You have to love The Kinks though – they’re unfairly put to the side when ‘60s beat groups are mentioned. Usually, there’s The Beatles and The Stones, and nothing else. For me, The Kinks fit nicely in the middle between those two bands – they match the songwriting peaks of The Beatles (not as consistently as Lennon & McCartney, but certain songs are the arguably the equal of The Beatles’ singles), but they retain the rough edge (and murky production values) of The Stones.
This particular compilation is pretty poor, however. Their cover of Louie Louie is listed on the sleeve as ‘Lovie Lovie’, which makes you wonder what sort of moron put the sleeve together, when they can misspell one of rock and roll’s universal staples. Secondly, Lola is missing from the collection – even though this was put together a year after that single’s release. It is a budget release though, so Pye Records presumably only allowed the release of their older ‘60s output.
I think more than any other ‘60s band – The Beatles and The Stones included – the template for riff-driven guitar-based rock can be traced back to The Kinks. Dave Davies is a fantastic guitarist in this respect – coming up with short guitar hooks for his brother to write songs around.
During the formation of Led Zeppelin in 1968, Jimmy Page was undecided whether he should form a full-on heavy rock band, or a lighter folk rock band akin to Pentangle. Page played as a session musician on The Kinks’ debut album, and I don’t see it as a coincidence that he then went on to be the flag-bearer throughout the ‘70s for Dave Davies’ brand of riff-based heavy rock.
Hit: You Really Got Me
Hidden Gem: Victoria