The Kinks, one of the greatest bands of the ’60s and ’70s, were always driven by the tempestuous relationship between brothers and bandmates Ray and Dave Davies. When they broke up in 1996, they stayed broken up, even after the waves of reunion-mania that followed. But now it looks like we might actually get to hear new Kinks music. Last year, Ray Davies raised the possibility of a reunion: “The trouble is, the two remaining members — my brother Dave and Mick [Avory, the original drummer] — never got along very well. But I’ve made that work in the studio and it’s fired me up to make them play harder, and with fire.” And now Dave Davies says that they’re actually working on music together.
Talking to Rolling Stone, Dave says that the surviving Kinks have been working hard on a 50th-anniversary reissue of the Kinks’ 1969 concept album Arthur (Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire). That reissue, Dave says, will be ready for the album’s anniversary in October: “That’s virtually done. It’s a really, really interesting package that’s going to have other songs from that time period like [my solo song] ‘Hold My Hand.’”
But while they’ve been working on this, they’ve also been going over their older songs, including some that are unreleased and some that are unfinished: “This has really been going on for a couple of years. We keep going backwards and listening to a lot of old stuff. Some of that is very good, and some of it needs a bit of work.”
So the Kinks are finishing and re-recording some of those older songs, and they’re also recording new songs that Ray has written. Avory plays drums on some of those songs, and Ben Henrit, another former Kinks drummer, plays on others. They haven’t yet figured out who will play bass; former Kinks bassists Pete Quaife and Jim Rodford are both dead. Dave says, “The songs are really just in demo form now. But good demos. Ray is still dissecting various other material we might use. The intention is to get the work out, but it’s not a done deal.” Fingers crossed.
There’s also at least some possibility of another Kinks tour: “I really don’t know. I think its possible. It’s not out of the question. But at this stage, it’s far too early to say. It would be fun though, wouldn’t it?” But Rolling Stone also reports that he let out a long, deep sigh before giving that answer, so maybe don’t hold your breath on that one.