Happy Birthday Ray Davies.
A year ago to the day, I posted a similar blog greeting to Mr. Davies and I added a very basic sampling of Kinks recordings that I like (too brief, because there are really too many great songs). And I’ll repeat what I said then, for it holds today; Ray is considered, by musicians and songwriters like myself, to be a master storyteller (lyric-wise) and an expert melodicist. Unlike many of his contemporaries, save for Pete Townshend of The Who, what set Davies apart from his British Invasion compatriots was that, while all of the bands looked to American (and Black) R&B for their predominant influence, Ray (and to some extent Pete) put not just a London accent on it, he put a London essence into it.
Today, I am posting a brief selection of notable Ray Davies / Kinks cover versions. Call it “Ray-covery” (or not). So Happy Birthday Ray, and thank you for the days, and the songs.
Note: These are no particular order nor do they constitute the ten best ever Kinks covers, they’re just ten versions that I like. Your own list may differ (Comments section please!) because I’m not like everybody else.
1) “Days” Performed by Elvis Costello.
2) “Waterloo Sunset” Performed by David Bowie
3) “David Watts” Performed by The Jam
4) “All Day And Of The Night” Performed by The Stranglers
Yes, I know and dig the Van Halen and Oingo Boingo versions of this next one, but how about we take the road less traveled?
5) “You Really Got Me” Performed by 801 (feat. Brian Eno & Phil Manzanera)
6) “Victoria” Performed by The Fall
7) “Lola” Performed by Madness
8) “Stop Your Sobbing” Performed by The Pretenders
9) “Sunny Afternoon” Performed by Bob Geldof
10) “Big Sky” Performed by Yo La Tengo