The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

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

  1. TeddyB

    TeddyB Senior Member

    Everyone’s favorite critic Robert Christgau (LOL) wrote in his review that “Although Lola was an astounding single, the only thing astounding about this album is it’s relentless self-pity”. Well!! You do know rock singers are people too, Bob.

    Ray was clearly distraught in the midst of his court battle with Robert, Grenville and Larry. Meanwhile…

    This is a beautiful song on its own terms, regardless of autobiographical seeds, or anyone begrudging Ray a comparison between himself and someone faced with the dole…

    I love this album.

    DISKOJOE Boredom That You Can Afford!

    Salem, MA
    Ray's court battles were with Larry Page. Robert & Grenville still managed the Kinks, even though they get lambasted a few songs from now.
  3. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    I went looking for the publishing low-down and came upon this, (in an interview with Ray from 2017):
    “Aware that he may be sounding cynical, Davies declares that he was amused to hear his restless classic Tired Of Waiting in a TV commercial, although due to The Kinks’ complex publishing affairs he may not profit from it.

    ‘They used it for a McCain’s potato ad,’ he smirks approvingly. ‘I saw a potato in a microwave on the telly and they were playing Tired Of Waiting as it cooked. Still, I don’t think I get any money for that – not a sausage!’
    Ray Davies reveals how he got ripped off with The Kinks | Daily Mail Online
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  4. TeddyB

    TeddyB Senior Member

    I am actually sadly enough of an avid to know that, Avid D.J. But thank you anyway. I was just playfully quoting Money-Go-Round. And yes, I know I’m jumping the gun.
  5. luvtotha9s

    luvtotha9s Forum Resident

    North Carolina
    Get Back In Line. I love this song...There is a great live version on the 2nd Disc of Everybody's in Show-Biz (Legacy Edition)
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  6. Brettlowden

    Brettlowden Forum Resident

    Rochester ny

    Here in New York they play "Come Dancing" on the radio all the time.
    I hear it more than I did back done
    I love the Kinks. They're my favorite band
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  7. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    That's 2 more than me boss!
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  8. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    That, sunny Ray!
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  9. Invisible Man

    Invisible Man Forum Resident

    Lemon Grove
    He's just a Ray of sunshine.
  10. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    And I'd start drinking beer and I am a teetotaler!
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  11. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    You've made that Indivisible!
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  12. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Robert Wace later commented on that on a Kinks videotape from the 1980's.
  13. pablo fanques

    pablo fanques Somebody's Bad Handwroter In Memoriam

    Poughkeepsie, NY
    And just like that, this thread prompted me to finally order the Super Deluxe Box of Lola...

    I will be billing Mr. Winstanley
  14. Scottsol

    Scottsol Forum Resident

    Evanston, IL
    If there are any bank loan officers out there. Please contact Mr. Winstanley immediately.
  15. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    I'm still holding off on that one - the Lola/Percy 2CD set seems to cover almost everything of worth...
  16. Fischman

    Fischman RockMonster, ClassicalMaster, and JazzMeister

    New Mexico
    The Contenders
    What is this... some kind of bluegrass ballad? Are we sure this isn't the opener to Muswell Hillbillies?

    Oh, okay... we're rockin' now. All's well in the Kingdom. This is the way to launch an album!

    Back to the country here, sadly this time all the way through. I can hear the Hank and the Dylan here.... but I never could stand either of those cats, so that's no compliment. Still, Dave makes it listenable for me. To much of a plodder for me to really get into, but good at what it us and no need to skip.

    Denmark Street
    Did I already say "good at what it us?" Okay, here I'll say GREAT at what it is. This is a triumphant return to the Vaudevillian sound. In my hometown, we had a popular Victorian melodrama theater, and when I listen to this, it takes me right back to that musty old stage and I can almost see the piano player in his striped shirt, suspenders, and straw hat jamming away on the upright while talking to the audience. I thought it was irredeemably corny at the time, but have come to appreciate the spectacle, and that enhances this song for me.

    Get Back In Line
    What I find interesting in the lyric here is that we've got yet another obstacle for our rock stars to contend with. Being a rock star is supposed to be glamorous, right? We seem to know that managers and promoters can be slave drivers... and will take their slice of the pie en route. Everyone who works, even rock stars, is at the merct of management. But here we're also at the mercy of the union, an organization ostensibly representing the working stiff. So our musical heroes don't fit in with either the white collar management class or the blue collar working class. We may choose to sympathize or empathize with musical heroes, or have no sympathy or empathy whatsoever, but no matter which way we might lean, Ray's doing a damn fine job of making his point. Musically however, this is a less engaging song for me by komparison.
  17. pablo fanques

    pablo fanques Somebody's Bad Handwroter In Memoriam

    Poughkeepsie, NY
    My 4 year old daughter digs 45s
  18. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Does she also skip them?
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  19. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    lol, good luck with that :)
  20. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter


    Single by the Kinks


    Germany (with a really interesting bside lol)


    from the album Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One
    "Berkeley Mews" (UK)
    "Mindless Child of Motherhood" (US)
    Released 12 June 1970
    Recorded April–May 1970
    Studio Morgan, Willesden, London
    Genre Rock[1]folk rock[1]
    Length 4:03
    Label Pye (UK)Reprise (US)
    Songwriter(s) Ray Davies
    Producer(s) Ray Davies

    Ray Davies – vocals, resonator guitar
    Dave Davies – electric guitar, backing vocals
    Mick Avory – drums
    John Dalton – bass
    John Gosling – piano
    Ken Jones – maracas

    Weekly singles charts

    Chart (1970–71)

    Australia (Go-Set)[47] 6
    Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[48] 2
    Canada Top Singles (RPM)[49] 2
    Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[50] 3
    Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[41]
    Live version (1980–1981) 1
    Ireland (IRMA)[51] 1
    Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[52] 1
    Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[53]
    Live version (1980–1981) 1
    Netherlands (Single Top 100)[54] 1
    Netherlands (Single Top 100)[55]

    Live version (1980–1981) 1
    New Zealand (Listener)[56] 1
    South Africa (Springbok)[57] 1
    Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[58] 4
    UK Singles (OCC)[59] 2
    US Billboard Hot 100[60] 9
    US Billboard Hot 100[60]
    Live version (1980–1981) 81
    US Cash Box Top 100[61] 8
    West Germany (Official German Charts)[62] 2

    Year-end charts

    Chart (1970) Rank

    Canada Top Singles (RPM)[63] 38
    Netherlands (Single Top 100)[64] 4
    South Africa[65] 13
    US Billboard Hot 100[66] 52
    US Cash Box[67] 78

    To read the wiki info head here Lola (song) - Wikipedia

    To read the songfacts info head here Lola by The Kinks - Songfacts

    This is one of those songs where there is so much info that trying to share bits of it seems pointless, and it is so well known that it is almost redundant… so I just put the links up there, and I will blather on from my own perspective exclusively … which I normally do anyway, but I add stuff, I’m not Glenn A Baker lol

    stereo mix, alternate version (5:16), recorded 2 May 1970 at Morgan Studios (1), Willesden, London

    I met her in a club down in old Soho
    Where you drink champagne and it tastes just like cherry-cola [LP version: Coca-Cola]
    See-oh-el-aye cola
    She walked up to me and she asked me to dance
    I asked her her name and in a dark brown voice she said Lola
    El-oh-el-aye Lola la-la-la-la Lola

    Well I'm not the world's most physical guy
    But when she squeezed me tight she nearly broke my spine
    Oh my Lola la-la-la-la Lola
    Well I'm not dumb but I can't understand
    Why she walked like a woman and talked like a man
    Oh my Lola la-la-la-la Lola la-la-la-la Lola

    Well we drank champagne and danced all night
    Under electric candlelight
    She picked me up and sat me on her knee
    And said dear boy won't you come home with me
    Well I'm not the world's most passionate guy
    But when I looked in her eyes well I almost fell for my Lola
    La-la-la-la Lola la-la-la-la Lola
    Lola la-la-la-la Lola la-la-la-la Lola

    I pushed her away
    I walked to the door
    I fell to the floor
    I got down on my knees
    Then I looked at her and she at me

    Well that's the way that I want it to stay
    And I always want it to be that way for my Lola
    La-la-la-la Lola
    Girls will be boys and boys will be girls
    It's a mixed up muddled up shook up world except for Lola
    La-la-la-la Lola

    Well I left home just a week before
    And I'd never ever kissed a woman before
    But Lola smiled and took me by the hand
    And said dear boy I'm gonna make you a man

    Well I'm not the world's most masculine man
    But I know what I am and I'm glad I'm a man
    And so is Lola
    La-la-la-la Lola la-la-la-la Lola
    Lola la-la-la-la Lola la-la-la-la Lola

    Written by: Ray Davies
    Published by: Hill & Range Songs, Inc. – BMI

    This is an iconic song, and I assume one of the first songs, or at least hits, about transvestites, and I would certainly imagine it is the first song to chart about a heterosexual male falling in love with a transvestite, but hey, you guys will set me straight if I’m wrong .

    This song was almost certainly written by Ray to be a hit. The guys had just managed to get back in the good books with the US. Arthur had made a bit of ground after four years of being in the wilderness, and the guys needed a hit.

    This was released about four months before the album, and paved the way for the guys to get back on the charts, and get back out of the line….. Having said that though, one can’t help but feel that if Ray knew anything about the USA, he must have known that the song was going to ruffle some feathers over there. But Ray just went on ahead with it, and it turned out to probably be the band’s biggest hit, and certainly a big boost for their return to the spotlight, in spite of enraging a large bunch of people due to its content.

    Now it is interesting to look at this through the lens of the album, and the concept, because it is certainly a little bit of an odd sock in the narrative, but how could you leave it off the album …. The fact is you couldn’t.

    In considering the narrative, I look at it this way. We have this muso who has been hanging around all day waiting to get a job and has been passed by. Now I know that he sang of not being able to eat, but let’s face it folks, there are many times where a closely examined story struggles to maintain a solid, bulletproof narrative, so I’m going to let that slide. There are renowned novels that have plot flaws and contradictions, so I’m not going to get messed up about it.

    It is a tenuous link, but where are we in the first line? “I met her in a club down in old Soho”. Where is Denmark Street? The East end of Soho. So we have a geographical connection. This guy’s been struggling to get his band off the ground, and he is fed up, and decides to claw together a few bucks to go and have a few drinks. While there, this lady? walks up to him and asks him to dance. It’s probably dark. He’s probably a little drunk … and so on we go.

    Almost two years before Holly shaved her legs, and he was a she, Ray was dancing with a transvestite in Soho…. Of course, we know the story is that their manager Robert Wace spent a night dancing in Paris with a man in drag, and there are apparently connections to clubs that Mick used to like to go to, but we are in a story here, so lets try and keep it somewhat in that framework.

    This song is so ultimately singable, I don’t care if you couldn’t hold a tune in a bucket, if you were around when this was on the radio, it is hard to imagine that you never once went “lo lo lo la lola”. It’s as catchy as VD at an orgy. It bashes along with an undeniable amount of fun, and from that perspective is the perfect tonic for the depression that we were just confronted with. Which, actually, again, makes it fit the narrative perfectly. One thing most humans I have ever known have tended to do when they are down, is partake of some mood-altering substance and party to whatever ability they have to do so, in the way they like best.

    The idiosyncrasies of Ray’s writing are unavoidable. It always strikes me that “electric candlelight” is just so Village Green.

    We go through a whole scenario - The innocent introduction via dance. The shock and horror at where we find ourselves. The coming to terms with it. The acceptance that we actually don’t feel that bad about it. It is certainly not how everyone would respond, but even though girls will boys and boys will be girls, people are people, so why should it be …. Whoops wrong decade

    I am guessing that this song isn’t going to always get top votes from people, because like many of the songs from the seventies, when music ruled the world, they got played an awful lot, and so their inherent value is often lost after the thousandth time hearing them…. I don’t feel that way personally. To me this is a classic song, in so many ways it is almost ridiculous. As we see and know, it is somewhat lyrically challenging, and I’m sure it made some heterosexual males uneasy, or angry, but I generally find that that is folks who aren’t secure about who they are, and fear judgement, or a hidden truth, that get perturbed about these kinds of things.

    So lyrically it is laid out perfectly. Ray tells his story with a bit of colour, and a bit of pizzazz and it stands up whether one reads the lyrics, or just hears them sung.

    Musically this is fantastic.

    The opening chord progression is iconic, and just about anyone who is into music will know what the song is from before the second chord. The rhythmic delivery and the three chord rise up instantly gets the attention. We also hear the mixing of the Resonator and the Martin. Over the first verse we just have that beautiful clangy sounding resonator, the drums come in gently, and then as we exit the first verse we get that power punch in, and the whole band is rocking away. Again it is an iconic part of the song. Dave lays down a really wonderful guitar lick that works as a joining tool. We have the piano backing it all up, but without taking the spotlight.
    The arrangement here is just so top notch, it is flawless.

    The groove the band create has a really cool swaying feel to it. Again we keep getting those beautiful little joining licks from Dave.
    We get the first change, which I suppose is a bridge of sorts (well we drank champagne.), but it doesn't seem typical. The chord progression changes up and it works beautifully, yet we move into the second half of this section by returning to the second half of the verse.

    Then we move into what I assume is the chorus, and it is an extended Lo Lo Lo La Lola, and it has just about everyone hooked at this point. Again Dave's joining lick is perfect.
    Then we move into the bridge proper (Well I pushed her away...), but a different one. The rhythm changes as our protagonist is suddenly aware of who he is dancing with. It is perfectly accented by the drums and the piano. Again the melodic structure changes up, and again it is perfect in its writing and execution.

    Then we get a dynamic drop as our young man has a moment of clarity, for him. We have mainly the guitars, although the band doesn't drop out completely.
    This moves us into the return of the first bridge type section (I Left Home just a week before...) and the dynamics are raised up again, and the punching groove comes back solid. Again this moves into the second half of the verse structure and we get Ray with his rock voice, and man he does that so well.

    We move into a run out chorus or refrain, and the added percussion really works well. It accents how cool this beat is, and there is some very tasteful use of the tones of the percussion.... is it bongos?..... and one of the most singable chorus/refrains ever written take us out of the song....

    But we aren't done yet. In the background you notice this unusual swelling kind of sound. It sounds like a sound effect accented by the cymbals...... it gives the feeling of heady drunkenness as one walks out of a pub after a heavy night of drinking.

    This song was lyrically confrontational. It may seem quite tame these days, but this was some pretty challenging stuff for 1970, even if the musos were deep in hedonism and partying. The every day Joe and Jane weren't used to having their thoughts challenged in this way, and Ray does it in such a brilliant way, that it ends up being a fun little rock/pop song, and not an offence to the decency? of everyday Joe public.
    This song is so catchy and singable that the subject matter almost slides to the wayside, and fiercely heterosexual males who would generally be made terribly uneasy by something like this are singing along and loving it. That's quite a challenge, and quite an amazing achievement as a writer.

    We all know that the Kinks have written some stunning pieces of music and songs. We know that the band were anything but simplistic .... in fact, I have only during this thread realised what a great, and technical writer Ray is/was.... so to some degree we can get annoyed that the majority of people often only really connect with this song as the Kinks, but we shouldn't let us resent this song at all, because this is a stunning piece of work, and it is a very significant song. Topical, fun, challenging and a rock classic.

    Anyway, I probably have more to say, but I'm out of time, and I am probably boring you all with these overly long intros .... I can't help it. This band is getting me to do this lol

    Last edited: Oct 1, 2021
  21. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Lola is a ridiculously good song which rightfully returned the Kinks to chart success. But as our leader Mark said, it’s been played a lot and is incredibly familiar. Friends of mine who probably couldn’t name another Kinks song know Lola. I won’t talk about the lyrics or the music but how it makes me feel. The short answer is ‘happy’. There is something about Lola - maybe it’s the chords or the chorus or the dark brown voice - which is just a joy. I generally frown on sing-alongs at concerts (thinking: I didn’t pay to hear tone-deaf drunks drowning out my favourite songs). But if the band plays Lola I’m singing along with everyone else at the top of my lungs….. Lola L O L A Lola la la la la Lola.

    Nice one Mark: looking for someone to set you straight about Lola :D

  22. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    OK, I'll bite. I don't resent this stupendous genius song at all. But it's true I would never think of it whenever I’m asked about my favorite Kinks songs. Maybe it’s because the Kinks are one of my Teddybear bands, bands you hold close to your heart as pet loves of yours, sharing them only with a little group of people in the know (= you guys), not with the whole damn planet like the Beatles or the Stones (= the rest of SHF and beyond). They are part of my intimate personal life and here’s this monster song that belongs to everyone around the world, so I can’t really make it my own anymore, can I? A bit like disco Bee Gees versus Horizontal Bee Gees, or Good Vibrations Beach Boys versus Sunflower Beach Boys, or Beatles Beatles versus Gone Troppo or Pipes of Peace. Ahem… maybe this last example is not that on point after all. But I digress…
    My point is : I love the Kinks to death, I love the way I love them, in my little hiding place, marveling at all the Two Sisters, Pictures in the Sand, Some Mother Sons, Schooldays and Better Things of the world. Even the sixties hits, I seem to be able to feel about them in that same personal way. And there’s Lola, and it’s a monster that I can't make 100% mine.

    That being said… whenever it’s on, it just floors me. Every. Single. Time. The whole thing is such a crazy ride. It could be the best studio performance of the band’s career, the sound is huge, the guitars are insane, the drive of it all is for the ages, intro, verse, verse-turned-chorus, middle-eight(s), outro, each part is ultra-distinctive, ultra-addictive, each seemingly better than the last, just because it’s so consistently great in the moment. So here it is, definitely one of the best songs and one of the best records the Kinks ever did, well deserving of its ikonik everlasting status.
  23. Steve62

    Steve62 Vinyl hunter

    Very funny. That is a cracker! :edthumbs:
  24. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident


    Not much to add to Mark's excellent write-up - what more can you say about such an ikonic Kinks Klassic?

    I was also thinking that it could also be tenuously linked into the album's "storyline" - perhaps the writer wanted to celebrate after signing his publishing contract in Denmark Street, so went into a club "just round the corner" in "Old Soho" - those two words link the songs. I also have an idea that "Lola" is being set up as the big hit single whose progress we then follow in the next track.

    Musically - one of the most unmistakable intros anywhere. I like the way that the instruments come in gradually one by one - particularly the moment in time and the way in which the bass guitar is introduced. The chorus might as well have been tailor-made for an audience singalong. Everything was in place for this to be a big hit, and indeed it was. The signature Ray/Dave vocal blend works especially well on this track.

    Lyrically - well maybe in the final verse Ray ends too many lines with the word "man", but otherwise it's a fun shaggy dog story, while also been somewhat revolutionary for its time.

    In summary - it's a great track!
  25. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

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