The Kinks

The Kinds Village Green cover, very dapper dudes.

The Kinks were a rock band founded in London England back in the early 1960′s.  Releasing their first album in 1964 they remained as a band in one form or another until 1996.  Thirty two years is pretty dang long for a rock band to stick together but it’s not like they were resting on the laurels the whole time.  In those years The Kinds went on to influence almost every rock act from that seminal period of rock(the sixties) strait on through to the rock music we hear today.  It’s safe to say things would not sound quite the same if the Davies brothers hadn’t decided to start a band way back when.

In their first year of eligibility The Kinks were inducted into the Rock N Roll hall of fame but despite all of the accolades and praise today things weren’t quite the same back when they were pumping out those influential albums.  Early in their career, during the British invasion, they were always overshadowed by the Beatles(who got a four year head start on them).  Things weren’t helped when they were banned for five years(for unknown reasons) from touring in the United States.  While they were able to tour Australia, New Zealand and the UK the Beatles were scoring record sales and selling out venues all over the US.  By the time the ban was lifted the height of the British invasion had passed.  They still managed to build a large fan base in the US, sell tons of records and get many singles on the charts but nothing like The Beatles successThe Kink Kontroversy - whooo hooo!!!.

Through the years The Kinds have cycled through a number of bassists and drummers.  Through all that time the driving force behind the group, The Davies brothers, Ray and Dave remained.  The two other major members were bassist Peter Quaife and drummer Mick Avory but they switched in and out over the years for various reason.  Other then those four there were various other members filling rolls such as pianists and what have you.  From what I’ve read The Kinds members have seen much turmoil over the years.  The band was even popular for fighting onstage for a while with members physically assaulting one another onstage.  This was rumored to be cause of their 5 year US ban, although not confirmed.  Despite all this the music showed no signs of any hullabaloo.

Through the years The Kinks have amassed quite a catalog of albums.  Every one of those albums charted to some degree in the United States except for one, The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society and ironically that is probably their best album.  If I had to make a top ten of rock albums there’s no doubt Village Green would be on it.  It’s song subjects are so original, it’s music is so consistently refreshing, the implementation is perfect and there’s not a bad song on the album.  As a whole The Kinks albums were great from 1964 to 1971.  After 1971 the band entered a “theatrical” mode and some magic was lost.  After a few years of rock operas they tried to go back to their rockin ways but the something was lost along the way in my opinion.

On a side note I should add that you’ll find the early Kinks albums are available on two different labels the American label Reprise and the import label Castle.  The Reprise records are pretty crappy compared to the import ones, often the imports have extra tracks and sometimes are even remastered, so look around and don’t jump at the first Reprise albums you see.  The Reprise records may be cheaper and more available but you get what you pay for in this instance.  I know first hand because I purchased some Reprise released Kinds albums then had to buy the imports because of all the extra tracks I was missing.

Here is The Kinds complete LP catalog.

1) Kinks [1964]
2) Kinda Kinks [1965]
3) The Kink Kontroversy [1965]
4) Face to Face [1966]
5) Something Else by The Kinks [1967]
6) The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society [1968]
7) Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire) [1969]
8) Lola versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One [1970]
9) Muswell Hillbillies [1971]
10) Everybody’s in Show-Biz [1972]
11) Preservation: Act 1 [1973]
12) Preservation: Act 2 [1974]
13) Soap Opera [1975]
14) Schoolboys in Disgrace [1976]
15) Sleepwalker [1977]
16) Misfits [1978]
17) Low Budget [1979]
18) Give the People What They Want [1981]
19) State of Confusion [1983]
20) Word of Mouth [1984]
21) Think Visual [1986]
22) UK Jive [1989]
23) Phobia [1993]

FYI these song samples aren’t the best. For some reason none of The Kink’s older material is available via AmazonMP3.

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