The Kinks' 1970 effort was the penultimate creation in a five-year, six-album burst that ranks just a notch below the great sustained rock & roll eruptions of Bob Dylan, the Beatles, the Stones, and Elvis Costello. Of course, the linchpin to this collection is "Lola," Ray Davies's irresistibly vivid account of the charms of a seductive transvestite. Its daring (for the time) subject matter aside, "Lola" stands as one of the great singles of all time. Add to the list the almost as infectious "Apeman," a slew of funny, shrewd, alienated-rock-star screeds ("Top of the Tops," "The Moneyground," "Powerman"), and a couple of memorable contributions from Ray's brother, Dave ("Strangers," "Rats"), and you have the Kinks at their raucous, righteous, quirky quintessence. --Steven Stolder
Lola , of course, became a classic-rock radio mainstay, but this entire 1970 LP is nothing less than essential: Apeman; Got to Be Free; A Long Way from Home; Rats , and more songs that run from the funny to the furious.