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Ray Davies
Dave Davies
Pete Quaife
Mick Avory
John Dalton
John Gosling

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Throughout their long, varied career, the core of the Kinks remained Ray (b. June 21, 1944) and Dave Davies (b. February 3, 1947), who were born and raised in Muswell Hill, London. In their teens, the brothers began playing skiffle and rock & roll. Soon, the brothers recruited a schoolmate of Ray's, Peter Quaife, to play with them; like the Davies brothers, Quaife played guitar, but he switched to bass. By the summer of 1963, the group had decided to call itself the Ravens and had recruited a new drummer, Mickey Willet. Eventually, their demo tape reached Shel Talmy, an American record producer who was under contract to Pye Records. Talmy helped the band land a contract with Pye in 1964. Before signing to the label, the Ravens replaced drummer Willet with Mick Avory.

The Ravens recorded their debut single, a cover of Little Richard's "Long Tall Sally," in January 1964. Before the single was released, the group changed their name to the Kinks. "Long Tall Sally" was released in February of 1964 and it failed to chart, as did their second single, "You Still Want Me." The band's third single, "You Really Got Me," was much noisier and dynamic, featuring a savage, fuzz-toned two-chord riff and a frenzied solo from Dave Davies. Not only was the final version the blueprint for the Kinks' early sound, but scores of groups used the heavy, power chords as a foundation. "You Really Got Me" reached number one within a month of its release; released on Reprise in the U.S., the single climbed into the Top Ten. "All Day and All of the Night," the group's fourth single, was released late in 1964 and it rose all the way to number two; in America, it hit number seven. During this time, the band also produced two full-length albums and several EPs.

Not only was the group recording at a breakneck pace, they were touring relentlessly, as well, which caused much tension within the band. At the conclusion of their summer 1965 American tour, the Kinks were banned from re-entering the United States by the American government for unspecified reasons. For four years, the Kinks were prohibited from returning to the U.S., which not only meant that the group was deprived of the world's largest music market, but that they were effectively cut off from the musical and social upheavals of the late '60s. Consequently, Ray Davies' songwriting grew more introspective and nostalgic, relying more on overtly English musical influences such as music hall, country, and English folk, than the rest of his British contemporaries. The Kinks' next album, The Kinks Kontroversy, demonstrated the progression in Davies' songwriting. "Sunny Afternoon" was one of Davies' wry social satires and the song was the biggest hit of the summer of 1966 in the U.K., reaching number one. "Sunny Afternoon" was a teaser for the band's great leap forward, Face to Face, a record that featured a vast array of musical styles. In May of 1967, they returned with "Waterloo Sunset," a ballad that reached number two in the U.K. in the spring of 1967. Released in the fall of 1967, Something Else continued the progressions of Face to Face. Despite the Kinks' musical growth, their chart performance was beginning to stagnate. Following the lackluster performance of Something Else, the Kinks rushed out a new single, "Autumn Almanac," which became another big U.K. hit for the band. Released in the spring of 1968, the Kinks' "Wonderboy" was the band's first single not to crack the Top Ten since "You Really Got Me." They recovered somewhat with "Days," but the band's commercial decline was evident by the lack of success of The Village Green Preservation Society.


Released in the fall of 1968, Village Green Preservation Society was the culmination of Ray Davies' increasingly nostalgic tendencies. While the album was unsuccessful, it was well-received by critics, particularly in the U.S.

Peter Quaife soon grew tired of the band's lack of success, and he left the band by the end of the year, being replaced by John Dalton. In early 1969, the American ban upon the Kinks was lifted, leaving the band free to tour the U.S. for the first time in four years. Before they began the tour, the Kinks released Arthur (or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire). Like its two predecessors, Arthur contained distinctly British lyrical and musical themes, but it was a modest success. As they were recording the follow-up to Arthur, the Kinks expanded their lineup to include keyboardist John Gosling. The first appearance of Gosling on a Kinks record was "Lola." Featuring a harder rock foundation than their last few singles, "Lola" was a Top Ten hit in both the U.K. and the U.S. Released in the fall of 1970, Lola Versus Powerman and the Money-Go-Round, Part One was their most successful record since the mid-'60s in both the U.S. and U.K., helping the band become concert favorites in the U.S.

The band's contract with Pye/Reprise expired in early 1971, leaving the Kinks free to pursue a new record contract. By the end of 1971, the Kinks had secured a five-album deal with RCA Records, which brought them a million dollar advance. Released in late 1971, Muswell Hillbillies, the group's first album for RCA, marked a return to the nostalgia of the Kinks' late-'60s albums, only with more pronounced country and music hall influences. The album failed to be the commercial blockbuster RCA had hoped for. A few months after the release of Muswell Hillbillies, Reprise released a double-album compilation called The Kink Kronikles, which outsold their RCA debut. Everybody's in Showbiz (1973), a double0record set consisting of one album of studio tracks and another of live material, was a disappointment in the U.K., although the album was more successful in the U.S.


In 1973, Ray Davies composed a full-blown rock opera called Preservation. When the first installment of the opera finally appeared in late 1973, it was harshly criticized and given a cold reception from the public. Act 2 appeared in the summer of 1974; the sequel received worse treatment than its predecessor. Davies began another musical, Starmaker, for the BBC; the project eventually metamorphosed into Soap Opera, which was released in the spring of 1975. Despite poor reviews, Soap Opera was a more commercially successful record than its predecessor. In 1976, the Kinks recorded Davies' third straight rock opera, Schoolboys in Disgrace, which rocked harder than any album they released on RCA.

During 1976, the Kinks left RCA and signed with Arista Records. On Arista, the band refashioned themselves as a hard rock band. Bassist John Dalton left the group near the completion of their debut Arista album; he was replaced by Andy Pyle. Sleepwalker, the Kinks' first album for Arista, became a major hit in the U.S. As the band was completing the follow-up to Sleepwalker, Pyle left the group and was replaced by the returning Dalton. Misfits, the band's second Arista album, was also a U.S. success. After a British tour, Dalton left the band again, along with keyboardist John Gosling; bassist Jim Rodford and keyboardist Gordon Edwards filled the vacancies. Soon, the band was playing arenas in the United States. Even though punk rockers like the Jam and the Pretenders were covering Kinks songs in the late '70s, the group was becoming more blatantly commercial with each release, culminating in the heavy rock of Low Budget (1979), which became the group's biggest American success, peaking at number 11. The Kinks' next album, Give the People What They Want, appeared in late 1981; the record peaked at number 15 and went gold. For most of 1982, the band was on tour. In spring of 1983, "Come Dancing" became the group's biggest American hit since "Tired of Waiting for You," thanks to the video's repeated exposure on MTV; in the U.S., the song peaked at number six, in the U.K. it climbed to number 12. State of Confusion followed the release of "Come Dancing," and it was another success, peaking at number 12 in the U.S. For the remainder of 1983, Ray Davies worked on a film project, Return to Waterloo, which caused considerable tension between himself and his brother. Instead of breaking up, the Kinks merely reshuffled their lineup, but there was a major casualty: Mick Avory, the band's drummer for 20 years, was fired and replaced by Bob Henrit. As Ray finished post-production duties on Return to Waterloo, he wrote the next Kinks album, Word of Mouth. Released in late 1984, the album was similar in tone to the last few Kinks records, but it was a commercial disappointment and began a period of decline for the band; they never released another record that cracked the Top 40.


Word of Mouth was the last album they would record for Arista Records. In early 1986, the band signed with MCA Records in the U.S., London in the U.K. Think Visual, their first album for their new label, was released in late 1986. It was a mild success but there were no hit singles from the record. The following year, the Kinks released another live album, appropriately titled The Road, which spent a brief time on the charts. Two years later, the Kinks released their last studio record for MCA, UK Jive. During 1989, keyboardist Ian Gibbons left the band. The Kinks were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, but the induction did not help revive their career. In 1991, a compilation of their MCA records, Lost & Found (1986-1989), appeared, signalling that their contract with the label had expired. Later in the year, the band signed with Columbia Records and released an EP called Did Ya, which didn't chart. The Kinks' first album for Columbia, Phobia, arrived in 1993 to fair reviews but poor sales. By this time, only Ray and Dave Davies remained from the original lineup. In 1994, the band was dropped from Columbia Records, leaving the group to release the live To the Bone on an independent label in the U.K.; the band was left without a record label in the U.S.

Despite a lack of commercial success, the band's public profile began to rise in 1995, as the group was hailed as an influence on several of the most popular British bands of the decade, including Blur and Oasis. Ray Davies was soon on popular television shows again, acting as these band's godfather and promoting his autobiography, X-Ray, which was published in early 1995 in the U.K. Dave Davies' autobiography, Kink, was published in the spring of 1996.






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Release date Title Chart Positions
UK Singles Chart UK Indie Chart US Billboard Hot 100 US Mainstream Rock Australia Belgium Canada Germany Netherlands New Zealand Sweden
7 February 1964 "Long Tall Sally"     #1291                
17 April 1964 "You Still Want Me"4 4A                      
4 August 1964 "You Really Got Me" #1   #7   #2   #4 #39 #23   #11
23 October 1964 "All Day and All of the Night" #2   #7   #18   #12 #22 #17   #18
15 January 1965 "Tired of Waiting for You" #1   #6   #24   #3 #27 #18   #6
19 March 1965 "Ev'rybody's Gonna Be Happy" 2 #17               #28    
May 1965 "Set Me Free" #9   #23       #2   #12    
30 July 1965 "See My Friends" #10   #111           #26   #19
14 August 1965 "Who'll Be the Next in Line"2     #34       #25        
19 November 1965 "Till the End of the Day" #8   #50     #25 #34   #4   #3
October 1965 "A Well Respected Man"     #13   #18 #20     #8   #3
25 February 1966 "Dedicated Follower of Fashion" #4   #36     #13 #11 #11 #1 #1 #6
March 1966 "Wonder Where My Baby Is Tonight"5                     #7
3 June 1966 "Sunny Afternoon" #1   #14   #12 #14 #1 #7 #1 #2 #2
November 1966 "Dandy"5           #2   #1 #3    
18 November 1966 "Dead End Street" #5   #73     #11 #28 #5 #5 #4 #12
5 May 1967 "Waterloo Sunset" #2       #6 #8   #7 #1 #7 #14
1967 "Death of a Clown" 7 #3       #31 #5   #3 #2    
1 July 1967 "Mr. Pleasant" 6     #80     #3   #12 #2    
13 October 1967 "Autumn Almanac" #3         #5   #13 #6 #17  
January 1968 "Susannah's Still Alive" 7 #20         #18   #27 #10   #18
5 April 1968 "Wonderboy" #36             #29 #6    
28 June 1968 "Days" #12         #17   #28 #7 #11  
July 1968 "Lincoln County"7 4                 #15    
January 1969 "Starstruck"6                 #13    
January 1969 "Hold My Hand"7 4                      
28 March 1969 "Plastic Man"4 #31               #17    
20 June 1969 "Drivin'"4                      
July 1969 "The Village Green Preservation Society"3                      
12 September 1969 "Shangri-La"4                 #27    
12 December 1969 "Victoria" #33   #70   #57   #33        
12 June 1970 "Lola" #2   #9   #4   #2 #2 #1 #1 #5
20 November 1970 "Apeman" #5   #45   #5   #19 #9 #14 #5  
April 1971 "God's Children"         #53         #21  
December 1971 "20th Century Man"3     #106   #89            
5 May 1972 "Supersonic Rocket Ship" #16   #111           #29    
24 November, 1972 "Celluloid Heroes"                      
April 1973 "One Of The Survivors"3     #108                
June 1973 "Sitting In The Midday Sun"                      
21 September 1973 "Sweet Lady Genevieve"                      
16 November 1973 "Where Have All The Good Times Gone"4                      
April 1974 "Money Talks"3                      
July 1974 "Mirror Of Love"                      
November 1974 "Preservation"3                      
November 1974 "Holiday Romance"4                      
April 1975 "Starmaker"3                      
1975 "Ducks On The Wall"4                      
1975 "You Can't Stop The Music"4                      
January 1976 "I'm In Disgrace"3                      
1976 "No More Looking Back"4                      
2 April 1977 "Sleepwalker"     #48                
1977 "Juke Box Music"                      
December 1977 "Father Christmas"                      
22 July 1978 "A Rock 'N Roll Fantasy"     #30       #30        
1978 "Live Life"                      
1978 "Black Messiah"4                      
28 April 1979 "(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman"     #41   #71   #43        
1979 "Moving Pictures"4                      
1979 "Pressure"4                      
August 1979 "A Gallon Of Gas"3                      
September 1979 "Catch Me Now I'm Falling"3                      
30 August 1980 "Lola (Live)"     #81   #69       #1    
October 1980 "You Really Got Me (Live)"3                      
October 1981 "Predictable"4                      
31 October 1981 "Destroyer"     #85 #3     #35        
28 November 1981 "Better Things" #46   #92 #12              
19 November 1982 "Come Dancing" #12   #6 #17 #36   #6   #25   #18
20 August 1983 "Don't Forget to Dance" #58   #29 #16     #20     #38  
August 1984 "Good Day"4                      
December 1984 "Do It Again"     #41 #4              
March 1985 "Summer's Gone"3                      
November 1986 "Rock 'n' Roll Cities"3       #37              
22 December 1986 "How Are You"                      
1987 "Lost and Found"       #37              
1991 Did Ya EP       #48              
January 1997 The Days EP #35                    
May 2007 Waterloo Sunset   #1                  




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  1. The Kinks (Released in the US as You Really Got Me) – 1964, #3 UK, #7 US
  2. Kinks Size– 1965, #13 US
  3. Kinda Kinks– 1965, #3 UK, #60 US
  4. Kinks Kinkdom– 1965, #47 US
  5. The Kink Kontroversy– 1965, #9 UK, #95 US
  6. Face to Face – 1966, #12 UK, #136 US
  7. Something Else by The Kinks – 1967, #35 UK,
  8. The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society – 1968,
  9. Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire) – 1969
  10. Lola versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One – 1970, #35 US,
  11. Percy (soundtrack) – 1971
  12. Muswell Hillbillies – 1971, #100 US,
  13. Everybody's in Show-Biz1 – 1972
  14. The Great Lost Kinks Album – 1973
  15. Preservation: Act 1 – 1973, #177 US,
  16. Preservation: Act 2 – 1974
  17. Soap Opera – 1975
  18. Schoolboys in Disgrace – 1976
  19. Sleepwalker – 1977
  20. Misfits – 1978
  21. Low Budget – 1979, #11 US,
  22. Give the People What They Want – 1981, #15 US,
  23. State of Confusion – 1983
  24. Word of Mouth – 1984
  25. Think Visual – 1986
  26. UK Jive – 1989
  27. Phobia – 1993
  28. To The Bone (double CD)(1996)


Live albums

Note *: indicates an album that contains both live and studio tracks





This was truly the group's height in creativity  on a album which could be compared to Srgt Peppers by The Beatles.




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December 31, 1943: Peter Quaife was born.

February 15, 1944: Mick Avory was born.

June 21, 1944: Ray Davies was born.

February 3, 1947: Dave Davies was born.

August 15, 1964: The Kinks hits #1 in the UK with “You Really Got Me”.

October 24, 1964: The Kinks reach # 7 with “You Really Got Me”.

June 1, 1965: The Kinks begin their first U.S. tour.

1990: The Kinks are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.




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