You Really Got Me (2:13)

Cover of The Ultimate Collection

From The Ultimate Collection and 301 other releases

“You Really Got Me” is a rock song written by Ray Davies and performed by his band, The Kinks. According to the You Really Got Me Songfacts, after writing it, Ray played the song for Dave on piano, and Dave tried it on guitar. Their first version was 6-minutes long.
When the Kinks heard this first version they hated the results. It was produced by Shel Talmy, their manager at the time, and Ray Davies thought it came out clean and sterile, when he wanted it to capture the energy of their live shows. Dave Davies girlfriend backed them up, saying it didn’t make her want to “drop her knickers.” The Kinks’ record company had no interest in letting them re-record this, but due to a technicality in their contract, The Kinks were able to withhold the song until they could do it again. At the second session, Dave Davies slashed his amp and Talmy produced it to get the desired live sound. This is the version that was released.

It was released as the group’s third single, in August 1964, and reached Number 1 on the UK singles chart the following month, staying there for two weeks. It was the group’s breakthrough hit, and established them as one of the top British Invasion acts in the United States, reaching Number 7 there later in the year. It was later included on the Kinks’ debut album, The Kinks.

“You Really Got Me” was the first hit song built around power chords (parallel 5ths and octaves) , and was heavily influential on later rock and roll musicians, particularly in the heavy metal genre.


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