My Top 1000 Songs #215: Better Things

My Kinks loyalties lie firmly with their late 60s/early 70s run of outstanding LPs. Still, their return to straightforward album-oriented rock in the late 70s, after a few years of sketchy, narrative concept albums, provided a number of stellar tunes. This is my favorite song from that era, off 1981's underrated Give The People What They Want (IMHO their most consistent album since maybe Muswell Hillbillies a decade earlier). 

It's a feel-good, unabashedly optimistic power pop tune, a sunny close-out to the varied LP. "Here's wishing you the bluest sky, and hoping something better comes tomorrow. Hoping all the verses rhyme, and the very best of choruses to follow." Ray Davies is at his most effervescent here, a recognition of life's sadness thoughtfully brushed aside with a joyous look forward. Always makes me smile.

The Fountains of Wayne did a bang-up cover, faithful to the original and mining all its jangly power-pop glory. Here they are playing it live on Conan (a perfect choice shortly after 9/11):