About The Kinks

The Kinks have a misleading reputation as second-rate British invasion rockers. Their best-known hits in the U.S. came early, before they refined their songwriting or, for that matter, really learned to play their instruments. Although the band's leader and songwriter (Ray Davies) quickly developed into one of Britain's most interesting lyricists, this occurred just as the band was fading into one-hit wonder obscurity here in the States. It's a shame, because millions of Beatles fans have missed a chance to appreciate Davies' sentimental and thoughtful pop ballads, not to mention his impressive string of concept albums. And the Kinks catalogue is also fascinating from a historical perspective, because Davies' maturation fully paralleled that of well-known British contemporaries like Lennon, Jagger/Richards, and Townshend. It's a shame that Davies wasn't more fluent with chord progressions - almost every damn song is in one of the three keys that rhythm guitar players find the least challenging.