The Kinks | Artist

The Kinks | Artist

Tags: Era_1960s, Gender_Male, Genre_Pop_Rock, Origin_UK, Type_Artist

The Kinks were an English rock band formed 1964 in Muswell Hill, North London by brothers Ray and Dave Davies. Pete Quaife (bass) and Mick Avory (drums) made up the lineup throughout the '60s-'70s, with Ray and Dave providing vocals, guitar and songwriting. They are one of the most important and influential rock bands of that period, who recorded classic hit singles such as "You Really Got Me", "Sunny Afternoon", "Warterloo Sunset" and "Lola". Starting out under the name Ray Davies Quartet, then the Ravens, the band went through a series of lead vocalists, including Rod Stewart, who attended William Grimshaw Secondary along with the Davies boys. Stewart even performed with the Ravens in early 1962. Later, when attending Hornsey College of Art, Ray met bluesman Alexis Korner who introduced him to former Yardbirds manager, Giorgio Gomelsky, who put Davies in touch with the Soho-based jazz and blues club scene. As the Ravens began making a name for themselves, American producer Shel Talmy began working with them, and Beatles promoter Arthur Howes, scheduled their live shows. The group unsuccessfully auditioned for various record labels until early 1964, when Talmy secured them a contract with Pye Records. Changing their name to the Kinks, the band cut their first single, a cover of the Little Richard song "Long Tall Sally." This single and the follow up "You Still Want Me" were almost completely ignored and Pye Records threatened to can the group's contract unless their third single was successful. The Ray Davies penned "You Really Got Me" was first recorded on 15 June 1964 at Pye Studios but the band was unhappy with the slow and slick production sound so they made a second cut a month later with a much leaner, raw sound, characterised by Dave's distorted guitar riff and solo. They wanted it to sound like "Louie Louie" by US band the Kingsmen. The single was released in August 1964 and, supported by a performance on the television show Ready Steady Go! and pirate radio coverage, went to number one on the UK charts. Executive Mo Ostin signed the band to Reprise Records in the US, where the song also made the Top 10. A significant stylistic shift in the Kinks' music became evident in late 1965, with the appearance of singles like "A Well Respected Man" and "Dedicated Follower of Fashion", as well as the band's third album The Kink Kontroversy on which Nicky Hopkins made his first appearance as a session musician with the group on keyboards. These recordings exemplified the development of Davies' songwriting style, from hard-driving rock numbers toward songs rich in social commentary, observation and idiosyncratic character study, all with a uniquely English flavour. The band would go on to make a total of 27 studio albums, including the soundtrack from the 1971 film "Percy." Although they released many superb singles in their early years, the first convincing album was The Kink Kontroversy from 1965. This heralded a golden period between the years 1966-1971 when The Kinks released five masterpiece albums: Face to Face, Something Else by The Kinks, Village Green Preservation Society, Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround and Muswell Hillbillies. Slightly lesser though still excellent albums include The Great Lost Kinks Album (1973) and the archival BBC Sessions 1964-1977 (2001). Many regard 1977's Sleepwalker as the last of their top-shelf albums, however the Davies brothers, in particular Ray, have continued to release excellent solo works since the band split in 1997. The Kinks are ranked 65th on Rolling Stone magazine's "100 Greatest Artists of All Time" list.

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Featured Albums: The Kinks

Related Artists: Ray Davies, Dave Davies

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