DAVIES, Dave: Kink: an autobiography. Boxtree, 1996 / Hyperion, 1997
- spirited, spiritual, great sense of fun, warts ‘n’ all. And injustice! Some good photos, which are a notable absence from Ray’s X-Ray.
DAVIES, Ray: Americana: The Kinks, the road and the perfect riff. Virgin, 2013
- revealing memoir of Ray’s relationship with the idea of the US and its reality. An account of the shooting in New Orleans is interwoven with reminiscences of his early musical inspiration and The Kinks’ return to and re-taking of the US after the ban on them appearing was lifted in 1969. Taking in the Arista years in some detail and later. Simultaneously published in the US by Sterling books as ‘Americana: The Kinks, the riff, the road, the story’ with a tweaked front cover and a different photo of Ray on the back cover; the US edition replaces some of the British slang references with Americanisms (“because we damn Yankees are too Bloody stupid to know what a loo is!” as one commentator put it.) The UK back cover also boasts the text of the first verse of ‘Still searching‘ from the Phobia album.
DAVIES, Ray: Waterloo sunset. UK: Viking, 1997
- first appearance of a collection of short stories. “I’d forgotten I’d written it” was Ray’s response when asked about the book by Dennis Elsas in an interview fro wfuv radio in November, 2009
DAVIES, Ray: Waterloo sunset. US: Hyperion, 2000
- American edition with the stories sequenced very differently (divided into a main sequence called ‘Waterloo sunset’ and ‘Stories’ at the end) and some changes in the text; as is usually the way with American book design, aA better looking physical object, too.
DAVIES, Ray: X-Ray; the unauthorized autobiography. Viking, 1994/Penguin, 1995.
- the textual play (Ray as an old man being interviewed by a younger man, a Corporation historian) can sometimes get in the way, but this is surprisingly revealing and powerful. At times confessional, at others speculative, it could be said subsequent events have proved the writing of this to be a bit of a liberation.
DAVIES, Ray: X-Ray; the unauthorized autobiography. New edition. Overlook Duckworth, 2007
- reissued with a 4 page introduction from Ray describing how he came to write the book, why he chose the format he did, and the book’s effect on his life
DOGGETT, Peter: The Kinks; Picture book. Sanctuary Records, 2008
- the booklet that came with the box set, but well worth including here, not least for the illustrations. A career summary, lots of quotes from Ray and Dave on specific tracks, plus a chronology.
Du NOYER, Paul : In the city; a celebration of London music. Virgin, 2009.
- He interviewed Ray Davies for the book – Ray talks of Madness, Ian Dury and Squeeze – but Du Noyer is also very good on Ray’s influences, Music Hall, Noel Coward et al.
HASTED, Nick : You really got me: the story of The Kinks. Omnibus Press, 2011
- Timely, insightful and eminently worthwhile addition to the Kinks bookshelf; so good it makes me think I should renew that photo at the top of this page. Gives more space to other members of the group and, maybe because of this, makes more sense out of Ray’s journey than most. A lot more than just regurgitating what has gone before. Best sustained piece of writing about Waterloo Sunset that I can recall. Blogged about at some length.
HINMAN, Doug : The Kinks: all day and all of the night. Backbeat Books, 2004.
- detailed diary style chronicle with decent illustrations. As definitive a record as it gets.
HINMAN, Doug: You really got me; an illustrated world discography of the Kinks, 1964-1993. D.Hinman, 1994
- plus a 1994-96/7 supplement (with additions and corrections)
JOVANOVIC, Rob: God save The Kinks: a biography. Aurum, 2013
- Brings the story right up to Ray’s appearance at the 2012 Olympics closing ceremony and mentions the Kast Off Kinks. Efficient and economical on the early years, so thankfully no big inquests into ‘You Really Got Me’ or ‘Waterloo Sunset’, for example, and no un-necessarily detailed re-telling of the familiar elements of the story. Not that great on musical appreciation, and there’s a lot of cut and paste from other writers’ interviews with Ray and Dave, but where he scores in is in having found fresh people to interview from all eras. There’s more here on the American tours of the ’70s and ’80s than I can recall seeing anywhere else. Though relatively hot on the heels of Nick Hasted’s book, published only two years earlier, by no means a waste of trees or your time.
The KINKS: reflections on thirty years of music (edited by Rebecca Bailey). Atlantic, 1994
- essays, reviews, interviews. I’ve not seen it but second hand copies start at £37.95 on Amazon
The KINKS: The ultimate music guide (from the makers of Uncut). IPC Media, 2012
- 146 page well-illustrated magazine format with some full page photos. New 2-page album reviews of varying quality (some very good) interspaced with features and interviews from NME and Uncut contemporaneous with the albums. A very welcome addition to the literature.
KITTS, Thomas: Ray Davies; not like everybody else. Routledge, 2008
- most detailed biography and study of the work. Also the most academic of the histories listed here; a touch of sociology too. Author is American.
Living on a thin line; crossing aesthetic borders with The Kinks (edited by Thomas M.Kitts and Michael J.Krauss). Rock ‘n’ Roll research Press, 2002
- collection of academic and not so academic essays, with extensive interviews with former band members (not Ray)
MARTEN, Neville & Jeffery Hudson: The Kinks; well respected men. Sanctuary 1996. 2nd edition 2002
- the second edition drops the subtitle. I’ve not seen it but reviews suggest it add nothing to what is already out there
MENDELSSOHN, John : The Kinks Kronikles. US: Quill, 1985.
- Spirited if factually dodgy effort – anyone danced the samber lately? – albeit with a certain compensatory sense of fun, from the compiler of the double album of the same name; his taste pretty much coincides with mine (he doesn’t like ‘Plastic man’ for a start) until we part company at ‘Muswell hillbillies’. To tell the truth this is both the worst and most idiosyncratic (not to say narcissistic) Kinks book of the lot; not that that should necessarily stop you reading it. “Why do I find ‘Heroes’ [he means ‘Celluloid heroes’] the single most overrated track in The Kinks’ long recording history?” – because ultimately, my albeit entertaining friend, (not that I’ve ever met the guy), you are a prat.
MILLER, Andy : The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society (33 1/3 series). Continuum, 2003.
- Excellent CD-sized close study of the making of the classic album from an ex-international Mini-Golfer.
POPULAR music and society. Vol 29, No 2. May 2006
- special issue of an academic journal on the Kinks, edited by Thomas M.Kitts. seven articles of mixed interest, but including Michael J.Krauss on Romanticism.
QUAIFE, Peter : Veritas; Volume 1. Hiren, 2011
- fictionalised not quite autobiography of original Kinks bassist. Volume 1 finishes before the band is formed
QUAIFE, Peter : Veritas; Volume 2. Hiren, 2011 (forthcoming)
ROGAN, Johnny: The complete guide top the music of The Kinks. Omnibus Press, 1998
- CD plastic case sized but a little thicker; short paragraphs on every officially released track
ROGAN, Johnny: The Kinks; a mental institution. US: Prometheus, 1984
- something of a career rock biographer, Rogan didn’t like this experience very much.
ROGAN, Johnny: The Kinks; the sound and the fury. UK: Elm Tree, 1984
- the same book as the American edition listed above but with a milder, more Kinks (and maybe lawyer) friendly sub-title
ROGAN, Johnny: Ray Davies; a complicated life. UK: Bodley Head, 2015.
- With bibliographical and discographical apparatus over 700 pages long, and the fullest by far. Generally received well, but controversial in the Kinks community because Ray and Dave took exception to some of the Sam Curtis quotes about the Davies family home on Fortess Green that Rogan used. No hagiography, but Rogan is a fan. Does contain new information, most notably about Ray’s time at Hornsey Art College and his early musical adventures. My review is here: https://quavid.wordpress.com/2015/03/13/everybody-loves-raymond/
SAVAGE, Jon: The Kinks: the official biography. Faber, 1984.
- excellent ‘official’ biography with some great photos and memorabilia illustartions. Word has it there was a lot in the interviews that he couldn’t use (but see ‘Magazine articles’ section below).
SCHRUERS, Fred: The Kinks. US: Penguin, 1987.
- Do not be fooled. Despite its having an ISBN (014 007045 1) and its appearance on various internet listings (including Amazon) this book does not exist; it was written but not published. “The Kinks book was snuffed by the publisher and is still buried in my drawer (it’s referenced on a web site as if it were out, but don’t be deceived). Very possibly one day I’ll get an electronic version out there for the true believers.” So says Fred Schruers himself, interviewed by email by Steven Ward for RockCritics.com.
SHEARMAN, Colin: The Kinks (Virgin Modern Icons). Virgin, 1997
- slight (96pp) & illustrated
Magazine & Journal Articles
There are many listed and available in full on Dave Emlen’s site. I shall add here ones I think add something.
BUSKIN, Richard : Classic tracks: The Kinks; You really got me
- the definitive version of what went on in the studio that day, with a lot of input from Shel Talmy. Sound on sound, September 2009.
FROST, Matt : Ray Davies – Five decades in the studio
- what it says on the tin, but with a lot about the set up at Konk. Sound on sound, May 2010.
HASTED, Nick : Ready steady Kinks.
- Major interview based article in Uncut magazine’s September, 2004 issue – a lot more than a just another career re-hash. New detail, and written by a real fan.
KAPLAN, Ira : Imaginary man
- Ray interviewed by Yo La Tengo’s guitarist and vocalist in the summer 2008 issue of the US ‘alternative’ music mag Magnet, #79. Ray performed a lot of his early solo songs with Yo La Tengo (Live off Broadway, 2000)
McCULLEY, Jerry : From the outside in
- sub-titled: ‘How Ray Davies’ early fretboard frustration fuelled on of rock’s great songwriting careers’. Some good photos too, in the beautifully produced Fretboard Journal (No 13, Spring 2009)
SANDOVAL, Andrew: Face to face and Well respected men
- fresh interviews concentrating on the recording process on the occasion of the Andrew Sandoval mastered release of the Kinks at the BBC box set but covering the reissues programme as well. Face to face is just Ray, while Well respected men is Dave, Mick Avory and John Dalton. Record Collector, October 2012.
SAVAGE, Jon : Ray Davies – the Jon Savage interviews
- transcripts of the bulk of the interviews conducted by Savage for his ‘official’ Kinks biography (see above) in the Summer 2010 issue #30 of US fanzine Ugly Things
SPENCER, Neil : The Kinks
- en Francais. Career retrospective in France’s Rock & Folk magazine from February, 2009. Included here for some stunning rare live photos of ’60s Kinks from photographer Dominique Tarle; on the cover Ray looks like Elvis.
VINCENT, Sally : A long way from home
- interview in the nicely titled cultural mag Stop Smiling. #36, the Expatriate Issue, 2008.