♫ You Really Got Me ♫

Tonight, for some unknown reason, I wanted to play something older than my usual fare … no, Joe, not THAT old!  So, I pulled a year from my invisible hat and came up with 1964.  Wouldn’t you know that I’ve already played quite a few of the top hits from that year, but I did find a few that I hadn’t yet played here.

You Really Got Me was written by Ray Davies for British rock band the Kinks.  Davies says the song was inspired by a girl dancing in the audience during his college days when he played with the Dave Hunt Band …

“I just remembered this one girl dancing. Sometimes you’re so overwhelmed by the presence of another person and you can’t put two words together.  I was playing a gig at a club in Piccadilly and there was a young girl in the audience who I really liked. She had beautiful lips. Thin, but not skinny. A bit similar to Françoise Hardy. Not long hair, but down to about there. Long enough to put your hands through … long enough to hold. I wrote ‘You Really Got Me’ for her, even though I never met her.”

According to SongFacts …

“You Really Got Me” is the first hit for The Kinks. Before releasing it, they put out two singles that flopped: a cover of “Long Tall Sally” and a Ray Davis composition called “You Still Want Me.”

If “You Really Got Me” didn’t sell, there was a good chance their record label would have dropped them, but the song gave them the hit they were looking for. Soon they were making TV appearances, gracing magazine covers, and playing on bills with The Beatles as an opening act. They didn’t have an album out when the song took off, so they rushed one out to capitalize on the demand. This first, self-titled album has just five originals, with the rest being R&B covers – standard practice at the time for British Invasion bands.

The song has been the subject of some interesting controversies, such as the myth that then-session player Jimmy Page, who later joined the Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin, played the guitar solo.  Page himself denied that, saying …

“Oh, Crikey! I wasn’t on ‘You Really Got Me,’ but I did play on the Kinks’ records. That’s all I’m going to say about it. But every time I do an interview, people ask me about ‘You Really Got Me.’ So maybe somebody can correct Wikipedia so people won’t keep asking me.”

You Really Got Me
The Kinks

Girl, you really got me goin’
You got me so I don’t know what I’m doin’
Yeah, you really got me now
You got me so I can’t sleep at night

Yeah, you really got me now
You got me so I don’t know what I’m doin’, now
Oh yeah, you really got me now
You got me so I can’t sleep at night

You really got me
You really got me
You really got me

See, don’t ever set me free
I always wanna be by your side
Girl, you really got me now
You got me so I can’t sleep at night

Yeah, you really got me now
You got me so I don’t know what I’m doin’, now
Oh yeah, you really got me now
You got me so I can’t sleep at night

You really got me
You really got me
You really got me
Oh no

See, don’t ever set me free
I always wanna be by your side
Girl, you really got me now
You got me so I can’t sleep at night

Yeah, you really got me now
You got me so I don’t know what I’m doin’, now
Oh yeah, you really got me now
You got me so I can’t sleep at night

You really got me
You really got me
You really got me

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Ray Davies
You Really Got Me lyrics © Edward Kassner Music Co. Ltd

38 thoughts on “♫ You Really Got Me ♫

  1. A childhood favorite rock song. Was so pleased to see the Kinks perform this in Germany in a late 1980s concert. One of the most sedate and genteel concerts I’ve ever attended, BTW…

    Prefer the original song to the van Halen cover. Have nothing against the van Halen version. Eddie knew his way around a guitar, and it was a quite muscular, modern version. But the original song, coming when it did, was fresher, and brings sentimental attachments to when I was young. Doesn’t mean I’ll turn off the van Halen version; just that, given which of the two I’ll turn on, I’ll go with the Kinks version.

    However —

    Yeah, there’s forever a ‘but’. The van Halen live version, coming on the heels of the Eddie solo known as “Eruption”, is powerful and will move you to dance while playing air gittar.

    Hugs and cheers

    Liked by 2 people

    • That you got to see them play it live in Germany is awesome! I wonder … was it sedate and genteel because it was in Germany, or ???

      I, too, prefer the original. I didn’t hate the Van Halen version, and I do credit them with a tremendous amount of talent, but this one is just easier on my ears.

      Hugs ‘n cheers, Michael!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A real classic, loved it since it was first released. I didn’t know Van Halen had covered it so I listened to their version before commenting. I wish I hadn’t: what a load of overblown rubbish.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I was exactly the same, Clive. I didn’t know before last night that Van Halen had covered it, so I listened and was not impressed. Too much detritus leading up to the song, and too much something to suit me. Van Halen is a talented bunch, but I’ve never been much of a fan. Glad you liked this version, though!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve never been a fan of theirs either, not that I’ve bothered much to listen to them. I’m going for Brit solidarity on this, with the version I’ve known since I first started getting into music.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Jill, The Kinks were a unique group especially with “Lola”. I saw the reference to the Van Halen version which is excellent. It is hard to beat Eddie Van Halen on the guitar. Yet, we do need to give propers to the folks who wrote it. I like them both. Keith

    Liked by 3 people

    • I didn’t realize until last night that Van Halen had covered this song. I listened and, while the music wasn’t bad, I still prefer this one. Van Halen goes in for a bit too much … something. Showy-ness? It detracts from the music, in my view.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: ‘ You Really Got me ‘ | Ramblings of an Occupy Liberal

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