Few bands have had the trajectory the Kinks charted during their 30 years together, as you'll see in our list of Kinks Albums Ranked Worst to Best.

But it's been almost a natural progression every step of the way. They started out as a beat-influenced rock 'n' roll band that incorporated both R&B and garage elements into their guitar-powered music. Leader Ray Davies then steered them into more pastoral work with his increasingly sophisticated songwriting that drew as much from England's Music Hall past as it did from the contemporary Summer of Love scene.

That fertile period gave way to forays into baroque pop, country rock and blues until a mid-'70s era of concept albums detoured into a run of theatrical records that almost derailed the band for good. But the Kinks rebounded with one of their most commercially successful decades, as they returned to power chord-fueled rock 'n' roll and began filling arenas before they became unlikely MTV stars in the early '80s with hits like "Come Dancing."

For our list of Kinks Albums Ranked Worst to Best, we listened to the studio LPs in their original U.K. forms, and excluded live albums and compilations like 1973's The Great Lost Kinks Album, which collected leftover tracks from the '60s.

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