August 3, 2021

The Kinks and the eternal “Lola”, a song ahead of its time

Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One is a classic within the history of The Kinks. An album taken into account by the specialized press and by fans. A conceptual work that encapsulates different aspects of society, including the music industry, accountants, managers and life within the fascinating world of rock in the form of satire.

This eighth album by the English – also known as Lola Versus Powerman, or simply Lola – turns 50 after leaving. The Kinks, one of the main groups of the English invasion like the Beatles, Rolling Stones and The Who, announced the departure for the December 11 a special boxset in various formats such as a Deluxe Box Set, 1LP, Deluxe 2CD, CD and digital.

“The album is a celebration of artistic freedom (including my own) and the right of anyone to be gender free if they wish. The secret is to be a good person and a trusted friend ”, described Ray Davies, singer, guitarist and songwriter of the group.

The launch plans of Lola Versus Powerman y Moneygoround, Part One they arrive after the successful #LolaDay, which celebrated 50 years of the single. Fans were able to share their photos with 10 new custom stickers available on The Kinks website.

The topic was also known “The Follower – Any Time 2020”, a new mix by Ray Davies of the theme “Any Time”. Written by the artist as side B of the single “Apeman”, The track includes unreleased takes and excerpts from various songs from The Kinks, from the album ‘Lola’, as well as recitations and various sound effects.

The Kinks, live.For: BMG

“The isolation caused by the coronavirus can give people time to reassess the world and reevaluate their lives. LMusic can comfort the lonely, transcend time, not be the future or the past, yesterday, today or tomorrow. It’s for any time, ”Ray pointed out.

And he added about the song: “I saw a way to make this unreleased track from the ’70s connect with a 2020 audience. A way to show that music can travel in time, that memory is instantaneous and therefore can join us in the now. I put all this together, as if it were something surreal and then I realized that it had really worked. “

The Kinks, a look at English society

The Kinks were born as an idea by brothers Ray and Dave Davies, in Muswell Hill, North London. Helped by their parents and sisters, the boys began to play as a duo, accompanied by their guitars, in some pubs in the area. Those were vibrant times in the English capital, in part to the records that came from the United States, where the electric blues and those pioneers of rock and roll stood out.

In 1963, Ray, Dave, plus a schoolmate named Peter Quaife (bass), who in 1969 was replaced by John Dalton, and Mick Avory (drums) took their first steps as The Ravens, later adopting the definitive name of The Kinks.

In those first presentations they displayed a powerful arsenal of riffs, adrenaline, infecting their audience. “You Really Got Me”, Composed of composed by Ray Davies, it was one of the group’s first hits. For many, this song was the starting point of heavy metal.

The Kinks on stage in the early ’70s.For: BMG

Like many of the English bands of their generation, the debut of The Kinks, eponymous, published in 1964, also included some covers of rock figures such as “Too Much Monkey Business” Y “Beautiful Delilah”, both by Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley’s “Cadillac,” among others. “You Really Got Me” took all the glory with its distorted guitar sound, thanks to an idea from Dave Davies who put a razor blade and pins in his amp.

For many years the myth ran that the guitar solo of the song had been played by Jimmy Page, in those days a renowned session musician. Then he would be part of The Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin. It was even commented on by a BBC documentary. However, in a statement that Dave Davies posted on Facebook, The Kinks denied that the guitarist was part of the recording.

“Yo, Dave Davies, I invented the distorted guitar sound and I played the solo on the song ‘You Really Got Me’ and Ray Davies played rhythm guitar. We never used any other guitarist on any of The Kinks hits, ”the statement said. Another of the classics of those early years was “All Day and All Of The Night”.

In the late ’60s, the group evolved their sound and recorded the first of a series of concept works. The first was The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society (1968) a kind of tribute to British villages and the innocence of bygone times. Many of the songs were born in the two years prior to the recording of the material.

“Village Green”, “Animal Farm” or the track that gave the album its name recreates the landscapes of the countryside, steam trains, plus interesting arrangements by leader Ray Davies. Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire) a conceptual work was released the following year, which emerged as the soundtrack of a projected from the Granada Television channel, where Ray worked with the novelist Julian Mitchell.

So we come to Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One (1970) which was both commercially and critically successful, entering, for example, the Top 40 in the United States.

“Lola” was the main theme of the project, again with the pen of Ray Davies where he details the meeting between a young man and a transvestite he meets in a Soho nightclub From london. The official version says that the group’s manager, Robert Wace, was dancing with a girl and approached the rest of the members and said: “I’m about to do something.” Later they realized the true identity of the young lady. “He came up to me, and asked me if I wanted to dance. I asked him his name and in a deep voice he said Lola”, Describes the song in one of its stanzas.

“I remember going into an instrument business when we were about to record ‘Lola’. I told the seller that I wanted achieve a really good guitar sound on this record, whichHe wanted a Martin amp. They had an old 1938 Dobor guitar that I bought for £ 150. I used both with the theme and that incredible sound was born, “said Ray Davies about the song, according to a publication by EFE.

The issue was banned by radio stations such as the BBC for citing the Coca Cola brand in the lyrics, which was interpreted as covert advertising, forcing Davies to change it on tours of the United States.

Half a century after its release, it is interesting to listen to it again to understand its true sound value from a distance, with songs that do not have an expiration date.