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The Kinks
The Kinks were an English pop/rock group formed in 1963, and categorised as a British Invasion band, along with the other members of the so-called Big Four (along with The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Who). Despite being less commercially successful than these three contemporaries, mostly because of an untimely four-year ban from the United States in the mid-to-late 1960s, the Kinks are cited among them as one of the most important and influential rock bands of all time.

The band's early hard-driving singles set a standard in the mid-1960s for rock & roll, while albums such as Face to Face, Something Else, The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society, Arthur and Muswell Hillbillies are highly regarded by fans, critics, and peers, and are considered amongst the most influential recordings of the era.

The Kinks first gained prominence in 1964 with the hit single "You Really Got Me", written by Ray Davies (it was their third single). The band's name came from their "kinky" dress sense of leather capes and boots worn on stage. The group's original line-up consisted of Ray Davies on lead vocals/rhythm guitar/keyboards, Dave Davies on lead guitar/vocals, Pete Quaife on backing vocals/bass guitar, and Mick Avory on drums and percussion. Following Quaife's departure in 1969, the band centred around the three remaining original members and frequently changed bassists and keyboardists. In 1984, friction between Dave Davies and Mick Avory resulted in the latter's departure, leaving only the brothers from the original line-up. With the loss of Ray's best friend and longest serving member in the band beside them, the band managed to soldier on for another decade. However, the increasingly deteriorating relationship between the Davies brothers, and a string of unsuccessful records brought a break-up of the band in the mid-90s. Rumours of Kinks reunion are vague and bandmembers have since embarked on solo careers. Ray Davies who is currently performing succesfully as a solo artist, recently commented that he is very willing to reform the band; however, his morbid relationship with his brother is still an obstacle to an eventual reunion.

Whatever the band's fortunes, however, their influence on emerging artists has been a constant. During the New Wave era, groups such as The Jam, The Knack, and The Pretenders covered Kinks songs and Britpop acts such as Blur, Oasis and Supergrass have cited them as a major influence. Many modern bands such as The Killers, The Libertines and Franz Ferdinand also acknowledge The Kinks and Ray Davies' expert songwriting skills. As self-professed Kinks fan Pete Townshend said for The History of Rock 'n' Roll: "The Kinks were much more quintessentially English. I always think that Ray Davies should one day be Poet Laureate. He invented a new kind of poetry and a new kind of language for Pop writing that influenced me from the very, very, very beginning."


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