THE KINKS’ eighth studio album, Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One, is just celebrating its half-century … a scary thought.
A concept album without the twiddly bits, but stuffed with classic songs such as “Lola”, “Get Back In Line” and “Apeman”, it followed 1968’s The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society and ’69’s Arthur Or The Decline And Fall Of The English Empire in exploring a subject through Ray’s wry lense; this time it would be the music industry in his sights, as he looked at the song publishers (“Denmark Street”), unions (“Get Back In Line”), the press, accountants (“The Moneygoround”), business managers, and life on the road.
So: let the 50th anniversary celebrations begin, as the band unveil special multi-format release plans for the album as a deluxe box set, LP, deluxe 2xCD, single CD and digital issue on December 11th.
The strictly limited ten -inch book pack with slipcase contains a 60-page book, three CDs, two 7” singles, and four colour prints; the vinyl pressing will come in a gatefold; the 2xCD will also come as a hardback book edition.
Although it appeared during a transitional period for The Kinks – founder member and bassist Pete Quaife had walked, being replaced by John Dalton – Lola Versus Powerman… was a success both critically and commercially, hitting in the Top 40 in America and helping restore them to the public eye.
“Lola” reached no.2 in the UK singles chart, and “Apeman”, no.5.
Ray Davies says of Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One: “The album is a celebration of artistic freedom (including my own) and the right for anyone to be gender-free if one wishes. The secret is to be a good and trusting person and friend.”
He’s referring, of course, to title track “Lola”, which Ray wrote in early 1970, detailing an alleged encounter experienced by the band’s manager.
The 50th anniversary celebrations launch with a brand new Ray Davies’ remix/medley of the Kinks track “Any Time”, entitled “The Follower – Any Time 2020 Feat: Anytime by The Kinks”. Take a listen, below: we’ve embedded it for you.
Originally written by Ray as a possible B-side for ‘Apeman’, it includes previously unreleased versions and excerpts of several Kinks tracks from Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One as well as added spoken word and sound effects.
Ray says of this new collage: “The isolation caused by Coronavirus can give people time to re-evaluate the world and re-assess their lives.
“Music can comfort the lonely, transcend time and it’s not the future or the past, yesterday, today or tomorrow. It’s anytime.
“I saw a way of making this unreleased 1970s track connect to an audience in 2020. I also saw a way of showing that music can time-travel, that memory is instantaneous and therefore can join us in the ‘now’.
“I put this together as something surreal then realised that it was really happening. The song has found its place – after its 50th birthday!”
The Kinks’s Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One will be rereleased on December 11th, but is available for pre-order now: order your copy here.