing if you find it used or "nice priced". I'm like you, "Willesden.." and "God's Children" weren't selling points; I already owned them via Kink Kronikles. But "Dreams" is the best Davies' song you've never heard. And "Moments", while admittedly sappy, is still pleasant (very reminiscent of Dave's "Strangers" from Lola...). "Animals in the Zoo" is sort of weak rewrite of "Apeman", but again, not bad any means. The rest are pretty much instrumentals.


Will (will), Friday, 25 July 2003 02:08 (eighteen years ago) link

PERCY - Some great songs here: "God's Children"; "Way Love Used to Be"; "Dreams"; "Moments". The rest is disposable, a good EP.

MUSWELL HILLBILLIES - Incredibly let down by this album when I actually heard it. There's a lot of the plodding nondescript psuedo-pubrock that characterises the Kinks' from 1970-1975. Few of the songs have any real hooks but Ray Davies is incapable of not writing at least one or two great songs per album. Can I also say the lyrics and the "concept" of the album are brilliant. Ray Davies is one of the few writers in Rock ever to write accurately about working class life.

EVERYBODY'S SHOWBIZ - This has more of the dreary pub rock of "Hillbillies" but it has two stunning songs: "Celluloid Heroes" and "Sitting In My Hotel". The live section of the album is a waste of everyone's time.

PRESERVATION ACT 1 - Again this actually has some very good songs on it and the concept is so loose it doesn't get in the way. The songs which aren't good are pretty dire however.

PRESERVATION ACT 2 - I'm afraid this was the last straw for me, I haven't bothered listening to a Kinks album since this. About 4 good songs out of 24 - and the other 20 are dreadful. The concept of the album is really quite interesting because it's really about the conflict about Capitalism and Marxism and as such is a very rare example of a political rock album.

Dadaismus (Dada), Friday, 25 July 2003 10:06 (eighteen years ago) link

three years pass...
Two words: "Good Day"

All sorts of wonderful, that song.

Orgy of Pragmatism (Charles McCain), Friday, 6 October 2006 16:23 (fifteen years ago) link

search:

"Moving Pictures"
"No More Looking Back"
"Better Things"
"Art Lover"
"Juke Box Music"

destroy:

"Black Messiah"
"A Gallon Of Gas"
"Hay Fever"
"State Of Confusion"
"Destroyer"

hank (hank s), Friday, 6 October 2006 16:28 (fifteen years ago) link

also to search:

"Slum Kids"
"Oklahoma USA"

also to destroy:

"Jack The Idiot Dunce"
"Have A Cuppa Tea"

hank (hank s), Friday, 6 October 2006 16:40 (fifteen years ago) link

I consider post-1970 Kinks largely dud, however "Come Dancing" and "Don't Forget To Dance" were both great songs.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Friday, 6 October 2006 17:36 (fifteen years ago) link

Dude, "Muswell Hillbillies", "Preservation - Act's 1 and 2" and "Schoolboys in Disgrace" are all great albums

The Kinks are my favourite band, and this era is definitely not their strongest, but I love a lot of the stuff that came out of it anyway

Erock Lazron (Erock Zombie), Friday, 6 October 2006 23:24 (fifteen years ago) link

The problem is, they were struggling too hard to sound American, and that was just wrong with a band who, in the 60s, had Music Hall among its main musical influences. It happened around "Lola Vs. Powerman", which contained two good singles but otherwise nothing much of interest. That being said, Ray Davies' lyrics have always been worth paying attention to. Even in the 70s.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Friday, 6 October 2006 23:46 (fifteen years ago) link

eleven months pass...

I've been just hugely loving "Demolition" from Preservation I...first got into it via the BBC version which *sounds* much better. The original goes on longer, sort of along the lines of "Australia" from Arthur (which is another off-the-beaten-path Kinks track that's turned into a favorite over the past few years). If I could find a version that combines the BBC sound with the album performance I'd be in heaven.

dlp9001, Saturday, 15 September 2007 00:13 (fourteen years ago) link

I fucking hated that 'Schoolboys In Disgrace' album from the 70's.

But I have The Kinks Present A Soap Opera from 1975 on vinyl and I always thought it was very charming.

I don't know Preservation. I fully admit I didn't get all the Kinks stuff I could have though, but this was partially because of a romantic falling out with someone who loved the Kinks. I never owned Arthur and I know this is a major flaw on my part.

Bimble, Saturday, 15 September 2007 06:00 (fourteen years ago) link

it seemed like in the 80s/90s they fell into this pattern of making dull records with seemingly "commercial" aspirations that had one or two songs that were absurdly better than everything else on the record. specifically, "come dancing" (beats the hell outta everything else on state of confusion), "working in the factory" (the rest of think visual is as embarrassing as any music they've ever made), and "scattered," a song that sounded so fresh and out-of-place on the otherwise disappointing phobia that i wasn't particularly surprised to learn that it was a holdover from the muswell hillbillies days.

the 70s operas aren't without their merits; preservation act 1 is pretty listenable, and schoolboys in disgrace is by far the most focused (and rocking) of those records. as for the 70s aor stuff, i've always had a soft spot for sleepwalker; "full moon" is as beautiful as anything from something else or village green.

as a side note, when i saw the kinks in 1993 they opened with "sweet lady genevieve" from preservation act 1. a pleasant shock for the kinks fanatics in the crowd, with everyone else asking us why we were so excited about this song they didn't know.

Lawrence the Looter, Saturday, 15 September 2007 13:45 (fourteen years ago) link

one month passes...

How come there was only one mention of This Time Tomorrow?? I had to leave it to Wes Anderson to bring it to me, which is shameful.

Alba, Thursday, 8 November 2007 22:14 (fourteen years ago) link

Also, search: Get Back In Line.

Alba, Thursday, 8 November 2007 22:16 (fourteen years ago) link

And to second Oklahoma USA.

Alba, Thursday, 8 November 2007 22:20 (fourteen years ago) link

Soap Opera is great.

Preservation 1 AND 2 are good if you treat them in isolation. I think most people were just cranky that neither was as good as Village Green.

Elvis Costello tries something different and people love him for it. Ray Davies tries something different and they all have a big cry. I never understood this.

Autumn Almanac, Friday, 9 November 2007 12:46 (fourteen years ago) link

btw I know Davies has apologised profusely for his vaudeville period, but I can't help thinking he let himself be convinced that the work wasn't great and so feels he needs to make excuses.

Autumn Almanac, Friday, 9 November 2007 12:47 (fourteen years ago) link

"Celluloid Heroes" has such a lovely tune, but I'm very ambivalent about the lyrics - sort of irksome how all the male movie stars are portrayed as cool and solid while all the women are oh so tragic and vulnerable. Great song nonetheless.

Daniel_Rf, Friday, 9 November 2007 14:05 (fourteen years ago) link

Preservation and Soap Opera don't convince me that Ray has a great ear for spoken dialogue.

Halfway there but for you, Tuesday, 7 December 2021 21:40 (one month ago) link

Let's just hope he's not speaking it too.

When Smeato Met Moaty (Tom D.), Tuesday, 7 December 2021 21:44 (one month ago) link

Wonder who's gonna deliver the "it means you can earn some real money!" line.

henry s, Wednesday, 8 December 2021 01:53 (one month ago) link

Low Budget.

Can you believe this piece of crap is the highest charting Kinks album of all time in the US? It got to #11, wtf?

When Smeato Met Moaty (Tom D.), Friday, 17 December 2021 18:09 (one month ago) link

I don't really like anything from this record, but when I saw Ray in 2006, the title track was the only song he played later than Muswell Hillbillies except for his new songs, and it was actually fun.

Halfway there but for you, Friday, 17 December 2021 18:23 (one month ago) link

"Moving Pictures" is kind of fun.

henry s, Friday, 17 December 2021 18:25 (one month ago) link

The title track is amusing because Ray Davies is famously the biggest tightwad on planet Earth, the song is still shit though. The "Superman" song is admittedly catchy.

When Smeato Met Moaty (Tom D.), Friday, 17 December 2021 18:35 (one month ago) link

As is "In a Space" and "National Health." A full one third of the album is a toe-tapper.

henry s, Friday, 17 December 2021 18:38 (one month ago) link

I beg to differ.

When Smeato Met Moaty (Tom D.), Friday, 17 December 2021 18:39 (one month ago) link

One of the kinks' ogwt sessions was shown on bbc4 recently, and now I can't shake off "Have a cuppa tea" for months on end. All it takes is to see the words "Muswell Hillbillies" and here we go again.

Mark G, Friday, 17 December 2021 18:41 (one month ago) link

I should have said hallelujah there

Mark G, Friday, 17 December 2021 18:42 (one month ago) link

In one of the Kinks biographies, one of the bass players on Misfits complains about doing dozens of takes of "Hay Fever" in different keys, different tempos, etc. Ray was probably becoming more neurotic about getting everything "right" for the arena-size audience.

More neurotic? Is that even possible? Yes, right now I am reading that same biography.

When Smeato Met Moaty (Tom D.), Friday, 17 December 2021 18:54 (one month ago) link

Can you believe this piece of crap is the highest charting Kinks album of all time in the US? It got to #11, wtf?

Actually, their 1966 Greatest Hits! is the highest (#9 in the US). But it makes sense that Low Budget charted as high as it did: they’d been on a slow and steady climb back into larger halls and getting more radio play, and Low Budget was the perfect summit (not artistically speaking, that is). But it’s interesting that their biggest US chart success after 1966 was the decidedly un-arena-rock “Come Dancing.”

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Friday, 17 December 2021 19:36 (one month ago) link

"Come Dancing" was more Pop than they'd been since "Lola" the song, and the video was huge.

Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 17 December 2021 20:33 (one month ago) link

True, though I wonder why that didn't translate into a higher chart peak for State of Confusion?

Halfway there but for you, Friday, 17 December 2021 21:08 (one month ago) link

Dunno, probably just new fans buying the single and perhaps concert tickets instead of the LP.

Low Budget peaking so high is possibly explained by it coming out at peak FM radio, when an album could sell as an album on name recognition and AOR radio play without necessarily having crossover appeal.

Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 17 December 2021 21:14 (one month ago) link

"State of Confusion" was the second most successful non-compliation Kinks album in the US in their history, so it did pretty well.

When Smeato Met Moaty (Tom D.), Friday, 17 December 2021 21:16 (one month ago) link

The career of the Kinks is a head-scratcher almost from beginning to end though.

When Smeato Met Moaty (Tom D.), Friday, 17 December 2021 21:20 (one month ago) link

Clive Davis was somewhat famously against "Come Dancing" being released as a single, pushing instead for the other song about dancing on the album, the ballad "Don't Forget To Dance". I wonder if that contributed to why the vid for the latter was a literal Pt.2 to the one for the former.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRUE0aAI5o8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pmk5ZasgEp0

Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 17 December 2021 21:22 (one month ago) link

I’d never seen the “Don’t Forget” video before!

Strange how Word Of Mouth stiffed only a year later. It’s no classic, but it’s got some solid tunes. “Do It Again” is an all-time Kinks fave of mine, and I remembered being shocked that the musicians playing so furiously on “Sold Me Out” were (gasp) in their early 40s! They did an arena tour that year, appeared on SNL, “Do It Again” was on the radio…and few were buying.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Friday, 17 December 2021 23:16 (one month ago) link

Last week I found and watched a free streaming copy of the SNL In The '80s doc, and the "Do It Again" performance clip figured in heavily.

Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 18 December 2021 00:01 (one month ago) link

"Do It Again" was the first new Kinks song I heard when it came out, I'd have to ponder if they or Ray have done anything as good since.

Halfway there but for you, Saturday, 18 December 2021 00:03 (one month ago) link

The first proper Ray solo album, Other People's Lives, is pretty solid, and the CD booklet has terrific liners from Ray talking about each track.

Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Saturday, 18 December 2021 00:11 (one month ago) link

Always wondered why Dave was not in the "Do It Again" video. Guess he was on a Kinks rumspringa at that point.

henry s, Saturday, 18 December 2021 00:21 (one month ago) link

I’ll rep for “Look Through Any Doorway” (from the 1991 Did Ya EP) (the 1991 what what?) and especially for “Scattered” from Phobia. Hell, I’ll go so far as to rep for most of UK Jive — “War Is Over” and “How Do I Get Close” are comparable with “Do It Again.”

xxp

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Saturday, 18 December 2021 00:22 (one month ago) link

Always wondered why Dave was not in the "Do It Again" video. Guess he was on a Kinks rumspringa at that point.

He’s in it! He’s there at 3:50 offering his guitar to the crowd. More weirdly, Mick Avory is in the video, but didn’t play on the song — Dave told Ray that he couldn’t work with Mick anymore, so Bob Henrit plays on most of Word Of Mouth.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Saturday, 18 December 2021 00:26 (one month ago) link

Guess I missed him in that clown get up.

henry s, Saturday, 18 December 2021 00:30 (one month ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBZh5mB66Tk

PaulTMA, Saturday, 18 December 2021 18:28 (one month ago) link

What was that song he wrote about waking up in New Orleans' Charity Hospital, observing the people around him? Was it "Morphine Song"? (He'd chased down the guy who snatched his girl friend's purse, I think.) That was really good, unlike most of the other tracks on whatever album, which sported airhead snottiness and auto-bombastic guitars, of an already dated kind at that. I may be forgetting some other keepers, but there do seem to be just 2-3 at most on much if not all of his post-1970 offerings.

dow, Saturday, 18 December 2021 19:08 (one month ago) link

"How Are You" is a good song. Funny that although I think he started playing it even before he picked up a guitar, I don't think I've ever seen Ray playing (or miming) piano before that video.

Halfway there but for you, Saturday, 18 December 2021 19:27 (one month ago) link

I agree that "Morphine song" was a highlight of Working Man's Cafe. The second Americana album had some good songs too, but the first was a big disappointment. The sound, playing and production were all perfect, which meant that the dismay arose solely from the mediocre quality of Ray's songs.

Halfway there but for you, Saturday, 18 December 2021 19:34 (one month ago) link

I don't think I've ever seen Ray playing (or miming) piano before that video.

He plays a lot of piano in this, I believe.

https://forgottentelevisiondrama.files.wordpress.com/2020/10/long-distance-cover.jpg

When Smeato Met Moaty (Tom D.), Saturday, 18 December 2021 19:51 (one month ago) link

Also miming here - not that you see much of the piano.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVRyTao8zv0

When Smeato Met Moaty (Tom D.), Saturday, 18 December 2021 19:57 (one month ago) link

two weeks pass...

Live album, "One for the Road" is pretty fun, even the songs from "Low Budget" sound OK on it. Ray's "punk voice", a kind of gruff gorblimey bark is pretty silly though.

I Can't See Gervais In My Mind (Tom D.), Tuesday, 4 January 2022 21:25 (two weeks ago) link

I saw them on tour shortly before that album, sat pretty far up front, couldn't hear properly for a few days, wasn't really into it until Dave sang "Bird Dog."

(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Razor (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 5 January 2022 01:56 (two weeks ago) link

I was in the fourth row for a show on that Low Budget tour, and Ray was bouncing back and forth across the stage pretty well. I have distinct memories of a long trail of spit following behind him.

henry s, Wednesday, 5 January 2022 03:37 (two weeks ago) link

I've always liked "Rats" (b-side of "Apeman")

Maltrsnapper, Wednesday, 5 January 2022 11:19 (two weeks ago) link

I was in the fourth row for a show on that Low Budget tour, and Ray was bouncing back and forth across the stage pretty well. I have distinct memories of a long trail of spit following behind him.

Apparently Dave was into spitting in other band members' faces or kicking them in the shins - onstage - at the time, don't know if that explains it.

I Can't See Gervais In My Mind (Tom D.), Wednesday, 5 January 2022 12:47 (two weeks ago) link

I think Ray was just so energized he couldn't control it, no malice intended. I recall Dave spitting on stage too, but not in the direction of any of the band, or audience. This was one of my first concerts, and I had never imagined that musicians outside the realm of punk rock spit while performing, so it left an indelible image.

henry s, Wednesday, 5 January 2022 13:45 (two weeks ago) link

There's a good story in the Ray Davies biography which sums up what being in a band with the Davies brothers could be like. They're playing a gig somewhere in the States, late 70s/early 80s, crowd's going nuts, Dave Davies walks over to keyboard player, John Gosling, and spits at him full in his face. At the end of the gig, as they're preparing to go back on stage for the encore, Gosling says, "I'm not getting on stage with that cunt", Ray says, "Get on that stage or I'll knock you out". Gosling refuses, Ray knocks him clean out, dives back on stage all smiles and plays the keyboards himself - ever the pro!

I Can't See Gervais In My Mind (Tom D.), Wednesday, 5 January 2022 13:51 (two weeks ago) link

It's awfully hard for me to imagine Ray Davies knocking anybody out. Outrunning them perhaps, but not knocking them out.

henry s, Sunday, 9 January 2022 03:21 (one week ago) link

Re: live albums, I was dismayed to learn this week that my 1998 CD of Everybody's in Showbiz doesn't contain the full original vinyl. Songs and banter were cut in order to make room for two not-very-necessary bonus songs; some of the cuts were incredibly fussy, like cutting out a second or two in the intro of "Alcohol", or replacing the transitions between songs with looped crowd noise. This is assuming, of course, that the deluxe edition is faithful to the original vinyl, and not the product of another attack of reworked mastering.

Halfway there but for you, Sunday, 9 January 2022 04:22 (one week ago) link

It's awfully hard for me to imagine Ray Davies knocking anybody out. Outrunning them perhaps, but not knocking them out.

He's a big guy, slim certainly, but tall - plus have you seen John Gosling? He was also a star athlete at school, in various sports, I think he might even have done some boxing?

I Can't See Gervais In My Mind (Tom D.), Sunday, 9 January 2022 11:42 (one week ago) link

(xp) The live part of "Everybody's In Showbiz" is weird anyway, like they, or rather, Ray went out of the way to sabotage it by including all those silly covers and having "Lola" reduced to a chant by the audience. They left out a lot of much stronger and more commercial material that was recorded at the same time. I wonder if it gave Lou Reed the idea for "Take No Prisoners"!

I Can't See Gervais In My Mind (Tom D.), Sunday, 9 January 2022 11:50 (one week ago) link

Yes, it's like a snapshot of a certain drunken, horn-laden idea of the Kinks in 1972, more Fandango than Made in Japan.

Halfway there but for you, Sunday, 9 January 2022 16:35 (one week ago) link

(now thinking of Lou Reed interrupting "I Wanna Be Black" with a rendition of "The Banana Boat Song")

Halfway there but for you, Sunday, 9 January 2022 16:36 (one week ago) link

"I wanna be black
I wanna have a banana..."

Mark G, Sunday, 9 January 2022 17:42 (one week ago) link

"Take No Prisoners" = methamphetamine
"Everybody's in Showbiz" = Tetley's Bitter

I Can't See Gervais In My Mind (Tom D.), Sunday, 9 January 2022 17:45 (one week ago) link

lol

The Door into Summerisle (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 9 January 2022 18:04 (one week ago) link

The record is kind of lost, but the version of Celluloid Heroes on To the Bone is absolutely terrific.

Naive Teen Idol, Tuesday, 11 January 2022 04:02 (one week ago) link


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