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Saturday, 31 December 2016
"Lola Versus Powerman And The Moneygoround Part 1 & Percy: Deluxe Edition" by THE KINKS (2014 Sony/Legacy/BMG 2CD Reissue and Remaster) - A Review by Mark Barry...
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"...Got To Be Free...Got To Be Free Right Now..."
THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE 2014 'Deluxe Edition' 2CD REISSUE ***
see that Union Man walking down the street...
the man who decides if I live or I die...if I starve or I eat..."
a band so intrinsically linked with the Sixties - as ever Ray Davies refused to
be pigeonholed by its sentiment and started the new Seventies decade with a
musical hand-grenade – something of a kick in the nadge for the hippy dream.
Yet despite being a bit of a caustic brute (especially lyrically) – November
1970's album "Lola Versus Powerman And The Moneygoround, Part 1" also
contained huge popular hits like "Lola" and "Apeman" –
provocatively charged sexpot songs that felt all grown up and mature and even
gender-bender risky. The Kinks' "Lola..." has always been a great
album and its arrival on DE has been much anticipated...
after the thrilling CD reissue ride their 60ts catalogue received at the hands
of Universal's double-disc 'Deluxe Editions' in 2011 - this August 2014
Sony/Legacy 2CD addition sounds better for sure but is actually incomplete. Although
we get the "Percy" Soundtrack from 1971 on Disc 2 as a bonus along
with many other outtakes on both CDs (some superb unreleased stuff amidst the
12 new cuts like "Anytime") - we lose two tracks that were on the
previous 2004 issue - and it comes in a forgettable double jewel case instead
of a foldout card digipak that would have matched the other spines in the
series. Still - despite the packaging and content niggles - there's so much on
here to love and want - there really is. Let's get physical...
released August 2014 - "Lola Versus Powerman And The Moneygoround &
Percy: Deluxe Edition" by THE KINKS on Sony Legacy/BMG 88843089592
(Barcode 0888430895928) is a 43-Track 2CD 'Deluxe Edition' Reissue and Remaster
with 12 Previously Unreleased tracks that plays out as follows:
1 (64:48 minutes):
Get Back In Line
Top Of The Pops
This Time Tomorrow [Side 2]
A Long Way From Home
Got To Be Free
1 to 13 are the album "Lola Versus Powerman And The Moneygoround, Part
One" - released 27 November 1970 in the UK on Pye Records NSPL 18359 and 2
December 1970 in the USA on Reprise RS 6423 in Stereo. It peaked at No. 35 on
the US LP charts.
TRACKS (All PREVIOUSLY UNISSUED):
The Contenders (instrumental Demo)
The Good Life
Lola (Alternate Version)
This Time Tomorrow (Instrumental)
Apeman (Alternate Version, Stereo) - originally appeared on the April 1971
Japanese LP of "Lola..." on Reprise YS-2456-Y
Got To Be Free (Alternate Version) - originally broadcast in the UK 15 Oct 1970
on BBC 1 Television
2 (63:25 minutes):
The Way Love Used To Be
Running Round Town
Animals In The Zoo
God's Children (End)
1 to 13 are the Soundtrack LP "Percy" - released March 1971 in the UK
on Pye Records NSPL 18365 in Stereo. No US LP - but "God's Children"
and "The Way Love Used To Be" was released as an American 7" single
on Reprise REP 1017 in July 1971.
Dreams (Remix) - Previously Unreleased
Lola (Mono Single) - 12 June 1970 UK 7" single on Pye International 7N
17961 - 12 June 1970 US 7" single on Reprise 0930 with "cherry
Apeman (Mono Single) - 20 Nov 1970 UK 7" single on Pye International 7N
Rats (Mono Single)- 20 Nov 1970 UK
7" single on Pye International 7N 45016, B-side of "Apeman" - 16
Dec 1970 US 7" single on Reprise 0979
Powerman (Mono) - first issued May 1998 in the UK on the CD reissue of
"Lola..." on Essential ESM CD 509
The Moneygoround (Alternate Version, Mono) - first issued August 2012 in the UK
on the 5CD/1DVD Box Set "The Kinks At The BBC" on Sanctuary/UMC 279
721-8 as part of the DVD - Audio here for the first time - Previously
Apeman (Alternate Version, Mono) - first issued December 1970 on a Denmark
7" single on Pye 7N 45016, A-side - Previously Unreleased
God's Children (Mono Film Mix) - Previously Unreleased
The Way Love Used To Be (Mono Film Mix) - first released May 1998 in the UK on
the CD Reissue of "Percy" on Essential ESM CD 510
Gold's Children (End) (Mono Film Mix) - Previously Unreleased
24-page booklet is the usual feast of colour photos, picture sleeves, repro'd
memorabilia and in-depth recording/release date factoids you've come to expect
from these DE releases. The second half of the booklet features racy stills
from the iffy movie "Percy" - a superb 15-strong picture array of
rare 45 single-sleeves from around the world ("Lola, "Apeman",
"God's Children" and "Animals In The Zoo") - while the
final few pages feature the handwritten lyrics to the "Lola" LP that
graced the inner gatefold of British and American albums on Pye and Reprise.
Noted writer and author PETER DOGGETT gives a detailed analysis of the band's
leap into the heavy rock decade and their dubious involvement in a dubious
movie. It's beautifully laid out. Unfortunately the "Apeman" and
"Powerman" Demos that were unreleased extras on the 2004 reissue CD
are AWOL when there was clearly room on either disc for them - so docked a star
for that and the boring jewel case presentation.
there's better news for fans in the CD transfers. A team of three trusted names
have tackled the new 2014 Remasters - ANDREW SANDOVAL, DAN HERSCH and ANDY
PEARCE. Sandoval was involved with all of the Universal DE's for The Kinks and
much praised for it - Dan Hersch has been Rhino's go-to guy for decades and
Andy Pearce (along with Matt Wortham) has a growing rep for fabulously
realistic transfers that just keeps getting better (Thin Lizzy, Wishbone Ash,
Budgie, the 2016 Free reissues and the much-anticipated new versions of Deep
Purple's catalogue in 2017). The moment you hear the 40-second Acoustic into to
"The Contenders" or the sheer punch to the riffage of
"Powerman" or the 'Yes It's No. 1!' "Top Of The Pops" and
you can 'feel' the punch. Great stuff. Let's get to the music...
the verge of a nervous breakdown...I went to see a solicitor..." Ray sings
bitterly on "The Moneygoround" as he (like so many musicians of the
day) wonder - there's all this fame so why is there so little cash to go with
it? No one at the record label is answering the phone. That kind of probing
angst imbibes songs like "This Time Tomorrow" and the 'where are you
going' cries in "Strangers" - each tune filled with cool music
unpinned by a weary pathos. The audio on the Stereo "Lola" and
"Apeman" makes them huge - those brilliant and fun lyrics still
raising a smile after 46 years. I'd forgotten just how New York Dolls the
"Rats" track is (B-side to the "Apeman” 45 in most territories)
– a hard-hitting little rocker where slick and aggressive city types are
crowding our Ray's personal space. It ends on the brilliant and upbeat
"Got To Be Free".
will love the newest find - "Anytime" - a 3:30 minute amble that
feels epic. Probably the very guitar-based feel excluded it from the LP - but
there's no doubt in my mind that it's the premium find on here - brilliant and
exciting. The Instrumental of "The Contenders" is truly fascinating
stuff - half Gary Moore's Skid Row when the guitars dominate - half Chicken
Shack when the piano gets a look in. Just when you think it's going to descend
into filler - "The Good Life" chugs its Havana Cigar way across your
speakers - a wickedly good rocker that makes you wonder why it wasn't used as a
B-side. There's Take 11 dialogue before the Alternate Take of "Lola"
and a slower intro - and again - it's impressive stuff even for such a familiar
song. Fans are going to eat up an instrumental of their LP fave "This Time
Tomorrow" - piano and rhythm acting as a backing track as you hum along to
the words in your head. The car sounds at the beginning of the Stereo
"Apeman" are still intact - but after being used to the Mono Single -
the 'nuclear war' instruments and lyrics feel 'massive' - an amazing listen.
But the most radically different take is "Got To Be Free" where Ray
sounds like he's channelling his inner Alan Price as he plinks away on a childlike
piano - shame it's not better recorded and fades out too fast...
gives us the "Percy" Soundtrack - a much-maligned beast that's far
better than I remember it - with some shining moments like the obvious upbeat
single "God's Children" and its lovely flipside "The Way Love
Used To Be". With lyrics like "...I want to go back to the way the
good Lord made me..." - Davies gives "God's Children" a hopeful
feel complete with choruses and strings. I've always thought the funked-up guitar
version of "Lola" to be cool even if the cheesy organ that follows
the opening kind of ruins the vibe. I also dig the chugging Bluesy
guitar-and-harmonica instrumental "Completely" - like The Kinks
forgot who they were for a moment and went all Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac for
one song. "Moments" is pretty too - remembering things the main
characters have forgotten. You can hear why "Animals In The Zoo" was
chosen as a leadoff single - funky acoustic to begin with - yet so Kinks in its
rhythms as it boogies along in a very catchy way. Of the unreleased on Disc 2 "The
Moneygoround" and the Alternate Mono of "Apeman" come off the
best - an impressive end to an impressive release.
might even turn into a steady job..." - our Ray roared on "Top Of The
Pops" (number 11 with a bullet) about the life of a Rock Musician. And on
the evidence of this 2CD reissue - thank God it did...