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The Kinks — Living On A Thin Line
Album: Word of Mouth
Avg rating:
7.4

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1187









Released: 1984
Length: 4:14
Plays (last 30 days): 1
All the stories have been told
Of kings and days of old
But there's no England now

All the wars that were won and lost
Somehow don't seem to matter very much anymore
All the lies we were told
All the lies of the people running round
Their castles have burned
Now I see change
But inside we're the same as we ever were

Living on a thin line
Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?
Living on a thin line
Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?
Living on a thin line
Living this way, each day is a dream
What am I, what are we supposed to do?
Living on a thin line
Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?

Now another century nearly gone
What are we gonna leave for the young?
What we couldn't do, what we wouldn't do
It's a crime, but does it matter?
Does it matter much, does it matter much to you?
Does it ever really matter?
Yes, it really, really matters

Living on a thin line
Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?
Living on a thin line
Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?

Now another leader says
Break their hearts and break some heads
Is there nothing we can say or do?
Blame the future on the past
Always lost in blood and guts
And when they're gone, it's me and you

Living on a thin line
Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?
Living on a thin line
Tell me now, what are we supposed to do?
Living on a thin line
Comments (135)add comment
 meloman wrote:
dogdokken wrote:
Just takes one listen of this song to readily determine it is quite likable. Kinks lurk in the shadows of the Beatles, Stones & Oasis.
Are you kidding? You lump Oasis together with those three moumental bands? Sorry, but Oasis doesn't even come close. Oasis is too puny to cast a shadow.
 
God I hope all those bands are moumental.  Is that some kind of mental health disorder? 

More to the point, perhaps the OP really loves Oasis.   Love being better than h8.

Also, with their brotherly combat, they certainly have something very much in common with the Kinks.
 jahgirl8 wrote:

Sir or Madam, do you not understand how Brexit works? There is MORE of an England now than ever before! Even if you are one of those fools... oh wait, you ARE a fool, nice handle you got there...warns us in advance. Even that idiotic comment... as though the country became nonexistent when they disengaged from the EU. HOW THE HELL DID YOU GET SO MANY LIKES? YOU A FOO foo! Even a randy socialist living in the U.K. who voted against Brexit doesn't believe their country no longer exists, WTF.  I took your ratings down one, you don't deserve so many. Those are your friends, not objective, maybe mentally challenged. Maybe you're special needs as well, I shouldn't be so harsh. But for today's lesson foos: England has been a country since 937. You think there's suddenly and sadly "no England" now? FOO: England is proudly a better and stronger country with far greater econ opp... why do you think they voted for it TWICE?!? BTW the Kinks agree with me, so you're even MORE foo. Next time you want to comment on something as huge as our world somehow losing England, use Google... it can guide a foo like you.
 

For someone so proud to be English, your grammar is awful.  
 jahgirl8 wrote:

Sir or Madam, ...
 
oh dear.
 Hoosfoos wrote:
"There's no England now." Sad and even more true today.
 
Sir or Madam, do you not understand how Brexit works? There is MORE of an England now than ever before! Even if you are one of those fools... oh wait, you ARE a fool, nice handle you got there...warns us in advance. Even that idiotic comment... as though the country became nonexistent when they disengaged from the EU. HOW THE HELL DID YOU GET SO MANY LIKES? YOU A FOO foo! Even a randy socialist living in the U.K. who voted against Brexit doesn't believe their country no longer exists, WTF.  I took your ratings down one, you don't deserve so many. Those are your friends, not objective, maybe mentally challenged. Maybe you're special needs as well, I shouldn't be so harsh. But for today's lesson foos: England has been a country since 937. You think there's suddenly and sadly "no England" now? FOO: England is proudly a better and stronger country with far greater econ opp... why do you think they voted for it TWICE?!? BTW the Kinks agree with me, so you're even MORE foo. Next time you want to comment on something as huge as our world somehow losing England, use Google... it can guide a foo like you.
 skindy wrote:
YES! A deep track from one of The Kinks' underrated albums! Word of Mouth came out the year my fiance and I discovered The Kinks. We wore out this vinyl. Great memories... and great songwriting and musicianship from one of my fave bands of all time. {#Hearteyes} {#High-five}

EDIT: Holy shit. I just looked back in the comments, and I said almost the EXACT SAME THING 2 years ago. Wow, I am SO unoriginal! {#Ask} {#Lol}
 
No, you're just consistent :-)
Same thing happened to me. That justification almost worked for me :-) but it was worse for me, different songs.
LOVE The Kinks.
I'm off to listen to Who'll Be The Next In Line
Another kinks song that does not get played too often
The Sopranos come to mind again...
 skindy wrote:
YES! A deep track from one of The Kinks' underrated albums! Word of Mouth came out the year my fiance and I discovered The Kinks. We wore out this vinyl. Great memories... and great songwriting and musicianship from one of my fave bands of all time. {#Hearteyes} {#High-five}

EDIT: Holy shit. I just looked back in the comments, and I said almost the EXACT SAME THING 2 years ago. Wow, I am SO unoriginal! {#Ask} {#Lol}
 
Or consistent.

Or unoriginal.
Awesome Song, maybe my favorite Kinks tune?
 On_The_Beach wrote:
Too bad about the cover art.
 
Yeah, that was an unfortunate trend in graphic design in those days, especially when done so lazily: the quasi-"Interview" Magazine look with little thought.
"There's no England now." Sad and even more true today.
RP is AWESOME!
Love this tune.... good version on Come Dancing with the Kinks too... Celluloid Heroes is better though!
Skindy: Somethings are worth repeating. That was one of em.
YES! A deep track from one of The Kinks' underrated albums! Word of Mouth came out the year my fiance and I discovered The Kinks. We wore out this vinyl. Great memories... and great songwriting and musicianship from one of my fave bands of all time. {#Hearteyes} {#High-five}

EDIT: Holy shit. I just looked back in the comments, and I said almost the EXACT SAME THING 2 years ago. Wow, I am SO unoriginal! {#Ask} {#Lol}
goog, very good song!!
Too bad about the cover art.
Tell me now what are we supposed to do...........Stand up and fly straight t!!!!!!!
 TerryS wrote:
The Kinks. Better than the Beatles......................occasionally.

 
Uh, no.  End of.
YES! A deep cut from Word of Mouth! My ex and I played this album backwards and forwards in late '84 and all through '85. Wore out that vinyl... {#Clap}{#Music}
 Cyclehawk wrote:
Just for the record, this was from the Kinks' album "Word of Mouth" from 1984 (or '85?)

It was also used in a closing segment of a Sopranos episode.

 
Yes it was! {#Cool}
My favorite Kinks song. 
 TerryS wrote:
The Kinks. Better than the Beatles......................occasionally.

 
Such an occasion from Ray Davies autobiography:  Once while opening for the Beatles he met John Lennon before going on stage.  Lennon told him that "with the Beatles laddie no one gets a turn, you're just here to keep the crowd occupied until we go on" and finished with, "well lads, if you get stuck and run out of songs to play, we'll lend you some of ours." 

As the Beatles fans were screaming for their favorite band, Ray decided to change up the playlist and shouted out for the others to play You Really Got Me.  "Dave turned up his amplifier, which caused it to  feedback slightly.  The high pitched frequency cut through the screams of the Beatles fans.  For a moment the audience was silent.  As soon as Dave played the opening chords they were with us. It was as if we had taken round one off the Beatles.  As John Lennon and Brian Epstein watched from the wings, I felt like shouting in my best Liverpudlian accent, 'This is not one of yours.  It's one of OURS!' "
I don't know this Kinks song so when I looked at who was playing on RP I was really surprised. This song could indeed have been almost contemporary.  Therefore they must have been way ahead of their time - even though I don't like their Lola song. Credit where credit is due.
da kinks.  rawh!  but you gotta play me "you really got me"  pleease.   i might even grab a girl and dance to it.  i might not fly so well here at the ventura college library but i think i could grab a gal a the bus stop 100 yd away.
Not easily identified as the band of You Really Got Me. In some ways, this is an even better track. It certainly is more thoughtful, or thought inducing. 
I really freakin' love this radio station, man.
The Kinks. Better than the Beatles......................occasionally.
Everyone in my living room is singing out loud!
Severely under-rated band!! {#Naughty}

WHOOOOOOOOOOO...?

The KINKS...?

Maybe I am an idiot - but I am not a liar!

I identify this to be a KINKS song  - I seriously thought this was a (good) 2014 song


 Papernapkin wrote:

Of all time? Or just your time. When you were young and it was new. Enough with touting old crap as genius because it's all you listen to.

 
Ah, more words of faux-wisdom from The Disposable One (tm).  Once again you know not of what you speak and, instead, speak only to annoy. 

This is genius in any time. They were "of their time" in the 1960's, 1970's, and 1980's.  Even the limited new stuff on their 97 release To the Bone was solid.  The Kinks were punk 10 years before Punk.  Their garage band ethos is timeless and we would all be very fortunate if Ray and Dave could put their animosity aside while there is still time and put out some more Kinks.
there are 3 kinds of time " before " "KINKS'".... "whats left"  {#Dance}
THESE GUYS F#ING ROCK,...... indeed....{#High-five}
Like sitting on a chair, tilting back...and then a balance feeling arrives. Yup.
Fav Dave song.
 
Just for the record, this was from the Kinks' album "Word of Mouth" from 1984 (or '85?)

It was also used in a closing segment of a Sopranos episode.
Funny- all this time, and I never knew this was the Kinks. Granted I did not care all that much who did it, but still...
{#Clap} I haven't heard this in a while, nice.
 Papernapkin wrote:

Of all time? Or just your time. When you were young and it was new. Enough with touting old crap as genius because it's all you listen to.
 
The same could be said about new music.  Every generation loves the music of their era because it's new and different than what came before and gives them identity and speaks to them.  It's "theirs".  This doesn't make it genius or crap.  Also, anyone who listens to RP by definition can not be accused of narrow listening tastes ("It's all you listen to")  Enough with touting old genius as crap because it's old and new genius as crap because it's new.  I enjoy the eclectic play list of RP for what it is, musical expression.  New or old, genius or crap I believe it all has something to offer.  That is why I listen to RP in the first place.
 {#Cheers}CCinSB wrote:
{#Cheers}
 


 Papernapkin wrote:

Of all time? Or just your time. When you were young and it was new. Enough with touting old crap as genius because it's all you listen to.
 
With out the "old crap" there would be no new crap.

Old stuff is touted a lot of the time because new does not often mean better. 
 burdell wrote:
A perfectly sublime song from one of the most under-appreciated bands of all time.
 
Of all time? Or just your time. When you were young and it was new. Enough with touting old crap as genius because it's all you listen to.
Saw the Kinks a number of times but did not recall this song.  Acceptable now if it was just new as it was back when. 
Hey, this reminds me.  Couple months ago I watched this really fun and funny documentary having to do with the Kinks called "Do It Again".  Well worth checking out. 

  https://doitagainthemovie.com/
So true!  They got lost in the shuffle!

 
burdell wrote:
A perfectly sublime song from one of the most under-appreciated bands of all time.
 


Cool choice!  Nice track.
Truth be told: There is no England anymore.... and nobody knows what to do. Also, great Sopranos episode!
Not a huge Kinks fan - but this is a really good song.
{#Cheers}
A perfectly sublime song from one of the most under-appreciated bands of all time.
 toterola wrote:

Not to be to dense, but what happened to Excelsior? I've seen a couple of remarks about him (?) being "gone", but no explanation.  {#Stupid}
 
 socalhol wrote:
I've been wondering the same thing!  Does anyone know?  I assume it must be the abundance of negative comments, but I've seen others who come pretty close....

 
In late 2008 Bill announced that someone had hacked into RP's databases and had rated some songs "1" even before they'd been aired. He stated that the offender had been banished from RP, but he never said who it was. However, about the same time the E-boy mysteriously disappeared from the song comment pages.

Great tune... I was also turned onto this song by the Sopranos episode that featured it.
My understanding is the 2 brothers sincerely disliked one another. Great stuff anyway.
Why are you looking a gift horse in the mouth?
 toterola wrote:

Not to be to dense, but what happened to Excelsior? I've seen a couple of remarks about him (?) being "gone", but no explanation.  {#Stupid}
  I've been wondering the same thing!  Does anyone know?  I assume it must be the abundance of negative comments, but I've seen others who come pretty close....

I rediscovered this one when they used it on an episode of The Sopranos:  I'd almost forgotten it. 

Great song.
How did I give this a 7? Def 9!
Great selection.  One of their more obscure songs.
An anthem not just for the times,,,but the entire planet earth at every time zone!
This song is getting more and more relevant, at least for me.
 jbunniii wrote:
I like the Kinks a lot, but this song never did much for me.
 
I go just the other way.  I think that Ray Davies' songwriting is overrated, but I like this song.

I like the Kinks a lot, but this song never did much for me.
They played with such power and fun live. good show and great song
Love the Kinks and love this song! 
Good stuff!
 WayUpNorth wrote:
Always loved this song, serious side of the Kinks.
 
Yah. Post Blitz, post-Empire, pre-punk.

Get my Kinks for breakfast :-)

 longplayderby wrote:
Written By Dave Davies; not Ray!
 

True dat. Dave was like Entwistle: he wrote mostly throw-away songs, but every once in a while—he hit one out.
Reminds me of old friends ... miss you, Dave! 
I like thier posture.
Just thinking of this song driving back from lunch today!
 horstman wrote:

So long Excelsior! It was so nice to have you here on this site warming us up with your positive comments, your spirited emoticons, and your ever present wit.

You will be missed.{#Wave}

 
Not to be to dense, but what happened to Excelsior? I've seen a couple of remarks about him (?) being "gone", but no explanation.

If there is a rulebook that governs behavior, I might need to read it. I don't want to be "given the boot". {#Stupid}
Year?
Wow!   Looking at the album cover... I know Michael Ignatieff has had a varied career, but I never new he was a rock musician! (far right)

 radiojunkie wrote:
Now I feel like an idiot. I never knew this was The Kinks. And I must have heard it on The Sopranos and didn't have a clue. What a great song!
 
really, now, if it was the sopranos, then it was 'didn't have NO clue,' as in, "honest, tony, i didn't have no f*#%in' clue!"

(or something like that.) 
 Excelsior wrote:
Wow, a decent Kinks song.  I guess miracles CAN happen.
 
So long Excelsior! It was so nice to have you here on this site warming us up with your positive comments, your spirited emoticons, and your ever present wit.

You will be missed.{#Wave}

 MsJudi wrote:
Meh.
 

Amen to meh.
 bokey wrote:
There was a scene in The Sopranos with a redheaded stripper dancing to this.She was the central tragic character in a great episode that showed just what a shit hand those girls have been dealt.I guess I'm going to associate that episode with this forever.
It took me awhile to figure out it was the Kinks.The Sopranos soundtrack albums have turned me onto some good bands.
"I'm Not Like Everybody Else " was featured prominantly at the end of another episode.

 

I saw that episode last week, and couldn't for the life of me remember the song,  Thanks for the refresh!
Now I feel like an idiot. I never knew this was The Kinks. And I must have heard it on The Sopranos and didn't have a clue. What a great song!
Meh.
Always loved this song, serious side of the Kinks.
Man, I know you've got good taste in music, I've checked out your "faves". Have you no concern for your Karma? Ease up on the negativity. Let it flow. What I'm saying is: Keep your bullshit downer comments to yourself. You bring the rest of us way down. So FREAKIN LIGHTEN UP DUDE!

 
Excelsior wrote:
Wow, a decent Kinks song.  I guess miracles CAN happen.
 

no comment  -   8.
Wow, a decent Kinks song.  I guess miracles CAN happen.
Seamless line-up of bass-line themes, there, Bill and Rebecca, this song from the last (Little Bird; Goldfrapp) ! SWEET, how you do that...like my BEST Party Soundtrack tapes...
ROCK ON!
Aw, I see change...but inside, we're the same as we ever were!



origanilly from 1984s Word Of Mouth - It sounds like a new indie band recorded yesterday.

Ray and Dave you guys are awesome.
Just saw Ray play the other night in Edmonton (apparently he grew up in a neighborhood of the same name in London). I guess that helped explain his quip about wearing a Robert Goulet-like black blazer that he soon took off after the second tune. Hasn't lost his sense of irony or being down to earth. Great show, just him and another guitarist and the rest of us singing back up. What a catalog of classics too. The Kinks, man! The name says it all...
Shadow? What shadow?
What a great song from an amazing band! Such a shame they were always in the shadow of the Beatles and the Stones.
CCinSB wrote:
I think this is one of the best Kink songs.
:clap: :yes:
A classic. I always did love this song.
bokey wrote:
There was a scene in The Sopranos with a redheaded stripper dancing to this.She was the central tragic character in a great episode that showed just what a shit hand those girls have been dealt.I guess I'm going to associate that episode with this forever. It took me awhile to figure out it was the Kinks.The Sopranos soundtrack albums have turned me onto some good bands. "I'm Not Like Everybody Else " was featured prominantly at the end of another episode.
Never liked this song till I saw this episode of the Sopraqnos. Great use of music with a really powerfull story line. It still affects me every time I hear this.
siandbeth wrote:
Just read Al Gore's acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize - living on a thin line, aren't we?
The sad thing is that the whole thing is so underestimated .This song thou is highly appreciated by me. #10 :umbrella:
Just read Al Gore's acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize - living on a thin line, aren't we?
Written By Dave Davies; not Ray! :think:
Agree Also! lmic wrote:
Absolutely agree, a 10 all the way. How can it possibly be that I never heard it before RP?
nigelr wrote:
For me, one of their greatest songs.
Absolutely agree, a 10 all the way. How can it possibly be that I never heard it before RP?
...love it!...
meloman wrote:
Are you kidding? You lump Oasis together with those three moumental bands? Sorry, but Oasis doesn't even come close. Oasis is too puny to cast a shadow.
Oasis isn't that bad, but I agree that there's a chronology problem - for the most part, you have to come first to cast a shadow, and it's pretty rare for a newer group to supersede an older one in the collective critical consciousness.
Bill is on a roll today with excellent breakup/surviving the pain/phoenix rising music. Thanks for the inspiration! Plus, this song rocks.
Words for today's world
nigelr wrote:
For me, one of their greatest songs. Topical lyrics.
Totally Agree :biggrin:
I think this is one of the best Kink songs.
dogdokken wrote:
Just takes one listen of this song to readily determine it is quite likable. Kinks lurk in the shadows of the Beatles, Stones & Oasis.
Are you kidding? You lump Oasis together with those three moumental bands? Sorry, but Oasis doesn't even come close. Oasis is too puny to cast a shadow.
"Feh."
For me, one of their greatest songs. Topical lyrics.
bokey wrote:
There was a scene in The Sopranos with a redheaded stripper dancing to this.She was the central tragic character in a great episode that showed just what a shit hand those girls have been dealt.I guess I'm going to associate that episode with this forever. It took me awhile to figure out it was the Kinks.The Sopranos soundtrack albums have turned me onto some good bands. "I'm Not Like Everybody Else " was featured prominantly at the end of another episode.
You literally read my mind. It was a great use of this song in that episode, and the Sopranos has been using some great music....including Van Morrison's "Glad Tidings" last season in the episode where Steve Buscemi gets killed.
There was a scene in The Sopranos with a redheaded stripper dancing to this. She was the central tragic character in a great episode that showed just what a shit hand those girls have been dealt. I guess I'm going to associate that episode with this forever. It took me awhile to figure out it was the Kinks. The Sopranos soundtrack albums have turned me onto some good bands. "I'm Not Like Everybody Else " was featured prominantly at the end of another episode.
:cheers: Excellent selection, Bill
My day is made . No matter what else happens today.
Heard this at the beginning of a HBO Soprano episode a couple years ago with girls dancing on the bar at the Bada Bing...finally found it on a cd after weeks of looking. Yeah baby...
this is such a great song! wow
Just takes one listen of this song to readily determine it is quite likable. Kinks lurk in the shadows of the Beatles, Stones & Oasis.
The Kinks are probably the most under-rated band out there. They put out some great stuff: Waterloo Sunset, Shangri-la, Days, David Watts, etc, etc
Idaho wrote:
Never heard this before. I think I like it... Yeah, I like it. New respect for The Kinks.
I have never heard this piece before either. Meshes nicely with my current study of Mediavel Britain (the kings and castles mentioned in the lyrics). I have found it interesting that the on-going legacy of the current "royal line" has been in question MANY times in the past - not just in the present. (The argument is that it costs a great deal of money to keep it all going... but on the other hand they do lots of good things for the country.) Oh, and the music is outstanding too! (LOL) I just added the album to my Amazon.com shopping cart. "Kinks (The Ultimate Collection) - $20.88"... ouch!
Always loved this best -- Waterloo Sunset, Sunny Afternoon, and a few others are all great songwriting, but this number brings a powerful dose of solid rockiness with it that I always dug heartily. Well done, mate, for putting this on!
Generally don't like the Kinks much but I love this song. I agree with the comments below - excellent choice for the end of that Sopranos episode.