Music Monday: The Kinks, Reissued

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The Kinks in 1965

This week, you should (re)listen to the Kinks. On April 12, one of the best bands to come out of the British Invasion will have its first three albums reissued as two-disc deluxe editions that will contain outtakes, demos, interviews and BBC session tracks (in addition to the original album recordings, of course).

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Sanctuary Records plans to re-release even more Kinks albums over the next few months. But these first three—the group’s self-titled 1964 debut as well as 1965’s Kinda Kinks and Kinks Kontroversy—provide a solid introduction to a band that has always had its achievements overshadowed by the Beatles.

It’s hard not to draw a Beatles comparison, really. When the Kinks’ “You Really Got Me” hit U.S. charts in the summer of 1964, America had already fallen for the cuter, quirkier mop-topped foursome.  But the Beatles were still in their happy-go-lucky “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” phase; the Kinks were already offering something a little bit harder. In fact, the distorted guitar riffs on “You Really Got Me” might just as easily fit on a rock song today.

The Kinks quickly followed up with “All Day and All of the Night” in the winter of 1964.  At the time, U.S. was still several months away from hearing Mick Jagger belt out “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” But the sexually charged ode to anti-consumerism would eventually come out, and the Stones would overtake the Kinks as the preferred alternative to the Beatles. The nice girls liked John and Paul, the bad girls liked Mick and Keith. And poor ol’ Ray Davies was left without a date.

Like most bands toward the end of the 1960s, the Kinks went all weird and hippie-like.  (“Waterloo Sunset” practically demands that you put on a crown of flowers and dance around barefoot.) But these first three albums show the Kinks as they originally appeared: as the rougher, messier side of early British rock.

Here are three Kinks songs, one from each of the reissued albums:

“I Gotta Move” (1964)


“Nothin’ in the World Can Stop Me From Worryin’ ‘Bout That Girl” (1965)

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“Where Have all The Good Times Gone?” (1965)

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