The Kinks Release “You Really Got Me” in the USA
On October 2nd, 1964 The Kinks released their first album “You Really Got Me” (released as “Kinks” in the UK with additional tracks, the title was amended in the USA to cash in on the success of the single “You Really Got Me”)
The Kinks first singles
The Kinks became one of the great bands of the British Invasion, but their first two albums were inconsistent and showed very little of the promise to come. Bands like The Rolling Stones and The Yardbirds were bashing out R&B covers with great aplomb and the Beatles were hitting the back catalogs of the early Rock n’ Rollers like Chuck Berry, so The Kinks were pushed in this direction.
This was not The Kinks strong point and their first two singles, a cover of “Long Tall Sally” and the self penned (and very Mersey-Beat influenced) “You Still Want Me”, vanished without trace. Ray Davies, like Mick Jagger and Keith Richards around this time, had not yet blossomed as a songwriter and most of his compositions on the album were fairly weak and derivative.
Also producer Shel Talmy‘s contribution to the song writing was like his production of this album – it left a lot to be desired! There were exceptions, “Stop Your Sobbing” for example was later covered by The Pretenders, but it was the monster lurking at the end of side one that was to define The Kinks early career.
The Kinks hit the top ten with “You Really Got Me”
“You Really Got Me” was the result of a genius riff and the sound created by Ray Davies‘ brother, Dave Davies, slashing the cone in his amp to create one of the most influential songs of all time. Very quickly The Kinks found themselves on top of the UK charts and with a Top Ten hit in the USA, propelling them to stardom.
In the aftermath of the success of “You Really Got Me”, The Kinks were rushed into the studio to record their debut album in the summer of 1964 to cash in on their sudden success. This rush may go some way to explain the uneven album, but the reason anyone really talks about You Really Got Me the album is “You Really Got Me” the single. Without this one song we would arguably have been denied the entire career of The Kinks. Both “You Really Got Me” and The Kink’s influence on musicians since is immeasurable and for this we should be grateful.
You Really Got Me 2004 Re-issue and Additional Tracks
The CD re-issue has additional tracks from early releases and B-Sides, including the first two singles. Also included is “All Day and All of the Night” unsurprisingly as it later became a huge hit, but also a couple of manic gems in the shape of “It’s alright” and “I gotta Move”. I am amazed these two haven’t been ‘borrowed’ by a few bands out there in need of an unknown tune or two as they’ve been too busy in rehab to write their own….
- Ray Davies – vocals, guitar, harmonica, keyboards
- Dave Davies – guitar, vocals
- Peter Quaife – bass, backing vocals
- Mick Avory – drums, tambourine
- Shel Talmy – Producer
- Simon Heyworth – remastering
The letter K has been sadly neglected in the English language for centuries. The Kinks, when they are knot making records or doing one-knight stands, are kampaigning to restore the K to its rightful and knoble place. This situation is the more pitiful when you realise that the K has knot even been allowed to die and be forgotten but, much worse, it is ignored.
To help this kampaign on its way some simple rules have to be observed. First, the letter K should never be silent in words such as knee, know and knockout: secondly, where possible K should be substituted for C in pronunciation; thirdly, money is reckoned in terms of K(rowns) i.e. 5/- is one K, 2/6 is half K and £1 is 4K; finally, when in doubt stutter. The worst thing anyone can do is to say that something is OK when they mean, of course, that it is K.
Like all new things these days this is going to be advertised extensively on TV. We are all hoping for the fullest co-operation from that very K programme “Thank Your Klucky Stars”.
You Really Got Me – track listing
All songs by Ray Davies except where specified otherwise
- “Beautiful Delilah” (Chuck Berry)
- “So Mystifying”
- “Just Can’t Go To Sleep”
- “Long Tall Shorty” (Herb Abramson, Don Covay)
- “You Really Got Me”
- “Cadillac” (Bo Diddley)
- “Bald Headed Woman” (Trad/Arr Shel Talmy)
- “Too Much Monkey Business” (Chuck Berry)
- “I’ve Been Driving On Bald Mountain” (Trad/Arr Shel Talmy)
- “Stop Your Sobbing”
- “Got Love If You Want It” (Slim Harpo)
(US, Reprise R-6143)
The US version is missing three tracks. “I Took My Baby Home” had already been licensed to Cameo-Parkway Records in the US as the B-side to “Long Tall Sally” so could not be included. “I’m a Lover Not a Fighter” and the instrumental “Revenge” were held over for the US only “Kinks Size” album.
Kinks (original UK track listing)
- “Beautiful Delilah” (Chuck Berry) – 2:07
- “So Mystifying” – 2:53
- “Just Can’t Go to Sleep” – 1:58
- “Long Tall Shorty” (Herb Abramson, Don Covay) – 2:50
- “I Took My Baby Home” – 1:48
- “I’m a Lover Not a Fighter” (J. Miller) – 2:03
- “You Really Got Me” – 2:13
- “Cadillac” (Bo Diddley) – 2:44
- “Bald Headed Woman” (Trad/Arr Shel Talmy) – 2:41
- “Revenge” (Ray Davies, Larry Page) – 1:29
- “Too Much Monkey Business” (Chuck Berry) – 2:16
- “I’ve Been Driving On Bald Mountain” (Trad/Arr Shel Talmy) – 2:01
- “Stop Your Sobbing” – 2:06
- “Got Love If You Want It” (Slim Harpo) – 3:46
UK release: Pye NPL 18096 mono and NSPL 83021 stereo
“You Really Got Me” 2004 CD re-issue bonus tracks
- “Long Tall Sally” (Robert Blackwell, Enotris Johnson, Richard Penniman – AKA “Little Richard“) – 2:12
- “You Still Want Me” – 1:59
- “You Do Something to Me” – 2:24
- “It’s Alright” – 2:37
- “All Day and All of the Night” – 2:23
- “I Gotta Move” – 2:22
- “Louie, Louie” (Richard Berry) – 2:57
- “I Gotta Go Now” – 2:53
- “Things Are Getting Better” – 1:52
- “I’ve Got That Feeling” – 2:43
- “Too Much Monkey Business” Alternate Version (Chuck Berry) – 2:10
- “I Don’t Need You Any More” – 2:10