The seventh of eight children, Ray Davies was a student at Hornsey College of Art in 1962 when he became lead singer and main songwriter with one of the seminal British 1960s bands, The Kinks. He initially proved his songwriting pedigree with the early R&B hits You Really Got Me and All Day And All Of The Night before developing a quintessentially English style influenced by music hall and vaudeville that manifested itself in sardonic lyrics like Dedicated Follower Of Fashion, and marked him out as a cut above most of the other artists of the era. His solo projects began in 1985 with Return To Waterloo, an album that was accompanied by an hour-long film, but he didn't start performing seriously as a solo artist until 1996, when The Kinks effectively split. Characteristically unconventional, Davies went on to write the musical Come Dancing, publish his own "unauthorised autobiography" X-Ray, release a choral album The Kinks Choral Collection and, in 2010, release the collaborative album See My Friends with artists including Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Metallica, Paloma Faith, Amy MacDonald, Black Francis and Billy Corgan.
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