Days (The Kinks song)

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"Days"
Days (The Kinks single - cover art).jpg
Single by the Kinks
B-side"She's Got Everything"
Released28 June 1968
Recorded23, 27 May 1968
StudioPye, (No. 2), London
GenreFolk rock
Length2:50
Label
  • Pye 7N 17573 (UK)
  • Reprise 0762 (US)
Songwriter(s)Ray Davies
Producer(s)Ray Davies
The Kinks UK singles chronology
"Wonderboy"
(1968)
"Days"
(1968)
"Plastic Man"
(1969)
The Kinks US singles chronology
"Wonderboy"
(1968)
"Days"
(1968)
"Starstruck"
(1969)

"Days" is a song by the Kinks, written by lead singer Ray Davies, released as a single in 1968. It also appeared on an early version of the album The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society (released only in continental Europe and New Zealand). It now appears as a bonus track of the remastered CD. On the original Pye 7N 17573 label, the name of the song is "Day's" due to a grammatical error.

Release and reception[edit]

The song was an important single for Davies and the Kinks, coming in a year of declining commercial fortunes for the band. The song had been intended as an album track but after the relative failure of the previous single "Wonderboy" (which only reached No. 36 in the UK), "Days" was rushed out as a single with an old unreleased track "She's Got Everything" (recorded in February 1966 in the same session as "Dedicated Follower of Fashion") as the B-side. Billboard praised the single's "groovy rhythm" and "clever lyric."[1] It reached No. 12 on the UK chart,[2] but failed to chart in the U.S. This did not help future releases however as the next four Kinks singles failed to reach the top 30 (two of them failing to chart altogether) in the UK.

The song appeared on an advertisement for the Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet in 2011 and, in the 2013 comedy film, The Harry Hill Movie when Hill saves Abu the Hamster from being killed by a crazy vet.

Charts[edit]

  • UK: No. 12[3]
  • Bel: No. 17
  • Ger: No. 28
  • NL: No. 7
  • NZ: No. 11

Kirsty MacColl version[edit]

"Days"
Kirsty MacColl Days 1989 single cover.jpg
Single by Kirsty MacColl
from the album Kite
B-side"Happy"
ReleasedJune 1989
Recorded1988
GenrePop
Length2:59
LabelVirgin
Songwriter(s)Ray Davies
Producer(s)Steve Lillywhite
Kirsty MacColl singles chronology
"Free World"
(1989)
"Days"
(1989)
"Innocence"
(1989)

Kirsty MacColl covered "Days" on her second studio album Kite (1989). It was released as the album's second single and reached No. 12 on the UK Singles Chart, the same position achieved by The Kinks in 1968. In Ireland MacColl's version charted seven places higher than the original, at No. 9. It was re-released in 1995, charting much lower, reaching only No. 42 in the UK. It is one of MacColl's most popular singles.[4]

Background[edit]

"Days" was released as the second single from Kite, following "Free World". MacColl's label, Virgin, had intended to release "Days" as the lead single, but MacColl felt the first single from Kite had to be one which she wrote.[5]

Recalling her version of "Days", MacColl told James Bennett in 1994: "I think my version is a bit slower [than the Kinks' original], I wanted to give it the ABBA treatment. I wanted people to think that it's a Kirsty MacColl song when they hear it."[5]

Music video[edit]

The video features MacColl in old fashioned clothing sitting on a meadow and riding in a boat whilst encountering animated animals. The video, which features MacColl's friend and songwriting partner Pete Glenister on guitar, was directed by Simon West and produced by Kate Sylvester.[6] It was shot in April 1989 at Godalming.[7]

Critical reception[edit]

On its release, Music & Media commented: "A tasteful, folky sing-along tune that many people will know by heart at the end of this summer."[8] In a retrospective review of Kite, Stewart Mason of AllMusic described MacColl's version of "Days" as a "gorgeous cover" with "thick, lush harmonies".[9]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Days"
  2. "Happy"
  3. "El Paso"
  4. "Still Life"
  5. "Please Help Me, I'm Falling"

The single was released in multiple formats. Each featured "Days" and "Happy", and all bar the 7" and cassette featured "Still Life". Both CD formats (the standard case and the Kite-shaped case) had "Please Help Me, I'm Falling", whilst "El Paso" was only available on the 10".[10]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1989) Peak
position
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[11] 45
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[12] 41
Ireland (IRMA)[13] 9
UK Singles (OCC)[14] 12
Chart (1995) Peak
position
Scotland (OCC)[15] 36
UK Singles (OCC)[16] 42

Other versions[edit]

The song was covered by a number of artists at the time including Petula Clark on her 1968 album Petula, The Hillsiders as a B-side to their 1969 single "Kentucky Woman" (RCA 1804) and James Last in an instrumental version on Non-Stop Dancing No. 7 (also 1969).

It was also covered by Luke Kelly of The Dubliners.

Pop/rock band Guster faithfully covered the song during the sessions for their 2003 album Keep It Together. This version was released as a bonus track for the 10th anniversary edition of the album.

Wim Wenders’ 1991 film Until the End of the World features two covers of the song: one by Elvis Costello (which appeared on the soundtrack as well as his 1995 covers album Kojak Variety) and during a new year's party scene in which several characters perform the song in the Australian desert using didgeridoos, drums, guitar and piano, with Claire Tourneur (Solveig Dommartin) singing lead vocals.

"Days/This Time Tomorrow" - Ray Davies and Mumford & Sons is featured on Ray Davies solo album See My Friends.

The song was also covered by Flo & Eddie on the album Flo & Eddie, which was originally released in 1974 and was re-released in 2008 as a double CD with The Phlorescent Leech and Eddie, which was originally released in 1972.

It is covered by Colin Meloy on Colin Meloy Sings The Kinks (2013).

A version is included in an album of cover versions by Tanya Donelly and The Parkington Sisters, released in 2020.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Spotlight Singles" (PDF). Billboard. 10 August 1968. p. 64. Retrieved 22 February 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "Ray Davies". Raydavies.info. Archived from the original on 30 July 2012. Retrieved 1 October 2016.
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 303/4. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  4. ^ "freeworld - Kirsty MacColl: singles". Kirstymaccoll.com. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
  5. ^ a b "Interviews 1994 - Titanic Days". Kirsty MacColl. 25 February 1994. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  6. ^ From Croydon to Cuba... The Videos [Days] (Motion picture). Virgin, EMI. 2005.
  7. ^ MacColl, Jean (4 May 2009). Sun On The Water - The Brilliant Life And Tragic Death Of My Daughter Kirsty ... - Jean MacColl - Google Books. ISBN 9781782192671. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  8. ^ "Previews: Singles". Music & Media. 8 July 1989. p. 16.
  9. ^ AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason. "Kite - Kirsty MacColl | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  10. ^ "freeworld - Kirsty MacColl: Official Releases". Kirstymaccoll.com. Retrieved 24 March 2008.
  11. ^ "Ultratop.be – Kirsty MacColl – Days" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  12. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 6 no. 32. 12 August 1989. p. IV. Retrieved 26 July 2020.
  13. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Kirsty Mc Coll". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  14. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  15. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  16. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  17. ^ https://www.alr-music.com/products/tanya-donelly-and-the-parkington-sisters