The final song on the Kinks’ Give the People What They Want (1981) is also one of the most hopeful songs in the band’s oeuvre. It has long been a favorite of mine, but I only just learned it for this Plague Songs series.
Unlike previous entries in this series, I had to record this on my iPhone. When using iMovie, either it froze/crashed … or the performer failed. So, that’s why the look and sound here is very slightly different than previous Plague Songs.
Would you like to hear a better version of the song? Of course you would! Here’s the Kinks’ original.
Here’s a great cover by Dar Williams from 1997.
Here’s Fountains of Wayne’s 2001 cover, introduced by Conan O’Brien in 2020, following the death of Adam Schlesinger (from COVID-19) on the first of this month.
And Pearl Jam!
Here’s a live Pearl Jam version, in which Eddie Vedder misses a few lyrics — but, hey, everyone’s enjoying themselves… and isn’t that what “Better Things” is all about?
BONUS this week! The Munich Blue Notes perform — in quarantine, from their home offices — Enya’s “May It Be.”
If you’re seeking a #PlagueSong to perform, check out this ever-expanding playlist. But, of course, you may have a song in mind that I don’t know — and that would be welcome, too!
- Sing. Sing a Song. #PlagueSongs, no. 1 (17 Mar. 2020)
- What Is Your COVID-19 Routine? (22 Mar. 2020)
- Do Not Touch Your Face. #PlagueSongs, no. 2 (24 Mar. 2020)
- The Bright Side. #PlagueSongs, no. 3 (31 Mar. 2020)
- What Is Your COVID-19 Routine? Part 2 (5 Apr. 2020)
- It’s later than you think. #PlagueSongs, no. 4 (7 Apr. 2020)
- There doesn’t seem to be anyone around. #PlagueSongs, no. 5 (14 Apr. 2020)
- What Is Your COVID-19 Routine? Part 3 (19 Apr. 2020)