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Books  >>  Biography

Rob Jovanovic

God Save the Kinks

Rob Jovanovic God Save The Kinks A Biography
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Biographical note:

Rob Jovanovic has written about music for over a decade, contributing to, among others: MOJO, Q, Level, Record Collector and Uncut magazines. His previous books have covered artists as diverse and unique as Kate Bush, Beck, R.E.M., Pavement, Nirvana, The Velvet Underground and Big Star.

Main description:

The Kinks released their third single in August 1964. After a little-noticed debut and a follow-up that had failed to chart at all, Pye Records were threatening to annul the group's contract. But with its unforgettable distorted guitar riff, "You Really Got Me" went on to reach No.1. Followed by a string of hits, it marked the breakthrough of one of Britain's most innovative and influential bands, and a turning point in the fortunes of two brothers whose troubled story is as tumultuous and characterful as the music they produced: Ray and Dave Davies. Ray and Dave were born into a deeply musical working-class family in London's Muswell Hill, a city recovering from the bombs and privations of the Second World War. More than any other musicians of the Sixties, they crafted the soundtrack that made it swing again. In songs such as "Dedicated Follower of Fashion", "Sunny Afternoon" - which toppled The Beatles to become the hit of Summer 1966 - "Waterloo Sunset", Days" and "Lola", they drew on music hall, folk and rhythm and blues to craft a peculiarly English pop idiom, inspiring generations of songwriters from David Bowie to Jarvis Cocker and Damon Albarn. Poked by sibling rivalry, furious on-stage violence, walkouts, overdoses, a career-throttling ban from the US, gross self-indulgence, and the band's curious rebirth as Eighties stadium rockers, the story laid bare in God Save The Kinks is one of the greatest in British pop history.

Review quote:

"Virtually every page unfolds a story of booze, bad luck or a punch-up...the drama grow's madder as the years pass." รข?? Pat Gilbert, Q Magazine

Review quote:

"While the Kinks were one of the most influential bands to come out of Britain in the 1960s, their legacy has always been overshadowed by contemporaries such as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and The Who. With this biography, journalist Jovanovic (Big Star: The Story of Rock's Forgotten Band; Kate Bush: The Biography) combines his professional skills with a passion to bring the band's story to life, resulting in a complex narrative that spans 50 years. Singer and lyricist Ray Davies, known for distinctly English character studies, is the most famous member of the band, followed by his brother and bandmate, Dave. The Kinks created early garage pop singles that led to concept albums in the 1970s and an eventual rebirth as arena-filling rockers during the days of new wave. The author uses interviews with band members, photographers, producers, and backing musicians to chronicle a story filled with rock star triumphs and tribulations fueled by a deep sibling rivalry and tension that ebbed and flowed over the decades. VERDICT ­Jovanovic's thorough biography, while lighter on critical and musical analysis, provides a complete and entertaining narrative of the history of one of rock's most influential, and sometimes unsung, bands." - Library Journal

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