Encyclopedia  |   World Factbook  |   World Flags  |   Reference Tables  |   List of Lists     
   Academic Disciplines  |   Historical Timeline  |   Themed Timelines  |   Biographies  |   How-Tos     
Sponsor by The Tattoo Collection
The Kinks
Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

The Kinks

The Kinks, a British Invasion pop/rock band, were formed in London in 1963 by Dave Davies and Peter Quaife. The lineup with which they began their recording career was Dave Davies (lead guitar, vocals, songwriting--b. February 3, 1947); his brother Ray Davies (primary songwriter, primary vocalist, rhythm guitar--b. June 21, 1944); Pete Quaife (bass guitar, vocals); and Mick Avory (drums). The group was briefly called The Ravens until, at their managers' urging, they changed their name to The Kinks just before their first recording. The name is thought to refer to the style of "kinky" boots and clothing then in fashion, partly thanks to the Avengers television series.

The Kinks' first two records sold poorly, but their third single release, "You Really Got Me", hit #1 on the U.K record charts in summer 1964. With a loud, distorted guitar riff, (achieved, according to legend, by Dave Davies sticking knitting needles into his amplifier) "You Really Got Me" helped launch hard rock.

They had a string of U.K. hits in the 1960s, some of which (including "All Day and All of the Night" [1964] and "Tired of Waiting for You" [1965]) were also popular in the States. But as Ray Davies' songwriting matured, the group found themselves becoming more and more of a "cult" band, praised by critics but little-heard in the USA, and increasingly less in the U.K. (although they did have a #2 hit there with "Waterloo Sunset", a 1967 ballad regarded by many as one of the most beautiful in rock). The situation wasn't helped by a musicians' union ban on them performing in the USA from 1965-1969, for various reasons.

During this period, The Kinks produced a string of albums that have come to be regarded as pop masterpieces, including 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), and Muswell Hillbillies (1971). Shortly before Arthur, Pete Quaife left the group and was replaced by John Dalton. (Quaife had left the group briefly in 1966 and been replaced by Dalton at that time--this time the departure was permanent.)

In 1969, The Kinks resumed performances in the USA, and in 1970 had a worldwide top 10 hit with "Lola". The same year they wrote and performed the soundtrack for the film Percy. A series of rock operas followed, such as Everybody's in Show-Biz (1972), Preservation Act 1 (1973), Preservation Act 2 (1974), and Soap Opera and Schoolboys in Disgrace (1975). They added keyboard player John Gosling, and then went through a series of other bass and keyboard players before stabilizing their lineup in 1978 with bassist Jim Rodford (formerly of Argent) and keyboardist Ian Gibbons. It was this lineup that returned to increased popularity in the late 1970s/early 1980s with hit songs like "Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy" and "Come Dancing", and albums like Low Budget (1979) and the live One For The Road (1980) (which also became the first rock long-format video release).

The mid-1980s saw The Kinks return to cult status, getting fewer and fewer hits while still garnering critical praise. Mick Avory left the band in 1984, replaced by Bob Henrit. (Avory stayed around to run The Kinks' London studio, Konk.) Changes of record companies saw The Kinks' output slow down, apparently ending with the 1994 release of To the Bone as a live single disc in the U.K. and a double disc with two additional studio-recorded songs in the USA.

Throughout their career The Kinks were infamous for conflicts, both public and private, within the band, particularly between brothers Ray and Dave Davies, which often degenerated into fistfights.

In the early 2000s, talk of a Kinks reunion has circulated, but for the past several years, both Ray and Dave Davies have been preoccupied with their own projects. They have each released solo albums and toured extensively.

The Kinks continue to be regarded as a seminal rock band, with a small but loyal fan base. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.

External links