Lola vs. Powerman and The Moneygoround - Pye 1970
Apart from the movie soundtrack "Percy" which I would call a solid 4 star album, I won’t hesitate to rate all the Kinks's Pye albums for sure 5 star albums. "Lola Versus Powerman & the Moneygoround" may not be in the category of "The Village Green Preservation Society" , but it has more than enough to deserve all five stars.
Like its predecessor, "Arthur" the album is a concept album with a critical focus on the music industry. But the important thing is that the album contains a wealth of fine songs. In addition to the two classic hits "Lola" and "Apeman" you will find the very beautiful "Get Back in the Line", which was regular on the group's repertoire in the 1970’s. Also, "This Time Tomorrow" and the ballad "A Long Way From Home" are personal favorites. Among the more thematic songs "The Moneygoround" is both funny and biting. Dave Davies delivers one of his very best songs, "Strangers", which both musically and lyrically is simply great.
Among the bonus tracks the two "new" songs are surprisingly good and sound pretty finished. They may not add anything decisively new, and it easy to understand that they were not selected in the first place; both numbers, though, could easily have lifted on the sequel "Percy". The slightly pompous ballad "Anytime" is not bad, while "The Good Life" is more like a classic Kinks rocker.
"Percy", which in this deluxe version of the "Lola" functions as bonus CD, is in itself an excellent album which, however, is weakened by some uninteresting instrumentals; particularly the version of "Lola" is somewhat annoying.
Otherwise, I prefer to focus on the marvelous songs "God's Children", "Moments" and "The Way Love Used to Be". Also "Dreams" belongs in the fine end. "Animals in the Zoo" with its Bo Diddley beat, also works fine while "Willesden Green", sung by John Dalton, is a good song that might mostly have been recorded for fun.
Among the lesser-known tracks the waltzy "Just Friends" is a typical soundtrack number. "Completely" sounds almost like a "Fleetwood Mac" instrumental, while "Helga" really is both melodic and catchy.
As a whole, this release is really a scoop with alternative single versions of familiar songs and a few outtakes.
Most of the album "Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround" deals the cynicism of the music-business; as always there is a good portion of humour in Ray Davies` lyrics. My favourites on this album though, are amongs the songs that do not directly refer to the music business.
"Get Back in the Line" is outstanding - I`ll never forget my delight when the band played the song in Viborg ( Denmark ) back in 1974. Other favourites are "This Time Tomorrow", "A Long Way From Home" and Dave`s "Strangers". And of course the two hits "Lola" and "Apeman"
Unfortunately there are only 3 bonus-tracks on the re-issue. The single versions of "Lola" and "Apeman" ( rougher Danish single release) are logic additions, but it would have been nice if there had been some previously unreleased tracks, or some from "The Great Lost Kinks Album".