View Poll Results: Pick Your Favorite

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  • The Who

    11 52.38%
  • The Kinks

    10 47.62%
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Thread: The Who vs The Kinks

  1. #1
    Senior Member Eva Yojimbo's Avatar
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    Default The Who vs The Kinks

    The Who

    Arguably the band with the biggest influence on what would become punk music, but also one of the bands most influential on what would become progressive rock thanks to Townsend's conceptual ambitions. In my estimation, they were an extremely uneven band that could easily flip-flop between greatness, mediocrity, and downright awfulness. I'll never understand the appeal of Tommy, which, despite being quite original as a concept album, has lackluster music combined with a concept that's actually downright absurd. On the other hand, Quadrophenia may just be the band's masterpiece. I'd even say it did the whole "juvenile angst" much better than Pink Floyd's much more popular The Wall. Their first two albums have some great energy, but are quite inconsistent; but they create another masterpiece with The Who Sell Out, which is also one of the finest psychedelic/power pop albums ever made. While Who's Next is also in the running for one of the 70s greatest hard rock albums, most everything they did after is utterly forgettable.

    The Kinks

    In a way, The Kinks were a mash-up of every style and genre of 60s rock. They did a bit of everything, and typically did it as well as any of their contemporaries. They could craft hooky pop that rivaled The Beatles, energetic riff-rock that rivaled The Who, they could be as bluesy as The Stones; but they also developed their own distinct voice that was often marked by a unique tonality that could be wistful and elegiac one moment, and wry and satiric the next. They were often considered "too British" for US audiences, but the truth is that their ban from American touring (thanks to the American Federation of Musicians not giving the permits) at the height of the British invasion probably did more to prevent their popularity from spreading to the States much more than their actual music. In truth, the albums they released from Kontroversy (in '65) to Muswell Hillbillies (in '72) are universally excellent, with Something Else, Village Green, and Arthur being masterpieces that rivals the best of their contemporaries. Though they also took up Who-like conceptual ambitions in the 70s and faltered, they returned to form in the late 70s and had another great (if unheralded) run of albums from Sleepwalker (in '77) to Word of Mouth (in '84).

    Conclusion

    While I admire both bands, The Kinks are an easy win for me. They're in my top 5 while The Who only makes my top 40. A big reason for that is that I feel The Kinks were far more consistent, and while I think the three best from each (Sell Out, Who's Next, Quadrophenia VS Something Else, Village Green, Arthur) are pretty close in quality, The Who has nothing else that rivals the other great Kinks albums--Kontroversy, Face to Face, and Lola; and this isn't even getting into The Kinks's "comeback" albums. I'm sure The Who will win this poll due to their popularity, but The Kinks really deserve more praise and attention than they receive.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Art Rock's Avatar
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    Both bands have songs I like, but neither is top100 material for me.
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    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    Two of my all-time favourites, but I have no interest in the Who post-Who Are You? or little interest in the Kinks post-Low Budget. Low Budget was for me the last above-average Kinks album. Both groups butter my parsnips equally nicely and as both had a great run of albums from 1965 through to 1973 (The Kinks' inessential Percy soundtrack from 1971 notwithstanding) I can't choose between them.
    '...a violator of his word, a libertine over head and ears in debt and disgrace, a despiser of domestic ties, the companion of gamblers and demireps, a man who has just closed half a century without a single claim on the gratitude of his country or the respect of posterity...' - Leigh Hunt on the Prince Regent (later George IV).

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    Senior Member Bulldog's Avatar
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    Neither band is among my favorites, but The Who would be in my 2nd tier; the Kinks much lower.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog View Post
    Neither band is among my favorites, but The Who would be in my 2nd tier; the Kinks much lower.
    Mostly agree, but would place The Who even into tier 3 or 4. Lotta music out there as competition.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Bulldog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange Magic View Post
    Mostly agree, but would place The Who even into tier 3 or 4. Lotta music out there as competition.
    I wouldn't really know, having kicked the pop/rock genre about 30 years ago.

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  9. #7
    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    The two bands are very different to my ears and eyes. It's a given that American audiences naturally went for the The Who with their extroverted style and testosterone fueled blonde lead singer. I don't listen to much mainstream classic rock but at this point I'd rather put on a Kinks record. In fact I bought almost all of their records from '66-'72, plus a singles collection last year.
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  10. #8
    Senior Member Bulldog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by starthrower View Post
    I don't listen to much mainstream classic rock but at this point I'd rather put on a Kinks record. In fact I bought almost all of their records from '66-'72, plus a singles collection last year.
    That makes up for the fact that I never bought any Kinks album. Their hit songs just didn't do much for me.

  11. #9
    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    The only one I don't really care for is Come Dancing. But I'm an album listener. The hit radio mentality of playing the same songs over and over has always struck me as idiotic.
    Short-term thinkers are rewarded with reelection, while those who dare to take seriously our responsibility to future generations commonly find themselves out of office.

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  12. #10
    Senior Member Eva Yojimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by starthrower View Post
    The two bands are very different to my ears and eyes. It's a given that American audiences naturally went for the The Who with their extroverted style and testosterone fueled blonde lead singer. I don't listen to much mainstream classic rock but at this point I'd rather put on a Kinks record. In fact I bought almost all of their records from '66-'72, plus a singles collection last year.
    In some respects yes, but the fact that both started as relatively straight forward rock/pop acts with songs that were massively influential to the next generation but then evolved into ambitious, conceptual album-oriented bands is a notable similarity.

  13. #11
    Senior Member Eva Yojimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog View Post
    That makes up for the fact that I never bought any Kinks album. Their hit songs just didn't do much for me.
    Having not grown up in the 60s/70s I'm not sure what "hits" The Kinks had beyond You Really Got Me and All Day and All of the Night, but I know my favorite songs from them were songs I'd never heard before listening to their albums. At the very least I'd recommend hearing Village Green, Something Else, or Arthur.

  14. #12
    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    That's one of the reasons I bought a bunch of Kinks albums. They were never on my radar screen growing up so I wanted to buy them and listen. I don't really need to listen to Who or Zeppelin albums anymore. The only English rock stuff I listen to is the Kinks, and the Canterbury bands. I didn't hear them much as a kid. Kevin Ayers is one of my favorites. I just love his records!
    Short-term thinkers are rewarded with reelection, while those who dare to take seriously our responsibility to future generations commonly find themselves out of office.

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  16. #13
    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eva Yojimbo View Post
    In some respects yes, but the fact that both started as relatively straight forward rock/pop acts with songs that were massively influential to the next generation but then evolved into ambitious, conceptual album-oriented bands is a notable similarity.
    Alas! As may have become clear in some of my previous posts, I am too limited in imagination to recognize the inherent concepts of the vast majority of "concept" albums. If most such albums were played to/for me without title but with a gun to my head and orders to identify and articulate the concept therein, I would be dead many times over. So the attempt of a group to persuade me of the reality of an album's concept is seed scattered upon barren ground. Tommy would be an obvious exception.

  17. #14
    Senior Member Bulldog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eva Yojimbo View Post
    Having not grown up in the 60s/70s I'm not sure what "hits" The Kinks had beyond You Really Got Me and All Day and All of the Night,
    Their biggest hit might have been "Lola".

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  19. #15
    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eva Yojimbo View Post
    In some respects yes, but the fact that both started as relatively straight forward rock/pop acts with songs that were massively influential to the next generation but then evolved into ambitious, conceptual album-oriented bands is a notable similarity.
    They both started early enough when emphasis was more on singles than albums. I guess Sgt Pepper changed all that.
    Short-term thinkers are rewarded with reelection, while those who dare to take seriously our responsibility to future generations commonly find themselves out of office.

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