“Lola” - The Kinks

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"Lola" is a song written by Ray Davies and performed by The Kinks which details a romantic encounter between a young man (presumably in his late teen years) and a transvestite he meets in a Soho, London club.

One of The Kinks' best-known songs, the single was taken from the album Lola versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One, which was released in June, 1970, and reached #2 in the UK charts and #9 in the US. It was ranked 422nd on the List of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. It is famous for its C-D-E power riff.

In the book The Kinks: The Official Biography, Ray Davies says that he was inspired to write this song after the band manager Robert Wace had spent the night dancing with a transvestite. Davies said,
“ I remembered an incident in a club... in his apartment Robert Wace had been dancing with this black woman, and he said, ‘I’m really on to a thing here.’ And it was okay until we left at six in the morning and then I said, ‘Have you seen the stubble?’ He said ‘Yeah,’ but he was too pissed [drunk] to care, I think. ”

Accounts also indicate a similar incident occurred at about the same time during a Kinks European tour in the mid-1960s, cementing the song's scenario in Davies' mind for later use.[citation needed]

In late 1969, Davies' father encouraged him to focus his energy on writing another worldwide hit single after a long dry spell for the band, and "Lola" was the result. Davies and the Kinks spent extra time and effort recording and crafting the song at Morgan Studios in London during early 1970.

In his autobiography, Dave Davies mentions that he came up with the music for what would become Lola. After Dave had shown his brother the music, Ray came up with the lyrics. Dave goes on to claim his brother took all the credit for the song. The original lyrics had the word "Coca-Cola" but because of BBC Radio's policy against product placement, those words were changed to the generic "cherry cola" for the single release.

The success of the single had important ramifications for the band's career at a critical time, allowing them to negotiate a new contract with RCA Records, construct their own London Studio, and assume more creative and managerial control. "Lola" also became their most popular sing-along anthem at concerts, as they struggled to regain a footing in the US concert market after a five year absence. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.