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HALL OF FAMEon September 15, 2014
The Kinks are the Rodney Dangerfield of the British Invasion. They don't get the respect they deserve--at least not from the record-buying public. Consider the following: Their first three U.S. singles went Top 10 during a span of six months, then for the remainder of the decade their highest charting single was "A Well Respected Man" (No. 13 in in 1966). Of their final Top 40 hits of the sixties in the U.K., none of them cracked the Top 40 in the U.S. Their final four LPs were commercial failures in the U.S. FACE TO FACE peaked at No. 135, SOMETHING ELSE stalled at No. 153, arguably their best album THE KINKS ARE THE VILLAGE GREEN PRESERVATION SOCIETY failed to chart at all, and ARTHUR was their highest charting of the four reaching No. 105. For many consumers, the Kinks had been relegated to the scrap heap of history along with such British Invasion bands as Herman's Hermits and the Dave Clark Five who had been deemed unhip or insignificant by the end of the decade. [Note: I am not ignoring their U.S. touring ban, but their albums were still available and I was one of the few fans who eagerly bought every one of them.]

Fortunately, LOLA VERSUS POWERMAN & THE MONEYGOROUND generated a renaissance for the Kinks. Not only did "Lola" give the band their first Top 10 hit in five years, when the album peaked at No. 35 it was their best showing since their 1965 debut album. And with good reason, this is a terrific album with some of their best songs. Dave contributes two songs, the lovely "Strangers" and the hard-rocking "Rats." Ray's standout tracks include the poignant "Get Back in Line," the melancholy "This Time Tomorrow" and "A Long Way from Home," and the follow-up single "Apeman" (which stalled at a disappointing No. 45--although it went Top 10 in the U.K.).

Here are the bonus tracks from disc one:

"Anytime" *
"The Contenders" (instrumental demo) *
"The Good Life" *
"Lola" (alternate version) *
"This Time Tomorrow" (instrumental) *
"Apeman" (alternate version) *
"Got To Be Free" (alternate version) *

*previously unissued [Total Running Time - 64:48]

Disc two includes the PERCY soundtrack in its first official U.S. release. The album was recorded over a span of about three weeks in October of 1970 and released only three months after LOLA. It did not chart in the U.K., but the project was viewed primarily as a contractual obligation album that got them out of their record deal with Pye.

That is not to say that PERCY is a bad album. In fact, it has a handful of terrific songs. Even if you never bought an import version of this album when it was originally released in 1971, Kinks fans will recognize some of these. "God's Children" (which first appeared on these shores on 1972's double-LP Kinks Kronikles) is a haunting ballad that would not have been out of place on VILLAGE GREEN. "The Way Love Used To Be" (which appeared on 1973's THE GREAT LOST KINKS ALBUM) is a haunting love ballad. "Animals in the Zoo" is a nice companion piece to "Apeman" with some funky piano from John Gosling. "Moments" is string-laden song (first available on the 2008 PICTURE BOOK box set) with some nice guitar work from Dave.

The album also contains a fair amount of incidental instrumental music which will be of interest mostly to hardcore fans. There's a bluesy version of "Lola," which gives John Gosling and Dave Davies room to show their chops. "Completely" is a funky slow blues number.

Here are the bonus tracks for disc two:

"Dreams" (remix) *
"Lola" (the mono "cherry cola" single)
"Apeman" (mono single)
"Rats" (mono single)
"Powerman" (mono) *
"The Moneygoround" (alternate mono version) *
"Apeman" (alternate mono version) *
"God's Children" (mono film mix) *
"The Way Love Used To Be" (mono film mix)
"God's Children (End)" (mono film mix) *

*previously unissued [Total Running Time - 63:25]

If you're sitting on the fence about purchasing this 2014 Deluxe Edition, don't wait too long. Many of the deluxe editions by Sanctuary Records of the Kinks' sixties albums released in the last three years are getting hard to find. Grab a copy now and enjoy one of there last truly great albums. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
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VINE VOICEon October 22, 2017
Though now widely considered undisputed legends of pop music, The Kinks also provide an instructive example of the fleeting and unpredictable nature of popularity, critical acclaim and commercial success. Once the brother-led band evolved from "The Ravens" and renamed themselves just scandalously enough sometime around 1964, things quickly exploded with a string of razor distorted power chord hits, including the often covered "You Really Got Me." Everything seemed on the uptick until a United States touring ban, allegedly prompted by someone associated with the band punching a television company employee, stultified the band's then growing American market. During that time they scored a number of very British, perhaps too British for America, hits replete with sardonic social commentary punctuated by a variety of musical styles. The band also lived largely in the shadows of the British invasion giants, namely, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who and others, while simultaneously casting a heavy influence upon them. To take just one example, many now consider The Kinks' 1965 single "See My Friends" as the first true mingling of Indian music with British pop, beating out even the Fab Four. Despite this, commercial flops gradually began to accompany the successes. The now classic "The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society," not their only interminable record title, initially sold miserably and, though many critics hailed the band's musical innovations, the general public seemed increasingly uninterested in doling out portions of their paychecks for The Kinks' latest idiosyncratic output. Not only that, with the exception of a "cult following," they became almost obscure in the United States during this era. But all of that, of course, soon changed.

The logistics of how some songs break generational divides remains somewhat theoretically inexplicable, but the inexorable marketing machine that has always driven the music industry seems to guarantee that people born at different times will experience the music of their predecessors. Often just a second or two fragment of a song broadcast on late night advertisements that once pushed products such as "the greatest hits of the 1970s on 26 compact discs," or other tangible mediums, would suffice. Younger viewers, unable to sleep due to raging hormones, caffeine-saturated blood or mere insomnia were thus vicariously indoctrinated into the popular cultures and music of those born a decade or two earlier, paradoxically through marketing targeted to those same older generations. Not to mention the ubiquitous containers of commerce, nearly always accompanied by a constant, churning musical soundtrack, provided another outlet for cross-generational musical pollination. Department stores, malls and public spaces often inject music into their environments to encourage the "buying mood" of their patrons. Such tools often get programmed to trigger the nostalgic faculties of their identified demographic base. These provide just two feasible explanations for how the infectious, edgy and envelope bursting song "Lola," one of The Kinks' signature numbers, reached the cochleas and brains of successive generations.

"Lola" remains an extraordinary piece not only musically but also thematically. Eons ahead of its time for a pop song, it tells the story of nearly mistaking a transvestite man for a woman in a dance floor tryst. Apparently, this actually happened to songwriter Ray Davies. The track dates well because it never directly criticizes or questions the concept of transvestism itself, which would lend it a prejudiced or discriminatory tone today. It simply states that the narrator, not having properly assessed the actual gender of his companion, simply wasn't interested. One passage both reflects the sentiments of songs that came before it while also adding a sympathetic twist: "Girls will be boys and boys will be girls, it's a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world, except for Lola." This line has even more impact in a transgender age and it seems potentially dismissive until "except for Lola." If not sarcastic, it certainly doesn't appear to be prima facie, one could interpret it as "Lola" remains in touch with his or her true self. Carrying this further, Lola doesn't seem as mixed up as the rest of us who may simply mime dictated gender roles and act accordingly. Maybe the majority just follow the norm, but perhaps the norm leads many people astray? Who is to say what men or women are supposed to act or look like? Society strongly suggests a direction, but perhaps many people follow it without proper reflection? "Lola" presents the situation in an unforgettable catchy format without moralizing and then offers an opportunity to reflect on its implications. The narrator learned something about the world that day. Others can perhaps learn, too. Maybe this song, one of the Kinks' biggest hits, helped introduce new ways of thinking or wider perspectives to the mainstream? If so, it demonstrates the true power, one not often exploited in a constructive manner, of pop music. Controversy obviously surrounded "Lola" at the time of its release. Australia banned it outright and some radio stations apparently faded out the song prior to the lines "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," as if that accomplished anything but attracting attention to the song's core message. Censorship often defeats itself.

Many people of later generations may have discovered this fascinating song via the much rocked-up live version included with the 1980 "One for the Road" album. By that time The Kinks had once again fallen out of and regained popularity. But, perhaps unknown to many of these latecomers, "Lola" had originally appeared on a much different album a decade earlier, another album with a mouthful of a title: "Lola versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One." Pitting Lola against the more criticized characters "Powerman" and "The Moneygoround" also highly suggests that The Kinks overall approved of Lola and did not intend to reduce him or her to a ridiculous stereotype. The album itself, released in 1970, contains a smorgasbord of styles and loosely revolves around a theme critical to the ever money-grubbing music industry. "The Moneygoround," performed in true English Music Hall fashion, basically wonders where the artist's money went. Everyone else seemed to get a share: "Everyone takes a little bit here and a little bit there, do they all deserve money from a song that they've never heard?" Things apparently haven't changed much. Fans of "They Might Be Giants" may wonder if this song alone inspired that much later band's entire repertoire. "Powerman" portrays the typical money obsessed tycoon: "Powerman don't need to fight, Powerman don't need no guns, Powerman got money on his side." This driving number includes a guitar riff that bookends the song and will occupy a neuron in every listener's brain for some, if not all, time. Other songs build on the theme. "Top of the Pops" fully satirizes pop stardom with the line "life is so easy when your record's hot." "Get Back in Line" looks at unions. "The Contenders" ruminates on rural dreams of "winning." It opens with a folksy tune reminiscent of simple, innocent homesteads and then suddenly erupts into the then "modern" world. A sub-theme of "freedom" also pervades the album, but the lyrics overall suggest and warn that freedom probably does not exist in stardom and celebrity. The excellent "Apeman" romances the simple life living in the trees, presumably closer to human's "original nature." Some of its lyrics have not dated a nanosecond and sound as fresh as today's rhubarb, especially "I don't feel safe in this world no more, I don't want to die in a nuclear war." Another high point comes with "Strangers," written by Dave Davies. Apart from a beautifully haunting melody, it also contains one of the greatest lines in rock history: "If I live too long I'm afraid I'll die." The album doesn't tell a cohesive story, so calling it a "concept album" seems inappropriate. Nonetheless, it all fits together nicely, if for no other reason than the extremely high quality of its songs. Needless to say, no "Part Two," though planned, ever appeared.

The "Lola" album sold well and revitalized The Kinks yet again, at least for a moment in time. The next few subsequent albums didn't generate much critical or financial interest and the band fell into relative obscurity until the 1978 "Misfits" album and Van Halen's enormously popular cover version of "You Really Got Me." Once again, people seemed to care. This next, and ultimately final, wave of success lasted until 1983's massive hit "Come Dancing" and the not as massive hits "Do it Again" in 1985 and "Working at the Factory" in 1986. After further sluggish sales and lagging interest, the band officially ended in 1996 leaving behind a vast musical legacy that continues to garner interest and appreciation long after the Davies brothers embarked on separate solo careers. The "Lola" album remains only a single high-point in a highly acclaimed body of work that many will undoubtedly re-discover as long as people care about twentieth century popular music. No doubt they will also continue to care about money and power. Perhaps future generations will decide to deviate from that path, but, as long as humans remain human, hope seems sparse. As "Powerman" says: "It's the same old story." At least humanity managed to create some fantastic music.
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on November 4, 2016
Now that The Kinks have entered the 1970’s as confident and vibrant as ever after
the (American) Recording Federation Of Musicians have lifted there ban on them just
a year ago, they greatly delighted the music world in 1970 with there next blockbuster
that took them to a high point in their transitional period during the music career. Lola
Versus The Powerman And Money-Go-Round gradually showcase the crisp muscular
sound which is highly pitched halfway between acoustic folk music and hard rock as it
successfully provide a new style for the band as this loose concept masterpiece boldly
showcases Ray Davies’ psychosis and bitter feelings toward the music industry, which
turned out to be the band’s most successful album by far. Starting off with the opening
track The Contenders, the complex track set conclude in full force with other excellent
original songs, such as Strangers, Get Back In Line, Top Of The Pops, the fascinating
Top Ten classic Lola, This Time Tomorrow, the reggae-backed Apeman and even Got
To Be Free, while bonus tracks like Anytime and an instrumental take of This Time To-
morrow adds to the expanded restoration. Described as a bold and intriguing allegory
of manipulation and greed in the entire recording industry, Lola Versus The Powerman
And Money-Go-Round feature a harder rock foundation as it became The Kinks’ most
successful record—by far’ from across the pond as it takes a satirical look at the many
facets of the music industry, including song publishers, unions, the press, accountants,
business mangers, the capitalist establishment and life on the road. With John Gosling
included as the main keyboardist, Lola Versus The Powerman And Money-Go-Round
will remain as fascinating and thought-provoking as ever for countless of ages, and as
a timeless testament from The Kinks themselves.
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"Lola Versus Powerman & The Moneygoround, Part One" (there never was a part two)arose out of a difficult time in The Kinks career. Illnesses, constant touring along with Ray Davies juggling too many projects at the time could have added up to disaster but, instead, produced one of their biggest hits ("Lola")and album of their career.

Andrew Sandoval has been supervising the bulk of The Kinks reissues (except for the three disc "Village Green" which he did have a hand in but didn't remaster except for the third disc)on CD and this edition, like previous ones, will probably become the ultimate edition for fans of the band.

Slightly compressed and louder than the original CD mastering (although not quite as compressed as the last edition on CD), "Lola" sounds quite nice. If you are sensitive to compression or loudness you might want to stick to the PRT or Reprise CD issues of this album but you will also be missing out on 13 bonus tracks that have never been released before.

The two CD set is broken up with "Lola" and assorted alternate/instrumental versions on the first disc. We also get the previously unreleased song "Anytime". It's a wonder this gem never saw the light of day. We also get "The Good Life" another previously unreleased track plus alternate versions of "Lola", "Apeman" and "Got To Be Free". The disc also includes unfinished instrumental demos for "The Contenders" and "This Time Tomorrow".

The second disc features the U.S. debut of the "Percy" soundtrack on CD (it had previously been released in the UK as a stand alone disc as well as a remastered/expanded edition). Although the film "Percy" deserves its status as a long forgotten film (it's no classic), Ray wrote the music because it would complete his contract with Pye and result in additional residuals.

Recorded within the same three month period and between concert dates as "Lola", "Percy" has a number of tracks that would be stand outs on a Kinks album or single releases. We get songs such as "God's Children", "The Way Love Used To Be" along with some truly bizarre pieces "Whip Lady", "Willesden Green". Filling out the original album are alternate mixes of "Apeman" and "The Moneygoround" as well as the mono mix for "Powerman". "Lola", "Apeman" and "Rats" all appear in their single mono release versions. We also get the mono film mixes for "The Way Love Used To Be" and "God's Children" from the original soundtrack of the film. "Dreams" appears in a remix as a bonus track as well.

Peter Dogget once again provides excellent booklet notes on the making of the album discussing the circumstances around the recording of the two albums. There are also a variety of pictures of the band some of which have never appeared in print before (or rarely).

A nicely done expanded edition of "Lola" and "Percy" this edition unfortunately doesn't come in a digipak like the previous expanded editions (it's in a 2 Cd jewel case)for those who want their collection to look the same on the shelf.

This is a very nice expanded edition that sounds pretty good and will be essential for Kinks fans.

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"Lola versus Powerman and the Money-Go-Round, Part One" is a rock landmark, and by far the best Kinks album of all time. The album is extremely varied in songwriting style, all overshadowed by the legendary monster single "Lola" (which certainly is great), but as much as I love Ray Davies' songs and album concept, my favorite Kinks song is Dave Davies' hauntingly beautiful "Strangers", a song that is angst-laden and genuinely touching without feeling preachy or stilted. It's an absolutely perfect piece of music, and by itself justifies buying this album and giving it a five star rating.

I love the variations in songwriting style reinforcing central themes of love and individualism in a technologically speeding society, but all the songs stand on their own merits: of the fourteen songs, the only one I am not especially fond of is "Denmark Street", which means this is an amazingly consistent album. I generally prefer the uptempo Kinks' tracks (which, again, emphasizes how truly great "Strangers" actually is), and on this CD they don't disappoint. Starting off with "The Contenders" the band demonstrates their proficiency for great rock; likewise "Rats" and "Powerman" are also thematically consistent and especially well-executed. In the middle of the bunch is the sultry classic "Lola" which really does justify the airplay it has received over the years. On the other end of the spectrum "Strangers" and "A Long Way From Home" show that the band knows how to turn down the volume and pace and still make musical magic.

"Lola versus Powerman and the Money-Go-Round, Part One" realizes Ray Davies' ultimate need for a conceptual album where the individual songs really do combine synergistically into something greater than the components, but where the songs are still viable outside the greater context of the album. If you can own only one Kinks album, or you are just starting to listen to the band, this should definitely be the album you buy. Despite the needlessly unwieldy album title, I could not recommend "Lola versus Powerman and the Money-Go-Round, Part One" more highly.
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on March 9, 2015
Legacy Edition of Lola vs. Powerman stands up to the original and has some great extras . The extra cuts are outtakes and alternate mixes and some are better than others. But the notes and presentation keep this package as 4 stars and recommended for Kinks collectors. Original is easily in Kinks top 3 or 4.
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"Lola" has never been as popular as some of the Kinks' earlier albums, but it's still a favorite of many fans (like me) who heard in these songs a lot of what made the band great. The remastered sound by Andrew Sandoval has cleaned up the music--it's more open and clean sounding. Every instrument has it's own space and the vocals too are cleaner sounding. This edition comes in a double jewel case with a 24 page booklet. Inside is a list of tracks, and a six page essay on the band and the music. Also here are many period photos and other ephemera (album covers, an ad for "Percy", movie stills, etc.), and the lyrics as printed similar to the original vinyl release.

This album comes from a challenging time for the Kinks--illness, bad management, business troubles, and a tough touring schedule all contributed to 1970 being a bad year for the band. But out of that chaos came a great single by the Kinks and a great album, "Lola Versus Powerman And The Moneygoround". "Lola" was a huge hit for the band, as were other tracks ("Got To Be Free", etc.) from the album, proving the Kinks still had that magic that had carried them up to that point.

And when you include the soundtrack (ST) to "Percy", released just after the "Apeman" single with it's mix of vocals and instrumentals, together they show how well the band had waded through all their troubles. The film itself is pretty inconsequential, but the ST has a number of good songs--both vocally and instrumentally. But there was the track "Willsden Green" (sounding like Johnny Cash?) which is the low point on the album. But songs like "Moments", and "The Way Love Used To Be", and a few others are well worth hearing over and over again. The band was supposedly going to record a "Part Two" to follow the "Lola...Part One" album, but even with some good songs, Ray Davies decided against it. So "Lola.." stands alone as a good set of tunes from a tough period for the band.

So, finally we have an expanded edition of this fine album with extra tracks and the ST album. The extra tracks (all previously unissued) on Disc One are mostly demos and alternate takes plus a couple of instrumental tracks. One track, "Apeman" is an alternate released in Japan on the album. There's one song, "Anytime" that didn't make it on to the album but is well worth having. Disc Two's extra tracks include a remix of "Lola", mono singles (including "Lola" with the "cherry cola" lyrics, "Rats" "Apeman",etc.), mono alternate takes ("The Moneygoround", "Apeman"), and a few mono film mixes ("God's Children", "The Way Love Used To Be", "God's Children (End)". All add something special to this edition and are great to finally have released.

Kinks' fans will no doubt purchase this expanded edition. But if you've never heard this album this is the version to hear. And when you include the "Percy" ST it's pretty much a no-brainer.
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on September 12, 2014
As good as it gets, really. Great remastering job.... for once. Not too overdriven. Only bummer is in the notes says R Davies wasn't particularly fond of this record. I thought it was their last great one; well, Muswell Hillbillies came really was. IMO. Not gonna say anything about the Percy Soundtrack. Coupla great ballads, but I believe the film makers required something w/ some over the top satire....I recall paying a fortune for the Percy import LP when it was out....Regards.
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on August 6, 2011
As a life-long Kinks fan, I always not only dug the albums they did which led up to this, but alway considered "Lola Vs Powerman" to be one of their best ever. Yes, that tune about some cross-dresser gave the Kinks one of their biggest hits ever with "Lola", and much of the rest of the album deals with the frustrations of the music bussiness. A couple of the tunes, "Strangers" & "Rats" were written by Ray's younger brother, Dave, the rest of them composed by Ray himself. Love this whole album, in particular, "Top Of the Pops", about them achieving stardom (no coincidence this this song immediatley follows "Lola"). There are also gems like "Denmark Street" & "Money-Go-Round" where the publishers care about the cash, not giving a damn about the music itself, as some of you on this site have already pointed out. "Apeman", another of their classics, is also here. "This Time Tomorrow", "Powerman" and "Got To Be Free" are cool rockers. "A Long Way From Home" is a beautiful little number.
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Good album that signals the end of the first great Kinks eras. Smattering of rockin' songs presented here with alternate versions, etc. and the soundtrack for the film "Percy". Essential!
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