My Top 1000 Songs #285: Strangers

[I've been writing up my Top 1000 songs on a daily basis--you can see them all in descending order by hitting the All My Favorite Songs tag.]

While The Kinks' 1970 Lola vs. Powerman LP is best known for "Lola," it's the deeper cuts that have always most captured my attention. "This Time Tomorrow" is a personal favorite, as previously noted. Right behind is the lovely, wistful "Strangers." In a band dominated by one of history's greatest songwriters in Ray Davies, Dave's tracks have always felt like runner-ups, Ray indulging his kid brother by giving him a slot or two on the album (even when those contributions were plenty great). But "Strangers" is no mere accommodation, easily the equal of Ray's finest work.

It's a gorgeous ballad, musically and lyrically, with Dave's more yearning, earthbound vocals well-suited to the song's heart-on-his-sleeve sentiments. "Strangers on this road we are on. But we are not two we are one."

While the song had long felt like a personal secret, a lesser-known track from a band with countless FM-band classics, it's gotten a little more attention in recent years, from soundtrack appearances to becoming a go-to cover song. But it still feels like one of own private musical pleasures.

Cover version from Golden Smog, featuring Wilco's Jeff Tweedy on vocals.
Norah Jones:
Dave Davies, solo live in the studio: