The Kinks recorded better songs. The Kinks recorded more popular songs. But The Kinks never recorded a more iconic song.
Not “You Really Got Me,” which got co-opted by Van Halen for better and worse. Not “Celluloid Heroes,” even if I sing it to myself every time I walk down Hollywood Blvd. Not even “Waterloo Sunset,” no matter how beautiful it was.
No, it’s “Lola.” “El-oh-el-Ay, Lola.” From the percussive riff that anchors it to the sing-along fade out, “Lola” was the song that — more than any other — would forever be associated with The Kinks. Its unexpected popularity — their first top ten hit in the U.S. in 5 years (and their last one for 13) — was credited by Dave Davies for saving the band.