In 1966, Ray Davies sang, "When you're old and gray, you will remember what they said: 'that two girls are too many, three's a crowd and four you're dead.'" Kind of eerie, that now on his 67th birthday, he is the survivor of three weddings.
In the '60s, he was London's most beloved pop songwriter; Lennon, McCartney, and Jagger admired and envied his biting lyrics and stinging hooks. The Who's early style, volume and sexual swag(ger) can be traced to Pete Townshend's affinity for the Kinks.
They could've been the biggest band in the world. Not only did they lay the groundwork for punk rock and power pop but they drafted the first plans on "How to Self-Destruct." Every time they were at the top of their game, somehow Davies and crew would let it all crumble about them -- only to rise again, only to fall again.
On Davies' birthday, we offer five Klassic Kinks Kuts. Hopefully, someone in charge of Britannia will read this and knight the restless gent.
"You Really Got Me"
Some people call this the birth of metal and/or punk. It's primal and animalistic. If you don't love it, you're mental.
Ray Davies at his lazy, glorious best. Scope the out-of-place Flying-V.
While America was going to San Fransisco with flowers in her hair, Davies and company were laying down this melancholic beauty. Gotta love the bare-bones guitar playing and ghostly harmonies.
"Sitting in My Hotel"
Wealth, fame, and isolation. On this track, Davies sounds further from humanity than Bowie's Major Tom ever did.
"People Take Pictures of Each Other"
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A critique on a self-obsessed society that is 1,000 more Facebook tags true today.