The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Re: Vinyl Phobia
    Fair call, I saw a copy in a store a year or so back around $100 which they may still have?
  2. CheshireCat

    CheshireCat Forum Resident

    Yes, it is now a very nice double album with coloured swirled black and orange vinyl. Sadly missing the UK's CD addition of 'Did Ya' to the tracklist, making it longer still.
  3. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Money Talks.

    stereo mix, recorded Jan-Mar 1974 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London
    Scene: Into Flash's den - a night club

    Scene: In Flash's den, a night club partly converted into an office.
    Sung by Flash, Floosies and Spivs:

    Show me a man who says he can live without bread
    And I'll show you a man who's a liar and in debt.
    There's no one alive who can't be purchased or enticed
    There's no man alive who wouldn't sell for a price,
    Money talks and we're the living proof,
    There ain't no limit to what money can do
    Money talks, money talks.

    Money can't breathe and money can't see,
    But when I pull out a fiver people listen to me.
    Money can't run and money can't walk,
    But when I write out a cheque I swear to God I hear money talk.
    Money talks and, baby, when you've been bought
    You pay attention everytime money talks.
    Money talks, money talks.

    Money talks and there's no doubt about it
    Money talks and we can't live without it,
    What's the point of living unless you've got money?
    I just couldn't function without money.
    Money talks, money talks,
    Money talks, money talks.

    Show me an upright respected man
    And I'll have him licking my boots when I put money in his hand.
    It rots your heart, it gets to your soul,
    Before you know where you are you're a slave to the green gold.
    Money talks and we're the living proof
    There ain't no limit to what money can do.
    Money talks you out of your self-respect,
    The more you crave it the cheaper you get.
    Money talks, money talks.

    Money buys you time and people listen,
    Money can buy a smile and make life worth living.
    If you're ugly money can improve you.
    I just couldn't face the world without mazuma.
    Money talks, money talks.
    Written by: Ray Davies

    Published by: Davray Music Ltd.

    The lyric here is fairly straight forward, but it also gives away a little more about what's going on.

    Flash has become a slave to money. He has made it his god, because he has seen it work for him so frequently, delivering him the things he wants/needs. He has seen people drop all their moral stances and integrity for the right amount of cash, and so he sees it as his deliverance. This of course explains clearly why he so wantonly decides to buy up, destroy and rebuild all the surrounding towns, because it will give him more money, and therefore more control of people and their morals/beliefs or whatever.

    There are some really great lines in this song. It holds theme really well, and to some degree, I could see some people feeling that the song is lyrically one dimensional, but there is actually quite a bit in here.

    The first verse pretty clearly states that in Flash's experience, anyone saying they can live without money is lying, and is likely just bitter that they don't have enough, or more. Then he goes on to state that in his experience, everyone has a price, and the next verse reinforces that...
    "when I pull out a fiver people listen to me"
    "when I write out a cheque I swear to God I hear money talk"
    "when you've been bought, you pay attention everytime money talks."

    He moves on to show that, again, in his experience, it has given him complete control over all.
    "Show me an upright, respected man and I'll have him licking my boots, when I buy him off."

    The lyrics sort of imply that Flash is not quite himself anymore, because he seems to fail to see that what he is ascribing to other people is a direct description of what has happened to him... it sort of leaves him looking a little deluded.... or lost ...
    "It rots your heart, it gets to your soul, before you know where you are you're a slave to the green gold"
    "Money talks you out of your self-respect, the more you crave it the cheaper you get"

    I think that although Flash is obviously a scoundrel when we meet him, this song shows the distinct difference between Flash and Mr Black, particularly following the opening two songs.

    Flash is a victim of his own success.
    His position has led him to wealth and power, and it has corrupted him to the point where he can't even see himself anymore... he is in a deluded world of perpetual power-grabs and trying to feather his own nest, because he is the king of this whole damn thing ..... don't forget that in Act 1 we find out that people loved him and trusted him (Here Comes Flash) .. certainly that could just be that he bought them off, but to me at least, I don't think I'd really trust someone that (attempts to) buy(s) me off, there is an unwritten inference that Flash changed, and it seems to be directly linked to money and power.

    Mr Black on the other hand is more interested in ultimate control...
    In Money, Corruption and Greed the people ask for a saviour, Mr Black pronounces himself to be that saviour. Mr Black makes promises of prosperity, essentially saying he will give everyone all the "things" they desire, but states them in the context of needs. People miss the most poignant line in his diatribe though, as everyone "will be answerable to me"...

    When we link that with the portrait of a madman painted in When A Solution Comes, we have two quite different character types. Flash becomes corrupted by money and power, but Mr Black doesn't appear to even have it yet, and is in the maniacal megalomaniac role already. The guy is evil....... and I think that is why we can see Ray has a certain amount of sympathy for Flash.... that we will get to down the line here, but seemingly none for the repugnant Mr Black.

    Musically this is a great groove grind rocker, and this song does somewhat have a bit of a T Rex feel to me. With the backing vocals sort of bringing to mind a T Rex kind of styling.

    The guitars and piano start us off nicely, and when that slide chord rolls up to pitch, we're off, and Mick sets it up with a stomping fill that sounds like he has his kicker boots on.

    The groove launches hard and heavy. This song is really punchy, and to my ears at least, has much more punch and grind than T Rex's generally smoother boogie feels they laid down.... not saying one is better than the other at all, just pointing out the distinct difference to my ears.

    The swagger here is palpable, and we get Ray and Dave delivering this vocal together, and possibly for the first time I remember (we've looked at a lot of music lol) Ray's vocal is as savage as any Dave has done with him. Dave takes the upper register as per normal.
    When we move into the Money Talks sections, we get the full ensemble backing vocals with the female backing vocals, and personally, I think it works perfectly. It has this sort of celebratory tone, and everyone is in on the celebration.

    Mick's fills sort of turn the groove around, and work really well for me.... for a straight kind of Boogie rock, this is pretty savage in its presentation.... love it.
    In some ways this makes me feel that this is the most Stonesy the Kinks ever got, but we'll see.

    We get some really nice slide lead licks coming in at appropriate moments, and I love them too.

    Then we get some sleazy N'Orleans, or perhaps, Memphis horns adding to the whole sleazy grind.... it's pretty magic stuff to my ears.

    Again the vocal phrasing is beautiful. Reading the lyrics, it seems like it may be rhythmically awkward, but the execution leaves it working beautifully for me.

    To me this is not remotely the kind of song one would expect on the much touted show tune album we get described to us so frequently..... in fact, as yet, all I have heard in the first three songs is great rock music, with a Kinks twist, delivered powerfully and intelligently, with a narrative, that for me, ties it all together beautifully.

    The album is three for three so far in my world, and although a slightly different flavour, this is at least on par with the magnificent albums we have already looked at.

    God Save The Kinks!

  4. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Money Talks - Peel Sessions

    I think this is the same as the BBC Live At Langham Studios 1974, off BBC Sessions
  5. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Live at the Hippodrome 1974

  6. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

  7. Zack

    Zack Forum Resident

    Easton, MD
    OK, I'm back after a re-listen and I still have issues, lol. As for this track, it's good but it belongs in Act 1, doesn't it? It really doesn't say much. It's our first spotting of Flash in Act 2. When did he take over the country? Perhaps he won the election Black was campaigning for in Money and Corruption/I'm Your Man, but man, is it a huge plot hole.

    It does, however, confirm the rumor that Ray is a pretty serious cheapskate. I realize five pounds sterling in the early 70's was worth considerably more than it is now, but still, a fiver?
  8. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    "Money Talks"

    Not one of my favourites from the album - to call it a monotonous plodder might be unfair, but I look forward to this track coming along with the same sense of dread that I get when "Skin & Bone" is the next track up. It's also previewing future hard rock chuggers like "Low Budget" and "Labour Of Love".

    The lyrics are good, and the rising chord sequence going into the chorus gives it a bit of momentum, but overall it still drags for me. I wouldn't skip it, but I don't find it as musically interesting as the tracks around it.
  9. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    This song is sort of standard 70s plodding rock, it's not bad by any means it just doesn't do much to stand out. Lyrically it could almost be on any Kinks album. Any song where Ray sings about money is a song that's close to his heart so I tend to assume there's a lot of Ray in those songs!

    I've never thought about it too deeply but, yes, I can see that this song is setting up Flash for some kind of redemption - the idea that he has been corrupted himself, this seems a very Ray Davies view of money. I'm already beginning to think that I maybe took this album a bit too seriously and that there aren't really any deep sociopolitical issues being tackled (Money corrupts? Get away, Ray!) and it is a kind of burlesque mash up of stuff Ray has read or seen - 1984 meets The Threepenny Opera by way of Crackerjack.
  10. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    Congrats for your first Kinks post of 2022, Mark, brilliant as usual. The song? Not that great musically for me. I hear the T- Stones thing, I hear the Exile on Memphis St. horns, I hear screaming Dave & shouty Ray giving their all, but I also hear the plodding (3d post in a row using the term… there must be some truth to it) Status Quo boogie beat I’m not too crazy about. Yet I can see that the overall undistinguished feel is 100% deliberate, trying to convey both the unescapable vulgarity of what’s being said and a kind of self-disgust on the part of Flash saying it, as Mark’s already pointedly underlined. That makes it a successful piece of songwriting and performance (it brings its point across in a very effective way) but not a song I really enjoy. As Keith R. said about I can’t remember what, it rocks but it doesn’t quite roll.

    The lyrics, meanwhile, are excellent. Lots of fantastic lines in this. Ray isn’t necessary known as a one-liner/punchline master but here, he shows that unusual facet of his talent. The fact that the three verses don’t hammer the same idea but twist it each time, in order to reveal what the guy deeply thinks about it all is key. This is the biggest difference between the two protagonists of this cautionary tale. Flash doesn’t want the world to be like it is. He tells it like he sees it, but that doesn’t mean he likes it because he himself’s been corrupted by the world as it stands. On the contrary, Black wants to corrupt the world even more, and re-shape it to serve his megalomaniacal delusions. That’s two very different things, and I guess it gives an interesting insight into Ray’s cynical views on politics at the time. But more on that later…

    Happy 2022 to all, the prospect of spending it in your company on a daily basis is a great joy for me.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2022
  11. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    I'm beginning to hear the difference in sound between Act 1 and Act 2. Act 1 sounds neater to me. I've listened again to the long version of Money an Corruption (that falls 5s short of beating Education as the longest Kinks track), it should be the default version.

    Introduction to Solution

    The title is clearly a working title that was kept in the end for want of a better idea. It is an example of a title changing the way one listens to the song. Much like "Morning Song" functionning as an introduction to "Daylight", I have always linked "Introduction to Solution" to "When a Solution Comes", to the point of not alway remembering which is which, while in reality they are very different songs.

    When a Solution Comes

    The second part has a bit of that Shadows style that is to be found in Flash's Theme.

    Money Talks

    Sounds like an Exile on Main St outtake to me, and I dislike it for the same reason I dislike much of Exile : poor music, over-cluttered sound, with guitars, horns and vocals pushing their way to my ears while trampling on their neighbour's feet, imprecise general rythmic impression. As for the words, I don't even understand the metaphor. How on earth is Money talking ?

    I love the first 2 songs, even more after reading the many great contributions from the thread. They make a great start for my Preservation in 2 acts' second LP. Money Talks didn't make it to the final listing though. I still listen to it with a certain pleasure on the dump album that I assembled from the 4 discarded Preservation tunes, the singles and Daves' 1973 tracks.

    As for the words on this album, I have yet to make my decision. As I think I already said, the nice thing about not having English as one's mother tongue is you can chose whether you listen to the lyrics or not. As a general intention, the best songs on this album (and those on Act 1) work very well. I will see if it is worth getting more analytic. Ihave my doubts.

    What is great about this thread is the way participants share different roles. Some, like @Vangro, tirelessly engage in a hypercritical approach and sound like the elder brother on Christmas Eve blurting out [SPOILER ALERT] that Santa Claus doesn't really exist, it was the parents all along. While @mark winstanley and @Fortuleo give Ray and the band all the possibily imaginable credits and add some more ; they've actually seen Santa and describe his visit in the most vivid colours and liveliest details, making it real and fascinating.

    It makes me think of something Aldous Huxley said or wrote (I don't remember where I read it), towards the end of his life. As a youth, he was extremely demanding as far as the formal quality of poetry, and all art forms in general, was concerned. But when he grew old, he was more of the opinion that you could feel great emotions with formally mediocre pieces, and that your art-induced emotions owed more to your own sensibility than to the design of the work of art involved. Well, that's sort of what I remember he said, but it was certainly more clever. I believe it sets a lot in perspective about this most extraordinary of world history events that was the explosion of popular music from the late 1950's on.

    In short, when Vangro cynically exposes the ugly underneath of most so-called "concept albums", I can't help but thinking "gosh, he's right" ; but the Leader and others tell the stories that I want to hear. And the good news is, no one will prevent me from believing them, we're in the Land of Make-Believe and emotions are real !

    EDIT : I almost forgot, a happy new year everybody ! I hope this first song of 2022 will bode well for our respective material situations, but not only !
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2022
  12. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Money Talks:
    Sung by Flash, Floosies and the Spivs, this is a raunchy rocker, played loose and with swagger. Flash brags about how he can use money to get anything he wants as everyone has their price.

    I can imagine hearing this blasting out of the radio and understand this being picked as the single.

    Happy New Year to all in this Year of the Tiger.
  13. Tim 2


    Alberta Canada
    Money Talks
    A little noisy for me and not a rhythmic masterpiece.
  14. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    LOL that could explain why I sometimes fail to understand many folks problem with the rock songs, I have a dozen Status Quo albums that I love :)
  15. malco49

    malco49 Forum Resident

    i have seen those candies here in the states! back when i was a kid , so not for a while now!!
  16. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Money Talks

    After reading Mark's track write up I have just played it 5 times back to back and wish to give some first impressions (well 20 years after the fact when I really first heard it.)

    The opening piano sprinkling's are reminiscent of Tulsa Time from Clapton's Backless and then I get a Faces vibe complete with Woody on slide only abdicating to Jimmy Page for a few of the more florid and less gut bucket lines.
    So I get the T.Rex mention and it is coarser and I also get the Stones feel however there is a 7 note phrase at the end of some of the verse lines that is sometimes played by the horns and sometimes other instruments skirt around it but i can't as to me it sounds like the brass lines in the Who's 5.15 song.
    The female vocals fit with the massed chorus of rocking voices and therefore the song as a whole better than any other Preservation song I have heard!
    When I listen to this I forget about Flash, his money and greed and the story plot as it all wanders from my mind as I am simply entertained and that is no faint praise as I am very thankful for it!
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2022
  17. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    They were one of my favourites as a kid in Aus... I'm not really a sweet tooth, but the licorice, I loved.... I guess I like that aniseed taste, like the Absinthe I was drinking last night... and is probably still flowing in the bloodstream this morning :)
  18. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    The funny thing is I have had the BBC 2CD set since release & i forgot Money Talks was on it.
    I guess it didn't stand out for me amongst some of the keenly anticipated gems from disc 1 & i found disc 2 fairly humdrum.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2022
  19. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    What i have attempted to say and failed to was this is my favourite Preservation song thus far that has dominant female vocals in it as they fit and are in no way tacked on or shoehorned in.

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Salem, MA
    "Money Talks", another song that fleshes out the Mr. Flash character, showing his love of money on the level of Scrooge McDuck. I can imagine Ray, erm, Flash, and his cohorts diving into a pool full of cash durning this song in the imaginary film version of Preservation. Speaking of which, too bad there wasn't such a film made back in the day, like Tommy or Rocky Horror. Maybe it wouldn't have been a masterpiece, but it could have been at least "The Wall with laughs", as one Avid put it. Ken Russell as director? Perhaps Avid Fortuelo or another film loving Avid has something to say about it.

    Back to the song. I do like the lyrics, especially the one about hearing money talk while writing out a check. I believe that Dylan had a lyric, "money doesn't talk, it swears" in the song "Gates of Eden", I believe, if any Avid who's also a Bobcat can back me up.

    Happy New Year, everyone!
  21. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    You got the right Dylan album and even the acoustic side 2 to boot however the song
    It's Alright Ma I'm Only Bleding.

    I'm enjoying your Flashy avatar!
  22. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    I can just imagine watching a live performance of the musical. Somber after hearing the diabolical scheming of Mr. Black…and then hit over the head by Flash and his cohort floosies and spivs. Tension is released!

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Salem, MA
    Well, Avid All Down the Line, as the great philosopher Meat Loaf once said, "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad", especially the next morning after New Year's Eve ;)

    I'm digging your Jonesy avatar myself.
  24. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Do we get a happy ending?
    mark winstanley and Zeki like this.
  25. abzach

    abzach Forum Resident

    Preservation Act 2 - not as good as the excellent Act 1 but still very good.

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