Living on a Thin Line: Crossing Aesthetic Borders with The Kinks

Author: edited by Thomas M. Kitts and Michael J. Kraus
Illustrations by Pete Quaife

Rock 'n' Roll Research Press
P.O. Box 4759, Rumford, Rhode Island 02916-0759 USA

Publishing Date: November 2002

ISBN: 0-9641005-4-1

Misc. Stats: 5.75" x 8.75", 280 pages

Jacket notes:

The Kinks have been at once celebrated and neglected. Touted as a British rock institution and ranked #5 on Rolling Stone's list of Top Ten Rock Bands of the Century, The Kinks remain relatively under appreciated by many serious rock music listeners. These essays illuminate the music and art of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band.

The Kinks were founded by brothers Ray and Dave Davies and Peter Quaife in the early 1960s in the north London suburb of Muswell Hill. With the addition of Mick Avory, the original Kinks' lineup was in place. In 1964, international success struck with "You Really Got Me," one of the most influential records in rock music history. Then, "All Day and All of the Night," "Tired of Waiting for You," "Lola," and a wealth of daring and influential albums and singles continued into the 1990s, eventually giving way to equally daring solo work. Many reasons, perhaps especially the musical adventurousness of The Kinks, made commercial success a series of peaks and valleys.

The essays in Living on a Thin Line: Crossing Aesthetic Borders with The Kinks represent a wide range of approaches to the group's work. In fact, the very scope of the essays alone demonstrates the breadth of the band's and its members' achievements. Essays focus on influences, the earliest years, specific albums, the solo work of the brothers Davies, recurring themes and patterns of imagery, their ever-shifting sound, and their working-class roots. There is also a collection of new interviews with five former Kinks and illustrations by co-founder Peter Quaife.

Importantly, this book forges a statement about the enduring quality, boldness, and significance of The Kinks' art. More than a tribute, Living on a Thin Line argues for the consideration of The Kinks as major artists who have experimented and operated in a variety of forms and traditions, continually crossing new aesthetic borders.
E-mail Dave Emlen