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The Kinks were an English rock band formed in Muswell Hill, North London, in 1963 by brothers Ray and Dave Davies. They are regarded as one of the most influential rock bands of the 1960s. The band emerged during the height of British rhythm and blues and Merseybeat, and were briefly part of the British Invasion of the United States until their touring ban in 1965. Their third single, the Ray Davies-penned "You Really Got Me", became an international hit, topping the charts in the United Kingdom and reaching the Top 10 in the United States.
|Origin||Muswell Hill, London, England|
|Discography||The Kinks discography|
The Kinks' music drew from a wide range of influences, including American R&B and rock and roll initially, and later adopting British music hall, folk, and country. The band gained a reputation for reflecting English culture and lifestyle, fuelled by Ray Davies' wittily observational writing style, and made apparent in albums such as Face to Face (1966), Something Else (1967), The Village Green Preservation Society (1968), Arthur (1969), Lola Versus Powerman (1970), and Muswell Hillbillies (1971), along with their accompanying singles including the transatlantic hit "Lola" (1970). After a fallow period in the mid-1970s, the band experienced a revival during the late 1970s and early 1980s with their albums Sleepwalker (1977), Misfits (1978), Low Budget (1979), Give the People What They Want (1981) and State of Confusion (1983), the last of which produced one of the band's most successful US hits, "Come Dancing". In addition, groups such as Van Halen, the Jam, the Knack, the Pretenders and the Romantics covered their songs, helping to boost the Kinks' record sales. In the 1990s, Britpop acts such as Blur and Oasis cited the band as a major influence.
The original line-up comprised Ray Davies (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Dave Davies (lead guitar, vocals), Mick Avory (drums, percussion) and Pete Quaife (bass). The Davies brothers remained with the band throughout its history. Quaife briefly left the band during 1966 and was replaced by John Dalton, though Quaife returned by the end of that year before leaving permanently in 1969, once again being replaced by Dalton. Keyboardist John Gosling was added in 1970 (prior to this, session keyboardist Nicky Hopkins played on many of their recordings). After Dalton's 1976 departure, Andy Pyle briefly served as the band's bassist before being replaced by Argent bassist Jim Rodford in 1978. Gosling quit in 1978 and was first replaced by ex-Pretty Things member Gordon Edwards, then more permanently by Ian Gibbons in 1979. Avory left the group in 1984 and was replaced by another Argent member Bob Henrit. The band gave its last public performance in 1996 and broke up in 1997 as a result of creative tension between the Davies brothers.
The Kinks have had five Top 10 singles on the US Billboard chart. Nine of their albums charted in the Top 40. In the UK, they have had seventeen Top 20 singles and five Top 10 albums. Four Kinks albums have been certified gold by the RIAA and the band have sold 50 million records worldwide. Among numerous honours, they received the Ivor Novello Award for "Outstanding Service to British Music". In 1990, the original four members of the Kinks were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as well as the UK Music Hall of Fame in November 2005. In 2018, after years of ruling out a reunion due to the brothers' animosity and the difficult relationship between longtime drummer Mick Avory and Dave, Ray and Dave Davies announced they were working to reform the Kinks, with Avory also on board. However, comments made by each of the Davies brothers in 2020 and 2021 indicated that in the years since the initial announcement, little (if any) progress had been made towards an actual Kinks reunion, whether for live performances or for a new studio band album. In 2023, Avory confirmed that the reunion would no longer be taking place due to conflicting opinions of direction between the Davies brothers.