The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. Invisible Man

    Invisible Man Forum Resident

    Lemon Grove
    Oh, I'm sure some of those bands were fit to wash Ray's socks. :laugh:

    (That reminds me of one of my dad's jokes: "They said you weren't fit to sleep with the pigs, but I stuck up for you--I said you were!")
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2021
  2. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident I’m still in preliminary tweaking mode. But the odds aren’t good. :hide:
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  3. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    didn't know that was a cover. huh.
    mark winstanley likes this.
  4. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    The talk of avatars made me think my 'Arthur' cover should be updated with something more seventies. This is the front cover of a seventies live compilation called 'Alcohol'. I guess Ray is holding one of the bottles of beer he used to perch on his head.
  5. Invisible Man

    Invisible Man Forum Resident

    Lemon Grove
    Love that 1970s style!

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Salem, MA
    Presenting the Fabulous Marvelows:


    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Salem, MA
  8. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter


    stereo mix (1:42), recorded 28 Aug 1970 at Morgan Studios (1), Willesden, London

    Robert owes half to Grenville
    Who in turn gave half to Larry
    Who adored my instrumentals
    And so he gave half to a foreign publisher
    She took half the money that was earned in some far distant land
    Gave back half to Larry and I end up with half of goodness knows what

    Oh can somebody explain why things go on this way
    I thought they were my friends I can't believe it's me, I can't believe that I'm so green

    Eyes down round and round let's all sit and watch the moneygoround
    Everyone take a little bit here and a little bit there
    Do they all deserve money from a song that they've never heard
    They don't know the tune and they don't know the words
    But they don't give a damn
    There's no end to it I'm in a pit and I'm stuck in it
    The money goes round and around and around
    And it comes out here when they've all taken their share

    I went to see a solicitor and my story was heard and the writs were served
    On the verge of a nervous breakdown I decided to fight right to the end
    But if I ever get my money I'll be too old and grey to spend it

    Oh, but life goes on and on and no one ever wins
    And time goes quickly by just like the moneygoround
    I only hope that I'll survive

    Written by: Ray Davies
    Published by: Noma Music, Inc. - BMI

    This is a wonderful track, that to be honest initially didn't completely grab me. The song is extremely cartoonish, but contextually I think that suits the shenanigans Ray is singing about. In reality as much as business is essential for the system that the world functions under, there is a certain cartoonish nature of heroes and villains and various interpretations of who those people actually are, particularly in the music and entertainment business, or so it seems.

    There is no doubt in my mind that Ray is writing directly from his experiences here. This is essentially exactly what happened to him over that period he was stuck in legal issues regarding publishing and such.
    Just look at the lyric of the opening lines
    Robert (Wace) owes half to Grenville (Collins)
    Who in turn gave half to Larry (Page)
    There is absolutely no doubt that the song has a diary/autobiographical basis to it, and in some ways it is the centrepiece of the album. This is why the album exists, and it doesn't even mean it's the best song, but it is somewhat the cornerstone that the story is based on. It is the sharp stone in the shoe of Ray that inspired him to write this Novella.
    It is, it seems, very lucky Ray wasn't in the courts again over this. It somewhat reminds me of John Fogerty and his Zantz Can't Dance (but he'll steal your money), which did land Fogerty in trouble again, and the name of the song was changed to Vance Can't Dance.... but I don't remember if it went to court or if it was just changed outside of the legal system, as Fogerty's career had been put on hold for most of the seventies due to the legal action over the rights to his music.

    There is probably a week's worth of discussion here in the lyrics alone.

    Again we get a really interesting structure, and some extremely interesting and tough rhythmic phrasing, but for me it all works.

    The bridge (Oh, can somebody explain...) is the heart of the artist. He was naive enough to believe that these business people were his friends, when they are financial opportunists. To be fair though, the people that facilitate the music being able to get out to the public do deserve to be paid. I think it is just the disparity between what the creator gets, and what the marketing and publishing divisions get. When it comes to finances it is always difficult to have any balance, because we live in an unbalanced world.

    Then I guess we have an elongated chorus (Eyes Down, Round And Round....) that makes some astute observations. They neither know, nor like, nor care about the song/s, they just do the paperwork and get the rewards. After everyone has taken their share, the artist gets the crumbs at the end... although we know many artists get an awful lot of money, the majority don't. Like someone taking out a mortgage with a bank. The bank fronts the money and the person who takes out the mortgage pays it back in bucketloads, because that's how the system works.

    The final verse (I went to see a solicitor...) brings us to the trials that Ray had just been through in trying to get poor contract and publishing issues sorted out. It is very understandable that the artist would be affronted by the fact that he is getting ripped off, and it certainly makes sense to get some form of law system involved to try and get the whole scenario sorted out, but of course that creates its own stresses.

    As we know Ray did pretty much have a nervous breakdown, or two, over that period of time, and yet managed to create wonderful music that we all still get to enjoy today.

    Musically this is quite stunning, with a rotational, seemingly constantly modulating melody, and a chord and rhythm structure that keeps on moving around...

    Earlier there was talk of songs that are somewhat like the band Madness in style, and this may be the most Madness-like track I have noticed so far.

    John Gosling does a fantastic job of the piano, and there are a couple of other keyboards in there.

    The drama that the changes create is quite stunning, and the song, once it gets under your skin ends up being an essential cut and the more I look at, and listen to it, the more stunning it seems....

    This is just too difficult to really break down properly. It would take me a long long time to really get under the way this track is constructed. So with that said I'm going to throw it over to you guys to give your thoughts and feelings on this great great track.

  9. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Another fantastic track - Lola is probably second only to Everybody's in Showbiz in the comedy stakes!
  10. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

  11. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

  12. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    1970 Concert Program

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  13. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

  14. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

  15. Vagabone

    Vagabone Forum Resident

    Great propulsive track. Beautifully concise. More like this please.
  16. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    "The Moneygoround"

    I love this track - it's funny and amusing even after all these years. The fact that Ray uses the actual names of the people involved gives it an ever greater sense of absurdity. The music is wonderfully jaunty with a constantly changing melody and harmonic structure. It's another Ray song with a ridiculous amount of content delivered inside two minutes.

    The best bit is the pile-up of similar syllables in "the stories were heard and the writs were served/on the verge of a nervous breakdown" (does this count as alliteration?)

    So now our protagonists know what they are up against, and they now move into long-term survival mode.
  17. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    Incredible, right ? How such a little vaudeville interlude at the end of Side 1 can be the centerpiece of a rock record like Lola! This tune is 1’45’’ of pure Kinks melodic and lyrical bliss. Only Ray knows how to be so topical and, dare I say, philosophical at the same time. Only Ray knows how to be so musically comical and sophisticated at the same time. The incredible thing is how the song works as a story piece for this record, while at the same time being 100% accurate in relation to the Kinks’ history.
    Musically, I’ve always seen this song as a companion piece to All of My Friends Were There, with Ray pushing his music-hall impulses to the limit, while still coming up with some of his very best, most inspired and melodically grandiose choruses/bridges. I used to feel that way without even looking at the lyrics but in truth, they do seem related, chronicling the hardships and headaches of a musician, on the verge of a nervous breakdown (you’ve got to marvel at how this phrase sings itself, once you’ve listened to the tune!). Someone upthread mentioned Denmark Street and The Money-Go-Round were supposedly written back in 1968, and it makes me wonder if Ray didn’t start working on a music-business and/or autobiographical music-hall play in parallel with the whole Village Green entreprise. I guess we’ll never know, but those three songs definitely seem to come from the same place, musically, lyrically, and in terms of delivery. This is a top three song for me on the album, and one of the greatest “under two minutes” tunes I know.
  18. ajsmith

    ajsmith Senior Member

    There's a very cool live in the studio video for The Money Go Round (shot with a fisheye lens) that was filmed for the 1972 Kinks At The Rainbow special, though it's not on Youtube just now. The alternate audio from the performance (as issued on the last 2 Lola deluxes) is though:

  19. ajsmith

    ajsmith Senior Member

    Not sure if there are any other fans on this thread, but I've had two people (well my mum and wife haha!) on being exposed to this track observe how much it sounds like a precursor to the sound of They Might Be Giants, and I'd have to agree: specifically it sounds very much like a John Linnell TMBG song, with his trademark compactly cascading, circular melody style, plus a barrage of incredibly un-rock style lyrical content being fired out frenetically. Anyone else hear that?
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2021
  20. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Yea, I can hear that.
    Love Flood, great album.
  21. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    I found this overview:

    “At this point they sign a contract with management, Robert Wace and Grenville Collins, plus the booking agent, Larry Page.

    It is the terms of this contract that later informs Ray Davies’ writing of “Lola Versus Powerman…”

    Larry Page became entitled to 10% of Davies’ earnings. Wace and Collins became entitled to 20% each.

    Just to check you are keeping up, that means Ray Davies has just signed half his earnings to his managers. By comparison, Brian Epstein agreed a contract with The Beatles that entitled him to 10%, which rose to 15% if they earned over £120 a week.

    In addition, Larry Page owned a music publishing company, Kassner, which was assigned all the publishing rights.”

    The Story of The Kinks’ “Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround”
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  22. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Wow, that's Colonel Tom Parker level greed!
  23. ajsmith

    ajsmith Senior Member

    The 'Larry, who adored my instrumentals' line is almost certainly a reference to this Kinkspolitation release Larry Page put out in 1965, in which a bunch of very early Ray and Dave compostions get the lounge music treatment:


    a complete playlist of this oddity starts here:

  24. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    The Larry Page Orchestra!
  25. Luckless Pedestrian

    Luckless Pedestrian Forum Resident

    New Hampshire, USA
    That’s a great example of assonance (heard, served, verge, nervous).

    Those sounds really emphasize the stress our hero is under, clenched and internal.

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