The Kinks were an English rock band that was active for three decades between the early 1960s and early 1990s. Formed in 1963 Muswell Hill, north London, the band were a cornerstone of the 1964 British Invasion with the chordal-powered twin hits “You Really Got Me” and “All Day and All of the Night.”
Advancing swiftly to folksier fair, The Kinks emerged as one of the first thinking-person’s rock bands thanks to the melodic well and astute wit of penman Ray Davies. During the late 1960s, The Kinks raised the bar on album-oriented artistry with the conceptual works The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society (1968) and Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire) (1969).
For the first half of the 1970s, The Kinks toured behind a string of music hall-inspired rock operas. Signing to Arista later in the decade, the band enjoyed a stateside surge that culminated in a 1981–83 silver peak; bested by the MTV/radio hit “Come Dancing” and the album State of Confusion.
Members: Ray Davies (vocals, guitar), Dave Davies (lead guitar, vocals), Pete Quaife (bass guitar, 1962-69), John Start (drums, 1962-63), Mickey Willett (drums, 1963-64), Mick Avory (drums, 1964-84), John Dalton (bass guitar, 1966, 1969-76), John Gosling (keyboards, 1970-78), Andy Pyle (bass guitar, 1976-78), Jim Rodford (bass guitar, 1978-96), Gordon Edwards (keyboards, 1978-79), Ian Gibbons (keyboards, 1979-89, 1993-96), Bob Henrit (drums, 1984-96), Mark Haley (keyboards, 1989-93)
The Kinks had their roots in the Ray Davis Quartet, a pre-beat combo formed in 1962 by singer/guitarist Ray Davies (b. 1944) and featuring his younger brother Dave Davies (b. 1947) and bassist Pete Quaife (1943–2010). The Davies grew up as the only boys in an eight-child Fortis Green household, where they absorbed the early rock and jazz enjoyed by their older sisters as well as the music-hall pop of their Victorian parents.
The quartet played at school dances in and around Muswell Hill and shuffled through numerous lead vocalists, including one gig with a young Rod Stewart. As the R&B/beat boom swept London, Ray moonlighted in the Dave Hunt Band (with a pre-Stones Charlie Watts) and the Hamilton King Band (with future Camel keyboardist Pete Bardens). Meanwhile, the quartet changed its name to The Ramrods and then The Ravens while gigging the London club circuit.
In late 1963, Ray secured business contacts for the fledgling group, including singer-turned-manager Larry Page and Beatles promoter Arthur Howes. The Ravens were one of the first UK acts to link with newly arrived American record producer Shel Talmy, who secured them a deal with Pye in early 1964. At this point, the band wore matching red hunting jackets. In reference to their odd (“kinky”) attire and in an effort to seem vaguely risqué, the band changed their name to The Kinks.
1964: Early Singles
“Long Tall Sally” (b/w “I Took My Baby Home”)
“You Still Want Me” B-side “You Do Something to Me”
June 6, 1964 Memorial Hall, Northwich, ENG (supporting Tommy Quicky & The Remo 4, with The Secrets)
June 7, 1964 Forum Cinema, Bath, ENG (supporting Gene Vincent, with The Dennisons & The Fenmen)
June 9, 1964 Easy Beat Club, London, ENG
June 12, 1964 Jungfrau, Manchester, ENG
June 14, 1964 King George’s Hall, Blackburn, ENG (supporting The Four Pennies, with Shane Fenton & The Fentones)
June 20, 1964 Astoria Ballroom, Rawtenstall, ENG (supported by The Warriors & The Electones)
June 22, 1964 Majestic Ballroom, Reading, ENG
June 26, 1964 Lido Ballroom, Winchester, ENG (supported by Roy Starr & The Cherokees)
June 27, 1964 Stamford Hall, Altrincham, ENG (supported by Ivan’s Meads)
June 29, 1964 Oasis Club, Manchester, ENG (supported by The Meads)
July 2, 1964 Broadway Cinema, Bristol, ENG (supported by Bob Grant & The Democrats, Paul Vernon & The Raiders, The Chequers, and The Buccaneers)
July 12, 1964 ABC Cinema, Great Yarmouth, ENG (supported by P.J. Proby)
July 16, 1964 Assembly Hall, Worthing, ENG (supported by The Paramounts and The Preachers)
August 2, 1964 Gaumont Cinema, Bournemouth, ENG (supporting The Beatles, with Mike Berry and Adrienne Posta)
“You Really Got Me”
August 16, 1964 Opera House, Blackpool, ENG (2 shows 6.20 & 8.15, supporting The Beatles, with Tony Marsh, Adrienne Poster, Val McCallum, The High Numbers, and The Hearts)
August 28, 1964 Goldhawk Social Club, London, ENG (supported by The Clique)
August 30, 1964 Queens Theatre, Blackpool, ENG (supported by The Searchers, The High Numbers, Jon Best & The Challengers, and Val McCallum)
September 7, 1964 Playhouse Theatre, London, ENG (UK Radio “Saturday Club” performing “Got Love If You Want It”, “Little Queenie”, “Cadillac” & “You Really Got Me”)
September 9, 1964 100 Club, London, ENG (supported by Danny & The Torinos)
September 13, 1964 Queen’s Theatre, Blackpool, ENG (supported by The Nashville Teens)
September 27, 1964 Queen’s Theatre, Blackpool, ENG (supported by Marianne Faithful, The Paramounts, Jerry Stevens, The Quotations, The Puppets, and The Rustiks)
September 30, 1964 Odeon Theatre, Glasgow, SCOT (2 shows, Billy J. Kramer Show, with Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas, The Ronettes, Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers, The Bill Black Combo, The Yardbirds, and The Nashville Teens)
“All Day and All of the Night”
Fall 1964 Package Tour:
(November 7-December 6. 2 shows on all dates unless noted. With Gerry & The Pacemakers, Gene Pitney, Marianne Faithful, The Mike Cotton Sound, Bobby Shafto & The Roof Raisers, Kim Weston & The Earl Van Dyke Band, and The Manish Boys (December 1-6) on all shows, unless noted)
In the US, the album appeared as You Really Got Me on Reprise.
Kinksize Session (EP)
1965: “Tired of Waiting for You”
January 15, 1965 London, ENG (UK TV “Ready Steady Go!” performing “Tired Of Waiting For You”)
The Big Show Tour:
(January 20-February 1, 1965. All shows with Manfred Mann, The Honeycombs, Tony Sheveton, and Tony Worsley & The Blue Jays, unless noted)
January 20, 1965 Capitol Theatre, Perth, AUS (2 shows 6.00 & 8.45)
January 21, 1965 Centennial Hall, Adelaide, AUS (2 shows 6.00 & 8.45)
January 22-23, 1965 Festival Hall, Melbourne, AUS (2 shows)
January 26, 1965 Festival Hall, Brisbane, AUS
January 27, 1965 Century Theatre, Newcastle, AUS
January 29-30, 1965 Sydney Stadium, Sydney, AUS (2 shows)
February 1, 1965 Town Hall, Auckland, NZ (2 shows. Supporting Manfred Mann, with The Honeycombs, Tony Sheveton, and Tommy Adderley & The Merseymen)
February 2, 1965 Founders Theatre, Hamilton, NZ (2 shows. Swingin’, with, Manfred Mann, with The Honeycombs, Tony Sheveton, and Tommy Adderley & The Merseymen)
February 3, 1965 Town Hall, Masterton, NZ (2 shows. Swingin’, with Manfred Mann, with The Honeycombs, Tony Sheveton, and Tommy Adderley & The Merseymen)
February 4, 1965 Majestic Theater, Christchurch, NZ (Swingin’, with Manfred Mann, with The Honeycombs, Tony Sheveton, and Tommy Adderley & The Merseymen)
February 6, 1965 Hong Kong Football Club Stadium, Hong Kong, HK (The Big Beat, with Manfred Mann, D’Swooners, Tony Myatt, and The Kontinentals)
February 7-8, 1965 Singapore Badminton Hall, Singapore (Goodwood’s Kong Hee Fatt Choy Show, with Manfred Mann, The Crescendos, Frantic Fran, and The Dutch Swing College Band)
March 14, 1965 City Hall, Newcastle, ENG (Big Beat Night Out, with The Animals, The Pretty Things, Screaming Lord Sutch, Sean Buckley & The Breadcrumbs, and Dodie West)
March 16, 1965 Assembly Hall, Tunbridge Wells, ENG (cancelled due to Ray Davies illness)
March 18, 1965 Locarno Ballroom, Swindon, ENG (supported by Les Fleur De Lys)
March 19, 1965 Fairfield Hall, Croydon, ENG (Big Beat Nite Out, with The Animals, The Pretty Things, Screaming Lord Sutch, Sean Buckley & The Breadcrumbs, Dodie West, and The Caravelles)
Kwyet Kinks EP
“A Well Respected Man” B-side “Such a Shame”
In August 1965, Reprise issued Kinda Kinks as their third US album.
October 28, 1965 Glen Ballroom, Llanelli, WAL (supported by The Eyes of Blue and The Wheels of Fortune)
The Kink Kontroversy
That same month, Reprise issued Kinkdom as the fourth US Kinks album.
In March 1966, The Kink Kontroversy appeared on as their fifth US album on Reprise. This was the first US Kinks album with the same tracklist as its UK counterpart.
1966: “Dedicated Follower of Fashion”
Face to Face
The Kinks released their fourth proper studio album, Face to Face, on October 28, 1966 on Pye and Reprise. The album features seven songs per side, including “Rainy Day In June,” “Holiday In Waikiki,” “Session Man,” “Rosy Won’t You Please Come Home,” and the sitar-laden “Fancy.” It’s their first album comprised solely of originals. All the numbers are credited to Ray Davies, though Dave later claimed to have written the opening track, “Party Line.” The album spawned two singles: the chipper “Dandy” and the wry “Sunny Afternoon.” The latter features one of their most noted non-album b-sides, the defiant “I’m Not Like Everybody Else.”
Guests on the album include Nicky Hopkins (harmonium on “Sunny Afternoon”) and future-Kinks bassist John Dalton, who deputizes the role on “Little Miss Queen of Darkness.” Ray’s wife Rasa sings backup on “Sunny Afternoon,” “Session Man,” and “Rainy Day in June.”
“I’m Not Like Everybody Else” (non-album track)
“Dead End Street”
1967: “Mister Pleasant”
Something Else by The Kinks
The Kinks released their fifth album, Something Else by The Kinks, on September 15, 1967, on Pye and Reprise.
“Waterloo Sunset” B-side “Act Nice and Gentle”
“Autumn Almanac” B-side “Mr. Pleasant”
“Susannah’s Still Alive”
A Hole in the Sock of Dave Davies
Four More Respected Gentlemen
The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society
The Kinks released their sixth album, The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society, on November 22, 1968, on Pye and Reprise.
1969: “Hold My Hand”
“Hold My Hand” B-side “Creeping Jean” released as Dave’s fourth solo single with backing by The Kinks.
Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire)
The Kinks released their seventh album, Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire), on October 10, 1969, on Pye and Reprise.
“Shangri-La” B-side “This Man, He Weeps Tonight”
1970: Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One
“Lola” b/w “Berkeley Mews”
The Kinks released their tenth studio album, Muswell Hillbillies, on November 24, 1971, on RCA. It features 12 Ray originals, including “Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues,” “Have a Cuppa Tea,” “Holloway Jail,” and the live staple “Alcohol.” Most of the songs are in the 2–4-minute range except the two bookending tracks: “20th Century Man” (5:53) and the title-track (4:58). The former was issued as a single, backed with “Skin and Bone.”
More than any other album in their catalog, Muswell Hillbillies draws on Ray’s affection for old-time musical styles (trad, bluegrass, music hall, Dixieland). The title references their original stomping ground, Muswell Hill. The brass on these tracks was played by the Mike Cotton Sound, lead by trumpeter Cotton and featuring trombonist/tuba player John Beecham (Satisfaction) and saxophonist Alan Holmes, who would play on the next two Kinks albums. (An earlier MCS member, Jim Rodford, would later join The Kinks). The album was recorded during the prior three months at Morgan; produced by Ray and engineered by Bobak.
1972: Everybody’s in Show-Biz
The Kink Kronikles
The Great Lost Kinks Album
1973: Preservation Act 1
1974: Preservation Act 2
1975: Soap Opera
Schoolboys in Disgrace
1979: Low Budget
1980: One for the Road
1981: Give the People What They Want
1982: “Come Dancing”
1983: State of Confusion
1984: Word of Mouth
1986: Think Visual
- Kinks (1964)
- Kinda Kinks (1965)
- The Kink Kontroversy (1965)
- Face to Face (1966)
- Something Else by The Kinks (1967)
- The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society (1968)
- Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire) (1969)
- Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One (1970)
- Percy (soundtrack) (1971)
- Muswell Hillbillies (1971)
- Everybody’s in Show-Biz (studio & live) (1972)
- Preservation Act 1 (1973)
- Preservation Act 2 (1974)
- Soap Opera (1975)
- Schoolboys in Disgrace (1975)
- Sleepwalker (1977)
- Misfits (1978)
- Low Budget (1979)
- Give the People What They Want (1981)
- State of Confusion (1983)
- Word of Mouth (1984)
- Think Visual (1986)
- UK Jive (1989)
- Phobia (1993)
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