The Kinks


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At a Glance

Formed: 1963 (51 years ago)


Biography

The Kinks were formed by brothers Ray and Dave Davies in their hometown of Muswell Hill, North London. The brothers began playing skiffle and rock and roll, recruiting Peter Quaife to play bass with them. By the summer of 1963, as The Ravens, they'd recruited drummer Mickey Willet. Eventually their demo tape reached American record producer Shel Talmy who helped the band land a contract with Pye Records in 1964. Before signing, the group replaced drummer Willet with Mick Avory and, courtesy of Quaife, renamed themselves The Kinks. After two failed singles on Pye (including a cover of Little ... Read more

The Kinks were formed by brothers Ray and Dave Davies in their hometown of Muswell Hill, North London. The brothers began playing skiffle and rock and roll, recruiting Peter Quaife to play bass with them. By the summer of 1963, as The Ravens, they'd recruited drummer Mickey Willet. Eventually their demo tape reached American record producer Shel Talmy who helped the band land a contract with Pye Records in 1964. Before signing, the group replaced drummer Willet with Mick Avory and, courtesy of Quaife, renamed themselves The Kinks. After two failed singles on Pye (including a cover of Little Richard's Long Tall Sally), the group's third single, You Really Got Me, stormed to the top of the UK charts. Written by Ray and Dave in their parents' front room, the song has since been cited as the inspiration for garage rock, punk, heavy metal and The Who. Phew! An album, The Kinks, a hastily assembled mix of Ray Davies tunes and R&B standards, was rush released and was swiftly followed by a second Top 10 single, All Day and All Of the Night.

Between 1965-1967, The Kinks enjoyed their commercial peak, scoring nine British and seven US hits. 1965's Tired Of Waiting For You displayed Ray's world weary vocal style while Dave came up with a then innovatory Indian style drone guitar on See My Friends. As Ray's songwriting developed, he emerged as a witty, compassionate social commentator, chronicling the little absurdities and aspirations of English life. He took stabs at fashion victims with Dedicated Follower Of Fashion and his fellow nouveau rich pop star peers on Sunny Afternoon and even created a hymn to the Thames on Waterloo Sunset.

Despite the Kinks' commercial success at home, an unresolved dispute with the American Federation of Musicians during a 1965 tour, led to a ban on US appearances which lasted until 1969. These problems, coupled with the pressures of recording and touring, caused Ray to collapse from nervous exhaustion in 1966. So with most UK bands looking to America's burgeoning flower power revolution for inspiration, Ray looked no further than his back garden for his own concept album, 1968's Village Green Preservation Society. On the album Ray developed the major themes of his work, a lament for the traditions of a lost England lost among modernity. With tracks like Wicked Anabella flirting with psychedelia, the album was was deemed less than groovy by the British record buying public and one of the Kinks' most artistically successful albums slipped away. Follow up Arthur - The Decline and Fall of the British Empire addressed similar themes, portraying an English family looking back over their experiences before emigrating to Australia. The mood lightened a little with 1970 hit single Lola - a tongue in cheek tribute to a cross dresser. It was the standout track from the unattractively titled album, Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround Part One, describing the struggle of a rock band against big business.

1971's Muswell Hillbillies album echoed Village Green's collection of storybook vignettes although the band were beginning to lose their focus and the hits were about to dry up. Supersonic Rocketship went Top 20 in 1972 but the follow-up Celluloid Heroes, failed to chart. Both singles were taken from the poorly received Everybody's In Showbiz album.

But the rest of the '70s found our Brit heroes bogged down in ill advised concept albums, self parody and the continued bickering of brothers Ray and Dave and their love-hate relationship. But while the band were ignored in the UK, they still had a sizeable following in America and hit the US Top 30 with the Sleepwalker album in 1977. Two years later the band released the hard rock Low Budget album and became belated rock stars in America, gaining a sizeable chunk of the stadium rock circuit. The Americans also lapped up early 80's albums Give The People What they Want and State Of Confusion. The band found themselves back in the UK charts with 1983's nostalgia tinged hit, Come Dancing. The Kinks had been receiving several nods from the rock fraternity which increased their cachet. The Jam had covered David Watts while The Pretenders covered Stop Your Sobbin' (Chrissie Hynde would become Ray's partner for four years). In 1986 Ray worked with film director Julien Temple on the film musical Absolute Beginners. Ray also created his own TV play with music, Return To Waterloo.

As the Kinks approached their thirtieth anniversary they signed a new recording contract with Columbia but released the unremarkable Phobia album in 1993. Davies released his fictionalised autobiography, X-Ray in 1994 and was feted by Blur during the rise of Britpop. Albarn acknowledged The Kinks influence on their award winning Parklife album in 1995.

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

The Kinks were formed by brothers Ray and Dave Davies in their hometown of Muswell Hill, North London. The brothers began playing skiffle and rock and roll, recruiting Peter Quaife to play bass with them. By the summer of 1963, as The Ravens, they'd recruited drummer Mickey Willet. Eventually their demo tape reached American record producer Shel Talmy who helped the band land a contract with Pye Records in 1964. Before signing, the group replaced drummer Willet with Mick Avory and, courtesy of Quaife, renamed themselves The Kinks. After two failed singles on Pye (including a cover of Little Richard's Long Tall Sally), the group's third single, You Really Got Me, stormed to the top of the UK charts. Written by Ray and Dave in their parents' front room, the song has since been cited as the inspiration for garage rock, punk, heavy metal and The Who. Phew! An album, The Kinks, a hastily assembled mix of Ray Davies tunes and R&B standards, was rush released and was swiftly followed by a second Top 10 single, All Day and All Of the Night.

Between 1965-1967, The Kinks enjoyed their commercial peak, scoring nine British and seven US hits. 1965's Tired Of Waiting For You displayed Ray's world weary vocal style while Dave came up with a then innovatory Indian style drone guitar on See My Friends. As Ray's songwriting developed, he emerged as a witty, compassionate social commentator, chronicling the little absurdities and aspirations of English life. He took stabs at fashion victims with Dedicated Follower Of Fashion and his fellow nouveau rich pop star peers on Sunny Afternoon and even created a hymn to the Thames on Waterloo Sunset.

Despite the Kinks' commercial success at home, an unresolved dispute with the American Federation of Musicians during a 1965 tour, led to a ban on US appearances which lasted until 1969. These problems, coupled with the pressures of recording and touring, caused Ray to collapse from nervous exhaustion in 1966. So with most UK bands looking to America's burgeoning flower power revolution for inspiration, Ray looked no further than his back garden for his own concept album, 1968's Village Green Preservation Society. On the album Ray developed the major themes of his work, a lament for the traditions of a lost England lost among modernity. With tracks like Wicked Anabella flirting with psychedelia, the album was was deemed less than groovy by the British record buying public and one of the Kinks' most artistically successful albums slipped away. Follow up Arthur - The Decline and Fall of the British Empire addressed similar themes, portraying an English family looking back over their experiences before emigrating to Australia. The mood lightened a little with 1970 hit single Lola - a tongue in cheek tribute to a cross dresser. It was the standout track from the unattractively titled album, Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround Part One, describing the struggle of a rock band against big business.

1971's Muswell Hillbillies album echoed Village Green's collection of storybook vignettes although the band were beginning to lose their focus and the hits were about to dry up. Supersonic Rocketship went Top 20 in 1972 but the follow-up Celluloid Heroes, failed to chart. Both singles were taken from the poorly received Everybody's In Showbiz album.

But the rest of the '70s found our Brit heroes bogged down in ill advised concept albums, self parody and the continued bickering of brothers Ray and Dave and their love-hate relationship. But while the band were ignored in the UK, they still had a sizeable following in America and hit the US Top 30 with the Sleepwalker album in 1977. Two years later the band released the hard rock Low Budget album and became belated rock stars in America, gaining a sizeable chunk of the stadium rock circuit. The Americans also lapped up early 80's albums Give The People What they Want and State Of Confusion. The band found themselves back in the UK charts with 1983's nostalgia tinged hit, Come Dancing. The Kinks had been receiving several nods from the rock fraternity which increased their cachet. The Jam had covered David Watts while The Pretenders covered Stop Your Sobbin' (Chrissie Hynde would become Ray's partner for four years). In 1986 Ray worked with film director Julien Temple on the film musical Absolute Beginners. Ray also created his own TV play with music, Return To Waterloo.

As the Kinks approached their thirtieth anniversary they signed a new recording contract with Columbia but released the unremarkable Phobia album in 1993. Davies released his fictionalised autobiography, X-Ray in 1994 and was feted by Blur during the rise of Britpop. Albarn acknowledged The Kinks influence on their award winning Parklife album in 1995.

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

The Kinks were formed by brothers Ray and Dave Davies in their hometown of Muswell Hill, North London. The brothers began playing skiffle and rock and roll, recruiting Peter Quaife to play bass with them. By the summer of 1963, as The Ravens, they'd recruited drummer Mickey Willet. Eventually their demo tape reached American record producer Shel Talmy who helped the band land a contract with Pye Records in 1964. Before signing, the group replaced drummer Willet with Mick Avory and, courtesy of Quaife, renamed themselves The Kinks. After two failed singles on Pye (including a cover of Little Richard's Long Tall Sally), the group's third single, You Really Got Me, stormed to the top of the UK charts. Written by Ray and Dave in their parents' front room, the song has since been cited as the inspiration for garage rock, punk, heavy metal and The Who. Phew! An album, The Kinks, a hastily assembled mix of Ray Davies tunes and R&B standards, was rush released and was swiftly followed by a second Top 10 single, All Day and All Of the Night.

Between 1965-1967, The Kinks enjoyed their commercial peak, scoring nine British and seven US hits. 1965's Tired Of Waiting For You displayed Ray's world weary vocal style while Dave came up with a then innovatory Indian style drone guitar on See My Friends. As Ray's songwriting developed, he emerged as a witty, compassionate social commentator, chronicling the little absurdities and aspirations of English life. He took stabs at fashion victims with Dedicated Follower Of Fashion and his fellow nouveau rich pop star peers on Sunny Afternoon and even created a hymn to the Thames on Waterloo Sunset.

Despite the Kinks' commercial success at home, an unresolved dispute with the American Federation of Musicians during a 1965 tour, led to a ban on US appearances which lasted until 1969. These problems, coupled with the pressures of recording and touring, caused Ray to collapse from nervous exhaustion in 1966. So with most UK bands looking to America's burgeoning flower power revolution for inspiration, Ray looked no further than his back garden for his own concept album, 1968's Village Green Preservation Society. On the album Ray developed the major themes of his work, a lament for the traditions of a lost England lost among modernity. With tracks like Wicked Anabella flirting with psychedelia, the album was was deemed less than groovy by the British record buying public and one of the Kinks' most artistically successful albums slipped away. Follow up Arthur - The Decline and Fall of the British Empire addressed similar themes, portraying an English family looking back over their experiences before emigrating to Australia. The mood lightened a little with 1970 hit single Lola - a tongue in cheek tribute to a cross dresser. It was the standout track from the unattractively titled album, Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround Part One, describing the struggle of a rock band against big business.

1971's Muswell Hillbillies album echoed Village Green's collection of storybook vignettes although the band were beginning to lose their focus and the hits were about to dry up. Supersonic Rocketship went Top 20 in 1972 but the follow-up Celluloid Heroes, failed to chart. Both singles were taken from the poorly received Everybody's In Showbiz album.

But the rest of the '70s found our Brit heroes bogged down in ill advised concept albums, self parody and the continued bickering of brothers Ray and Dave and their love-hate relationship. But while the band were ignored in the UK, they still had a sizeable following in America and hit the US Top 30 with the Sleepwalker album in 1977. Two years later the band released the hard rock Low Budget album and became belated rock stars in America, gaining a sizeable chunk of the stadium rock circuit. The Americans also lapped up early 80's albums Give The People What they Want and State Of Confusion. The band found themselves back in the UK charts with 1983's nostalgia tinged hit, Come Dancing. The Kinks had been receiving several nods from the rock fraternity which increased their cachet. The Jam had covered David Watts while The Pretenders covered Stop Your Sobbin' (Chrissie Hynde would become Ray's partner for four years). In 1986 Ray worked with film director Julien Temple on the film musical Absolute Beginners. Ray also created his own TV play with music, Return To Waterloo.

As the Kinks approached their thirtieth anniversary they signed a new recording contract with Columbia but released the unremarkable Phobia album in 1993. Davies released his fictionalised autobiography, X-Ray in 1994 and was feted by Blur during the rise of Britpop. Albarn acknowledged The Kinks influence on their award winning Parklife album in 1995.

This biography was provided by the artist or their representative.

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