13. Apeman (Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One, 1970)
A back-to-nature song akin to Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi or Talking Heads’ Nothing But Flowers.
Covers: I was suprised to see there weren’t many. I thought this was the kind of song that would be covered all over. But there are a few.
12. Muswell Hillbilly (Muswell Hillbillies, 1971)
I love this song. It’s a wonderful precursor to the entire Americana genre, ironically written by a Brit. Which is actually par for the genre, since some of our best Americana is created by Australians and Canadians.
Covers: Unsurprisingly, not many. This is really a Kinks song. But this version is pretty good.
11. Celluloid Heroes (Everybody’s in Show-Biz, 1972)
A six-minute ode to the movie business, sentimentally giving shout-outs to the greats of the Golden Age of Cinema, such as Garbo, Marilyn, Lugosi, etc.
10. Destroyer (Give The People What They Want, 1981)
A defining characteristic of The Kinks’ music is that they use a central group of characters, such as Shiv or Flash, and they make sequels to their own songs. This is the one for Lola. A decade after he met her in a club down in old Soho, the singer hears cameras everywhere—presumably because he’s in shock that Lola had a dick. This is one of the bands hardest rockers from this era, and was a huge hit for them.
Covers: Not a cover, but this duet is too good not to post…
9. See My Friends (Single, 1965)
If anyone tells you George Harrison introduced the world to rock sitar, call bullshit. See My Friends came first, and it’s The Kinks’ only truly psychedelic raga.
The Records recorded a cover of the song which appears on a bonus EP included with their debut album Shades in Bed.
Richard Thompson on his 2003 live album 1000 Years of Popular Music.
8. All Day and All of the Night (Single 1965)
Very similar in sound and structure to “You Really Got Me” (SPOILER: their best song of this era—and one of the best rock and roll songs of all time). Pye Records actually contemplated suing The Doors when their hit, “Hello I Love You,” came out and was basically the same song musically.
Covers: We’ll kick it off with a direct download mp3:
ADAAOTN by Billy Corgan’s Zwan
And now, other covers…Including a sample by one of the most notorious rap bands of all time.
More on the next page!