The Kinks Songs 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’ songs ranked.

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

20. Victoria (Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire), 1969)

“Not only one of the Kinks’ best songs but surely an all time great. Croquet lawns village greens Victoria was my queen;suck on that Take That!”

19. Tired of Waiting for You (Kinda Kinks, 1965)

“Their 2nd No1 single a very different sound to the first a bit more laid back with lyrics of sadness about waiting for someone you love. Such a brilliant song that has inspired many equally excellent covers.”

18. Better Things (Give the People What They Want, 1981)

“The optimism in this song is beautiful and it makes me feel happy every time I hear it. Severely underrated though. One of their most beautiful and melodic songs”

17. Dead End Street (Face to Face, 1966)

“The message behind this song, I can’t describe it, it just makes me feel humbled. Between that, and a really catchy beat, I love this song. One of my favorites.”

See more: The Kinks Albums Ranked

16. Destroyer (Give the People What They Want, 1981)

“Really this should be in top 5 it’s so addicting. Come on people this is a great kinks song man some people don’t know the definitely of music”

15. Do You Remember Walter? (The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society, 1968)

“Do You Remember Walter?” is a powerfully affecting piece of nostalgia regarding the loss of childhood friendships and how youthful innocence turns into tired adulthood. Again, another brilliant song which works best in its original context on the album it was pulled from.”

14. Death of a Clown (Something Else by the Kinks, 1967)

“Death of a Clown” tells with devastating candor about the woes of loneliness and sorrow through it’s story of an alcoholic circus clown. It remains one of the most telling three minute format singles about seeing the world through the jaded lenses of substance abuse and depression.”

13. Celluloid Heroes (Everybody’s in Show-Biz, 1972)

“One thing that I greatly admire about Ray Davies – lead singer of The Kinks is that when it comes the music business, he isn’t afraid to deviate from the formula. As a result of this, The Kinks became one of the most innovative bands of the Rock Era.”

12. Some Mother’s Son (Arthur (Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire, 1969)

“Heartbreaking song. The background vocals sound like wailing/crying to me. The song’s sound is so very English, balancing proud military sound with traditional home music.”

11. See My Friends (Kinda Kinks, 1965)

“In my opinion, this song belongs on the first page, if not the top ten. Has a very unique sound which drew the attention of the likes of Pete Townshend. I love the themes of loneliness and grief expressed in this song. Was one of the few songs at the time that Ray was proud of.”

10. Shangri-La (Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire), 1969)

“The song describes a man named Arthur, the title character from the album. Arthur lives in a house which is called, somewhat sarcastically, a Shangri-La. In the beginning of the song, the Shangri-La appears to be a true paradise but, as the song continues, it becomes clear that Arthur’s house is as much of a prison as it is a haven.”

9. 20th Century Man (Muswell Hillbillies, 1971)

“If this song strikes a chord, then Other Peoples’ Lives will also. The themes return again and again with Ray and Dave, and they always seem fresh, with a new twist and even a tip of the hat to others whose voices have been added to those critical of the dehumanizing and depersonalizing trend of 21st Century society.”

8. A Well Respected Man (Kinda Kinks, 1965)

“Doesn’t head anywhere? Pah, all the development that’s needed is in the bass-line, which, downtrodden at first, subtly reaches for a higher note when the titular character’s yearning and appreciation of the mundanities of life are finally revealed. ‘Cause despite the irony and his ‘oh-so-conservative life’, this guy’s a human just like anyone else, subject to this world’s pipeline just like everyone else. Could be (and probably is) you and me, y’know?”

7. Days (The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society, 1968)

“An anthem for when you’ve accepted that somebody is gone from your life for good, and you can look back on everything that transpired between you and that person and find peace in the good times you shared, regardless of how things ended.”

See more: Blur Albums Ranked

6. Sunny Afternoon (Face to Face, 1966)

“The Kinks return with a Ray Davies penned song about an old aristocrat left with nothing after a visit from the taxman. It’s a bona fide Kinks klassic, thanks to Davies’ imaginative lyrics and the song’s unique music hall feel. The lyrics perfectly suit the idea of a rogue, exemplified by his girlfriend running off with ‘tales’ of drunkenness and cruelty. He is left with the only solace of the summer sun and a cold beer to mull over his thoughts and lost fortune. There’s a definite dark, atmospheric air to it. The instrumental is wonderful thanks to the combination of bass and piano leading to that distinctive descending rhythm. It’s quiet and unassuming, but it practically seethes with emotion.”

5. Lola (Lola, 1970)

“Musically, “Lola” found The Kinks leaning into the Americana influences that had occasionally popped up in their earlier work. The track had a rustic quality that paired naturally with their rock impulses, and featured one of Ray Davies’ most engaging melodies. Most notably, the song’s bridge is a minor masterpiece of its own. Had it been nothing but babble lyrically, “Lola” still might have made the top ten in the singles charts.”

4. All Day and All of the Night (Kinks, 1964)

“This song is awesome! So what if the acerbic songwriting isn’t in place yet! If I ever have children instead of listening to all of that kids songs nonsense, I’m playing them all the early Kinks! “I Gotta Move” is upbeat and frenetic as well! I have a feeling Ray Davies would mock my enthusiasm for it! Sometimes though, “you’ve gotta run”!

3. You Really Got Me (Kinks, 1964)

“Heavy raw guitar sound of their 3rd single and The Kinks 1st hit, No1 in the UK in 1964 and a US No7 hit too. It’s difficult to imagine how radical this song was back in 1964 it so different to the many ‘safe pop’ songs of the time and influenced a new-genre Heavy Metal! Probably their best-known songs!”

2. Come Dancing (State of Confusion, 1983)

“A scintillating remaster of a terrific collection of songs, “Come Dancing” sounds glorious. For a group that usually comes in fourth on the list of the greatest British rock bands (Beatles, Stones, Who…), this disc collates their later period.”

1. Waterloo Sunset (Something Else, 1967)

“Hands down most beautiful pop song ever written. From Ray’s lyrics and perfect voice to Dave’s legendary guitar work…this is classic pop rock defined. It doesn’t and never will get better than this. God save the Kinks!”