Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Waterloo Sunset...The Story of the Kinks Part One...Show # 186

The Kinks formed in 1963 in the UK. The band is known for being one of the most influential bands that came out during the British invasion along with the likes of The Beatles, The Who, and The Rolling Stones. The band was comprised of the the brothers Ray (vocals/guitar/main songwriter) and Dave Davies (guitar), Mick Avory (drums), and Peter Quaife on bass. The Kinks were originally called The Ravens, but changed their name as they recorded their first single for Pye Records in 1964; They were named the Kinks due to their style of dress onstage which was called "kinky". The single was a cover of Little Richards "Long Tall Sally", it did not chart. The bands second single was "You Still Want Me", which also failed to chart. It wasn't until the bands third single "You Really Got Me" that others started to take notice. The song debuted at number one on the UK charts and helped define the bands early garage rock style. The song also features distortion and a power chord structure at a time when bands were using clean guitar amplifiers and playing songs differently. What happened was Dave Davies sliced the speaker of his amplifier with a razor blade giving his amplified guitar a distorted sound. The song also went to number one in the US. What followed next was a series of awesome hit UK singles and a ban in the USA.

When on tour in the USA in 1965, following an incident the Kinks were banned for four years in the US of A. The band focused on songwriting, touring, and releasing songs at an incredibly fast pace. The songs mostly came from the brain of Ray Davies, but there were some songs written and sung by Dave Davies. The bands singles after "You Really got Me" were "All Day and All of the Night", "Set Me Free", "Tired of Waiting for You", "Everybody's Gonna Be Happy", "See My Friends", "Till the End of the Day", "Dedicated Follower of Fashion", "Dead End Street" and "Waterloo Sunset", to name a few. It's simply amazing at the quality of the singles that the band released in such a short time. While being banned in the US did have a negative impact on the band, they would not get the proper recognition and fame they deserved until later on, they thrived in the UK, influencing thousands of bands. The Who's Pete Townshend cites "I Can't Explain" as his attempt at writing a Kinks song. During this time The Kinks also released several albums and EP's.

The Kinks weren't just a loud rock band they had varying styles, which included pop, and acoustic numbers as well. Some of their most interesting albums include Kink Kontroversy (1965), which drew on heavy blues influences while still building on their early sound. Face to Face (1966) which came next, is an album that contains compositions written entirely by Ray Davies. Prior to the recording of this album Ray Davies had a nervous breakdown and seemed to escape within his song writing and story telling abilities within the lyrics of the songs. The album advanced the bands style with songs such as "Party Line", "Dandy" and most notably the excellently crafted song "Sunny Afternoon". The singles released to promote the album were "I'm Not Like Everybody Else", and "Mister Pleasant" (they were later included on CD re-issues of the album).

In 1967 Something Else by the Kinks was released. The album is considered the best album by some Kinks fanatics and critics, despite the fact that when it came out it did poorly. This album contained more Dave Davies compositions than the bands previous albums. "Death of a Clown" was a song sung by Dave Davies, but one that was written with the help of Ray Davies. "Love Me Till the Sun Shines", and "Funny Face" were the other Dave Davies Credited and sung songs. The album also contained the excellent Ray Davies compositions "David Watts", "Harry Rag", "Situation Vacant" and "Waterloo Sunset". The album was produced by American producer Shel Talmy, but the subject matter of the album is heavily English laced. The singles released during this album were "Autumn Almanac", and "Susannah's Still Alive" (an excellent Dave Davies composition). After the release of Something Else, the band explored different types of song writing and lyrical structures with The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society (1968).

The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society, was a concept album. It contained songs such as "Picture Book" (eerily similar to Green Day's "Warning" song), and "Johnny Thunder" which showed off their new style. There was also a single "Days" which did quite well on the charts. In 1969, King Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire) was released. It was a rock opera, one of the first. The album is often compared the the rock opera Tommy by The Who, which was composed by The Who's Pete Townshend.

The ban from the USA was also lifted and in 1969, the band would release the song "Lola" which would be a huge hit in the US. The song itself was about an encounter with a transvestite written into a cleverly worded song. The song would be included on the album Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneyground Part One, which was released in 1970.

To read part two of my Kinks history and to see a show I did of all Kinks songs click Here.

Song Played:

1. Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers - One Track Mind
2. Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers - Let Go
3. Count Five - Double-Decker Bus
4. Count Five - Psychotic Reaction
5. The Sonics - The Witch
6. The Sonics - He's Waitin'
7. Gruesomes - No More Lies
8. Gruesomes - Why Me?
9. Ugly Ducklings - Just in Case You Wonder
10. Ugly Ducklings - I Wish You Would
11. Stooges - Loose
12. Stooges - Dirt
13. The Damned - 1 of the 2
14. The Damned - So Messed Up
15. Kinks - Situation Vacant
16. Kinks - I Need You
17. 101ers - Silent Telephone
18. 101ers - Keys to Your Heart (Version 1)
19. Ramones - Beat on the Brat
20. Ramones - I Can't Be (Demo)
21. Teenage Head - Disgusteen (Alternate Version)
22. Teenage Head - Top Down (New Alternate Version)
23. Undertones - There Goes Norman
24. Undertones - Hypnotised
25. The D4 - Running on Empty
26. The D4 - John Rock

Kinks Videos:

You Really Got Me
All Day and All of the Night
Tired of Waiting For You
It's Alright
Everybody's Gonna Be Happy
Set Me Free
A Well Respected Man
Waterloo Sunset
Dead End Street (Video)
Sunny Afternoon
Death of a Clown
The Village Green Preservation Society

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