Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Kinks Kovers

I know this post will probably come off the wrong way to many Kinks fans, but I am struck by how many covers of Kinks songs I prefer to the original versions. Below is a list of some of the covers that I prefer to the Kinks' original versions:

"Lola" - The Raincoats
"David Watts" - The Jam
"Oklahoma U.S.A." - Yo La Tengo
"Big Sky" - Yo La Tengo
"Stop Your Sobbing" - The Pretenders
"I Go To Sleep" - The Pretenders
"Days" - Elvis Costello
"Fancy" - Redd Kross
"I Need You" - The Rezillos
"I'm Not Like Everybody Else" - The Chocolate Watchband
"I'm Not Like Everybody Else" - Camper Van Beethoven
"Love Me Till The Sun Shines" - Lyres
"Tired Of Waiting" - Lyres
"Victoria" - The Fall
"Where Have All The Good Times Gone" - David Bowie
"Waterloo Sunset" - Def Leppard

Okay, just kidding about that last one, I don't think anyone can touch the Kinks' version of "Waterloo Sunset" and they probably shouldn't try. Obviously, "You Really Got Me" has been covered at some point by every band to ever practice in a garage. There have been many worthy covers of the song, but for me none top the original.

Still, I'm struck by what a long list this is, as I'd be hard pressed to think of a single cover of a Beatles or Rolling Stones song that I prefer to the original. (Actually, I like Devo's version of "Satisfaction" better than the Stones', but that's the exception that proves the rule).

I'm at a bit of a loss to explain this, as generally I do like the Kinks' versions of these songs a lot, it's just that I prefer the covers for a variety of reasons that differ from song to song.

1 comment:

Doug said...

It's true that some of their best songs were not presented best by them. "I'm Not Like Everybody Else" (which I cannot find for legal download anywhere) is a great song, and one of my personal faves, but their recording of it does seem... lacking in some way. Probably because it wasn't intended to be for them (offered to the Animals, if I recall) it is better as a cover.

The Pretenders' versions of those two songs were far better known (at least in my experience) than the Kinks' originals were, and frankly I kind of think of those as songs Ray wrote for them (albeit not necessarily intentionally).

Sometimes Ray wrote 'em better than the band and their producers got 'em down on tape. Not a criticism--just a reality.