The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    I follow what you’re saying. As everyone know, I’m in new territory now but, yeah, You Really Got Me etc. The Kinks coulda played off of that and made a couple decades long career doing variations of the same. When Ray, or Dave, write a rocker I don’t think it should be that surprising. Also, picking up on other fads (?), movements (?), is perfectly normal. When country rock is “the thing”, The Kinks can follow that path, too. And so on.

    As for ‘Money Talks’, I know we could put together at least an ep’s worth, and probably an lp, of Kinks tunes that we, as a general consensus, have described as Stones/Faces/Rod Stewart/T-Rex. It’s not a where-in-the-world-did-this-come-from type of thing. Like it would be if, for instance, Bread blasted out a ballsy, raucous tune right after crooning ‘Baby, I’m a Want You.’ The Kinks have done similar songs multiple times.

    In the case of ‘Money Talks, this is part of the musical so I don’t look at it (and this batch of songs) in the same manner as a traditional album.
  2. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    I guess that part of our issue could just be that You Really Got Me is about 500 times better than Money Talks. For me personally, I'm generally more of a pop than rock guy anyway, although I do appreciate some rock albums. But even then, for this era I'd usually choose something like pomp/glam rock over someone like the Faces (who were never anywhere close to the Small Faces in my world!). I guess knowing how good Ray was at writing in so many styles, it seems a shame when he delivers basic rock.
  3. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    ...or worse, Humble Pie.
  4. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Lol I like Humble Pie too ... pretty new to me though, I just have an anthology
    DISKOJOE and palisantrancho like this.
  5. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I'm not suggesting Money Talks is on par with You Really Got Me, or in fact not.... merely that I have noticed since we hit the seventies that a lot of "rock songs" seem to have been frowned upon.

    I guess I also come from a rock base...
    I enjoy Acdc, Status Quo, Faces, Stones, T Rex etc a lot, always have.

    As far as Money Talks goes, I guess I'm just surprised so many don't seem to get into the groove and swagger in there.
  6. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    I don’t understand, really, your concluding sentence…but, yeah, we (as in the thread participants) are coming at this from all over the place. But this particular song is specifically for Flash and his Floosies and Spivs. Part of the musical.

    Side issue: I’m a Faces, shambolic ‘Cindy, Incidentally’ type of guy. Or Humble Pie ‘Rockin’ the Fillmore.’ Or Stones. Not so much on T-Rex (all I know is Telegram Sam/Bang a Gong).
  7. ThereOnceWasANote

    ThereOnceWasANote Forum Resident

    Cape May, NJ
    I think you're onto something to. Pete can windmill his way into some choppy power chords, Keith can mine that always fertile Satisfaction/JJF riff factory for more variations on a theme or devise new riffs like "Flip The Switch" whereas Ray doesn't have that option.

    Is it because Dave wasn't as creative as Pete and Keef? Or Ray wouldn't let Dave do more with the songs? So Ray didn't have that luxury as a lead guitarist/songwriters like those two or like Jagger to have a riff for the foundation to build a song lyrically around.

    These opening tracks are somewhat in the blues-rock vein which the Kinks do well but really isn't their wheelhouse either. IMHO these aren't hard rock songs per se more somewhere in the middle. Aside from those early Kinks singles Dave really wasn't a riff-oriented player or Ray didn't want him to be. Total, total conjecture here but maybe that is another large part of the Ray/Dave friction that Ray didn't want Dave to upstage his lyrics and concepts.

    I can't imagine the guy who as a teen came up with those groundbreaking early Kinks riffs was pleased to see contemporaries like Townshend, Richards, and even Page become renowned for their leads and riffs, passing by Dave who took the riff in rock to whole new levels. Which is maybe why on Victoria he's whooping and hollering at being able to play a riff again.

    The Kinks became such a song/songwriter oriented band and Dave could never branch out and be the guitarist to give a riff or lead idea for Ray to build upon. It was usually Dave fitting his guitar into Ray's song (of course there are exceptions).

    You hear that in the Arista rock years as well. Yes, much of it is guitar-driven hardish to punkish rock but you can count on one or two hands any memorable riffs. It's Dave playing leads over Ray's songs and/or inserting solo's. That's what you hear on this opening trio of songs.

    All good and enjoyable songs but Dave (and I could be well off the mark) seems more like a session musician playing what the songwriter wants in the song for much of the Kinks career (aside from his own songs). That could be a reason why to many these songs sound derivative or just ok. Ray seems to be musically chasing trends a bit while lyrically still pushing the boundaries and still at the top of his game, or not far off it.

    All of this is just one man's view, thoughts and observations of course. YMMV.
  8. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    These Preservation albums are breaking ground, I think. I’ve never heard anything like ‘em.
  9. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    T Rex were a quirky kind of boogie pop band with some mild psychedelic leanings...
    If you were going to check them out Electric Warrior or The Slider are the place to start .... The Slider is my favourite.
    Dandy In The Underworld is later and a bit different, and probably their next best album for me.
  10. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I actually think Dave took himself out of rotation intentionally after the pressure of trying to put together a solo album. Certainly Ray was steering the Kinks ship, but Dave always got to put in songs when he had them, and even when we look at Dave's songs from the seventies on Decade, he is not really doing much in the way of riff rocking. Some good songs, but he seems to be a little lost for direction.

    I think the Arista years see the reemergence of Dave as a riff rocker, particularly on Low Budget, but we'll get there.
  11. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    I've just listened to Money Talks again - I also don't usually like Rays shouty vocals (much more of that unfortunately when we get to the early Arista albums!), and there's a bit of that here. I think the horns are great though. Someone mentioned Zinc Alloy-era T.Rex, and the backing vocals certainly remind me of that. As I said, it's not awful, just not as good as the two previous songs.
  12. ThereOnceWasANote

    ThereOnceWasANote Forum Resident

    Cape May, NJ
    I love me some groove and swagger but I go to the Stones or AC/DC for that. Sure the Kinks can groove and swagger but it's Ray going for a Stonesy feel with the Tumbling Dice guitar and horns/ organ.

    Whereas in 1967, it was the Stones emulating the Kinks sound and feel for much of an entire album, Between The Buttons.

    By 1974, the Kinks aping a Stones Exile, T-Rex sound, etc... is kind of a letdown though to their credit they do it well.

    The Kinks were talented and great enough they really didn't need to become music chameleons. I think that's my view of it. These songs are not derivative necessarily because they rock it's because they are consciously or not sounding like these other bands in obvious ways.

    But I think that's a problem that would plague them the rest of their career in one way or another. I say this as a fan with high regard for the Arista years despite some shortcomings.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2022
  13. ThereOnceWasANote

    ThereOnceWasANote Forum Resident

    Cape May, NJ
    Concept and lyric-wise I would absolutely agree. This is real rock theatre.
  14. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    No wonder I enjoy that album so much!
  15. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    Money Talks
    Having a hard time with this one. I listen to it and I go back and forth from liking it well enough to thinking it's a bit boring (dare I use the word "plodding"?).

    Love the Dave/Ray shared vocals. One of the highlights.
    I do not hear T Rex in this song, but more closer to the Stones, as others have said. I'm terrible about connecting other artists that I don't know a ton about with the Kinks, but somehow I think of Joe Walsh when I hear this song. Anyone else?

    This song doesn't grab me and take me for a fun Kinks ride. I do think, however, if I saw this being performed live with the whole shebang of the show, my mind might change about it.

    It's ok, but not as good as the previous song.
  16. stewedandkeefed

    stewedandkeefed Came Ashore In The Dead Of The Night

    My family spent six months in England late 1971 to early 1972 when I was ten. Seminal moment was seeing Top Of The Pops and they played a video for "Jeepster". I have always had a soft spot for T.Rex ever since. And I definitely hear shades of T.Rex in "Money Talks". Which isn't surprising because Glam was much bigger in England than North America. Plus the sixties bands did absorb current music and reflect it back. I don't think Some Girls would have been so revved up without punk taking hold in England around that time. Yeah "Money Talks" is pretty generic and all that but I just am more partial to rockers so I enjoy "Money Talks". It took this thread for me to start to piece the Preservation story together so I get that it is in character whereas before I was just hearing a set of songs I suspected told a story.
  17. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    That's a fair call, I just don't see it that way.
    I see them as having expanded their paint palette, and they draw the colour they want, when they think they need it..... and no matter what similarities may pop up, it all still sounds unmistakably Kinks, to me at least.
  18. donstemple

    donstemple Member of the Club

    Maplewood, NJ
    Yes, I had the same thought. There’s a bit of that full sound of Life’s Been Good I hear in this. And that song came out 4 years after Money Talks.
  19. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    Steve Marriott may have eventually lost me when he got too serious and every song became a high pitch wail, but The Small Faces are among my favorite 60s bands, so I cut both Steve and Ronnie some slack in the after bands. The first four Humble Pie albums have some great material. I don't love all of it, especially when they become more of a heavy jam band, but there are plenty of bright spots on those first few albums and some glimpses of Steve's glorious past. When he was good, he was one of the greatest singers of all time.

    I'm not a huge fan of the later 70s Kinks rock, but I am hoping by the time we get there I may come around a bit more. I hear what @mark winstanley is getting at. The Kinks get shafted for many of the experimental tunes and their straight forward rock n roll, when other artists are praised for it. I wrote this on a notebook a few nights ago so I must have wanted to share it.

    I think too often we want things to be like they use to be, but things change. The hardest thing for a musician is this, unless he only changes for himself. Sometimes you don't get the crowd following you, but you still stay true to what you want to be as an artist. Albums like Preservation is Ray trying to follow his own path while taking risks. It's only when he succumbs to the outside pressure that he fails himself and sometimes that can be heard on the albums. They may be decent albums, but it feels like Ray is just doing what other people think he should be doing. I like Ray when he is the most stubborn and does what may not be a popular choice.

    I am a big fan of T.Rex and Marc Bolan. So many treasures to be found on all of the albums. For those who think he was always just a boogie man, here is an early single that really wouldn't sound out of place on Kinda Kinks. Some borrow and some steal, but sometimes there is just a mutual love for the same type of music.

    Sounding very familiar? "Never Met a Girl Like You Before"?

  20. Fischman

    Fischman RockMonster, ClassicalMaster, and JazzMeister

    New Mexico
    Not rambling at all. A most cogent post. At least I think it must be since I completely agree!
  21. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Yep…or Sir Douglas Quintet’s ‘She’s About a Mover’

    Side note clarification for me: When I say it reminds me of such-and-such I’m not implying that Ray (or Dave) borrowed from or are copying The Faces, etc. As I’m coming into this with essentially a clean slate (aside from big hits, Village Green and Muswell Hillbillies) the name dropping helps identify the type of song. We already determined, for instance, that The Kinks pre-dated The Beatles on Indian sounding music. But, because of my ignorance of The Kinks, I might say “it sounds like Beatles.” It could well be that the Faces sound like that particular brand of Kinks!

    End of sidebar. :D
  22. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    Zeki, mark winstanley and DISKOJOE like this.

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Salem, MA
    Me too, a lot more than the subsequent album of theirs.

    Our Headmaster brought up a lot of interesting points about the Kinks' career. Frankly, it's a great thing that he's not one of those people who say that the Kinks were great from 1964-71 & crap for the remainder of their career. It's nice to know that he's open minded enough to see merit in the Kinks' subsequent output. It's also nice to know that many of my fellow Avids share this open mindness. To me, the VGPS will always remain Peak Kinks, but I have been entertained & enjoy much of their subsequent work.
  24. ThereOnceWasANote

    ThereOnceWasANote Forum Resident

    Cape May, NJ
    You can hear She's About A Mover a bit but really it's distictively Marc Bolan and you can hear the bones of the T-Rex sound to come (Jeepster comes to mind). It's a great little track and not that far afield of T-Rex at all (you can hear some of that Bo Diddleyesque beat). It really wouldn't be out of place on a T-Rex album. He really had the basis of the T-Rex sound defined early which is cool even before his Tyrannesosrous Rex period. Thanks for postimg that.
  25. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Money Talks
    I see this is one of those polarising songs - not because it’s challenging but because it’s not challenging enough. Fair call, but I’m with @mark winstanley @Zeki @All Down The Line and @stewedandkeefed on this. It rocks, it horns and I like it. Ray broke a lot of new ground with the Kinks musically and lyrically so I don’t begrudge him the occasional standard rocker.

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