The Kinks Albums Ranked

The Kinks are an English rock band formed in Muswell Hill, north London, in 1964 by brothers Ray and Dave Davies. They are regarded as one of the most influential rock bands of the 1960s. The band emerged during the height of British rhythm and blues and Merseybeat and were briefly part of the British Invasion of the United States until their touring ban in 1965 (as a result of constant fighting between the brothers). Their third single, the Ray Davies penned “You Really Got Me”, became an international hit, topping the charts in the United Kingdom and reaching the Top 10 in the United States. Their music was influenced by a wide range of genres, including American R&B and rock and roll initially, and later adopting British music hall, folk, and country. They gained a reputation for reflecting English culture and lifestyle, fuelled by Ray Davies’ wittily observational writing style,[and are considered one of the most influential groups of the period.
The Kinks have had five Top 10 singles on the US Billboard chart. Nine of their albums charted in the Top 40. In the UK, they have had seventeen Top 20 singles and five Top 10 albums. Four Kinks albums have been certified gold by the RIAA and the band has sold over 50 million records worldwide. Among numerous honors, they received the Ivor Novello Award for “Outstanding Service to British Music”. In 1990, the original four members of The Kinks were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as well as the UK Music Hall of Fame in November 2005. In 2018, after years of ruling out a reunion, Ray Davies and Dave Davies announced they were working to reform the Kinks. Here are all The Kinks albums ranked.

Enjoy listening to British rhythm and blues with The Kinks. Click below and enjoy one of the most influential bands of the 1960s.

10. Give the People What They Want (1981)

“Give The People What They Want was first released in August 1981 on Arista Records in the US and is one of, if not, my favorite Kinks albums. It’s basically a dark album with a hard edge up to Better Things which is the most upbeat song on the album. There’s not a single bad song on the album and every song is a masterpiece. The only thing that I would’ve loved would’ve been if they had put the slightly longer version of Better Things from the single as well as it’s flip side Massive Reductions on the cd. Massive Reductions was redone for the Word Of Mouth album in 1984. The original single version was a different recording with a different feel and with an extra verse.”

9. The Kink Kontroversy (1965)

“Always one of my favorite Kinks albums, I was glad to see Kinks Kontroversy made available in Deluxe 2 CD format. I own the original Castle/sanctuary CD reissue, but this set has VASTLY improved sound. While I cannot be sure they didn’t use some compression for this release, the latest deluxe CD set seems to retain the dynamics that were present in the original Pye vinyl but completely lost in the horrible, tinny Castle/Sanctuary CD issue. This is definitely the one to get!”

8. Misfits (1978)

“Misfits was the band’s second album for Arista Records and it was originally released in May 1978. The UK and US editions also had differences with a slightly different song placing and a different edit of Live Life. This edition sticks to the UK version. It does have the single version of Live Life like a different edit from the US album too. This version also includes four bonus songs such as the Live Life, A Rock “n” Roll Fantasy and Black Messiah single edits as well as the single only Father Christmas. The band was going through line up changes while the album was being recorded and came close to breaking up although thankfully, that didn’t happen. There are one or two songs here that aren’t favorites but even they are okay. Most of the album is very strong and the album also did quite well for the band chart wise.”

7. Low Budget (1979)

“This is one of my favorite Kinks albums. I finally got a very good copy on Vinyl. In my humble opinion there isn’t a weak track on this LP. “Catch Me Now I’m Falling” and “(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman” seemed to get most of the airplay back in 1979-1980. My favorites were the title track “Low Budget” and “A Gallon Of Gas.” It’s a great listen from start to finish.”

6. Muswell Hillbillies (1971)

“Of all the great Kinks albums, and there are many, this one always hits closest to home with me. Basically a concept album of working class Brits longing for American life, but so much more than that. Ray Davies belongs in a songwriting class with Dylan and Springsteen. His characters, rather they be mentally ill or just diluisuonal are always intriguing and compelling. But for those who don’t look to get deep there is plenty to enjoy here too. This may not contain any radio hits, but who needs those anyway.”

See more: Jethro Tull Albums Ranked

5. Face to Face (1966)

““Face to Face”, rightfully considered one of the best albums of the 60s, was also Ray Davies’ breakthrough album which announced a new style and direction for the Kinks. It was the first album that wasn’t a rush-job for Pye, a label that considered a week enough time to produce an album. This resulted in the first three albums being a bit of a hodge podge. With the Kinks one of the great dividing lines is the breakdown caused by exhaustion which Ray Davies suffered in March of 1966. Performers were generally treated horribly by labels in those days and the Kinks had been sent on an endless whirl of local and international tours ever since “You Really Got Me”, all in the name of promotion. Just before his collapse, the band had done television appearances and live shows in Britain before departing on a concert tour of Austria and Switzerland.”

4. Something Else by The Kinks (1967)

“Something Else by The Kinks was first released in September 1967. It is a bit of a transitional album with the band’s then producer Shel Talmy leaving early on and Ray Davies taking over production duties as he would for the rest of the band’s run. The original release is a fantastic album from beginning to end. Probably the most known songs on this album are: David Watts, Death of a Clown and Waterloo Sunset although I like everything else on here just as well. This deluxe edition includes both the mono and stereo mixes as well as non album singles, alternate versions and BBC performances.”

3. Arthur or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire (1969)

“This is the perfect companion to Village Green, again reflecting on the lost or very soon to be lost traditions and ways or our once great island. This time a broader perspective with the loosely themed concept flavoured with reminiscence of the days of empire. Musically and lyrically one of their absolute finest moments.”

2. Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One (1970)

“Fortunately, LOLA VERSUS POWERMAN & THE MONEYGOROUND generated a renaissance for the Kinks. Not only did “Lola” give the band their first Top 10 hit in five years, when the album peaked at No. 35 it was their best showing since their 1965 debut album. And with good reason, this is a terrific album with some of their best songs. Dave contributes two songs, the lovely “Strangers” and the hard-rocking “Rats.” Ray’s standout tracks include the poignant “Get Back in Line,” the melancholy “This Time Tomorrow” and “A Long Way from Home,” and the follow-up single “Apeman” (which stalled at a disappointing No. 45–although it went Top 10 in the U.K.).”

1.The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society (1968)

“I enjoyed the mono disc of the album. Played loud, it reminded me of so much of Phil Spector’s famous Wall of Sound recordings from the early- and mid-1960s. Every instrument came at you from everywhere, not like the early attempts at stereo separation which created reather odd effects sometimes. Here, one hears – finally! – the full power of Mick Avory’s inspired drumming and syncopation, paired with Pete Quaife’s subtle but piercing bass lines anchoring the Davies brothers’ lead and rhythm guitar work. Truly enjoyable to listen to. The stereo disk…meh. I was immediately spoiled for the mono versions.”