Monday’s Music Moves Me –  Let’s Get Kinky!

This is my second week participating in the Monday’s Music Moves Me blog hop. It’s a “Freebie” week which means we don’t have to follow a specific theme and instead can choose whatever music we want to feature. I say Let’s Get Kinky with a time-capsule set of The Kinks!

The Kinks were an English rock band formed in North London in 1964 by brothers Ray and Dave Davies. They are regarded as one of the most important and influential rock bands of the era. The band emerged during the height of British rhythm and blues and Merseybeat and they were briefly part of the British Invasion of the US until their touring ban in 1965.

The group opened 1965 with their first tour of Australia and New Zealand, with Manfred Mann and the Honeycombs. An intensive performing schedule saw them headline other package tours throughout the year with acts such as the Yardbirds and Mickey Finn. Tensions began to emerge within the band, expressed in incidents such as the on-stage fight between Avory and Dave Davies at The Capitol Theatre, Cardiff, Wales in May that year. After finishing the first song, “You Really Got Me”, Davies insulted Avory and kicked over his drum set. Avory responded by hitting Davies with his hi-hat stand, rendering him unconscious, before fleeing from the scene, fearing that he had killed his bandmate. Davies was taken to Cardiff Royal Infirmary, where he received 16 stitches to his head. To placate the police, Avory later claimed that it was part of a new act in which the band members would hurl their instruments at each other.

Following a mid-year tour of the United States, the American Federation of Musicians refused permits for the group to appear in concerts there for the next four years, effectively cutting off the Kinks from the main market for rock music at the height of the British Invasion. Although neither the Kinks nor the union gave a specific reason for the ban, at the time it was widely attributed to their rowdy on-stage behavior. It has been reported that an incident when the band was taping Dick Clark’s TV show Where The Action Is in 1965 led to the ban. Ray Davies recalls in his autobiography, “Some guy who said he worked for the TV company walked up and accused us of being late. Then he started making anti-British comments. Things like ‘Just because the Beatles did it, every mop-topped, spotty-faced limey juvenile thinks he can come over here and make a career for himself” following which a punch was thrown and the AFM banned them.”

After a fallow period in the mid-1970s, the band experienced a revival during the late 1970s and early 1980s with albums Sleepwalker (1977), Misfits (1978), Low Budget (1979), Give the People What They Want (1981) and State of Confusion (1983). In addition, groups such as Van Halen, the Jam, the Knack, the Pretenders and the Fall covered their songs, helping to boost the Kinks’ record sales. The Kinks broke up in 1996, a result of the commercial failures of their last few albums and creative tension between the Davies brothers. Ray Davies (lead vocals, rhythm guitar) and Dave Davies (lead guitar, vocals) remained members throughout the group’s 32-year run.

The following are my favorite Kinks songs, presented in order of release dates:

You Really Got Me – written by Ray Davies, “You Really Got Me” was released in August 1964 as the group’s third single, and reached number one on the UK singles chart the next month, remaining for two weeks. The song became the group’s breakthrough hit; it established them as one of the top British Invasion acts in the United States, reaching number seven there later in the year. “You Really Got Me” was later included on the Kinks’ debut album, Kinks.

The lyrics of the song are about lust and sex. Dave Davies said of the song’s lyrics, “‘You Really Got Me’ [is] such a pure record, really. It’s a love song for street kids. They’re not going to wine and dine you, even if they knew how to chat you up. [They say] ‘I want you—come here.'”

The song was covered by American rock band Van Halen in 1978 for their debut album Van Halen, reaching the Billboard Top 40. As the band’s first single, it was a popular radio hit which helped jump-start the band’s career, as it had done for the Kinks 14 years earlier. This version, which was cited by Eddie Van Halen as an “updated” version of the original, featured “histrionic” guitar playing by Eddie Van Halen and “vocal shenanigans” by David Lee Roth. The song had been played by the band live for years before its studio release. On the radio, it is often featured with “Eruption”, the instrumental that precedes it on the album, as an intro. (I’ve included a video of Van Halen’s version at the end of this post).

The following video shows a very early Kinks, performing in 1965 on the show Shindig! Shindig! was an American musical variety series which aired on ABC from September 16, 1964 to January 8, 1966.

 

All Day and All of the Night – “All Day and All of the Night” is a song from 1964. It reached No. 2 on the UK Singles Chart and No. 7 on Billboard’s US chart in 1965. The song was released on the American studio album Kinks-Size.

 

Tired of Waiting for You – “Tired of Waiting for You” was a 1965 hit. The song was released as a single in January 1965 in the UK and in February 1965 in the US. It then appeared on their second studio album Kinda Kinks.

According to Ray Davies, the music for “Tired of Waiting for You” was written on the train to the recording studio and the words were written at a coffee shop during a break in the session.

“Tired of Waiting for You” was written before “All Day and All of the Night,” but “All Day and All of the Night” was released first due to its similarities to the band’s first UK hit, “You Really Got Me.”

It reached No.1 on both the UK Singles Chart and Melody Maker, becoming the band’s second UK chart-topper since “You Really Got Me.” The single also reached No. 6 on the US Billboard Hot 100, the highest charting Kinks single in the US until the band’s 1983 hit “Come Dancing” tied it.

Here’s another television performance on the British show Shindig! appearing on July 7, 1965:

 

 Where Have All the Good Times Gone – written by Ray Davies, it was first released as the B-side to “Till the End of the Day,” and was then included on their album The Kink Kontroversy in 1965 (1966 in the US).

Ray Davies said, “We’d been rehearsing ‘Where Have All the Good Times Gone’ and our tour manager at the time, who was a lot older than us, said, ‘That’s a song a 40-year-old would write. I don’t know where you get that from.’ But I was taking inspiration from older people around me. I’d been watching them in the pubs, talking about taxes and job opportunities.”

 

Lola – This is probably my favorite Kinks song. The song details a romantic encounter between a young man and a possible transgender woman, whom he meets in a club in Soho, London. In the song, the narrator describes his confusion towards a person named Lola who “walked like a woman and talked like a man”. Although Ray Davies claims that the incident was inspired by a true encounter experienced by the band’s manager, alternate explanations for the song have been given by drummer Mick Avory.

The song was released in June 1970. Commercially, the single reached number two on the UK Singles Chart and number nine on the Billboard Hot 100. Due to its controversial subject matter and use of the brand name Coca-Cola, the single received backlash and even bans in Britain and Australia. The single version (mono) used the words “cherry cola” while the album version (stereo) uses the name “Coca-Cola”. The track has since become one of The Kinks’ most iconic and popular songs

This video features a 1970 performance on Britain’s Top of the Pops television show:

 

Celluloid Heroes – written by lead vocalist and principal songwriter Ray Davies, the song debuted on the Kinks 1972 album Everybody’s in Show-Biz.

The song names several famous actors of 20th century film, and also mentions Los Angeles’s Hollywood Boulevard, alluding to its Hollywood Walk of Fame. The actors mentioned are Greta Garbo, Rudolph Valentino, Bela Lugosi, Bette Davis, Marilyn Monroe, George Sanders, and Mickey Rooney

Here’s a cool video I found on YouTube:

 

Sleepwalker – another of my favorites. Written by Ray Davies, “Sleepwalker” is the debut single from The Kinks’ 1977 album of the same name. Here’s a great 1977 performance but the video embedding was disabled so you’ll have to jump over to the YouTube site to check it out. But do go. It’s worth it!  https://youtu.be/NC5BR3RL6ug

If you’d rather stay here and just listen to a studio version of the song, here you go:

 

Father Christmas – This 1977 single is one of my holiday favorites. It tells of a department store Father Christmas who is beaten up by a gang of poor kids who tell him to give them money instead of toys, as toys are impractical; and asks that the toys be given “to the little rich boys.” At one point, a child asks the narrator to give his/her father a job for Christmas—or, if he must deliver a toy, a machine gun.

 

A Rock ‘n Roll Fantasy – “A Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy” is the lead single and fourth track from The Kinks’ 1978 album Misfits. Written by Ray Davies, the song was inspired by the band’s then-tumultuous state at the time, with two members leaving the band during the recording of Misfits. Released as the first single from the album, the track was the band’s most successful single in years, peaking at #30 on the Billboard Hot 100.

 

Low Budget – “Low Budget” is the sixth track of the Kinks 1979 album of the same name. Recorded in January 1979, it describes a man giving up his “expensive tastes” in order to save money. Like many of the tracks on Low Budget, it applies to the economic troubles occurring during the time that the album was released, such as strikes in Great Britain (and the gas and oil crisis in the US). However, AllMusic’s Richard Gilliam claimed that the track’s theme could “easily apply to just about any modern recession.”

Although “Low Budget” refers to economic problems of the times in general, it also refers to some of Ray Davies’ own personal concerns. In the song, Davies mocks his own fear of not having money and his frugality. The song also references Davies’ vanity. The singer describes himself as once being well dressed and able to afford cigars, but now has to buy discount clothes and chew mints. He describes himself as “a cut-price person in a low-budget land.” But despite being reduced to poverty, the singer expresses pride in his hair and his teeth. Author Thomas Kitts notes that even the title, used in the refrain “I’m on a low budget” could refer to Davies keeping himself on a tight budget.

Here are The Kinks performing live in Providence, Rhode Island on September 23, 1979:

 

Destroyer – “Destroyer” was written by Ray Davies and released as a track on the group’s nineteenth album Give the People What They Want in August 1981. It was the album’s lead single in the US. In 1982, the single reached #3 on the Billboard Rock Top Tracks chart and #85 on the Billboard Hot 100.

It was not released as a single in the UK and was available only when the album was released there in January 1982. (The album’s lead single in the UK was “Better Things”).

The song features many callbacks to previous Kinks songs, both lyrically and musically. The track borrows the main riff from The Kinks’ 1964 song, “All Day and All of the Night”, one of the band’s first hits. The lyrics are a continuation of The Kinks’ 1970 hit song, “Lola”, about a transgender individual. In “Destroyer”, the protagonist of the song becomes paranoid after taking Lola back to his place.

 

Come Dancing – “Come Dancing” was a 1983 hit single in both the US and the UK, the track was included on the album State of Confusion. The song is a nostalgic look back at childhood memories of its writer: the Kinks’ frontman Ray Davies, remembering his older sister going on dates to the local Palais dance hall where big bands would play. The lyrics tell how the Palais has been demolished and his sister now has her own daughters who are going on dates. Great video!

 

Living On a Thin Line – “Living on a Thin Line” is a track written by Dave Davies for The Kinks’ 1984 album Word of Mouth. It has been praised as being on of Dave Davies greatest songs. I really like this song.

“Living on a Thin Line” is one of two songs on Word of Mouth written by Dave Davies (the other being “Guilty”). Davies said, in his biography Kink, that the track was influenced by The Kinks’ long and difficult career, along with his hatred toward politicians. The song’s lyrics compare the barbaric times of medieval England to today, saying that “inside we’re the same as we ever were”.

The song, despite not having much commercial success, has become a fan-favorite. The track has also been played three times in the American TV show The Sopranos’ 2001 episode “University.” Producer Terence Winter has said that it is the series’ most asked about song.

 

Now if this hasn’t been enough Kink, let’s get a little more kinky: Here is Van Halen’s cover of “You Really Got Me” – in a 1980 performance:

 

Have yourself a very kinky week…

 

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31 thoughts on “Monday’s Music Moves Me –  Let’s Get Kinky!

  1. Hi, Michele!

    I’m having a great time getting the Kinks out this morning while it is still dark outside. I was turning age 15 when the Kinks made a big splash stateside with their first hit single “You Really Got Me.” It strikes me as funny that Davies calls it a song about “lust and sex.” Obviously the hip hop and gangsta rap era was still light years away. The Kinks single “Till The End Of The Day b/w “Where Have All the Good Times Gone” is one of my favorite doublesiders and I have featured both songs on my blog. I liked “Lola” and loved one you didn’t mention here – “Apeman.” The Kinks’ output of the 70s and 80s is mostly new to me and I enjoyed their story songs and social commentary. The video for “Come Dancing” was played quite a bit on the MTV station where I worked in the 80s. I love “Destroyer” because it samples their earlier hits. It was fun seeing David Lee Roth hopping around the stage. I liked his cover of “California Girls” a lot more than “You Really Got Me.” 🙂

    This Kinkfest was entertaining and educational, dear friend Michele. Thank you and have a great week ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Tom,
      So glad you enjoyed this set of my favorite Kinks songs! I think they’re kinda underrated and I’m sure that has to do with their ban from touring during those critical British Invasion years.
      You’ve piqued my interest and now I have to go look up David Lee Roth’s cover of California Girls… 🙂
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Like

  2. Michele,

    Thanks for hitting the dance floor with the 4M gang. It’s funny. I remember The Kinks in the early 80s mostly by name because I’m so horrible with putting a band with a song I’m not familiar with and although I’ve heard some of The Kinks mewsic from the 60s I don’t know if I knew it was them. Again, I blame my lack of familiarity of bands and song titles for making the connection. Of their later stuff, I think I like “Rock n Roll Fantasy” the best but “Come Dancing” is a fun one. I think I remember Van Halen’s cover of The Kinks “You’ve Really Got Me”. Great to read about this popular British rock band that got the short end of the draw during the British Invasion days.

    Stop by for AGT Unknown Talents on Curious as a Cathy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Cathy,
      I totally get you when you say that you don’t always know the name of the bands to the songs you like. I’m the same way. Often a song will come up on the music channel and I’ll look up at the screen to see who the band is and I’ll be like, “Wow, I didn’t know that’s who did this song!”
      Thanks for stopping by! Have a great weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for that awesome array of Kinks tunes! 😀 This band was one of the best. I didn’t know they had been banned from touring in the early days.’Lola’ is my favourite as well. Love the kickass remake of ‘You Really Got Me’ by Van Halen! A future subject for BOTB?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Definitely a future BOTB! It’s on my list. 🙂
      I really enjoyed putting this post together because I love the Kinks and hadn’t really listened to much by them lately. Was fun to take that trip down memory lane. And for the last several days I have a bunch of their songs going through my head. I’m not complaining! 🙂
      Thanks for stopping by. Have a great weekend! What’s the weather like up there right now? Coming up on the 4th of July weekend, I’m thinking of my days back in Niagara Falls during the summer months. I remember one 4th of July gathering of family and friends in particular: we were all sitting around in the garage (my parents garage was a real party spot: complete with a picnic table, fridge (that always had a keg in it) and a kickass stereo system). Anyway, we were all sitting around in a big circle telling family stories and reminiscing and laughing our asses off. When night fell, it got so chilly that we had to close the garage door and go get sweats on! And then on with the laughter… Oh how I miss those days…of sharing time with family and friends and of experiencing the weather that I so wish I could experience here! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I hope you had a nice July 4th holiday, Michele. It’s been hot mostly, not really chilly here. Your family parties sound fantastic! Guess where I was on Canada Day? (July 1st) At a Burton Cummings concert up in Orillia (about 2 hours north of here) 😀 He still has that incredible voice and his band was kickass! They even did a cover of The Equals’ “Baby Come Back” that brought the house down. Lots of Guess Who songs, as well. I’m not spending much time online these days; mostly publishing reruns. I’ll see you for the next BOTB, though. Steven gave me a great suggestion. Cheers!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Oh wow, what a great way to spend Canada Day! I would love to see Burton Cummings. So glad to hear he did a lot of Guess Who songs. I had no idea he was out touring now. How old is he??
          Hope you’re enjoying your downtime from the blog…
          Enjoy your Sunday!

          Like

          • You won’t believe it, but Burton Cummings will be 70 on Dec. 31! 😮 Still has that fantastic voice. It is nice to get away from online activities, especially since summers are so short, here. Hope you’re having a good one, despite the heat. Happy Sunday!

            Liked by 1 person

    • What??! Wow, then I’m so glad that I could introduce you to my favorite Kinks songs! Hope you liked them. Have a great weekend. 🙂

      Like

  4. I’m really surprised they lasted as long as they did with all of their fighting. But I really enjoy their music from time to time. Lots of fun. Great recap of their history, and thanks for sharing their tunes with us today!

    ~Mary

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Mary! I know, it’s fun to get a good dose of Kinks once in a while, right? Brings back so many memories. Glad you liked my set.
      Have a great holiday weekend!

      Like

    • Hi Patrick. Glad to know that you are a Kinks fan. Hope you enjoyed the set…
      Thanks for stopping by. Have a good weekend.

      Like

    • Yay! So glad you liked my set of Kinks tunes. And yes! The Village Green Preservation Society is a great song! Has that wonderful sound of the 60s style.
      Thanks for stopping by John. Have a great weekend.

      Like

    • Yeah, Lola was a trippy song. Thanks for stopping by and checking out my Kinks set! What do you have going on for the holiday weekend? Hopefully something fun…

      Like

  5. Bwahahahahaha Love how you combined your title of the post to your music you posted. bwahahaha real good one there my friend. I haven’t heard their tunes in years! Love it & thanks so much for joining us. Don’t forget to join us next Monday too when we have our Anniversary GiveAway!!! WOO HOO

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Marie! So glad you liked my Kinky post. 🙂 It’s fun when you haven’t heard something in a long time and it brings back a rush of memories and makes you want to get up and dance!
      I’ll be there on Monday! Not sure how the Anniversary giveaway works but looking forward to checking it out.
      Have a great weekend!

      Like

    • So true Lee. Their music most definitely holds up after all this time…
      We be old, my friend… 🙂
      Hope you’re enjoying your summer. Have a great holiday weekend.
      Thanks for stopping by.

      Like

    • Hey Alana,
      So glad you enjoyed my Kinks set! When I was putting this together, I kept going “Wow, I forgot about this song!” and “Oh man, haven’t heard this one in years”… I had a good time putting it together and it makes me happy to hear when people enjoy it too.
      I LOVE “Living on the Thin Line” — such a good song. And I miss The Sopranos! That was Must See TV every Sunday night! 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by. Have a great weekend.

      Like

  6. Howdy, MICHELE ~
    There was a time when I was really big into that ‘Sleepwalker’ album. It was getting a lot of play on my turntable about the same time I was also immersing myself in the music of Paul Kossoff.

    I did a BOTB once using ‘You Really Got Me’ — The Kinks versus Van Halen, and I was shocked that The Kinks won.

    I gotta say though, seeing that live version by Van Halen, my first thought was: Damn! That David Lee Roth is really hard to watch! He makes my skin crawl. I felt like I was losing my “Man Card” just by watching that. (Don’t like his singing, either. Obviously, Eddie was the true and innovative talent in THAT band.)

    ~ D-FensDogG
    Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Stephen! Happy Friday! I don’t know much about the music of Paul Kossoff and Free. Pretty much all I know by them is All Right Now. At least that’s the only song I can think of by them. It’s definitely one of my favorite songs of all time though. Did you know that Kossoff died of a pulmonary embolism on a plane trip and that at the crematorium where he is, his epitaph reads “All Right Now”? (I love Wikipedia! 🙂 )

      That’s cool that you did a battle featuring The Kinks and Van Halen’s cover. You were surprised that the Kinks won? Why, because Van Halen’s version got so much airplay?

      Dude, I’m with ya on the Van Halen video of You Really Got Me! Man, that David Lee Roth is so completely obsessed with his dick… It’s disturbing. 🙂

      Have a great weekend. You doing anything fun for the 4th??

      Like

    • Oh Stephen…
      Your comment about DLR drudged up a memory that I wanted to forget.:p My ex and I saw DLR in concert in 2000. It was awful. Halfway through ‘Panama’ he stops singing and says ‘F**** I forgot the rest of the words!’ That concert was such a waste of money.

      ~Mary

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s pathetic Mary. In 2000, you would think he’d have grown up a bit from his party days of the 70s & 80s. Did it seem like he was wasted or just had a brain fart?

        Like

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