"Better Things," written by Kinks' frontman Ray Davies, was a single released in August of 1981 in the US, but not until January of 1982 in the UK. It is a cheerful, uplifting song, and so it fulfills what seemed to be a rule with The Kinks' later albums, to end each album on a positive note. See also "Get Up" from Misfits, and "Life Goes On" from Sleepwalker.
The single's initial copies came with a lagniappe 7-inch vinyl containing live versions of "Lola" and "David Watts," which had been recorded on American tours in 1979 and 1980.
Artists who have covered this song include Bouncing Souls, Dar Williams, and Fountains of Wayne, the last of which was for a tribute album The Modern Genius of Ray Davies, arranged by the British music magazine Mojo.
The last track on Give The People What They Want, this song changes the tone of the album, which to this point is very unsettling and cynical (the penultimate song is "A Little Bit of Abuse"). "It's just a change, a musical trick," Ray Davies told Creem. "But I really like the song, 'Better Things.' It gives me hope. And after a song like 'A Little Bit Of Abuse,' you need some hope."
Ray Davies wrote this song in 1979. The band tried to record it for their album Low Budget that year, but couldn't make it work.