100 Greatest Songs of the 70’s #81 The Kinks – Lola

Released : 1970

If amongst the post-shoegaze Blur’s creative antecedents were definitely The Kinks, the metaphorical root of ‘Girls who want boys/Who like boys to be girls/Who do boys like they’re girls/Who do girls like they’re boys’ was proper to Ray Davies too, or at least in part.

Nobody who was there had truly got out of 1967 unaffected. The process of change and it’s accompanying revolutionary aegis had very much driven the quartet into new territory, along with the departure of bassist Pete Quaife. Not their first concept album, nevertheless Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround (Part One) found them railing against a music industry in the wake of their waning commercial status, with the acerbic Davies pulling apart it’s absurdities with relish.

Lola is notable musically for the use of the Martin and Dobro resonator guitars, the combination which gives the introduction such an abstract, country sounding resonance. It’s also known for lyrics that deal with a supposedly fictional encounter between a man and another man, although one of the men thinks the other’s a woman.

Davies would later deny that he was one of the subjects and the other Candy Darling, but as a taboo breaker, Lola was a remarkably brave piece of songwriting, whoever, and whatever, the true events that inspired it were.

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