The Kinks – Strangers
I’ve been trying to expand my musical tastes, and have recently tried listening to a few albums by The Kinks – a band, which by my calculations is the Rock ‘n’ Roll equivalent of Nikola Tesla; the largely unsung geniuses of their fields compared to the better-marketed Beatles/Rolling Stones and Thomas Edison, respectively. The album that so far has stuck with me is their 1970 release, Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One.
Despite the cumbersome title (often truncated to “simply” Lola Versus Powerman), this is a fantastic album. It’s full of buzzy and catchy guitar hooks, a distinctive dobro/resonator guitar sound in several of the songs (the metal guitar featured in the video below of Lola), and an overall mockery of the record industry as a whole.
One song that particularly reaches me is Strangers. Instead of being written and sung by Ray Davies, as with many of the more well-known Kinks songs (You Really Got Me, Lola) was written and sung by his brother, lead guitarist Dave Davies. The vocal performance in particular is urgent and extremely moving.
Only after looking into Strangers a little more did I realize that it was featured in the beautiful Wes Anderson film The Darjeeling Limited. I absolutely loved that film, but had only seen it once and had forgotten this (along with This Time Tomorrow, another excellent song off this album) was ever in it.