Better Things (song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

"Better Things"
Better Things cover.jpg
Single by The Kinks
from the album Give the People What They Want
  • "Massive Reductions" (UK)
  • "Yo-yo" (US)
Released19 June 1981 (UK)
28 November 1981 (US)
Format7" single
RecordedApril 1981 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London
Length2:59 (single version)
2:44 (LP version)
LabelArista ARIST 415 (UK)
Arista AS 0649 (US)
Songwriter(s)Ray Davies
Producer(s)Ray Davies
The Kinks UK singles chronology
"Better Things"
The Kinks US singles chronology
"Better Things"
"Come Dancing"

"Better Things" is a song by The Kinks, released as a single in June 1981 in the UK and November 1981 in the US.[2] A slightly shorter version was later released on their album Give the People What They Want.

Written about Ray Davies's failing marriage, the song originated during the Low Budget sessions. The song was completed in 1981 and released as a single, reaching number 42 in the UK and number 92 in America. The single marked the band's first appearance in the UK charts since 1972.


"Better Things" was penned by Ray Davies in New York City about the "impending split" from his second wife, Yvonne.[3] Davies told Jeff Tamarkin of The Aquarian Weekly that the time when the song was written was a "depressing" time for him.[3]

The song dates back to the sessions of the Low Budget album, during which an early version of the song was attempted.[3] The song was later recorded for Give the People What They Want in April 1981, with the recording session dubbed by Ray Davies as "a total send-up."[3]

Release and reception[edit]

The track was released as the lead single for the album in the UK. Initial copies came with a bonus 7" containing live versions of "Lola" and "David Watts" recorded on American tours in 1979 and 1980. The UK B-side was a non-LP song "Massive Reductions" (a different, shorter version of "Massive Reductions" was released on the band's 1984 album Word of Mouth). Although "Better Things" missed the top 40, it did reach #46 and was their first charting single since "Supersonic Rocket Ship" in 1972.

In the U.S., "Destroyer" was released in September as the album's lead single with "Better Things" as the second single in November. "Better Things" reached #12 on the Billboard Rock Top Tracks chart and #92 on the Billboard Hot 100, slightly lower than "Destroyer".

In September 2010, Ray Davies released "See My Friends", an album of reworked classic Kinks songs, which contains a duet of "Better Things" with Bruce Springsteen.

In 2011 American Songwriter named "Better Things" their Favorite Break Up Song.[1]



  1. ^ a b "The 30-Day Song Selection Spectacular: #4, Favorite Breakup Song". The 30-Day Song Selection Spectacular: #4, Favorite Breakup Song. American Songwriter. Retrieved 14 June 2012.
  2. ^ "Better Things". Archived from the original on 4 January 2009. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d Hinman, Doug. All Day and All of the Night.