When it comes to enduring quality, there are few bands who can compete with The Kinks.
My assessment of their work differs from most critics and thousands of fans in three respects: I don’t think much of Arthur (and boy, did I hear about it!); I think their best album is the Lola album; and I love the four albums that make up their theatrical period. I do agree with the general consensus that their time with Arista lacked the depth and richness of their golden years.
But even that assessment has to be taken in context. I’d rather listen to an off-album by The Kinks than the so-called best work of many other rock bands. Ray Davies has remained an exceptionally talented and perceptive songwriter over five decades, and there are few guitarists who have produced as many memorable solos, riffs and fills as Dave Davies. Though the names changed, The Kinks always had a solid rhythm section. And during their golden years, they weren’t afraid to defy norms and expectations, producing a series of great albums that didn’t sell particularly well in their time but are now cherished treasures of rock ‘n’ roll art.
Here are links to all my Kinks reviews:
- The Kinks Greatest Hits
- The Kink Kontroversy
- Face to Face
- Something Else
- The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society
- Lola vs. the Powerman and the Money-Go-Round
- The Kink Kronikles
- Muswell Hillbillies
- The Great Lost Kinks Album
- Everybody’s in Show Biz
- Preservation Acts 1 and 2
- Soap Opera
- Schoolboys in Disgrace
- Come Dancing
- Other People’s Lives by Ray Davies