The Kinks - The Most Underrated Revered Band Ever?
On Monday night, I saw Ray Davies at the 9:30 club and it was fantastic. A proper review saying as much should have been in the paper today, but because you cheapskates keep canceling your subscriptions and the actual paper keeps shrinking, creating a space crunch, it got cut. (Or maybe it was just really bad. Who knows?)
I wasn't sure how well the show would work with just the Kinks frontman and another acoustic guitarist, but the songs were still full of life and Davies had plenty of entertaining anecdotes. And when he brought out openers Locksley to back him on "You Really Got Me," "Till the End of the Day" and "Lola," things got even better. I was struck by the fact that the show -- while plenty crowded -- wasn't sold out. And that this was a day after a couple of Davies' contemporaries in Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend were honored at the Kennedy Center.
I've always preferred the Kinks to the Who, and I've even played the role of The Annoying Person Who Argues That The Kinks Were Better Than The Beatles. I can't honestly say I believe that, but it's a lot closer than you think. The Kinks and Beatles started around the same time and the Kinks's peak era ended roughly when the Beatles called it quits. (I'll say it ended with "Lola," but if you want to say "Muswell Hillbillies" I won't argue too much.)
All those early British Invasion hits are unimpeachable. "Kink Kontroversy" is so great that Sleater-Kinney used it as inspiration for an album cover. The run of "Face to Face," "Something Else" (my favorite), "The Village Green Preservation Society" and "Arthur" is one of the great streaks in rock history. And "Lola" isn't too bad itself.
Yet very few people will ever put the Kinks in the same conversation at the Beatles, Stones or the Who? Why? They didn't change the world like the Beatles, they weren't dangerous like the Stones, they didn't do rock operas like the Who. And the songs Ray Davies wrote were certainly more distinctly British than anything by those other bands. And since the band kept going nobody ever got the chance to miss them. So yes, the band is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, has been covered by Van Halen and was featured on the "Juno" soundtrack -- the three greatest honors that can be bestowed on a band -- but I still say the Kinks don't get their due.
By David Malitz |
December 10, 2008; 11:50 AM ET
Previous: The Who, By the Trends | Next: Either the Best Joke of a Bio of the Worst Band Ever
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: wiredog | December 10, 2008 1:44 PM
Posted by: DanCorbin | December 10, 2008 1:53 PM
Posted by: LionelMandrake | December 10, 2008 1:58 PM
Posted by: Ronnie76 | December 10, 2008 2:59 PM
Posted by: rb-freedom-for-all | December 10, 2008 4:10 PM
Posted by: davidf67 | December 10, 2008 5:10 PM
Posted by: thirflelev | December 10, 2008 7:54 PM
Posted by: burnxfreeze | December 10, 2008 8:03 PM
Posted by: slickwillie1 | December 11, 2008 3:39 PM
Posted by: TomServo | December 12, 2008 10:20 AM
Posted by: ana1ana2 | December 12, 2008 11:41 AM
Posted by: EKruse | December 12, 2008 9:20 PM
Posted by: bcinfrance | December 13, 2008 5:11 AM
Posted by: FrankLima | December 14, 2008 4:59 PM
The comments to this entry are closed.