The Kinks Vinyl, CD & tapes by The Kinks at Norman Records
Though they burst on to the mid-1960s British Invasion scene with a trio of brilliant, era-defining singles in 'You Really Got Me', 'All of the Day and All of the Night' and 'Tired of Waiting For You', their real artistic success came when they started pushing their sound into new and original places. They increasingly adopted an overtly English sensibility, influenced by music hall and Noel Coward, as Ray Davies’ lyrics began to take on a uniquely English perspective with musings on everyday life and quirky eccentric character studies.
This culminated in perhaps their finest album, The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society which took this approach to its natural conclusion on a whimsical song cycle that lamented the passing of older English traditions. This was, perhaps, the defining era of the band in which they retained an ability to write classic pop hits ('Sunny Afternoon', 'Autumn Almanac' and 'Waterloo Sunset' to name but three ) but also made standalone great albums, at times when the long player format was starting to gain popularity in what was always a more singles-based market.
Later albums retreated back to a simple more rock-and-roll sound as the band finally (after being banned from touring there for most of the 1960s) achieved significant success in America. They left behind a huge and varied back catalogue which was an obvious influence on future, similarly England-centric artists such as Madness, Blur, The Jam and Pulp. But their influence extended to punk and hard rock too, with the likes of The Clash, Ramones and even Van Halen citing them as an influence.