Album: Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One, 1970
Justification: This is often cited as the last classic Kinks single, and it’s certainly the point where Australia told the band they just wanted to be friends – it was the last time the band ever troubled the charts in this neck of the woods and kind of a flop in the US, though it was huge in the UK. In its defence, it did come after they released ‘Lola’, which is something of a hard act to follow. And also, let’s remember that pretty much every single Kinks A-side from 1965-1970 was the best song ever.
It’s another example of Ray Davies’ genius ability to have it both ways, taking potshots at the modern world and also at the oversimplification of big issues – much like ‘Sunny Afternoon’ was at once a mockery of and a genuine lament by a rich man laid financially low and ‘Victoria’ was a love song about and criticism of British imperialism. From here on in he was to get increasingly bogged down in unwieldy concept albums, which was a pity since the man’s great gift was bashing out perfect singles.
As I mention at every opportunity, I interviewed him a year or so back when the goddawful See My Friends album of duets came out and he was very pleasant and interesting. Although I did pretty much spend the whole time fighting the urge to ask “so, re-recording ‘All Day and All of the Night’ with Billy Corgan: was he holding your children at gunpoint, or was it an elaborate prank?”
SONG YOU SHOULD HAVE REDISCOVERED THIS TIME IN 2011: It was a weekend, and this is the first song from 1970 on the list so there’s not even an archive. Tell you what, go check out ‘Sit Down’ by James, which was from Jan 14. That’s close enough, right?
AND HERE’S THE LAST FIVE…