Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Kinks: Well-Respected Men

The Kinks were one of the best and most popular British rock bands of the Sixties and early Seventies. The band was part of the British Invasion that started with the Beatles’ success in America in the early Sixties. Dave Davies famous guitar riff from the song, “You Really Got Me,” has been cited as a turning point in rock that inspired hard rock/ heavy metal.

Ray Davies, the creative force behind The Kinks, wrote the most literate and narrative songs in rock music, and infused his songwriting with a particularly nostalgic and British bent as albums such as “The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society” amply demonstrate.

The Kinks formed in 1963, in London. The band has changed personnel several times, but singer Ray Davies, his younger brother, lead guitarist Dave Davies and drummer Mick Avory have always been the heart of the band. Peter Quaife, the original bassist for the band, died of kidney failure in 2010.

The Kinks recorded a number of excellent albums during their earliest incarnation including the aforementioned, “The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society” (1968) which is usually cited as the band’s masterpiece. “Face to Face” (1966), “Something Else by the Kinks” (1967), “Arthur or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire” (1969), and “Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround (Part One)” (1970), were also stellar works which featured some of the most satirical and acute commentary on modern, especially British, society.

In addition to “You Really Got Me,” The Kinks enjoyed several hit singles in their early days such as “A Well Respected Man,” “Victoria,” “Waterloo Sunset,” “All Day and All of the Night,” “Tired of Waiting for You,” and “Sunny Afternoon.”

Ray Davies has spent the last several years touring as a solo act, but another Kinks reunion is always possible in the future.

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