Friday, October 10, 2014

50 years ago: The Kinks chart with “You Really Got Me”

You Really Got Me

The Kinks

Writer(s): Ray Davies (see lyrics here)

Released: August 4, 1964

First Charted: September 26, 1964

Peak: 7 US, 5 CB, 8 HR, 1 CL, 12 UK, 4 CN (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): -- US, 1.0 UK, 1.0 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 4.0 radio, 23.7 video, 176.8 streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

“You Really Got Me” has been called “a cornerstone of garage rock and punk,” TC “the track which invented heavy metal,” WK and the song that “introduced the sound of distorted guitars into rock & roll.” TC Sadly, Dave Davies, the Kinks’ lead guitarist, isn’t always credited with what is considered “one of the great riffs of rock ’n’ roll.” KL Legendary axeman Jimmy Page was an active session man in the ‘60s before gaining fame with Led Zeppelin. His appearance on rhythm guitar on some of the tracks on the You Really Got Me album SJ has led to a common misconception that it is he, and not Davies, who played the song’s guitar solo.

The band was convinced that their first two singles pristine sound was responsible for their failure. RS500 When they headed into the studio in the summer of 1964, the group wanted a rawer sound RS500 which captured the energy of their live shows. SF Dave was inspired to create “the world’s trashiest riff” MA by the “cracked and dirty” sound of his broken hi-fi system TC to take a razor to his amplifier’s speaker cone. RS500 The result was an effect known as “fuzz” in which the vibration of the fabric distorted the sound. SF

The approach worked, giving the group a British chart-topper and their first hit in the U.S. The song also established the Kinks as one of the bands at the forefront of the British Invasion in the United States. WK

More than a decade later, the song launched another classic rock band. In 1978, Van Halen’s debut hit was a cover of “You Really Got Me.” Interestingly, Van Halen went on to mine the classics of August 1964 for two more charting cover songs – Roy Orbison’s “Oh, Pretty Woman” and Martha & the Vandellas’ “Dancing in the Street.”

Resources and Related Links:

  • DMDB Encyclopedia entry for The Kinks
  • TC Toby Creswell (2005). 1001 Songs: The Great Songs of All Time. Thunder’s Mouth Press: New York, NY. Page 684.
  • MA Dave Marsh (1989). The Heart of Rock and Soul: The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made. New York, NY; New American Library. Page 391.
  • KL Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh (2005). 1000 UK Number One Hits: The Stories Behind Every Number One Single Since 1952. London, Great Britain: Omnibus Press. Page 103.
  • RS500 Rolling Stone (4/7/2011). “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time
  • SJ Bob Shannon and John Javna (1986). Behind the Hits: Inside Stories of Classic Pop and Rock and Roll. New York, NY; Warner Brothers, Inc. Page 223.
  • SF Songfacts
  • WK Wikipedia

Last updated 6/28/2021.

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