|Single by The Kinks|
|from the album Lola versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One|
|Released||November 20, 1970 (U.K.)
December 16, 1970 (U.S.)
|Format||7" single 45 RPM|
|Recorded||Aug-Sep 1970 at Morgan Studios, Willesden, London|
|Label||Pye 7N 45016 (U.K.)
Reprise 0979 (U.S.)
|The Kinks singles chronology|
"Apeman" is a 1970 song by the British rock band The Kinks. It was written by Ray Davies and appears on the album Lola versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One.
In the song, Davies is fed up with the modern world and declares that he wants to "sail away to a distant shore and make like an apeman". He also expresses how man created our problems and, given half a chance, he would leave the cities and traffic to live in the jungle. In some ways, this is the epitome of the nostalgia expressed on the albums Lola vs. Powerman and The Village Green Preservation Society.
"Apeman" was released as a single in the fall of 1970, with a B-side of the Dave Davies composition "Rats". While it did not do as well on the U.S. Pop Singles chart as its predecessor, "Lola", it was a major hit in the UK, peaking at number five on the singles chart. It was also the band's final chart success in Australia, reaching #9 on its chart.
Controversy and re-dubbing
The Kinks caused some controversy, because in the line "...the air pollution is a-foggin' up my eyes...", the word "a-foggin'" sounds too much like "a-fuckin'". Like the band's previous single "Lola" where Ray Davies had to change "Coca-cola" to "cherry cola", he again had to fly back to London to re-record this line, dubbing over with a more clear "a-foggin'" prior to its single release. The original lyric remains intact on the album, and is heard at 2:20. On their Top of the Pops performance filmed later in November, the changed lyric can be heard on the backing tape.
A colour promo video was made for the song, featuring John Gosling in an ape costume.
- Ray Davies: Acoustic Guitars, Lead Vocal
- Dave Davies: Double-Tracked Lead Guitar, Backing Vocal
- John Dalton: Bass, Backing Vocal
- John Gosling: Piano
- Mick Avory: Drums, Maracas
Cover versions and usage in movies and television
The song was first covered by British singer and teenage heartthrob Jack Wild on his 1971 album Everything's Coming Up Roses, released by Buddah Records. It was covered by Fish for his 1993 album Songs from the Mirror. That version of "Apeman" is featured in the film Mondovino, and also appeared in the 1986 movies Club Paradise starring Robin Williams and Link starring Terence Stamp. The Format covered it and included it on their 2007 B-Sides & Rarities album. The song is used in the first episode of the comedy TV series The Last Man on Earth to show the lead character's descent into a primitive style of living once civilization has ended.
All songs written and composed by Ray Davies.
- Official Ray Davies Web Site
- The Official Ray Davies Forum - "The Old Grey Board"
- The Official Ray Davies Forum on YouTube
- Full lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics