The Kinks lost former band member John Gosling last week. He was 75 years old. Gosling played with the band from 1970 until 1978.
Gosling was a keyboardist who first tried out for the band during the recording of the song "Lola." His early work with the band resulted in some of the most melodic music the band produced. Having an excellent keyboardist was a key part of that.
The songs that follow will only be songs from The Kinks during Gosling's time with the group. After he left the band, the group had a harder sound for the next couple of years. That's how the band worked as they liked to constantly be changing. But, per social media posts, they clearly remembered the Gosling years fondly.
Three great songs John Gosling made with The Kinks
The Kinks - "Lola" (1970)
The greatest song about a trans woman likely ever made, the music is what really makes the song, not the words. Not that the lyrics are bad, but the playful way Ray Davies delivers them makes them even stronger. But from the softness of the acoustic guitar to the sonic rage later in the track, the evolution from one note to the next is perfect.
The song was the first top ten single for The Kinks and reached number 2 in the UK. Gosling recorded his part when he was basically trying out for the band but he clearly made the correct impression and the tune is better for having him. The song is on the excellent album Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneyground, Part One.
Other music news and analysis
The Kinks - "20th Century Man" (1971)
If you like your subject matter with a positive outlook on all things modern this is not the song for you. The track points out issues with poverty, homelessness, and other global issues. Heck, the title might be a bit ironic to some.
Live, the band plays this song much heavier many times. The studio version implies some heaviness but keeps a relative country-rock feel. Either way, the song is so well-structured it's fantastic.
The Kinks - "This Time Tomorrow" (1970)
This is a ridiculously beautiful song. Period. It's simply about missing one's family and close friends and be away for a long time, but the melody is achingly perfect. You might listen to this song once and then re-listen again straight away. And maybe on the 14th straight listen you might be tired of how wonderful of a track this is.
But my guess is that you won't. One of the best Kinks songs ever? Yes. And there have been a ton.