The Kinks are a band with an interesting story. They were part of the british invasion, having a few hits in the beginning, songs like “You Really Got Me” and “All Day and All of the Night”. Later in their career they made more experimental and complex albums, which didn’t do as well commercially and are under-appreciated to this day. They’re a band that had many ups and downs and had to work hard for what they got. We’re not experts, and we probably missed some awesome songs. Our list stays away from some of their super-hits, instead we try to shine the light on some stuff a casual listener may not know.
10. Sweet Lady Genevieve
A beautiful Ray lead ballad buried in their concept albums years. I’m not a huge fan of the Preservation act albums, but this song cuts me to the core everytime. Though Ray sing’s through a character, you can see parts of himself in the lyrics.
9. Yes Sir, No Sir
A dark anti-war song about the working class being treated like cannon fodder. A good example of the band’s lyrical growth.
8. Father Christmas
Perhaps the best Christmas song ever? Cool working class lyrics, that avoid all the petty sentimentalism of typical cash-grab xmas songs.
7. Sunny Afternoon
This was a hit, #1 in the UK. The depression of lyrics contrast with the song title.
6. Waterloo Sunset
A rather successful song for the band, Robert Christgau called the song “the most beautiful song in the English language.” The riff does have a aura of innocence, and the lyrics do seems sort of otherworldly.
Another angry political song from the album Arthur! They must of been really angry during the writing of this album.
This song is sung by Dave Davies (the other Kinks singer). It’s quite a rager, it appears to be about inhumanity and lack of morality in huge industrialized cities.
3. This Time Tomorrow
This song is on the band’s softer side, with piano and twangy guitars. It’s sung from the perspective of anxiety about the future.
Another song by Dave Davis. This is the slow song featured in the movie “The Darjeeling Limited.” It’s quite moving.
Hidden inside this song is a dialectical narrative about the changes from the Victorian to modern era. The song is sort of meta-historical in it’s commentary, shifting between old and new thought seamlessly. It’s all wrapped in a very catchy pop song.