Everybody is talking about the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show this year, but little has been mentioned about another very influential band who also debuted in 1964. The Kinks’ self-titled first release appeared 50 years, and that British Invasion band continues to wield more disciples.
Led by Ray Davies and his brother Dave, the Kinks scored many hits and two dozen albums over a thirty year career. Their distinct British sound can be heard in popular rock bands today, such as the Kooks, the Arctic Monkeys and Pulp.
Here are the ten best songs in the extensive catalog of the Kinks.
“No More Looking Back” from Schoolboys in Disgrace: This mellow, reflective tune closes the band’s concept album, whose cartoonish cover was criticized as one of the worst ever.
“Superman” from One for the Road: The live version of this track exudes more energy than the studio cut, which was one of the Low Budget offerings.
“Stop Your Sobbing” from Kinks: Ray Davies’ girlfriend, Chrissie Hynde, reached the top ten with the Pretenders’ version.
“Catch Me Now I’m Falling” from Low Budget: The chorus references Captain America, who appears on the same album as fellow hero Superman.
“I’m Not Like Everybody Else” from The Great Lost Kinks Album: Originally intended for the Animals, the Kinks let Dave take the lead on this enduring classic.
“Jack the Idiot Dunce” from Schoolboys in Disgrace: The band shows off its humorous side on this Beach Boy-ish pop tune about “that simpleton standing over there.”
“Juke Box Music” from Sleepwalker: This underrated tune, along with the catchy title track, brought the band back to its rock roots in the mid-70s.
“Low Budget” from Low Budget: The title track from the group’s most successful studio album is a fun number that makes a serious point.
“Celluloid Heroes” from Everybody’s in Show Biz: “You can see all the stars as they walk down Hollywood Boulevard” is the infectious chorus in this ballad that became a crowd favorite at concerts.
“Sunny Afternoon” from Face to Face: Years before Freddie Mercury and Queen sang about “Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon” on A Night at the Opera, the Davies brothers were recording this hit.