Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by mark winstanley, Apr 4, 2021.
At least I’m following the plot.
This may or may not have been inspired by this, at the 3½ minute mark:
Nilsson / Take 54
Quick interruption for this:
The Kinks' Dave Davies Asks For Humor & Compassion
Flash's Dream (The Final Elbow)
This is so over the top theatrical with the voices, that I must agree that this is first and foremost coming as comic relief. There is no way Ray meant this to be taken 100% seriously with those voices. He was able to act rather seriously for the Long Distance Piano Player film, right?
I think this is about 2 minutes too long. I think the dialogue could have been cut way down and the focus be on the musical montage combined with some dreamy ethereal effects fading in and out. I assume the Voice's main monologue there is what inspired the Preservation single at the tail end of this endeavor, because that seems to hit on many of those talking points....
Most of that montage is just different sections of There's a Change in the Weather, and then Demolition, and definitely some Money and Corruption thrown in there as well. The bits and pieces are used to good effect. Choosing a bit from Act 1 certainly links both Acts together as one cohesive piece (in at least Ray's mind). I think many of us feel that Act 1 really is more of a setup of a scene and introduction, and Act 2 really takes it to a whole other level where much of the action is. They are pretty different listening experiences, but I suppose we'll see how that all shakes out once we wrap up Act 2 and the stage show and gather overall thoughts on the whole thing.
It's almost an insult to playlists to ever consider this track (I won't call it a song, because it isn't) as being "playlist worthy". To me, it's obviously not and can only be appreciated exactly as it is, as theatrical album oddity between proper songs.
Sounds like a guy I could hang out with.
It's a fun interlude. I like it - it makes me laugh. I did wonder if it would be sensible to have the 'coo-eee's as a ringtone. I wouldn't listen to the track out of context of the album, but of course, it's not meant to be.
And yes, it's the ghost of Christmas yet to come.
A ringtone? (Suffers heart attack at the very thought!)
For those of you who may have read my take down of "Nobody Gives" a couple of days ago, you probably won't be surprised to learn "Flash's Dream" is my third favorite track of the four cuts on side 3.
....and, in honor of this thread having passed the halfway mark in the Kinks discography, I'll mark the occasion by changing my avatar's custom title that referenced "A Well Respected Man" to one that honors the one, the only...Mr. Flash....
I can't imagine thinking this is "awful acting" by Ray. This is Ray being totally absurd and he should win a Tony for it. After some of the songs and announcements, this has people's hackles up?!
Sorry if I missed it, but is Ray playing the "Voice"? I'm hearing an attempt at an American accent.
Anyway, I'm just "meh" on this. It's all just part of this wacky album and though I don't need to go out of my way to listen to it, it's good to hear a snippet of this and that. Reminds me I may need to replay some songs.
Yeah but this is way better!
The Dave Davies interview throws light on why I rarely understand what his songs are about, he seems to have the same impressionistic communication mode in everyday life as in his songwriting.
Just had a scary thought: this year, ‘Phobia’ is as old as the debut Kinks album was when ‘Phobia’ came out….!
Wow.... that kind of thing really makes your head spin, doesn't it...
stereo mix, recorded Jan-Mar 1974 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London
I've just had a dream that I never will forget.
And I wish I could erase.
I was standing on the street with a whole crowd of people
And no one knew my name.
And I was just another face
No one looked at me or touched me
Spoke to or acknowledged me.
I had no identity or individuality
No thoughts of my own, no mind or personality.
I was just a no one, a total nonentity
I'm just a number waiting to be called.
It is time for confessing it all,
I'm just another face,
Yes, it's time for confessing it all.
Been a cheat, been a crook,
Never gave I always took.
Crushed people to acquire
Anything that I desired.
Been deceitful and a liar
Now I'm facing Hell Fire.
I can't believe that my time has come
For confessing all the evil
And the wrong that I've done.
The reckoning's come
And now I'm just a no one.
I confess to the timid and the meek
To the cripples and the beggars
And the tramps in the street.
I confess my cruelty, my ego and conceit.
I've opened up my body and looked inside
And I'm everything that I once despised.
I confess for the thieves,
The affected and deranged,
I confess for the muggers and incurably insane.
I confess to the ugly for being vain,
I confess to those I hurt for causing them pain.
I'm just a number
Waiting to be called
And it's time for confessing it all,
And I'm just another face,
And it is time for confessing it all,
Yes, it's time for confessing it all,
Yes, it's time for confessing it all.
Written by: Ray Davies
Published by: Davray Music Ltd.
Earlier on a few folks found one of the tracks to have a sort of Bowie feel about it ... To me this has a bit of a Spiders From Mars feel about it. It certainly isn't the same, but it gives me a Moonage Daydream kind of feel. Also the vocals in the first section are Ray in a lower pitch, and it has somewhat of a Bowie sound to it.
We open up with somewhat of a fanfare, and it sort of seems to mock the grandiose nature of a movie company theme or something. It is a three chord horn arrangement that rounds out with the kettle drums/tympani ... it is actually really quite effective, and it works as a suitably dramatic opening to the song.
We open with this excellent riff over a, B - C - B - D - C# - B, chord progression, and it has a sort of tense spy standoff kind of feel. A really staccato feel, with this loping beat, that seems to be accented by tympani ... I wonder if Mick played the Tympani? .... anyway it works really well.
We have the keys and bass holding the stuttering riff down nicely, and then we get something that seems a little rare? We have Dave with a fully pumped wah guitar. He is really giving that wah pedal a workout, and it actually comes across perfectly. It sort of creates the feel wanted for this track.
The majority of the chord structure is the famous In The Air Tonight chord progression - Em - D - C - D - Em, but you will hear a really nice melodic twist when Ray throws in an A and a B, and this is the sort of subtlety that creates really nice melodic flow.
Anyway, that's how we start off.
Lyrically we have essentially, exactly what the title suggests, a confession of sorts.
Interestingly the first section seems to be foreseeing Mr Black's rule ....
Flash tells us he has just awoken from a dream, and he will never forget it, but wishes he could.
The dream is not the voice of his conscience though. Essentially the confrontation with his soul/conscience isn't actually referred to as a dream, and we can probably relate to it in the sense that he had an internal dialogue, that is dramatised for the album. When the sharp spike of his conscience woke him up, he was having this dream, and it could well have triggered his conscience, and the internal dialogue that took place.
It is a scene where Flash is a complete unknown. Nobody will speak to him or touch him, or even acknowledge him.
For a powerful person who has slid into narcissism, that is a complete nightmare.
Worse still though, it goes on to say that aside from being detached from the people, he had no identity, no individuality, no thoughts of his own, no personality, ... just a number waiting to be called ... and this seems to be the agenda of Mr Black. A totalitarian society, where there are no individuals. The government is in control, and all are subservient to it..... history tells us that those who are not, tend to disappear in the night, and never return.
So the swirling grind of the descending chord pattern with the wah guitar really works as the musical accompaniment, because it has all those feelings in there.
Lyrically it seems like Flash is realising the impact his rampage of selfish money making has had.
Now while we're still in this opening bit, I think it needs to be said that Ray's vocal here is perfect. It flows smoothly over the music beautifully. We get a really cool melodic flow that rises and falls in intensity, but it also has a hint of the rhythmic rap thing we have seen in a few spots recently. Ray is flowing beautifully, and the overall grinding rock feel works wonderfully well.
At the end of the first vocal section, we have a reprise of the intro riff, and it again has this swirling intensity that keeps us in the zone.
The pulsing drums and swirling wah guitar are just great.
Then, all of a sudden, we move into an electric piano, holding centre stage, and for a brief moment, on its own, replicating the staccato delivery but with some excellent drum accents, and then we move back into that staggered groove.
Again Ray's vocal delivery is great. He again has some nice melodic lines in there, but this section has even more of a rap kind of delivery.
Lyrically this is a pretty comprehensive self examination, and it seems to be genuine.
To me the centrepoint of the vocal and lyric is .....
"I've opened up my body and looked inside
And I'm everything that I once despised."
This is a full realisation of how far down the rabbit trail Flash has/had come, and it comes with the full realisation that he has betrayed himself, and become the thing he once despised.
Again it also seems to acknowledge that he realises that his error is going to have serious consequences under Mr Black's government.
Even in the serious nature of this track, we still get some typically humourous Ray lyrics .... I mean " I confess to the ugly for being so vain" is classically hilarious to me.
For me this is a great rock song, with only really a touch of theatre in its dramatic nature.
At the same time though, it manages to push the narrative along really well.
For me we have another great song, on what seems to me at this stage, to be another great album.
Several things to enjoy about this - the reprise of the "Here Comes Flash" riff, but this time slower and more ominous. John Dalton's fantastic bassline that drives this along from the midpoint. Ray's vocals, particularly once it cranks up a gear in the middle. Overall a very impressive track which, for me, most of side four is overshadowed by.
There is, of course an inconsistency between the lyrics and what we've just heard in the previous track. The opening verse could have come out of "Face In The Crowd" on the next album.
What’s with the mock crooner voice?? Could it be that Ray starts this “confession” in the previous track’s “soul” voice? We have at least three different voices on this song, the big unusual Scott Walker melodrama at first, the uncanny Bowie thing after that (“nobody looked at me or touched me” etc.), and then something more klassikally sardonik (“I’m just a number” etc.). The music also shifts throughout, from mood to mood, in a very cinematic, expressionist way, with flamenco acoustic guitar, spiraling wah-wah effects, an ultra-melodic bassline (especially on the “and it’s time for confessing it all” section), crazy Dave soloing on his own (who said Dave's heart wasn't on this record ?), and those thundering drums, mixed with solemn tympani. Like the strings on Nobody Gives, the synth parts in the middle sound very oriental (maybe because flamenco has its origins in the Arabic occupation of Spain). It gives this epic song a kind of 1001 nights flavor that is completely unexpected. It all still sounds like an inner battle to me, where Flash is first defined by his original “theme” (the main verse melody is even a reimagined delivery of the Here Comes Flash one), before the epiphanic breakthrough of the “been a cheat/ bean a crook” pop break, where he comes clean about his past, with the return of the He’s Evil Supertramp electric piano. Or does he? This section is indeed completely different, in melody, in style, in openness and in singing voice (again), but underneath, it has to be noted the chords remain exactly the same. More effectively and dramatically than in Flash’s Dream yesterday, the listener's put in the character’s mind, where conscious and subconscious clash against each other, as do truth and lies, realization and denial, confession (in a legal sense, to admit your crimes) and confession (in a religious sense, to be absolved of them). Another indisputable (well, we’ll see about that, won't we ?) highlight.
This song is OK, I suppose, but a touch too theatrical and melodramatic for my tastes and I get irritated by that wah wah guitar long before the end.
I don't have too much to say about the lyrics, I've stopped taking the story seriously by now, which is probably my fault for assuming it was worthy of taking seriously in the first place.
That's a sobering thought. Maybe an appropriate time to play the Time Song.
Great lyrics to this one and sound quality not too bad either. I like this very much but strangely find it a bit sad.
There is no real chorus to this song, or any really memorable hook, though all its component parts are fine. This feels very Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds, like it's just part of a mammoth suite. Whereas what we've had before these last couple of tracks (apart from the announcements) is a bunch of songs that also work on their own in isolation.
So I like it, but I could survive without it.
I'm inured to these things now. You could tell me "You Really Got Me" is closer to the Repeal of the Corn Laws than it is to now and I'd believe you for a second.
While listening to this just now, I thought T-Rex but obviously, Bowie 1972 goes hand in hand with that band and I think "Moonage Daydream" specifically, is part of the whole musical mix. The opening verse is very reminiscent of the Stanley Brothers bluegrass classic "Rank Strangers" ("Everybody I met seemed to be a rank stranger, I knew not their names and I knew not their faces"). On the second verse, I find Ray's phrasing and delivery quite amazing. This is a song that I enjoy a lot - it has some pretty intense electric guitar from Dave and a strong Ray vocal.
Great song, that works well as a side closer. On my CD, the intro our Leader mentions is included in "Flash's Dream", and the song proper starts with Flash's theme. But I agree it works well as an intro, and I shall edit it as such on my playlist.
This song has a simple chord structure, but the melody follows the third note of each chord instead of the root as in Oh Where O Where is Love (still trying to rationalize my tastes !...). The second verse, with electric piano, reminds me of another song, but I can't put my finger on it. I don't like the descending part, for some obscure Freudian reason I guess. The bass line on the chorus ("I'm just a number...") is quite effective. It defines the song for me, together with the wah wah sound.
I realize I'm not fond of 4-song sides. 4 regular songs don't amount to a side for me. Especially when one of those is only half a song.
Yea, if he is faking it, he is doing a really good job of it.
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