3 Songs for People Who Say They Don’t Like The Kinks

When it comes to the list of most popular British Invasion bands there are some that always remain popular fan favorites. There’s The Beatles, of course. And The Who, The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, and many more. But one band that often gets forgotten, or at least swept under the proverbial rug, is The Kinks.

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Founded in London in 1963 by brothers Ray and Dave Davies, the band’s popuarity suffered a few years later, banned from touring in the United States after many got fed up from the band’s rowdy behavior on tour and on stage. In his biography, Ray Davies said the banishment stemmed from a punch thrown during a taping of the Dick Clark TV show, Where the Action Is.

[RELATED: Behind the Song “All Day and All of the Night” by The Kinks and Why Their Record Label Initially Rejected It]

No matter the reason, the result was that American fans weren’t able to see the band during its absolute height. So, as a result, their legacy isn’t quite the same as that of other British Invasion groups or even others that came later like Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. Some rock fans may even go so far as to say they don’t even like The Kinks.

That’s why we wanted to compile this list of songs for those music listeners to get to know the band better. Indeed, these are three songs for people who say they don’t like (or even know about) The Kinks—songs beyond even their big hit “Lola.”

“Tired of Waiting for You”

The band’s name is apt because the music The Kinks wrote and released was always just a bit off-kilter. While The Beatles arrived with streamlined perfect pop-rock songs and The Who came with amp-shattering offerings and The Stones sounded like they got their tracks from a deal with the devil, The Kinks brought songs that sounded like rough drafts that were too hot to refine. They were catchy, yes, but also, well, kinky … like curly hair. And “Tired of Waiting for You” is example No. 1. A rough, plunging rhythm guitar makes way for lovely lilting harmonies on this song released in 1965 on the album Kinda Kinks. The song was also the highest-charting single from the band in America, despite not being the first or even fifth song music fans likely think of today when they consider the group.

“You Really Got Me”

This is one of those numinous, ubiquitous rock songs that seems to just drop from the sky. Did anyone really write this song? Wasn’t it just handed down from the gods? Well, it was The Kinks that wrote this track, which was released in 1964. Shouted vocals meet a proto-garage rock sound akin to the likes of American bands The Sonics and The Kingsmen. It’s both rudimentary and influential. And since it’s release, “You Really Got Me” has appeared on TV commercials for generations, still a major part of the cultural zeitgeist.

“All Day and All of the Night”

Another song that just seems plucked from the rock and roll enchanted garden, this song in actuality was released by The Kinks in 1964 and later included on the band’s Kinksize Hits EP in the UK and the band’s sophomore album in America, Kinks-Size. Garage rock meets The Kinks’ distorted, shout-talk style. It’s the kind of song that helped define early rock music. And it’s one that today you can sing in your sleep, if you had to. If music fans don’t love this song—whether they’re Kinks-heads or not—one would have to question their rock bona fides!

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Photo by David Redfern/Redferns

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