The Kinks – the most British of British bands

It is hard, to sum up, the output, influence, songwriting and just pure magic that the Kinks have produced in their career.

It is hard, to sum up, the output, influence, songwriting and just pure magic that the Kinks have produced in their career. In this one short blog, we will have to keep it brief.

David Bowie, Madness, Van Halen, The Pretenders, Kirsty McColl, Damon Albarn, and a list as long as your arm have all covered the Kinks as well as being sampled countless time on many hits, The Kinks are The Kinks and nobody can, have or ever will touch them.  

Brothers Ray and Dave Davies formed the band in 1964 in North London, Muswell Hill to be precise and went on to be one of the most influential bands of all time. “You really got me” the bands third single and writing by Ray topped the charts in the UK and top 10 in the US. This was just the start of decades of hits. Ray became known for his reflection of English culture and lifestyle, thus making them the most British of British bands.  

I love you brother. The fights and general dislike of each other have become rock n roll folklore making the Oasis brothers feud look like a tea party. If you want to know the kings of brotherly un-love it is for sure Ray and Dave. Not that this was just the brothers, the band, on the whole, liked a round or two, famously with incidents such as the on-stage fight between Mick Avory and Dave Davies at The Capitol Theatre, Cardiff, Wales, on 19 May. After finishing the first song, “You Really Got Me”, Davies insulted Avory and kicked over his drum kit. Avory responded by hitting Davies with his hi-hat stand, rendering him unconscious, before fleeing from the scene, fearing that he had killed his bandmate. Davies was taken to Cardiff Royal Infirmary, where he received 16 stitches to his head. Following a mid-year tour of the United States, the American Federation of Musicians refused permits for the group to appear in concerts there for the next four years, effectively cutting off the Kinks from the main market for rock music at the height of the British Invasion. Although neither the Kinks nor the union gave a specific reason for the ban, at the time it was widely attributed to their rowdy on-stage behavior.

Ray Davies (lead vocals, rhythm guitar) and Dave Davies (lead guitar, vocals) remained members throughout the band’s 32-year run. Longest-serving member Mick Avory (drums and percussion) was replaced by Bob Henrit, formerly of Argent, in 1984. Original bass guitarist Pete Quaife was replaced by John Dalton in 1969, and Dalton was in turn replaced by Jim Rodford in 1978. Session keyboardist Nicky Hopkins accompanied the band in the studio for many of their recordings in the mid-to-late 1960s. In 1969 the band became an official five-piece when keyboardist John Gosling joined them, being replaced by Ian Gibbons in 1979, who remained in the band until they broke up in 1996; a result of the commercial failures of their last few albums and creative tension between the Davies brothers. The Kinks have had five Top 10 singles on the US Billboard chart. Nine of their albums charted in the Top 40. In the UK, The Kinks have had seventeen Top 20 singles and five Top 10 albums. Four of their albums have been certified gold by the RIAA and the band has sold over 50 million records worldwide. Among numerous honors, they received the Ivor Novello Award for “Outstanding Service to British Music”. In 1990, the original four members of The Kinks were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as well as the UK Music Hall of Fame in November 2005. In 2018, after years of ruling out a reunion, Ray Davies and Dave Davies announced they are working to reform the Kinks.

UK/US Top ten singles

“You Really Got Me” (1964) UK & US
“All Day and All of the Night” (1964) UK & US
“Tired of Waiting for You” (1965) UK & US
“Set Me Free” (1965) UK

“See My Friends” (1965) UK
“Till the End of the Day” (1965) UK
“Dedicated Follower of Fashion” (1966) UK
“Sunny Afternoon” (1966) UK
“Dead End Street” (1966) UK
“Waterloo Sunset” (1967) UK
“Autumn Almanac” (1967) UK
“Lola” (1970) UK & US
“Apeman” (1970) UK
“Come Dancing” (1982) US




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