Dallas, TX January 24, 2017 - North American syndicated Rock radio show and website InTheStudio: The Stories Behind History’s Greatest Rock Bands takes a stroll into the Seventies decade of The Kinks with lead singer, songwriter Ray Davies on the 40th anniversary of their remarkable comeback album Sleepwalker.
The Kinks were probably a lock for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction for their British Invasion Sixties output alone, but the first half of the Seventies were tough going for them until reclaiming their rock bona fides, starting with 1977’s Sleepwalker and much of what turned up on 1978’s Misfits.
Historically lumped into the mid-Sixties British Invasion bands with The Beatles, Rolling Stones and The Who, London’s lovable Kinks nevertheless took a considerably different unintended path, particularly in America. At the era-defining iconic events from 1967 to 1977 Montereyy Pop Festival, Woodstock, Altamont, Isle of Wight Festivals, Watkins Glen, Day on the Green where were The Kinks? Inexplicabbly, this band which had reeled off a string of Top Ten hits in both the UK and US with “You Really Got Me”, “All Day and All of the Night”, “Tired of Waiting for You”, “Sunny Afternoon”, “Victoria”, “Apeman” and the timeless “Lola”, all which had helped to define rock’n’roll on radio in the latter half of the Sixties, went MIA there on the entire first half of the Seventies.
But it certainly was not for lack of trying. The exquisite “Celluloid Heroes” appeared on The Kinks’ 1972 album Everybody’s in Showbiz, yet still had disappointing US sales. Ray Davies then wrote a series of musical shows, including 1973’s Preservation Act 1 (a double album, no less); Preservation Act 2 followed a year later; and Soap Opera bubbled up in 1975. Not a one broke into the US Top Fifty sales.
When the opportunity to record for veteran record man Clive Davis’ Arista label appeared in 1976, it came with a caveat: no concept albums. Songs including “Sleepwalker” and “Juke Box Music”, with Ray Davies giving the good-natured nod to critics who felt that his preceding five year output had been too precious for rock’n’roll, helped to put The Kinks back on powerful US rock radio in 1977, which in turn permitted them to headline major US arenas for the first time ever. The resultant momentum continued into what became the legendary band’s sixteenth album, Misfits, in Summer 1978.
Ray Davies shares with In The Studio host Redbeard the desire of The Kinks to avoid the pitfalls of gatekeepers in order to deliver their music.
“It’s all the other people you have to go through. I’m talking about media people, record companies, TV, Radio. They’re the people who are judgmental on this... I have always had this theory about playing live. It’s the one occasion that you can be one on one with your fans without going through all the business of relying on somebody to cut the records, someone to press the records, to do the artwork, then to play the record.” - Ray Davies