4 Kinks Songs That Were Hits for Other Artists, Including Van Halen and the Pretenders

Today (June 21) marks the 80th birthday of Ray Davies, best known as the longtime frontman of The Kinks. During his band’s 30-year career, the insightful and prolific singer/songwriter composed dozens of classic tunes.

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Among his most enduring and popular songs are “You Really Got Me,” “All Day and All of the Night,” “Tired of Waiting for You,” “A Well Respected Man,” “Sunny Afternoon,” “Waterloo Sunset,” “Lola,” “Celluloid Heroes,” “A Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy,” “(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman,” “Better Things,” and “Come Dancing.”

[RELATED: Ray Davies Says He Has “About 20” Songs for a Possible Kinks Reunion Project]

Some of the songs Davies wrote for The Kinks also became hits for other artists. In honor of Ray’s milestone birthday, here four Kinks covers that were chart successes:

“Dandy” – Herman’s Hermits (1966)

“Dandy” was a pop gem that The Kinks recorded for their 1966 album Face to Face. The song is about a young man who moves from one woman to the next without a care. Ray has said that his brother, Kinks guitarist Dave Davies, was one of his inspirations for the tune.

Herman’s Hermits covered “Dandy” around the same time as The Kinks released their version. The U.K. pop group had a major hit with the song in the U.S., where it reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Kinks’ own rendition was a smash in a number of European countries, including Germany and The Netherlands, where it reached No. 1 and No. 2, respectively.

“You Really Got Me” – Van Halen (1978)

“You Really Got Me” was The Kinks’ breakthrough hit, appearing on band’s 1964 debut album, Kinks. The power-chord-driven song, which is cited as an influence on both heavy metal and punk rock, topped the U.K. charts and reached No. 7 on the Hot 100 in 1964.

Van Halen recorded a version of “You Really Got Me” that was featured on their self-titled debut album in 1978. Their cover also became the hard-rock act’s first Hot 100 hit, peaking at No. 36.

Van Halen’s rendition adds some heavy-metal dynamics to the classic tune, while showcasing Eddie Van Halen’s virtuosic guitar talents.

“Stop Your Sobbing” – Pretenders (1979)

“Stop Your Sobbing” was a doo-wop-influenced gem featured on The Kinks’ debut album. Davies write the song about a girlfriend who was upset with him.

Pretenders frontman Chrissie Hynde was a huge Kinks fan, and when she was getting her band off the ground, she pushed for the group to start playing “Stop Your Sobbing” at their early rehearsals.

Pretenders recorded a jangly, melodic version of the song as their debut single, and enlisted Nick Lowe to produce the track. “Stop Your Sobbing” became a U.K. hit, reaching No. 34 on the country’s singles chart.

In the early 1980s, Hynde began a romantic relationship with Davies, and in 1983 she gave birth to the couple’s daughter, Natalie Rae Hynde. Hynde and Davies split up not long after Natalie was born, though.

“All Day and All of the Night” – The Stranglers (1987)

“All Day and All of the Night” was The Kinks’ rocking follow-up single to “You Really Got Me.” The tune featured a similar power-chord progression to its predecessor, and a similar theme, about a guy expressing his deep passion for his object of desire.

“All Day and All of the Night” reached No. 2 on the U.K. chart, while, like “You Really Got Me,” it peaked at No. 7 on the Hot 100.

The Stranglers recorded a faithful, if harder-edged, cover of “All Day and All of the Night” in 1987. The track became one of the U.K. punk band’s biggest hits in their homeland, reaching No. 7 on the singles tally.

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