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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

God Save the Kinks (Aurum Press), by Rob Jovanovic

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The static-drenched crunch of Dave Davies’ guitar on “You Really Got Me” has been credited with giving birth to metal, but older brother Ray Davies often stole the band’s spotlight with his songs. In his compulsively readable biography, Rob Jovanovic interviews group members and associates to build a chronicle of one of the great British Invasion bands. Their story is replete with fraternal tension and missed opportunities, yet The Kinks’ paradoxical combination of working-class anger with nostalgia for an England fast fading away was a remarkable act of imagination. London’s Waterloo Station is grungy except in The Kinks’ “Waterloo Sunset,” where the grimy subway hub takes on the romantic, twilight hues of a Maxfield Parrish painting.