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One for the Road

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Album Review

The Kinks' scattershot U.S. career never fully flourished like that of their British Invasion peers. The most quintessentially British of British bands — especially in the increasingly nostalgic songs of vocalist/rhythm guitarist Ray Davies — the Kinks enjoyed a spike in popularity in America in the late '70s and early '80s. The gold-selling 1980 double live album One for the Road is a fascinating document of trailblazing elder statesmen who paved the way for heavy metal and punk, but never felt a glorious pop song was out of their grasp. It also proves that Dave Davies is a criminally underrated lead guitarist. The Davies brothers, bass guitarist Jim Rodford, drummer Mick Avory, and guest keyboardists Ian Gibbons and Nick Newell recorded One for the Road at several concerts in 1979 and 1980. "Lola" is the best-known track from this album, and this live reading was a minor hit single; Ray Davies' teasing intro shows his playful side. "The Hard Way," "Low Budget," a raw, stripped-down "(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman," "Celluloid Heroes," and "You Really Got Me" are the other standouts.


Formed: 1963 in London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Although they weren't as boldly innovative as the Beatles or as popular as the Rolling Stones or the Who, the Kinks were one of the most influential bands of the British Invasion. Like most bands of their era, the Kinks began as an R&B/blues outfit. Within four years, the band had become the most staunchly English of all their contemporaries, drawing heavily from British music hall and traditional pop, as well as incorporating elements of country, folk, and blues. Throughout their long, varied career,...
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One for the Road, The Kinks
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