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66 from '66 – The Kinks

Dedicated Follower Of Fashion (Pye single, February 2 1966), Face To Face (Pye, October 28 1966)

Having dipped their toes into more observational songwriting with 1965’s Where Have All The Good Times Gone, 1966 found The Kinks taking a full plunge into the style that would carry them through the next five years and yield some of the greatest storytelling ever in pop and rock. Here, Dave Davies looks back on the year that changed everything...

With his lyrics Ray Davies created satirical vignettes that put a mirror up to the era and to London life with songs such as the single Dedicated Follower Of Fashion, a Vaudevillian battle cry inspired by a fight with a fashion designer at a party and a dig at the Carnaby Street culture that the band had once helped promote.

The Kinks perfected this approach with their fourth album, Face To Face, whose defining track, Sunny Afternoon, was written under the influence of Sinatra, Glenn Miller, Dylan and Bach. A cutting take on fat cats and tax men, it showed popular rock songs could fix a gimlet eye upon society and politics as well as sex, drugs and rock’n’roll. Suddenly, a whole new avenue had opened up. 


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