Originally, this was going to be a post about the Hollies, the Original Fleetwood Mac and…The Kinks! Perhaps the most famous underrated famous band of the 20th Century! You have the Beatles, the Stones, the Who, and I would always add the Kinks!
But once I got started, it was all Kinks all the time!
Did you know that in 1962 Rod Stewart, a friend from the William Grimshaw Secondary Modern School was the lead vocalist of the Ray Davies Band? That in 1964, Pye Records was ready to can the band if their 3rd single didn’t chart? That in early 1964 Mick Avory replaced 2nd drummer Mickey Willet and had played a gig or two with the Rolling Stones?
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 theBritish Invasion. They did do a spot on Hullaballoo at that time. 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. One incident in England found Dave Davies insulting Mick Avory and kicked over his drum set. 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. To placate the police, Avory later claimed that it was part of a new act in which the band members would hurl their instruments at each other.
You Really Got Me
I ordered this record from the Columbia Record Club. Remember you could order 12 LP’s and then you were tied for the rest of your life to the Club? I can’t tell you how many times I must have defaulted on this and they kept sending me more LP’s!
Back then all I wanted to hear was the hit single, however, “Beautiful Delilah” and “I’m A Lover Not A Fighter” ushered me into the first Pretty Things record.
This too was a Columbia Record Club acquisition and I think I played it to death from cover to cover. I still have the copy, although it sounds like a rap record with all of the skips and scratches!
Kinkdom Ray Davies was beginning to show signs of sophistication and satire with songs like A Well Respected Man and
The Kink Kontroversy Another release with 10 originals by Ray Davies. My two faves were the obvious choices
Face to Face
These guys didn’t quit. Each record got better and better. It was really a drag that they were banned from playing the States. They did the same thing to the Move, another of my favorite bands. Apparently they destroyed a Volkswagen on stage and were never allowed to play here. I remember they were on a bill at the Fillmore, I don’t remember the headliner, but they were cancelled! Needless to say, I didn’t attend the show.
As British critic Brian Hogg noted in the early 80s, “Something Else completely confirms the Kinks’ own self-determination: making no concession to their own contemporary environment, the album simply progresses within the the group’s own music. It’s pure England . . . the album represents the Kinks’ and Ray Davies’, crowning achievement”.
It also opens with two great tracks, the social envy of David Watts (whichPaul Weller of the Jam took into much more bitter territory when he covered it a decade or so laterDavid Watts), and brother Dave Davies’ melancholy Death of a Clown which is steeped in Dylan but manages to find its own English tenor.”
He never mentioned these two
Live at Kelvin HallI have been searching for this LP for some time. Unfortunately I cannot find any tracks on You Tube. Here are the liner notes from this Live LP. Kinda funny
An Orgy For Ears — The Kinks In Live Koncert
They came to us in 1964 wearing pink shirts and long frock coats with a song called “You Really Got Me,” which was their third attempt and their first hit. They came to us from Muswell Hill, a shabby and sometimes violent suburb of North London, the pride of which was a street gang called the Mussies. They came to us from Art School. They came to us with a pompous publicity man and two genteel, bowler-hatted, pin-striped managers who had been securing work for them at debutantes’ balls in Chelsea. They came to us in a blaze of tasteless publicity (cultivated impiety, irreligious image-building), and they survived because they are good, and for no other reason.
They came to us when London was older.
The Stones were wearing uniforms in those days–black leather vests and neatly-pressed chequered pants. Georgie Fame was playing blues in a subterranean Soho cellar called The Flamingo and down the street at a small club called The Scene was a young group called The High Numbers, idols of the mod cult and later to become The Who. Richmond, a bustling, wooded village on the Thames 20 miles out of London was producing its own brand of music in the form of Clapton, Baldry, Mayall’s Bluesbreakers and the Yardbirds, and the Beatles were still in Liverpool. Purple Hearts were popping, and Dylan was little more than a rumor. Mini-skirts were two inches above the knee, Carnaby Street was in full bloom, Wilson had won the General Election, and England was ready for change.
Into all this came the Kinks. Their first record was “Long Tall Sally” and it wasn’t a hit because we’d taken that trip with the Beatles, but it was rough, raw, rowdy, and honest, and some indication of what was to come later.
“You Really Got Me” was the first hit, “All Day And All Of the Night” came next and the Kinks were here.
They were regulars on “Ready, Steady, Go.” They were often seen in the Ad Lib Club, London’s first In-Pop-Rendezvous, where John and Paul and Mick and Keith and sometimes P.J. Proby would sip Scotch and Coke and mull over new ideas. They gave whimsical interviews to the National Press, turbulent concerts up and down the country, played a lot of football for show-biz teams, drank a lot of beer in show-biz pubs and sharpened their wits and their minds as they developed and matured.
London began to change. Skirts were getting shorter, beards longer, minds freer, cigarettes thinner, people younger. Harold Wilson went to Liverpool and re-opened the Cavern. Jagger had coffee with Princess Margaret. Lennon wrote a book.
For the first time pop people realized the power they had, and for the first time they begun to use it constructively. Pop became more than a commodity for Friday night thrill-seakers in provincial discotheques. Every culture has its art, and pop replaced football as the art of the new culture. Confronted with the inheritance of an absurd reality, the new movement created its own reality, a reality which was witnessed at the Monterey Pop Festival, a reality which deals in life, love, and laughter, all of which you will hear on this album, recorded in concert up in Scotland.
This is the first live album from the Kinks, and it is probably their most significant recorded work. It is living theatre. It is also fairly representative of where they have been and where they are now. It contains some of the finest poetry from Ray Davies (a social diarist whose laconic wit, incisive perception, and flair for detail has placed him, along with Lennon, McCartney, Townshend, Jagger, Richard, Airplane Grace, Simon, and even Dylan, in the vanguard of a New Society).
The recent Festival at Monterey made an important social statement, and it therefore becomes trivial to discuss the merits of the acts which performed there, or the validity in the appearance and non-appearance of certain acts. The Kinks were not present, neither were they missed. For they were surely there in Spirit.
The Village Green Preservation Society
As the exile in the US continued, Ray Davies became more introspective creating this album of the quaint English life. It was the last album by the original quartet, as bassist Pete Quaife left the group in early 1969.
The record is widely considered one of the most influential and important works by The Kinks, and of the period as a whole. Although it failed to chart upon release, with estimated worldwide sales at 100,000 copies, The Village Green Preservation Society has become one of the band’s best selling and most popular records.
Arthur or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire Ray Davies constructed the concept album as the soundtrack to aGranada Television play and developed the storyline with novelist Julian Mitchell; however, the television programme was cancelled and never produced. The rough plot revolved around Arthur Morgan, a carpet-layer, who was based on Ray Davies’ brother-in-law Arthur Anning.
Although not very successful commercially, it was a return to the charts in the US for The Kinks. Their critically well-received previous effort, The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society, failed to chart in any country upon its release in 1968, with total US sales estimated at under 25,000 copies.
Lola vs. the Powerman & the Money-Go-Round
The album is a satirical look at the various facets of the music industry and was their last LP for Reprise Records. It was also a period of time when the band was able to tour the States. I must have seen them 3 times at Carnegie Hall and Philharmonic Hall which is now Avery Fisher Hall in NY where the famous fight scene occured
After leaving Reprise they signed with RCA and then went on to Arista. All in all, these 10 LP’s are the “Golden Age” of the Kinks. I am surprised that Reprise has not re-released these