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Dave Davies

What George Harrison was to the Beatles and John Entwistle was to the Who, Dave Davies was to the Kinks -- a powerfully effective instrumentalist and a talented songwriter who often played second fiddle to another tunesmith whose work more readily connected with the band's audience. Although he took a largely subordinate role to his brother Ray Davies in the Kinks, Dave's fierce guitar work and hoarse but effective background (and occasional lead) vocals were key elements of the band's appeal. Dave also occasionally wrote songs for the Kinks that showed him to be a writer of considerable skill and wit, if not always up to the same level as Ray.

David Russell Gordon Davies was born on February 3, 1947 in the Muswell Hill section of London, England. Dave immersed himself in skiffle and early rock, and in 1963 he and bassist Pete Quaife formed the Kinks. It wasn't long before Dave's brother (and frequent rival) Ray Davies joined the band, and with the addition of Mick Avory on drums, the first edition of the Kinks was complete. The band landed a contract with Pye Records, and after a pair of singles that flopped, the Kinks found their sound in August 1964 with "You Really Got Me," which was powered by Dave's distorted lead guitar and a simple but muscular guitar riff. It was the first in a string of great 45s the band would release over the next several years, and while Ray was the Kinks' principal songwriter, Dave contributed more than his share of memorable tunes. In the late '60s, Dave made some solo singles that met with critical success in Britain, although they were unknown in the U.S. "Death of a Clown" (also included on the Kinks' Something Else LP) made number three on the British charts in 1967, and the follow-up, "Susannah's Still Alive," also did fairly well.

Dave considered making a solo album at this time, but after a couple other solo singles flopped, he seemed to lose heart and abandoned his plans (some unreleased solo tracks from this period turned up on the obscure Kinks bootleg Good Luck Charm). Dave finally began a solo career in earnest with a strong mainstream rock effort, 1980's AFL1-3603, followed by 1981's Glamour and 1983's Chosen People. These albums found limited commercial success despite modest but favorable reviews. Released in 1987, The Album That Never Was collected Dave's rare single sides from the '60s into a facsimile of what a Dave Davies solo effort might have been like. His work was neatly summarized on Unfinished Business: Dave Davies Kronikles 1963-1998. In 1996, the Kinks announced their retirement, and the hard-rocking Bug from 2002 was Dave's first album of new material in nearly 20 years. Davies suffered a major stroke in 2004 and used composing and painting as therapy during the lengthy recovery period that followed. The new song "God in My Brain" was inspired by the stroke and appeared on the 2006 compilation Kinked. In 2007, Davies released his first full-length post-stroke studio album, Fractured Mindz, on the Koch label.

In 2011, BBC Four aired the revealing documentary Dave Davies: Kinkdom Come, in which he was interviewed at length about his time with the Kinks, his relationship with Ray, and the spirituality that helped him through the aforementioned period of serious ill health. June 2013 brought I Will Be Me, an album that balanced hard-edged rockers with more sedate, contemplative material, all of which displayed a rich vein of nostalgia. In February 2014, Davies played his first U.K. concert since 2001, and he returned that autumn with Rippin' Up Time, a record produced by occasional Wondermints member David Nolte. In December 2015, Dave Davies played a concert at London's Islington Assembly Hall, where the pleasantly shocked audience saw his brother Ray Davies join his brother on-stage for a performance of "You Really Got Me." The show led to widespread speculation that the Kinks would reunite; that failed to happen, but Dave did collaborate on an album with his son Russ Davies, 2017's Open Road, and Davies announced a U.S. tour in support. ~ Richie Unterberger & Mark Deming
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Fortis Green

1. Let Me Be

2. True Phenomenon

3. Voices

4. Away from You

5. Fortis Green

6. Love in the World

7. Listen to the Spirit

8. Soothe Sayer

x

Track List: Fragile

1. Astral Nightmare

2. Violet Dreams

3. I'm Sorry

4. Give Something Back

5. Hope

6. Bright Lights

7. Open up Your Heart

8. Wait

9. No More Mysteries

10. Lost in Your Arms

11. Long Lonely Road

x

Track List: Rainy Day in June

1. Life After Life (Transformation) [Live]

2. Till the End of the Day (Live)

3. I Need You (Live)

4. Creepin' Jean (Live)

5. The Blues (Live)

6. You're Looking Fine (Live)

7. Tired of Waiting for You (Live)

8. Set Me Free (Live)

9. See My Friends (Live)

10. Last of the Steam Powered Trains (Live)

11. Dead End Street (Live)

12. Death of a Clown (Live)

13. Bug (Live)

14. Living on a Thin Line (Live)

15. All Day and All of the Night (Live)

16. I'm Not Like Everybody Else (Live)

17. Twist and Shout (Live)

18. You Really Got Me (Live)

x

Track List: Rippin' Up Time

1. Ripping Up Time

2. Semblance Of Sanity

3. King Of Karaoke

4. Front Room

5. Johnny Adams

6. Nosey Neighbours

7. Mindwash

8. Between The Towers

9. In The Old Days

10. Through My Window

x

Track List: I Will Be Me

1. Little Green Amp

2. Livin' In The Past

3. The Healing Boy

4. Midnight In L.A.

5. In The Mainframe

6. Energy Fields

7. When I First Saw You

8. The Actress

9. Erotic Neurotic

10. You Can Break My Heart

11. Walker Through The World

12. Remember The Future

13. Cote Du Rhone (I Will Be Me)

x

Track List: Hidden Treasures

1. Susannah's Still Alive

2. This Man He Weeps Tonight

3. Mindless Child Of Motherhood

4. Hold My Hand

5. Do You Wish To Be A Man

6. Are You Ready

7. Creeping Jean

8. Crying

9. Lincoln County

10. Mr. Shoemaker's Daughter

11. Mr. Reporter

12. Groovy Movies

13. There's No Life Without Love

14. I Am Free

15. Death Of A Clown

16. Love Me Till The Sun Shines

17. Susannah's Still Alive

18. Funny Face

19. Lincoln County

20. There's No Life Without Love

21. Hold My Hand

22. Creeping Jean

23. This Man He Weeps Tonight

24. Mindless Child Of Motherhood

25. Mr. Reporter

26. Hold My Hand

27. Good Luck Charm

x

Track List: Chosen People

1. Tapas

2. Charity

3. Mean Disposition

4. Love Gets You

5. Danger Zone

6. True Story

7. Take One More Chance

8. Freedom Lies

9. Matter Of Decision

10. Is It Any Wonder

11. Fire Burning

12. Chosen People

13. Cold Winter

x

Track List: Fractured Mindz

1. This Is The Time

2. Free Me

3. All About Me

4. Come To The River

5. Giving

6. Remember Who You Are

7. The Waiting Hours

8. Rock Siva

9. The Blessing

10. Fractured Mindz

11. Goin In My Brain

x

Track List: Kinked

1. Unfinished Business

2. Living On A Thin Line

3. Picture Book

4. Fortis Green

5. Love Gets You

6. This Man He Weeps Tonight

7. Death Of A Clown

8. Suzannah's Still Alive

9. Hold My Hand

10. Give Me Love, Give Me Peace On Earth

11. Strangers

12. Too Much On My Mind

13. When The Wind Blows (Emergency)

14. God In My Brain

15. Rock Me, Rock You

x

Track List: Transformation

1. Transformation I (Live)

2. Whose Foolin' Who (Live)

3. Til the End of the Day (Live)

4. I Need You (Live)

5. The Blues (Live)

6. See My Friends (Live)

7. Dead End Street (Live)

8. Rock You, Rock Me (Live)

9. Flowers in the Rain (Live)

10. Death of a Clown (Live)

11. Picture Book (Live)

12. It Ain't Over 'Til It's Done (Live)

13. Bug (Live)

14. Transformation II (Live)

15. Livin' on a Thin Line (Live)

16. Father Christmas (Live)

17. You Really Got Me (Live)

18. Outro (Live)

x

Track List: Bug

1. Who's Foolin' Who

2. It Aint Over, 'till It's Done!

3. The Lie!

4. Let Me Be

5. Displaced Person

6. Rock You, Rock Me

7. Flowers In The Green

8. Fortis Green

9. Why?!!

10. The Phenomenon

11. Bug

12. De-Bug

13. Life After Life (Transformation)

x

Track List: Live At The Bottom Line

1. I Need You

2. She's Got Everything

3. Beautiful Delilah

4. Creeping Jean

5. Good To See Yer

6. Look Through Any Doorway

7. Love Me Till The Sunshines

8. Tired Of Waiting

9. The Kiss

10. Milk Cow Blues

11. Imaginations Real

12. Dave's Got His Reading Glasses

13. Wicked Annabella

14. Picture Book

15. Death Of A Clown

16. All The Kinks Songs

17. Too Much On My Mind

18. Strangers

19. Psycho Lounge

20. One Night With You

21. Living On A Thin Line

22. All Day And All Of The Night

23. Encore

24. Money

25. David Watts

26. I'm Not Like Everybody Else

27. You Really Got Me

x

Track List: Glamour 1981

1. Is This The Only Way?

2. Glamour

3. Reveal Yourself

4. World Of Our Own

5. Body

6. Too Serious

7. Telepathy

8. 7th Channel

9. Eastern Eyes

x

Track List: AFL1-3063

1. Where Do You Come From

2. Doing The Best For You

3. Visionary Dreamer

4. Nothin' More To Lose

5. The World Is Changing Hands

6. Move Over

7. See The Beast

8. Imaginations Real

9. In You I Believe

10. Run

11. Wild Man

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Love love love!!!
Report as inappropriate
Underrated; his guitar work was an integral part of the Kinks...e.g. Victoria. Not as good as his brother, but then, who is? For some reason, I always loved Death of a Clown...end of the 60s malaise?
Report as inappropriate
Glamour 1981 was/is friggen GREAT!

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