The Kinks are an English rock group formed on March 17th 1963, and categorised in the US as a British Invasion band. The Kinks have been cited as one of the most important and influential rock bands of all time.
The Kinks first gained prominence in 1964 with their third single, the hit "You Really Got Me", written by Ray Davies. The band's name came from their "kinky" dress sense of leather capes and boots worn on stage. The group's original line-up consisted of Ray Davies on lead vocals/rhythm guitar/keyboards, Dave Davies on lead guitar/vocals, Pete Quaife on backing vocals/bass guitar, and Mick Avory on drums and percussion. Following Quaife's departure in 1969, the band centred around the three remaining original members and frequently changed bassists and keyboardists. In 1984, friction between Dave Davies and Mick Avory resulted in the latter's departure, leaving only the brothers from the original line-up. However, the increasingly deteriorating relationship between the Davies brothers, together with a string of unsuccessful records, led to the break-up of the band in 1996. In late 2008, Ray Davies confirmed that the band is reuniting and gearing for a possible new album and tour.
The band's early hard-driving singles set a standard in the mid-1960s for rock and roll, while albums such as Face to Face, Something Else, The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society, Arthur, Lola versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One and Muswell Hillbillies and their accompanying singles, are highly regarded by fans, critics, and peers, and are considered amongst the most influential recordings of the era. During the New Wave era, groups such as The Jam, The Knack, and The Pretenders covered Kinks songs and Britpop acts such as Blur, Oasis and Supergrass have cited them as a major influence. Many modern bands such as The Killers, The Libertines, and Franz Ferdinand acknowledge The Kinks and Ray Davies' songwriting skills. In the VH1 documentary HEAVY: the Story of Metal The Kinks are mentioned as one of the early bands that can be traced with a heavy metal sound.
As self-professed Kinks fan Pete Townshend said for The History of Rock 'n' Roll: "The Kinks were much more quintessentially English. I always think that Ray Davies should one day be Poet Laureate. He invented a new kind of poetry and a new kind of language for pop writing that influenced me from the very, very, very beginning."