The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. ThereOnceWasANote

    ThereOnceWasANote Forum Resident

    Cape May, NJ
    On When A Solution Comes does anyone else the melody of the much later "How Are You" in the brief electric piano part between "...for everyone" and the electric guitar takes us into the second part. Or am I just hearing things? Lol
    DISKOJOE likes this.
  2. Michael Streett

    Michael Streett Senior Member

    Florence, SC
    Interesting discussion about whether this song is too derivative of other bands and why was this chosen as a single. It’s worth pointing out that Money Talks is the first single from Act 2 as Mark points out in the overview of the song, but only in the US, Germany, and Japan. At the same time, the UK, France, and New Zealand got Mirror Of Love (this song will present its own set of typical Kinks release quirks with different versions and mixes when we get to it).

    To me, Money Talks is an album track, but not single material and there’s nothing wrong with that of course. It serves the album just fine.
    The point I’m making here is that RCA felt the more rock oriented materiel (I hate to use the word derivative, but you know) was suited for one type market but in other markets the more eclectic, only-Ray-Davies-writes-songs-like-this-Kinksian style and sound was the perceived the best commercial bet. That’s not unusual of course and history tells us that neither worked for The Kinks during this phase of their career. They were damned if they did and damned if they didn’t in the early to mid 70s with singles and albums.
  3. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

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  4. Luckless Pedestrian

    Luckless Pedestrian Forum Resident

    New Hampshire, USA
    Just ran through it mentally and yup it’s brief but similar for sure. And as you may know, the end of Americana’s The Deal references it also, quite explicitly.
  5. Luckless Pedestrian

    Luckless Pedestrian Forum Resident

    New Hampshire, USA
    I think also - in regards to ‘name dropping’ - it seems that identifying similarities with other works of art often gives us a foothold from which we can develop an appreciation for a newer work. Similar to how linking a song to a place or time can add to its significance for us; it’s a kind of mental triangulation between ourselves, the art, and our life experience - some mysterious alchemy that allows us to find value in a particular work of art. Without that, the work might pass us by like a stranger, leaving no impression, or a negative one. For this reason I’m always interested to learn about what artists or works others are hearing in these Kinks songs, because oftentimes I’m not very familiar with them and listening to these artists and songs may open a door to appreciation that had been closed - and I’d rather have more music to enjoy than less!
  6. Michael Streett

    Michael Streett Senior Member

    Florence, SC
    One of the great things about this thread is listening again to albums and songs after reading other’s thoughts and perceptions after years of listening with just my own thoughts and built in opinions, some of which may need to be re-evaluated for those reasons plus my own experiences of growing older and having more experiences and wisdom (ha!).
    Listening to Act 2 in its entirety tonight and a couple of things others have suggested are more obvious now that they are pointed out. One is this album is in drastic need of a remix.
    Some tracks have decent stereo separation of instruments and voices while others are narrow stereo almost mono with a very claustrophobic mix with so many voices and instruments crammed in the middle. Some tracks have the instruments louder than the vocals with vocals almost indecipherable, especially the early part of the album. This suggests some tracks were recorded/mixed at different times than others. We know this is the first album recorded at their new Konk studio, but these mixes suggest some were likely recorded/mixed earlier so maybe Ray didn’t scrap(heap) as much of the 1973 sessions as we’re led to believe. Listen to the left/right separation of instruments or the lack thereof from track to track to see what I mean.

    I can’t find it right now, but I read somewhere in the past that John Dalton changed strings to more round-wound strings on his bass at this point and indeed on the songs with better stereo separation (the later Konk recordings?) the bass is far more prominent, distinct, and powerful and it sounds great!
    Check out the bass guitar on Shepherds Of The Nation, Nobody Gives, and Oh Where Oh Where Is Love? amongst others and compare to other tracks to hear what I am talking about. We focus a lot on lyrics here but instruments and mix are just as relevant to me too. Being a drummer will do that to you.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2022
  7. CheshireCat

    CheshireCat Forum Resident

    Money Talks
    Is one that doesn't really grab me, it's just there. and has been mentioned numerous times, plods along. Nothing wrong with that of course, it's a change of feel from the previous two tracks, so you can't complain of the tracks all sounding the same. Plenty of variety so far.

    Of course, this was not released as a single in the UK. We only had 'Mirror Of Love' from the album (released twice in two different versions)
  8. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    That's what I kind of expected as a popular answer when I was reading Mark's post.
  9. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    Damn, thread alert failed me and I missed most of the action here yesterday. But thankfully, Sunday allows me to catch up. Dear Headmaster @Mark winstanley… I would 100% agree with your "the Kinks-are-allowed-to-rock-if-they-damn-want-to-since-they-almost-invented-the-genre" excellent post if I didn't think you were about 80% wrong (and at least 50% unfair!) about why some of us don't enjoy Money Talks as much as you do. In my opinion, it's not the style of the song that's not too great, and certainly not the idea of the Kinks doing that style, it's the song itself. The same goes with some 80's tracks, probably, but it's a different story, as Ray was then instructed to approach things differently ("no concept or theater allowed !"), eventually renewing his band's success, probably enjoying it tremendously yet feeling a bit guilty about it as well (if the LP's titles – Low Budget/Give the People What They Want/ State of Confusion – are to be taken at face value ). But we'll get there in due time.
    On the thread, everyone's been pretty straightforward about how personal taste can cause a bias in the way of approaching certain tracks. Some people don't like operetta too much, they say so. Or brass oriented tunes. Or country rock. With maybe @croquetlawns' exception (and he was still very nuanced about it), no one's said "don't like heavy boogie rock, sorry" to explain why Money Talks is not as great as When A Solution Comes. The same person could think Money Talks is a bit meh while feeling Ducks on the Wall is freaking irresistible, and one of the superlative stand outs of A Soap Opera. I know I do. And that's a hell of a heavy boogie rock tune if I ever heard one. Quack Quack!!!
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2022
  10. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Yeah, I'll take those ducks any day over "Money Talks". Which is not something I thought I'd be saying in 1986. I've got no problem with the heavier rock tracks from now on (I'm probably one of the few that's going to be nice about "Rock 'N' Roll Cities"), I just find that "Money Talks" doesn't excite me that much.
  11. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    I think the crass n brash ‘Money Talks’ works perfectly as an aural establishing shot of Flash’s den of iniquity.
  12. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    I’ll be looking forward to hearing this. (I’m planning to preview A Soap Opera around the ‘Mirror of Love’ point in the discussion.)
  13. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    It wasn't actually supposed to be about Money talks specifically lol, just a general, what seems to be, aversion to the rock songs post-sixties. It seems like I keep reading this idea that the Kinks ran out of ideas, sold out their English roots etc etc or whatever, when a rock song comes up, since the seventies started ... and if people believe that, it's fine, I'm not trying to criticise anyone's personal tastes or preferences, I just think it is an illogical assessment of the band's recorded output.

    As far as this song goes, I don't think Money Talks is some magnificent track that will make some extended playlist, if I did those, merely that it is a good rock song with good groove and swagger.... If we were looking at any of the bands mentioned during the discussion of it, it seems like it would be considered a really good track, but discussing the Kinks it seems to be painted as a failure and an error, and that doesn't make sense to me..... that's all
  14. Luckless Pedestrian

    Luckless Pedestrian Forum Resident

    New Hampshire, USA
    Agreed, I would love a remix. I should enjoy Money Talks more than I do, but unfortunately it’s physically fatiguing for my ears and I get restless by the end of it.

    I definitely have noticed the inconsistency with the bass guitar sound. I’ve always wondered if Dalton changed to a Rickenbacker in places, it has that growling feel that reminds me of Chris Squire, or Geddy Lee before he changed to a Fender - but a string change makes sense. The growly bass is also prominent throughout Soap Opera; Oh Where Oh Where Is Love sounds like it would fit right in on that album.

    Since you are a drummer: do you notice a difference in the kick drum across songs? In Introduction To a Solution it seems to me that it has a softer, “Pfft” sound that kind of bothers me, as if the tension on the drum head is low; while in other songs, like Money Talks, it has a tighter, satisfying “Thump”.
  15. Wondergirl

    Wondergirl Forum Resident

    Massachusetts, USA
    Since I am not an audiophile, I'm not good at pinpointing a sonic issue with a song. But when listening to Money Talks, I felt like it was a "wall of sound". So it's not so much that the Kinks are rocking out...damn...I love to rock out and bang my head at times. it's the SOUND that isn't pleasing to my ears. so as @Michael Streett suggested, maybe it needs to be remixed to tease out the individual instruments and voices.

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Salem, MA
    In regards to the sound issues raised by several of the Avids, didn't Ray do some tweaking in the 1991 Rhino reissue & has this tweaking continued on subsequent reissues?
  17. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    Now this I've read countless times, but rarely (if ever) on this thread. A few rocking tracks (mainly One of the Survivors and Money Talks) did get a somewhat lukewarm reception here but I thought it was because they were designed (by the band) as pastiches/parodies. On the other hand, the likes of Powerman, 20th Century Man and even Here Comes Yet Another Day received some overwhelming (and well deserved) accolades from us all. And they do rock quite a bit, don't they ? Anyway, with Shepherds of the Nation, Scum of the Earth and Second Hand Car Spiv coming up, I'm pretty sure we won't be having any more of this "heavy rock" kink kontroversy in a little while!!
    See what you've done here ? I was ready to give Ray a pass on this but you're so right, we hear Flash's theme in When A Solution Comes, which is Mr. Black's solo number. Could it be inconsequence or inconsistency on Ray's part ? I find it hard to believe… Knowing him, it must have some sort of meaning (maybe it's supposed to be the "megalomania" theme ?) but I wish he'd explain this at some point. Not sure it will happen anytime soon, though.
    It got me thinking Ray sees himself equally in both Flash and Black : the cynic and the megalomaniac, the low-life scoundrel and the wannabe supreme leader, the tight money grabber and the delusional mad schemer. He seems to know both traits from the inside out, maybe because both are at the heart of anyone driven enough to fancy oneself as a rock & roll star in front of enthralled audiences : wanting to be rich and famous on one hand, aspiring to power and control on the other. Having experienced both impulses, it seems Ray's decided the latter was a lot more dangerous, identifying it as the soul-consuming part of his own personality. Or so it is how I look at this Preservation cautionary tale.
  18. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    I lied. I couldn’t resist and just played ‘Ducks On a Walk.’ I haven’t laughed so hard in weeks, maybe since ‘Hot Potatoes.’ Tears are still streaming down my face.
  19. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Typo above: “Wall” (not walk).
    Sunday musings: I just realized that Apple Music has two tracks “starred” (my assumption being that these tracks are the most streamed (and have to reach some minimum requirement):
    ‘He’s Evil’ and ‘Nothing Lasts Forever.’ Seems odd to me but there ya have it.
  20. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    Not that odd to me. It would my pick.
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  21. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    Ahh…so here’s a hint at the now legendary single disc track list (yet to be revealed)!
  22. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    I said, mistakenly, that I'd deleted 4 tracks, but actually I deleted 5 songs and added 1. So Money Talk is out, still 4 more to go...
  23. Yesternow

    Yesternow Forum pResident

    I was doing a list of my favorite tracks (with the help of a known kinks related website). And it is now clear to me that I cannot call myself an early kinks fan. Well, "early" is acceptable because most of my favorites tracks are from the 64-66 period, but "fan"... How can I be a fan if what I like are basically the singles...

    So, here's my 64-66 list. All singles, exceptions are noted.

    I know most of you don't really dig the covers - Long Tall Sally and Louie, but maybe it's because I'm a foreigner... I kinda like the "strange" way they sing here. And for historical reasons I like to have the first record there.

    1 - Long Tall Sally, 7 Feb, 1964
    2 - You Do Something To Me, 17 Apr, 1964
    3 - You Really Got Me, 4 Aug, 1964

    4 - All Day and All of the Night
    5 - I Gotta Move, 23 Oct, 1964
    6 - Louie Louie (Kinksize Session), 27 Nov, 1964
    7 - Tired Of Waiting For You, 15 Jan, 1965

    8 - Got My Feet On The Ground (Kinda Kinks), 5 Mar, 1965
    9 - Everybody's Gonna Be Happy, 19 Mar, 1965
    10-Set Me Free

    11-I Need You, 21 May, 1965
    12-Till The End Of The Day
    13-Where Have All The Good Times Gone, 19 Nov, 1965
    14-You Can't Win (The Kink Kontroversy), 26 Nov, 1965
    15-Sittin' On My Sofa, 25 Feb, 1966
    16-Sunny Afternoon
    17-I'm Not Like Everybody Else, 3 Jun, 1966
    18-Dead End Street, 18 Nov, 1966
  24. idleracer

    idleracer Forum Resident

    :D This inspired me to do some research over at Amazingly, this predated "Psychotic Reaction" by a month.
  25. GarySteel

    GarySteel Bastard of old

    Molde, Norway
    But what if Flash and mister Black are indeed the same person and they both are just aspects of the tired mind of one Raymond Douglas Davies, eh? :D

    Edit: Ray is not the only one tired this Sunday evening. I forgot to mention the Tramp and his clairvoyant "know it all".
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2022

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