by Erika Cox
The Kinks have always considered themselves outsiders but have maintained a strong cult following here in America.
The Kinks consisted of brothers, Ray and Dave Davies, Peter Quaife, and Mick Avory. Ray wrote most of the songs, sang lead, and played the guitar, his brother, Dave was lead guitarist, Mick played the drums and Peter was the bassist for the group.
There have been a number of member changes throughout the Kinks career but they still remained very popular.
Although, they consider themselves outsiders the Kinks were part of the British Invasion in the mid-1960’s but they would often, through their music and style, go against the trends.
While it was popular for bands to focus and incorporate the ideas of the counterculture in the 1960’s through their music, the Kinks’ music focused on the life and times of the British Empire. However, the group still had Top Ten hits during the height of the counterculture times.
Their first hit came in 1964 with “You Really Got Me”, a Top Ten hit in America and England. This song remains the premier song for heavy metal and grunge bands today.
For a brief time, the Kinks competed with the Rolling Stones as the second best rock band in the country behind The Beatles. Ironically, their popularity in America is greater than that in Britain. The Kinks started touring throughout America for the first time in 1965.
While here in America they sell out large arenas and stadiums, but in Britain they play in small clubs to even smaller crowds.
Perhaps, the group’s “outcast” mentality appeals more to fans and young people here in America than those in Britain’s aristocracy environment.
The band often changed styles, which was apparent on many of their albums, engaging in different musical forms from aggressive rock to Indian music.
Ray Davies’ creativity allowed him to merge different styles and forms of music. He was heavy into the music genre known as Rock Theater and created a few rock operas.
The group has maintained a huge following and is a huge influence to many rock groups in various genres.
The group is known as the father of punk, grunge, Britpop, and heavy metal music, and is an amazingly talented group with the ability to play any music style and adapting to changing times.
Like the Rolling Stones, the Kinks have continued to perform as a band throughout the past 30-plus years. They still perform today.
For this reason alone, the Kinks deserve to be noticed and respected. Nowadays, there are artists who make one or two songs and get undeserved recognition, awards, etc.
Because of the group’s “outsider” mentality - the desire to not fit into the status quo or to go against the grain with what is considered popular music, the Kinks were often overlooked by the mainstream media for their musical contribution and were overshadowed by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. However, the Kinks have been very influential and important to Rock and Roll.
They have influenced scores of past and recent bands. The Kinks were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. Despite a number of member changes, the band still has a huge following and is still a very popular and respected group today.
Go to Rewind the Fifties Home
Rewind the Fifties and all related pages copyright 1997 - 2006