Friday, March 20, 2009

A Tribute to The Kinks

The KinksThe Kinks (via

The Kinks by Russell Shortt

Ray and Dave Davies were only teenagers when their R&B group, The Ravens were signed by Shel Talmy of Pye Records who changed their name to The Kinks. Talmy successfully captured the raw, youthful energy of the group in You Really Got Me (1964) which topped the UK charts and stormed the US charts. This song, and it's follow-up All Day and All of the Night, featured the compellingly curious vocal style of Ray and the amp-slashed, first heavy rock riffs of Dave. Definitely, this was a band with a difference.

However, the subsequent albums received a lukewarm reception, coupled with a ban from re-entering America following a tour which was marred by conflicts with promoters over money and concert venues. So, while the rest of rock convened in San Francisco and New York, Ray and Dave stayed put in England becoming introspective and well, English of course.

It resulted in a slew of classic hits - Dedicated Follower of Fashion, Sunny Afternoon, Dead End Street, Waterloo Sunset, Autumn Almanac and Days. However, these whimsical, carefree, poetic songs belied the hideous reality of a band in crisis, fighting with it's publishing company, it's management and indeed amongst themselves. Through all this though they continued to release remarkable albums which remained aloof and different from the contemporary scene but perhaps because of this sales remained low.

The tide turned with the 1970 album Lola Versus The Powerman And The Money-Go-Around, Part One receiving financial and critical success. This was the peak of the band, however, they signed to RCA and began flirting with rock opera and theatrical projects. Towards the late 1970s, they did enjoy something of a revival Stateside with the albums Sleepwalker (1977), Misfits (1978), Low Budget (1979), Give The People What They Want (1981) and State of Confusion (1983).

Russell Shortt is a travel consultant with Exploring Ireland, the leading specialists in customised, private escorted tours, escorted coach tours and independent self drive tours of Ireland. Article source Russell Shortt:

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