One of the legendary bands of the British invasion, The Kinks rank highly as one of the most influential bands of all time. Whether most bands know it or not, The Kinks imprint is felt across pretty much every genre that has a guitar. So take a trip back with us to 1965 and watch that imprint being carefully detailed at a gig in Paris.
Ok, so let’s get one thing out in the open. The Kinks, whether you love, hate or have never heard of them, remain one of the most influential bands of the ’60s and ’70s. That fact is undeniable, but if you wanted some proof here’s the Pixies’ Frank Black to tell you otherwise.
Black said: “I’ve never copied Ray Davies or the Kinks, but time and time again I hear back one of my own songs and I do declare, hot damn, there it is AGAIN, the unmistakable imprint of Kinks; the result of having listened to [them] on a daily basis from about age 14 to age 18. There are more fabulous songs not included on that precious compilation, but those 28 songs are thumping away gently in my soft brain forever. They will never go away. I am a proud servant of them.”
So with that settled let’s now look back at the band’s beginnings. Arriving on the scene to make their debut 55 years ago in 1964, Ray and Dave Davies led their band through the usual Blues montage that bands of the time found themselves in. But while The Rolling Stones and The Beatles had found the genre somewhat easy to manipulate, The Kinks found it a little more difficult. They weren’t as natural at interpreting the sound and soul of the genre as the aforementioned megastars were.
The Kinks would eventually move away from the typical Blues sound as it began to become apparent that the Davies brothers were far better songwriters to just be confined to one style. But before that would happen The Kinks were still capable of putting on one hell of a rock and roll show, the below footage is a perfect example of that.
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The crowd are baying for sex, drugs and rock n roll as the curtains open. The band then launch into ‘Bye Bye Johnny B Goode’, a suitably bouncy number – the crowd are providing evidence of that fact as they begin to jive and groove. As the song subsides they lead on to one of their iconic releases ‘Louie Louie’ to a rapturous response. Then that whole event heats up even further when The Kinks begin the opening chords of ‘You Really Got Me’. The venue erupts.
The footage below is a perfect time capsule. Not only does it capture the feverish reaction bands like The Stones, Beatles, and The Kinks were receiving on a regular occasion, not only does it show how much those crowds loved rock and roll, but it shows the power The Kinks were about to unleash on the musical world.
Whether you focus on Mick Avory and Pete Quaife’s tighter than tight rhythm section, Ray Davies’ epic songwriting or indeed Dave’s poignancy of performance – you will soon find that The Kinks were one of the most exciting bands of the ’60s. Today they’re one of the most influential of all time.
Bye Bye Johnny B Goode
You Really Got Me
Got Love if You Want It
Long Tall Sally
All Day and All of the Night