Ray-covery: A Ray Davies Birthday List of Some Kinks Covers.

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) “Victoria” Performed by The Fall

6) “Lola” Performed by Madness

7) “Stop Your Sobbing” Performed by The Pretenders

8) “Sunny Afternoon” Performed by Bob Geldof

9) “Big Sky” Performed by Yo La Tengo


18 Responses to “Ray-covery: A Ray Davies Birthday List of Some Kinks Covers.”

  1. Great list.

    Ron Sexsmith does a great version of “This Is Where I Belong” from a compilation called “This Is Where I Belong – The Songs Of Ray Davies.” You can really hear the influence Ray had on Ron.

    And by the way, does anybody like Ray’s album “The Kinks Choral Collection” that came out a few years ago? It’s him covering his own songs with a choir providing the back up vocals. It got horrendous reviews but there is a beautiful version of “Waterloo Sunset” as well as a lot from the Villiage Green Preservation Society lp.

    There, I said it.

  2. David Rubin Says:


    Chrissie & Elvis doing “Days” – love it! Thanks for some amazing covers!!!

  3. “Days” as done by Kirsty Maccoll? “I’m not like anybody else” Chocolate Watchband, 2 of my faves. thanks paul!

  4. oh and the Big star version of “till the end of the day”

  5. Great list! Lots of songs I haven’t heard. This song isn’t a real cover, but it has a nice Kinky flavor. Len Price 3 – Christian in the Desert http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWDFbc2g0ls

  6. kathy roberts Says:

    I love “Have a Cup of Tea” from an early Kinks record. Used to listen to it when I was hung over and wishing I had heeded the advice some hours sooner. Thanks for a great blog.

  7. Kirsty MacColl also did a great cover of Days…

  8. Flop does a really great version of Big Sky.

  9. Some great finds, thanks Paul. I’ve always loved Green Day’s cover of “Do it Again” – oh, wait – I think they called it “Walking Contradiction”

  10. “Lola” by the Raincoats. Brilliant cover. Nice post, by the way.

  11. Tracy Murray Says:

    I love your cover choices, great to see and hear some old favorites, both the songs and the artists covering them, plus other Kinks tunes I have never heard before.

  12. There is a great version of Complicated Life by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band featuring Clint Maedgen.

    The Youtube video for this has over 100,000 views.

  13. Great list, was just listening to 801 this morning in the car.

  14. Can you post the songs from the 45 release in l975 by Little Roger and the Goosebumps(all day and all night, victoria and so tired)?

  15. Starling Says:

    Ray Davies is clearly the greatest in his field. I always liked Petula Clark’s recording of Days. The Sex Clark Five version of Two Sisters is a gem dandy. Why wasn’t Jimmy Buffett’s Sunny Afternoon a huge hit?

  16. Hi
    How can I get a copy of the Ray Davies black and white picture with the pelican crossing post behind his left shoulder ?
    Thank you

  17. Great list – also love Mott the Hoople’s “You Really Got Me.”

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