3 Songs You Didn’t Know The Kinks’ Ray Davies Wrote For Other Artists

The British-born rock band The Kinks is one of the most underappreciated rock bands of all time. Part of the British Invasion, which included the Beatles and The Rolling Stones, The Kinks remain something of second-class citizens when it comes to conversations about the best bands ever.

With songs like “Lola,” “Waterloo Sunset,” “Victoria,” “You Really Got Me” and “All Day and All of the Night,” the group has contributed hit after hit to the world of rock ‘n’ roll, yet they are rarely talked about in the same class as the former Mop Tops, The ‘Stones, Led Zeppelin and others.

Formed in 1963 in London by brothers Ray and Dave Davies, the group rose to popularity thanks to songs like “You Really Got Me,” written by Ray. But later in the decade, the group was banned from touring in the U.S. for years due to bad behavior off the stage, like trashing hotel room after hotel room.

But while they were put in timeout for a handful of years, the group should remain, musically, remembered as one of the greats, thanks in large part to the band’s frontman and lead singer Ray Davies. The now-78-year-old artist, though, also helped other bands in the past, writing tunes that aided their career.

As such, we wanted to highlight a few of those songs. So, without further ado, here are three songs you likely didn’t know The Kinks’ Ray Davies wrote for other artists.

1. “A House in the Country,” The Pretty Things
Written by Ray Davies

Released in July 1967 on the album, Emotions, by The Pretty Things, the three-minute track was part of the bonus material from the LP. The British rock band formed a few years earlier in 1963, taking their name from the Willie Dixon song “Pretty Thing.” The band was influenced by Ray even before the artist began to help them write tunes.
Recording sessions on Emotions began in late 1966 and the group released the album’s single, “Progress,” in December of that year. That track didn’t fare too well and members of the group began to quit. In came Wally Waller on bass and Jon Provey on drums—both artists were big fans of the Beach Boys. The result was a brighter pop musical sense with gang vocals, as is displayed on the head-bobbing tune below.

2. “When I See That Girl of Mine,” Bobby Rydell
Written by Ray Davies

Released by Rydell in 1965, “When I See That Girl of Mine” was one of the seemingly countless tracks released by the artist. From 1959 to 1977, he released dozens of songs. Born Robert Louis Ridarelli, Rydell became a rock ‘n’ roll artist just as the genre was taking off. Early in his career, he was a teen idol, known for songs like “Wildwood Days” and “Volare.” He even appeared in the 1963 film, Bye Bye Birdie. Much later in his career, in the 1980s, he joined a trio called The Golden Boys with Frankie Avalon. He toured until his death in 2022.

Listening to “When I See That Girl of Mine,” it’s easy to hear Ray’s influence. Gang vocals, driving rhythms, and heavy, percussive guitar. It’s a hit and would be so today, too.

3. “This Strange Effect,” Dave Berry
Written by Ray Davies

Released in the summer of 1965, “This Strange Effect” was written by Davies and released by Berry. It hit No. 1 in the Netherlands and No. 37 on the U.K. Singles Chart. Later, The Kinks also performed the song, though a studio recording doesn’t exist (only live versions, including one for the BBC). Later, Bill Wyman of The Rolling Stones recorded it for his 1992 album, Stuff. The song grew to such heights over the decades that even the tech company Apple used it for an iPhone ad in 2017, performed by The Shacks.

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