NEW! On The Turntable

14 06 2010

There is a new album up on the “On The Turntable” page. For June, GG is featuring a classic from The Kinks. It’s their 1970 release Lola versus Powerman & The Moneygoround, Part I. Of all their albums this is my favorite. It’s a concept album that was written and recorded during a transitional period for the band. During the late 60’s The Kinks were banned from touring in the States. It is unclear as to why and has never really been confirmed from sources at the American Federation of Musician’s but it’s long been thought that it was a direct result of their loud, boisterous stage presence. The Kinks had reached critial acclaim about the same time so the inability to tour in the worlds largest and most robust rock & roll market was a huge hit to their momentum. Perhaps it was this that led Ray Davies to produce an album that took on the industry with such a satirical view. Each song on the record take jabs here and there at the powerhouse labels, suits, critics, publicists and the like. It turns out the songs were quite good, solidifying Lola versus Powerman & The Moneygoround, Part I as one of the earliest successful concept albums and helped get The Kinks back into the mainstream. The title is far from straightforward utilizing references from the songs while implying the struggle between all the many facets of the industry. The most curious portion is the “Part 1” as there was never a Part 2. The band indicated that they thought there would be a follow up when it was pressed but it never came to fruition. Although, future projects were often called Part 2 while in the working stages, only to be properly named prior to official release.

Check out the “On The Turntable” page for some additional background info. While there, you can listen to the entire album. My personal favorites areĀ  are 3 lesser-known tunes: “Stranger”, “This Time Tomorrow” and “Powerman”. All of which were never really considered hits for The Kinks but will forever standout in their catalog as incredible pieces of work. Below is some live footage from a 1970 promotional tour of the band doing “Apeman”, one of the two huge singles from this album (the other being “Lola”). In it, you will see lead singer Ray Davies, playing his dobro (aka resonator guitar). Ray bought this guitar for just $150 while they were recording the album. He was looking for a really clean and crisp guitar sound with a little twang so he went to the shop around the corner and bought a classic vintage Martin acoustic and this inexpensive dobro. As producer on the album, Ray decided to recorded both guitars and then blend them in the mix to get a truly unique guitar sound. It makes for a pretty cool effect, which influenced their style for many years after the session.

References:

More info on The Kinks

More info on Ray Davies

More info on Lola versus Powerman & The Moneygoround, Part I

More info on the American Federation of Musicians








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