Lola Versus Powerman And The Moneygoround, Part 1 (2020 Remaster)

The Kinks

Sanctuary Records, 2020

REVIEW BY: Duke Egbert


I always find it challenging to review a remaster of an album, especially one that I was not familiar with in its previous incarnation. What, exactly, am I evaluating? The album? Or the job that was done rebuilding and remixing its sound? It’s a difficult question, and not one I really have an easy answer for.

In the case of the Kinks’ Lola Versus Powerman And The Moneygoround, Part 1my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 (and that will be the last time I type THAT out fully, thank you), it needs to be split. There’s content, then there’s the remixed content, and ne’er the twain shall meet.

As for the content – I’m going to be honest. LVPATMP1 is no Arthur. Ostensibly an album where the Davies brothers expressed their anger and frustration at the music business, there are times it comes off almost childish. The choice of music styles seems odd at times as well; it’s hard to remain outraged when someone is playing a barrelhouse piano (“The Moneygoround”) or a dobro that they’d just bought (“Lola,” which by the way is still one of the best and funniest pop songs of the ‘60s). Quite often, as well, Ray Davies seems to be straining, distracting the listener from some of the well-written songs in the second half of the CD. When he relaxes a bit, we get brilliant bits like “Apeman;” when he doesn’t, we get the slightly thin-sounding “Powerman.”

As for the bonus tracks, they’re surprisingly deep and quite good for the most part. The headliner here is a version of “Lola” recorded with – wait for it – the Danish National Chamber Orchestra and the Danish National Vocal Ensemble. It works really well, actually. There is also a sweet version of “A Long Way From Home” from Austin City Limits. The only clunker is a piano version of “Got To Be Free,” which seems to be running at three-quarters speed.

There is some great swag with this remaster. The booklet included I found really educational and thorough; it helped me understand where LVPATMP1 and the Davies brothers were coming from. The packaging is durable and tight.

So in the end, how do I grade this? I think it will have to be a two-fer…

Rating (album content): C+
Rating (remaster): B+

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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