The Kinks - Lola
"Lola" is a song written by Ray Davies and performed by English rock band the Kinks on their album Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One. The song details a romantic encounter between a young man and a possible trans woman or cross-dresser, whom he meets in a club in Soho, London. In the song, the narrator describes his confusion towards Lola, who "walked like a woman but talked like a man".
The song was released in the United Kingdom on 12 June 1970, while in the United States it was released on 28 June 1970. Commercially, the single reached number two on the UK Singles Chart and number nine on the Billboard Hot 100. The track has since become one of the Kinks' most popular songs, later being ranked number 422 on "Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time", and was re-ranked at 386 on the 2021 list. "Lola" was also ranked number 473 on the "NME's 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time" list.
Since its release, "Lola" has appeared on multiple compilation and live albums. In 1980, a live version of the song from the album One for the Road was released as a single in the US and some European countries, becoming a minor hit. In the Netherlands it became #1, just as in 1970 with the studio version. Other versions include an instrumental on the band's 1971 movie soundtrack album Percy and live renditions from 1972's Everybody's in Show-Biz and 1996's To the Bone. The "Lola" character also made an appearance in the lyrics of the band's 1981 song, "Destroyer".