The Kinks

The Kinks were formed by brothers Ray and Dave Davies along with schoolmate Pete Quaife. First known as the Ray Davies Quartet, the band went through a series of lead vocalists, the most notable being Rod Stewart, who sang with the group on at least one occasion in 1962. Shortly before signing a recording contract The Kinks were joined by Mick Avory on drums and percussion.

The Kinks initial success came with the release of "You Really Got Me", boosted by a performance on the U.K. television show Ready Steady Go!. The loud, distorted guitar riff — achieved by Dave's slicing of the speaker cones in his Elpico amplifier gave the song its signature, gritty guitar sound. "You Really Got Me" arguably provided a blueprint for rock music.

Ray Davies's songwriting was to develope from the hard-driving rock numbers toward songs rich in social commentary, observation, and idiosyncratic character study, all with a uniquely English flavour, highlighted in songs such "Sunny Afternoon" "Dead End Street" and "Waterloo Sunset".

During the New Wave era, groups such as The Jam, The Knack, and The Pretenders covered Kinks songs and Britpop acts such as Blur, Oasis and Supergrass have cited them as a major influence. Many modern bands such as The Killers, The Libertines, and Franz Ferdinand acknowledge The Kinks and Ray Davies' songwriting skills.