From left to right — Dave Davies, Ray Davies, Mick Avory, Pete Quaife.
"We are the Village Green Preservation Society."
The Kinks were an English rock band, one of the "Big Four" British Invasion
bands of The Sixties
(along with The Beatles
, The Rolling Stones
, and The Who
) and a Long Runner
, having experienced a long career's worth of highs and lows before throwing in the towel in 1996. While they have had numerous members, their most famous line-up was composed of vocalist/guitarist/mastermind
Ray Davies, his vocalist/guitarist brother Dave Davies, bassist Pete Quaife (who left in 1969) and drummer Mick Avory (who left in 1984).
The Kinks began their career as a bluesy, hard-edged mod-rock band, gaining success with their loud, memorably riffy
hits "You Really Got Me", "All Day and All of the Night" and "Tired of Waiting for You", which set them up as a band to contend with and provided endless inspiration to future genres like Garage Rock
and Power Pop
. Their rowdy live shows got them banned from America until 1969, though arguably it ultimately served them well, encouraging Ray Davies
to write songs that emphasised their essential Britishness and tended to a more nostalgic and pastoral feel than their States-struck contemporaries.
They changed gears in 1965, diversifying away from just scrotum-grinding guitar anthems
to experiment with other genres like folk, music hall, country and blues-rock, resulting in a more laid-back sound. It was also around this period that Ray developed his now-famous lyrical talent. This period saw the release of songs like "Dedicated Follower of Fashion", "Sunny Afternoon" and "Waterloo Sunset", culminating with what is generally held as their best album, The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society
The band changed once again in The Seventies
, exploring a more theatrical, campy sound. However, this only worsened their declining popularity and the resulting Concept Albums
are still controversial on their actual quality. Due to a combination of a new record label wanting them to cut the crap and everybody but Ray being sick of Rock Operas
, The Kinks restyled themselves as an arena rock band in 1976. Lucky enough to be synchronised with the Punk Rock
explosion and some successful covers of their songs by Punk and New Wave
bands, The Kinks rode their second wave of popularity until the early 80's, culminating when their single "Come Dancing" became a worldwide smash in early 1983. They then went back to being a cult band before calling it quits in 1996.
Admired for their melodic mastery of pop, their enormous variety of styles, the insight and wit of their lyrics, and their huge influence on almost all subsequent bands that cultivated any sort of outsider underdog image.
- 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 (1971) (film soundtrack)
- Muswell Hillbillies (1971)
- Everybody's in Show-Biz (1972)
- Preservation Act 1 (1973)
- Preservation Act 2 (1974)
- Soap Opera (1975)
- Schoolboys in Disgrace (1976)
- 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)
The Kinks provide examples of these tropes: