Category: the kinks

On this day in music history: December 9, 1964 – “All Day And All Of The Night” by The Kinks is released. Written by Ray Davies, it is the third single release for the rock band from London, UK. With the chart topping success of their breakthrough single “You Really Got Me”, The Kinks’ UK label Pye Records pressure them to follow it up with a similar sound-a-like. Feeling that they’re in no position to argue, they do just that. Bandleader Ray Davies takes the original riff from “You Really Got Me”, flips it over sideways, and creates another hard rocking power pop gem. The lyrics on the other hand, are something different. Titled “All Day And All Of The Night”, it borders on the songs’ male protagonist being completely obsessed (and borderline neurotic) over his girl, not wanting to be away from her for even a moment. The track matches the lyrics in intensity, powered by another crunchy main riff, played by guitarist Dave Davies. To achieve that signature guitar sound, Dave plays an Epiphone Casino through a pair of Peavey Mace amplifiers. Working again with producer Shel Talmy, “All Day” is recorded at Pye Studios (Studio No. 2) in London on September 23, 1964. Initially, Pye Records are not enamored of the song, rejecting it on the grounds of being “too blue-collar, too working-class”, and that the guitar riff sounded like “a dog’s bark”. In spite of this opinion, “All Day And All Of The Night” is  released in the UK exactly one month later on October 23, 1964. Any doubts about its hit potential are quickly squashed, when the single is an instant smash, peaking at #2 for two weeks on the UK singles chart behind The Supremes’ “Baby Love”. The Kinks’ american label follows suit immediately, releasing “All Day And All Of The Night” just two weeks after “You Really Got Me” peaks at #7 on the pop chart late November. Entering the Hot 100 at #69 on December 26, 1964, it peaks at #7 six weeks later on February 6, 1965 (holding for three consecutive weeks), matching the chart position of its predecessor. Becoming one of The Kinks’ most popular and enduring songs, “All Day And All Of The Night” inspires other musicians as well. The Doors’ second number one single “Hello, I Love You” bares similarities to The Kinks’s song, to the point where the band’s song publisher wanted to sue The Doors. However, Ray Davies steadfastly refuses to take any legal action. Ironically, Davies borrows from himself again, when he recycles the riff of “All Day” in the song “Destroyer” in 1981. Acknowledged as a rock classic, “All Day And All Of The Night” has been covered many times over, including versions by Gary Lewis & The Playboys, The Remains, The Stranglers, and Quiet Riot.

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On this day in music history: November 27, 1970 – “Lola Versus Powerman And The Moneygoround Part One”, the eighth studio album by The Kinks is released. Produced by Ray Davies, it is recorded at Morgan Studios in Willesden, North London from April – May, August – September 1970. Making a series of critically acclaimed albums in the latter half of the 60’s including “Something Else”, “The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society” and “Arthur (Or The Decline and Fall Of The British Empire)”, The Kinks’ creative force Ray Davies begins writing material their next release in early 1970. Just prior to this, the ban from the American Federation Of Musicians, who had denied The Kinks permits to play in the US since 1965, is finally lifted and allows them to perform in the US again. Having to cut their North American tour dates short due to illness, the band return home to the UK and back into the studio. “Lola Versus Powerman And The Moneygoround Part One” is conceived as a concept album taking a satirical look at different aspects of the music industry. It helps restore the bands’ commercial fortunes in the US, giving them their first major hit in over five years. It spins off two singles including “Lola” (#9 Pop), their first US top 10 hit since “Tired Of Waiting For You”, and “Apeman” (#45 Pop). In Great Britain, Ray Davies is forced to re-record a line in “Lola”, changing the lyric from “Coca Cola” to “Cherry Cola”, due to the BBC’s policy of not allowing the mention of commercial products on the air. As a result, the mono single contains the altered lyric, while the stereo album version keeps the original lyric intact. “Lola Versus Powerman And The Moneygoround Part One” peaks at number thirty five on the Billboard Top 200.

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On this day in music history: November 24, 1971 – “Muswell Hillbillies”, the ninth album by The Kinks is released (UK release date is on November 26, 1971). Produced by Ray Davies, it is recorded at Morgan Studios in Willesden, North London, UK from August – October 1971. The album takes its name from “Muswell Hill”, the neighborhood in North London where Ray Davies and his brother Dave grew up. The songs reflect on themes of working class life, poverty and the destruction of the old Victorian neighborhoods in London during the 70’s. Though its sales are disappointing (failing to chart in the UK), in time the album is regarded as one of The Kinks’ finest. The albums’ cover photo is taken at The Archway Tavern, pub located in North London, a couple of miles from Muswell Hill. The album is remastered and reissued numerous times over the years, most recently in November of 2014 with the CD version containing seven additional bonus tracks, and a DVD featuring live performances from “The Old Grey Whistle Test” and the complete performance of BBC TV program “The Kinks At The Rainbow” from July of 1972. It’s also reissued as a 2 LP 180 gram vinyl set on Black Friday Record Store Day in 2014, and is limited to 3,000 copies. “Muswell Hillbillies” peaks at number forty eight on the Billboard Top 200.

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On this day in music history: August 26, 1964 – “You Really Got Me” by The Kinks is released. Written by Ray Davies, it is the first major hit for the North London based rock band. Having released two previous singles that fail to make an impact, The Kinks are pressured by their UK label Pye Records to deliver a hit record, or be dropped from the label. After Davies writes “You Really Got Me”, he and the band try the song with a number of different arrangements before finding the right one. The Kinks record the track with American producer Shel Talmy at IBC Studios in London in July 1964. The singles trademark overdriven distorted guitar tone is achieved by lead guitarist Dave Davies slicing the speaker cone of his guitar amp with a razor blade. It is also one of the first rock songs to feature power chords (perfect 5ths and octaves) rather than major or minor triads. This lays the template for the hard rock and heavy metal music genres that follow in the years to come. The song hits #1 in the UK and #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 on November 28, 1964. One of the records that help define the 60’s “British Invasion” era, it has also been covered many times over the years. Most notably by Van Halen on their self-titled debut album in 1978. Ray and Dave Davies also record a live version of “You Really Got Me” with The Smithereens in 1991. “You Really Got Me” is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1999.

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On this day in music history: July 10, 1979 – “Low Budget”, the seventeenth studio album by The Kinks is released. Produced by Ray Davies, it is recorded at The Power Station and Blue Rock Studios in New York City from January – June 1979. Following the release of “Misfits”, The Kinks second album for Arista, the band undergo a series of personnel changes. Bassist Andy Pyle and keyboardist John Gosling depart to work on a project together. They are replaced by former Argent bassist Jim Rodford and former Pretty Things keyboardist Gordon John Edwards, though Edwards quits before recording begins on “Low Budget”. Ray Davies himself plays keyboards during the recording sessions for “Low Budget”. Boasting a harder rocking guitar dominated sound than most of their 70’s era work, it quickly finds favor with the bands loyal fan base, becoming second best selling album of their career. It spins off three hit singles including the rock/disco flavored “(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman” (#41 Pop), which is also issued as an extended 12" single in advance of the album. It is remastered and reissued on CD in 1999 with three additional bonus tracks. “Low Budget” peaks at number eleven on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

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Born on this day: June 21, 1944 – Singer, songwriter, musician and co-founder of The Kinks Ray Davies (born Raymond Douglas Davies in Fortis Green, London, UK). Happy 75th Birthday, Ray!!

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On this day in music history: June 10, 1983 – “State Of Confusion”, the nineteenth studio album by The Kinks is released. Produced by Ray Davies, it is recorded at Konk Studios in London and Grand Slam Studios in East Orange, NJ in Mid 1981, September 1982 – March 1983. Having regained their career momentum in the late 70’s after signing with Arista Records, the veteran UK rock band achieves their greatest commercial success in the US nearly twenty years after their initial breakthrough in the mid 60’s. Beginning with “Low Budget” in 1979, they score the second Gold album of their career, following it with the live set “One For The Road” in 1980 and “Give The People What They Want” in late 1981. The tour to support the latter album concludes with The Kinks performing at the US Festival in May of 1983 in front of an audience of over 200,000 people. With the bands exposure at an all time high, they release their next studio album. State Of Confusion’s first single “Come Dancing” becomes a big hit on US radio and MTV peaking at #6 on the Hot 100, nearly thirteen years after their last top 10 single “Lola” in 1970, and eighteen years after their last highest charting single in the US, “Tired Of Waiting For You” in April of 1965. The follow up single “Don’t Forget To Dance” (#29 Pop, #16 Mainstream Rock) also garners significant radio and video play. The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 1999 with HDCD encoding including four additional bonus tracks. It is reissued again in 2004 as a hybrid SACD with the same additional tracks. Long out of print on vinyl, “Confusion” is reissued as a 180 gram LP in 2008. “State Of Confusion” peaks at number twelve on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: March 5, 1965 – “Kinda Kinks”, the second album by The Kinks is released (US release is on August 11, 1965). Produced by Shel Talmy, it is recorded at Pye Studios in London from December 17, 1964 – February 17, 1965. In spite of the sessions yielding classics such as “Tired Of Waiting For You” (#3 UK, #6 US Pop), “Set Me Free” and “Who Will Be The Next In Line”, Ray Davies and the other band members express dissatisfaction with the finished album, under pressure by their record label to complete it quickly. When the album is released in the US, the bands American label Reprise Records rearranges the track listing, paring it down from twelve to eleven songs, and changing the cover art. The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 1998 and 2004 featuring eleven bonus tracks.  Another reissue in 2011 expands the set to two CD’s with the second disc featuring twenty three additional tracks including more demo versions, mono single mixes, and live performances recorded for a BBC radio broadcast in 1965. “Kinda Kinks” peaks at number three on the UK album chart, and number sixty on the Billboard Top 200.

On this day in music history: November 27, 1970 – “Lola Versus Powerman And The Moneygoround Part One”, the eighth studio album by The Kinks is released. Produced by Ray Davies, it is recorded at Morgan Studios in Willesden, North London from April – May, August – September 1970. Making a series of critically acclaimed albums in the latter half of the 60’s including “Something Else”, “The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society” and “Arthur (Or The Decline and Fall Of The British Empire)”, The Kinks’ creative force Ray Davies begins writing material their next release in early 1970. Just prior to this, the ban from the American Federation Of Musicians, who had denied The Kinks permits to play in the US since 1965, is finally lifted and allows them to perform in the US again. Having to cut their North American tour dates short due to illness, the band return home to the UK and back into the studio. “Lola Versus Powerman And The Moneygoround Part One” is conceived as a concept album taking a satirical look at different aspects of the music industry. It helps restore the bands’ commercial fortunes in the US, giving them their first major hit in over five years. It spins off two singles including “Lola” (#9 Pop), their first US top 10 hit since “Tired Of Waiting For You”, and “Apeman” (#45 Pop). In Great Britain, Ray Davies is forced to re-record a line in “Lola”, changing the lyric from “Coca Cola” to “Cherry Cola”, due to the BBC’s policy of not allowing the mention of commercial products on the air. As a result, the mono single contains the altered lyric, while the stereo album version keeps the original lyric intact. “Lola Versus Powerman And The Moneygoround Part One” peaks at number thirty five on the Billboard Top 200.

On this day in music history: November 24, 1971 – “Muswell Hillbillies”, the ninth album by The Kinks is released (UK release date is on November 26, 1971). Produced by Ray Davies, it is recorded at Morgan Studios in Willesden, North London, UK from August – October 1971. The album takes its name from “Muswell Hill”, the neighborhood in North London where Ray Davies and his brother Dave grew up. The songs reflect on themes of working class life, poverty and the destruction of the old Victorian neighborhoods in London during the 70’s. Though its sales are disappointing (failing to chart in the UK), in time the album is regarded as one of The Kinks’ finest. The albums’ cover photo is taken at The Archway Tavern, pub located in North London, a couple of miles from Muswell Hill.  The album is remastered and reissued numerous times over the years, most recently in November of 2014 with the CD version containing seven additional bonus tracks, and a DVD featuring live performances from “The Old Grey Whistle Test” and the complete performance of BBC TV program “The Kinks At The Rainbow” from July of 1972. “Muswell Hillbillies” peaks at number forty eight on the Billboard Top 200.